Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Racing Season, and a Dome Car

An ominous sign, passing through the LA yard today:  a whole slew of Amfleet and Horizon cars.

Must be racing season!!  As I've mentioned previously, the increased crowds headed to Del Mar racetrack ("where the Turf meets the Surf") provide us commuters with our yearly summertime Hell on the Pacific Surfliner.  Generally, the effort to increase capacity means that Amtrak breaks up a regular Surfliner consist to add its cars to the others;  the "missing" train is replaced by the loathed Amfleet/Horizon single-level cars, known with derision as "Am-cans".  I don't know quite what they will do this year as a single-level consist has been in the regular rotation even outside of racing season, providing me with discomfort every other day on the 565.

Because the first day of Racing Season this year overlaps with the spectacle of San Diego Comic-Con, all the trains on  Friday, July 19 through Sunday, July 21 will be reservation-only.  And, unlike most holiday reservations, that includes those of us using monthly or 10-ride tickets.

From the SD Transcript:
Additional equipment is being added to accommodate passengers, and similar to last year, an exclusive Cross Country Cafe Dining and Lounge Car will be available to those upgrading to Pacific Business Class. The Cross Country Cafe Car will operate on trains 774 and 595 on Friday, July 19, and trains 768 and 591 on Saturday and Sunday, July 20 and 21.
Now, based on the consist I saw in the Yard, that "cross country cafe car" is The Great Dome, Amtrak 10031.  Yes, folks, she's baaaaaack....  the blast from the past, the last true dome car on Amtrak.  This year, it sounds like mere mortals  in coach will not be allowed on her, just business  class.  You can read about my earlier encounter with the Great Dome here (and I'll try to get you a photo of her in the yard.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Dome has been sent east for some reason, and the spare Amfleet trainset is in Oakland to fill in for the refurbished cars which Caltrans ordered but are late on arrival (don't suppose Amtrak has anything to do with that...

The Cross Country Café is the weird Superliner Diner which sometimes pops it nose into the rotation to cover for a Surfliner Café.