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  1. calwatch

    San Joaquins to cancel Morning Express, look at skip-stop train

    https://sjjpa.com/wp-content/uploads/SJJPA-Board-Packet-January-25-Web-Version-3.pdf After nearly eight months in operation, ridership on the Morning Express Train (701) remains very low and current trends suggest it is not likely to increase. Low ridership on the Morning Express Train has...
  2. calwatch

    San Joaquin Morning Express not doing too well

    About 50 passengers on weekdays, half that on weekends. http://sjjpa.com/getattachment/Home/SJJPA-Board-Packet-July-27,-2018-(4).pdf After a strong first day/inaugural event, ridership on the Morning Express began very low, but has seen steady growth over the course of the last two months...
  3. calwatch

    San Joaquin draft business plan for FY 2018-19

    http://www.sjjpa.com/getattachment/Home/2018-SJJPA-Business-Plan-Update-Public-Review-Draft.pdf Highlights: - Morning Express Fresno-Sacramento to start May 7, 2018 with truncation of the last Oakland-Bakersfield train in Fresno. towards "late FY 2018-19" truncate another Oakland-Bakersfield...
  4. calwatch

    Amtrak ending certain discounts in 2018?

    As a state supported corridor you can set your own fare policy, but it appears the following will be the default Amtrak discount system. https://t.co/aoq6o22lQY Need for Additional Fare Policy Modifications On November 8, 2017, the LOSSAN Agency was notified by Amtrak of upcoming changes to...
  5. calwatch

    New San Joaquin schedule effective January 8, 2018

    Includes the "Morning Express" (which makes all stops) service from Fresno to Sacramento, and cuts the first train from and last train to Bakersfield to ending at Fresno (with bus service to Bakersfield and Los Angeles). The Bakersfield people are not happy and have mocked up a schedule that...
  6. calwatch

    Amtrak portal 30X on 1800Flowers in February

    While not a good deal if you just need the points, if you were going to buy flowers anyway for February 14, or any other day this month, I would take a good look at this deal. http://frequentmiler.boardingarea.com/2017/02/09/30x-amtrak-1800flowers/
  7. calwatch

    San Joaquin survey on early morning Sacramento train

    https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/KGB7GKZ As currently proposed the concept is for a mid-route start from Fresno. Essentially the train that currently arrives in Sacramento at 11:40 PM would pause in Fresno overnight and leave early in the morning to arrive in Sacramento in time for a full day of...
  8. calwatch

    Reminder: SPG transfer to Amtrak Guest Rewards

    And an interesting digression as to why they are still useful. http://freequentflyerbook.com/blog/2016/10/18/reminder-starwood-preferred-guest-transfers-to-amtrak-guest-rewards
  9. calwatch

    No connection WB Empire Builder to SB Coast Starlight?

    I'm trying to build this trip for the summer as a points redemption and it won't let me book the trip. Is something going on?
  10. calwatch

    Rail running for elite status

    Although for this blogger, the point is not access to Amtrak lounges, but the ability to triple points through transfers to Choice Privileges for cheap redemptions in places like Europe. http://freequentflyerbook.com/blog/2015/7/15/is-rail-running-for-you I don't understand the "two tickets in...
  11. calwatch

    Calculating Amtrak Customer Relations voucher value (blog post)

    http://www.pointswithacrew.com/amtrak-complaints-how-to-get-compensation-for-amtrak-delays/ Basically, it looks like the blogger got out of the CSR that the value is 100% of the rail fare value for the travel portion and $10 per meal missed. He also discovered, as many of us know, that Amtrak...
  12. calwatch

    Los Angeles Union Station to get air conditioning

    https://www.scribd.com/doc/254989901/LAUS-Air-Conditioning These capital improvement programs are essential to the maintenance and operation of Los Angeles Union Station. The roof is 75 years old and is no longer water tight. It is not possible to patch or repair in sections. There is no...
  13. calwatch

    Amtrak forcing conductors to check that sleepers are no-show

    I guess this has been a problem recently. From an internal Amtrak memo: Background ‘No show’ Sleeping Car passengers should be rare as they forfeit their entire fare which is usually hundreds of dollars, and often thousands of dollars. The call center agents have been calling passengers...
  14. calwatch

    Stories from the Climate Train (Emeryville to New York)

    This is not a political discussion on climate change but rather a discussion on the etiquette of people using the outlets on the train for hot water heaters (!!!) Grist is an environmental magazine that is sympatehtic to the climate movement, although not so much to the activists riding on the...
  15. calwatch

    Best time to call for Customer Relations

    I was stuck on a train with mechanical issues (Amtrak's fault IMHO since the conductor gave misleading information on when the train would be moving, although he did recommend to everyone to call Customer Relations to get a voucher) last month and am trying to get a hold of Customer Relations. I...
  16. calwatch

    LA Union Station Seating now only open to Amtrak/Metrolink passengers

    ...within two hours of their departure time. So if you got booted off the Sunset Limited at 4 am and want to catch the first Surfliner or Coast Starlight, too bad. You'll have to stand for a few hours...
  17. calwatch

    Folding bike fiasco on long distance trains

    http://bikeportland.org/2013/12/03/citing-nonexistent-policy-amtrak-workers-haul-away-portlanders-bikes-98029 Amtrak apologized Tuesday to a Portlander traveling through Texas who said train workers woke her up and yelled at her for having a folding bicycle as carry-on luggage — something the...
  18. calwatch

    The Golden Age of Amtrak

    Maybe not for anyone who still remember the "good old days", but compared to flying, and given the immense value that is AGR, it is getting attention from the frequent flyer set. http://www.frugaltravelguy.com/2013/08/the-golden-days-of-amtrak.html
  19. calwatch

    No more free pillows on Amtrak (coach)

    $8 (without tax) for the below doesn't seem too bad, although the quality is probably such that it will work maybe five or six times before being less than effective. The pillow service has always been inconsistent anyway. You can get Ikea pillows for 99 cents on sale (or $2 normally) and use...
  20. calwatch

    Inside the Circus Train

    From Fatwallet there are some rare pictures inside the circus train. One of the members was recently offered a job as staff accountant/bookeeper for the circus and as such will be traveling all over the country on that train. http://www.flickr.com/photos/95523384@N02/