November 21, 2006
For Immediate Release
First Ever Dinner Train on the Santa Maria Valley Railroad a Success, More Planned
Customer Appreciation Lunch Special and Dinner Train Excursion aboard the Silver Lariat on the Santa Maria Valley Railroad
On Thursday November 9, 2006 the Santa Maria Valley Railroad hosted the first ever Customer Appreciation Lunch Special and Dinner Train Excursion aboard the ex-California Zephyr private railcar Silver Lariat.
Over 30 Santa Maria Valley Railroad freight customers enjoyed a delicious lunch prepared on board the Silver Lariat, and a rare chance to tour the Santa Maria Valley Railroad main line from Santa Maria and Guadalupe. Representatives from Union Pacific Railroad and the Santa Maria Valley Railroad Maintenance of Way crew also attended the event.
Later that night 47 customers boarded the Silver Lariat for a night of gourmet dining as the Santa Maria Valley Railroad operated a rare night train. The dinner train was not advertised and sold out within weeks. Robert Andrade, the top chef for Union Pacific Railroad, served his famous beef tenderloin with Cajun shrimp with wasabi mashed potatoes and freshly baked bread. All of the meals were prepared on board from the Silver Lariat's galley. The stewards and servers were all current and former Amtrak stewards, with several former Southern Pacific business car stewards.
The ex-California Zephyr Vista-dome car Silver Lariat was built in 1948 for use on the famed California Zephyr passenger train. Current owners Al Bishop and Burt Hermey purchased the Silver Lariat from Amtrak in 1985 and restored the car to its full splendor of 1948. The Silver Lariat is one of the top private cars to charter, frequently chartered by top executives from Union Pacific Railroad.
The engineer for both events was ex-Amtrak and Union Pacific engineer Jim McEntire and serving as conductor was Santa Maria Valley Railroad General Manager Dave Jennings. Together both gentlemen represent 75 years of railroading experience.
Currently the Santa Maria Valley Railroad have preliminary plans for a dinner train event for the Spring of 2007. The Santa Maria Valley Railroad is looking to either strategic alliances or partnerships with various entities for the feasibility of continuing the Dinner Trains on a regular basis. Long term plans include wine trains, murder mystery dinner trains, and holiday dinner trains. The Santa Maria Valley Railroad would like to thank everyone in the community for their continued support of the Santa Maria Valley Railroad.
The Santa Maria Valley Railroad, serving the Santa Maria Valley's transportation needs since 1911, provides the most efficient, cost effective, and environmentally friendly way to transport products to any location in the continental United States served by our national railroad network. Santa Maria Valley Railroad's excellent service is achieved by well maintained track and equipment, modern communications, and loyal and dedicated employees.
Santa Maria Valley Railroad's 14 miles of well maintained mainline track serves freight customers in the Santa Maria Valley. Our tracks are rated to transport 286,000 lb rail cars, we can transport the most modern freight cars. In addition to the 14 miles of mainline track, the Santa Maria Valley Railroad maintains many sidings and spurs with capacity to store rail cars.
The Santa Maria Valley Railroad connects with Guadalupe, California, interchanging with the Union Pacific Railroad. Through our Cooperative Marketing Agreement with the UPRR, we have direct access to integrated nationwide marketing, sales, pricing, operations and administrative strengths of the UPRR.
The Santa Maria Valley Railroad has a complete locomotive and rail car repair shop and maintenance of way equipment and we can serve off-site customers with track and locomotive repair maintenance.
The Santa Maria Valley Railroad Company, "The Transportation Gateway for the Central Coast" since 1911.
For further information contact:
Rob Himoto, President
Santa Maria Valley Railroad Company
PO Box 5665
Santa Maria, CA 93456
FAX (805) 922-9554