First the rumor: Warren Buffett is living it up in high style on a luxury railroad train parked on a siding just a stone’s throw from the Chambers Bay Golf Course.
That would be incorrect, said Gus Melonas, director of public affairs for BNSF’s Pacific Northwest region.
The billionaire is not there, Melonas said, but the luxury train cars parked just south of the course definitely are.
There are 11 of them, parked on a siding just south of the course where they glisten in the morning sun.
The train cars have been a subject of much speculation among passengers on the shuttle buses that pass close to them on the way to and from the shuttle parking lot at Fort Steilacoom.
“These are ’50s-era business cars from BNSF Railway’s Business Car fleet,” Melonas said Friday. “There are 11 cars total. There are sleeper cars, dining and lounge cars.”
BNSF’s marketing team is using the cars to host customers, Melonas said, noting that BNSF also has a hospitality tent.
“The cars are used for employee activity, corporate meetings and customer events,” Melonas said.
“They’ve been refurbished with big-screen TV’s — the latest tech with a look of the old.”
USGA planners had hoped to work out a deal with BNSF whereby a temporary train station could be established at Chambers Bay to shuttle fans to and from the Open.
That deal didn’t work out, though.