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The Spirit of Washington Dinner Train First Revenue Run over their New Route 8/03/2007

by Chris Guenzler

I parked in a new lot across from the train and started off by taking a few pictures of the train in Tacoma.

The Spirit of Washington Dinner Train at its Tacoma boarding location.

WCRC F7A 84. The consist of our train was: F-9 82 ex B&O, CBRW SD-9 166, MARC Olympic {Rounded end observation car} ex Reading, Mt Rainier {Dome} ex UP via Autotrain, Columbia Winery {Dining/Bar}, ex Santa Fe, City of Renton {Super Dome} ex Milwaukee Road, Cascade {Kitchen} ex Santa Fe, City of Seattle {Dome} ex Santa Fe, Chateau Ste Michelle {Platform} ex Santa Fe, Head End Power Car ex Amtrak F-9 84 ex B&O, MARC. I took a walk around the train.

WCRC F7A 82 under the street bridge.

CBRW SD-9 166. I went and got my boarding pass in the new offices in Freighthouse Square. Knowing that the first Sounder Train arrived at 5:20 PM, I went up to the top of the east parking structure to watch it cross that long wooden trestle before it arrived into the Freighthouse Square/Tacoma Dome Station.

The First Sounder crosses the wooden trestle. I walked back to the boarding area.

The second Sounder arrived into the Tacoma Station. Andrew met me and I gave him some Southern California Timetables since he had moved to Tacoma.

Another view of the second Sounder.

Guests arrive and have a chance for a picture to be taken of them by the F7A 82.

Another view of the guests arriving for the first revenue run over this new route. At 5:55 PM boarding of the Spirit of Washington Dinner Train was announced and I boarded the Dome of the City of Seattle Table 21.

The view from my Dome table.

The third Sounder arrived into Tacoma.

Anthony was our server in the Dome of the City of Seattle.

Bob and Elizabeth were spotted at 6:20 PM and soon joined me at our table. Coca-Cola was provided for my enjoyment. Salads were then served for those who wanted them. The train started to move at 6:42 PM then came to a sudden halt. With the problem soon fixed, the Spirit of Washington Dinner Train attacked the 4.4 percent grade of Tacoma Hill with me in the open air of the Chateau Ste Michelle.

I was really impressed with the climb up Tacoma Hill. I returned to the Dome for another Coca-Cola. As we headed to Frederickson my Prime Rib as well as Bob and Elizabeth's Salmon were served. All meals were very delicious. Good railroading conversations were had as we enjoyed our meals aboard the Spirit of Washington Dinner Train. Everyone along our route was waving at our train and one sign read "Who needs a Winery!"

The train was passing through the forest on our way to Lake Kapowsin. Our train passed Thrift Siding.

Lake Kapowsin finally came into view.

Lake Kapowsin is very beautiful.

The train stopped here for thirty minutes but no one was allowed to detrain so the only option was to walk the train which almost everyone did. Plus it became time for most people to use the bathroom which created long lines for those in need. I walked the train for pictures of the lake.

Very beautiful views.

Great reflectivity in the lake. I made my way back to the Dome.

With a puff of engine smoke we started the trip back to Tacoma.

Patiently waiting on the sky as we started back.

We had a great sunset aboard the Spirit of Washington Dinner Train.

Chris and Julie celebrated their 4th Wedding Anniversary aboard the Spirit of Washington Dinner Train tonight. Tabs were brought to each passenger or couple and since mine was zero, I tipped Anthony 10 dollars for his excellent service. The train slowly made its way down Tacoma Hill before it arrived back at Tacoma Freighthouse Square station at 10:02 PM. I detrained and headed for the front of our train.

The Spirit of Washington Dinner Train has returned after its first revenue run on its new route out of Tacoma. I had a great time aboard the Spirit of Washington Dinner Train. I returned to the Travelodge in Fife for the night.