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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.


Amtrak miles: 215,971; Routes: Silver Meteor, Champion (1973), Silver Star, Auto Train, Capitol Limited, Empire Builder, Lakeshore Limited, Adirondack, Vermonter, Cardinal, California Zephyr, Coast Starlight, Texas Eagle, Missouri River Runner, Acela Express, Southwest Chief, Cascades, Crescent, City of New Orleans, Hiawatha Service, Maple Leaf, Keystone Service, Northeast Regional, Downeaster, Piedmont, Carolinian, Lincoln Service, Autumn Express 2013, Empire Service, Sunset Limited, San Joaquin, Capitol Corridor, Pennsylvanian, Illinois Zephyr, Carl Sandburg, Autumn Express 2015, Ethan Allen Express, AEM-7 Excursion, Pacific Surfliner; Lakeshore Limited (BOS-ALB), Autumn Express 2016, Palmetto.

VIA miles: 4,584; Routes: The Canadian (westbound), Ocean; Alaska Railroad Denali Star: 356 miles


#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:


metroblue?

okay on the blue!




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