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    Alan Burden (AlanB)

    I'm so sorry to learn of AlanB's death. He was always the most knowledgeable, patient, and helpful poster on this board. While I never met him personally, I have many fond train-riding memories thanks to his help in learning the ins and outs of AGR. He did so much good on this forum and...
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    unpublished route redemption

    When I last travelled San Diego-Portland-St. Paul last October on an AGR redemption, I also couldn't book the San Diego-LA leg. What I did was first book Los Angeles-Portland-San Diego. I then called back after a couple of months, explained that my travel plans had changed, and the agent added...
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    Seemingly crazy careless drivers

    I always assume a 1 a.m. wrong-way driver isn't crazy. Just drunk.
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    Empire Builder-Gravel Truck Collide in North Dakota

    The two P-42s taken out by this grade crossing collision are still sitting in Minot. They don't look so bad, but I was told by local station people that the gravel load completely trashed both locomotives.
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    MSP - that's Saint Paul and Minneapolis

    No, it's a special built-up course. FWIW, the Artist's Quarter venue has reopened as Vieux Carre, run by the Dakota Jazz Club. I haven't seen a show there, so can't comment otherwise.
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    November 2015: Chicago to New Orleans

    I'm sure that there are nice parts of Mississippi, and even of the Mississippi Delta, but you don't see those parts from the City of New Orleans. Instead, you travel through piney woods punctuated by depressed (and depressing) parts of towns and cities. It's sort of like New Jersey in that...
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    Viewliner Section and Slumbercoach Sleepers

    On my most recent Amtrak trips, a bedroom often cost more than twice as much as a roomette, and occupancy rates seemed higher for bedrooms vs. roomettes. If Amtrak wanted to maximize sleeper revenue from new rolling stock, wouldn't all-bedroom sleeping cars be the way to go? ETA bolded text.
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    Excess Carry-on Baggage Fee Began October 1, 2015

    In my experience, sleeper passenger excess carry-on luggage clutters up the lower vestibule of Superline trains, when the limited space in the luggage rack is insufficient, or clutters up the shower compartment on Viewliner sleeping cars. The former can be a safety hazard, the latter is an...
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    Amtrak Guest Rewards 2.0 Coming January 2016

    If you have the extra cars. Amtrak doesn't.
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    Railcar Diagram

    The diagram that you posted gives the model number (индекс вагона or indeks vagona) as 31-817, not 61-817.
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    Railcar Diagram

    The video Swadian Hardcore found is for a similar, but perhaps not identical sleeping car. I think that it's a training film. At 6:30 the announcer mentions sleeping compartments, room for service personnel, and the provodnitsa's compartment. The one two-person compartment must be that room...
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    Amtrak Guest Rewards 2.0 Coming January 2016

    D.P. Roberts, if AGR wasn't invented to lure passengers in the NEC, why did it appear as part of the roll out of Acela? Why do all the benefits of status except extra points only benefit people in corridors? And honest, I don't care how you feel about the changes to AGR. They affect me...
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    Amtrak Guest Rewards 2.0 Coming January 2016

    This statement is patently untrue. The vast majority of Amtrak passengers don't ride sleepers. Heck, a large majority of Amtrak trains do not have sleepers. AGR isn't there to reward sleeper passengers. They are already a captive market, after all. AGR is a marketing program to encourage...
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    Railcar Diagram

    It's a PK-type (which stands for passazhirskii-kupeinyi) kupe-class Russian sleeping car from 1991. Each compartment has two pairs of bunks with a fold-down table between them. There are nine double-bunk compartments and one single bunk compartment, giving a total of 38 passengers. The final...
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    New Amtrak Guest Rewards Master Card - Fall 2015

    Why wouldn't they? Citibank has or had a plethora of American Airlines cards, Visa, Mastercard, even American Express. Mrs. Ispolkom and I collected bonuses on all of them.
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    Amtrak Guest Rewards 2.0 Coming January 2016

    I've talked up AGR to fellow sleeper passengers dozens of times at shared meals in the dining car. Most of my fellow diners didn't belong to AGR, and perishingly few were on award trips. Quoted for truth. The fact that my ox is getting gored isn't any reason to start assuming that it's a very...
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    I really should know this. Points travel for 2.

    Except that I don't think that you can book a one-zone award Brunswick-Miami. The itinerary doesn't show up in the Web site, at least.
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    Reno to Wolf Point = doesn't exist?

    Perhaps because some agents still book circle trips. I just finished a two-zone award Kansas City-LA-Portland-Minot which, according to the Rules as Written, is not allowed.
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    The Ocean.....Summer 2015

    Mrs. Ispolkom and I were on the Ocean a couple of weeks ago from Halifax to Sainte Foy (we were going to Quebec City). Like Anderson, we were in the large bedroom for two, what used to be called the drawing room, and we also were amazed by the endless number of identical sleeping cars between...
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    Amtrak Guest Rewards 2.0 Coming January 2016

    I really have to agree with iggy. As someone who has spent hundreds of thousands of AGR points in the last six years, I am just grateful that the gravy train lasted this long. I'm also pleased that AGR has given us a long grace period to use up our points. Every rewards program devalues, but...
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