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Date: 01/23/22 17:12
Coast Starlight Report
Author: Peak45068

Flew ATL-Chicago-Portland yesterday.

Then after lunch and a few beers in Backwood Brewery I leapt onto Train 11.

I’d originally booked coach, but I received an option to bid up for a sleeper. Good old Amtrak accepted and in the sleeper I went, right up next to AMTK #127’s exhaust.

Luckily I’m a sad English engine basher who loves his GE’s, American horns and all that cobblers so I was set.

The attendant was very nice and got the bed whipped into shape pronto so I cracked open a couple of cans from Backwood and enjoyed the GE music up front.

I was offered lunch but declined and waited for dinner. It was really very good. The car was clean and well presented. The staff were great and the food very good. Chicken nice and moist and the choccy cake for desert rich and filling.

I fell asleep listening to some almighty chugging as the venerable #167 and ex Michigan thoroughbred #127 tackled the stretch between Chemult and Klamath Falls.

We arrived in Sac nice and early and left on time. However a line side fire near Fairfield screwed any future on time performance and we limped into Emeryville around 90 down.

The upside was while waiting for the fire to dissipate, I had breakfast. It was good. The Omlette was great and I’ve always liked the AMTK coffee. The service again was prompt, friendly and professional.

It reminded me of my local trains 19/20 and how I used to go from my coach seat into the Diner (usually 8527) and pay for my Omlette as I sauntered down to a favourite city of mine, NOLA.

Anyone who travels on 19//20 now (I still do regularly), knows that little luxury has been snuffed out.

After brekkie, I went for a snooze, but couldn’t help noticing the section of track between Emeryville and Oakland and beyond, resembled a war zone. It really was very sad to see.

Lunch was excellent, just like the previous meals. Anyone traveling on 11/14 has to try the artisan grilled cheese. Very nice.

Anyways, my plan was to do 11 to the lovely town of Paso Robles for three hours (before 14 forward) and look around and have a few beers. In effect I had roughly 40 minutes.

It was still enough to dive into the Pour House and Silva Brewing. The live band was great and I left with a rendition of War Pigs, by Black Sabbath ringing in my ears.

I’m now in Business Class on 14 behind ex Illinois stalwart and long time stored AMTK #54 and #132.

I’m off at San Jose and in the morning I go back down to LAUPT on #41 and #157. I need #41 for haulage, which is what British Bashing is all about.

With all this doom and gloom surrounding Amtrak and the impending 5 day a week bullshit, ladies and gents, The Coast Starlight IS still a pleasure to ride.

Englishman in America

Posted from iPhone



Date: 01/23/22 17:26
Re: Coast Starlight Report
Author: Train29

Glad you had a good trip. Such a shame all trips can't have that level of service and crews. So the Starlight also has gotten rid of the transition sleeper and bag? Or maybe it's on the rear which makes no sense at all. Do they not understand people paying in some cases thousands for bedrooms don't want to sniff fumes and hear the horn all night. 



Date: 01/23/22 17:41
Re: Coast Starlight Report
Author: altoonafn

I've never understood the horn complaints. 

One of the cars has to be near the locomotive. Happens all the time on the Empire Service trains and the Regionals 



Date: 01/23/22 18:22
Re: Coast Starlight Report
Author: TomG

altoonafn Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I've never understood the horn complaints.

That's odd, you seem so open minded. Yes they seem to like dragging the baggage in the trailing position. When i rode a round trip on the Starlight, the sleeping car attendants were also unhappy to have to check baggage and run to the rear to deal with it.

Also while on that trip I wanted to check out the train to see for myself things complained about on this site. One thing I did was to for go lunch in the diner and sample the cafe offerings. Ya it was equivalent to gas station microwave food. But one of the things I really had interest in was leaving my third from the front sleeper to the one behind the engines to see the plexiglass plug for myself and see how much fumes really got through. To my suprise after about 20 minutes I still could not smell any diesel fumes. It makes me wonder if fumes are introduced by the air conditioning system with fresh air vents open rather than the plug. Oh and on both trips there was no transition sleeper. Highlight of the trip was the coffee. Amtrak has some mighty fine coffee. Wish I could find a place that has some as good.

