End of the Full Dome (Ocean View)

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End of the Full Dome (Ocean View)

Postby deandremouse » Tue Aug 21, 2018 4:27 pm


The Dome car has always been expensive to maintain, especially with high heating and cooling costs. Now, since the train is the last of its kind, it is also more difficult to get parts for repairs. Due to these factors, the Great Dome Car’s fall run will probably be its last. The car will run on Amtrak’s Downeaster trains until September 9th when it will relocate to the Adirondack train between Albany, New York and Montréal for leaf-peeping season. The ride originates in Penn Station, but since the Dome Car roof is too high to fit through tunnels south of Albany, it gets attached to the train at the Albany station.

You can book your tickets for Dome Car train on the Downeaster or Adirondack routes here!


https://untappedcities.com/2018/08/21/amtraks-last-glass-ceiling-great-dome-car-is-headed-for-its-final-journey-in-new-york/

I guess this will be the last season of the Ocean View in Service unfortunately.
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Re: End of the Full Dome (Ocean View)

Postby electricron » Tue Aug 21, 2018 6:08 pm

A very sad day it will be when Amtrak retires it’s last big dome car.

If full dome cars cost too much to heat and cool, could they look at building partial dome cars again, like what is still in use on VIA’s Canadian??
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Re: End of the Full Dome (Ocean View)

Postby TomNelligan » Tue Aug 21, 2018 6:10 pm

Information on the current dome operation on the Downeaster service can be found here:

http://amtrakdowneaster.com/dome-car
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Re: End of the Full Dome (Ocean View)

Postby Noel Weaver » Tue Aug 21, 2018 6:16 pm

I had the experience of riding this dome car on the Amtrak test trip on the Florida East Coast back in the spring of 2010 and what an experience it was. The car was so smooth riding over the excellent FEC roadbed, the AC worked perfectly, it was super comfortable and the viewing was suberb. I sure hope this car has a bright future. They
don't have anything else to equal this car today. Memories and more memories!!
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Re: End of the Full Dome (Ocean View)

Postby Greg Moore » Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:47 pm

This is sad. Not entirely unexpected. But this is partly why I've argued Amtrak should have splurged (and yes in a sense that's what it would have been) on acquiring as many of the remaining Great Domes. It's never cost effective to have a single car.
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Re: End of the Full Dome (Ocean View)

Postby Matt Johnson » Wed Aug 22, 2018 12:14 am

Most unfortunate but I can't say I'm surprised given the current leadership's track record.

Will there ever be a modern dome car produced again, either for Amtrak or elsewhere? I don't really count those Alaska cruise line ultra tall bilevels as domes. I suppose Amtrak would want something ADA compliant, 125 mph capable and also capable of meeting NEC clearance requirements, which would preclude an actual dome car. But a Viewliner Sightseer lounge would have been the next best thing. If Amtrak had known that dining service was to be replaced with cold snacks in a box, maybe we could have gotten 25 Sightseer Lounge Viewliners rather than 25 "sleeper lounge" cars with half of the space wasted on an unused kitchen.
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Re: End of the Full Dome (Ocean View)

Postby njt/mnrrbuff » Wed Aug 22, 2018 6:18 am

I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the last season for the Great Dome. It’s way up there in age and showing many signs that it’s ready to join the retirement club. I’m planning a trip to Albany this Fall but it’s possible that I might go a little beyond sonthat way, I can ride in the dome car one last time.
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Re: End of the Full Dome (Ocean View)

Postby Rockingham Racer » Wed Aug 22, 2018 6:43 am

Frankly, with all the other cuts and restrictions that have been put in place, I'm surprised the car is running even this year.
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Re: End of the Full Dome (Ocean View)

Postby njt/mnrrbuff » Wed Aug 22, 2018 6:49 am

That’s right about the current management as well. Even with better management, that probably wouldn’t change anything about the car operating forever. Sadly, it’s time to move on.
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Re: End of the Full Dome (Ocean View)

Postby mtuandrew » Wed Aug 22, 2018 11:08 am

How badly do you want an actual dome within the NEC loading gauge? The Metroliner provides a pattern — low car, low dome (propulsion? equipment in the Metroliner.) The Viewliner is too tall for a proper dome but would make a good Sightseer.

Sad about the Great Dome too, but in reality it belongs with a historical society.
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Re: End of the Full Dome (Ocean View)

Postby mmi16 » Wed Aug 22, 2018 7:52 pm

When a organization wants to do away with something - anything - they will present a wide array of 'reasons' that is must be done away with.

The only real reason is that someone with the authority wants it gone. Any other reason presented is BS.
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Re: End of the Full Dome (Ocean View)

Postby Mackensen » Wed Aug 22, 2018 9:13 pm

I read through the entire article I found no source for the claim that it would be retired, only vague speculation. They clearly didn't actually ask anyone at Amtrak for comment. Mind you, retirement wouldn't surprise me either, given the retirement of the Hi-Levels. However, the Ocean View does form part of Amtrak's business car fleet, which the Hi-Levels never did.
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Re: End of the Full Dome (Ocean View)

Postby jp1822 » Wed Aug 22, 2018 11:40 pm

The Viewliner Diners are great Sightseer Cars! Next to the Superliner Sightseer Lounge car, second best that Amtrak has in the system. I've suggested on another thread that Amtrak could offer up a couple of Viewliner Diners to "roam around" in the East Coast on the "long distance day trains" - Vermonter, Adirondack, Maple Leaf, Pennsylvanian, Palmetto (seen one pine tree though, you've seen them all!), and even the Cardinal longs for a car like this! It could actually be a an "upsell" to revenue if Amtrak positioned it right, but currently Amtrak just wants to find ways to reduce costs, not grow revenue. And there will be plenty of these diners around that will need some sort of purpose - hopefully more than just providing a space to deliver boxed meals. They were too expensive of a build for that task. A baggage car could have met that purpose.
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Re: End of the Full Dome (Ocean View)

Postby Tadman » Tue Aug 28, 2018 9:00 am

Mackensen wrote:I read through the entire article I found no source for the claim that it would be retired, only vague speculation. They clearly didn't actually ask anyone at Amtrak for comment. Mind you, retirement wouldn't surprise me either, given the retirement of the Hi-Levels. However, the Ocean View does form part of Amtrak's business car fleet, which the Hi-Levels never did.


Agreed. The news doesn't surprise me given the current climate at Amtrak, but the claims in the article are completely unsubstantiated. Upper management has been very open about their new policies, so to make this claim without any source noted is a bit odd. I'm wait-and-see on this one.

A few years back I rode the full dome "business class" on IP's Hoosier State. It was interesting but the low-back seats in the dome are not for four-hour rides. I've also spent quite a few hours in Alaska and Via domes, so although I'm not going to take a flyer just to ride Ocean View, I hope this report is inaccurate.
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Re: End of the Full Dome (Ocean View)

Postby Noel Weaver » Tue Aug 28, 2018 6:06 pm

I have heard from a fairly reliable source that when the dome car trips are finished later this fall on the Adirondack the car will be retired, all done. What a loss this will be.
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