Early Concept Rendering, Sleeper Lounge Car

Early Concept Rendering, Lounge Car

Early Concept Rendering, Regional Coach

Click below to view and download Corridor Rail Development Corporation’s 2023 Bi-Level Design Catalog

New North Coast Limited introduced by Corridor Rail Development Executive Chairman James Coston at Railway Interior Innovation Summit USA 2023

A new look at a bold concept for a modern version of the famed North Coast Limited operating between Chicago and the Pacific Northwest was introduced by Corridor Rail Development Corporation Executive Chairman Jame E. Coston at the Salt Lake City, Utah Railway Interior Innovation Summit USA 2023 on April 19, 2023.

Below is the introduction materials handed out to each workshop participant, followed by the visual group presentation for discussion which was made.

An introduction to the new North Coast Limited

The former, famed, Northern Pacific Railway’s Vista-Dome North Coast Limited has returned, in a new, updated 21st Century design.

The most famous version of the North Coast Limited was designed in 1954 by celebrated international designer Raymond Loewy; he chose the stunning green exterior of the train and designed the interiors.

You may be familiar with other Raymond Loewy designs: the exterior color scheme of Air Force One during the Kennedy Administration and as a Habitability Consultant for NASA for design of the Skylab space station in 1973.

The historic and current route of the North Coast Limited is from Chicago to the Pacific Northwest, with terminals in both Seattle and Portland. The new North Coast Limited is split into two sections in Spokane, Washington.

Our new train is bi-level, combining the best efficiencies of bi-level design with the features and amenities found on highly successful, historic single level trains.

To visualize the new North Coast Limited – which has primarily been designed so the train itself is a destination – because of the compelling scenery along the route in Montana, Idaho and Washington State, think of the passenger comforts and conveniences of the consist of VIA Rail Canada’s Canadian.

This is a train providing necessary transportation to and from intermediate points, but overall is structured to be a large cash generator with higher fares which provides financial support for more traditional service trains along the same route. The concept is multiple trains each contribute to a fleet in their own way, be it cash generation, basic and convenient transportation, or fill the growing need for overnight sleeper train service.

Complete North Coast Limited consist:

– NC1: Baggage/express/mail car

– NC2: Transition crew dormitory car, sleeping, bathing and off-duty lounge space for onboard services employees plus storage for overflow supplies for diner and lounge cars

– NC3: Eurostyle sleeping car, basic overnight accommodations sleeping two, four or six; complete restroom and shower facilities on lower level. Sleeps 44. Accessible accommodations; wheelchair lift

– NC4: Regional coach for travelers traveling less than 250 miles; Seats 68. Accessible seating, wheelchair lift

– NC5: Premium class coach for long distance and overnight travel, similar to airline business class with passenger pods and changing and shower facilities; seats 54. Accessible accommodations; wheelchair lift

– NC6: Parlor car with staffed service bar for day travel only; seats 30 plus one day-space private drawing room with three seats. Oversized and overhead windows. Accessible seating, wheelchair lift

– NC7: Lewis and Clark Traveler’s Rest buffet-tavern lounge, featuring entertainment, concierge/future travel sales and retail shops; continuous service of meals, sandwiches, beverages, snacks and desserts; open to all passengers and seats 50. Oversized and overhead windows

– NC8: Dining car open continuously from 90 minutes prior to departure to arrival at the end terminal; seats 62 in variable seating arrangements. Oversized and overhead windows

– NC9: Northern Pacific buffet lounge car featuring private dining room with diner menu for up to 12 passengers, plus remainder of car serving beverages and light meals, open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. for sleeping car passengers. Seats 60; oversized and overhead windows

– NC10: Sleeping car, drawing rooms, compartments, bedrooms, accessible room; sleeps 28. Wheelchair lift

– NC11: Sleeping car, drawing rooms, compartments, bedrooms, family room, accessible room; sleeps 28. Wheelchair lift

– NC12: Lounge in the Sky Sleeping car, drawing rooms, compartments, bedrooms, single rooms. Half of upper level with oversized and overhead windows in club-like starlight lounge serving sleeping car passengers beverages, cold snacks and desserts and continental breakfast, lounge area service open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.; sleeps 14.

– NC13: Sleeping car, drawing rooms, compartments bedrooms, family room, accessible room; sleeps 28. Wheelchair lift

– NC14: Sleeping car, bedrooms, compartments, family room, roomettes, accessible room; sleeps 28. Wheelchair lift

– NC15: Big Sky Lounge Sleeping car, drawing rooms, compartments and single rooms, serving beverages, cold snacks and desserts, lounge service open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.; designed as end-of-train full viewing car for sleeping car passengers; sleeps 14.

The complete new North Coast Limited has 10 revenue cars, five dining/lounge cars, a crew car and a baggage car for a 15 car consist. Sleeps 140 First Class sleeping car passengers, 44 Eurostyle/budget sleeper passengers, 122 coach seats, 30 first class parlor seats plus 3 drawing room day seats. Total capacity: 339 passengers.

Typically on a transcontinental route, such as the similar Empire Builder, many of the seats and accommodations will turn over at intermediate station stops an average of two times.

The schedule for the train, designed for maximum scenery in Montana, Idaho and Washington State has a 10 a.m. departure from Chicago Union Station as well as daylight service to Minneapolis/St. Paul for a dinner-time westbound departure. The trip across the northern plains will mostly be through evening and nighttime hours, with a morning arrival in eastern Montana and the beginning of stations serving the many ski resorts.

