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Pacific Parlour Car Permanently Retired February 2018


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#1 AmtrakLKL

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 08:51 AM

Thought this might be worthy of a new thread.

 

The PPCs are being retired from service. The last northbound trip from LAX will be on Friday, February 2 returning from SEA on February 4. Nothing was mentioned about a separate First Class Lounge continuing or not in place of the PPC. 

 

With the last of the Heritage Diners quickly making their way to the exits as well, 2018 will mark the end of a very long era.


Edited by AmtrakLKL, 17 January 2018 - 09:26 AM.


#2 A Voice

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 09:23 AM

Thought this might be worthy of a new thread.

 

The PPCs are being retired from service. The last northbound trip from LAX will be on Friday, February 2 returning from SEA on February 4.

 

With the last of the Heritage Diners quickly making their way to the exits as well, 2018 will mark the end of a very long era.

 

Is the amenity of a separate lounge space for sleeper passengers actually being removed from the Coast Starlight, or just the Hi-level equipment?  Previously, plans from Amtrak indicated the Parlor Cars would be replaced by (remodeled/rebuilt) Cross Country Cafe diner-lounge cars (but this also wasn't supposed to happen for a few years).  Presumably, plans have changed.  

 

So, the very last Heritage cars on Amtrak are finally at an end.  Had anyone suggested in 1971 or even the early 80's that some of these cars would be operating into 2018, you'd have been laughed right off the railroad.  Quite a remarkable achievement (about seventy years of service for some diners).  Other than company service cars, I have to wonder when the last Heritage baggage cars will finally be withdrawn (axle count service).  



#3 AmtrakLKL

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 09:31 AM

Is the amenity of a separate lounge space for sleeper passengers actually being removed from the Coast Starlight, or just the Hi-level equipment?  Previously, plans from Amtrak indicated the Parlor Cars would be replaced by (remodeled/rebuilt) Cross Country Cafe diner-lounge cars (but this also wasn't supposed to happen for a few years).  Presumably, plans have changed.  

 

So, the very last Heritage cars on Amtrak are finally at an end.  Had anyone suggested in 1971 or even the early 80's that some of these cars would be operating into 2018, you'd have been laughed right off the railroad.  Quite a remarkable achievement (about seventy years of service for some diners).  Other than company service cars, I have to wonder when the last Heritage baggage cars will finally be withdrawn (axle count service).  

 

 

The announcement wasn't specific regarding the actual lounge amenity, just that the Heritage PPCs are being retired due to age and cost. I certainly hope the separate lounge space continues for First Class guests, but we shall have to wait and see.



#4 City of Miami

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 09:44 AM

I was never impressed by the PPC experience beyond my very first time in 2005 I think. That trip Nanette was the attendant and the wine tasting was a good time had by all, even non-partakers. She had the whole car playing trivia, among other things. The novelty of the whole thing was appealing, including the coveted and much-discussed swivel seats and theater below. Later trips never measured up even with additions like the $12K temperamental espresso machines whose output I enjoyed exactly once. Over time I had a few meals there which were OK but I sat there alone and missed the opportunity to interact with others in the dining car.

 

By the way, AmtrakLKL, there are no First Class guest on Amtrak long distance trains. Even Amtrak gave up that pretense years ago.



#5 City of Miami

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 09:47 AM

HA! I see I just hit 1000 posts. It only took me 14 years. :giggle:



#6 acelafan

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 10:45 AM

That makes me sad. I always enjoyed the PPC, even with no heat and the abandoned space downstairs. It was unique and made my first LD train excursion on Amtrak extra enjoyable with the other travelers I met there. The lounge can get too rowdy for me at times.

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#7 AmtrakBlue

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 10:49 AM

HA! I see I just hit 1000 posts. It only took me 14 years. :giggle:

Chatterbox ;) :giggle:


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#8 Bob Dylan

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 10:54 AM

"..And another one bites the dust.."

RIP! 😣😣😣
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#9 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 10:55 AM

Thank you for the advance warning.  I might have to take one last trip before they're gone.


.


#10 JoeBas

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 11:04 AM



That makes me sad. I always enjoyed the PPC, even with no heat and the abandoned space downstairs. It was unique and made my first LD train excursion on Amtrak extra enjoyable with the other travelers I met there. The lounge can get too rowdy for me at times.

 

When did they "abandon" the downstairs?  We were last on them in Spring 2016, and my family went down to watch The Good Dinosaur in the theater.  



#11 rtabern

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 11:23 AM

One of my friends who works for Amtrak sent me a copy of the memo last night announcing this.

 

In the past couple of years, the PPC (and the Great Dome Car) were about the only reasons we had for riding Amtrak anymore... I am sure Ocean View will be next, too.

 

Oh well, it's been a fun ride with Amtrak... I was Select Plus and Select Executive many years.... starting riding a lot less when changes happened to Guest Rewards. Then downgrades in the food and sleepers... and then now this. We made it a point to ride the Coast Starlight atleast once a year just for this car.

 

It looks like a lot more flying and driving trips will be in our future. Will only use Amtrak when necessary... like getting to La Plata, MO because it's faster than driving from Chicago... and maybe in the NEC.  Beyond that, no care, need or desire for long distance Amtrak trips anymore... I hate to say.  Slowly lost my interest and desires for Amtrak... never thought I'd say that 13 years ago when I joined this forum.



#12 bmjhagen9426

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 11:30 AM

 

Is the amenity of a separate lounge space for sleeper passengers actually being removed from the Coast Starlight, or just the Hi-level equipment?  Previously, plans from Amtrak indicated the Parlor Cars would be replaced by (remodeled/rebuilt) Cross Country Cafe diner-lounge cars (but this also wasn't supposed to happen for a few years).  Presumably, plans have changed.  

