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I'm on 94 northbound as we speak. On the southbound Carolinian there was what looked like an IP full dome. Now, I didn't get pictures (it was on the back of the train and we were passing at speed). Anyone know what it was doing/where it's going (and/or if it was something else)?

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It looks like you were right, and this was actually the Iowa Pacific dome car that was used on the Hoosier State, that has now been converted to Amtrak equipment. It's named Summit View, and was destined for Charlotte. No idea what its future is going to entail down there.

 

Screen-Shot-2017-01-09-at-10.28.44-PM-10

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Could it possibly be joining North Carolina's state fleet?

That would be nice....

More likely going to work some excursion's in the region...

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It's going to work the 611 excursions in NC and VA. You should also see moonlight some (50,79), super dome (8,30,79), Wisconsin Valley (8,30,79), Lake Pepin (8,30,79), Silver Lariat (14,6,30,79), Silver Solarium (14,6,30,79), stampede Pass (30,79), and I forget the rest of the consist because they didn't renew my contract.

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Another dome car for the consist is the Homestake Pass.

It's not Amtrak certified while its fellow car Stampede Pass is. I don't believe Jim has any plans to certify homestake any time soon. He does have plans to gut Stampede soon and turn it into a first class lounge and dome eliminating the bedrooms.

 

And eventually they will get to Bozeman Pass

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Perhaps it's because of Agent's great and frequent posts here, but I somehow get the impression that the CZ carries more PV's overall, than any other Amtrak train... both in service over the scenic route, or repositioning empty...

Anyone have any stats on that?

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You're probably right about PVs on the Zephyr, but the Starlight,Empire Builder,Surfliners and believe it or not, the Texas Eagle/Sunset Ltd. also have lots of PVs in the consists.

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...believe it or not, the Texas Eagle/Sunset Ltd. also have lots of PVs in the consists.

 

The Patrick Henry cars Warren R. Henry and Evelyn Henry are both based out of Houston, so the Sunset Limited is their lifeline. He offered me a chance to tour the cars some time ago, but I have never been able to make it work. I tried last September before Railfan Madness Part II, but the cars were chartered out of town.

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Another dome car for the consist is the Homestake Pass.

It's not Amtrak certified while its fellow car Stampede Pass is. I don't believe Jim has any plans to certify homestake any time soon. He does have plans to gut Stampede soon and turn it into a first class lounge and dome eliminating the bedrooms.

 

And eventually they will get to Bozeman Pass

 

That may be, but the Homestake Pass is in the 611's consist and tickets are being sold for Dome Class and Parlor Class in the Homestake Pass (Car 7) on the 611's excursion ticketing site: https://www.showclix.com/event/TheCavalier2

Also see this link: http://fireup611.org/excursions/seating-2017/#_ga=1.51387434.2095682797.1485239501

Besides, there is a 360 photo of the Homestake Pass in consist and a video of the car on the turntable at the NC Transportation Museum on Fire Up 611's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Fireup611/

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The trains that receive the most PV travel are ones where the cars are based. There are five cars based in HUN on the Cardinal so it's not uncommon to see the same six pop up Dearing, NYC 38, Braddock Inn, JP Henderson, and Berlin. There used to be a collection based in CIN as well but those were moved to CHI because of csx refusing to add cars.

 

The Florida trains usually carry a fair amount with five cars based in JAX and I think one or two in MIA.

 

The Carolinian also hauls several cars a year because of Bob Willits shop at Spencer, NC and the annual excursions out of there. Even though I would expect this number to go down drastically next year with the NS switch charge increase.

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Another dome car for the consist is the Homestake Pass.

It's not Amtrak certified while its fellow car Stampede Pass is. I don't believe Jim has any plans to certify homestake any time soon. He does have plans to gut Stampede soon and turn it into a first class lounge and dome eliminating the bedrooms.

 

And eventually they will get to Bozeman Pass

That may be, but the Homestake Pass is in the 611's consist and tickets are being sold for Dome Class and Parlor Class in the Homestake Pass (Car 7) on the 611's excursion ticketing site: https://www.showclix.com/event/TheCavalier2

Also see this link: http://fireup611.org/excursions/seating-2017/#_ga=1.51387434.2095682797.1485239501

Besides, there is a 360 photo of the Homestake Pass in consist and a video of the car on the turntable at the NC Transportation Museum on Fire Up 611's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Fireup611/

I would expect to see it next year on the consist unless they get it certified. NS has changed the rules for next year and will only accept Amtrak certified cars to be a part of any excursion operated over their network. That should also throw the NS coaches off the consist. I love the owner of the Pass cars.

 

For the record ticket sales for 611 were terrible this year. One trip ran yesterday with a 35 percent load

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Sorry to hear the bookings were so slow...

It just goes to show that the youth of today for the most part, are just not into old trains, planes, cars, etc...

They are into electronic gadgets....

Edited by railiner

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Sorry to hear the bookings were so slow...

It just goes to show that the youth of today for the most part, are just not into old trains, planes, cars, etc...

They are into electronic gadgets....

It's partially the youth of today's fault because they would rather take their expensive cameras, and drones trackside to film it on the railroading community. But I wouldn't give them the full blame.

 

The full blame really rests with Virginia Museum of Transportation for running in the same exact market for three years without changing the trips at all. Which most general public excursions as they should be, only go once on one route. Same with railfans for the most part.

 

The second fault of them is charging way too high for their ticket prices most members of the general public can not afford to ride the trains because they cost so much in coach let alone first class.

 

Minor fault is the booking system that lets you chose a car does not do a good job as far as limiting confusion. Most of the cars are effectively the same especially the coaches where you don't need a choice between the 47 and 44.

 

A more major fault is the lack of marketing the trips have gotten as well. Which also comes from having bad trip management from the contractors that manage the trip for them.

 

VMT is not out of the woods yet because the Sunday Greensboro trip has sold at the moment 46 percent, and the Sunday Petersburg is hovering around 36. The Roanoke morning trips are all in the 40-50 range but they have roughly two months to go.

 

For disclosure sake my contract with Virginia Museum of Transportation was not renewed so I can speak fully and openly about all of their issues and strong points. But remember I do have a slight negative bias.

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