Traveller’s Rest

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.


Traveller’s Rest — 2 Comments

  1. One of the Travellers Rest lounge car and The Vista DoMe are in a Museum in Mexico. I can share some pictures of the interior if you are interested.

  2. Those who are interested can download six of Hector’s photos from here. They show the interior of the car, including some details of Miller’s paintings and his signature. Thanks for providing these photos!

Leave a Reply