1 hr connection possible?

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tim bob

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I have planned a cross country Amtrak with bedroom. We have a one hour window to change trains in LA. I questioned our Amtrak expert travel agent who has booked trips for years for us.
She verified with Amtrak and they gauranteed our connection would be made.

I told her that I expect to be in a bedroom on our connected train (if we had to be put on a next day train.) Two nights in coach seats will not due fot the price we are paying. She reassured me that Amtrak guaranteed they would make the connection with no further explanation.

Any comments or past experiences.
 

jebr

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What trains are you connecting between in LA? If you're connecting from a regional train (like the Pacific Surfliner) to a long distance train (like the Southwest Chief) it's less dicey than between two long distance trains.

That said, at the end of the day the remedy is basically either a refund or a hotel in LA plus a ticket on the next day's train. Sometimes Amtrak will do a connecting bus for a few hours to connect passengers between trains if the connection is too tight for rail but not for a bus. If a bedroom is available on the next day's train, they'll rebook you in that, otherwise you'll get whatever accommodation is available. I'm not sure how refunds are handled for downgrades, though I'd definitely push for one if you're downgraded to a roomette or coach.
 

pennyk

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I, personally, would not rely on a one hour window to change trains. Maybe things have changed, but I do not think that Amtrak guaranteed one hour connections.

I am very fortunate that I have only missed one connection. Amtrak put me up overnight and I was able to get a bedroom on the next day's train. However, again, I was fortunate that there was availability on the next day's train.
 

jebr

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I, personally, would not rely on a one hour window to change trains. Maybe things have changed, but I do not think that Amtrak guaranteed one hour connections.
Amtrak does guarantee a few shorter connections - I know in the past the Coast Starlight > Sunset Limited connection was guaranteed even though it's only an hour - not sure if it is now. I think it's a mix of known OTP plus Amtrak feeling comfortable with bus bridge availability if needed.
 

daybeers

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Hi Tim! Welcome to AU! I encourage you to join if you're interested. I think we need to know which trains you'll be traveling on to give the best advice.
 

anumberone

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I have planned a cross country Amtrak with bedroom. We have a one hour window to change trains in LA. I questioned our Amtrak expert travel agent who has booked trips for years for us.
She verified with Amtrak and they gauranteed our connection would be made.

I told her that I expect to be in a bedroom on our connected train (if we had to be put on a next day train.) Two nights in coach seats will not due fot the price we are paying. She reassured me that Amtrak guaranteed they would make the connection with no further explanation.

Any comments or past experiences.
I think you may make the connection riding a bus 400 miles.
 

Ryan

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Tim, if you're not comfortable sharing the trains that you will be connecting between, you can use this site to see how often the connection is made:

Given the hints, it sounds like you're connecting from 11 (9:00 PM arrival) to 2 (10:00 PM departure). Looks like the connection has done decently this year:
Screen Shot 2021-03-24 at 9.36.50 AM.png

The one connection that was "missed" likely had passengers pulled off of the Coast Starlight early and bussed to catch up with the Sunset Limited.
 

tomfuller

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I missed the connection from the Sunset Ltd. to the Coast Starlight in Feb. 2020. (more than an hour). We all loaded on full buses from LAUS to Bakersfield and got on the San Joaquin all the way to Martinez. We were in Martinez for more than 3 hours before the Coast Starlight we had missed showed up. We did make it to Klamath Falls on time the next morning.
Going the other way if the Coast Starlight is going to be late into LA, They can and have put people on a bus from Santa Barbara and caught up with the Sunset around Palm Springs. Bustitution is a common practice with Amtrak in California.
 

Cal

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I missed the connection from the Sunset Ltd. to the Coast Starlight in Feb. 2020. (more than an hour). We all loaded on full buses from LAUS to Bakersfield and got on the San Joaquin all the way to Martinez. We were in Martinez for more than 3 hours before the Coast Starlight we had missed showed up. We did make it to Klamath Falls on time the next morning.
Going the other way if the Coast Starlight is going to be late into LA, They can and have put people on a bus from Santa Barbara and caught up with the Sunset around Palm Springs. Bustitution is a common practice with Amtrak in California.
Wow, you must've ben VERY late then...
 

anumberone

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I missed the connection from the Sunset Ltd. to the Coast Starlight in Feb. 2020. (more than an hour). We all loaded on full buses from LAUS to Bakersfield and got on the San Joaquin all the way to Martinez. We were in Martinez for more than 3 hours before the Coast Starlight we had missed showed up. We did make it to Klamath Falls on time the next morning.
Going the other way if the Coast Starlight is going to be late into LA, They can and have put people on a bus from Santa Barbara and caught up with the Sunset around Palm Springs. Bustitution is a common practice with Amtrak in California.
That’s what I’m talking about.
 

bratkinson

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Although I've made the 1/14 11/2 connection in LAX perhaps 20 times or more, 2 years ago, on a 3+ hour late #11, they got me off at Martinez, train down to Bakersfield, then 2 hr bus ride to LAX so I could make #2. Turned out that #11 made up time and arrived 20 minutes before #2 scheduled departure...on the opposite side of the same platform! Total confusion for those trying to board #2, which departed on time.

I didn't complain to Amtrak that the bus ride cost me a free lunch and free dinner. I had wanted to ride the San Joaquin route and figured I'd do it eventually. So I was happy to ride and see a route I had never been on.
 

Cal

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Although I've made the 1/14 11/2 connection in LAX perhaps 20 times or more, 2 years ago, on a 3+ hour late #11, they got me off at Martinez, train down to Bakersfield, then 2 hr bus ride to LAX so I could make #2. Turned out that #11 made up time and arrived 20 minutes before #2 scheduled departure...on the opposite side of the same platform! Total confusion for those trying to board #2, which departed on time.
Better be safe than sorry!
 

tomfuller

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Any financial consideration given? A bus ride is not a bedroom.
I would much rather get a bus ride to catch up with the train connection that I missed than to have a hotel room and catch the next train. I have made a cross platform transfer from one train to another with the train I was getting on being held for an hour or slightly more.
To save money/points, My wife and I left Chicago in coach on the CZ on points. We transferred to a roomette in Omaha at 10PM. I paid for Omaha to Glenwood Springs and then we went back to coach all the way to Winnemucca where we had our car parked.
 
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