2 Parlour Cars Out of Service

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rtabern

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My fiancee and I took the Coast Starlight from OKJ to LAX on July 1st... and our train was without a Pacific Parlour Car. It was a kick to the stomach because the only reason we were riding the Coast Starlight and going down to LAX and flying home from there vs. SFO was the Parlour Car.

Anyway, the train supervisor was aboard and informed that two of the Parlour Cars would be out of service for an extended period of time because there were issues with the air conditioning and wheels... and Amtrak was trying to find some parts for this.

We had Cross Country Cafe #37000 instead.

I wasn't too thrilled and just spent the trip in our roomette... ate in the diner... and avoided spending anytime in #37000 except to walk through it.

What was irritating to me was the crew kept calling #37000 the "parlour car". A parlor (parlour) car is something like the Milwaukee Road's Cedar Rapids... and while a Pacific Parlour Car isn't really a parlor car... the #37000 is about as far from one as you can get.

Our sleeping car attendant, who wasn't the sharpest tool in the shed, actually got into a brief argument with me after we got aboard her car -- she insisted that the #37000 was much "better" than the Pacific Parlour Cars they normally have on the train because it was "more modern". I told her it wasn't as nice. She's like "How do you know??" -- and I was like -- I was in Beech Grove in October 2006 when they were putting the tables together on the car. She was like -- "OH".

So heads up on the lack of PPC's on atleast one or two sets of #11 and #14 in the coming weeks!!
 
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G

guest

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My fiancee and I took the Coast Starlight from OKJ to LAX on July 1st... and our train was without a Pacific Parlour Car. It was a kick to the stomach because the only reason we were riding the Coast Starlight and going down to LAX and flying home from there vs. SFO was the Parlour Car.

Anyway, the train supervisor was aboard and informed that two of the Parlour Cars would be out of service for an extended period of time because there were issues with the air conditioning and wheels... and Amtrak was trying to find some parts for this.

We had Cross Country Cafe #37000 instead.

I wasn't too thrilled and just spent the trip in our roomette... ate in the diner... and avoided spending anytime in #37000 except to walk through it.

What was irritating to me was the crew kept calling #37000 the "parlour car". A parlor (parlour) car is something like the Milwaukee Road's Cedar Rapids... and while a Pacific Parlour Car isn't really a parlor car... the #37000 is about as far from one as you can get.

Our sleeping car attendant, who wasn't the sharpest tool in the shed, actually got into a brief argument with me after we got aboard her car -- she insisted that the #37000 was much "better" than the Pacific Parlour Cars they normally have on the train because it was "more modern". I told her it wasn't as nice. She's like "How do you know??" -- and I was like -- I was in Beech Grove in October 2006 when they were putting the tables together on the car. She was like -- "OH".

So heads up on the lack of PPC's on atleast one or two sets of #11 and #14 in the coming weeks!!
Sorry to say this, but from your own telling of the story, you come off a bit rude to the SCA. She was probably just trying to be nice and have you appreciate the fact that you still had a private lounge car for first-class passengers.
 
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the_traveler

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I disagree. Any SCA who claims that a CCC is "better" than a 1950's era PPC is not the smartest of the bunch. It's like saying a Greyhound bus is better for going cross country than your private car because it carries more people!
 

AlanB

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I disagree. Any SCA who claims that a CCC is "better" than a 1950's era PPC is not the smartest of the bunch. It's like saying a Greyhound bus is better for going cross country than your private car because it carries more people!
While true; a CCC is still better than having NO replacement car for the PPC. A situation that I encountered the very first time I ever rode the Starlight. Our PPC consisted of our sleeping car attendant setting up some extra snacks & refreshments in the A Bedroom.
 

rtabern

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I disagree. Any SCA who claims that a CCC is "better" than a 1950's era PPC is not the smartest of the bunch. It's like saying a Greyhound bus is better for going cross country than your private car because it carries more people!
While true; a CCC is still better than having NO replacement car for the PPC. A situation that I encountered the very first time I ever rode the Starlight. Our PPC consisted of our sleeping car attendant setting up some extra snacks & refreshments in the A Bedroom.
My point was... I think that the sleeping car attendants should be told to applogize to customers if there is no Parlour Car on the train... not try and lie and say the Cross Country Cafe cars are an equal, if not BETTER, substitue... especially since the Parlour Car was the reason why we were taking the train in the first place.

