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VIA Rail 1721 (Single Level Dome)

Montreal, PQ. April 11, 2003. Photo by P.J. Cadieux.
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Type of Car: Single level dome coach
Coach: 78
Length: 85 feet
Height: 12 feet, 11 inches
Weight: ?
Platform Size : None
Kitchen/Galley: No, but it does have a service bar
Restrooms: 2, 1 ADA
ADA Features: 1 ADA Restroom
Built: April/May, 2000
Ran as: BC Rail 1704, BC Rail 1721 "Cariboo"

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 1721, named "Cariboo".

1704 and 1705 feature a service bar on one end of the car and two restrooms — one ADA compliant — across the aisle. The cars seat 78 passengers, with 19 rows of seats on the galley side of the car and 20 rows on the restroom side. Because of the difference, the cars both feature a unique half sized window next to the last row of seats.

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 1721 and two other single level domes - 1720 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 now comprise VIA's Panorama class of cars, 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 1721 was repainted in a radical rendition of VIA's new jade green and silver livery in early 2003.

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

Vancouver, BC. May 11, 200. Photo by Jody Moore

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