One of my earlier posts criticized the 1948 North Coast Limited for having a drab and inadequate lounge car. That finally changed in June, 1955 when the NP converted its coach-buffet-lounge cars into the Traveller’s Rest cars, an homage to the 150th anniversary of the Lewis & Clark Expedition.
Click to download an 8.2-MB PDF of this 12-page brochure about the Lewis & Clark Traveller’s Rest car.
Raymond Loewy designed the basic concept and the cars were rebuilt in NP’s own shops at a cost of about $95,000 each (about $800,000 in today’s dollars). An innovative lunch counter at one end of the car had two tables for four and one for six people each easily served by a single waiter from a kitchen in the middle of the car. The other end of the car had a 30-seat lounge served by a small bar adjacent to the kitchen.
An NP stewardess-nurse holds the above brochure as she points out items of interest on the Edgar Miller mural in the Traveller’s Rest car. Click image to download a PDF of a 1960s version of this same postcard.
What made the Traveller’s Rest car special was a set a murals on faux-leather that extended the entire length of the car. NP paid a then-famous Chicago artist named Edgar Miller $3,500 per car to paint scenes depicting the journeys of Lewis & Clark. These murals made the cars almost endlessly entertaining and educational besides.
Although many people spell “traveler” with one L, Lewis & Clark used two and the NP elected to follow their example. Click to download a PDF of this placemat made for the Traveller’s Rest lunch counter.