Silver Palm History


The Silver Palm was built in 1955 for the Seaboard Air Line as number 54,  originally named Henderson, and was the fifth of six sleeping cars ordered from the Budd Company in Pullman Lot 9658-168 in January 1955. Its production drawing A42-04431 specified 5 double bedrooms, 1 compartment, 4 roomettes and 4 sections. The Plan 9537 car was delivered in November and later became Seaboard Coast Line number 6405 upon the merger of 1967.


go Pullman adPlans indicate that Seaboard intended to operate these cars with vestibules to the rear as a safety precaution. This placed the corridor side toward the opposite track in double track territory, thus fewer rooms were exposed to the danger of debris protruding from a passing freight car, or a derailment.


Upon the creation of Amtrak, the Henderson first operated on the New York to Florida Champion, the Washington to Savannah Carolina Coast and then the New York to Montreal Montrealer – now numbered 2105 after shopping at Hamburg Industries.


The car was retired in 1979 and offered for sale in September 1981. It was first  purchased by Rod Basich of California, then resold to Maunsel White and Pete Messina of the New Orleans chapter of the National Railway Historical Society.


Southern Zephyr Corporation bought the car in 1985, renaming it Silver Palm. As modified by Southern Zephyr, the Silver Palm now has a complete stainless steel galley with lounge and dining room and will soon be available for charter service throughout the Amtrak and VIA Rail systems.