Amtrak’s Great Dome car recently returned to the Pacific Surfliner for a few weeks, offering spectacular views of the breathtaking Southern California scenery along our 351-mile route.
With upper-level windows on all sides, including facing forward and reverse, riders in this vintage rail car enjoyed 360-degree views of towering bluffs, sun-drenched beaches and picturesque coastal towns. The large, domed windows allowed riders to appreciate scenery that isn’t as visible from a car, such as the rocky hillsides of the Santa Susanna Pass and the roadless, pastoral backcountry near the Vandenberg Air Force Base.
As the last rail car of its kind still operated by Amtrak, the Great Dome represents a piece of history. It is a rare opportunity for Southern California residents to get a glimpse into the past while also enjoying the views along the Pacific Surfliner route from a different perspective.
The Great Dome is Leaving for Now, But Will be Back in the Fall!
Due to necessary maintenance work, the Great Dome will be removed from service after August 7, 2017 and will not run on the Pacific Surfliner again this summer as previously indicated on the schedule. We are sorry for any inconvenience this has caused. However, there is good news – the Great Dome will return to the Pacific Surfliner in October 2017!
Follow us on Twitter (@PacSurfliners) for train status updates and other information.
History of the Great Dome Car
The Great Dome car was built in 1955 for the Great Northern Railway and was brought to Amtrak in the early 1970s. After being renovated in 1985, it traveled as part of the Amtrak Auto Train between Washington, D.C. and Orlando. Since then, it has been once again refurbished, traveling across the country with various Amtrak trains.
We’ll share updates about the Great Dome and other train status information on our @PacSurfliners Twitter account throughout the summer. Don’t forget to share your photos with us using the hashtag #PacificSurfliner!