The Vista-Dome Twin Zephyrs

As an indication of its enthusiasm for dome cars, in 1947 the Burlington completely re-equipped the Twin Cities Zephyrs with a new dome-car train. Each train consisted of a baggage-club-lounge car, four dome coaches, a diner, and a dome-parlor-observation car that included a private drawing room with five seats. For some reason, the Burlington was never interested in dome diners or dome sleepers (not that the Twin Zephyrs needed sleeping cars).

Click image to download a 2.0-MB PDF of this brochure.

The dome coaches seated 54 people on the main level, plus of course 24 in the dome. The bulkheads in front of the domes featured murals of historical scenes by Philadelphia artist Kathryn Fligg who, among other things, also illustrated books. The dome-parlor car was for first-class passengers and was sometimes supplemented by a flat-topped parlor car that ran between the diner and the observation car. The flat-glass domes (sometimes called pattern domes) Silver Dome and Silver Castle also sometimes were used on the Twin Zephyrs.

The new train entered service in December 1947, while the old Twin Zephyrs were bumped into duty as the Nebraska Zephyr (now often powered by an E5 locomotive instead of the original shovel-nosed locomotive) between Chicago and Omaha/Lincoln. One of these Nebraska Zephyr‘s still exists in the Illinois Railway Museum in Union, Illinois.


The Vista-Dome Twin Zephyrs — 2 Comments

  1. Fixed. Sorry to take so long.

    By the way, I have corresponded with artist Kathryn Fligg (now Kathryn Fligg Lee), who says she did two murals for the Kansas City Zephyr but not for trains before that. The murals for the Twin Zephyrs were probably done by Pierre Bourdelle, who did many murals for Budd-built cars. Fligg Lee says she also did 115 wildflower paintings that were put in sleeping car rooms on the Denver Zephyr, some of which were reproduced on DZ menus. I hope at least some of her original paintings have been preserved.

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