OLDE RAILROAD HISTORY - STREAMLINERS - THE AMAZING OBSERVATION DESIGNED HIAWATHA
The Milwaukee Road has long been noted for its awesome scenery; particularly on the Pacific Extension, which traverses several mountain ranges. When the road’s premiere western train, the “Olympian” was re-equipped and renamed the Olympian Hiawatha, they naturally wanted a distinctive observation car for scenic viewing.
The Pullman Company, with noted Industrial Designer Brooks Stevens, came up with a stunning variation of their standard boat tail observation car. The lower part of the rear end, up to just below the window line, is standard in all respects. Above that, an open framework wraps around to create a bubble. The areas between the frame members are fitted with glass, resulting in a lounge that is nearly 90% transparent. There were six identical cars ordered in 1946 and delivered in late 1948 and early 1949 for the Olympian Hiawatha Route between Chicago and Tacoma, Washington.