Aboard Amtrak’s Train 14.
The Coast Starlight was an hour late into Oakland, but by the time I got up this morning, the lost time had been made up. That was the good news.
The bad news is there is no Pacific Parlour Car on this train and that wonderful amenity is a very big reason I go out of my way to ride this train. There is a second lounge car, but that in no way makes up for it.
The attendant, an older woman named Nanette, has just announced that “the parlour car is open for breakfast”. Sorry, Nanette, that ain’t no parlour car! She’s forgiven, however, because she makes a helluva Bloody Mary. (Note that Amtrak spells “parlor” with a “u” … which may add some class to the public’s perception of the railcar, but it’s making my SpellCheck crazy.)
I sat across from a couple of Australians at lunch today and during the conversation I mentioned this blog. One of them looked at me and said, “Then could you be Jim Loomis?” How improbable is that!
This afternoon I had a revealing conversation with an older woman in the roomette across the hall from me. She has been on this train several times before and volunteered the observation that the amenities for us sleeping car passengers keep disappearing. She’s right and I hope Amtrak understands that passengers have noticed and they don’t like it!
The wine tasting is back … sort of. It now costs $7.50 and Nanette simply came around and poured a generous half-glass. One of the three featured wines was a malbec from Argentina. Is it just me? On this train, shouldn’t Amtrak only be serving wines from California, Oregon and Washington?
Train 14 arrived into Seattle 17 minutes early.