Walthers Budd Baggage Dormitory Car Amtrak(R) Phase II
Give on-board crews a break. On long-distance runs, porters, chefs, waiters and car attendants stayed on the train for the entire trip. Working and sleeping in shifts, dormitory cars provided them with a place to rest, relax and wash-up. A small baggage compartment provided additional storage space for express shipments or luggage and helped earn some extra revenue on each trip.
Sleek, stylish, modern, comfortable . . . everything railroads could offer post-war travelers would be found in their new Budd-built streamliners. These lightweight "trains of tomorrow" trace their roots to experimental rail cars of the early 1930s, when Budd pioneered the use of stainless steel. Real success came in 1934 with the introduction of Burlingtons Budd-built "Zephyr." The radical new design caught the attention of the traveling public and of other railroads. In 1936 the Santa Fe took the idea a step further with a stainless steel coach. The lightweight car could be used in any train and orders for nine more followed. In 1937, Santa Fe ordered 104 cars of various types to refit the "Super Chief." Streamliners were clearly the way of the future and orders from other roads rolled in.
While World War Two slowed production, nearly 500 cars were built by 1944. Although ridership skyrocketed during the war, so did equipment and service problems. When peace returned, the railroads had a serious image problem, which was only made worse by interstate highways and airlines. To fight back, many roads upgraded their best trains with all-new diesels and Budd cars.
But the writing was on the wall and the boom of post-war car building declined rapidly after 1950. As the stainless cars kept rolling into the 1960s, their rugged construction allowed them to rack up impressive mileage with little or no structural decay. By the time Amtrak took over long-distance train operation in 1971, the now 20+ year old stainless Budd cars were among the best available and were soon put to work all over the US. As newer cars arrived in later years, these older "Heritage Fleet" streamliners remained in service and some are still in daily operation.
These models are a fitting tribute to these legendary cars. As the prototypes were modified over time, the models are offered in both As-Built and Amtrak versions with specific details and ends appropriate to the era. Each ready-to-run model is complete with a full interior, flush-fitting windows, wire grab irons, a removable roof with separate details, working diaphragms and a complete underbody featuring diecast GSC Commonwealth trucks with RP-25 metal wheels. Walthers swinging drawbar system is standard equipment on all models to improve operation on small or large curves. Working knuckle couplers and optional horn-hook couplers are also included. Electrical pickups are already installed, which allows easy installation of the snap-in Interior Lighting Kit (#933-1049, sold separately) if desired. For longer trains or a larger fleet of cars, numberboard decals are also provided.
PLEASE NOTE: As these cars are the correct prototype length and feature full underbody detail to match the prototypes, a minimum 24" radius is recommended for operation.