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VIA Rail 1720 (Single Level Dome)

Vancouver, BC. March, 2006. Photo by Jody Moore.

Type of Car: Single level dome coach
Coach: 70
Length: 85 feet
Height: 12 feet, 11 inches
Weight: ?
Platform Size : None
Kitchen/Galley: Yes
Restrooms: 2
ADA Features: 1 ADA Restroom?, 2 wheelchair tiedowns
Built: April/May, 2000
Ran as: BC Rail 1703, BC Rail 1720 "Coast"

Notes: This car and two others were built for the Florida Fun Train, but were left incomplete when the operation shut down. In 2000, the cars were completed for Panorama Service on BC Rail's Whistler Northwind train between North Vancouver, BC and Prince George via the resort town of Whistler. Numbered 1720, named "Coast".

The cars were constructed using the center sills of three former VIA (ex-CN) baggage cars, numbers 9623, 9639 and 9649. I do not yet know which of the three cars donated center sills to which Panorama car, but I am working on it. The three car bodies are in use as storage sheds at CRM's plant in Ft. Lupton, CO.

The interior designed by Vancouver firm Architectura. When BC Rail's passenger service was discontinued in October 2002, the 1720 and two other single level dome coaches - 1721 and 1722 - were sold to VIA Rail, Canada's national passenger service carrier, for service on the scenic Skeena passenger train, which runs between Jasper, AL and Prince Rupert, BC on a two day schedule with an overnight stop in Prince George, BC.

The cars, which comprise VIA's Panorama class, are used to provide Totem Deluxe service, which is the top of the line accomodation on the Skeena. Typically one car is carried in each of the two consists, which also includes several VIA 1 day coaches and a Park series dome observation lounge car. The 1720 was repainted in a radical rendition of VIA's new jade green and silver livery in early 2003. It is also the only Panorama car that features a small galley and service bar, as well as a small coat room.

* Thanks to Colorado Railcar president Tom Rader for his help in clarifying the construction situation with these cars.

Inside VIA's Vancouver Maintenance Center. March, 2006. Photo by Jody Moore

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