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Which trains going east of Chicago have sightseer lounges?


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#41 junebug

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 07:06 PM

Guess what? After all your advice, I had it down to going to D.C. for a couple of days on the Cardinal, then coming back on the Capitol Limited. But....  even though I love traveling alone on Amtrak, this time I was going with a travel companion who bowed out. I just wasn't that excited about this trip anyways, so I decided to cancel. Without a sightseer dome it doesn't sound like much fun. Socializing is the best part of the trip for me. I saved some money, always nice, and a staycation will be fun. 


Edited by junebug, 14 August 2017 - 07:08 PM.


#42 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 08:37 PM

Guess what? After all your advice, I had it down to going to D.C. for a couple of days on the Cardinal, then coming back on the Capitol Limited. But....  even though I love traveling alone on Amtrak, this time I was going with a travel companion who bowed out. I just wasn't that excited about this trip anyways, so I decided to cancel. Without a sightseer dome it doesn't sound like much fun. Socializing is the best part of the trip for me. I saved some money, always nice, and a staycation will be fun. 

 

At the risk of being pedantic the sightseer lounge isn't technically a dome car.  If you're interested in a real dome car you should look at booking a ride on The Canadian.  It's not cheap and I think you have to book a sleeper compartment to access the dome cars these days, but it's honestly pretty cool if you're looking for a fancier bucket list item.  To the best of my knowledge there is only one dome car in the entire Amtrak system it's not possible to know where it will be (or if it will be open to passengers) when you're booking.


We've got provisions and lots of beer. The key word is survival on the new frontier. 


#43 junebug

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 10:24 PM

Got it! Very cool. https://www.amtrak.c...-great-dome-car



#44 PVD

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 06:47 AM

I agree with most of what you said, except that for the Down Easter and the Adirondack, Amtrak lists the trains or days the dome is scheduled to run. 



#45 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 09:42 AM

I agree with most of what you said, except that for the Down Easter and the Adirondack, Amtrak lists the trains or days the dome is scheduled to run. 

 

There are leaf peeper excursions that are scheduled relatively close to departure.  However, if your focus is riding the dome over peeping some leaves 99% of the time you have no way of knowing where the dome will be or if it will be open to passengers.  You can ask here on AU and maybe someone will tell you, but Amtrak doesn't seem to bother publishing this information in any sort of actionable manner.  Which seems to kind of defeat the purpose of having a dome in the first place.  Maybe they figure if they published this information people would be disappointed when the one and only dome was bad ordered and unable to make it.  Perhaps they'd need two or three domes to make such a schedule dependable enough to be worthwhile.


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#46 PVD

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 09:52 AM

Ride the Downeaster* between August 19 and September 24, 2017

 

* The Great Dome Car is available on the following Downeaster trains*:

Monday-Friday Weekday Train #682, #683, #688, #689

Saturday Trains #692, #693, #696, #697

Sunday Trains #690, #691, #698, #699

 

They put the announcement on the Downeaster site, not the general site...They made the information public, why on only on the D/E page I can't even begin to guess. 


Edited by PVD, 15 August 2017 - 09:55 AM.


#47 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 10:31 AM

Ah, I was not aware of that.  I haven't looked at the DE site in ages so it makes sense I'd miss it.  Presumably this is a commercial lease to Maine (or whoever) and so Amtrak doesn't advertise it.  Although it would probably benefit both parties to do so.  I guess coordinating the specifics of trains and dates is just too much hassle.  You'd think this is the sort of minor problem that technology should be able to solve.


We've got provisions and lots of beer. The key word is survival on the new frontier. 


#48 junebug

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 10:34 AM


Guess what? After all your advice, I had it down to going to D.C. for a couple of days on the Cardinal, then coming back on the Capitol Limited. But....  even though I love traveling alone on Amtrak, this time I was going with a travel companion who bowed out. I just wasn't that excited about this trip anyways, so I decided to cancel. Without a sightseer dome it doesn't sound like much fun. Socializing is the best part of the trip for me. I saved some money, always nice, and a staycation will be fun. 

 
At the risk of being pedantic the sightseer lounge isn't technically a dome car.  If you're interested in a real dome car you should look at booking a ride on The Canadian.  It's not cheap and I think you have to book a sleeper compartment to access the dome cars these days, but it's honestly pretty cool if you're looking for a fancier bucket list item.  To the best of my knowledge there is only one dome car in the entire Amtrak system it's not possible to know where it will be (or if it will be open to passengers) when you're booking.

So far my bucket list rides in this continent are on VIA Rail.

#49 zephyr17

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 01:59 PM

 

Guess what? After all your advice, I had it down to going to D.C. for a couple of days on the Cardinal, then coming back on the Capitol Limited. But....  even though I love traveling alone on Amtrak, this time I was going with a travel companion who bowed out. I just wasn't that excited about this trip anyways, so I decided to cancel. Without a sightseer dome it doesn't sound like much fun. Socializing is the best part of the trip for me. I saved some money, always nice, and a staycation will be fun. 

 

At the risk of being pedantic the sightseer lounge isn't technically a dome car.  If you're interested in a real dome car you should look at booking a ride on The Canadian.  It's not cheap and I think you have to book a sleeper compartment to access the dome cars these days, but it's honestly pretty cool if you're looking for a fancier bucket list item.  To the best of my knowledge there is only one dome car in the entire Amtrak system it's not possible to know where it will be (or if it will be open to passengers) when you're booking.

 

Thank you DA!  It is one of my real pet peeves when people refer to the SSL as a dome car (it's not, no 360 view) or an observation car (those are on the end of the train).

 

The Canadian, though, has both!

 

Coach passengers on the Canadian have their own Skyline dome car in the summer high season.  During the off season, they share the forward Skyline with whatever sleeper passengers want to use it.

 

The end of train Park dome-observation is restricted to Prestige class (notch above regular sleeper) during certain hours in the high season, although the regular sleeper (Sleeper Plus) passengers have unrestricted access to the two other Skyline domes that are in the peak-season consist for sleeper passengers.  During the off-season all sleeper passengers in both classes have unrestricted access to the Park, although they reserve the forward seats in the dome for Prestige.

 

As to the Ocean View, when it is in service on regular Amtrak trains, it is treated as non-revenue lounge space, similar to seating in the SSL.  First come, first serve and your coach seat is elsewhere.  When it is in a charter (like the Leavenworth Snow Train around here in Washington), the operators often sell the seats in the dome as a separate class of service.


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