Amtrak Pacific Parlour Cars to undergo phased overhaul Jan. 8 to Mar. 14

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Amtrak's Seattle-to-Los Angeles Coast Starlight crosses a trestle at Goleta, Calif. The popular passenger train's consist will change this winter for renovations to Pacific Parlour cars.
Bob Johnston
LOS ANGELES — Amtrak’s Pacific Parlour Cars, built in 1954 for the Santa Fe as Hi-Level lounges, will be taken out of service in cycles from Jan. 8 to Mar. 14, 2018, and brought to the railroad’s Beech Grove Shops in Indiana for heavy maintenance, Amtrak announced Monday.

The railroad owns five of the cars, which are usually included in the consist of the Los Angeles-Seattle Coast Starlight, where access to them is generally limited to sleeping car passengers. The attendant typically stationed in the car serves as a bartender, provides lunch and dinner meal service, and hosts a wine and cheese tasting each afternoon.

During the overhaul period, Pacific Parlour Cars will only be included in the Coast Starlight’s consist northbound departing Los Angeles on Thursdays and Fridays, and southbound departing Seattle on Saturdays and Sundays. On all other days, there will be no replacement car in the consist — the Sightseer Lounge will be available to both sleeping car and coach passengers.

Beginning Wednesday, Mar. 14, Pacific Parlour Cars will be added to all Coast Starlight consists at Los Angeles with each successive day’s northbound departure. Both during and after the overhaul period, if one of the cars on a day it is scheduled to operate must be removed for maintenance on short notice, it will be substituted with a second Sightseer Lounge.

A typical Coast Starlight consist during this winter period will be:
• Two P42 Locomotives
• Viewliner II Baggage car
• Superliner transition sleeping/dorm car
• Two Superliner sleeping cars
• Pacific Parlour Car (train 14 Thursdays and Fridays only; train 11 Saturdays and Sundays only - no substitute otherwise)
• Superliner dining car
• Superliner Business Class car
• Sightseer Lounge car
• Two or three Superliner coach cars
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