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Full Dome Car "Prairie View" on Chicago to St. Paul Excursion

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The first video catches the Empire Builder #7 with the car "Prairie View" on the end at the Winona Mn depot at night. It's on it's way to St. Paul for a two night stay.

 

 

The second video was taken from the Dakota Mn. observation deck when the car was returning to Chicago on the end of #8.

 

Although the doors seem to match up with the Superliner doors I assume passengers did not have access to the rest of the train, if you know please commit.

 

For me i would rather just ride the train rather than pay $899 to be stuck in an assigned seat in a booked solid excursion car. I don't want to eat a fancy dinner when I ride the train anyway. What do you think?

 

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Although the doors seem to match up with the Superliner doors I assume passengers did not have access to the rest of the train, if you know please commit.

 

 

No way. The Great Dome end doors are at standard single level car height.

Edited by railiner

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Although the doors seem to match up with the Superliner doors I assume passengers did not have access to the rest of the train, if you know please commit.

No way. The Great Dome end doors are at standard single level car height.

Yup. There's a reason that Ocean View has never been on any of the Superliner routes.

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The only way for that car to have had access to the Superliner's, would be if next to the transition end of a trans-dorm...not done in regular practice.

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Riding on a private car is a fantastic experience. If you ever get the chance, do it.

 

As to the OP's comments, hey, if you think riding a regular train is better, then do it, but there is no comparison with the private car experience in terms of comfort and service.

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It's an Iowa Pacific car so the superliner might actually have an edge. And that's saying something from me who is very involved in the PV community.

 

It is a once in a lifetime experience (unless your crazy like me) and I highly recommend that everyone on this board do it once. Which is why I maintain a thread of position moves that are much cheaper than the standard PV charter.

 

Even though if you have a large group you can generally make the economics of it viable for your group. For instance on a project I'm working on (non public trip, not trying to sell anything here) we have 100 guests that fit in both of our cars (each 50 seats). We charge the group 4K per day for both cars plus the Amtrak charge, food, our supplies, and somewhat for our time (add 1-2k for the extras after Amtrak charges).

 

So for our four day trip. We charge them $160 for the car rental a person, $68 for the Amtrak charge (round trip), and extra expenses between $10-20 per head. Total cost is $238. The Amtrak fare round trip on the same route is $240 round trip on that route in the high bucket.

 

So moral of this story is yes private cars can be affordable if you have enough friends. And it is a once in a lifetime experience to ride open vestibule around the country. Plus our food is way better than what Amtrak calls food these days.

 

Sometimes the deadheads can be cheap we offered a 100 dollar deadhead and had one taker. So besides me and the other crew member it was empty.

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Riding on a private car is a fantastic experience. If you ever get the chance, do it.

 

As to the OP's comments, hey, if you think riding a regular train is better, then do it, but there is no comparison with the private car experience in terms of comfort and service.

Let's get what I said straight. I said I'd rather just ride the train than be in a booked solid car. Maybe I'm wrong, I was not in that car, but I know it was sold out, and when it came through Winona it looked crowded inside, what I could see of it. Also all the windows were covered with condensate on the inside, see video. Maybe there's more room to move around in there than I think. I'm assuming that your kinda stuck in your assigned seat? Would love to here from anyone who was on that excursion or has been in the car.

 

Now a trip on a private car with a rear vestibule, and a handful of passengers, now your talking! One day.

Edited by bluegarage

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I've been on the Prairie View and the other IPH domes. Personally I'm not a large fan of those and they tend to have a condensation problem. One time I was filling the sister car Scenic View in Chicago. And I pumped thirty minutes worth of water into it.

 

I later learned there was a leak and I flooded the bottom of the car one foot deep.

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I've been on the Prairie View and the other IPH domes. Personally I'm not a large fan of those and they tend to have a condensation problem. One time I was filling the sister car Scenic View in Chicago. And I pumped thirty minutes worth of water into it.

 

I later learned there was a leak and I flooded the bottom of the car one foot deep.

I'm a bit confused about the "condensation problem".... I watched the video and couldn't really see it in the view. I know that Thermopane windows (not sure if those are used on trains as per FRA regs), have that problem if the seal allows moisture between the inner and outer pane. As far as condensation goes, on a very hot humid day, an air-conditioned car will sometimes get condensation on the outside of the glass. Condensation on the inside will happen on a cold winter day, if it is warm inside the car, and the air is not being dehumidified.

 

 

I don't see how watering the car enter's into the picture. I used to water the Zephyr when it stopped in Denver. When the train was full, it took a good half hour sometimes to fill those 500 gallon water tanks. The trackside potable water hoses delivered about 20 gallons per minute, and one hose would reach two cars. So you can do the math.... ;)

Prior to the Superliner's, some of the cars also needed A/C condenser reservoir's filled. And some diner's also had overhead tanks...some diner's had three different places to fill...usually the chef would be watching to make sure you were aware of that, if he didn't recognize who was filling the car... :)

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I've been on the Prairie View and the other IPH domes. Personally I'm not a large fan of those and they tend to have a condensation problem. One time I was filling the sister car Scenic View in Chicago. And I pumped thirty minutes worth of water into it.

 

I later learned there was a leak and I flooded the bottom of the car one foot deep.

I'm a bit confused about the "condensation problem".... I watched the video and couldn't really see it in the view. I know that Thermopane windows (not sure if those are used on trains as per FRA regs), have that problem if the seal allows moisture between the inner and outer pane. As far as condensation goes, on a very hot humid day, an air-conditioned car will sometimes get condensation on the outside of the glass. Condensation on the inside will happen on a cold winter day, if it is warm inside the car, and the air is not being dehumidified.

 

 

I don't see how watering the car enter's into the picture. I used to water the Zephyr when it stopped in Denver. When the train was full, it took a good half hour sometimes to fill those 500 gallon water tanks. The trackside potable water hoses delivered about 20 gallons per minute, and one hose would reach two cars. So you can do the math.... ;)

Prior to the Superliner's, some of the cars also needed A/C condenser reservoir's filled. And some diner's also had overhead tanks...some diner's had three different places to fill...usually the chef would be watching to make sure you were aware of that, if he didn't recognize who was filling the car... :)

That was more a comment about how well maintained the IPH cars are. I've seen the IPH cars with condensation once or twice with condensation all day. But usually I was fighting other issues with the cars. I know some diners have three tanks because we have one in our shop right now ;) also an IPH car coincidently.

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