Way of the Zephyrs The Postwar Years by Geoffrey H Doughtry Hard Cover
Way of the Zephyrs The Postwar Years by Geoffrey H Doughtry Hard Cover
Way of the Zephyrs The Postwar Years by Geoffrey H Doughtry Hard Cover
Way of the Zephyrs The Postwar Years by Geoffrey H Doughtry Hard Cover
Way of the Zephyrs The Postwar Years by Geoffrey H Doughtry Hard Cover

Way of the Zephyrs The Postwar Years by Geoffrey H Doughtry Hard Cover

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Way of the Zephyrs The Postwar Years by Geoffrey H Doughtry Hard Cover
 
Way of the Zephyrs The Postwar Years by Geoffrey H Doughtry
Hard Cover
156 pages
Copyright 2005

CONTENTS
2 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
4 PREFACE
6 INTRODUCTION
14 CHAPTER 1   A NEW BEGINNING From Shovel Nose to Vista-Dome
30 CHAPTER 2   EXPANDING THE FLEET The Nebraska Zephyr and Twin Cities Zephyrs
46 CHAPTER 3   CHANGING WITH THE TIMES The Vista-Dome California Zephyr
76 CHAPTER 4   TRANSITION Vista-Dome Zephyrs to Kansas City
100 CHAPTER 5   AGAINST THE ODDS The Vista-Dome Denver Zephyr
130 CHAPTER 6   SLUMBERCOACH Budget Beds
139 CHAPTER 7DECLINE Creative Traffic and Merger
156 ENDNOTES
156 BIBLIOGRAPHY
INTRODUCTION
In the tenears preceding World War II, the United States was indelibly scarred economic disruption and deprivation. It was a period that deeply altered the nation's way of life, and placed the railroad industry on the threshold of collapse. Throughout the Depression years-a period where the threat of a government takeover of the railroads seemed an impending menace-there was, however, a phenomenal rebirth of railroad passenger service that turned the tide of the precipitous decline in passenger traffic that followed the stock market crash in October 1929. This renaissance was made possible through technological advancement and competition, not governmental intervention, producing a slow but steady resurgence of rail traffic that left many railroad executives with the belief that the pre-Depression decline was only a temporary phenomena.
With the onset of the war, passenger traffic dramatically rebounded, as did freight traffic, propelling railroad profits upward. The Burlington emerged from the war in sound financial condition, much like the rest of the railroad industry. Revenues earned from wartime traffic had helped the Burlington maintain its high standards of physical plant and operations. Although its passenger fleet had held up well, it needed rejuvenation due to wartime traffic demands. While not altogether forgetful of the past, rail executives began looking at the postwar period with a sense of renewed optimism, even about rail passenger traffic's future.
To meet the expected postwar demand for rail travel, railroads were generally confident about ordering new passenger equipment-passenger equipment that they felt would surely attract old and new passengers alike. The Burlington's Zephyrs of the 1930s had clearly demonstrated the theory that modern equipment, operated on carefully researched schedules and offering the latest amenities, was attractive to the public. Not only had the Burlington's Depression-era trains tapped a nerve in the American psyche, but they had actually made money for the railroad and paid for themselves in record time. If this could be accomplished during a period when the country and the railroad were in the midst of financial crisis, it could be done when the economy was better, or so some industry leaders believed.


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