The GM Train of Tomorrow


Each of the four cars on the GM Train of Tomorrow was
topped with a glass observation deck, giving passengers
a panoramic view of the passing landscape.

Photo courtesy of General Motors


In a burst of post-WWII optimism, General Motors spent more
than $1 million assembling what it called the GM Train
of Tomorrow and sending it on a nationwide
 tour to showcase the future of rail travel.

Hauled by a GM E7 diesel locomotive, the train had four domed
 passenger cars ó a chair car, dining car, sleeping car and
 lounge-observation car, all dressed up in dark blue with
 stainless steel trim. Built by Pullman-Standard, the
dome cars were the first ever seen
 on an American train.

After being christened at a dedication ceremony in Chicago in May of 1947,
the Train of Tomorrow embarked on a barnstorming tour of the United
States and Canada that lasted for 28 months, covered 65,000 miles
 and visited 181 cities. During its tour, the train was ridden
 or toured by more than 5.7 million people, and was
 seen by an estimated 20 million people.

When its tour was completed in 1949, the train was sold to the
 Union Pacific Railroad and its four domed cars were put
into the UPís regular passenger service. The cars
were soon retired and all but one of
 them were eventually scrapped.

The Train of Tomorrow visited Huntington where it was on display
 March 22-24, 1947, on the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway
tracks at 8th Avenue and 12th Street. The three-day
stay attracted crowds of curious visitors, who
were able to enter at the rear of the observation
car and make their way through the handsome
 train, exiting at the locomotiveís cab.

On the morning of the trainís arrival here 125 prominent local business
 and civic leaders were bused to Charleston where they boarded the
 waiting train for the 50-mile trip to Huntington. Riding the ultra-
modern train gave them an opportunity to closely inspect its
many features. The VIP riders came away favorably
 impressed, especially with each carís Astra Dome,
 a 32-foot glass enclosed observation deck
nestled in the roof, giving passengers a
panoramic view of the
passing landscape.


Note:  This Article and picture appeared in the Herald-Dispatch Newspaper on August 1, 2023.


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