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Page 9

While there are many photographs of the exterior of passenger cars, very few have been published showing the Entry Vestibule of a car. This is what the passenger saw entraining a GN streamliner. A very clean and update design is shown in the GN Archive photograph.

This westbound consist contained every type of car assigned to the 1955 Empire Builder and is historically accurate as the winter season consist from Spokane to Seattle. The eastbound consist was 10 cars long between Seattle and Spokane when operated on a Saturday or Sunday. Then the consist did not have the Seattle to St. Paul storage mail car or the 16-4 sleeping car.

In order to further historical accuracy, a modeler can create the SP&S Streamliner, and operate it on this fantasy Spokane layout as a companion to the Empire Builder. The Streamliner's winter season seven-car Spokane-Portland consist during the 1955-1959 period included the following cars:

SP&S E7 and F Series Diesel Locomotives
SP&S Spokane-Portland RPO-Storage Mail Car (Note 1)
SP&S Spokane-Portland Baggage-Dormitory Car
SP&S Spokane-Portland Coach
Empire Builder Chicago to Portland Great Dome Coach
SP&S Spokane-Portland Dining Car
Empire Builder Chicago-Portland Sleeping Car (Note 2)
SP&S Spokane-Portland 6-3 Buffet-Lounge (Note 3)

Note 1: A considerable amount of mail was transloaded from and to the Empire Builder, and to and from the Streamliner, during the Spokane station dwell time while the switching activities were taking place.

Note 2: The Great Northern assigned either a 4-7-3-1 or a 6-5-2 sleeping car to Chicago-Portland service depending upon which winter season between 1955-1956 and 1959-1960 is selected.

Note 3: The SP&S owned two 6-3 buffet-lounge cars, one which was available for westbound passengers to board in Spokane at 9:30PM and the other on the arriving eastbound consist, which laid over until the next night.

Note 4: By 1955 all SP&S passenger locomotives and cars were painted in SP&S corporate colors.

Of course, the Streamliner also had the winter season North Coast Limited's two Chicago-Portland cars in its consist between Pasco and Portland. However, the modeler can designate that the layout encompasses the Spokane area only.

To add accuracy to the Spokane terminal facilities, the modeler could have the Empire Builder's St. Paul to Spokane storage mail car already set out and unloading at Spokane GN Station's mail terminal building that was adjacent to the passenger station. Then the modeler can account for all of the 14 cars that the westbound winter season Empire Builder had in its consist arriving Spokane and the 12 cars that it had leaving Spokane eastbound Saturday and Sunday nights during the winter season operations. The eastbound consist contained 13 cars including the Seattle to St. Paul storage mail car on the other nights.