The Last Dinner Menu of the Silver Age

In 1983, Amtrak President Graham Claytor called the president of the Rio Grande and offered to take over passenger service, replacing the tri-weekly Rio Grande Zephyr with Amtrak’s daily Chicago-Oakland San Francisco Zephyr (which Amtrak renamed the California Zephyr once it was rerouted onto Rio Grande’s tracks). The last run of the Rio Grande Zephyr took place on April 24, 1983.

The 1983 dinner menu is no longer a folder, but it still has the trout. Click image to download a 0.8-MB PDF of this menu.

Tickets on the last run of the train sold out quickly, but I managed to secure tickets on the second-to-last run. While on board, I asked as many crew members as I could find to autograph the menu.

Click image to download a 1.0-MB PDF of this program.

As it turned out, I was able to ride the last run of the train anyway. The local chapter of the National Railway Historical Society distributed this souvenir program. I started collecting rail memorabilia to document the Silver Age after this trip.

The Rio Grande Zephyr in Glenwood Canyon a few days before the last run in 1983. A close look reveals all six Rio Grande dome cars are in use, and the coach behind the baggage-combine is Silver Aspen. Click image for a larger view.


The Last Dinner Menu of the Silver Age — 2 Comments

  1. I’ve gotten many hours of enjoyment perusing your site. You have an excellent collection, and I appreciate the high quality scans and comments / articles.

    The last trip of the CZ program mentions the Moffat Tunnel Pool … which I think I have heard about (maybe on the Ski Train documentary?), but I searched and couldn’t find real info about it. Can you shed some light on this?

    Thanks, and keep up the good work.

    Kansas City

    • The Moffat Tunnel Pool was a little game played by the Intermountain Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society. Passengers aboard the train were invited to guess exactly how many minutes and seconds it would take for the train to pass through the tunnel. Each passenger paid something like a dollar to participate. The passenger who came closest would win some of the money–probably half–with the chapter keeping the rest.

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