Remnants of the California Zephyr




Equipment of the Rio Grande Zephyr

My Gallery of the Rio Grande Zephyr

Scott Diekman's Gallery of the Rio Grande Zephyr

My First Ride on the Rio Grande Zephyr

The RGZ on Thanksgiving Day, 1982

California Zephyr Remnants

Timetables and other paper

Main D&RGW Page

Related Passenger Train sites

 Ski Train - My information site

Rio Grande Scenic RR (a.k.a. San Luis & Rio Grande)

Durango & Silverton - my fan site


The Rio Grande Zephyr owed its origins entirely to the California Zephyr. Whereas the RGZ consisted only of the Rio Grande-owned cars, quite a few remnants of the complete CZ can still be found around the country.  Here are a few photos of cars that I have encountered.
Driving around the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles on October 30, 2015, I unexpectedly encountered three California Zephyr alumni in the yards. They are all now fitted for private car service, with all the usual electrical conversions. I apologize for the foreground clutter and the backlighting, but this location was not really accessible for parking. I felt at risk just being where I was! At any rate, here they are.
Dome coach SILVER LARIAT, CB&Q car No. 4718.
Baggage car SILVER PEAK.  This was not actually a CZ car-- it was built for the FW&D on the Texas Zephyr as a baggage-dormitory-chair car, later remodeled to strictly baggage.  The Burlington acquired it in 1969 as the SILVER PEAK.  It later served for Amtrak and eventually made its way here.  It is longer than a standard CZ baggage and has a vestibule, but the resemblance is still strong.
10-6 Sleeper SILVER RAPIDS, a rarity in that it was a PRR car (No. 8449).  Of the 21 of this design on the train, it's the Pennsy's only contribution.
Dome Buffet-Lounge-Observation SILVER SOLARIUM, CB&Q car No. 377.  There were a total of 7 such cars used, four of which were the Burlington's.
The city of Maricopa, Arizona had for a time a most unusual Amtrak station: a dome observation car of California Zephyr heritage. Now the beautiful car has been displaced by an Amshack, but it still rests across the parking lot from the depot and the tracks, stuffed and mounted (and gutted).
Left rear view of SILVER HORIZON.  Incidentally, this is definitely the car's best side.

See my Flickr Album for a complete walkaround of the car.

The Grand Canyon Railway has a huge collection of passenger equipment on its property in Williams, Arizona, much of it not currently operational. One such car is none other than the former SILVER COLT, a CZ car that actually belonged to the D&RGW.
Dome Chair Car from the California Zephyr and later the Rio Grande Zephyr, the former SILVER COLT is seen in the Grand Canyon Railway's Williams yard in August 2011. Since 1983 it's been all over North America, landing at the GCRy in 2004. See here for more details.
Roaming around outside San Diego in search of things to photograph, I stumbled blind into a CZ alumnus parked in a small industrial yard in Miramar.  I jockeyed around for a vantage point; this was the best I could do.
CB&Q 452 "Silver Thrush", 6/5 Sleeper


(c) 1997 - 2008, James R. Griffin .   All Rights Reserved