Coast Starlight to Seattle!

Nov 6-7, 2009

Coast Starlight @ Portland Or

The Coast Starlight Train #14 @ Portland Or

My girlfriend April and I just returned from a weekend trip up to Seattle from Los Angeles on the Coast Starlight and I just wanted to jot down a few thoughts while they are still fresh in my mind. First of all our sleeping car attendant George was exceptional to say the least. I had him once before on the Southwest Chief and I remembered him being excellent on that trip as well. As we walked out on to track 10 at LAUPT George was standing by his sleeper (1432) ready to greet his passengers with a huge smile. A smile goes a long way when it comes to customer service.

The dining car staff also did a fantastic job! Although I must say I am really getting tired of Amtrak's food. It may me time to re-think this whole food situation. Maybe a new food supplier would be an excellent first step.

Now - even though our train did have a Parlour Car (Willamette Valley) I must say that I was really disappointed in its condition. The car looks as if it's not cleaned after each trip. I also spotted a rather nasty looking stain on one of the swivel seats. There are various small things that I noticed that need to be addressed – for example; I noticed one curtain in the Parlour Car that looked as if it was ready to fall off! These really are beautiful cars and I know most sleeping car passengers enjoy them but they need to be maintained better. A little TLC in the Amtrak coach yard will go a long way in keeping these cars beautiful!

I won't even talk much about Amtrak's ageing fleet of Superliners. We all know Amtrak needs to put in a huge equipment order and not just for the East Coast. Our long distance trains out here in the west sorely need new equipment as well. Let's hope this is done sooner rather then later.

The scenery thru the Cascades really is breathtaking and we even got to see a fair amount of Snow! Timekeeping wise, the train was on time pretty much the entire way and we ended up arriving into Seattle 45 min early!

All and all we had a real nice trip aboard Amtrak’s Coast Starlight!

Tony Escarcega