When visiting California, you can enjoy breathtaking views from a Glass dome observation motor coach. You can also take in the sights of the Grand Canyon Railway and the Napa Valley Wine Train, and explore the beauty of the Grand Canyon in the process. If you’re planning to visit the Dome, check out our tips to make your tour memorable. Then you can plan a day trip with a motor coach that will take you there!
The Goldstar Dome observation motor coach features two levels of seating, with the seats on the top level facing the sky and having large windows. Seats on the lower level are reserved for those who have purchased reserved seats on the upper level. Passengers can also choose to enjoy a buffet or a la carte meal service. The GoldStar dome cars have dedicated hosts to help guests enjoy their journey. A guide from Alaska guides each Goldstar journey.
The Alaska Railroad’s Goldstar Click here service is available in both inland and coastal regions of Alaska. The train has the most luxurious railcars available. The double-decker dome cars provide 360-degree views of the landscape and mountains. Guests can even watch eagles soaring overhead. The seats in these observation cars are positioned to face forward, so a party of four can face one another without the need for additional chairs.
The Vista-Domes glass-domed observation motor coaches were introduced to passenger trains by the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad (CB&Q) in 1947. A single-level, sleeper-lounge observation car, the Vista-Domes had a dome top that measures 19 1/2 inches, and a lounge with a separate observation area. Until the arrival of Amtrak trains in the 1960s, only one other east coast railroad operated Vista-Domes in revenue service – the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. However, they remain in service today with Via Rail Canada.
The Astra-Domes, built by American Car & Foundry, were used almost exclusively on the Union Pacific Railroad. Each car cost $10,000,000, and was delivered to the railroad in 1955. The first five cars were assigned to the Challenger passenger train and featured lounge observation cars and fine dining cars. The second five cars went to the City of Portland, Los Angeles, and St. Louis. The Vista-Domes’ popularity grew, and the company promised to build a full fleet of vehicles.
Napa Valley Wine Train
Besides the observation cars, the Napa Valley Wine Train offers other exciting experiences. The train features a dining car, lounge and observation cars. The first cars were built by the Pullman Company in the early 1900s and have since been sold to the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad. In the 1960s, the D&RGW used the lounge cars on its Ski Train between Denver and Winter Park. In 1987, the Napa Valley Wine Train bought the Ski Train and updated the interiors with Honduran mahogany and plush fabrics.
A private excursion train, the Napa Valley Wine Train offers a panoramic view of the wine country. Upon leaving the City of Napa, the train runs parallel to State Route 29. You’ll pass through the towns of Oakville, Rutherford and Yountville, as well as rolling hills dotted with vineyards. You can book a full-day excursion or a leisurely lunch ride.
Grand Canyon Railway
The Grand Canyon Railway is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the world. The trip takes about 2 1/2 hours and covers 65 miles of changing scenery. You can get up close to the wildlife and see incredible vistas as you travel along the scenic route. Depending on your itinerary, you can opt for a morning or afternoon trip. The train operates on a concessionaire basis known as Xanterra. Xanterra runs a hotel, RV park, and restaurant on the grounds of the railway.
There are four classes of seating available on the train. First class passengers will enjoy reclining seats in the first-class coach. First-class coaches have larger windows and seats. First-class passengers are served complimentary beverages, fruit, pastries, juice, and coffee. The two first-class coaches with observation domes feature the grand view from above. Passengers will also receive appetizers and other treats during the trip.