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When was the last time you rode in an Amtrak dome car?

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PVD

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I vaguely remember one on the Auto Train, quite a while ago. Am I remembering correctly? Not like it would have been a scenic pleasure, the AT doesn't do it for me.
 

railiner

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I vaguely remember one on the Auto Train, quite a while ago. Am I remembering correctly? Not like it would have been a scenic pleasure, the AT doesn't do it for me.
You remember correctly. The original Auto Train Corporation snapped up a lot of dome cars from the private railroads, and made them a big feature on their train.

When Amtrak took over operation of the AT, they continued the practice of dome cars.
 
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Hytec

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In 1971 on the CONO while it was still in IC livery with IC power, and still using CHI's Central Station.
 

PVD

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Looking forward to it. Also, if you can, comment on food service on the DE, it is somewhat different than regular cafe service in that it is contracted out, but the sponsoring agency is willing to accept the fact that it loses money, they believe that while by itself it may lose money, it contributes to the overall financial health of the route by allowing for higher price points and more passengers willing to ride. Multiple contrasts to the AMTK model.
 

cpotisch

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I vaguely remember one on the Auto Train, quite a while ago. Am I remembering correctly? Not like it would have been a scenic pleasure, the AT doesn't do it for me.
You remember correctly. The original Auto Train Corporation snapped up a lot of dome cars from the private railroads, and made them a big feature on their train.

When Amtrak took over operation of the AT, they continued the practice of dome cars.
Yeah, they certainly did run a lot of dome cars:

 

cpotisch

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Looking forward to it. Also, if you can, comment on food service on the DE, it is somewhat different than regular cafe service in that it is contracted out, but the sponsoring agency is willing to accept the fact that it loses money, they believe that while by itself it may lose money, it contributes to the overall financial health of the route by allowing for higher price points and more passengers willing to ride. Multiple contrasts to the AMTK model.
I will definitely comment on food service. I knew going into it that the Downeaster had some local fare, but I did not realize the full extent of the local goods offered. I've got pictures of it all, and hopefully I'll have it posted by the end of the day.
 

railiner

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I vaguely remember one on the Auto Train, quite a while ago. Am I remembering correctly? Not like it would have been a scenic pleasure, the AT doesn't do it for me.
You remember correctly. The original Auto Train Corporation snapped up a lot of dome cars from the private railroads, and made them a big feature on their train.

When Amtrak took over operation of the AT, they continued the practice of dome cars.
Yeah, they certainly did run a lot of dome cars:

Those are ex-Santa Fe "Big Domes"....very similar to GN "Great Domes".....They used to run on Santa Fe's San Francisco Chief, and Texas Chief. Auto Train Corp. also acquired Vista-Domes from the Western Pacific, which had just ended their participation of the California Zephyr. They also got a couple of "Astra-Domes" from the UP.
 

Palmetto

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Yesterday on 686 from Portland to Boston! Trip report incoming!
Please rate the scenery in your report, if possible.

I rode a dome up into the Cascades on the Coast Starlight in the 80s. It started snowing half way up, and it wasn't long that snow completely blocked the forward view.
 

Seaboard92

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The big tell tell between the big dome operators are the sides. The Santa Fe ones have standard Budd fluting the entire length. While the ex Great Northern cars are slab sided. The Milwaukee Road cars lack a vestibule.
 

railiner

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The big tell tell between the big dome operators are the sides. The Santa Fe ones have standard Budd fluting the entire length. While the ex Great Northern cars are slab sided. The Milwaukee Road cars lack a vestibule.
The MILW "Super Domes" built by Pullman-Standard, look a lot different than the Budd full length domes used by the GN and ATSF.

https://www.google.com/search?q=milwaukee+road+super+dome&rlz=1C1CHZL_enUS739US739&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&fir=K1VwhzoV07CzdM%253A%252COX7y63ruks4itM%252C_&usg=AFrqEzfsuGnt3Jxp-JQ1MuKZPQnd2RWOgw&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiSv_rq2KbdAhXknuAKHZBnCHQQ9QEwAnoECAQQBg#imgrc=K1VwhzoV07CzdM:

The Budd version had much better "forward" visibility, although still not as good as the short domes...
 
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cpotisch

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The big tell tell between the big dome operators are the sides. The Santa Fe ones have standard Budd fluting the entire length. While the ex Great Northern cars are slab sided. The Milwaukee Road cars lack a vestibule.
The MILW "Super Domes" built by Pullman-Standard, look a lot different than the Budd full length domes used by the GN and ATSF.

https://www.google.com/search?q=milwaukee+road+super+dome&rlz=1C1CHZL_enUS739US739&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&fir=K1VwhzoV07CzdM%253A%252COX7y63ruks4itM%252C_&usg=AFrqEzfsuGnt3Jxp-JQ1MuKZPQnd2RWOgw&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiSv_rq2KbdAhXknuAKHZBnCHQQ9QEwAnoECAQQBg#imgrc=K1VwhzoV07CzdM:

The Budd version had much better "forward" visibility, although still not as good as the short domes...
Do the Budds just have better forward visibility because the windows are at a steeper angle than the Pullman Super Domes?
 

