"Stairway to The Stars" San Joaquin Daylight #3600 Dome Lounge
The Southern Pacific claimed that most dome cars were too tall to fit through its tunnels. So it designed and built its own dome cars out of older cars it had on hand. Its first car was built from a 1938Coast Daylightobservation car using a dome lattice and windows purchased from the Budd Company. The car started work on theSan Joaquin Daylighton June 24, 1954.
At 15-feet, 2-inches tall, these were the shortest domes built: an inch shorter than the Pullman-built domes and eight inches shorter than most Budd short domes. This can be seen from the small forward- and rear-facing windows of the SP domes.
The SP domes all had seats on an upper deck that extended about half the car. The upper deck of the first car had about 28 coach-like seats and 16 more seats facing tables. The first dome only had coach-like seats on the upper level, while the next five had a combination of coach seats and bench seats at tables, and the last two, which were built for theShasta Daylight, had only bench seats and tables on the upper deck.
One stairway led straight to a door to the next car, while the other went down into a 20-seat lounge that still had the dome overhead, giving a cathedral-like feeling. The end of the car–the part without a dome–held a small kitchen for serving drinks and snacks to passengers.
The first dome (#3600) only also had a crew-dorm at the rear end. The car was also a little shorter (81 feet vs. 85 feet) than the other SP domes. The car had ten panels of dome windows, while the later domes had twelve.
Beside theSan Joaquin Daylight, SP’s domes saw service on theShasta Daylightand, later, theCoast Daylight. Amtrak ran the cars with the kitchen at the rear, but photographic evidence indicates that the SP at least initially ran them with the kitchen in the front.
The Coach Yard 3/4 dome lounge has been custom finished in our LSC Custom Shop with attention to details to duplicate the first prototype built by Southern Pacific. Our car is painted in the iconic SP Daylight colors to represent the "San Joaquin Daylight" in the mid-1950 through the 1960s. Our brass model is complete with interior and tinted dome "glass" and window treatments. A Soundtraxx SoundCar (operator's manual included) has been added to the car and hidden under the main dome seating area. The modeler may enjoy (in DCC) natural sounds coming from the car while in consist. Includes 20+ passengers enjoying their travel while onboard this glorious-looking car.
This piece includes its original box and packaging and is ready to roll. We offer a 30-day return guarantee on all our products.