An observation car is a type of railroad passenger car, generally operated in a passenger train consist as the last carriage. The walls of the car usually were curved together to form a large U shape, and larger windows were installed all around the end of the car.
At this end of the car, there was almost always a lounge where passengers could enjoy the view as they watched the track recede into the distance. The typical lightweight observation could include features of a coach, lounge, diner, or sleeper.
The cars were nearly universally removed from service on American railroads in the mid-1950s as a cost cutting measure in order to eliminate the need to “turn” the trains when operating out of stub end terminals.
New York Central Railroad Observation Car, Station, Croton-Harmon, New York, July 29, 1966 - Observation "Hickory Creek" on rear of the "20th Century Limited". (Photo credit: George W. Hamlin)
Northern Pacific Railway Observation Car, Union Station, Chicago, Illinois, August 16, 1966. (Photo credit: George W. Hamlin)
Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Observation Car, Union Terminal, Cincinnati, Ohio, August 20, 1966 - The Cincinnati Washington remnant of the "National Limited" after the through cars had been switched to the C&O's "George Washington" east of Cincinnati. (Photo credit: George W. Hamlin)
Louisville & Nashville Railroad Observation Car, Moore, Manassas, Virginia, April 29, 2007 - Privately owned "Royal Street", complete with "Crescent" tail sign, brings up the rear of Amtrak's "Cardinal" as it departs Manassas, following the "Crescent's" route into Washington. (Photo credit: George W. Hamlin)
LINK: Please visit George W. Hamlin's Website