Seaboard92

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Vista domes in general have the best visibility. And in my honest opinion they are all equal. American Car and Foundry built great domes. By far the most comfortable
 

railiner

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The big tell tell between the big dome operators are the sides. The Santa Fe ones have standard Budd fluting the entire length. While the ex Great Northern cars are slab sided. The Milwaukee Road cars lack a vestibule.
The MILW "Super Domes" built by Pullman-Standard, look a lot different than the Budd full length domes used by the GN and ATSF.

https://www.google.com/search?q=milwaukee+road+super+dome&rlz=1C1CHZL_enUS739US739&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&fir=K1VwhzoV07CzdM%253A%252COX7y63ruks4itM%252C_&usg=AFrqEzfsuGnt3Jxp-JQ1MuKZPQnd2RWOgw&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiSv_rq2KbdAhXknuAKHZBnCHQQ9QEwAnoECAQQBg#imgrc=K1VwhzoV07CzdM:

The Budd version had much better "forward" visibility, although still not as good as the short domes...
Do the Budds just have better forward visibility because the windows are at a steeper angle than the Pullman Super Domes?
The Budd's have better forward visibility, because when seated, you can see above the bulkhead better...could be higher seating, or height of the forward 'windshield'. or a combination.

The Superdomes, you had to stretch high in your seat, or stand up to see over the bulkhead.

The worst of the 'longer' domes, was the home-built 3/4 length 'domes' used by the SP. Their seats were fairly low, and the 'rifle slot' windshields pretty much only gave you a view of the sky, unless you stood up for a peek...

https://www.google.com/search?q=southern+pacific+3/4+dome&rlz=1C1CHZL_enUS739US739&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&fir=Ugiewej0j9eq6M%253A%252ClcYFPQnrEM2I3M%252C_&usg=AFrqEzcaBgyI23wdq2B3f5UBCuuuuyYPRA&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiY3e_g1afdAhVkmuAKHUK0Bw8Q9QEwBHoECAYQDA#imgrc=Ugiewej0j9eq6M:
 
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PVD

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Like I said, I was on the AT, not the most scenic of Amtrak's offerings. When I ride the AT, I always think if I look real hard I'll see someone sitting in a tree with a banjo. When I posted on this, i forgot that Burt Reynolds, who passed away today, was a lead that movie, Rest in Peace....
 
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railiner

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Vista domes in general have the best visibility. And in my honest opinion they are all equal. American Car and Foundry built great domes. By far the most comfortable
The ACF "Astra-Domes" were indeed very nice...dining in a dome diner, along the Columbia River on the City of Portland...it just doesn't get any better than that...


UP (and partner Wabash), bought the last dome cars built in 1958 to the same plan, but by Pullman Standard, which were radically different than the early 'flat glass' P-S domes...

http://streamlinermemories.info/?p=1472

Personally, I did not like the way the seats angled toward each side, prefer the individual straight ahead seats...

I will say, I still prefer the Budd Vista-Domes, especially for viewing in a deep river canyon...It's second tier of roof windows gave better upward visibility, with a narrower blind ceiling duct.

And their all-stainless steel construction, as opposed to aluminum, made them more durable...
 
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Seaboard92

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I'm surprised no one has mentioned the ultimate odd ball domes. The Southern Pacific Budd/Pullman Standard 3/4 domes. The actual car body was a Pullman car built in the 1930s for the Daylight. But the dome was from a Budd kit.

So by technically they are the only cars built by both manufacturers. They were amazing looking cars with the entry way in with high ceilings over 25 percent of it over the main level. Then step up into the dome on both ends. Awesome cars. One in operation in Panama.
 

railiner

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I'm surprised no one has mentioned the ultimate odd ball domes. The Southern Pacific Budd/Pullman Standard 3/4 domes. The actual car body was a Pullman car built in the 1930s for the Daylight. But the dome was from a Budd kit.

So by technically they are the only cars built by both manufacturers. They were amazing looking cars with the entry way in with high ceilings over 25 percent of it over the main level. Then step up into the dome on both ends. Awesome cars. One in operation in Panama.
See my post number 40, above....

The "cathedral ceiling" at the bar end was unique...but the low profile of the car did not allow more than one level, so everyone had to pass thru the 'dome' section from car to car. The 'crawl' space below was accessed only for maintenance...

In Amtrak's early years, that was the only dome car the SP would allow on the SFZ between Ogden and Oakland, due to 'clearance' issues on their tunnels and snowsheds.
 
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Shanghai

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I rode on the Ocean View dome car attached to the Cardinal with two AU members about 4 years ago.

It was an enjoyable ride.
 

cpotisch

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I rode on the Ocean View dome car attached to the Cardinal with two AU members about 4 years ago.

It was an enjoyable ride.
I really wish they would put it on the Cardinal again. Such beautiful scenery yet there's no half decent place to view it.
 

Oreius

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In June 1994, on the Lake Shore Limited! That was a classic dome car.
 
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