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
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
and New Haven, Connecticut
. As of October 2007, the railroad included a bar car on 16 weekday eastbound trains and seven weekday New York-bound trains. The atmosphere on the bar car is often characterized by animated conversation, gregariousness and a degree of camaraderie, a stark contrast to typical rush hour coach cars in which most passengers sit in separate seats reading, dozing off or thinking quietly.