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Introducing the largest passenger railcars
The following italicized text is from their web site click <http://www.hollandamerica.com/explore/alaska/landonlytours.htm
> then click McKinley Explorer :
In 2003 our award winning McKinley Explorer® rail
service gets even better. Our fleet of restored Budd railcars have the
smoothest ride on these rails. And now we’re introducing four new luxurious
railcars. They’re not only the largest passenger railcars in service in
North America; they boast more glass area than any other railcars built.
Every other car also features a lower lounge, a gift shop and an open-air
viewing platform so that nothing gets between you and the bigger-than-life
Adjacent cars feature a unique, forward facing glass enclosed
viewing platform for a different perspective on the wonders that lie
ahead. And there’s more in store for cruise tour passengers. Specially
tinted windows and four separate air conditioning systems maintain your
comfort. And the largest railcar dining rooms in Alaska can serve all guests
in just two sittings for a more leisurely meal.
A Travel Article by Carl Morrison of
, April 10, 2003
all photos and text by Carl Morrison, Freelance Travel Writer.
Thursday April 10, 2003, I rode 324 miles in the brand new Holland
America dome cars from Santa Barbara up the Pacific Coast to San
Jose, California. In nearby Santa Clara Charlotte and Jack Shaw
would host an open house Saturday and Sunday on the main track at the
CalTrain Station. I quickly made Amtrak reservations to get to Santa
Barbara to board these beauties and from San Jose back to my home station,
Fullerton, California. I was anxious to go since I had not even
heard of these new cars much less had the opportunity to view and photograph
them or more importantly to RIDE in them.
At our departure from the home of TrainWeb.com, Fullerton
Santa Fe/Amtrak Station, on Thursday morning, we learned of a possible
re-route of this 2-car trainset from Santa Barbara through Bakersfield
instead of up the coast to San Jose, because of either height or length
limitations. Upon learning that in no case would the trainset
leave Santa Barbara before 2:30 pm, we decided to use our Surfliner
tickets to leave Fullerton at 8:16 for Santa Barbara. The
trip allowed us to discuss Steve Grande's new addition to his bag
of tricks for train travel...a GPS system and map software allowing us
to see a moving red triangle on the screen which was our train with the
map showing freeways, rivers, coastline, etc. Steve said the greatest
advantage was knowing ahead of time when rivers, bridges, and ocean
views were approaching allowing us to turn on the cameras and be ready
for a photograph. When we passed a hotel in Ventura that Steve
wanted the address for, we could see what street it was located on by
viewing the GPS screen.