The new North Coast Limited will, as its predecessor did, offer many warm weather national park wonders during the summer months, but, in a new time when skiing has become a more popular sporting pastime will have a brisk winter business beyond the beauty of the mountain ranges it also transverses in the winter.

Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice are passengers on the new North Coast Limited, boarding at Chicago Union Station. Bob and Carol live in the Chicago area and Ted and Alice live in downstate Illinois. Ted and Alice chose to take an early morning train to Chicago, arriving in time for the North Coast Limited’s departure.

Bob and Carol have invited their neighbors to dine with them for breakfast on the train prior to departure. Boarding for the train begins at 8:30 a.m. and the dining car opens for passengers and their guests at the same time. Bob and Carol and their guests will enjoy a full breakfast menu – preceded by Mimosas or Bloody Marys – cooked to order and will be drinking the last cup of coffee in time for their guests to detrain prior to departure.

Bob and Carol are traveling in a drawing room as both wanted a lower berth and some extra room. In the next car back, Ted and Alice have boarded and settled in their compartment before moving to the Northern Pacific full lounge car adjacent to the diner where a buffet continental breakfast has been laid out for all sleeping car passengers. Bob and Carol join Ted and Alice in the lounge and remain there through an on-time departure, moving through the Chicago suburbs towards Milwaukee and then Minneapolis/St. Paul.

The Northern Pacific lounge has two onboard services staff; an attendant handles drink mixing and light food preparation and the second is an onboard passenger services manager who not only manages all other onboard services attendants, but also acts as an onboard passenger services representative for train and station services.

All onboard car attendants and dining car crew work under the supervision of the passenger service manager. Each car has its own attendant, but all attendants are trained to work in any area of the consist if a need arises.

Since the dining car is open 24 hours a day, terminal to terminal, there is no need for reservations at any meal. Passengers come and go as they are hungry and do not have to adhere to a rigid schedule.

The diner-adjacent Northern Pacific lounge car offer light food service such as a choice of three sandwiches and a casserole dish as well as a modest assortment of dessert items outside of the reservation-only private dining room, which offers the full dining car menu for all meals.

Columbus, Wisconsin is coming up; with the scenery of the beauty, and the historical and cultural significance, of the Upper Mississippi River Valley, the two couples decide to have a full luncheon service in the dining car. The diner has a combination of two and four seat tables with one exclusive booth designed for up to six passengers dining together.

As is customary on the new North Coast Limited, the steward, after seating the guests offers a pre-luncheon cocktail to enjoy as they are surveying the menu. Drink and food choices are made and luncheon is served at a comfortable and leisurely pace.

The diner has been designed with large windows above and on the side of the car for the passengers enjoying a meal to be able to equally enjoy the passing scenery.

After luncheon both couples retire to their separate accommodations for a brief respite. Later in the afternoon Bob and Ted will meet in the Lounge in the Sky sleeping/lounge car where they will enjoy a lengthy conversation. Carol and Alice will meet in the same Northern Pacific full lounge car they enjoyed that morning. Because they, too, desire to have a conversation they choose to sit on the lower level which has been designed with large side windows allowing for viewing scenery.

Late afternoon brings special services in three of the four lounge cars. The forward Traveler’s Rest lounge car open to all coach, parlor car, first class coach and Eurostyle sleeping car passengers offers a craft beer tasting session, sampling beers from specialty breweries along the route of the North Coast Limited. The mid-train, diner-adjacent Northern Pacific lounge offers an afternoon formal tea service. The rear, trailing Big Sky lounge offers the traditional wine tasting, again featuring wines from vineyards along the route. The Lounge in the Sky remains a quiet oasis for those seeking space outside of their accommodation without participating in a group activity.

For first class coach, parlor car, Eurostyle sleeping car and sleeping car passengers all food and non-alcoholic drinks are included in the cost of their accommodations. The beer and wine tastings are included, as well. Passengers may choose to include alcoholic drinks in their travel packages at time of booking or upon entraining for an upcharge.

Regional coach passengers are included in the beer tasting event at no charge, and may use dining car services a la carte at menu printed prices.

Room service for all meals, snacks and drinks is available 24 hours a day to all passengers except regional coach passengers.

Even though the new North Coast Limited is primarily designed as a train for the passing mountain scenery, each car has full WiFi internet connections. Each coach seat and accommodation has a video screen with a selection of entertainment. While the upper level lounge areas and lower level lounge area with large windows feature dimmed lights at night to allow passengers to enjoy “night viewing” of the passing countryside, the video screens offer other entertainment choices.

Dinner service begins at 5 p.m. for those desiring a lighter meal and evolves into full Table d’ Hotel service with several entrees.

At 9 p.m. the dining car steward announces to the train that evening’s late night/before bed dessert special available simultaneously in the dining car and each lounge car or by room service.

Overnight, the lounge car services end at 10 p.m. and resume at 7:00 a.m., but the dining car stays open for full beverage service and an overnight late night/early breakfast menu.

The final morning, Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice detrain in Seattle after a light breakfast in the Northern Pacific lounge car. Later that day the two couples will make a connection to train service to Vancouver, British Columbia where they will embark on an Alaskan cruise.

The new North Coast Limited’s eastbound trip is again scheduled for maximum scenery viewing in Washington State, Idaho and Montana, terminating at Chicago Union Station.