It’s the sad end of an era for people who like to drink on trains, because the last commuter rail bar cars operating in the U.S. took their final trip Friday.
According to the New York Times, the “rolling saloon” was a staple of rail travel since before WWII, but over the years they have been slowly phased out until the faux-wood-paneled lounge cars of Metro-North’s New Haven line were the last to remain, according to the American Public Transportation Association. But the last Metro-North bar car went out for its final run with the 7:34 p.m. train on Friday from Grand Central Station to New Haven.
“Society has changed, D.W.I. laws have changed, the relationships of men and women have changed,” said Metropolitan Transportation Authority board member Mitchell Pally. “You can wait the hour to get off the train and do what you’re going to do.”
The bar car does have a romantic aura, even if it has a bit of a throwback vibe. And getting sloshed on the train is not always the best idea, considering that many passengers pick up cars at their last stop and drive the final legs of their commutes.
Travelers who want a drink on the train can still pick up beverages from Grand Central’s drink carts to take with them.