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Napa Wine Train gets a makeover

The iconic Napa Valley Wine Train will undergoing extensive exterior and interior renovations beginning this month, the company announced Wednesday.

Railcars attached to the main train will be removed and replaced with five railcars leased from Sierra Railroad Company, which owns and operates tourism railways throughout Northern California including the Sierra Dinner Train, Sacramento River Train and Skunk Train.

The cars will include one dining car, one car with removable tables and flexible space to be used for weddings and corporate meetings, and two observation open-air cars which can be used for large parties and tasting salons.

The Wine Train will also lease a locomotive and generator car from Sierra.

Renovations are slated to be completed by 2019.

According to Visit Napa Valley, 3.5 million tourists visited Napa Valley in 2016, and 14 percent of those said they rode the Wine Train.

That year, the company added another car to the train and a new six-hour Quattro Vino tour that for the first time in its 27-year history began stops along the route at four wineries for tastings.

The majority of the Wine Trains cars were built in 1915 by the Pullman Standard Company as first class coaches for the Northern Pacific Railway.

The Wine Train will also conduct an extensive interior and exterior renovation of its popular 1952 Pullman two-story domed railcar beginning summer 2018. The Vista Dome is one of ten full-length domed railcars built by the Pullman Company for Milwaukee Road, with nine still in existence. Curved glass windows run the length of the railcar allowing guests panoramic views of the Napa Valley while they dine from a multi-course menu prepared in the kitchen located on the lower level of the railcar.

During renovation, the Vista Dome will be replaced with a high-end dining and lounge car from Sierra Railroad Company. The partnership between Sierra Railroad Company and the Wine Train has the potential to continue beyond the renovation period, but no solid plans have been confirmed at this time, the Wine Train reported.

The Wine Train was purchased by Noble House Hotels & Resorts, Ltd. – a collection of luxury hotels and resorts – in partnership with Brooks Street, a California-based real estate development and investment company in 2015.

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