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November 1974 - Page 19


DATA/ P H O TO G RA PH Y K EN GARGES

Stage and screen celebrity Milton Berle was the host and even a guest honorary engi neer September 20 when the inaugural run of Amtrak ' s L as Vegas
Celebrity Train

service between Los Angeles and Southern California for its by

Las

Vegas

departed

7Y?-hour run to the Nevada gaming center. Operation of the L as Vegas Celebrity Train Amtrak is on a maximum th ree-ti mes-a-week c harter basis for sponsoring Las Vegas Charter. The train leaves Los Angeles w i th room for 800 passengers
G uest conductor " Un c le M i l ti e " Berl e on the inaugural Amtrak Celebrity T ra i n run a t L o s A ng e l e s , Ca l i fornia.

on Friday, Sunday and also on some Wednesdays, but not on holidays, and is sold on the basis of a package to ur i ncluding hotel accommodati ons . Each run of the train will feature a film, radio or television personal i ty as a host for the trip. Length of the Las Vegas tours vary from two n ights to five nights depending on the desires of the passengers and the avai libility of a Wednesday train. Departure from Los Angeles U nion Terminal is at 2 : 00 PM arriving in Las Vegas at 9 :40. The return run leaves at mid night, arriving in Los Angeles at 8:00 AM. Equi pment for the train weekly
S unset

i s being borrowed from Amtrak' s tri
L i m i ted

d uring

its

layover

period

at its western terminal. The lineup of the i naugural train had Amtrak ' s SDP40F number 502 on the point, drawn from the power pool maintai ned by Santa Fe so that it would have the Automat ic Train Stop device; second was the 558 from the Southern Paci fic power pool . train i tself i ncluded AM8101, a low-level diner The of
The inaugura l run threads its way o u t o f Los A n gel es, a b o v e , and p a u s e s a t Pasadena , b e lo w .

the lunch counter var i ety; AM9929 , AM9948 , AM9954, AM9CJ64, AM9927, all h i gh-level coaches formerly on Santa Fe' s 5000 S un Pearson of
Va l ley,

EI

C apitan and now on Amtrak' s S unset;

a lounge car leased Rail Travel

from Tom in

Overland

Corporation

Hunti ngton Park, Californ ia; AM8118 d i ner; the H ul ham, a lounge observation leased from Ken Hultgren and Ed Cheetham, officially the Celebrity Car. The
H u lham

was

bu ilt

by

P ullm an-Standard

in 1949 as Northern Pacific 392, T ac oma C lub, o ne of five identical cars for service on the N o rth
Coast L im i ted.

O peration

of

the

Celebrity

Train

is

on Santa

Fe' s Second D istri ct for a stop at Pasadena and on to San Bernardino, where both the engine and train crews are changed to Union Pacific personnel for the run to Las Vegas. Television camera crews gave the i naugural run a lot of coverage, and were aboard as far as Pasadena where they photographed the train departing and leavi ng them behind .

PA C I FI C NEWS

19

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