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Full length Domes for sale

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Palmetto

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Seaboard92

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The railroads are all in receivership but I believe they are still running.

However I’m not sure exactly what’s going on with them. Of note all of the Mt Hood equipment is up for sale. That line really needs to be locally owned.
 

crescent-zephyr

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Hey let's get together, buy them, get some international investors, and run them behind amtrak trains and recreate the Pullman experience. What could go wrong ;)

On a serious note.. this is painful. I rode the Ed Ellis City of New Orleans and the Hoosier State. They were excellent experiences and I really really wanted them to take off. Riding through Memphis TN and passing Beale Street in the tail-car of an Illinois Central Paint scheme observation lounge while drinking a Bailey's on ice that was served to me at my seat by a uniformed Pullman attendant on a regularly scheduled passenger train - would have NEVER thought I would get that opportunity in my life. My breakfast and dinner on the Hoosier State in the upstairs of the full dome diner was quite memorable as well.

These experiences and the Coast Starlight's Parlour Cars were the best of the best. The Canadian is good but with the constant stopping on sidings and the somewhat sterile railcar interiors it's just not the same as these experiences. Maybe it's me being a little patriotic too... something about riding a train in one's own country that feels different? Not sure... I just know that these cars were special and I'm sad the operation didn't last longer.
 

Seaboard92

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I wish I had the chance to experience both Ed Ellis operations. However I was able to experience the cars up close and personal for several years. When I first bumped into the cars way back in 2008 they were fairly decent cars. By the time I started working with them in 2014 they were really starting to show their age with cracks in the mirrors, and in need of carpeting. But by 2016 the cars were nothing short of horrid from a mechanical standpoint.

The Scenic View has been nicknamed Septic View for reasons I’m sure you can imagine.

Those were good days though.
 

MikefromCrete

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Ed Ellis had some really great ideas for running passenger trains. Unfortunately, he doesn't seem to be much of a businessman. Let's hope the scenic railways controlled by his company survive the bankruptcy proceedings.
As far as Pullman Rail Journey is concerned, railfans loved the concept, but regular paying passengers weren't overwhelmed by the 1950's era rooms. Most people booking such trips were looking for a much higher level of service.
The Hoosier State had a great dome diner, but didn't make a lot of economic sense.
 

bretton88

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I remember the first time I took the Rio Grande Scenic when IP was just starting the tourist operation there. It was an amazing ride in the dome from La Veta to Alamosa. Unfortunately over the last few years the operation has been in major decline, especially when they went to less than daily summer operation (that's pretty inexcusable if you want to be a legit operation in Colorado). It felt like only a matter of time. I really hope the passenger part of the operation can be saved.
 

Anderson

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Ed Ellis had some really great ideas for running passenger trains. Unfortunately, he doesn't seem to be much of a businessman. Let's hope the scenic railways controlled by his company survive the bankruptcy proceedings.
As far as Pullman Rail Journey is concerned, railfans loved the concept, but regular paying passengers weren't overwhelmed by the 1950's era rooms. Most people booking such trips were looking for a much higher level of service.
The Hoosier State had a great dome diner, but didn't make a lot of economic sense.
I had drinks with Mr. Ellis on a few occasions. Per his explanation, part of the issue is that the "high end" crowd would tend to complain and demand refunds/credits if they had to deal with a dusty window or anything like that. So he tried to aim for a slightly less "exclusive" clientele by design.

Also, apparently it rather surprised him when the #1 demand from customers (as far as improvements would go) was...wifi.
 

crescent-zephyr

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As far as Pullman Rail Journey is concerned, railfans loved the concept, but regular paying passengers weren't overwhelmed by the 1950's era rooms. Most people booking such trips were looking for a much higher level of service.
That wasn’t my experience. When I rode I felt like I was the only “railfan” - everyone else was there for a unique experience or nostalgia in general. One passenger was a regular business traveler who was traveling to Chicago on the train anyways and thought he’d give it a try.

Everyone seemed to love it.

