Welcome aboard...


...the official website of Great Northern 1291 'St. Nicholas Mountain'!


    St. Nicholas Mountain is one of six tall-window observation cars built by American Car & Foundry for the Mid-Century Empire Builder. Introduced in 1951, St. Nicholas Mountain and her sisters were an immediate success. Her twenty tall windows provided a splendid view of the seemingly endless plains of the upper Midwest, and of the spectacular mountain scenery along Glacier Park and through the Cascades. With comfortable seating for thirty-six and a beautifully crafted interior the lounge and observation rooms provided a great place to relax and take in the scenery while enjoying a nice conversation and a drink served by the courteous car attendant.


    In her career St. Nicholas Mountain served on two of Great Northern's Greatest Trains; the Empire Builder and Western Star. Both trains ran from Chicago to Seattle/Portland via Minneapolis/St. Paul and provided fast and comfortable service to travelers and vacationers alike. 


   St. Nicholas Mountain carried many passengers in great comfort until the early 1970's when she was sold to Andy's Tukwila Station Restaurant in Tukwila, Washington. Together with sister car Trempealeau Mountain she now provided dining facilities for many hungry patrons who could think back of - or wonder - how nice it was to ride these great cars on a trip across the beautiful northern States. 


    When the restaurant closed in 1995 St. Nicholas Mountain was auctioned off and ended up on the Northern Central Railway, a dinner train operation located in central Pennsylvania. Intended to become a "dance-car" she never served as such as the Northern Central ceased all operations before any work could be done.


    For many years St. Nicholas Mountain remained in private hands for possible conversion into a business car but was eventually put up for sale. In June 2004, Ben Ringnalda acquired St. Nicholas Mountain, an event that marked the beginning of the restoration of this beautiful car.


    St. Nicholas Mountain will be brought back to original, as-delivered, condition. She will be used as a Private Railcar and made available for pre-arranged and chartered rail journeys anywhere across the continent. St. Nicholas Mountain will be fully Amtrak certified but will retain that splendid look she had when she first rolled off the assembly line more than 50 years ago.


    This website details the design, history and restoration of this great tall-window observation car. Please follow along with the restoration of this truly remarkable car!


See America First, on ... St. Nicholas Mountain!


Home - News - History - Restoration - Future - Gallery - Diagram - Floor Plan - FAQ - Donate - Store - Links - Contact

© 2005 - www.StNicholasMountain.com