Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Historic Super Chief Lounge, Acoma, Being Readied For Return To Service

Southwestern motif is evident from this
historical photo of Acoma car interior.
On Dec. 11, 2012, Museum Director Gary Coombs had the opportunity to visit the historic railcar, Acoma, as it was being readied for a return to active service. A larger number of photos, including the color images below, were taken on that occasion. Many others can be viewed here.

The museum has chartered Acoma for a Jan. 19, 2013 scenic daytrip up the Pacific Coast to San Luis Obispo. The trip is open to the public. Before Jan. 19, tickets may be purchased HERE.

Acoma has an
impressive pedigree. The Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe railroad started upgrading its premier train, the Super Chief, “The Train Of The Stars,” to new lightweight “streamliner” cars in 1937. It began with just one train set, consisting of eight stainless-steel cars manufactured by the Budd Co. Acoma was one of those first eight cars. The new streamlined Super Chief traveled between Los Angeles and Chicago, making one round trip a week. The Super Chief was pulled by diesel locomotives sporting the now-famous “warbonnet” paint 
Writing desk is one of Acoma's
many surviving appointments.
scheme. Each car, including Acoma, featured an interior uniquely decorated with a Southwest motif.

Today, Acoma is the only car from this first stainless-steel Super Chief train set that remains in active service. Only two of Acoma's sister cars survive: the dining car, Cochiti, which is showcased at the California State Railroad Museum, and the observation car, Navajo, proudly displayed at the Colorado Railroad Museum.

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