Any recent Coast Starlight info?

Old Feb 23, 15, 9:03 pm
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Any recent Coast Starlight info?

Going southbound from SEA - Los Angeles in late May so Parlour car removal shouldn't be an issue even if they don't make the March deadline. I know it has timeliness issues, but that seems to have improved and I have a cushion in the LA area so not really worried about that and I do have a sleeper. I've read up on grabbing a seat on the right side for the coastal portion south of Santa Barbara and I know the mountain views in Oregon/northern California. Any other recent info I should pay mind to? Will of course post a trip report.

Thanks!
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Old Mar 6, 15, 12:20 pm
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Is there anything in particular that you would like to know? Just took it last week from Los Angeles to Portland, arriving in Portland about 45 minutes late due to freight traffic. Our train did not have the Pacific Parlor car which we knew in advance, but the dining car staff commented that the parlor cars were returning to service within the next several days, as some of the staff were being transferred from the diner to the PPC. It was a very enjoyable trip even without the PPC and the regular observation car was never super crowded.
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Old Mar 8, 15, 1:20 pm
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Thanks

Originally Posted by rsachek View Post
Is there anything in particular that you would like to know? Just took it last week from Los Angeles to Portland, arriving in Portland about 45 minutes late due to freight traffic. Our train did not have the Pacific Parlor car which we knew in advance, but the dining car staff commented that the parlor cars were returning to service within the next several days, as some of the staff were being transferred from the diner to the PPC. It was a very enjoyable trip even without the PPC and the regular observation car was never super crowded.
Thanks, good to know re: the Parlor cars. No specific questions but I know, at least in the hotel threads, this question prompts some recent reports such as yours. Didn't realize there were two observation cars (PPC and the regular one you referenced). Could be useful if PPC is crowded. I'm looking forward to my trip.
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Old Jun 2, 15, 5:55 pm
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I really enjoyed the Coast Starlight. We lost some time en route but made it up at Portland and San Luis Obispo so arrived into Burbank mostly on time (I think we were actually 2m late?). The sleeper was a good choice and I basically lived in the Parlor car. I ate breakfast in the diner but overall thought Parlor menu better. Only wish the Parlor cafe/bar sold snacks as well as drinks -- was a pain to deal with the cafe car crowds for one thing. I'd do most of this ride again although I got bored toward the end.

The Parlor Car attendant asked that we write to Amtrak and/or Congress to express our enjoyment of the PArlor car. Apparently the "refurbishment" was also a test of whether they were missed as they're a possible candidate for cost savings.
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Old Jun 3, 15, 3:33 pm
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FWIW - Others reported they saw the PPC cars pretty much every day and the cars just sat in the LA yard all winter. It didn't look that the PPC cars got any more than routine maintenance done to them.
They were taken out of service for the slow winter months when Amtrak LD trains don't carry as many passengers. No sense pulling a train car along the tracks if it gets little use.

Fewer sleeper/coach cars were in the consists of other LD trains during the winter months for the same reason.

Last edited by ConnieC69; Jun 5, 15 at 6:22 pm
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Old Jun 3, 15, 4:25 pm
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Originally Posted by ConnieC69 View Post
FWIW - Others reported they saw the PPC cars pretty much every day and the cars just sat in the LA yard all winter. It didn't look that the PPC cars got any more than routine maintenance done to them.
They were taken out of service for the slow winter months when Amtrak LD trains don't carry as many passengers. No sense pulling a train car along the tracks if it gets little use.

Fewer sleeper/coach cars where in the consists of other LD trains during the winter months for the same reason.
Interesting. THe train was pretty quiet in sleepers/parlor from SEA to Sacramento/Emeryville where it filled up. I'm not sure if that was seasonal. One thing odd to me was that all of the Parlor car movie showings were the same kids movie (Alexander & the Terrible, Horrible, No Godo Very Bad Day). Odd not to have mix of kids/adult or at least not the same movie 3x.
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Old Jun 7, 15, 6:25 pm
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This will be my first LD trip on Amtrak and my son and I are travelling LAX-SEA-LAX on a Bedroom. Does Amtrak still provide complimentary champagne upon boarding in LAX? Is there still the afternoon wine tasting in the PPC? What about tipping for the sleeping car attendants?

