Next cut: Amtrak Dome Car Ocean View (??)

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by rtabern, Aug 21, 2018.

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  1. Aug 21, 2018 #1

    rtabern

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    In addition to the Legacy Club closing soon (see separate post)... the next cut appears to be the last remaining dome car Ocean View. Due for major maintenance in Spring 2019... Will be shelved in Beech Grove instead!

    I know Amtrak management lurks here. Can you at least give it a proper sendoff with some runs in the Midwest and other areas of the country where single level equipment is used and announced in advance? Don't pull what you did with the Parlour Cars where we had almost no notice to ride.

    https://untappedcities.com/2018/08/21/amtraks-last-glass-ceiling-great-dome-car-is-headed-for-its-final-journey-in-new-york/
     
  2. Aug 21, 2018 #2

    FreeskierInVT

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    Has there been any official announcement from Amtrak? All that is said in that article is:

    Far from being concrete info
     
  3. Aug 22, 2018 #3

    Acela150

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    Look who’s in charge of Amtrak. I think it’s almost a guaranteed.

    IMG_1796.jpg
     
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  4. Aug 22, 2018 #4

    zephyr17

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    The statement on the Ocean View's future is not attributed to a source and is qualified by "probably". Not reliable info and possibly the reporter's own speculation.

    Not yet time to panic, although I actually think that probably is the car's fate, more likely than not. Amtrak kept its single, one-off dome car for PR purposes, and if Anderson doesn't think it worth it for PR, it probably will be gone. He clearly has no sense of history and the Ocean View is even more of "sport" in Amtrak's fleet than the former Santa Fe Hi Level lounges used as PPCs, at least there were more than one of those.

    But that is my own personal opinion, and there are not attributed facts in this particular article to support the conclusion.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 22, 2018
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  5. Aug 22, 2018 #5

    cpotisch

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    I'm trying to be cautiously optimistic on this one, since it's not confirmed yet, but I would be pretty surprised if Ocean View is still in service by a year from now. Glad I'm booked on the Downeaster next week.
     
  6. Aug 22, 2018 #6

    cpotisch

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    I wonder if the state of New York might be willing to take the car off Amtrak's hands and run it on the state supported trains. They've been willing to put it on the Addie for a couple months a year, maybe they could run it year round (or close to it) on the Empire Corridor routes. Just a thought.
     
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  7. Aug 22, 2018 #7

    Seaboard92

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    Why would New York buy the car when they can repo the two full domes trapped in Saratoga that are Amtrak certified because of back taxes.

    Yes the car is old but it's not super hard to keep operating I mean look at VIA Rail's fleet. If you keep overhauling Budd cars they can keep running for another quarter century at least.

    But Anderson and Gardner don't care about history and customers and they've demonstrated that multiple times. And they really need to go.
     
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  8. Aug 22, 2018 #8

    Bob Dylan

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    Nothing "Official" of course, but Rob's sources are usually Spot on!

    Say Goodnight Gracie!
     
  9. Aug 22, 2018 #9

    Triley

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    But this info was provided by some article that doesn't say it it's going or not. Not by their usual source, I would presume.
     
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  10. Aug 22, 2018 #10

    OBS

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    Not to mention Thirdrail7 has already speculated (or hinted) the same thing.
     
  11. Aug 22, 2018 #11

    PVD

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    The problem with the car type is that it doesn't make clearance to NYP so it is added or dropped at Albany. That limits the trains it can go on to those that change power or add/drop coaches otherwise you are adding to station work/time. As much as most of us love the car, do enough people take the train that would not if the car was not around? Is it a solid goodwill ambassador that generates a little excitement and buzz about travel on the routes it touches? I don't really know. If the average passenger is indifferent to its presence and it only adds to the trip for a small number of people, if people don't use it heavily enough even though it is not charged for, you can bet it will go.
     
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  12. Aug 22, 2018 #12

    jis

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    As long as the states that puts the car on their trains pay more than enough to maintain it why would Amtrak care about cost of maintaining it? It is seldom put on a train for which Amtrak has to pay.
     
