Bar car

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Several people lined up alongside a bar in a small area with fake wood paneling. Behind the bar, on the right, a bartender pours a drink for one of them.
Bar car on Metro-North's New Haven Line on last day of operations

A bar car is a train car that has as its primary purpose the provision and consumption of alcoholic and other beverages.

In the United States[edit]

Bar cars were common during the heyday of U.S. rail travel prior to World War II. However, today, the only bar cars that remain in service (not including Amtrak's full-service dining cars and snack cars) can be found plying the rails on Metro-North Railroad's New Haven Line between Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan and New Haven, Connecticut.[1]

As of October 2007, the railroad included a bar car on 16 weekday eastbound trains and seven weekday New York-bound trains.[2]

As of April 2010, the Metro-North Railroad has not committed to replacing the 1970s-era cars now used by commuters from Manhattan to Connecticut, when the new M-8 cars are rolled out during 2010. The M-8 was designed by Cesar Vergara, a train designer from Ridgefield, Connecticut, who also provided a design for a modern bar car.[3]

The last bar cars are set to be retired in May 2014.[4]

Former services[edit]

Formerly, a bar car service (officially, "refreshment car") ran on 3 of Chicago's Metra lines: the Milwaukee District/North Line, the Milwaukee District/West Line, and the Rock Island District line.[5] The last service was on August 29, 2008, when the last contracts expired.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Fuchs, Marek (July 29, 2002). "Aboard Bar Car, Some Riders Fear Last Call Is Near; A Fight Stirs on Metro-North". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  2. ^ Metro-North Railroad New Haven Line Schedule (Oct. 7, 2007, to April 5, 2008)
  3. ^ Grynbaum, Michael M. (April 20, 2010). "One for the Road? Bar Cars May Face a Last Call". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  4. ^ Williams, Brian (May 8, 2014). "Boozy Commuter Train Retires Legendary Bar Cars". NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams (NBC). Retrieved May 8, 2014. 
  5. ^ Thomas, Monifa; Donovan, Lisa (August 27, 2008). "Last call for bar cars: Regulars mourn as Metra plans to end drink service". Chicago Tribune. 
  6. ^ Wronski, Richard (August 27, 2008). "Metra says so long to its rail saloons". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2011-09-17. 

External links[edit]