Posts Tagged ‘Moonlight Dome’

CSX Buys Dome Car

September 8, 2020

CSX has purchased two cars from the Cincinnati Railway, which operates the Ohio Rail Experience, the Cincinnati Scenic Railway and the Cincinnati Dinner train.

Sold were dome car Moonlight Dome and sleeper Birch Grove, which CSX plans to use as part of its executive fleet.

The cars had been used for private varnish charters and American Association of Private Rail Car Owners convention trains.

In a letter posted on a railfan chat list and sent to its customers, Cincinnati Railway majority owners Brian and Vicky Collins and Harry and Patti Davis said that operating private rail cars has become difficult due “to the continued onerous directives and rates applied by Amtrak and the ever increasing general upkeep and operating cost.”

The letter said CSX approached the owners to see if Moonlight Dome might be for sale.

CSX had been seeking a Budd-built dome to modify for use as a Presidents car for inspections and entertainment.

Cincinnati Railway agreed to sell the car but only if CSX also purchased Birch Grove at the same time.

After agreeing on terms, Cincinnati Railway sent both cars to CSX.

The letter said the it will continue to offer opportunities to ride in private rail cars through its Ohio Rail Experience excursions.

Birch Grove was built for the Southern Pacific in 1950 for its Sunset Limited. It later was operated by Amtrak. It has six up and down double bedroom suites and nine single bed roomettes.

Moonlight Dome was built in 1947 for the Chesapeake & Ohio as a low-profile dome suitable for use in the East. It has bedrooms and a lounge area in addition to its 24-seat dome section.

B&O Dome Car to Raise Money for N&W 611

April 20, 2018

A former Baltimore & Ohio dome car will be used to raise money for Norfolk & Western Class J No. 611.

The Virginia Museum of Transportation said that Moonlight Dome will operate on a series of Amtrak trains beginning April 28 and 29, including the Capitol Limited, which uses a former B&O route between Washington and Pittsburgh.

“These trips allow us to entertain our supporters and offer an excursion during the off-season while 611 is receiving maintenance,” said VMT Excursion Director Adam Auxier. “The return of Amtrak to Roanoke [Virginia] has been a huge blessing and the Moonlight Dome offers a spectacular way to experience the scenery.”

Passengers riding in the dome car will receive meal and beverage service.

Further information and ticket information is available at

Moonlight Dome was built in 1948 for the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway for its stillborn Chessie premium passenger train.

The dome now owned by The Cincinnati Railway, which has renovated the car and given it new paint, fabrics, and other materials. The operating schedule for Moonlight Dome is:

• April 28-29, Washington, to Williamsburg, Virginia, with a long layover in Williamsburg.

• May 4-6, Washington to Savannah, Georgia.

• May 10-13, Washington to Roanoke/Roanoke to Washington.

• May 13, Washington to Pittsburgh.