Wednesday, August 11, 2010

the Olympian Hiawatha railroad observation cars

the above is from and they have a couple more interior photos

Above image via

not exactly the interior view of the top two photos, but close enough

The 10 Skytops, created by industrial designer Brooks Stevens in 1948, were probably the most distinctive cars ever built. Milwaukee Road built the 4 parlor cars in their own shops (1 drawing room and 24 parlor seats) and had Pullman Standard build 6 sleepers, each with 8 bedrooms and a lounge. The observation ends on the Milwaukee built cars are more of a bullet than the Pullman built cars, with the rear couch about 4 inches narrower.

The lounges served on the Chicago - Minneapolis "Hiawatha Service" until 1970, and the sleepers were on the "Olympian Hiawatha" until 1964, then were sold to CN.

CN renamed them "Skyview" cars, and used them mainly on their Halifax-Montreal trains, the 'Ocean Limited' and the 'Scotian', from 1965 to 1969. They saw brief service on Montreal-Toronto corridor trains in 1969, then moved to the Gaspé-Montreal and Jasper-Prince Rupert routes until their withdrawal from service in September 1971.
Due to fire regulations (no rear door - only one access), the cars found no further use and 2 were scrapped in Canada and the other 4 sold back into the US.

One is on display in Glenview Illinois, another is permanent display at the Museum of Arts and Sciences in Daytona Beach, Fla.

1 comment:

  1. Wow. Very nice. I wonder if there are any postcards of these cars.