The Silver Fountain, a dining/lounge/observation rail car built in 1940 by the Budd Company for the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad (CB&Q), is now nestled safely in Stearns, Kentucky awaiting restoration at locally operated Crossroad Railcar Services. The Silver Fountain is the very first car owned by husband and wife team Steven and Michelle Richards who also own Crossroad Railcar Services in Stearns. Batavia & Ohio Railway Services and Somerset’s Boswell Crane provided the specialized services needed to move the car.
The unique rail car is designed with a small kitchen capable of full meal service located conveniently next to a twenty-four seat dining room. The observation end of the car has two restrooms and a spacious 22 seat lounge. The car was retired by the CB&Q in the late l960s and then leased to Quaker Oats for a party room at their plant in Missouri. It was later sold to private owners in 1973.
Only four of these cars have ever been built. One of the four is now in Texas, one is located over seas, and one is in a Wisconsin museum. Of the four original cars, the Silver Fountain will be the only one in service when it arrives later this summer to be attached to the end of the Cincinnati Dinner Train. The Richards have leased the car for the next several years to Brian Collins, owner of the Dinner Train, and will deliver it to Cincinnati when restoration of the car is complete.
Richards expects restoration of the 117,000 pound rail car to take approximately six to seven months.