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Guest MIt

Pullman Rail Journeys dining equipment availability

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Guest MIt

Has anyone on this board ridden Pullman Rail Journeys, the service attached to City of New Orleans? We have booked a trip this year and wanted to know what you thought of the service and its value. Also I have heard that on less than full trips the dome diner is dropped, is this true? Without a diner how do they manage dinner what is the quality?

 

Mit

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Shouldn't this be in the private varnish forum (attachment to the CONO notwithstanding)? Also, seems it'd be better to ask the company directly about diner policy, and if they don't want to tell you that'd be a red flag. Hope someone here has been aboard and can answer the value inquiry.

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I question if Any Land Cruise of this Type is Worth the Really High Fare including Regular Price on VIAs Canadian unless One is Wealthy and Has Money to Burn! It's Great to Ride Old Equipment Trains, but since this is hooked to the back of the CONO to New Orleans on a Single overnight Route I'd have to say that I would rather spend the Money on the Canadian or Rocky Mountaineer or even a Trip to Europe or Asia and then Ride Great Trains!!

YMMV

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I question if Any Land Cruise of this Type is Worth the Really High Fare including Regular Price on VIAs Canadian unless One is Wealthy and Has Money to Burn! It's Great to Ride Old Equipment Trains, but since this is hooked to the back of the CONO to New Orleans on a Single overnight Route I'd have to say that I would rather spend the Money on the Canadian or Rocky Mountaineer or even a Trip to Europe or Asia and then Ride Great Trains!!

YMMV

 

Sorry, but I don't think it's n line with this forum's usual openness to tell people, you shouldn't be asking here. Sometimes when I want to know something i ask on different forums or sources and its sometimes interesting to compare results. As for comparison to other land-cruise trains, Pullman Rail Journeys is rather at the low-cost end of the spectrum (not much more expensive than a high-bucket sleeper bedroom), so I don't think it's completely fair to make a level comparison to trains that are in a clearly higher category.

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Cirdan... I think you misquoted Jim Hudson instead of Whooz correct? Cause Jim was just giving his opinion. Which I agree with.

 

I've been watching the Pullman discounts.. I sorta have always wanted to travel in a Pullman Section, but 4 nights on the Canadian is too many for me, so this would be a good chance. I ride the City now and then and if a Section was only "slightly" less than a Roomette on Amtrak it would be very tempting. If all the cars are operating then dinner in a dome diner and drinks in the tail car should would be cool.

 

I have ridden in Iowa Pacific cars when they were on charter trains, they are VERY nice. They know how to make a car look lovely.

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Cirdan... I think you misquoted Jim Hudson instead of Whooz correct? Cause Jim was just giving his opinion. Which I agree with.

 

I've been watching the Pullman discounts.. I sorta have always wanted to travel in a Pullman Section, but 4 nights on the Canadian is too many for me, so this would be a good chance. I ride the City now and then and if a Section was only "slightly" less than a Roomette on Amtrak it would be very tempting. If all the cars are operating then dinner in a dome diner and drinks in the tail car should would be cool.

 

I have ridden in Iowa Pacific cars when they were on charter trains, they are VERY nice. They know how to make a car look lovely.

:hi: You are Correct Sir, Thanks! And if the Price for one of these PV Trips on the CONO was just a Little More than a CONO Roomette (which Generally are a Good Deal!) I'd go for that also! But Thousands of Dollars for a Train Ride, No!! ;)

Edited by jimhudson

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Sorry, but I don't think it's n line with this forum's usual openness to tell people, you shouldn't be asking here.

The thread was put in the wrong area of the site, something that was fixed by the crack moderation staff even before you commented.

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Pullman appears to be having a 25% off sale through June 30th (it's on the website.. one of the rotating banner ads. They also advertise it on the Pullman facebook page). 25% off an upper Berth would be $375. I just checked a sample roomette rate for the City and it was $293. Now one would be losing the privacy of a room, but for one overnight you still get a bed. Well actually... you get a REAL Pullman berth with bedding. All the drink are included as well. Hmm... now I'm thinking...

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Pullman appears to be having a 25% off sale through June 30th (it's on the website.. one of the rotating banner ads. They also advertise it on the Pullman facebook page). 25% off an upper Berth would be $375. I just checked a sample roomette rate for the City and it was $293. Now one would be losing the privacy of a room, but for one overnight you still get a bed. Well actually... you get a REAL Pullman berth with bedding. All the drink are included as well. Hmm... now I'm thinking...

Thats not a Bad Deal, Book it Danno! ;) (I spent One Night in a Section Berth on the Canadian on my Discount Fare Trip in Feb. and found it More Comfortable than the Cabin for One (we call it a Roomette!)that I had the Other Three Nights on the way from Vancouver to Toronto!)

