Save the Coast Starlight Pacific Parlour Cars
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Amtrak continues to cut passenger amenities on the Coast Starlight, leading RailPAC to believe that the new Amtrak management does not believe in the long distance western trains. While Amtrak management has demonstrated that they plan to cut service and amenities in order to "save money", RailPAC continues to support the long distance trains and believes they can be successful.
I also believe in long distance trains, and feel that the Pacific Parlour Cars are a key part of this premium train. While "tough decisions” are sometimes necessary, removing these cars from service will ultimately affect ticket revenue and yield implications.
For years, loyal riders have gladly paid a premium fare for sleeping car accommodations on the Coast Starlight. Higher sleeping car supplements are embedded in current sleeping car fares (which are generally higher than for other routes, often by a significant margin). In addition, revenue is generated from the car's bar service and the potential for souvenir sales. The additional dining option in the Pacific Parlour car frees up tables in the Dining Car, adding 50% capacity to each seating.
I have no doubt that removing the Pacific Parlour Cars will result in loss of ridership and revenue for the Coast Starlight. Any accounting of the cost of operating the Pacific Parlour Cars should be balanced against the total sleeping car revenue.
While it is understood that these cars are older than most of the fleet, we ask that the Pacific Parlour Cars remain in service during the 2018 summer season while Amtrak explores alternatives to maintaining premium service and the ticket revenues associated with it.
Furthermore, I support RailPAC's campaign for new locomotives and rolling stock for the Coast Starlight, California Zephyr, Southwest Chief, Empire Builder and Sunset Limited. Expanded service on these routes means jobs are created to staff and support these trains.
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