NellieBly wrote:The other thing I remember is that SAL would only use Pullman cars that were all stainless steel, so in the winter we'd have lots of cars from Santa Fe and the California Zephyr.
Actually Ms. Bly, even though I certainly agree that the Seaboard made a far greater effort to draw stainless cars for the peak periods from the Pullman pool, it was not 100%. On a Jan 1967 Wash-Miami journey (Meteor down, Special return - haven't yet located those consists) the Meteor did have at least one UP "Pacific--' 10-6 in consist.
Now as to what has astounded me over the years (I have addressed this over at the Amtrak Forum in the past) is why any road, Seaboard, Auto Train, and Amtrak has ever spent a dime on sightseeing equipment for the East Coast. In short, Coast Line/FEC had it right.
Possibly Ms. Bly is an arborist, but I am not. If you've seen one Pine Tree, you've seen 'em all. Save that, the scenery other than a few vistas along the RF&P is a zero. Of course railfans appreciated the Meteor's obs-lounge, but I would think for the rest of the Coach passengers having the bar on the rear of the train simply would deter some from purchasing high gross margin beverages (OK, I realize back then from Georgia to Virginia it was dry, but Florida and the Corridor states were not). Apparently Seaboard "saw the light' with the Star and assigned its diaphram equipped obs mid-train. One such SAL obs is preserved at a RR museum located in the FEC station at Boca Raton.
But for those of us "privileged to ride', both roads had something Amtrak sorely lacks - and that was class. Even though for the consist reported above, the "--Beach' Sun Lounge was shopped, I did have several occasions to ride those cars in railroad service (and also after Amtrak "Bengstonized' them - but let's not go there at a G rated site); they were truly immaculate!!