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Great Northern short
"Great" domes

GN was the last of the northwest railroads to embrace domes, but when they "domed" the Empire Builder, they went full bore and placed three short dome coaches and a full dome lounge in each consist (full domes covered in another page). With 5 consists plus a spare car, 16 short domes were ordered from Budd, with ownership being shared SP&S-1, Burlington-3, and GN-12. All cars were delivered in 1955.

Although GN sometimes referred the these short domes as "Vista" domes, they also called them "Great" domes, using the "Great" to reference their road name rather than the size of the car, thus "Great Dome Lounges" and "Great Dome Coaches".

Photo below: dome coach {GNHS}

GN 1320 - BN 4600 (not applied), car was repainted during 1969 with one side (left) painted BN green with the white stripe turned down at the cars front end and the white "stripe" double width (all the way up to the roof line), and a "standard" width white stripe on the (right) side of the car. This was officially known as the "hockey stick" scheme (BN was headquartered in Minnesota at the time). Additionally, the car was given Big Sky Blue style "GN" lettering and logos. Car became Amtrak 9460 - retired 1985, to Robert Moen (5/93).

GN 1321 - BN 4601 (not applied), Amtrak 9461, wrecked at Kennewick WA (5/79), retired and moved to Pasco WA - scrapped 2/81.

GN 1322 - BN 4602 (not applied), Amtrak 9462 (not painted until 11/74), wrecked Frankewing TN 10/75, sent to Beech Grove and retired 11/75 and sold to Building Leasing Corp Dodson MO. Car not moved or paid for and was re-sold to E Bishop Indianapolis IN who had the car scrapped at Beech Grove 4/81.

GN 1323 - BN 4603 (not applied), Amtrak 9463 - retired 1985, Dirk Lenthe (5/93), to Doug Ebert/Charles Barenfanger (12/98) - stored on Algoma Central, moved to Avalon Railcar Milwaukee WS for conversion to a sleeper (2000). Observed on "Empire Builder" 12/10/2001 in new matching colors to the "Sierra Hotel" as the new 800732 "Puget Sound". Owned by a consortium including Charles Barenfanger, Dick Johnson and others.

GN 1324 - BN 4604 (not applied), Amtrak 9464, wrecked Ralston NE (20 miles from current location) 12/16/76) - stored in Lincoln NE for approx 6 months then shipped to Topeka KS for evaluation and retired (10/77) at ATSF shops, sold to Building Leasing Corp Dodson MO and moved to Kansas City (4/78), Rail Dome Corp - stored in KC (1978), Robert Moen - moved to Minneapolis (1987) - to Dave Varilek - not moved (1995) Kasten Railcar - moved to National City IL (1996), to Dave Varilek/Empire Builder Private Railcars/Vista-Dome Adventures - moved to Fremont NE (1998).

GN 1325 - BN 4605 (not applied), Amtrak 9465, Amtrak 9409 (HEP) (12/83) - equipped with freight brakes for Amtrak Auto Train service, Montana Rockies Daylight (800723) BKSX 9409 (not operated) (1/96), Henry Hillman/Oregon Rail Corp/American Orient Express/Montana Rockies Rail Tours (11/98) - car in Sandpoint ID 11/2000 with "American Spirit" - car repainted in "American Spirit" livery - operation sold to RailQuest America 01/2001 - car retained by AOE - moved to Chehalis WA 9/2001. Began operating on AOE trainset in Canada 7/04 - still in "American Spirit" livery. Sold 4/05 to Canadian National for CN/IC business train use.

GN 1326 - BN 4606 (not applied), Amtrak 9466 - retired 1983, leased to Alaska Railroad 7066 4/84-12/85, returned and stored, leased to Texas Southern (1987), returned 1988 and stored Beech Grove, Rail Voyages (5/93) - stored at Lake Erie Railcar New London OH, Pete Messina/Chip Tilton/Chuck Crisler partnership in New Orleans area (7/97), Grand Canyon Railway (lease) (10/99) - Amt # 800719 - car delayed and not on GCRY until 4/2000 as 2097(2) "Kokopelli" replacing CBQ 558 with same number and name. Sold to Xanterra (new operator of GCRY) 2/07.

GN 1327 - BN 4607 (not applied), Amtrak 9467, stored at Beech Grove (11/81), sold to Doug McGill in Indiana (5/93).

GN 1328 - BN 4608 (not applied), Amtrak 9468, wrecked Frankewing TN 10/75, retired 10/77, Little River RR Angola IN - not paid for and reposessed 1/78, sold 3/79 to Tuman Demolition Joplin MO - scrapped at Beech Grove 4/79.

GN 1329 - BN 4609 (not applied), Amtrak 9469, Cape Cod Railroad (5/93), Conway Scenic RR (1/98) as "Dorthea Mae".

GN 1330 - BN 4610 (not applied), Amtrak 9470 - retired 1981, 5/93 to Gold Coast Railway Museum Miami FL, 7/95 to Stuart Spencer and Stan Ames Los Angeles CA. Car stored in Commerce CA with Pacific Railroad Society equipment. Window replacement is in progress, with plans to operate (hopefully) on a shortline in 2001 before making car fully Amtrak compatable. Someday (far in the future) car may be painted in GN colors.

GN 1331 - BN 4611 (not applied), Amtrak 9471 - NOTE: This car was the LAST Amtrak owned Vista Dome to be painted into Amtrak colors (6/76), Amtrak 9410 (HEP) (1/84), retired 1995 to Montana Rockies Daylight BKSX 9410, to Henry Hillman/Oregon Rail Corp/American Orient Express/Montana Rockies Rail Tours (11/98) - car in Sandpoint ID 11/2000 with "American Spirit" - sold to RailQuest America/Montana Rockies Rail Tours 01/2001 RQAX 9410 - repainted in new livery. MRRT suspended operations and sold car to Phil Sheridan 12/2004. Car leased to Alaska RR and moved north 5/05. Returned 11/07 and car moved to Gateway (ex ITAC). Sold 2008 to Cuyahoga Scenic RR OH and named "Emerson".

SP&S 1332 (pool car)

delivered in full GN dark green and orange "Empire Builder" colors

CB&Q 1333 (pool car)

painted in GN colors

CB&Q 1334 (pool car)

painted in GN colors

CB&Q 1335 (pool car)

painted in GN colors

Please e-mail us any additional info or corrections.

Additional info: Roy Wullich, PTJ, Les Kasten

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