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Pacific Starlight Dinner Train July 6th, 2002

by Elizabeth Guenzler

My friend Bob Alkire and I spent Independence Day weekend in Seattle and Vancouver, and I took him railfanning, we saw the musical "Cats" in Vancouver then rode British Columbia Railway's Pacific Starlight Dinner Train Saturday evening.

Introduced in 1997, the Pacific Starlight Dinner train offered dome and regular seating to patrons over the 25.8 mile trip from North Vancouver to Porteau Cove from May to October. This service ran until the end of 2002. It was our first time on a dinner train and the atmosphere and scenery were excellent. My notes are rather sparse though and while I know I had the salmon as my entree, the salad and dessert offerings and my choices are unknown. I photographed most of the consist at North Vancouver before boarding.

This was the ticket for a very enjoyable meal, trip and evening.

BCOL RS18 601, nee BCOL 587 in Pacific Starlight Dinner Train livery.

BCOL power/generator car "Borealis" (ex. VIA steam generator 15843, nee CN 15483). At Porteau Cove.

BCOL kitchen/dishwasher/crew car "Savoy" (ex. Washington Central 156, exx. Texas Southern, exxx. Illinois Central dormitory kitchen car 4128A, exxxx New York Central 471, nee Chesapeake and Ohio twin-unit diner 1953 "Hanover Kitchen". PPCX 800354.

BCOL dining car 158 "Manhattan" (ex. Washington Central 158, exx. Texas Southern, exxx. Amtrak, nee New York Central 406). PPCX 800166.

BCOL diner 157 "Continental" (ex. Washington Central 157, exx. Transisco Tours, nee ATSF club lounge 1389). PPCX 800187.

BCOL diner 155 "Apollo" (ex. Washington Central 155, exx. Texas Southern 1993, exxx. Illinois Central, nee Chesapeake and Ohio tavern car 1980 "Botsford Tavern"). PPCX 800352.

BCOL diner 154 "Rainbow" (ex. Washington Central 154, exx. Amtrak, exxx. Texas Southern, nee ATSF sleeper lounge 1731 "Nambe"). PPCX 800163.

BCOL dome-diner 151 "Moonglow" (ex. Washington Central 151, exx. Texas Southern, exxx. Auto Train dome-coach 461, nee Western Pacific 812 "Silver Feather"). PPCX 800175.

BCOL diner/observation car 150 "Indigo" (ex. Washington Central 150, exx. Texas Southern, exxx. Amtrak 8300, nee Chesapeake and Ohio 1920). PPCX 800096.

The rear end of BCOL 150 where a wedding party was housed for the July 6th, 2002 train ride.

The cover of the handout at everyone's table.

The inside of the handout giving general information about the history of the equipment that made up this dinner train.

A summary of the trip route and map.

Bob and myself in the "Stardust" dome car of the Pacific Starlight Dinner Train.

The "Savoy", "Manhattan" and "Continental" dining cars at Porteau Cove during the layover here on a beautiful summer evening.

Howe Sound as seen from the Pacific Starlight Dinner Train. Photo by Bob Alkire.

This was a fantastic train ride and experience and I really enjoyed riding in the dome car. I was very disappointed when the operation ceased and would have liked to take this ride again.