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Home > Archives > Refurbished Lunch Counter-Diner/Dorm car No. 8117, 1970s.

Refurbished Lunch Counter-Diner/Dorm car No. 8117, 1970s.

Promotional color photograph showing the interior of a refurbished Lunch Counter-Diner/Dorm car in the early 1970s.

Refurbished Lunch Counter-Diner/Dorm car No. 8117, 1970s.

This photograph shows the interior of Lunch Counter-Diner/Dorm car No. 8117, which Amtrak purchased from the Santa Fe Railway when it took over that company's passenger rail obligations in 1971. It was built by Pullman Standard in 1950 and numbered 1576 by the Santa Fe. Amtrak refurbished and renumbered the car in 1973, and it continued in active service until retired in November, 1977.

According to early Amtrak promotional material, passengers could go to the Lunch Counter-Diner for "tasty light meals and excellent beverage service in a casual, relaxed setting [and] may return to their seats with their selections, if they wish." The cars operated on various routes across the country.

It included a crew room at one end, a small dining area with two tables each seating four persons (seen through the glass partitions at the back of the photo), a 13 seat lunch counter in the center, and a pantry and kitchen at the other end. The vibrant red and purple color scheme was installed as part of Amtrak's efforts to modernize car interiors, and can be seen in other cars from the period. A close look at the price board reveals that coffee cost $0.10, sodas were $0.30 and beer cost $0.55.

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