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jis

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In addition to room 1 for the SCA, right?
Of course. Room 1 is more or less always for SCA.

As an side interestingly on Viewliner II Sleeper on Roomette is almost always reserved for storage, as they forgot to include storage closets while designing those cars.
 

zephyr17

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Here is a scenario:

27 is almost fully booked with one roomette still open between GPK-PDX and another CHI-PSC.
7 is almost fully booked with several roomettes still open CHI-SPK and another WFH-SEA

There are rooms available CHI-SPK and WFH-SEA on 7 and rooms available CHI-PSC and GPK-PDX on 27. But there are none through CHI-SEA on 7 or CHI-PDX on 27. Since the trains "connect" at SPK, you are being offered a transfer there.
 
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zephyr17

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Of course. Room 1 is more or less always for SCA.

As an side interestingly on Viewliner II Sleeper on Roomette is almost always reserved for storage, as they forgot to include storage closets while designing those cars.
You are talking like linens and supplies, not passenger luggage storage? Really? 🤦‍♂️
 

jis

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Indeed! What were they thinking, or perhaps not thinking! Total disconnect between people who have to use the thing from people designing it. And to boot the VL-Is actually do have closet space, albeit somewhat slim. They could have simply copied it in toto.
 

enviro5609

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Indeed! What were they thinking, or perhaps not thinking! Total disconnect between people who have to use the thing from people designing it. And to boot the VL-Is actually do have closet space, albeit somewhat slim. They could have simply copied it in toto.
I think (and this is just speculation) that the idea was that it would all be stored in the dorm cars-- of which there were supposed to be many, many more. With the original order, every Viewliner route would have had a dorm/bag/storage car. Until CAF had build and quality problems which left many shells unusable for anything more than just baggage cars. And we ended up with only 15 dorm cars. only 10 dorm cars.
 
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jis

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I think (and this is just speculation) that the idea was that it would all be stored in the dorm cars-- of which there were supposed to be many, many more. With the original order, every Viewliner route would have had a dorm/bag/storage car. Until CAF had build and quality problems which left many shells unusable for anything more than just baggage cars. And we ended up with only 15 dorm cars.
That is quite plausible, since there were supposed to be 25 Dorms, essentially the same number as Diners and Amfleet II Lounges which were supposed to be in all single level LD trains. Finally we got only 10 which now serve on two trains. 15 were converted to pure baggage cars and most of those are sitting in mothballs now.
 

Cal

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In addition to room 1 for the SCA, right?
Of course. Room 1 is more or less always for SCA.

As an side interestingly on Viewliner II Sleeper on Roomette is almost always reserved for storage, as they forgot to include storage closets while designing those cars.
Wouldn't it be two total? I thought that 27/28 only had two OBS; The SCA and LSA for the cafe. And mid-way through typing this I am now remembering the coach attendant. Nevermind. :)
 

joelkfla

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Of course. Room 1 is more or less always for SCA.

As an side interestingly on Viewliner II Sleeper on Roomette is almost always reserved for storage, as they forgot to include storage closets while designing those cars.
Ah, that explains why I saw a stack of cases of bottled water in one on the Meteor last October -- but the sleepers weren't very full back then, anyway.
 

CCC1007

Customer Service Agent
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Here is a scenario:

27 is almost fully booked with one roomette still open between GPK-PDX and another CHI-PSC.
7 is almost fully booked with several roomettes still open CHI-SPK and another WFH-SEA

There are rooms available CHI-SPK and WFH-SEA on 7 and rooms available CHI-PSC and GPK-PDX on 27. But there are none through CHI-SEA on 7 or CHI-PDX on 27. Since the trains "connect" at SPK, you are being offered a transfer there.
In other words, no single roomette is free the whole route end to end, as they are booking into and out of all rooms at least once enroute.
 
