Wednesday, April 1, 1970

CNW Long Distance Bi-Levels

CNW took delivery in 1958 of 13 Pullman Standard bi-levels configured for long distance service.

These were used on the Flambeau 400 (Chicago-Green Bay-Ashland) and Peninsula 400 (Chicago-Green Bay-Ishpeming), and were an upgrade promised to the State of Wisconsin in exchange for receiving approval to discontinue other non-400 passenger trains.  The long distance bi-levels were cosmetically and mechanically identical to the 4x4 windowed PS commuter coaches.   One car (903) had a slightly different window configuration and servicing door at forward end of the car where the bar/galley were located. 

Two photos of car 903 are below:

(Source: Bill Hebner @

These cars remained in service for 13 years until Amtrak was formed, and survived another 20 years on Amtrak's roster.  They were used for Illinois services (Illinois Zephyr, Blackhawk) as well as Chicago-Milwaukee and Chicago-Valparaiso.  CNW also leased out commuter engines to run these cars, as they had HEP and the majority of the Amtrak motive fleet was not HEP equipped.