We are very excited about this trip!! Thank you so much in advance!!!
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Old Jun 7, 15, 8:09 pm
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Originally Posted by fly4work View Post
This will be my first LD trip on Amtrak and my son and I are travelling LAX-SEA-LAX on a Bedroom. Does Amtrak still provide complimentary champagne upon boarding in LAX? Is there still the afternoon wine tasting in the PPC? What about tipping for the sleeping car attendants?

We are very excited about this trip!! Thank you so much in advance!!!
If you want to stay liquored up, bring plenty of your own booze.
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Old Jun 7, 15, 9:27 pm
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Originally Posted by fly4work View Post
This will be my first LD trip on Amtrak and my son and I are travelling LAX-SEA-LAX on a Bedroom. Does Amtrak still provide complimentary champagne upon boarding in LAX? Is there still the afternoon wine tasting in the PPC? What about tipping for the sleeping car attendants?

We are very excited about this trip!! Thank you so much in advance!!!
THere's an afternoon tasting both days in the parlor car. I believe wine only is $7 and cheese/crackers is $5. Don't know for sure re: champagne as I boarded in SEA, but I doubt it's free anymore as PPC attendant had a speech about Congress wanting them to bring in more revenue.

I tipped sleeping car attendant at departure and parlor car (only ate one in dining car) with each meal. You can guestimate cost although meals included as there's a menu in diner. I found it easiest to leave a couple bucks with lunch and $5 with dinner. Gave sleeping car attendant a $5

Pics for anyone curious about the Starlight/who wanders into this thread:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/travel...57653503677795

Mix of train pics and scenery
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Old Jun 8, 15, 7:28 am
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Originally Posted by physioprof View Post
If you want to stay liquored up, bring plenty of your own booze.
If you enjoy wine, be sure to bring your own wine glasses. Amtrak now only has plastic wine glasses. I think they even use the plastic for the wine tasting, based on my recent experience on the CA Zephyr.

Regarding tipping, I typically don't tip the car attendant until the end of the trip, so I can tip according to services provided. We eat all of our meals in the diner or parlour car, and I would probably tip at the time if I used room service.

Be sure to enjoy a dinner in the parlour car. Although it has a more limited menu, the food is often better and the dinner rolls and chocolate cake are served warm. The lamb shank was great.
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Old Jun 8, 15, 9:02 am
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Originally Posted by Armani View Post

Be sure to enjoy a dinner in the parlour car. Although it has a more limited menu, the food is often better and the dinner rolls and chocolate cake are served warm. The lamb shank was great.
Agree with Armani on this, although our route two weeks ago lacked chocolate cake - probably better for my waist. Loved the ice cream and the lunch Caesar salads were also delicious.
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Old Jun 9, 15, 9:25 pm
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Thank you to everyone for the excellent replies!!! We are planning on dinner in the PPC and breakfast in the dining car. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your comments and suggestions!!! ^^^^^
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Old Jun 10, 15, 3:30 pm
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Originally Posted by fly4work View Post
Thank you to everyone for the excellent replies!!! We are planning on dinner in the PPC and breakfast in the dining car. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your comments and suggestions!!! ^^^^^
The dining car french toast was amazing. The eggs were, less so.
One tip that's more personal preference than anything: if you prefer a certain kind of tea and/or artificial sweetener, bring your own. They're happy to provide hot water (and coffee is free in the sleepers), but their tea pickings were lacking as of the end of May.

Last edited by travellingcari; Jun 10, 15 at 3:38 pm Reason: typo
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Old Jun 13, 15, 3:45 am
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If you have not left let, here are my photos from Coast Starlight couple weeks ago. Pictures for both the PPC and the dining car. Lots of food pictures.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/115569...57652980656950

The lamb and the beef ribs are both excellent in the PPC.
DSC00200 by Brian H, on Flickr

DSC00202 by Brian H, on Flickr

We were lucky in that our sleeper was 1430 which is connected right to the Pacific Parlor Car and my roomette 6 was close to the entrance that we got the location and time we wanted for all our meals. I have noticed that they always start from the first car back. So if you in one of the last sleepers, you may miss out on your reservation and place you want. Also, if your lounging around in the PPC during reservation time, they will issue you reservations as they walk through the PPC to get to the sleepers if your in one of the sleepers far away from the PPC but must eat in the PPC, then you might want to try that.
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Old Jun 13, 15, 11:17 am
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Food looks really good!
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