Almost First Timer Questions

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Joined
Dec 25, 2014
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My first roomette trip was to see if train travel was an alternative to flying and multi-state road trips. The answer is a resounding yes. I went from ALY-DEN and was hooked. My next trip is next month flying to DC for four days then WAS-NOL paid roomette. Staying three days then NOL-CHI-PDX-ALY on points. As an introverted solo traveler I took my meals in my room on the first trip. Since reading the forum for months with all the comments and info from such a nice group of people I'm going to venture out of my comfort zone and actually go to the diner.

My question is, I leave WAS at 6:30pm, will I get dinner that evening? And do I have to take my ticket to the diner to show that I am a roomette passenger?

I will not be checking luggage and only have one bag plus a tote bag for overnight stuff. I would like to drop it off at all the stations and wander around until train time. If I understand correctly, I can use the Metro Lounges. Does the $4.00 fee apply there? Also is anyone familiar with the Magnolia lounge in NOL. I haven't been able to find any information except that it exists.

Thanks again for this great forum.
 

neroden

Conductor
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Feb 23, 2014
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Yes, I believe you get dinner on departure from Washington. No, you do not have to take your ticket: the dining car attendant asks for your car number and room number and you sign.
 

the_traveler

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Nov 14, 2007
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The Club Acela in WAS is available to you to use free of charge as a sleeper passenger. I do not understand your question about a "$4.00 fee" - what is that for? :huh:

Yes you will get dinner leaving WAS. Your SCA should have made reservations for you.

The Magnolia Room is just that - a room. No attendant, only some chairs and a coffee machine. I understand they only make coffee once a day. By the time the CONO departs, it may either be stale or gone. You "gain admission" by getting the combination from the ticket agent. Many passengers forego it and wait in the main waiting room.
 

pennyk

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There is no charge to store luggage in the WAS Acela Lounge. There is a room next to the attendant's desk where the luggage is stored. That room is open to all passengers, so in a sense, your luggage is not secure. However, I feel very comfortable storing my luggage there every time I pass through WAS, which is quite often.
 

StriderGDM

OBS Chief
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Dec 23, 2014
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Just so you know, I'm on train 19 right now and they had dinner reservations all the way up to 8:30 PM last night. So yes, you'll have no problems getting dinner when getting on in WAS.

Enjoy the trip.
 

cassie225

Service Attendant
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May 30, 2012
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That is true,the Magnolia Room is just a room,with TV ,Coffee and a few chairs. I prefer to wait in the waiting room because you get to see the people getting on the train in NO. The advantage to having sleeper in NO is being able to board first and as I have a disabled daughter this is a good thing for us
 
Joined
Dec 25, 2014
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When traveling on the Cascades I day checked my bag at PDX and was charged $4.00. So I just wanted to know if that was a standard fee. I guess it varies per station?
 

ehbowen

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Mar 22, 2011
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Ah. Yes, the $4 fee is a standard fee...when you check your luggage with the ticket agent. Both coach and sleeper passengers may do so. However, if you have access to the various first class lounges, the policy may differ. In Chicago, for example, there is no charge to check hand luggage for the day, but a tip to the redcap attendant is customary. In Los Angeles they will stash your luggage behind their desk and watch it; no fee but again a gratuity is customary. Some stations, such as the aforementioned New Orleans, do not have any staff or facilities to hold passengers' luggage. In those cases your choices are to find rental lockers (getting harder to do these days), check it with the ticket agent for the $4 fee, or just keep it with you.
 

the_traveler

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Nov 14, 2007
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In PDX, if you have access to the Metropolitan Lounge, you can leave it in the Metropolitan Lounge at no charge. If you day check it with the Luggage Room, then yes there is a $4.00 fee.
 

TVRM610

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Apr 30, 2007
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I've ridden the crescent many times out of washinton and always gotten dinner even when the lounge told me I wold miss dinner due to a lte train. (Meaning the diner stayed open late when the train was late).

The crescent is more laid back than the western trains... The Sleeper attendant will usually just say "head to the diner anytime after we depart" that's my experience... The diner crew is expecting that.
 

Tumbleweed

OBS Chief
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Feb 2, 2010
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It's a good idea to have your ticket with you as you move about the train, especially in a sleeper....
 

spacecadet

Lead Service Attendant
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Oct 15, 2008
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I've never taken my ticket with me when riding in a sleeper. The sleeping car attendants know who is riding in their cars (not that many people to keep track of), and that's the only part of the train you'd need to worry about entry to.

It's actually kind of impossible to take your ticket with you all the time if you're traveling with one or more people in a sleeper... you get one ticket for the entire party. If two people go off on their own, someone's not going to have a ticket with them. That doesn't mean only one person ever gets to leave the car.
 
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AmtrakBlue

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May 6, 2011
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I've never taken my ticket with me when riding in a sleeper. The sleeping car attendants know who is riding in their cars (not that many people to keep track of), and that's the only part of the train you'd need to worry about entry to.

It's actually kind of impossible to take your ticket with you all the time if you're traveling with one or more people in a sleeper... you get one ticket for the entire party. If two people go off on their own, someone's not going to have a ticket with them. That doesn't mean only one person ever gets to leave the car.
I personally would print out a ticket for each member of my party. I always carry my ticket with me.
 
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