Edited by jimhudson

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Guest Bill

I rode the CONO CHI-NOL on Sat/Sunday and we passed the NB along Pontchartrain. The PRJ cars on the back were one sleeper and the rounded observation lounge Pontchartrain Club. I am booked on the NB tomorrow up to CHI and will let you know if the dome is on. It's a big reason I booked the trip, but I suppose it wouldn't do me any good to get upset if it's absent. Still a hell of a deal to ride in such style!

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Looking forward to hearing ALL the details please! I would be disappointed if there was no dome. I wish they would make it clear what equipment is planned to operate.

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Guest Bill

I'll write a real quick report in the trip reports if I can find a spare minute tomorrow.....off of relaxing on trains and back to the daily grind!

Apparently we had some mechanical issues, so we ended up leaving a sleeper and the observation car behind in NOL. We did, however; have the dome, so I was happy to have it!

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Guest Guest
I'll write a real quick report in the trip reports if I can find a spare minute tomorrow.....off of relaxing on trains and back to the daily grind!

Apparently we had some mechanical issues, so we ended up leaving a sleeper and the observation car behind in NOL. We did, however; have the dome, so I was happy to have it!

 

 

Thanks Bill, booked for travel next month and interested in how things are going.

 

Mit

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Guest Mit

Has anyone seen or heard anything on the current consists of the Pullman Rail Journeys service?

 

Mit

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Any news? Did Bill ever write a trip report (I never saw it...).

 

I'm still very curious about how this operation is doing and what type of service it is operating (as in I want to read a real world review).

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Hello

I am new to this but i did want to tell what i know about Pullman Rail Journey.

We rode the PRJ private Pullman cars in late June-New Orleans to Chicago. It was great. Food and service was very good.

 

There were two cars-neither was the Dome diner. The tail car was Adirondack club and the other was a sleeper-Chebanese i think.

When we got on in New Orleans we had a light lunch and drinks at three or four tables in the Adirondack Sort of like the tables on Amtrak-fixed to wall. Had dinner and breakfast same places. Food was very good-not gourmet but we weren't expecting that. For dinner the choices were steak or fish or chicken-steak was very good and cooked medium.

 

The attendants were attentive and well informed. If we wanted to talk they did but if no one struck up a conversation they were fairly quiet. The conductor was very personable as well. The car, the Adirondack club, is typical Pullman obs w kitchen. It has observation area, tables, then a small kitchen, then Drawing room and a couple of bedrooms. It is a mid train obs car not a rounded one.

 

The rooms and beds were very comfortable but w any Pullman bedroom it is tight. But not as tight as Amtrak. The upper bunk has more room than the Superliner uppers. The rooms and service were well worth it I thought. If he, Mr Ellis, had these 2 or 3 cars on the Crescent, City of New Orleans, Lakes Shore I'd never have to ride Amtrak again. I doubt they'll get that far but this was fun and civilized, but pricey. I am going again in August and the girl on the phone said it will be only two cars again. The conductor said that particular week in August the Dome diner was chartered out.

There was a sl problem w the A/C just out of New Orleans-got a little warm. Things got better after Jackson when it cooled off some. Hope that is fixed. According to a friend who lives close to the IC mainline there are only two cars most of the time.

 

Talking to the reservations girl at PRJ is sl difficult-Iwanted to add a friend in a lower berth in August and she said the trip was full-a total of 8 people. Doesn't make alot of sense.

 

Hope this was helpful and informative.

jm

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Thank you so much! I greatly enjoyed reading this. It's sad it's only 2 cars most trips, the dome diner is one of the reasons I would want to take the trip.

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:hi: Thanks for posting! Not a lot of people go to New Orleans in August so I'm surprised the Rez Clerk said they were Full with only 8 Passengers! Personally I'd rather spend the Money on the Candian than on a 2 Car PV trip to NOL in August! VIA keeps having really Good Specials, check out their web site (via.ca)and consider taking a ride on the Canadian, Dome Cars and Budd cars Galore! ;)

 

I personally think the jury is still out on whether or not this Company will be successful but do wish them Luck!

Edited by jimhudson

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Guest Mit

Thanks for the info! I am on the Southbound (Chi –NOL) Pullman Rail Journey outing tomorrow which is scheduled to have 3 to 4 cars including the full dome. The wife and I are looking forwarded to a great trip and will report out on the trip, the equipment and the service upon my return next week! I will also try to post photos.

 

 

 

Regards,

 

Mit

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I personally think the jury is still out on whether or not this Company will be successful but do wish them Luck!

I think they have as fair a chance as any of being succesful. The folks at Iowa Pacific are far from stupid.

 

I would love to ride it one day, but will probably have to wait until 2014 at the earliest as I've comitted all my vacation days for this year, and also need to save up a bit.

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I personally think the jury is still out on whether or not this Company will be successful but do wish them Luck!