I ride Amtrak a lot and know s*** happens. I get it. I was upset there was no PPC, but it was 10 times worse the crew acted like the CCCs are better than the special cars... and kept calling the simplified diners "parlour cars"!! It's an insult to true parlour cars like the Cedar Rapids and other historic rail cars.

Just applogize... tell those who are real upset to call customer relations and get a $25 or $50 voucher... or whatever they offer... and let it go.

The sad thing was... probably 90 percent of the passenger didnt even know what they were missing out on without the car on the train.

Even though I have rode 400,000+ miles, if you know me in person, I dont come across as a "know it all railfan". I promise you. BUT, when a dumb-as-a-doorknob SCA who spent most of the train sitting in the CCC chatting it up with the other attendants asks me "how do you know #37000 isn't as good a a CCC"... I am not going to stand down either... esp when I saw the car being built during 2 visits to Beech Grove in 2006.
 
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rtabern

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Are they still holding a reserve PPC in LA or are all sets now on the rails?
Nope... reserve unit is gone... per the train manager who was on board. When we got close to LAX, I asked him about the reserve unit and if there was any way I could show my fiancee the interior of the reserve PPC so she could see what I talking about... and he said they are not holding it in LA because 2 cars are down right now. A trip on the Surfliner (pass by the yards and no PPC) proved that.
 

amtrakwolverine

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Does amtrak try and get used or refurbished parts for the PPC or Are the parts custom made.
 

jphjaxfl

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Those ex Santa Fe El Capitain Lounge Cars are 55 years old now so I am sure the parts are hard to find so they probably have to make new parts. Expensive from Amtrak's perspective. I remember riding the El Capitain when it was brand new in 1958. We rode the Peoria Rocket to Chicago and took the El Capitain back to North Chillicothe. The train ran 5 min behind the Super Chief. The high level loung and dining car were unique at the time.
 

Just-Thinking-51

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.... SCA who spent most of the train sitting in the CCC chatting it up with the other attendants .... ....Anyway, the train supervisor was aboard and informed that....
So your SCA was slacking off, and there was a train manger on board?

Nice.
 

rogerVarland

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Ugh !!!!!!!! I'm booked on 14 next Friday, the 13th. Anyone able to predict which days will have a PPC?
 

Joel

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That's really sad news. I've always wanted to ride a PPC. When I travelled on the CS in 2006 I did it in coach, and never knew about the existance of that nice car. Is there another route which still has those cars available?
 

Bob Dylan

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Bad news Rob! :( When I was on #14 in the PPC a couple of years ago some Bangers in SLO Shot! one of the Windows out on the PPC and the LSA told us that it would have to Custom made and would cost like $8,000 since there were no more parts for these Old Beauties! :eek: Im sure Guest Relations and AGR will get a call from you, hope the Bad Ordered Cars are serviced quickly and everyone riding gets a chance to experience these Jewels! :wub: The CCC Cars are the most useless ones Amtrak has with the possible exception of the Diner Lites on the Cardinal!!
 
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jacorbett70

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If the CCC were really better than the PPC, it would be the regular equipment with the PPC serving as the emergency backup when the CCC is pulled for repair or maintenance.
 

D.P. Roberts

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I really wish they'd substitute an SSL when the PPCs aren't available. All I care about are comfy seats facing a big window, and I have a feeling that many passengers feel the same way. I wish they'd add an extra SSL as a "First Class Lounge" to each of the major scenic western trains, that would be amazing.
 

Rail Freak

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In my experiences, the Capitol Limited could have used another Sightseer Lounge as well!
 
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AlanB

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Im sure Guest Relations and AGR will get a call from you, hope the Bad Ordered Cars are serviced quickly and everyone riding gets a chance to experience these Jewels! :wub:
My understanding is that the PPC is not guaranteed to run and therefore Customer Service has been instructed not to hand out vouchers anymore to those who call in disappointment that they didn't get the PPC.

It's an amenity designed to enhance your experience on the trip. But if it's not there, Amtrak still did what you paid them to do, get you from point A to point B.

The CCC Cars are the most useless ones Amtrak has with the possible exception of the Diner Lites on the Cardinal!!
I've got to disagree with you a bit here Jim. While I'll agree that they're not good replacements for a full dining car; the CCC did indeed have some good logic behind it. While it doesn't work for most routes, the CCC actually is ideal for a run like the City of New Orleans where the demand for a dining car isn't as strong as on most other LD runs.

