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 Post subject: Another Last Call: Amtrak's Ex-Santa Fe Hi-Levels
PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:25 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8637
Location: Somewhere north of Prescott, AZ on the Santa Fe "Peavine"
The last of Santa Fe's bilevel "Hi-Levels" in revenue passenger service, and among the very last pre-Amtrak cars still in Amtrak revenue service, are set for retirement:

From Trains Newswire:

Quote:
The Pacific Parlour Cars, which were built by Pullman-Standard for the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway as hi-level lounge cars and have been a regular part of Amtrak Los Angeles-Seattle Coast Starlight consists since the mid 1990s, will be permanently retired after Feb. 4, Amtrak spokeswoman Kimberly Woods confirmed Thursday.

Amtrak had initially planned to take the cars out-of-service for about a month for major repairs and return them to service in mid-March, but made the decision not to return them to service “due to safety concerns and the rising cost of maintenance,” according to an employee bulletin sent Tuesday. Woods attributed the decision to “an ongoing effort to modernize equipment.”

The last Pacific Parlour Car to run in revenue service will be part of the consist of Amtrak train 11 departing Seattle on Sunday morning, Feb. 4 and arriving in Los Angeles on Monday evening, Feb. 5. Its last northbound departure will be from Los Angeles on Friday morning, Feb. 2.

The Pacific Parlour Car currently offers the only lounge space and food service car that was open only to sleeping car passengers on the Amtrak system, outside of the Auto Train. It was also one of the last pieces of equipment built before Amtrak’s creation that the company still used in regular revenue service, other than the fast-disappearing Heritage dining and baggage cars. It and the baggage car have been the only non-Superliner cars in the Coast Starlight’s consist.

The Pacific Parlour Car is staffed by a dedicated attendant who serves lunch and dinner in the car by reservation, using a unique menu separate from that served in the adjacent dining car, and serves an afternoon wine and cheese tasting on both days of the Coast Starlight’s daily overnight journey. The wine and cheese tasting had initially been included in the fare for Sleeping Car passengers, but since 2015 it has cost $7 per person for wine plus an extra $5 per person for cheese, and has been open also to Business Class passengers.

“If you fly first class on an airline [you] expect a certain level of service. If that is taken away, you feel downgraded,” said Rail Passengers Association Chairman Peter LeCody. “Passengers should expect the Coast Starlight to retain some semblance of first class service because this is a train many ride primarily for the upscale experience.”

LeCody expressed a strong desire for Amtrak to replace the Pacific Parlour Cars with some type of Superliner lounge. . . .

Also undetermined is whether Amtrak will attempt to sell the retired Pacific Parlour Cars or scrap them.


Last call for either preservationists or charter/cruise operators.............


Last edited by Alexander D. Mitchell IV on Fri Jan 19, 2018 2:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Another Last Call: Amtrak's Ex-Santa Fe Bilevels
PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:04 am 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:02 pm
Posts: 1031
Location: Back in NE Ohio
Under former Amtrak President Boardman, Amtrak was no longer going to sell equipment in usable form to excursion or preservation groups. It was all supposed to be scrapped or parted out. Does anyone know if that is still the case?


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 Post subject: Re: Another Last Call: Amtrak's Ex-Santa Fe Bilevels
PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:35 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:28 am
Posts: 2502
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
*Hi-Level was the name the ATSF used for their cars. Bi-Levels is the name used for commuter cars, initially produced during the same era.

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 Post subject: Re: Another Last Call: Amtrak's Ex-Santa Fe Bilevels
PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:20 pm 

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2010 6:22 pm
Posts: 202
PaulWWoodring wrote:
Under former Amtrak President Boardman, Amtrak was no longer going to sell equipment in usable form to excursion or preservation groups. It was all supposed to be scrapped or parted out. Does anyone know if that is still the case?


Has this ever been verified officially? I've seen it repeated several times, but I haven't seen anything official.

CD


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 Post subject: Re: Another Last Call: Amtrak's Ex-Santa Fe Hi-Levels
PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 5:51 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 8:29 pm
Posts: 326
When was the last time Amtrak sold any equipment that was useable? I think it was in the 1970's...am I wrong?
I know that many are chomping at the bit...wanting some of this older (heritage) equipment but i doubt that will sell something that they will then have to turn around and move on their trains (which they appear to hate to do).
My guess is they will leave it sitting in the weeds at Beech Grove for a few decades until it is rotten beyond use...and then make it available as scrap. My evidence of this is the older diners that were phased out over the past 10 or 20 years...where did they go? They were not given to museums (that I am aware of)...where are they? What happened to the 11 double-bedroom sleepers that they used for dormitory cars?

T7


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 Post subject: Re: Another Last Call: Amtrak's Ex-Santa Fe Hi-Levels
PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 6:29 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2015 5:55 pm
Posts: 478
Gateway had around 25 of them eight or so years ago:
http://www.donwinter.com/Train%20Trips/ ... -24-09.htm

They have made their inventory photos unavailable unless you have a password so I have no idea what is there now:
http://www.gatewayrailservices.com/index-2.html

Edit: At least one was still there in 2015, restored to Santa Fe lettering:
http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/metr ... 5a3f9.html


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 Post subject: Re: Another Last Call: Amtrak's Ex-Santa Fe Hi-Levels
PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:43 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2009 12:12 am
Posts: 90
Amtrak was selling equipment at least until the mid '90's, possibly into the early 2000's but I can't recall anything in the last decade. I received an auction list or "available equipment for sale" list back in 1993 from them. Hope these cars and other heritage cars can be saved.


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 Post subject: Re: Another Last Call: Amtrak's Ex-Santa Fe Hi-Levels
PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 1:02 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3236
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
An opinion piece on this, which ties in with our comments in other threads on the "immersive experience:"

https://ntbraymer.wordpress.com/2018/01 ... ce-stupid/


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