From an Alaska Railroad Press Release: "In 2005, The Alaska Railroad will be rolling out two new double-deck luxury dome cars featuring the exclusive GoldStar Service and incomparable views of the Great Land.The Alaska Railroad builds upon its unique passenger car fleet and raises the bar of luxury rail travel with the addition of two new custom double-deck railcars.
"These lavishly appointed cars will quickly find their place among Alaska's wonders. Featuring custom-designed interiors highlighted with original Alaska art, savvy rail travelers will delight in their features.
"The cars will enhance the Denali Star Train that operates daily mid-May through mid-September between Anchorage and Fairbanks with stops in Wasilla, Talkeetna, and Denali National Park. Guests traveling on the Denali Star Train may choose to upgrade to the new GoldStar Service.
"The GoldStar Service includes a confirmed seat in the new luxury cars, complimentary appetizers, and access to a private outdoor viewing platform reserved exclusively for GoldStar guests. Each GoldStar guest will receive a commemorative GoldStar pin at check-in. The new cars are modeled on the latest 89-foot double-deck dome cars built by Colorado Railcar. Dine in comfort in 36 dining room seats with views through picture windows. Your dome-level reclining seats can rotate to accommodate groups of four and let you share the experience with friends. A full-time bar attendant is available to those looking for libations."
In August of 2004 railfan Jody Moore was able to wrangle a tour of these new passenger cars at Colorado Railcar Manufacturing. For some great information and also construction photos check out his pages on numbers 651 and 652.
In November of 2004, Alaska Railroad employee Bob Focht was able to capture some photos of 651 and 652 in the Alaska Railroad paint scheme. "We've had several people go down there to check on the progress of these coaches, including our lead electrician here in the car shop. They have all been very pleased with the work. We are scheduled to get these sometime around late April."
Here are some interior photos I took while on my August 2005 trip.
In August of 2007 two more double-deck luxury dome cars left Colorado Railcar Manufacturing to join the Alaska Railroad's GoldStar fleet. As can be seen in the photos, the Alaska Railroad decided to go with the standard head rest this time around. Also, the service bar floor is covered in suede instead of carpet.
|#653's passenger seating||#654's dining area||#654's passenger seating|
|The exterior of #654||The exterior of #653|
This page created 12/7/04 and last updated 11/6/08
© 2008 John Combs unless otherwise noted