LSC1017 CY1206.1 Custom Coach Yard Budd Full Dome Dorm Lounge, Santa Fe #554 w/Interior

LSC1017 CY1206.1 Custom Coach Yard Budd Full Dome Dorm Lounge, Santa Fe #554 w/Interior

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This advertisement from the November 8, 1954 Life magazine shows passengers craning their necks to see the scenery from the lounge portion of the Big Domes.

In March, 1954, the Santa Fe added one of these domes to each of the six El Capitan all-coach Chicago-LA trains plus one each to a pair of trains that went between Chicago and Oklahoma City. Inaugurated in 1938 (initially between Chicago and Wichita), the northbound train each day was called the Chicagoan while the southbound train was called the Kansas Citian.

Other than being fluted stainless steel rather than painted, the Big Domes superficially appear almost identical to Milwaukee’s Super Domes, but a close look reveals several differences. Upstairs, rather than arrange all the seats in coach formation, the rear part of the car had 18 lounge seats allowing for parties of three to eight to sit together. With the 57 coach-like seats, the dome had total seating for 75 (as opposed to 68 in the Super Domes)–more than three domes of the Kansas City Zephyr and American Royal Zephyr combined. The top level featured coach-style seating for 57, plus a lounge area which could seat an additional 18 on sofas and in booths. The lower level came in two variations. The first eight (numbered 506–513) featured a cocktail lounge and nurses' room. The second six (numbered 550–555) had a smaller bar-lounge and crew dormitory. Much of the lower area in both configurations was given over to mechanical use, including air-conditioning. The cocktail lounge was decorated in a "unique Indian decor", a common motif on the Santa Fe.

The lounge beneath the dome provided seating for groups of one to six people. Note that the hall for passengers walking through the car is on the right. The images of the katchina dolls were done by an artist named Pearson Berlinghof, while Pierre Bourdelle did the linoleum sun carving on the front of the bar.

Downstairs, Budd made the contrary decision to have passengers entering from adjacent cars turn left instead of right to pass through the car. Unlike the Super Domes, the cars also have a vestibule so passengers and employees could get on or off without stepping into the next car. As with the Super Domes, the Big Domes had 28 seats in a lounge on the bottom level beneath the dome, but Budd also managed to find space to provide a bedroom for the on-board courier-nurse.

Product Information

Coach Yard CY-1206.1 ATSF 85' Budd 1954 Full Dome Dorm Lounge. Custom finished. Very nicely detailed w/full interiors on both levels, tinted window treatments and passengers throughout. Lettered and numbered "554" as part of the 550-555 class.

Produced by Samhongsa of Korea in 1996 for The Coach Yard.
Includes Kadee Couplers, installed w/Darwin universal close-coupling drafts.

Gorgeously completed and a must for any Santa Fe modeler. Get this rare piece today before it's gone.

This piece includes its original box and packaging and is ready to roll.
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