My understanding was the service was always supposed to be a test and they wanted to move it to a Chicago - NYC Train but Amtrak wouldn’t work with them
 

Palmland

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In 2007 my wife and I rode the Rio Grande Scenic in its early years. What a trip! For an extra $50 for the two of us we got the last of maybe 12 parlor seats in the homemade lounge-parlor-open platform observation (I think originally it was a heavyweight used in commuter coach). Of course I spent most of the time on the rear platform riding through those great mountains. It was pulled by his steam engine that whistled through the San Luis valley before heading into the hills. I much preferred that to a ride in his dome car that was running on one of the 611 excursions.

I talked with him briefly in Alamosa in 2015 and he was bubbling over with enthusiasm for his many projects. He understood what a classic rail operation should be but he should have had a strong partner to handle the business aspects. A great visionary and entrepreneur but no clue on how to run a business. I wish I had ridden on his CONO operation as Crescent-Zephyr did, but procrastinated too long.
 

MARC Rider

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Ed Ellis had some really great ideas for running passenger trains. Unfortunately, he doesn't seem to be much of a businessman.
That seems to be contradictory. If they're "great ideas" but can't be implemented as a successful business, then are they really so "great?"

What were the business mistakes that Mr. Ellis made?
 

Just-Thinking-51

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Failure to read contracts.
Failure to understand contacts.
Failure to manager his personnel.
Signing up for a wide variety of business area.
Try to expand super fast.
Rent or leased ever railcar that was available.
Discover Amtrak was not his friend or partner.
Discover he sign for a loan from the government that he could not transfer and had to pay them back upon sale.
Sale of profit routes.

There a chunk to chew on.
 

cocojacoby

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LIRR.jpg This is an idea I have been promoting for a while. Amtrak should pick up a few of these bilevels cheap, rebuild them as necessary and convert them into diner/lounges for use as a single food-service car which is apparently their intent.

Put a "dome" lounge on the upper level. Put a kitchen in the center of the lower level. Put a coach table section on one end and a sleeper table section on the other end.

Experiment with this concept and eventually order new low-profile bilevels for eastern LD trains that serve NYP.

Of course the question is what would they do with the VII diners? I don't know but those cars really aren't suitable for a single food-service car for eastern long distance trains.
 

Just-Thinking-51

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Those Long Island Bilevel Coaches were lemons and hard to maintain. There service life was cut short and the cars were retired early.

Bombardier has a Trilevel car in service with NJ Transit that fits into Pennsylvania Station. There a few AWOL that were customized for Atlanta City Service that maybe available for cheap.
 
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cocojacoby

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Sure, if a Bombardier car can be used . . . great. I can't see how Amtrak is going to cut down to one food-service car and still provide good service to an entire low-level train. The new Viewliner diners just can't do it. This is a great option.
 

jis

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Bombardier has a Trilevel car in service with NJ Transit that fits into Pennsylvania Station. There a few AWOL that were customized for Atlanta City Service that maybe available cheap.
AFAICT they have either been absorbed back into the NJT fleet or been ruined in the flood. Most likely the former.

But the Bombardier production line is still open since NJT is buying another hundred or more of those, many as Mulilevel Power Cars.
 

bretton88

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AFAICT they have either been absorbed back into the NJT fleet or been ruined in the flood. Most likely the former.

But the Bombardier production line is still open since NJT is buying another hundred or more of those, many as Mulilevel Power Cars.
At this point I wouldn't want to touch anything Bombardier. They can't even get their European division (traditionally the good side) right anymore.
 

neroden

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If running an operation with historic equipment, I would have a strong bias towards ordinary single-level equipment -- everything else creates a bunch of extra headaches, starting with the ADA issues. (Historic single-level equipment has *some* ADA issues, but they're much easier to ameliorate than the issues for cars with internal stairs.) I know Grand Canyon Railway manages a whole bunch of domes, though. Agreed that Mr. Ellis needed some support in business operations. Also needed an expert in triaging cars; buying every piece of old equipment isn't even viable for museums. There were more viable business plans than his.
 
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