Thursday, February 13, 2014

Sceneramic Scequel

This is the fourth, perhaps final post in what has become a sceries on Sceneramics, a special scenic scenario of splendour specifically schemed. Links to all four posts can be sceen at top of scidebar.

Did Milwaukee Road Super-Domes ever operate in Canada? Yes! The Pacific Great Eastern did not have enough of its own passenger equipment to mark the opening of its northern BC lines in 1956, so it borrowed some from western US roads (above). Bert Mills photo via Trevor Mills, Bob Loat and Bruce Chapman.

David Thomson sent six excellent early-era VIA Sceneramic photos. No 4 at Matsqui BC June 1980, approaching...
with Jasper ahead of two Action Red-striped ex-CP sleepers:
David also rode Qu'Appelle on a trip to Vancouver in June, 1980. Looking grubby at Jasper:
and a rare interior forward-looking photo of Qu'Appelle, approaching slide sheds:
Athabasca and Columbia west of Viking, AB in March/April 1980: Columbia passing through snow flurries:
and Athabasca bringing up the markers, trailing a CP-painted sleeper:
Having seen the Sceneramics quite a bit, David commented that Jasper was likely never painted in VIA colours. 

Here's an online auction site photo of CN track inspection car Sandford Fleming, interestingly coupled to a Sceneramic in CN colours at McBride, BC in 1979:


In his travelogue article in the March, 1982 TRAINS magazine, Kalmbach librarian George H. Drury reviews the cars thusly: "The Sceneramic dome has windows of several degrees of transparency - clear, tinted, and reflective - and the curvature of the glass is just right to give you a twice-life-size reflection of yourself. The lower level of the car is a snack bar, and the upper level has a service bar across the middle, cutting the lounge in half. The lounge decor is an improbable but agreeable mix of turquoise walls, olive carpet, and couches upholstered in turquoise-and-olive and red-and-purple. The car rides well, but at the leisurely pace called for by the four-night transcontinental schedule anything would. The diesel generator at one end of the lower level of the car makes enough noise to penetrate the passenger spaces."


Somewhere just west of Winnipeg, sometime in 1976, this CN train derailed, with Yellowhead and auxiliary CN 50108 featuring prominently in these online auction site photos:

Grant Bailey kindly sent a photo of Ontario Northland Super-Dome 900, lettered Otter Rapids, on ONR's Dream Catcher Express train in October, 2005. Formerly Milwaukee Road 57, the car spent some time with BC Rail among other owners.
Having received the stainless steel 'temple treatment' earlier in its dinner train career,
Some answers to some of the challenges that the original Sceneramic series generated:

-Superliners borrowed by VIA in 1984-85 were NOT run through the Winnipeg trainshed (Relative car heights: Superliners were 16'2", Sceneramics 15'6", ex-CP Budd domes 15'10".) When ready to depart, the train with Amtrak cars was backed out the north end of the depot, then ran west on the parallel CN Rivers Sub through tracks, outside the trainshed.

-Restrictions in Winnipeg Union Station Trainshed, taken from General Footnotes 2.8 and 2.9 of CN's Time Table No 23, November 15, 1981:
Winnipeg Union Station Train Shed - Clearances are restricted on all tracks leading to and into this train shed. Overhead clearance is 16 feet 2 1/2 inches from top of rail. Cars of greater height than 15 feet 10 1/2 inches must not be moved through the trainshed on these tracks. Conductors and yard foremen must know that all cars being handled have proper clearance before entering the trainshed. Engines equipped with standard ice-cutters must not enter the trainshed. ALL MOVEMENTS RESTRICTED TO 10 MILES PER HOUR THROUGH THE TRAINSHED. Movements handling snow plows must not use north track passing Winnipeg Union Station trainshed. Snowplows will not clear platform adjacent to north track.  (Mark Perry photo):
VIAphile Tim Hayman has modelled Jasper well-weathered, in VIA colours. Notice Tim's treatment of the dome glass and 'tiny lettering'. Working with the Walthers model, Tim repainted the seating and may return it to its VIA floorplan. Tim used Microscale decals and Bragdon weathering powders.
My thanks to the above contributors for adding some additional material on the scintillating Sceneramics!

Running extra...
What do you think of this list?
1. Be agreeable
2. Know your goods
3. Don't argue
4. Make things plain
5. Tell the truth
6. Be dependable
7. Remember names and faces
8. Think of success
How to be a successful blogger? Well, maybe, but originally posted 90 years ago in a Hudson's Bay Newsletter, in February 1924: The eight commandments of salesmanship! Pelting you with dam interesting stuff just fur the fun of it, the ever-eager-beaver blogger of Trackside Treasure lodge.

Go Canada! The Dufour-Lapointe sisters, Justine and Chloe take gold and silver in Sochi in the women's moguls. Bravo!


