Station to Station, on the rail cars
This week I shall write about a moving public art project on the railroad utilizing vintage passenger cars from some of the most famous passenger trains of the fallen flags. The project, named Station to Station, showcases a variety of art, music, food, literature, and film across 9 cities across the nation. The rich content of its website is mesmerizing to weave through let alone for someone as art-illiterate as I am to stand a chance to describe to you. However, I can present you the part of Station to Station that is within my capacity, the rail cars.
The train features a fabulous consist of passenger cars of the past of heavy weight, lightweight, and stainless steel constructions. The oldest car of them all being the 6-axle heavy weight former Norfolk and Western (now Norfolk Southern) Lamberts Point, a frequent guest of exhibition trains of all kinds, which has also carried a number of famous passengers (see Station to Station website for a few examples).
The sleek silver cars on the train are, of course, North America's famous 1950s stainless steel streamlined passenger cars from the Budd Company. Two from the former Santa Fe's Chiefs, a baggage car and a first-class lounge car, and one, a sleeping car from the former Chicago, Burlington & Quincy's glamorous Silver Lady, the California Zephyr, one of my personal favorites, the Silver Quail (a little trivia, both railroads formed part of today's giant, Warren Buffet's BNSF Railway, where BNSF stands for Burlington Northern and Santa Fe).
Then there are the bright maroon and orange finishing touch on this art train, several former Milwaukee Road cars including a Super Dome (full length dome car) and Skytop observation car from the flagship Chicago-Tacoma Olympian Hiawatha. Although most of Milwaukee's western network has been abandoned since the railroad's befallen, route of the Olympian Hiawatha in the Midwest between Chicago and the Twin Cities, now owned by Canadian Pacific, continues to be served by Amtrak's Empire Builder, the namesake of its former Great Northern (the N in BNSF) counterpart. Some Super Dome cars, after years of service on the Canadian National's premium Montreal/Toronto-Vancouver the Super Continental post Olympian Hiawatha's discontinuation, still find their way today, on the Ontario Northland Railway's northern service, the Polar Bear Express between Cochrane and Moosonee.
|The Super Dome|
|Skytop and the Super Dome|
All the rail cars mentioned above on this beautiful moving sculpture are available for leasing for private use behind regularly scheduled Amtrak trains. Fittingly, this artistic flow of lights has shined across the continent through the hardworking horsepower of diesel-electric locomotives from Amtrak, America's Railroad.