McCloud River Railroad
Equipment Roster
Shasta Sunset Dinner Train Equipment

When the McCloud Railway Company management decided to launch a dinner train operation in the fall of 1995, the road possessed only three pieces of passenger equipment, all open-air flatcars built for excursion work. The road immediately set out to find suitable cars for the proposed service. The company purchased a total of seven heavyweight cars, all built in 1916 by Pullman for the Illinois Central, from a defunct tourist stop in the Midwest known as the Purple Martin Train, plus a former Sperry Rail Services, nee Milwaukee Road coach. All eight cars have been re-built for one kind of service or another. The dinner train set consisted of the following cars:

Number & Name

MCR ? (Strawberry Valley) Lounge/Concession/Power Car
MCR 2801 (Trinity) Special Events/Dining Car
MCR 2819 (Siskiyou) Dining Car
MCR 2838 (Shasta) Dining Car
MCR 2840 (No Name) Dancing Car
MCR 2900 (Lassen) Dining Car
MCR 2901 (No Name) Dancing Car
MCR 2903 ( McCloud) Depot

McCloud Railway purchased the Shasta and Siskiyou cars at the Purple Martin auction held on 19 July 1995. In the fall of 1996 the road purchased the Lassen, Trinity, and Strawberry Valley cars from the Northern Nevada Railroad, which had purchased at least the two heavyweight cars and possibly all three at the Purple Mountain auction and then used them during its rehabilitation of the old Nevada Northern in eastern Nevada. The railroad purchased the other three cars in 1998 from one of the other successful bidders from the Purple Martin auction.

The Siskiyou, Shasta, and Lassen cars were all rebuilt as fine dining cars with kitchen facilities. The Trinity car had removable seats and could be set up to accommodate just about any type of event when not set up for dining service. The shops set the former Sperry coach up as a power and lounge car, featuring a diesel generator to provide house power, a gift shop, and a lounge area. The last additions to the fleet were a pair of Dancing Cars, the first released from the McCloud shops in the fall of 2002 and the second in time for the New Years Eve party train in 2007. The first Dancing Car was used most often in the winter months, and an open-air flatcar was substituted for it during the summer months, while the second dancing car rarely saw use beyond New Years Eve party trains. Cars 2801, 2900, and 2901 departed McCloud bound for the St. Maries River Railroad in June 2012, followed by the 2819 and 2838 in December 2012. In October 2016, the railroad sold the #2903 to an adjacent landowner, who removed it to his property. The #2840 remains in McCloud pending disposition.

MCR #2901. The railroad never lettered the car during its service on the dinner train.

This is the power and lounge car. It contains a generator that provided house power to the entire dinner train, a small gift shop, and a large lounge area. The railroad attached a wood siding over the car's steel shell during its rebuild.

The Shasta Sunset Dinner Train parked at the McCloud depot.

McCloud Railway #2819, the Siskiyou. The white objects spaced along the car are flood lights that would be turned on to illuminate the forests for riders after dark.

MCR #2903, named the McCloud, was converted into a depot building and a company store for the Shasta Sunset Dinner Train Operations. The car sits on freight car trucks and rests on a short disconnected piece of track.

MCR #2840 prior to its restoration as the second dancing car. While the interior of the car has been fixed up, the railroad did not paint the exterior during its restoration.

The dinner train logo on a drumhead on the Siskiyou car.

MCR #2903, the former depot car, at its new home off railroad property in McCloud in October 2016. Jeff Moore.

The Strawberry Valley spotted in front of the car storage shed in October 2016. Jeff Moore.