Zephyr Route is currently in a multi-year project to restore the historic Silver View dome rail car.

SILVER VIEW was built by the Budd Company in 1947 for The Burlington Route Vista Dome Twin Cities Zephyrs.

It provided first class parlor car service, and was the signature car to one of the most handsome trains ever built. 

When restored, SILVER VIEW will become ZEPHYR ROUTE premier railcar service for current and future generations who seek high quality rail travel.

June 7, 2020

Restoration work is in progress on the Dome Lens Holders to bring back their original color and shine.  

The rows of lights down the center ceiling of the vista dome require lens holders to cover and deflect light from the new LED bulbs. Most of the acquired rectangular lens holders were in decent condition. However, they all needed serious sanding and polishing. Two of the holders needed additional care. One required some soldering of a piece that became unattached. A second holder was quite...

April 5, 2020

A small planned change to the layout of the restrooms is reflected in this new floor plan.


August 29, 2018

Additional work has continued on the lights, including original style toggle switches and translucent glass. 

Various new wiring components are being installed for electrical modernization behind the vintage look that they will have. Shown here are the near finished results of lots of hard work to restore them for the viewing enjoyment of our future passengers.

July 23, 2018

The remaining main light assemblies were finished today, with Mike getting help from Timm and Ben again, and Lori joining in.  The remaining paint was sanded off, and a new shine was put on not only the main light assemblies, but also the 4 hallway lights which are larger and have a unique shape.  Additional work will be done by the electrician to add the wiring and final assembly before the glass can be added and installing into Silver View completed.

 The fixtures are looking good as the bru...

July 14, 2018

Mike, with the help of Timm and Ben (Timm's son) completed refinishing efforts on the light assemblies.  About 1/2 of the light assemblies have now been stripped of their hideous old paint, sanded, and clear coated.  The 70 year old cast aluminum frames have a two piece hinged design that needed major restoration efforts to get them looking decent in preparation for their eventual rewiring and installation in the future.  Progress comes in small steps, and each step moves the restoration effort fo...

May 9, 2018

It took 4 years to complete these final replicas of the original hand rails and bases for the dome steps of Silver View (pictured below). 

They are currently waiting off site at the custom fabrication workshop, along with the replica of the newly fabricated "Harp Speaker Grill" (also pictured below) that will be installed when the timing is right for these items.  

Below is a picture of the railings from Silver Splendor, which represents completed rails to a similar Vista Dome car stairway so that y...

February 23, 2018

Serious amounts of paint stripping, sanding, and polishing have yielded fine results for the dome aisle light lenses. Timm and Mike spend a Sunday afternoon making these 'happy finds' return to their original appearance. Next step will be redoing the electric components with LED lighting. It will be a special day when the totally finished aisle lights are mounted into their places in the dome seats pedestals and the lights are turned on. We plan and hope that will be in mid-Summer, 2018. 

A view of...

February 4, 2018

It is true that 'littler things mean a lot'. For example light lenses were specially designed to give just the right amount of light on the dome aisle when overhead lights were turned off so passengers could see into the darkness. When Amtrak or other owners redid dome interiors, several of the lenses were removed for unknown reasons. This happened to Silver View. Fortunately a passenger car parts resale company advertised a set of lenses. Zephyr Route successfully purchased them. They will be res...

January 23, 2018

Below is an updated floor plan for 2018.  CLICK HERE for a larger view.

May 31, 2017

We have installed brand new electronic ballasts, sockets and lamps in the ceiling of the dome. This is one of at least three trips to Silver View this year to continue her restoration. The hinged lens covers will be installed hopefully in July. We are working on locating material for installing the step lights, pedestal lights, and hand rail lighting also.  These lights will be LEDs, to save on power consumption, last longer, and be able to run on 12 volt DC power. They will also be part of the em...

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