  13. Aug 22, 2018 #13

    PVD

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    That is a great note. I forgot about the subsidy for the use on ADK and the Downeaster.
     
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  14. Aug 22, 2018 #14

    the_traveler

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    When I rode Ocean View a few years ago, it was sparsely used. And at least one table was used by regular passengers playing cards. They did not even once look out the window or care what the car was. They just played cards.

    I have never had a problem getting a seat in Ocean View. Now the SSL, that is a different story.
     
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  15. Aug 22, 2018 #15

    jis

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    Actually Thirdrail had mentioned this a while back in a different thread. So I can only take credit for good memory [​IMG]
     
  16. Aug 22, 2018 #16

    seat38a

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    The car was used on the Surfliner in the past as a Business Class only amenity. Not sure how it turned out.
     
  17. Aug 22, 2018 #17

    PVD

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    Of course the reports are anecdotal, but sadly, it seems that many passengers don't use it. Even to JIS point that states are paying a share of the cost, if most passengers don't care, how (or even why) should they be expected to continue. It's sort of sad, but it matches trends we see across a much wider swath of our society.
     
  18. Aug 22, 2018 #18

    Devil's Advocate

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    Okay, I have cash/card in hand and want to ride the great dome right now. Where and how do I find and book it as an average nobody? I'm on a train somewhere on the national network and to my surprise the great dome is on the way to some prearranged location. Unfortunately it's locked and nobody is willing or able to open it for me at any price. What do I do now? If nobody uses the great dome it's probably because very few people know it exists, even fewer know where to find it, and even fewer still will ever be able to ride it.
     
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  19. Aug 22, 2018 #19

    TC_NYC

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    Exactly. As a matter of fact Amtrak makes it look like the trains with the Dome car have less amenities.

    I'm booked on the 691 from Boston to Freeport on Saturday Sep. 1. Train 691 has the dome car and 695 does not. Look at how Amtrak displays the two trains:

    Downeaster.PNG
     
  20. Aug 22, 2018 #20

    PVD

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    Amtrak has a dome webpage which you would be led to with a search on "Dome" I don't look at it to see if the schedule is updated since I would only ride it if I was going on the ADK in the fall. NY announces it on their travel and tourism sites. Other than that I don't care. It's a state choice to have it or not, it's more up to them to feature it on their sites for the services they provide (and subsidize) and to decide how heavily they want to market it for tourism purposes.
     
  21. Aug 22, 2018 #21

    Cho Cho Charlie

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    Well, those of you have cash on hand, here is a good chance for you to step up and offer Amtrak a grant to cover all of the maintenance and operation costs of the dome car. Fat chance of Congress ponying up any of this money.
     
  22. Aug 23, 2018 #22

    TC_NYC

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    The average joe isn't going to go on a special website for the dome car. They're going to be looking at amtrak.com and there should be big glaring icons on Amtrak.com when the dome car is operating (especially since it's not on every train)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 23, 2018
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  23. Aug 23, 2018 #23

    jis

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    I have my doubts about whether a truly average Joe really cares about a Dome Car either way.

    When a Dome Car is on a train I have noticed that relatively few average Joes bother to move to it even for a short while to experience it. Average Joes today are very different from Joe's of the past I suppose. Given that they don;t bother with it when it is available to them, it is probably less likely that they will go looking for it in the internet labyrinth. Notwithstanding that, I think if something is being run it should be advertised better.
     
  24. Aug 23, 2018 #24

    PVD

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    It's always a challenge to decide what should be featured on a website and what makes it too busy or cumbersome. The link to the Dome Car page comes up when you tab to "Experiences" Should it be front page? maybe, but the things I see advertised are probably of a much wider appeal at this time, and how much is too much on a landing page is always a discussion point.. I see senior discount sale, Kids free to NYS fair, and NYS student discount, and those are way more useful this time of year in NY...Perhaps they have ad targeting by cookie/ip address id for location...I don't know...
     
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  25. Aug 23, 2018 #25

    tricia

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    At the very least, Amtrak shouldn't miss the opportunity to promote the dome car as something extra and special when folks are lookng to book online for whichever route has the dome car.
     

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