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PPC Status on Coast Starlight


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#81 ChuckL

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Posted 08 November 2017 - 08:44 PM

Does anybody know if and when the parlor cars will be going on their winter "maintenance" hiatus?  I love the PPC and find it amazing that the classiest cars in Amtrak's fleet started out life on an all-coach train?

Fun fact: Only two years into revenue service (on the Santa Fe El Capitan), that all-coach train was combined with the first-class-only Super Chief (all Budd cars). The train remained combined on into the Amtrak era, so when it comes down to it, Hi-Levels (for the most part) started off on a multi-class (sleeper and coach) train.
Really? I thought they were operated separately on a regular basis longer than that. The original high level cars were acquired in 1956, including what is now the PPC cars (I believe they were originally called Sky Lounge). The 1964 order included coaches that were virtually identical and the older ones went to the San.Francisco Chief. Although I’m sure it was because of the holiday season, I do know that when I rode the Super Chief from Chicago on New Year’s Day 1969, we were operated as an all Pullman train. The equipment and service were superb. The El Cap followed.
That’s my recollection from 1968 too. The El Capitan was pretty nice too!


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Edited by ChuckL, 08 November 2017 - 08:46 PM.


#82 zephyr17

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Posted 09 November 2017 - 12:36 PM

Does anybody know if and when the parlor cars will be going on their winter "maintenance" hiatus?  I love the PPC and find it amazing that the classiest cars in Amtrak's fleet started out life on an all-coach train?

Fun fact: Only two years into revenue service (on the Santa Fe El Capitan), that all-coach train was combined with the first-class-only Super Chief (all Budd cars). The train remained combined on into the Amtrak era, so when it comes down to it, Hi-Levels (for the most part) started off on a multi-class (sleeper and coach) train.
Really? I thought they were operated separately on a regular basis longer than that. The original high level cars were acquired in 1956, including what is now the PPC cars (I believe they were originally called Sky Lounge). The 1964 order included coaches that were virtually identical and the older ones went to the San.Francisco Chief. Although I’m sure it was because of the holiday season, I do know that when I rode the Super Chief from Chicago on New Year’s Day 1969, we were operated as an all Pullman train. The equipment and service were superb. The El Cap followed.
That’s my recollection from 1968 too. The El Capitan was pretty nice too!
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The El Cap indeed lost its separate train status in 1958, at least as far as the timetable was concerned. The train operated combined through much of the year. However, during peak periods in the summer and during the holidays, the El Cap operated as a separate train as the second section of 17/18.

SP Coast Daylight, AT&SF San Diegan, AT&SF Super Chief, D&RGW Rio Grande Zephyr, Southwest Limited/Chief, San Diegan/Pacific Surfliner, San Joaquin, Cascades, California/San Francisco Zephyr, Coast Starlight, Empire Builder, Sunset Limited (LA-Orlando), Desert Wind, Pioneer, City of New Orleans, Silver Star, Silver Meteor, Lake Shore Limited, Cardinal, Hoosier State (Amtrak),  Hoosier State (Iowa Pacific), Ann Rutledge, Adirondack, Maple Leaf, NE Regional, Capitol Limited, Via Canadian (CP route), Via Super Continental, Via Atlantic Limited, Via Hudson Bay, Via Skeena, Via Canadian (CN route), Via "Corridor" (Toronto-Montreal), BC Rail Cariboo Dayliner, Eurostar, Thalys, DB, Netherlands Rail, Austrian Railways, BR, Korail (conventional), Korail KTX


#83 chakk

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Posted 10 November 2017 - 04:33 PM

Does anybody know if and when the parlor cars will be going on their winter "maintenance" hiatus?  I love the PPC and find it amazing that the classiest cars in Amtrak's fleet started out life on an all-coach train?

In recent years, the PPCs were pulled out of service for maintenance in early January and returned to service in mid-March.


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Edited by chakk, 10 November 2017 - 04:34 PM.


#84 ChuckL

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Posted 11 November 2017 - 04:19 AM

Does anybody know if and when the parlor cars will be going on their winter "maintenance" hiatus?  I love the PPC and find it amazing that the classiest cars in Amtrak's fleet started out life on an all-coach train?

In recent years, the PPCs were pulled out of service for maintenance in early January and returned to service in mid-March.


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One of the PPC attendants confirmed these dates in a conversation I had with him recently. He also said, as has been alluded to on AU before, that this was just the politically correct response to being out of service at that time for maintenance, when in fact it was a cost savings measure by Amtrak.


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Edited by ChuckL, 11 November 2017 - 04:20 AM.





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