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2005 News

December 15, 2005

Silver Bridle Arrives Safely in Orlando, Florida

We just received news that Silver Bridle arrived safely in Orlando Monday evening, December 12.

Interior work will now begin, to put the Silver Bridle back in revenue service as soon as possible.

This brings the (known) total of ex-CZ railcars in Florida to three. The baggage car Silver Stag and Vista Dome Observation Silver Crescent reside at the Gold Coast Railroad Museum in Miami.

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October 13, 2005

Silver Bridle Has Bright Future in Florida

We've just received word from Neil Bagaus, General Manager of the new Inland Lakes Railway regarding Silver Bridle.

Neil writes,
"Actually the car was never owned by the Mount Dora & Lake Eustis Railway. It is owned by my business partner, Robert Rabkin of San Francisco. Robert & I have formed a new railroad and have landed the Orlando operating contract. Our new railway is called the Inland Lakes Railway.

We begin operations on October 22.

The Silver Bridle is expected to leave New Orleans within a week or so. It has been rebuilt with head end power, 16 tons of new airconditioning, and all new windows both upstairs and down. When it gets to Florida, we will make the final rebuilds. The dome area will seat 24 for dinner/lunch and the lower large end 26. The small lower end will be a lounge area. We hope to have it in service by December 1."

This will bring the (known) total of ex-CZ railcars in Florida to three. The baggage car Silver Stag and Vista Dome Observation Silver Crescent reside at the Gold Coast Railroad Museum in Miami.

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October 5, 2005

Broadway Limited Posts Preview Pics

Great-looking cars. The preview page can be viewed here (link obsolete).

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September 28, 2005

Silver Bridle survives Hurricane Katrina, but future unknown

CB&Q 4716, Silver Bridle is reported to have survived Hurricane Katrina with relatively minor damage. The car "will need new wheelsets. Water came up as high as the bearings", reports our source, identified only as Chuck. Thanks to Chuck for the information.

Meanwhile, the future of the car is unknown. It was acquired at auction last summer by the Mt. Dora & Lake Eustis Railway in Florida. A visit to their website (http://www.mtdorarailway.com) says they have closed. No reasons are given for the action. It appears to be a temporary, yet currently indefinite closing.

We'll post further information as it becomes available. Anyone with information is asked to let us know.

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July 19, 2005

Broadway Limited Releases Pre-Production Photos, Seeks Input

This is already looking like a fantastic CZ representation. The images can be viewed here (link obsolete). They emphasize that these models are still in development. They're soliciting input for authenticity and quality.

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April 29, 2005

Broadway Limited CZ series delayed again

Once more, the release schedule has been pushed back, this time from May '05 to October '05 with no explanation. A list of the cars to be included, by road, is viewable here.

Update: The release date was later changed to a more ambiguous "Fall '05".

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March 29, 2005

A ray of hope for Silver Pony?

The verdict may still be out on the future of Silver Pony. Damaged in transit to the Grand Canyon Railway after being auctioned last summer, the Silver Pony appeared doomed to be parted out. However, it may not meet that unfortunate fate after all. Due to the value to GCR of having another dome coach to add to their lineup, they may decide to repair and restore.

More information will be posted as it becomes available. Keep your fingers crossed.

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March 29, 2005

Silver Stirrup returns

We have received word that Silver Stirrup is now named Grand View, and as of a couple of weeks ago has returned to active revenue service on the Grand Canyon Railway.

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March 1, 2005

Broadway Limited CZ series

Once more, the release schedule has been pushed back, this time from March '05 to May '05, again with no explanation. A list of the cars to be included, by road, is viewable here.

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February 18, 2005

**SITE UPDATE**

Resource Library Refresh

The Resource Library has been split into multiple pages, by category. This page was getting to be a bit long, and with some planned additions, it would be un-friendly to use. We hope that you'll appreciate the change.

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January 12, 2005

Amtrak Train Hits Boulder, Derails in Colo.

Associated Press

MACK, Colo. — An Amtrak (search) train derailed after running into a pickup-sized boulder, authorities said. Six people were injured, none seriously.

The California Zephyr (search) struck the 12-by-12-foot boulder late Tuesday just west of Grand Junction, Mesa County sheriff's spokeswoman Susan McBurney said.

The train was en route from Chicago to suburban Oakland, Calif., with more than 100 people on board.

Three engines and three to five cars went off the tracks in Ruby Canyon (search), McBurney said. The site is near the Utah state line.

An Amtrak spokesman, Clifford Black, said the accident injured four crew and two passengers "in the category of bumps and bruises." They were treated at a Grand Junction hospital and released, McBurney said.

The other people were being taken to Salt Lake City by bus, Black said.

Western Colorado has been hit by a series of storms packing heavy snow at higher elevations and rain in the valleys, though when the rock ended up on the tracks was unclear.

"I know the conditions last night were very wet and rainy," McBurney said.

The tracks are owned by Union Pacific Railroad (search), whose spokesman, John Bromley, said finding out when the tracks were last checked for obstructions would be part of the investigation.

"We're all very thankful that there were no significant injuries," McBurney said. "Certainly it was a scary thing for the passengers."

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January 3, 2005

FRRS acquires Silver Lodge!

"SILVER LODGE"

Chicago, Burlington and Quincy 4717
Vista-Dome chair car

History
Builder: Budd Company
Built: February-May 1948, lot number 9656-021

The Vista-Dome chair car, also called a dome coach, was the hallmark and most prominent feature of the California Zephyr.  Each car featured forty-six reserved seats on the main level and an additional twenty-four unreserved seats in the dome level.  Unlike many other trains, the dome seating in the forward cars was open to everyone and would remain so for the entire life of the CZ.  Typically, three dome coaches were placed in each train and located directly behind the baggage car or, in later years, a flat top coach.

Three separate varieties of the dome coach were built: a "Women's and Children's" car where the smaller forward section (segregated from the rest of the car by a door) was reserved for women traveling with small children, the "Conductor's Coach" featuring a small office for the train conductor, and the standard car with no special features.

The "Silver Lodge" was built as one of the "Women's and Children's" Cars and, like its siblings, lost its doorway and special reserved section in mid-1950.  After the end of the CZ, the "Lodge" was conveyed to Amtrak for its long-distance trains.  After retirement from Amtrak services, the car was purchased by Denver Railcar and entered lease and charter service on a number of operations.  These included a stint in Alaska from 1984-86 and tourist service in Mexico in 2000-01.  When Denver Railcar decided to sell off its large stock of cars, the FRRS acquired the "Lodge", which still retains much of its original features and architecture.

FRRS efforts to obtain the "Lodge" began in late summer 2004 and approval to acquire the car was finalized in November.  It is currently planned to have the car moved to Portola by early Spring 2005.  Documentation and clean-up work will commence shortly after.

--FRRS Press Release

Ed. Note: According to their Zephyr Project website, the Silver Lodge still retains the Mary Lawser wall mural.

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