Tom
Weaverville, CA



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/23/22 18:32 by TomG.



Date: 01/23/22 18:23
Re: Coast Starlight Report
Author: DevalDragon

Same here. I've ridden hundreds of trains directly behind the locomotive, in both coach and sleeper, and never once have had a problem with the horn or locomotive noise. Guess some people don't understand railroading.



Date: 01/23/22 19:17
Re: Coast Starlight Report
Author: cutboy1958

Nice   report. I  rode  northbound  a  month  ago and  baggage  behind  locomotive.  The  southbound  crew   is  the  gang  that has  th least rest.  And  I  do not  think i  would  be  very perky  after  a long  tide  north  and  a  few  hours  in a  hotel. But  they  do it.  Thatis  quite  a fantastic  route. Shows  our  country  with  flaws  exposed, great  wealth, fantastic  scenery. the  train is  very honest.  It is not hard  for me  to imagine  a second  train on the  route from LA  to   Emertville. Maybe.



Date: 01/23/22 20:35
Re: Coast Starlight Report
Author: ln844south

Been running with 7 cars, no baggage. Quite a difference from the 12 car consist that ran regularly before Anderson.

Steve in Chiloquin, Or



Date: 01/24/22 02:00
Re: Coast Starlight Report
Author: jp1822

ln844south Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Been running with 7 cars, no baggage. Quite a
> difference from the 12 car consist that ran
> regularly before Anderson.
>
> Steve in Chiloquin, Or

EXACTLY - this train has lost a FULL Superliner sleeper, its Superliner Trans-Dorm Sleeper, Coaches, let alone the Pacific Parlor Car, but moving on from that for a moment.........With the crew taking up five roomettes or so, you are looking at this train having HALF the capacity that it used to have. Not sure whether it is all COVID or not, but hopefully as Spring arrives ridership will demand additional sleepers for this train. Amtrak seems reluctant to add any coaches. I can remember with three coaches that this train used to have to put passengers in the Superliner Sightseer Lounge for the trip north of Klamath Falls till "space" opened up. 

Thanks for the trip report - its nice to know the trip was enjoyable. Sad to see where this train used to be in the scheme of things, and where it is now though.   



Date: 01/24/22 03:28
Re: Coast Starlight Report
Author: goduckies

There are still 3 coaches, it's just one is business class

Posted from Android



Date: 01/24/22 04:51
Re: Coast Starlight Report
Author: lordsigma

Baggage is running up front. (looked on WA railfan cam for yesterday's 14)



Date: 01/24/22 06:29
Re: Coast Starlight Report
Author: NPRocky

That would be a departure from normal practice since just after the first of the year.  The seven-car consist with no baggage is what I've been seeing.



Date: 01/24/22 08:51
Re: Coast Starlight Report
Author: jp1822

goduckies Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> There are still 3 coaches, it's just one is
> business class
>
> Posted from Android

That's not how I count it!



Date: 01/24/22 09:11
Re: Coast Starlight Report
Author: DevalDragon

jp1822 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> goduckies Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > There are still 3 coaches, it's just one is
> > business class
> >
> > Posted from Android
>
> That's not how I count it!


1 + 1 + 1 = 3. Math is hard.



Date: 01/24/22 11:51
Re: Coast Starlight Report
Author: PHall

DevalDragon Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> jp1822 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > goduckies Wrote:
> >
> --------------------------------------------------
>
> > -----
> > > There are still 3 coaches, it's just one is
> > > business class
> > >
> > > Posted from Android
> >
> > That's not how I count it!
>
>
> 1 + 1 + 1 = 3. Math is hard.

I think his point is that the coach passengers are not allowed in the Business Class car with it's nicer seats and such. So that leaves just two cars for coach passengers.



Date: 01/26/22 15:40
Re: Coast Starlight Report
Author: ProAmtrak

ln844south Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Been running with 7 cars, no baggage. Quite a
> difference from the 12 car consist that ran
> regularly before Anderson.
>
> Steve in Chiloquin, Or

Wait until Gardner starts doing his stuff, it'll make Anderson look like a Saint!



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