Anonymous said...

In the photo of the Milwaukee Road Sceneramic on PGE, there are no other U.S. cars visible. The two cars at either end of the Sceneramic belong to CP.

Don Thomas

Eric said...

Thanks for your comment, Don. I agree that those are CPR cars. Though I mention US road cars, I didn't say they were in the photo, and since this fine photo shows the train on a curve, none of the other cars are visible.

Check out this Youtube video of the train in August 1956, which clearly shows the Super-Dome at the 1:57 mark. I don't recognize some of the other cars' paint schemes, do you?

I don't think there have been many published accounts of this unusual dome car move into Canada. Imagine the view of the PGE from that lofty vantage point!

elie said...

"Fun Perfect Awesome Four"
Well done, eric. sweet.

1) how did tim mod the walthers super dome, mainly covering one of the windows?

2) look closely at "Fun Perfect Awesome Four" (say the first 3 letters, plus "four") for a loco nod.

Eric said...

Thanks for your comment, Elie. I thought the series was Fun Perfect Awesome Two (6758-59, and 6758 ended with as a 'bluenose') but why not add two more posts?

Here follows some information Tim passed along on his scuperb Sceneramic project...

'It is a Walthers car which a friend of mine had started work on before passing it on to me. The sides were modified to remove the extra window on each side, and the small service door was relocated on one side (but I didn't end up adding one on the other side). The interior has not been modified, apart from painting in appropriate colours, although I may consider doing more on that in the future to match the VIA floorplan.

If you want specifics, the paint is a mix of Pollyscale Conrail blue with some light grey and flat black mixed in. The decals are from Microscale, and the weathering was done with Bragdon weathering powders.'

Zartok-35 said...

That's a really nice looking weathered Sceneramic Superdome model there. I wish I had the skills/motivation to modify my Superdome like that.

This is an excellent sCequel, Mr. Gagnon! Thanks for sharing those 1980 photos; that was the Super Connie at its peak!

Eric said...

Agreed, Elijah. I was very happy to receive Grant, Tim and David's input on the Sceneramics. They each sent some amazing stuff, and David's photos do indeed take us back to the 'glory days' or the end of the 'rainbow era' or 'circus trains' of VIA. Or should I push the envelope by saying sCuper Continental?

No matter how much I push the envelope, it remains stationery.

Thanks for your comment,

Anonymous said...

Dear Eric...Views from the fish bowl, pt 2. Nice pics from the glory years of early via 1979-81. East yards hosted 3 super domes or Sceneramics from 81-82. gone in 1982-83. The visual memorium to your father was touching. Very nice. R3K will have a dedication to my influences, father and noteworthy people professional railroaders,and hobbists. Stay tuned. Mondays tour to TRF and GF ND yielded some pics but nothing of note. No via sightings, maybe the Monday. Schuff from WWWWIIIINNNNTTTTEEEERRRR-Peg.

Eric said...

Glad you're getting caught up on Trackside Treasure's recent posts, Brian. Thanks for your comments.

Yes, how ironic is it that both of us were independently documenting the East Yard Sceneramics? Truly a small (coach yard) world.

We do have to acknowledge those who have made us what we are, and continue to do so. As such, the R3K will get its due here on Trackside Treasure. Highball!

chris mears said...

Cool post.

Reading through it really underscores the epic shift in how we research Canadian railroading since the explosion of internet resources. Back in the late eighties, perhaps right around 1990, I saw a brief glimpse of a magazine image showing these car in CN colours. Inspired by that encounter and the uniqueness of the car, I actually bought one of the Bachmann Santa Fe full dome cars and repainted it. It was a fun project and since I only had a memory of that photo I was working mostly on the principle of: "I know I saw a picture. What I'm doing is probably sort of close, if viewed from a reasonable distance in a darkened room while looking in the opposite direction."

Fast forwarding ahead to today and every day it seems like another terrific collection of Canadian railroading photos or paper comes to light and opens the door on another era to those of us not lucky enough to know if from seeing it firsthand.

I can't remember what happened to my N scale model. Tim's model is superb. Crisp work and appropriately weathered. Well done. Modelling of that calibre certainly widens the gap between what I attempted and what truly talented folks do.

Eric said...

The rise of the internet as an attainable research tool has mirrored the rise of museum-quality models. There must be a connection there!

Thanks for your comments, Chris. Our earlier modelling efforts were as ardent as they were ahead of their time. Little did we know what would be available in the future.

Anonymous said...

Some Milwaukee Road train ram without a Super Dome while that one was on loan because the Milwaukee had just enough. There were two extras when the eastbound morning and westbound afternoon Hiawatha’s were combined with the Olympian Hiawatha between Minneapolis and Chicago. The two extras went into service on the City of Denver for awhile.

Eric said...

Thanks for that additional info, A.!