Up Frequent Questions GNRHS Staff Reference Sheets Modeling Conventions Research & Archives Empire Builder Links GNRHS Store What's New? Contact GNRHS




Page 5

Duplex Roomettes #2 and #3 in Lines 15 and 25 were assigned to the Pullman Conductor and the Traveling Passenger Representative, and they were not sold as revenue space. The five consists of the 1955 Incomparable Great Dome Empire Builder were drawn from the following pool of cars that also included the protection cars:

0262-0276...Baggage Cars: Storage Mail
0037-0042...Railway Post Office-Storage Mail Cars
1200-1205...Baggage-Dormitory Cars
1209-1214...Flat-top 60-Seat Coaches
1320-1335...Great Dome 46-Seat Coaches
1240-1245...Ranch Coffee Shop-Dinette-Lounge Cars
1250-1255...Dining Cars
1390-1395...Great Dome Lounge Cars (named...see below)

1390...Glacier View
1391...Ocean View
1392...Mountain View
1393...Lake View
1394...Prairie View
1395...River View

1260-1274...4-7-3-1 Sleeping Cars
and 702
1370-1384...6-5-2 Sleeping Cars
and 701
1190-1194...6-4-1 Lounge-Observation Cars (named...see below)
and 1197

1190...Choteau Coulee
1191...Twelve Mile Coulee
1192...Corral Coulee
1193...Rocky Coulee
1194...Trail Coulee
1197...Grand Coulee

On the previous page, the Empire Builder is traveling through Marias Pass, and above it is shown traveling through the forests and superb views along the Flathead River. GNRHS photo.

All of the new and rebuilt cars that were added to the 1955 Empire Builder carried EB colors and had the train name centered on each letterboard, located under each car's roof line and above the windows. "Great Northern", "CB&Q", or "SP&S Ry. Co." appeared in smaller letters at each end of the letterboard, depending upon which railway company owned the car.

Of the new and rebuilt cars that were added to the consists of the 1955 Empire Builder, the Burlington Route owned Great Dome Coaches Nos. 1333-1335, Great Dome Lounge Car No. 1395, and Coulee Series 6-4-1 observation car No. 1194, and the SP&S owned Great Dome Coach No. 1332. Refer to Reference Sheet No. 209 for the cars that came from the 1951 Empire Builder for the railroad which owned them.

Each View Series and Coulee Series car had its name centered below the windows, and all of the new and rebuilt cars had their equipment car numbers at each end below the windows. The Spokane to Seattle 16-4 Glacier Series sleeping car came from the Western Star's assigned car pool, and these cars were rotated between transcontinental and Spokane-Seattle assignments on a defined maintenance schedule. Effective with the September 14, 1958 timetable, this car was not in the westbound Empire Builder's consist leaving Spokane on Saturday nights.

Because of lower traffic projections during the winter travel season, the Great Northern reduced each consist of the 1955 Empire Builder by one Great Dome Coach and one sleeping car during the 1955-1956 and the 1956-1957 winter months, and removed a second sleeping car during the 1957-1958 and the 1958-1959 winters. In addition to minimum vacation travel between October and May, except for the Christmas holiday period, the Empire Builder was beginning to feel the impact of transcontinental jet airplane business travel.

Of course, the use of the private automobile continued to grow as the federal highways were improved, developing eventually into the beginnings of the Interstate Highway System by the end of the decade.

In order to facilitate Pullman on-train and other operations, the winter season consist of the Empire Builder was rearranged. The consist listed over the page was in operation for the 1958 and 1959 winter travel season.