RailForum.com
TrainWeb.com

RAILforum Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile | directory login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» RAILforum » Passenger Trains » Amtrak » Coast Starlight "Re-Launch"

   
Author Topic: Coast Starlight "Re-Launch"
Konstantin
Full Member
Member # 18

Rate Member
Icon 5 posted      Profile for Konstantin     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I have seen some comments about the Coast Starlight "Re-Launch". What is this, and what does Amtrak intend to change about the Coast Starlight?

Thank you

Posts: 445 | From: Phoenix, Arizona | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
smitty195
Full Member
Member # 5102

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted      Profile for smitty195     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Here is a copy/paste from another train website on some info on the re-launch of the Coast Starlight. The re-launch date is May 8, 2008. BTW, I'm not copying someone else's words....I'm the author:

I'm on-board #11 at the moment, heading to LAX for the TO special tomorrow. There is an Amtrak customer service manager on-board this train, and she was kind enough to sit and spend some time with me answering many of my questions, as well as correcting some rumors I had heard. I probably forgot to ask her a few things, but here are some highlights of the topics I talked with her about. By the way, she said I can publish her name and contact information on a public railroad forum, as well as everything we discussed.

Contact information: Elizabeth Peterson, Customer Service Manager, National Railroad Passenger Corporation, 815 N. Alameda Street, Los Angeles, CA, 90012, Phone # 213-891-3539 and 213-505-4857

RE-LAUNCH:

Will happen between March 1st, 2008 and completion is expected by May 1st, 2008 before the summer season starts next year. One of the main items holding everything up, of course, was money. However, they have now officially received the money needed for all of the changes that are coming and everything is a go. Keep in mind that since the "official" re-launch date is March 1st, this does not mean that everything will be finished and completed on that date. It will take time to get things done (as I will explain below), but the target date for everything will be May 1st, 2008.

PACIFIC PARLOUR CARS:

-They will be sent back to Beech Grove, one at a time, to get refurbished. The basic design as we see it now will basically remain unchanged. However, all of the worn seating and cover materials will be replaced, and the car will generally be spiffed up. While these cars cycle in and out of Beech Grove, there *will* be a Sightseer Lounge as a replacement (in other words, 2 lounge cars---one for coach passengers, and one for sleeper passengers)

-A cappaccino machine will be placed in each car (at $8,000 per machine!)

-The car will be staffed by an employee, just as it used to be. Amtrak has not decided yet if they will assign people to these cars based upon seniority, or if they will do it strictly by interviewing interested personnel and then assigning them to that position. This will be decided sometime in the future.

-Movies will be returning to the lower level of the car, with sponsorship by MGM Studios and Warner Brothers Studios. This sponsorship will allow Amtrak to show "classic" movies in the theater, without being charged the huge fees they once paid for current movies.

-A buffet brunch will be served on Saturday and Sunday from 10AM to 3PM. This is not free----it is still for sleeping car passengers only, but you will need to pay for this service. (Dining car meals are still included in the price of your sleeping car ticket).

-Wine tasting will still be held daily, with upgraded "regional" wines. Brian Rosenwald is speaking with various wine vendors this week to secure a contract. They are considering bringing back fruit with the wine/cheese/crackers, but this is undecided at the moment.

-Soft drinks and alcoholic drinks will be available for sale in this car. The soft drinks will not be free as they once were (and soft drinks will continue to not be offered in the sleeping cars, but juice/coffee remain as always).

I was told that the reason for charging for soft drinks and the bufett brunch is to help pay for the cost of keeping these cars. I don't mind this at all if this is what they need to do in order to keep these cars running.

DINING CARS:

-Simplified Dining Service will disappear on the Coast Starlight, with "normal" food returning. There will be 4 servers upstairs, and 3 people working downstairs in the kitchen.

-Regional menus will once again return (I specifically asked, and **NO**, they will not offer a special of Chicken Fried Steak!).

-China and glassware will return, with the same color/pattern this is currently being used on the Empire Builder.

COACH CARS:

-Wi-Fi internet will be available in all cars. She could not provide more information on this, so my specific questions as to how this will work are unanswered for now.

That covers pretty much everything we talked about regarding the re-launch. If anyone has specific questions on something I forgot to ask, let me know and I'll track her down again before we get to LAX and I'll bend her ear some more.

Posts: 2355 | From: Pleasanton, CA | Registered: Apr 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
RRRICH
Full Member
Member # 1418

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted      Profile for RRRICH     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thanks for the update, Smitty!!!!
Posts: 2427 | From: Grayling, MI | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Konstantin
Full Member
Member # 18

Rate Member
Icon 1 posted      Profile for Konstantin     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
This all sounds good. I hope it really takes place. It would be nice if the other long distance trains would add service like this. But as usual, I'm sure the problem is money.
Posts: 445 | From: Phoenix, Arizona | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Mr. Toy
Full Member
Member # 311

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted      Profile for Mr. Toy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Konstantin, welcome back! I wondered if you were still out there.
Posts: 2649 | From: California's Monterey Peninsula | Registered: Dec 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Mike Smith
Full Member
Member # 447

Member Rated:
4
Icon 1 posted      Profile for Mike Smith     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Looks like my wife & I will be going to Seattle in June. Up via Milwaukee, back via LAX.
Posts: 1418 | From: Houston, Republic of Texas | Registered: Jan 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Amtrak207
Full Member
Member # 1307

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted      Profile for Amtrak207     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Just when I'd committed to traveling the not-including-the-Starlight route next year, you go and make it tough for me! Welcome back, in more ways than one!
Is that Ystanb, not Konstantin?
Now if only we could get some kind of decent service on the Lakeshore... Something like real dining cars...
I view this as a "see what could happen" if the demand for SDS went away, say, in a different political climate. And there's that name again, Brian Rosenwald. Thank you, Bwian!

Posts: 391 | From: Schenectady | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Konstantin
Full Member
Member # 18

Rate Member
Icon 1 posted      Profile for Konstantin     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thank you for the "Welcome Backs". I know it is changing from my original subject, but I will post this anyway.

I have been gone for a while. I had some bad experiences on Amtrak a few years ago, and that really left me with little interest for a while. But, being a true train fan, I could not stay away too long. This past summer, I took a short trip on Amtrak for the first time since the previous experiences. I rode from San Diego north to my hometown of Chatsworth (north of Los Angeles) and back. The trip was wonderful, and the service was excellent. The train was clean, and the employees were polite and truthful about running late (I have learned to expect late trains). It really made me want to come back to being a train fan again. So, I started looking at this forum occasionally.

By the way, Mr. Toy, I am glad to see you are still around. You typically post some high-quality messages here and it is nice to communicate with you.

Posts: 445 | From: Phoenix, Arizona | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
yukon11
Full Member
Member # 2997

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted      Profile for yukon11     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Glad you had a nice experience on your latest Amtrak trip north of San Diego, Konstantin. I also had pretty much decided to never, again, ride Amtrak after my last Coast Starlight trip... over 6 hrs late to Portland and miserable food. Still would like to take the Empire Builder becasue of the meal service & scenery. If the CS re-launch goes as posted, above, I will look forward, again, to taking the Starlight. I am also looking at the plans for a new Coast Daylight from LA to SF. I hope they would consider freshly prepared meals and additional amenitis to cater to both the pure transportation passengers as well as passengers who would take it just for the fun of a pleasurable train experience.

Richard

Posts: 1790 | From: Santa Rosa | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.

Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Home Page

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2




Copyright © 2007-2016 TrainWeb, Inc. Top of Page|TrainWeb|About Us|Advertise With Us|Contact Us