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Riding ARR's Coastal Classic


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#1 railiner

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Posted 06 August 2017 - 10:40 AM

I am taking my first ride on the Alaska RR's "Coastal Classic", Goldstar Service from Anchorage to Seward on 15 August to board a cruise.

I am looking for any helpful hints or information from anyone who has actually done this to share.  Such things as where to sit, how early to arrive at the check in desk, or any other tips...

 

Thanks for any replies.... :)


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#2 pennyk

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Posted 06 August 2017 - 11:45 AM

I cannot provide any information on the Coastal Classic because much to my disappointment, I did not ride it.  I rode the the Denali Star, Goldstar Service, from Anchorage to Fairbanks in May.  I heard that the scenery is between Anchorage and Seward is fantastic.  I was in a motorcoach between Anchorage and Whittier and enjoyed the scenery.  

 

If I had to guess which side of the train, I would choose right, but someone who has traveled that train would know more than I know.  Seats were assigned in advance when we checked in.  I arrived at the Anchorage station an hour before departure.  Since I went early in the season, the train was not full and Goldstar was only half full, and people moved around quite a bit.

 

What I learned after I made my reservations was that AKRR offers a AAA discount, but only if you make your reservations by phone.  I made mine on line.  When I made my reservations, I was able to request a seat preference.  I requested window seat in middle of car, which I got.

 

I thought Goldstar Service was well worth the premium I paid.  I had 3 great meals and 2 local Alaska beers.


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#3 railiner

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Posted 06 August 2017 - 03:15 PM

Thanks, Penny!

Unfortunately, it is too late for me to get the AAA 10% discount, as well....

I did call back and request the front row dome right side, window seat.   The train departs at 6:45 AM, and check in begins an hour before that, so looks like I will be getting up early to be among the first in line...say about 5:15 AM?

I'll be missing my comp. breakfast at the hotel, so hopefully they serve an early breakfast on the train...

 

I have ridden the entire line from Anchorage to Fairbanks in the past on Princess's cars, and previous to that, the reverse direction on ancient ARR cars when the Denali Star was known as the AuRoRa, back in 1970.

I have also ridden the northern portion of the Coastal route, as far south as Portage, on another Princess train to pierside in Whittier....

So after going from Portage to Seward, I will have completed the entire Alaska RR... :cool:


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#4 railiner

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 08:41 PM

Just got back from my cruise today...

I had a great ride on the Coastal Classic, and I highly recommend it!

I managed to score the "railfan's seat", 1A in car 'A'.

It is on the left side, next to 1B.   There is no 1C or 1D...just a stairway to the lower level.  At the rear end is a short, open-sided section.

On the lower level is the dining room, and the galley.  There is no public access between cars.  Each car has a couple of restrooms, and a wheelchair lift between levels.

 

The viewing from the front row is incredible...better even than a Budd  Vista-Dome, at least forward.  Looked right over the baggage car and the two engines, at the track ahead.  Car 'B' is the same, but it looks directly into the rear of car 'A'.

The Panorama car and dining car are next, and then three coaches, the center one having a short dome, which must be shared by all three coaches...

If you go, spring for the Goldstar service....it's worth the extra cost, and includes meal and free drinks, as well as a neat souvenir pin.

 

The food was good, and the service very friendly, with various sights and history narrated by the crew.   The scenery was spectacular, particularly the section that is reminiscent of the D&RGW thru the Rockies, with numerous tunnels and canyons, and no parallel road for a good stretch...


metroblue?

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