Fire damages firm's luxury train car
- Fire damages firm's luxury train car
By DARRYL ENRIQUEZ
Last Updated: April 11, 2003
Sussex - A fire early Friday caused an estimated $130,000 damage to the
Silver Chalet, one of four luxury passenger train cars used by Quad/Graphics
Inc. for entertainment and lodging, officials said.
A seat cushion propped against an electric baseboard that heats the
75-foot-long car smoldered for hours and then ignited, according to Fire
Chief Colin Curtis and Claire Ho, a spokeswoman for the firm.
The accidental fire spread from the cushion up a wall and into the ceiling,
Curtis said. No one was in the car when the Fire Department got a call for
help at 4:30 a.m., he said.
After the fire was out, workers used plywood to cover the car's smashed and
soot-covered windows, including one broken dome window. Fire and smoke
damage was contained to the one car. Nearby Highway 74, closed during the
fire, was reopened by 7:30 a.m., Curtis said.
The Silver Chalet originally served the Western Pacific Railroad's
California Zephyr line, which carried passengers from Oakland to Chicago.
Ho said the nearly 55-year-old car with a second-level observation dome was
purchased by Quad/Graphics in 1987. Later, the late Harry V. Quadracci, who
was president of the printing firm, purchased the other three cars.
Quadracci was a railroad enthusiast and kept the four cars, adorned with
shiny silver-colored siding, on a railroad spur adjacent to where the
Canadian National Railway tracks cross Highway 74.
Quadracci drowned at his Pine Lake home in Chenequa on July 29 following a
July 12 fire at his Lomira plant in which an employee was killed when the
The other cars, known as the Silver Shore, the Silver Lodge and the Silver
Express, were often a temporary home to employees while they were being
trained at the firm's Sussex headquarters, Ho said.
Also, the cars were used to entertain dignitaries with luxury trips around
the state and for company-sponsored travel to events such as the Green Bay
Packers 1997 Super Bowl appearance in New Orleans.
The company was in the process of refurbishing the cars, Ho said, and the
Silver Chalet will be restored.