Streamline Observation Cars
In the early years of Floridaís Streamliners, passengers were treated to a view in comfort and style from the new round-ended observation cars. The Silver Meteor, Champion, Henry M Flagler, Dixie Flagler, South Wind (PRR), and City of Miami (IC) all were seven car coach streamliners complete with sleek new observation cars.
In 1939 the Silver Meteor was the first Streamline Train to Florida followed that same year with ACL/FECís joint Champion service and FECís Jacksonville to Miami Henry M. Flagler.
Seaboards first three Observation cars were Coach-Lounge cars built by BUDD in 1939. These cars were all silver, numbered 6400-6402
ACL/FEC joint order of four cars (2 each) from BUDD were Tavern-Lounge cars built in 1939. The ACL cars were all silver with a purple letterboard wraparound the car, numbered 250, & 251. The FEC cars were all silver, named Bay Biscayne for the Champion, & Lake Worth for the Henry M. Flagler
With the success of these trains, the size went from seven cars to fourteen. This was made with a reorder of equipment. Seaboard had BUDD built 3 Blunt end Observation Lounge Buffet cars for mid train service in 1940 enabling the train to be split for both coasts of Florida while maintaining lounge observations on both sections and enough lounge space when a solid consist. These cars were all silver and numbered 6500-6502. The ACL ordered 3 Blunt end Tavern Lounge Cars from BUDD in 1941 to increase the Champion with these Mid-Train lounges. Like the Seaboard, these cars split in Florida for both coasts. These cars were silver with a narrow black mid roof tapering down to the rear diaphragm, numbered #252-254.
After WWII the railroads added more streamline trains. The Chicago Florida service saw three new coach trains alternating three different routes. The Dixie Flagler, South Wind (PRR), and City of Miami (IC). The FEC ordered 2 Observation Tavern Lounge cars from BUDD in 1947 for the new Dixie Flagler. These cars had a slight change in the lounge and bar area from the first two cars of 1939. They were all silver, named HOBE SOUND, & ST LUCIE SOUND. The ACL / FEC also had a joint order from BUDD for four more Blunt end Tavern Lounge cars in 1947 to add in Champion service. The ACL cars painted same as previous cars numbered 255-257. The FEC car was all silver named LAKE OKEECHOBEE. Seaboard ordered six Observation Tavern Lounge cars from BUDD in 1947 to replace the 1939 coach observation cars on the Silver Meteor and for the new Silver Comet. These cars were all silver numbered 6600-6605.
The Southern Railway also owned 3 Observation Lounge cars built by Pullman Co. in 1941 for Southerner service, and three Blunt end Observation Tavern Lounge cars also built by Pullman in 1941 for the Tennessean. All cars retired in 1957.
FEC/SOU jointly ordered four 5 Bedroom Buffet Observation cars from Pullman in 1950 for NEW ROYAL PALM winter season, the ROYAL PALM and the Crescent. These cars are covered in Lounge Sleepers.
In 1942 Seaboards #6400 was wrecked and rebuilt as a Blunt end car. In the early 60ís the 6401, & 6402 received rear diaphragms for mid train service and placed on the Silver Comet. At the same time the 6600, 6603, & 6604 were modified with rear diaphragms and removed from the Silver Comet to the Silver Star. The Silver Meteor kept the Round Ended Observation cars through the SCL years until Amtrak. All cars were sold to Amtrak except the 6400-6402, 6500-6502 turned into SCL training cars.
In 1943 the ACL 250 was wrecked and the 251 was rebuilt to a Blunt end car in 1957. In the mid 50ís the Champion no longer used the round ended cars as ACL didnít like the extra move keeping the cars on the rear. The Blunt ended cars were then used for both coasts. All cars remained in SCL and sold to Amtrak.
The FECís short lived Henry M Flagler was used to create the Chicago-Miami Dixie Flagler, which was changed to the Dixieland when the new lightweight sleepers were added in 1954. In 1963 the FEC strike ended through passenger service. A court ordered Jacksonville -Miami local was placed in service in 1965 until July 31st 1968. The Saint Lucie Sound and Lake Okeechobee did the honors on these trains along with a coach. The Bay Biscayne, and Lake Worth were sold to the Seaboard in 1966 placed in the Silver Star service with diaphragms for mid-train service. Used by SCL and sold to Amtrak. The Hobe Sound was striped down for rebuilding with smooth siding for City of Miami service when the strike broke out, scrapped in 1967 NSB. The Lake Okeechobee was sold to the LI in 1968, and the Saint Lucie Sound was sold 1968.
Our examples of a Seaboard Tavern Observation is a customized Walthers.
Our examples of Florida East Coast Tavern Observation is a Customized Walthers.