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  • Virginia Tolles

Let's Go Ride Aboard Budd Streamliner Cars

Updated: 6 days ago


California Zephyr in the Colorado Rockies (Public domain via Wikimedia Commons)

The California Zephyr was operated by the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy; Denver & Rio Grande Western; and Western Pacific Railroads when these Budd Streamliner cars rode the rails. The CB&Q ran the route between Chicago and Denver; the D&RGW ran it between Denver and Salt Lake City; and the WPRR ran it between Salt Lake City and Oakland.


The Streamliners are still alive and well on such excursion railroads as the Cuyahoga Valley (Ohio) Scenic Railroad, which runs between the Rockside Station in Independence to the Northside Station in Akron. The CVSR owns five cars that once ran on the California Zephyr, namely the Silver Lariat, Silver Solarium, Silver Rapids, Silver Bronco, and Silver Peak. All are maintained in pristine condition.


The CVSR cancelled runs last year, but will resume runs on May 1, 2021. Visit their website to learn more.


Today, of course, the California Zephyr is operated by Amtrak. The Streamliner cars have been replaced by Superliner double-decker cars. The beauty of the passing scenery remains, but most railfans feel that the "something special" has been lost.


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