 

So, the very last Heritage cars on Amtrak are finally at an end.  Had anyone suggested in 1971 or even the early 80's that some of these cars would be operating into 2018, you'd have been laughed right off the railroad.  Quite a remarkable achievement (about seventy years of service for some diners).  Other than company service cars, I have to wonder when the last Heritage baggage cars will finally be withdrawn (axle count service).  

 

 

The announcement wasn't specific regarding the actual lounge amenity, just that the Heritage PPCs are being retired due to age and cost. I certainly hope the separate lounge space continues for First Class guests, but we shall have to wait and see.

 

Whether the Diner Lounges will replace the PPC is not known, but seems unlikely, as occasionally they have substituted the usual observation car on the CS (I have been on a CS that had the Diner Lounge substitute the observation car). However, even with the PPC's biting the dust, this will not cause me to discontinue my ridership on Amtrak, as I normally only travel coach, and I have been on other LD trains without PPC.


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#13 crescent-zephyr

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 11:38 AM

Sad, but I'm very grateful I got to experiece these cars as many times as I did. As someone who was born in the late 80's, the fact that I got to ride in Santa Fe Hi-Levels in regular service on mainline railroads in my adult life.... Pretty special. (Wiping the foam away now... :-p )

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#14 stappend

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 11:52 AM

This seems to indicate its a temporary removal for service.

 

https://www.amtrak.c...ly-removed.html

 

 

From another discussion:

http://discuss.amtra...ary-withdrawal/



#15 Tennessee Traveler

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 11:52 AM

Forgive me, I have seen no evidence of this "rumor". None of the above posts produce evidence -- only "I've seen the memo" and the opening comment simply stated "last PPC leaves Feb 2.  

 

After all these "retirement" warnings, it will be interesting when the PPC's return in March 2018 from their annual "time out" for maintenance.  These cars are very old and cost to repair is prohibitive so, yes, I expect these PPC's(there is only 4 or 5) to eventually be beyond repair. On all other LD Superliner trains a Sightseer Lounge is the special lounge car.  Only the Coast Starlight has ever had a separate lounge(PPC) for sleeper passengers.  I've ridden the Coast Starlight several times and since there are only 6 or 8 sofa style single seats, they are usually hogged by just a few and when I rode last June and ate in the PPC, the temp was freezing from the AC blasting. I actually prefer the Sightseer Lounge.



#16 Rail Freak

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 12:02 PM

I too am glad to have had the experience! I just hope Amtrak can find a way to replace them with Sightseer Lounges for Sleepers!


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#17 CHamilton

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 12:16 PM

I'm trying to get official confirmation, but rumor has it that the last Pacific Parlour Car will leave Seattle on Feb. 4, the same day as the memorial for Zack Wilhoite, one of my friends who died on Amtrak 501. :(


Edited by CHamilton, 17 January 2018 - 12:17 PM.

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#18 rtabern

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 01:05 PM

Forgive me, I have seen no evidence of this "rumor". None of the above posts produce evidence -- only "I've seen the memo" and the opening comment simply stated "last PPC leaves Feb 2.  

 

After all these "retirement" warnings, it will be interesting when the PPC's return in March 2018 from their annual "time out" for maintenance.  These cars are very old and cost to repair is prohibitive so, yes, I expect these PPC's(there is only 4 or 5) to eventually be beyond repair. On all other LD Superliner trains a Sightseer Lounge is the special lounge car.  Only the Coast Starlight has ever had a separate lounge(PPC) for sleeper passengers.  I've ridden the Coast Starlight several times and since there are only 6 or 8 sofa style single seats, they are usually hogged by just a few and when I rode last June and ate in the PPC, the temp was freezing from the AC blasting. I actually prefer the Sightseer Lounge.

 

The PPC's will NOT be returning in March 2018. They will no longer run at all after #11 arrives into LAX on February 5, 2018.

 

I am not going to post the internal memo here because it contains names of Amtrak employee(s)... let's just it's legit... on Amtrak stationary and given to atleast 3 station agents I know who shared it with me this morning.



#19 rtabern

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 01:07 PM

I'm trying to get official confirmation, but rumor has it that the last Pacific Parlour Car will leave Seattle on Feb. 4, the same day as the memorial for Zack Wilhoite, one of my friends who died on Amtrak 501. :(

 

That is correct --- last PPC trip will leave LAX on #14 on February 2nd... arriving in SEA on February 3rd.... then head south on #11 leaving SEA the next morning (February 4th) and arriving in LAX on February 5th.

 

Trying to make a mad scramble to have one last ride --- but with flights what they are and not being able to take time off during the week right now --- the most we could ride is one way PDX to EUG... and with flying and hotels the costs are likely too high to make it worth it for a 3 hour trip.



#20 Rail Freak

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 01:12 PM

Once the word gets out, the PPC will be too crowded to enjoy IMO!


A Rookie No More! But Still A Lot Of Track To Travel !!!
Silver Meteor #97(6) & #98 (4), Silver Star #91 (2), Capitol Limited #29 & #30(6), Empire Builder #7,#8,#27(2) &#28(4) Coast Starlight #11 (6) & #14(5), California Zephyr #5 (2) & #6 (5), Cascades #506, City of New Orleans #58, #59 (2), South West Chief #3 (4), Lake Shore Limited #49, Maple Leaf #63, San Joaquin #714, Pacific Surfliner #774, Texas Eagle #422 (2), Cardinal #50, Crescent #19, Sunset Limited #1. Approx. 60,169 miles & 41 states!

 





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