All Aboard the Silver Rapids and Silver Peak
Silver Rapids was built in 1948 by the Budd Company and served as a transcontinental sleeper car that provided coast to coast transportation for almost 20 years. Click here to view an original blue print of the sleeper car. The car was removed from the California Zephyr service in the 1960s when most transcontinental sleepers were discontinued, and changed ownership from the Pennsylvania Railroad to Amtrak, which retired it in the early 1980s and sold the car to a private owner.
After extensive restoration work that included interior and mechanical upgrades, Silver Rapids is now one of the most versatile sleeper cars of today. The car features eight one‐person roomettes, each with a small sofa, folding wash basin, a vanity and large mirror, and a bed that folds out of the wall. Further down the hall are six double bedrooms, each of which sleeps two (one in an upper bunk and one in a lower bunk), has its own enclosed restroom with folding sink and outlet, and is equipped with either a long sofa or a short sofa and folding chair for relaxing throughout the day. The six double bedrooms can also open to form two suites.
Additional features include a public toilet and large shower in the main area and a small galley style kitchen capable of meal and beverage service. Silver Rapids seats 22 passengers during the day and sleeps 20 passengers at night.
Silver Peak was built in 1940 by the Budd Company for Burlington Railroad and assigned to the Denver‐Ft. Worth “Texas Zephyr.” Originally built as a coach/dormitory/baggage car, the coach area was used as the Jim Crow section of the train. When the Jim Crow laws were found to be unconstitutional, it was converted to a full baggage car.
The car is equipped with a great deal of storage space; a workshop section that features an 8‐foot work bench with a drill press, bench grinder, band‐type cutoff saw, table saw, and a variety of power and hand tools; and a commercial refrigerator and chest freezer.
CVSR’s group traveling aboard the Zephyr’s on their last journey east will be taking the Southwest Chief Route on train number 4. You can track the train here. Although it does not follow the same route as the California Zephyr, it still shows the beauty of the west from Los Angeles to Chicago. Follow our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates on where the cars are, tours of the train cars, live videos, and Q&A opportunities. Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad is thrilled to be taking this step in our first-ever capital campaign! Learn more about our inaugural capital campaign here.
The first opportunity for guests to ride CVSR’s recently acquired Zephyr cars is at Steam in the Valley. More information and tickets here.