Due to a scheduling conflict between the original Zephyr Weekend dates and the Train Festival 2011 Event in Rock Island, Illinois, IRM's Zephyr Weekend is postponed to July 30th and 31st. The Nebraska Zephyr, CB&Q 9911A Silver Pilot, and other IRM equipment will be on display at Train Festival 2011 in Rock Island on July 21st through July 24th, 2011. On July 30th and 31st, the Nebraska Zephyr and Silver Pilot will operate on the museum's five mile mainline as usual, however, there will not be diner service on the train on these two days.
About the Nebraska Zephyr: Following the introduction of the highly successful "Pioneer Zephyr" in 1934, the first diesel powered streamlined train, the CB&Q took delivery of this train and an identical sister train in 1936 for use in the then highly lucrative and fiercely competitive Chicago-Minneapolis passenger market. They became known as the "Trains of the Gods and Goddesses", because the cars were named for Greek and Roman deities.
Like the "Pioneer Zephyr" and other early streamlined trains, this train and its sister were complete articulated units which could not be uncoupled except by the repair shops. Unlike the earlier streamliners, however, the locomotives of the 1936 Zephyrs were not integral parts of the trains. This prevented an engine breakdown from requiring an entire train to be removed from service. Articulated trains such as this one fell into disfavor soon after the 1936 Zephyrs were built because of the impossibility of varying train lengths.
The 1936 Zephyrs were replaced on the Twin Cities route by newer streamlined equipment in 1947. This train and its sister both then received the name "Nebraska Zephyr" and were used between Chicago, Omaha and Lincoln. Originally seven cars in length, both trains were reduced to five cars in later years. They were retired in 1968, the Train of the Goddesses came to IRM that same year.
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