Use of dome cars on SCL passeger trains : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

In my research for a new book on the SCL I have come across photos of dome cars on SCL passenger trains. I have one view of a dome car on the rear of the Silver Star and believe they may also have been used on the Florida Special. I am assuming the cars were put on the trains at Richmond account the clearance restrictions at Washington Terminal. Does anyone have an information on the use of these cars on the SCL, i.e., what trains, operating limits, time frame for use, etc.?

-- William E. Griffin, Jr. (, March 03, 2004


Jim Coviello is right, NP sleeper domes did run on the South Wind and the City of Miami during the winter season of 1967. This however, was their last season as they did not run during the winter season of 1968.

There is some confusion as to the operation of dome cars into Washington. The B&O certainly ran dome cars-with a reduced clearance of 15 feet 3 inches height as opposed to the standard dome car height of 15 feet 6 inches- into Washington Terminal. However, this operation came into Washington from the north. When the B&O ordered its dome coaches and purchased the dome sleepers, it had some clearances increased in the areas of Washington Terminal that it used.

The operation of dome cars from the south was trickier. These cars had to pass under energized catenary from Potomac Yard to Virginia Avenue interlocking. There they entered the First Avenue tunnel. This tunnel was not equipped with catenary for most of its length. The only exception was at the northern end where the PRR installed a length of catenary to cover its switching moves.

When the sleeper dome cars were ordered by the C&O, initial thoughts were that there were adequate clearances to permit operation of the domes. Later, when the Chessie operation was cancelled, a statement was made that there were inadequate clearances for dome car operation.

Such statements were hard to verify, but it was possible that there were some areas where the catenary was closer to the top of the cars than some railroad officials felt comfortable with. This restriction remained until the removal of energized catenary on the line to Potomac yard.

Thus, during the operation of the sleeper domes both while they were leased by the ACL and after they were purchased by SCL, a decision was made not to run them north of Richmond.

-- Michael W. Savchak (, March 08, 2004.

Dome cars also ran on the South Wind and the Floridian (amtrak)

-- jim coviello (, March 05, 2004.


The SCL purchased three ex B&O ex C&O sleeper-dome cars and ran them on the Silver Star in the summer and the Florida Special in the winter. They filled a Richmond-Miami car line FS-30 on the Florida Special and R-360 on the Silver Star.

I have more information on these cars in an article I have just written that will be appearing in Lines South. I will contact you off line.

In addition to the SCL's sleeper domes, the IC ran dome coaches on the City of Miami between Chicago and miami during the SCL years.

-- Michael W. Savchak (, March 03, 2004.

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