The Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company’s “Zephyr” comprises three cars supported on four roller-bearing trucks, with articulated joints between adjacent cars. Its load-carrying truss members are of 18-8 stainless steel, as is also its unpainted outside surface. Its roof and belly sheets, and also its steel floor, share in the work of carrying load. All truss members and other stainless-steel parts are tied together by the “shotweld” system, in which a specialized and improved form of spot welding is used under such exact control of pressure, current, and time that the welds do not adversely affect the non-corrosion qualities of metal or joints.
The motive power is furnished by a 660-hp two-cycle Diesel engine driving a generator which produces current for the two traction motors which are mounted on the axles of the front truck. The train is streamlined and smoothed throughout its entire length to reduce air resistance, has automatically controlled steam heat, air conditioning and cooling, and electric buffet service and lighting.
The “Zephyr” has broken all records for long-distance runs, both as to mileage and speed, having made a nonstop run from Denver to Chicago, 1015 miles, in 13 hr and 5 min. Much of this run was at speeds in excess of 100 mph.