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  1. calwatch

    Traveling to Glacier National Park - can we pack Bear Spray?

    I will say that I've taken bear spray in and out of trains and even to and from Canada without anyone looking it over (and Customs coming in to the US usually looks things over thoroughly). It was this product: https://www.rei.com/product/154930/counter-assault-bear-deterrent-spray-81-fl-oz-2019...
  2. calwatch

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

    Schedule date change is officially May 6. Back to more or less the 2017 schedule (with a few tweaks to maximize train meets on double track), and Morning Express is on "hiatus" until Sacramento gets four trains, and they feel Morning Express would do better on the alignment that stops at Midtown. 
  3. 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...
  4. calwatch

    SAC Station

    Downtown Commons is open later even on non-game nights now. They still have the Macy's as well. Yard House will always stay open late. https://www.docosacramento.com/directory/#restaurant/
  5. calwatch

    Service Disruption on Empire Builder

    Unless you had other plans in your destination in which case you should try to get them to spring for a flight to your destination.
  6. calwatch

    Empire Builder Timekeeping Struggles

    More bad luck on the Empire Builder. I was scheduled to take 8 (3) out of Spokane to Minneapolis tomorrow, but I'll just have to fly instead. Luckily Spirit has cheap flights from Los Angeles (I was going to meet up with friends on the train but we'll meet in MSP instead). 8(3) and 7(4) have...
  7. calwatch

    San Joaquin Morning Express not doing too well

    They've talked about business class but have to get the market for it. I think you could do half a car with a "modular" business class that would just give you a drink and reserved seating, but no additional pitch. Or if they get the new equipment you could reset the seats to provide some...
  8. 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...
  9. calwatch

    Habitual Amtrak ticket Scammer in LA Union station.

    The roped off area at Union Station is supposed to be for passengers only though and depending on the diligence of the security guard, they will check, although it is usually triggered by someone who looks like they don't have enough train fare. But if they are bugging people at the standing...
  10. calwatch

    Amtrak's New "Fresh Choices" Dining on CL & LSL

    Although the press release clearly states that sleeper car passengers will have their food comped, it seems some in Amtrak didn't get the memo, or this may be telegraphing future changes. https://www.politico.com/newsletters/morning-transportation/2018/05/07/chaos-asian-media-blitz-205562 BUT...
  11. calwatch

    San Joaquin draft business plan for FY 2018-19

    Looks like all trains are unreserved as of Monday. This articles says buses but they still show as "reserved Thruway" on the Amtrak web site. https://thebusinessjournal.com/amtrak-san-joaquin-changes-fare-policies/
  12. calwatch

    Tehachapi Detour!

    Tehachapi is something that is fairly but not extremely rare. It seems to come about as often as an Olympic games or lunar eclipse - every few years. It used to much rarer and could become more rare in the future if Anderson has his way.
  13. calwatch

    San Joaquin draft business plan for FY 2018-19

    Since last week the trains have been single bucket. It will go unreserved next month, although the May 7 schedule still shows all trains as reserved.
  14. calwatch

    Kansas City to San Diego thru Fullerton rather than thru Los Angeles?

    Unless you go during Del Mar opening weekend, Comic-Con, or the Thanksgiving holiday, when the Surfliner is reserved, but those dates are usually announced well in advance.
  15. calwatch

    Back to the Buckets: Amtrak's bizarre pricing

    Interestingly the San Joaquin JPA staff has recommended to the board to eliminate the bucket pricing on that line and go to a fixed fare, unreserved tickets like the other California trains. They stated that 90% of tickets were sold at the lowest bucket and the grief received when tickets were...
  16. calwatch

    Starlight: Business Class Eugene to Sacramento

    Also business class should be pretty empty, although of course nothing is guaranteed. It's a good option for solo travelers who don't want to sleep in (or pay for) a roomette and can take the small risk of having someone sit next to them.
  17. 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...
  18. calwatch

    New San Joaquin schedule effective January 8, 2018

    The current start date for Morning Express is May 7, 2018.
  19. calwatch

    AAA Discontinued Effective 2/18/18

    The student discount should have been a youth discount IMHO with a cutoff at age 25 or so. Too many grad students have student IDs which they have kept continuously. Overall I think they are just keeping the senior discount to avoid more political backlash - if Amtrak was an airline they would...
  20. calwatch

    Pacific Parlour Car Permanently Retired February 2018

    Well AGR has been downgraded substantially for the long distance trips. I generally use them on corridor leisure trips and have stopped earning them entirely, content to burn off my stash obtained from signing up for the Bank of America credit card and what was transferred via Chase prior to...
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