Posts Tagged ‘Amtrak great dome car’

Last Amtrak Dome Car Sold

August 19, 2020

Amtrak’s Ocean View is shown in Oakland, California, in the consist of a National Railway Historical Society excursion.

Amtrak’s last dome car has been acquired by a private operator who plans to return it to service in excursion service in 2021.

Paxrail said it bought full-length dome Ocean View, a 92-seat passenger car built by the Budd Company in 1955 for the Great Northern for use on its Empire Builder between Chicago and Seattle.

In recent years the car ran sporadically, most recently assigned to the Adirondack and Downeaster during the fall.

Amtrak retired the car in 2018 and offered it for sale last year. At the time the intercity passenger carrier said the car had become too expensive to maintain.

“We’re excited to now be a chapter in this wonderful car’s history,” said Paxrail President James Evenson.

“The Ocean View is a beautiful art-deco car offering a spectacular panorama for over 70 passengers in the dome. We’re looking forward to welcoming guests back aboard in 2021.”

Paxrail maintains a fleet of more than 20 historic passenger cars and provides the cars for excursions, day trips and corporate events.

Full-length domes, also known as great domes, also operated on the Santa Fe and Milwaukee Road.

At one time Amtrak owned all six full-length domes once used by the Empire Builder. Those cars were replaced in 1979 by Superliner equipment.

A few of the cars operated on Amtrak’s Auto Train in the 1980s and 1990s.

All That is Left

February 16, 2019

Amtrak once had a few dozen dome cars, but only great dome Ocean View is left.

The car is in storage most of the year, only being brought out for special occasions and revenue service in the fall.

It is shown here at Jack London Square in Oakland, California, in the consist of a chartered train that operated during the 1999 National Railway Historical Society convention.

That was built by Budd in 1955 for the Great Northern Railway.

I did not ride in Ocean View on this trip and I probably have never ridden in it. My only memory of riding in a full-width dome dates to February 1976 when I rode in one aboard the Empire Builder from Milwaukee to Chicago.

Fate of Amtrak Great Dome Car Uncertain

November 16, 2018

Amtrak retired all but one its dome cars several years ago, but a former Great Northern great dome has continued to operate in seasonal service in recent years, most recently on the Adirondack and Downeaster trains during the fall foliage season.

The car was built in 1955 and with Amtrak having retired and now seeking to sell its former Pacific Parlour cars once assigned to the Coast Starlight there has been concern raised about the future of the great dome.

Amtrak management is reportedly considering if the attractiveness of the car is worth the cost of refurbishing it, including fabricating parts.

Amtrak has said it will take into account ticket sales on the Adirondack and Downeaster when deciding if the benefits outweigh the costs.

Dome to Operate on 2 Amtrak Routes This Fall

July 18, 2018

Amtrak will assign a dome car to two eastern routes this fall.

The car, Great Dome No. 10031, is a former Great Northern dome that was built by Budd in 1955 for use on the Empire Builder.

It is now the last dome car on the Amtrak roster.

The car will operate on the Downeaster between Brunswick, Maine, and Boston between Aug. 11 and Sept. 23, and on the Adirondack between Montreal and Albany, New York, between Sept. 27 and Nov. 2.

Seats are unreserved and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Amtrak is encouraging passengers to rotate in and out of the dome to allow more people to experience the view.

More information is available at https://www.amtrak.com/fall-travel-on-the-great-dome-car

Amtrak Dome Car running on Downeaster Route

August 24, 2017

Amtrak has assigned its dome car Ocean View to the Downeaster route through late September.

The car, a former Great Northern Railway full-length dome car, ran on the route in August and September 2016.

The car will make four daily trips on the route between Boston and Brunswick, Maine.

Seats in the dome section are available to all passengers at no extra charge on a first-come, first-served basis.

Among the view passengers will see are the coastline, marshes and streams. The dome car will operate on the Downeaster route through Sept. 24.

Great Dome to Operate on Adirondack

September 27, 2016

amtrak-dome

Amtrak is bringing back its Great Dome car for the fall foliage season aboard the Adirondack in update New York.

The car will operate on the New York-Montreal train between Sept. 29 and Nov. 1.

The dome will operate northbound on Train 69 from Albany-Rensselaer, New York, to Montreal on Thursdays, Saturdays and Mondays.

It will return south on Train 68 on Fridays, Sundays and Tuesdays. The dome will not operate on Wednesdays.

There is no additional charge to ride in the dome section. Seats are unreserved and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

On some trips, National Park Service Trails and Rails volunteers will offer historical commentary between Saratoga Springs and Westport, New York.

Among the scenic features of the route are Lake Champlain and the Adirondack Mountains. Passengers can take advantage of the I Love NY 15 percent discount off the regular (full) adult rail fare, valid for sale through May 2017. Reservations are required.

Up to two children ages 2-12 may accompany each adult at half the discounted rail fare.

Amtrak Great Dome to see Additional Service

November 12, 2013

The Midwest tour of Amtrak’s great dome car has been extended through the Thanksgiving travel period.

Amtrak said on Monday that the car will operate on some Chicago-Milwaukee Hiawatha Service trains and on select Chicago-St. Louis Lincoln Service trains.

The car will be assigned to the Milwaukee route Nov. 25-28 on Numbers 329, 332, 333, 336, 337, 340 and 341; and Dec. 1 on trains 331, 334, 335, 338, 339 and 342.

On Nov. 29 and 30 the car will operate on Lincoln Service Nos. 303 and 306.

The dome car has been running this month between Chicago and Quincy, Ill.

The car’s upper level is equipped with windows on all sides, including the entire length of the roof, to provide panoramic views. It was built in 1955.