Overland Limited – A Silver Smith Tour

A transcontinental rail trip in vintage Pullman cars? What a great idea!

Many agreed, and we made plans for a trip-of-a-lifetime from New York to Oakland …and then back again!

Our trip is now memories, and great ones mostly. Trips like this can have some unexpected events and ours did. But for the most part, it was an amazing trip!

We boarded in New York’s Penn Station at the famed Moynihan Hall. The flagship of Amtrak’s lounges. Our two cars, Catalpa Falls and Salsbury Beach took us on the route of the Cardinal, down the ‘racetrack’ to Washington DC at 115MPH. Then through the hills of Virginia at a much more enjoyable pace, and into Chicago the second day.

We departed Chicago the third day on the route of the Zephyr with the Super Dome, Berlin and Salsbury Beach our rolling consist for the next three days. On board that day we had Day-Dome riders from Chicago, enjoying the amazing Super Dome. What a great day as we rode through America’s Heartland.

The next morning we arrived in Denver with the anticipation of the Rocky Mountains to come. Every canyon and mountain pass with tunnels and bridges along the Colorado River was as spectacular as each of our past rips along this famous Denver & Rio Grande route. That evening we ascended Utah’s Soldier SummitThat segment of the trip we will never forget as stories in the Dome brought laughter as life-long friendships were embedded deeper into our lives.

The morning arrivng in Reno, with few getting off as Donner Pass lie ahead.

Donner Pass never disapoints anybody! 

In the month of June 2023, Barb and I would ride over Donner Pass four times as we would return to Reno for our National N Scale Convention, then back to Emeryville (Oakland) for the final returning trip east to New York. 

The many ‘thank you’s’ and positive comments made us feel that disappointments were few. My favorite parting comment: “I would do this again in a heartbeat. Thank you!”

We are grateful for each and every person that made this journey with us, and look forward to another ‘classic car charter’, though I am doubtful that we will ever again take a transcontinental train trip in vintage cars. There are just so many trains and so little time! 

Future trip plans will be announced on our Tours page here.

Until then, Happy Rails!

Lowell & Barb

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Lowell Smith

A native of Portland, Oregon, Lowell Smith married his church choir sweetheart Barb in 1978. After a lifetime of rail-fanning, Lowell and Barb ventured out in 1992 to launch a new business in Portland, Oregon. Read more

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