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You are talking like linens and supplies, not passenger luggage storage? Really? 🤦‍♂️
Indeed! What were they thinking, or perhaps not thinking! Total disconnect between people who have to use the thing from people designing it. And to boot the VL-Is actually do have closet space, albeit somewhat slim. They could have simply copied it in toto.
Of course, the people “using the thing” get their revenge in that they refuse to use any new feature built into the VLIIs that they don’t feel like utilizing.

One example is the shower room towel rack which sits there on the wall gathering dust while SCAs “stack” towels either on the seat or on the floor in a completely chaotic fashion. To complete the aesthetic, they “place” a garbage bag full of packaged soap on the countertop for good measure.

Another example is the really nice coffee and ice station which is basically in the location where the linen closet used to be. They refuse to use that at all either. If you want coffee, go to the diner. If you want ice, go to the diner.

Don’t get me wrong, I have found the Miami crews to be among the best I have seen. It just shows how bad management must be if they can’t get even the best employees to use the amenities and equipment so that customers get a better/nicer experience.
 

JC_620

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Can anyone post or repost the bucket fares once again for the Zephyr eastbound? Or direct me to which post # it was?
Thanks!
 

JP1822

Service Attendant
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Mar 8, 2019
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Take this for what it is worth, but I have met a LOT of SCA's and even LSA's on the Lake Shore Limited that are not fond of the Viewliner II Sleepers. They've held criticism with the lack of storage (e.g. the linen closet), the way the shower is setup (storage presumably again), and even the Handicap bedroom with how the sink juts out into the room/couch and the toilet not being in the enclosed shower area where it had been. Again, only the messenger and relaying.
 

joelkfla

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... and even the Handicap bedroom with how the sink juts out into the room/couch and the toilet not being in the enclosed shower area where it had been. Again, only the messenger and relaying.
I can understand their annoyance with the sink. IIRC, it actually overhangs the edge of the lower berth. It probably necessitates some contortions to make up the lower berth.
 

thully

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Ann Arbor, MI
Mid May is really late to be booking sleepers for mid July. Sell outs are to be expected at this late date.
I had waited until now to book for my EB+Canadian trip due to various concerns (and I’m glad I did, as my originally planned dates would not work), and I’m definitely finding that - Empire Builder seems to be sold out most days in June or July. Surprisingly, it seems VIA with their twice weekly schedule has more availability for cabins for 1 than Amtrak has roomettes. Guess I could fly one way, though at this point I’m somewhat inclined to just ride the VIA corridor this summer (pretty easy for me since Windsor isn’t too far away) and hold off on the Canadian until COVID is more under control and Cascades is running SEA-VAC. Could look at other Amtrak routes, though may just do some non-overnight trips there as well (since most of those sleepers are booked up too) and just do my big sleeper trip for the Gathering in October…
 

JC_620

Train Attendant
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Oct 15, 2019
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Centerville
So, can anyone provide me with some helpful advice on if it is even remotely possible to try and snag a low bucket on #6 and #448 for mid-December between Reno and Boston? Alternatively, we are just trying to look for a room between Chicago and Albany-Rensselaer and then just do coach between Albany and Boston to save a few bucks. But the #6 between Reno and Chicago is the problem right now as both roomettes and bedrooms are already in high bucket.

Any thoughts would be welcomed.
 

zephyr17

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So, can anyone provide me with some helpful advice on if it is even remotely possible to try and snag a low bucket on #6 and #448 for mid-December between Reno and Boston? Alternatively, we are just trying to look for a room between Chicago and Albany-Rensselaer and then just do coach between Albany and Boston to save a few bucks. But the #6 between Reno and Chicago is the problem right now as both roomettes and bedrooms are already in high bucket.

Any thoughts would be welcomed.
"Already in high bucket" implies that there had been allocation into low buckets and that allocation has been sold out. Under Amtrak's current yield management practices, that almost certainly is not what happened. They now appear to be initially allocating inventory only in the higher buckets when inventory is released 11 months out. And they do not revisit it for months. At some point, which appears to be 5-7 months out to me, they look at sales and start adjusting their inventory allocation and perhaps allocating some to lower buckets.

