Pacific Parlour Car retirement February 2018?

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Re: Pacific Parlour Car retirement February 2018?

Postby Backshophoss » Thu Jan 18, 2018 12:36 am

They are not the "standard" GSC 2 axle truck that Santa Fe used on most of their passenger cars,that were on most of the Heritage Bags/Diners.
Both the El-Cap Sky Lounges and Diners are "heavy" cars weight wise,as were Santa Fe's "Big Domes"(also 3 axle trucked)
Last known "active" Diner is on an El-Cap set of cars on IP's SL&RG at Alamosa Co.
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Re: Pacific Parlour Car retirement February 2018?

Postby R30A » Thu Jan 18, 2018 10:36 am

I can't say that I know all the details of what constitutes a standard Santa Fe truck, but the parlour car trucks are certainly 2 axle trucks.
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Re: Pacific Parlour Car retirement February 2018?

Postby Matt Johnson » Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:26 am

I think whether the Parlour Car is replaced with a Superliner first class lounge or not will say a lot regarding whether this is a rational decision regarding an aging and obsolete piece of rolling stock, or whether it indicates that Amtrak has stopped striving for excellence in long distance customer service and is looking to Chainsaw Al Dunlap its way to better financials.
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Re: Pacific Parlour Car retirement February 2018?

Postby Rockingham Racer » Thu Jan 18, 2018 12:26 pm

Matt Johnson wrote:I think whether the Parlour Car is replaced with a Superliner first class lounge or not will say a lot regarding whether this is a rational decision regarding an aging and obsolete piece of rolling stock, or whether it indicates that Amtrak has stopped striving for excellence in long distance customer service and is looking to Chainsaw Al Dunlap its way to better financials.


Given that there's no equivalent anywhere else on the system, I say it's the latter.
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Re: Pacific Parlour Car retirement February 2018?

Postby David Benton » Thu Jan 18, 2018 9:58 pm

Matt Johnson wrote:I think whether the Parlour Car is replaced with a Superliner first class lounge or not will say a lot regarding whether this is a rational decision regarding an aging and obsolete piece of rolling stock, or whether it indicates that Amtrak has stopped striving for excellence in long distance customer service and is looking to Chainsaw Al Dunlap its way to better financials.

Or maybe customer feedback told them it wasn't really that much of a draw card. I know they were going to sell the downstairs seats as business class(doing away with the cinema). That sort of tells me it wasn't fully utilized, if it was full of sleeper passengers , they wouldn't do that. Also anecdotally, Many sleeper passengers seem to enjoy the chance to mingle with coach class in the diner/lounge, the ones that would like an exclusive first class lounge , are probably hard to please in other ways Amtrak cannot provide, and have possibly written off anyway.
Its probably a good rule of business, don't try to be what you cannot reliably provide, under promise and over deliver.
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Re: Pacific Parlour Car retirement February 2018?

Postby Matt Johnson » Thu Jan 18, 2018 10:18 pm

The downstairs theater was wasted space when I rode in 2013, though there was nothing to stop me from going down there. I think capacity is the main issue - I hope they put a second lounge on the train when it runs with 3 or 4 sleepers and 4 coaches.

As for me, my travel goals now are largely overseas, though I do still want to ride the California Zephyr.
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Re: Pacific Parlour Car retirement February 2018?

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Thu Jan 18, 2018 10:49 pm

Mr. Johnson, be it noted a single traveler in a Roomette "all the way" is AU$2650 (US $2040), leaves once a week, and takes four days three nights. Betcha those "thirtysomethings" in the video are the youngest "whippersnappers" ever to see that train.

Otherwise, further discussion on the Indian-Pacific should be over at Mr. Benton's Worldwide Forum
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Re: Pacific Parlour Car retirement February 2018?

Postby east point » Fri Jan 19, 2018 10:42 pm

The inability of getting anyone to lease the old El Capitan cars and this retirement causes one to speculate. The one word due to its manufacture time is "asbestos" Can it be that Amtrak cannot seal in the asbestos to prevent its coming out of the seams ? Can we expect any agency or private individual to get a car with asbestos ?
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Re: Pacific Parlour Car retirement February 2018?

Postby mtuandrew » Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:10 pm

By now, the Parlours’ relevant asbestos must have been either abated or encapsulated. Whether that’s the same for the rest of the Hi-Levels, none of us here know, nor is it directly relevant to these lounge cars.
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Re: Pacific Parlour Car retirement February 2018?

Postby Backshophoss » Sat Jan 20, 2018 12:21 am

That should have been tended to during the HEP rebuild at Beech Grove,as they pulled the old gensets out.
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Re: Pacific Parlour Car retirement February 2018?

Postby electricron » Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:42 am

Whether Capital Corridor purchases them or not will depend upon how Amtrak retires them. I would think the major piece missing for Capital Corridor to lease the other Hilevel cars was the lack of these 5 dome versions. With these included, they will make these more attractive.

For example, an extended Hearland Flyer from Wichita to Laredo, or if it is impossible to get three states to fund a regional train, multiple frequencies of the Heartland Flyer from Tulsa to San Antonio. Here's what I'm thinking about, OKC to Tulsa to OKC to FW to Austin to SA to Austin, with a second train set per day running in the opposite direction starting in Austin. This itinerary would have one round trip between OKC and Austin daily, with two round trips at either end where both States desire a morning and evening round trip more local train, but want it done cheaply. There are multiple places in DFW where this train could be maintained daily, either by Amtrak or third party vendors. There's existing sidings or room for them at both station locations in OKC and Austin where these train sets can rest every night. I'm thinking they would need three train sets to make such a train work.

The dome HiLevels provide the locale in one car for a cafe-bar and first class service on the train that existing Heartland Flyer using Superliners doesn't or will probably never have. Whereas I don't think Texas or Oklahoma want to own a fleet of intercity rail cars, they both have groups advocating hard for SA to A and OKC to T train services. Maybe they could find a private party willing to provide and maintain the trains and contract with Amtrak to run them?
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Re: Pacific Parlour Car retirement February 2018?

Postby The EGE » Sat Jan 20, 2018 9:45 pm

Alert on Amtrak's website:

Amtrak will retire the renowned Pacific Parlour Car from the Coast Starlight. The last day of service will be February 2 on Train 14 and February 4 on Train 11. Retiring the Parlour Car is part of Amtrak's ongoing work to modernize its fleet of equipment.

Due to high demand, an additional Parlour Car trip has been added on Wednesday, January 31 leaving Los Angeles and Friday, February 2 leaving Seattle.

The Parlour Car will continue to operate on Thursdays and Fridays departing Los Angeles and Saturdays and Sundays departing Seattle through February 4.


I got extremely lucky - I'm on train 14 on the 1st!
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Re: Pacific Parlour Car retirement February 2018?

Postby SouthernRailway » Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:01 am

At least Superliner trains have nice lounges even for coach passengers.

Single-level trains do not. It would be nice for a sleeping car passenger on, say, the Crescent to have somewhere nice to go to chill for a bit. The Amfleet lounges aren't particularly appealing for that purpose.
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Re: Pacific Parlour Car retirement February 2018?

Postby Greg Moore » Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:08 pm

Agreed, but on the other hand, for the most part I'd argue the single-level trains don't have quite the scenery.

But this is a place I think a Viewliner derived lounge might have merit.
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Re: Pacific Parlour Car retirement February 2018?

Postby Matt Johnson » Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:32 pm

SouthernRailway wrote:At least Superliner trains have nice lounges even for coach passengers.


For now. Let's hope those aren't on the chopping block!
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