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Home > Archives > Ranch-dorm car on the North Coast Hiawatha, 1970s.

Ranch-dorm car on the North Coast Hiawatha, 1970s.

Black and white promotional photograph showing the diner section of a ranch-dorm car used on the North Coast Hiawatha (Chicago-Billings-Seattle). Photograph dates to the early 1970s.

Ranch-dorm car on the <i>North Coast Hiawatha</i>, 1970s.

The North Coast Hiawatha carried a "ranch-dorm" car that included a diner section seating 23 persons (shown above), a counter with eight seats, dome seating for 24 and a crew quarters. According to text on the back of this Amtrak marketing photograph, the car had been recently refurbished: "Designed in warm copper tones, the new car features copper formica counter, rust tweed carpeting, walls done in barn board for a weathered, rustic effect and denim upholstery by Levi-Strauss."

The car in this image was originally built by the Budd Company in 1956 for use on the Denver Zephyr (Chicago-Omaha-Denver) operated by the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad. Two Vista Dome cars - the Silver Kettle and Silver Cup - were outfitted with a western "Chuck Wagon" theme. Passengers could enjoy light meals, snacks and beverages, or sit under the dome to watch the passing scenery. The panels on the wall are part of a set of eight by sculptor Lorn Wallace and depict roundup activities out on the range. The cars were used on the San Francisco Zephyr before moving to the North Coast Hiawatha by early 1974.

Additional views of this car were published in the April 15, 1973 issue of Amtrak Update, the company's employee newsletter.

Photographer: Unknown for Amtrak. From the Amtrak Corporate Collection.