The days of lowest fares 11 months out is long past.

I have a NYP-SEA trip planned for November and everything is currently high bucket through my travel window. But we are only now getting into the time that might change. Same goes for your trip.

My advice is to do what I am doing, keep checking, they are likely to break out some lower buckets at some point in the next month or two. You don't have any advantage in buying now, high bucket won't go higher (barring a bucket reprice) and buying also encourages them not to reallocate some inventory into lower buckets as it is just showing demand at high bucket.
 

Sidney

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The SW Chief and the Eagle/Sunset have some low buckets for October and November. Getting low buckets on the Zephyr and Builder is more difficult. Again,as many have said the sweet spot to grab those fares are 3 to 5 months out. I must have got lucky for two upcoming trips this summer. $550 from Chi to Sac for July and $623 from Sea to Chi roomettes. You havd
 

Sidney

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Jul 12, 2020
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867
The SW Chief and the Eagle/Sunset have some low buckets for October and November. Getting low buckets on the Zephyr and Builder is more difficult. Again,as many have said the sweet spot to grab those fares are 3 to 5 months out. I must have got lucky for two upcoming trips this summer. $550 from Chi to Sac for July and $623 from Sea to Chi roomettes. You havd
You have to manually check dates. Wish Amtrak's web site had a month at a glance feature like Southwest
 

Amtrak709

Service Attendant
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May 6, 2021
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Columbus, GA
I know that there are many patrons of this forum that are always very knowledgeable ref sleeping car "buckets". My travels are very frequently ATN-WAS-ATN on the Crescent, but I am almost clueless these days about what is a good low bucket fare or a ridiculous high bucket fare. I realize ATN is not a popular station. I also am really specially interested in Viewliner Bedroom fares. Could anyone who has any data choose a popular endpoint trip (NOL-NYP or ATL-WAS or such) and make a very simple comparison? Thanks!
 

flitcraft

Conductor
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Jan 10, 2018
Messages
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I know we've had a number of posts regarding Amtrak sleeper prices, and I do appreciate that, in times where everything is getting pricey, Amtrak sleepers have priced themselves beyond many of us. But, here is one little data point: We are taking our nine year old daughter to Disneyland from Seattle to Los Angeles as a special treat. I was assigned the job of booking the one way train journey southward, and my husband the job of booking the flight back to Seattle. Cost for the three of us in the family bedroom was $1533. I just filed our credit card statements, where I discovered that the cost of three of us coming back in coach from LA is $1170. That's coach, not economy plus or first class... Add in the price of the hotel for a night and the meals for two days that we won't have to buy to the flight fare, and Amtrak gets us there cheaper, even in a sleeper.

I'm honestly surprised, and I realize that high bucket would have made a difference. But, at least on occasion, Amtrak isn't more than airfare would be. And I know the three of us will enjoy the train trip vastly more than seats 21 DEF on the flight back!
 

PRR 60

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I know we've had a number of posts regarding Amtrak sleeper prices, and I do appreciate that, in times where everything is getting pricey, Amtrak sleepers have priced themselves beyond many of us. But, here is one little data point: We are taking our nine year old daughter to Disneyland from Seattle to Los Angeles as a special treat. I was assigned the job of booking the one way train journey southward, and my husband the job of booking the flight back to Seattle. Cost for the three of us in the family bedroom was $1533. I just filed our credit card statements, where I discovered that the cost of three of us coming back in coach from LA is $1170. That's coach, not economy plus or first class... Add in the price of the hotel for a night and the meals for two days that we won't have to buy to the flight fare, and Amtrak gets us there cheaper, even in a sleeper.

I'm honestly surprised, and I realize that high bucket would have made a difference. But, at least on occasion, Amtrak isn't more than airfare would be. And I know the three of us will enjoy the train trip vastly more than seats 21 DEF on the flight back!

Why would flying back to Seattle from LA require you to stay in a hotel for an extra night or buy extra meals? Wouldn't you get back home a day earlier?
 
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