And the Diner-Lite car, while not appropriate for the Cardinal, actually could serve a very valuable role for Amtrak if Amtrak were to ever get Viewliner Cafe cars. That role would be to provide a more substantial choice to riders than a straight cafe car on runs like the Palmetto, Carolinian, Maple Leaf, Adirondack, and the Pennsylvanian. Those long haul day trains should run with both a cafe and a Diner-Lite to provide more choices for those riding such a long distance.
 

AlanB

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I really wish they'd substitute an SSL when the PPCs aren't available. All I care about are comfy seats facing a big window, and I have a feeling that many passengers feel the same way.
While I understand your logic & reasoning, and don't disagree with it, the reason that CCC's is kept on standby for the PPC's is that the CCC can still provide meal service. The Sightseer Lounge cannot do that.

And Amtrak needs that to ease the load on the dining car; not to mention that the revenue credited to the PPC program from those meals being served is what helps to keep those cars in service. Take away that revenue and the PPC's are finished. Amtrak won't run them at all without that extra revenue helping to justify the huge costs to run those cars.

I wish they'd add an extra SSL as a "First Class Lounge" to each of the major scenic western trains, that would be amazing.
Sadly, Amtrak simply doesn't have enough cars to do that.

However, if ridership continues to grow and assuming that Amtrak can find funding for new Superliner cars, it is something that Amtrak should consider. Especially since they could do much like they do on the Auto Train, and leave one half of the car tables. Those tables could then be utilized as overflow seating for the dining car, allowing Amtrak to feed more people and add an extra sleeper or two to each train's consist and therefore carry more passengers.
 

saxman

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I took my dad on the Coast Starlight back in 2006 and there was no PPC either. A real bummer for both of us. They didn't even have a replacement car for it. Our wine tasting was just held in the dining car then. To make matters worse we arrived into LAX about 12 hours late, so we totally missed the ocean because of that. I guess it really was the Coast Starlight because we travelled the coast in darkness.

I've been on the Coast Starlight several times since then, and each time it had a PPC, so I got lucky. Now I'm planning on riding the Starlight from LAX to OKJ in a couple weeks and hope my trend continues. :)
 

the_traveler

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Joel said:
1341412439[/url]' post='377764']That's really sad news. I've always wanted to ride a PPC. When I travelled on the CS in 2006 I did it in coach, and never knew about the existance of that nice car. Is there another route which still has those cars available?
No there is not.
The PPC is a 1950's era car, and Amtrak only had a total of 5 for use on the Coast Starlight only!
 

Rail Freak

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Yeah, I'm taking my brother on his 1st train in August on the #11, hope they're fixed by then!!! I've been telling him about the PPC for 4 years now! :eek:hboy:
 

amtrakwolverine

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If amtrak ever gets enough funds to order new superliners they could always build replicas of the PPCs.
 

yarrow

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[

My understanding is that the PPC is not guaranteed to run and therefore Customer Service has been instructed not to hand out vouchers anymore to those who call in disappointment that they didn't get the PPC.

It's an amenity designed to enhance your experience on the trip. But if it's not there, Amtrak still did what you paid them to do, get you from point A to point B.
i dunno alan, in the system timetable the ppc is listed as one of the services offered on the cs. when you pay sleeper fare it's not just to go from point a to point b but to go there in a certain style. my understanding was that a portion of your fare is for the ppc as it no longer is supposed to pay for itself out of its revenues. with via cutting frequency on the canadian maybe amtrak can get a couple spare park cars :giggle:
 

PaulM

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Even though I have rode 400,000+ miles, if you know me in person, I dont come across as a "know it all railfan". I promise you. BUT, when a dumb-as-a-doorknob SCA who spent most of the train sitting in the CCC chatting it up with the other attendants asks me "how do you know #37000 isn't as good a a CCC"... I am not going to stand down either... esp when I saw the car being built during 2 visits to Beech Grove in 2006.
No need to apologize. It's amazing the random words that come out of some Amtrak personnel mouths.

Strangely, the only time customer relations gave me the bum's rush was when I complained about purchasing sleeping car space for a day trip and we got a CCC. At least the on-board staff didn't try to insult our intelligence.
 
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