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Local owner's West Coast railcar, the Silver Solarium, passes through Batavia

By Traci Turner


(The Silver Solarium going through Batavia Wednesday morning. Photo taken by David P. Smith.)

Roy Wullich, Batavia native, traveled through the city from the West Coast on his deluxe rail passenger car, the "Silver Solarium."

The railcar passed through the area around 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday. It was attached to an Amtrak train, the Lakeshore Limited, and departed from Buffalo at 9:50 a.m. The charter originally started its journey in Los Angeles and has gone to Oakland and Chicago.

The Silver Solarium takes passengers aboard on train tours usually around the West Coast.

"It's rare that we get this far East," Wullich said. "Typically we go between Los Angeles, Oakland, Portland, Seattle and Denver."

Wullich has his own private charter service company, Rail Journeys West. Several couples or families will book a tour and ride to different Western cities for vacation trips or special events.The deluxe railcar has several accommodations for passengers including a bar, lounge and sleeping space.

"It's like taking a cruise but your on a train," Wullich said. "So you have your own private chef and a steward."

The dome observation railcar was built in 1948 and a part of the Amtrak California Zephyr Train. After Amtrak retired the Silver Solarium in the 1980s, the railcar was sold to a private owner who then sold it to Wullich in 2002. He restored it to reflect its original 1940s appearance.

Wullich grew up in Batavia and has loved trains since he was a child.

"I have always had a love for trains," Wullich said. "It started out with a Lionel train set around the Christmas tree like all kids have and I went from there."

In high school he was a part of the Genesee Society of Model Engineers. He became interested in rail tours after graduating from St. Bonaventure University and working with a historical society that did rail tours in Buffalo. 

Traveling to Western New York on train tours is a not a common occurrence for him anymore. The Silver Solarium made a second trip through Batavia to head back to Albany late Wednesday evening.

Carol Pangrazio

Actually C.M, it is Sheriff Wullich's son, and I fail to see what connection needed to be made linking the article from 1975 to this. I may be wrong, but I also feel that if you would have done the research you would have found that Sheriff Wullich passed away on 2/18/13. I graduated with Roy, and he is a great guy doing what he loved. Not many can say that, so please do not link something that is irrelevant. I understand your right to comment on what you want, and so this is my right to point out the irrelevancy.

Jun 4, 2015, 5:50pm Permalink
C. M. Barons

Actually, Carol, I saw the name in the article and thought I recalled the former sheriff passing away. I didn't want to make the mistake of declaring him deceased based solely on my faint recollection, so I did an internet search. The first page of results mostly referred to the Batavian article. The second page had several references to the "Playboy" story which I had completely forgotten about. I didn't put the link up to defame the former sheriff; I thought it was amusing. Your perception of the story obviously differs from mine.

Jun 4, 2015, 6:13pm Permalink
C. M. Barons

...But, thank you, for confirming the relationship between the two Roys. That was my real interest. For the record, I have no beef with the former sheriff. He was a friend of my father's, and a great supporter of the local Boy Scout council.

Jun 4, 2015, 6:25pm Permalink

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