I think they have as fair a chance as any of being succesful. The folks at Iowa Pacific are far from stupid.

 

I would love to ride it one day, but will probably have to wait until 2014 at the earliest as I've comitted all my vacation days for this year, and also need to save up a bit.

Yes, they have as fair a chance as American Orient Express, Grande Luxe Rail Journeys, Golden Eagle Rail Journeys (that one didn't even run the first trip), etc. etc. I'm only halfway serious though because it's true that Ed Ellis certainly knows how Amtrak works (lots of inside knowledge) and has made lots of deals with railroads.

 

The problem is.. this service costs more than Amtrak sleepers... and most people complain that Amtrak sleepers are too expensive for normal travel. I'm sure they wine you and dine you and give you your moneys worth, but how many people want to spend that type of money when they travel.

 

In all honesty, most wealthy people do not want to sleep on a train no matter how comfortable the mattress. It's loud, it rocks, and it's the size of a bunk bed. So who is this service for? Seems like rich people who like the idea of taking a novel old pullman train for fun, or for a railfan who is willing to spend money for a unique train experience. Is that enough to keep the idea in business? So far it wouldn't appear that way based on what I've heard.

 

In all fairness it's too soon to judge because I beleive the City is just a test... if they put these cars on the Zephyr or the Empire Builder and advertised the scenery.. maybe tied it into a national park vacation or something... then it becomes more marketable, but then again it starts to sound more like the American Orient Express...

 

No judgement from me... If I had that kinda money and resources (as Iowa Pacific) I would want to give it a try.. it's certainly a fun idea. But it will be interesting to watch how it evolves.

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Yes, they have as fair a chance as American Orient Express, Grande Luxe Rail Journeys, Golden Eagle Rail Journeys (that one didn't even run the first trip), etc. etc. I'm only halfway serious though because it's true that Ed Ellis certainly knows how Amtrak works (lots of inside knowledge) and has made lots of deals with railroads.

Assuming he isn't stupid, I am sure he is aware of all those failures, has analyzed what went wrong, has run and re-run the figures, and has a good feeling that this one is different.

 

He may be deluded of course. But he may just as well be on to something.

The problem is.. this service costs more than Amtrak sleepers... and most people complain that Amtrak sleepers are too expensive for normal travel.

Nevertheless, Amtrak sleepers are frequently fully booked, despite Amtrak continuiously hiking the prices.

In all honesty, most wealthy people do not want to sleep on a train no matter how comfortable the mattress. It's loud, it rocks, and it's the size of a bunk bed. So who is this service for? Seems like rich people who like the idea of taking a novel old pullman train for fun, or for a railfan who is willing to spend money for a unique train experience. Is that enough to keep the idea in business? So far it wouldn't appear that way based on what I've heard.

It isn't about most rich people. Let's say there is capacity for 10 people per trip, and that two ways twice a week. Call it a capacity for 160 people a month (with round trips counting double). Let's say loadings are 60%, call it 100 far-paying passengers a month, that's 1200 a year, that's 6000 in five years. Let's say 20% of riders are railfans and nostalgics and fuddy duddies. That leaves 4800 rich people in five years. Probably less in reality as many of those will be return customers. Most rich people is a far bigger number that that.

Edited by cirdan

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Well, by most standards AOE wasn't a failure. It lasted 20 years, and it ultimately failed because of bad practices unrelated to the rail operation IIRC.

 

Also, one key difference would be if Pullman ran (for example) a Zephyr run but allowed some O/D en route at a few major stops (i.e. CHI-DEN-SLC-Bay Area) or at least allowed boardings at one or two stations (i.e. if they allowed boarding at either ALB or PHL on a NYP-CHI train). It doesn't need to be every stop, but doing that at a few stops on a multi-day run would seem to make sense. Also, a two night trip continually hooked to an existing LD train is a far cry from some of AOE's itineraries (which ran like a week). If they want to do a tie-in, they could always have it whereby you go out on one run and then back (or the rest of the way through) on another one while just running the equipment through.

Edited by Anderson

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In all fairness it's too soon to judge because I beleive the City is just a test... if they put these cars on the Zephyr or the Empire Builder and advertised the scenery.. maybe tied it into a national park vacation or something... then it becomes more marketable, but then again it starts to sound more like the American Orient Express...

 

No judgement from me... If I had that kinda money and resources (as Iowa Pacific) I would want to give it a try.. it's certainly a fun idea. But it will be interesting to watch how it evolves.

The only problem I see with the Builder is what to do in Spokane, if the cars are attached to the rear, that would involve extra switching in, which if the Builder is already horribly late, well you see where I going with that. If the cars are attached to the front, which i'm not even sure if Amtrak allows private varnish to be attached behind the baggage car, then you run into platform length, which is already an issue. The only solution is to have it run into Portland, which is a smaller market.

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