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Disclaimer: The following information was provided to us by Les Kasten. The California Zephyr Museum Online has no financial interest in the current ownership or sale of the Silver Pine.

Silver Pine
Information Sheet

The Silver Pine was one of six 16 section sleepers built in 1948 for the California Zephyr. Two were built for each railroad, the Western Pacific, the Denver & Rio Grande Western and the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy. The original number of the car was D&RGW 1121. The car operated as built until 1964 when it and all of its sisters were sent to Pullman-Standard in Chicago to modify into 48 coaches. It continued to operate with the same car number until its retirement in 1984. Although the car was given to Amtrak that same year and moved to Beech Grove, the car was never even considered for service. The only car considered was the Silver Banquet, the CZ Diner. After disassembly, the car was found to have a severely cracked center sill and was promptly scrapped by Amtrak Shop Forces.

The Silver Pine was then sold to Dirk Lenthe of Fargo, ND and then to Transcisco Industries and moved to San Antonio, Texas. Transcisco had taken over operations of the Texas Southern Shops. The car went thru a full PC-2 inspection to include a complete truck rebuild. The inspection was under the guidance of Amtrak’s Mike Ponicki. Although the trucks were re-assembled and converted to AP-EE wheelsets, the car never received it’s paperwork as Transcisco ceased operations in Texas and the car sat there for sale. Les Kasten purchased this car, along with the Silver Horizon and the Silver Vision in 1991 and moved the cars via the Union Pacific to Edwardsville, IL.

In 1992, the Silver Pine was prepped and made ready for a freight move to the West Coast to be used in the Carl Reiner movie “Fatal Instinct”. It was the star of the entire railroad footage in the movie. The coach seats were removed from the car for a set and the seats all received new Art Deco zippered coverings. The set also used Art Deco carpeting, which was returned with the car along with the new upholstery. The car performed flawlessly in freight service to and from the West Coast.

The car returned to Edwardsville and was later transferred to Madison, IL when Illinois Transit Assembly Corp. moved due to the abandonment of the C&NW trackage by its shop in Edwardsville. It has remained in storage ever since.

The car remains pretty much as built. The underside of the car has been stripped of all useless DC equipment. The only remaining items under the car are two battery boxes, the original water tanks and the air gear (D-22). All asbestos has been removed from under the car. The trucks are inside swing hanger standard issue CZ trucks with CFM brakes and 6 x 11 AP-EE wheelsets. All wheels have a good profile and are 2”+. The car received a fresh air date when it moved to the West Coast however this is now long out of date. The car has “H” titelock couplers in good condition. The draft gear was removed and found to be defective and was correctly repaired in 1992.

The car retains its full skirting (rare) and the body of the car is in excellent condition except for a small area at the center of the left side of the car where it was slightly side swiped on the Cadillac & Lake City Railroad. The car was sent there by Dirk Lenthe after he purchased the car from Amtrak. The vestibule door hardware and all other outside items are in place. Replacement fluting comes with the car. The car retains its original D&RGW signage including the name plates, which are now riveted with stainless rivets to the car. The inside of the car is as it was when it ran on the D&RGW with tile floors throughout. I believe the car is complete as far as light fixtures. I believe the car has one broken glass window and all the windows in the car are still green glass. The aluminum panels below the windows throughout the car need to be replaced. I had planned on replacing them with brushed stainless steel. The seat frames are loose inside the car with the seat cushions stored in the overhead luggage racks. The carpet is also stored up high. There are no shades in the car. The original blower motor and air conditioning evaporator remain in the car, as does the original steam grilles.

In all, the car is a great candidate to return to coach service or modify into whatever? Its sister car, the Silver Aspen went from the Great Lakes Western Railway to the Grand Canyon Railway and is now named the Colorado River. Cars that have not suffered severe modifications or being HEP’d by Amtrak, are increasingly hard to find. This car is true California Zephyr history. The price on the car is less than what I paid for the car in 1991. The car is available for inspection at Gateway Rail Services, Inc. in the St. Louis area. Thank you for your time. Please contact me regarding the sale of this car. Les Kasten 651-423-7358

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Photos:

Silver Pine - D&RGW 1121

Date Unknown
Illinois Transit Assembly Photo

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Date Unknown
Ozark Mountain Railcar Photo

Les says: Interior as it looks now.

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Date Unknown
Ozark Mountain Railcar Photo

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Date Unknown
Ozark Mountain Railcar Photo

Les says: On this photo, you can see the slight side swipe in the center of the car.

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Rio Grande Zephyr
August 2, 1976
Denver, CO
Carl H. Sturner Photo
CaliforniaZephyr.org Collection

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Les also references another photo posted at drgw.net. The photo can be viewed at their website.
Les says: From 1968, note the blinds in the windows!

 

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