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Empire Builder Consists

 

1955-1970 Incomparable Great Dome Empire Builder

 

    1955 saw the addition of the Great Dome Coaches and Great Dome Lounge Cars to the Empire Builder. Patronage fluctuations between the summer and winter seasons and the continued advance of the automobile, and subsequent decrease of passenger numbers, made for many adjustments to the Empire Builder consist over the years. This page details all these changes by examining all the different consists from the inauguration of the 'Incomparable Great Dome Empire Builder' in the summer of 1955 to the last season it ran under the GN flag in the winter of 1969-1970.

 

Please use the table below to go to the consist for the year and season given.

 

Year: 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969
Season: Summer Summer Summer Summer Summer Summer Summer Summer Summer Summer Summer Summer Summer Summer Summer
Winter Winter Winter Winter Winter Winter Winter Winter Winter Winter Winter Winter Winter Winter Winter

    Consists of the Incomparable Great Dome Empire Builder varied with season and year. Not all cars used on the Empire Builder ran the entire distance between Chicago and Seattle/Portland. Some were taken off or added at points in between. The table below shows all series of cars and how many of them were used on the 'Incomparable Great Dome Empire Builder' for each year and season. Please use the separate consist tables to see how many and what cars were used on the different stretches of the route.

 

Overview of Number and Types of Cars Assigned to the Incomparable Great Dome Empire Builder

 

Summer Seasons

TYPE

NUMBER

SERIES

SUMMER SEASON
'55 '56-'58 59'

'60-'61

'62 '63-'65 '66

'67

'68-'69
Baggage Cars: Storage Mail

262-280

- 2(1) [a] 2(1) 2(1) 2(1) 2(1) 2(1) 2(1) 2(1)
RPO-Storage Mail Cars

37-42

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Baggage-Dormitory Cars

1200-1205

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
60-Seat Coaches

1209-1214

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
48-Seat Day-Nite Coaches 1215-1232 1 - - 2 3(2) [c] 2 2 2 2
46-Seat Great Dome Coaches

1320-1335

3 3 3 3 3(4) [c] 3 3 3 3
Ranch Cars

1240-1245

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Coffee Shop-Dinette-Dormitory Cars 1140-1144+1148 - - - - - - - - -
36-Seat Dining Cars

1250-1255

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Great Dome Lounge Cars

1390-1395

- 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
4-7-3-1 Sleeping Cars

1260-1274, SP&S 702

3 3 3 2 3 1 1 1 -
7-6-1 Sleeping Cars

1260, 1262-1264 and 1274 (f)

- - - - - 1 1 1 1
6-5-2 Sleeping Cars

1370-1384, SP&S 701

3 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 3
16-4 Sleeping Cars 1170-1179, 1181-1188 1(0) [d] 1(0) 1(0) [e] 1(0) 1(0) 1(0) - - -
6-4-1 Lounge Observation Cars

1190-1194+1197

- 1 1 1 1 1 1 - -
Lounge-Observation Cars

1290-1295

1 - - - - - - - -

Copyright 2006 Ben Ringnalda

Winter Seasons:

TYPE

NUMBER

SERIES

WINTER SEASON

'55

'56 '57 '58 '59-'60 '61 '62-'66 '67 '68-'69
Baggage Cars: Storage Mail

262-280

2(1) 2(1) 2(1) 2(1) 2(1) 2(1) 2(1) 2(1) 2(1)
RPO-Storage Mail Cars

37-42

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 - -
Baggage-Dormitory Cars

1200-1205

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
60-Seat Coaches

1209-1214

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
48-Seat Day-Nite Coaches 1215-1232 - - - - - - - - -
46-Seat Great Dome Coaches

1320-1335

2 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 2
Ranch Cars

1240-1245

- 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 -
Coffee Shop-Dinette-Dormitory Cars 1140-1144+1148 1 - - - - - - - -
36-Seat Dining Cars

1250-1255

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Great Dome Lounge Cars

1390-1395

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
4-7-3-1 Sleeping Cars

1260-1274, SP&S 702

2 2 2 2 2 1 1(0) [f] - -
7-6-1 Sleeping Cars

1260, 1262-1264 and 1274 [f]

- - - - - - (0)1 [f] 1 1
6-5-2 Sleeping Cars

1370-1384, SP&S 701

2 2 1 1 2 2 2 2 1
16-4 Sleeping Cars 1170-1179, 1181-1188 1(0) 1(0) 1(0) 1(0) [e] 1(0) 1(0) 1(0) 1 -
6-4-1 Lounge Observation Cars

1190-1194+1197

1 1 1 1 1(0) [b] - - - -
Lounge-Observation Cars

1290-1295

- - - - - - - - -

Copyright 2006 Ben Ringnalda

Notes:

a) Seattle - St. Paul Mail Storage Car was not carried on Saturdays & Sundays.

b) 6-4-1 Lounge Observation Cars taken off during Winter Season per February 1, 1960.

c) Depending on availability an extra 48-Seat Day-Nite Coach or a 46-Seat Great Dome Coach was used.

d) 16-4 Sleeping Cars only ran one-way Spokane-Seattle.

e) As of September 14, 1958 the 16-4 Sleeping Car was not in the westbound consist leaving Spokane on Saturday nights.

f) 4-7-3-1 Sleeping Cars 1260, 1262-1264 and 1274 were remodeled into 7-6-1 Sleeping Cars during the winter season of 1962 and slowly phased in.

 

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