In October 1952, at a cost of $16 million (about $136 million in today’s money), the Burlington completed construction of a new 49-mile segment of track that saved two hours on its route between Chicago and Kansas City. On February 1, 1953, the railroad celebrated its “Kansas City shortcut” by introducing two new Budd-built vista-dome zephyrs between the two cities: the daytime Kansas City Zephyr and the overnight American Royal Zephyr.
Click image to download a PDF of this postcard advertising the Kansas City and American Royal Zephyrs.
The day train included a dome-lounge-coach, flat-topped coaches, a diner, and a dome-observation car. The overnight train included sleeping cars and a dome-buffet-lounge car. Unlike the round-tail observation cars on previous zephyrs, the observation cars built for the Kansas City Zephyr had blunt ends, making it possible to use them in the middle of a train if needed.
Blunt-end observation car in a Budd advertisement showing the Kansas City Zephyr as it approaches its name-sake city, where it was scheduled to arrive at 8:45 pm.