Another trip, more neurotic questions.

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Cina

Lead Service Attendant
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Mar 26, 2014
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Hey folks, remember me? I joined up last year, learned a lot about Amtrak, took a trip, wrote a report, then school started and teaching stole the energy necessary to look at a screen and type things :p

Well anyway, I'm taking another trip this year and started lurking again (neurotically obsessing over this trip has consumed my little free time during speech season) but even after constant lurking and searching the site, I had a couple nagging questions.

I've convinced my mother to take the train with me this summer, and we're booked in a roomette on the CZ and one on the CS (with a short PAC surfliner ride) down to visit my best friend in Orange County. Since my mom probably wouldn't be ok with crashing on my friends couch (which is what I do when I visit her) we've booked a hotel in Dana Point for four nights before we fly back. I'm excited to show her trains and California, and hope she's ready to be at the mercy of her insane daughter for nine days.

Speaking of insane, here are the questions that bug me even though my train trip is still 90ish days away:

1. My mom is a snorer, and is self-conscious about this. I am profoundly deaf in one ear, so I just put my "good ear" to the pillow and sleep like a rock. I'd like to reassure her that the roomette door will keep her "zzz"s in. Has anyone been bothered by snoring in adjacent roomettes?

2. We arrive in LAUS at 9pm and depart on the Surfliner at 10:10. Since we're arriving in sleeper I'd like to hang in the metro lounge if there's time, but I've never been there. I've found how to get there from inside the station, but is there a way to get to the lounge straight from the train without going down into the tunnel, into the station, up the elevator to the lounge?

I'll probably think of more questions later, just wanted to break the ice and come back from "lurker" to "actual poster..again...hopefully...until life gets crazy again" :)
 

SarahZ

Conductor
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May 8, 2011
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You're back! :)

I can't answer the second question, but I can answer the first.

I am the lightest sleeper in the world. Seriously. My downstairs neighbors' alarm clock wakes me up, and that's WITH a fan running next to the bed. In order to get even just a few hours of sleep on the train, I have to take melatonin, drink some wine, use earplugs, and then put headphones on top of the earplugs. Even with all of that, the horn still wakes me up.

I've never heard anyone snoring in a roomette, though. The doors are surprisingly good at shutting out sound. There is a small gap at the bottom of the doors, so if she's still self-conscious, she could stuff a shirt or something there during the night. Plus, everyone else has their door shut, so it would have to travel through two of those sound-deadening doors.

Honestly, though, even with the thin walls, I've never been awakened by anyone snoring. Sometimes, I can sort of hear someone snoring when I walk down the hallway late at night, but it's never loud. I really wouldn't worry about it.
 
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the_traveler

Conductor
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26,008
I have never been bothered by a snorer in another room. I don't know if I've been "lucky" or what.

The only way to get to the Metropolitan Lounge from the outside is to use a Red Cap. This is because the route crosses an active line of the Gold Line at grade.
 

Ryan

Conductor
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17,025
1. No.

2. Use a red cap.

C. Yay, you're back!
 

Cina

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Mar 26, 2014
Messages
333
1. No.

2. Use a red cap.

C. Yay, you're back!
Succinct! :D

Good to know about the snoring, I didn't remember hearing any when I was in the sleeper last summer, but again, I'm basically deaf at night. Try becoming hard of hearing, SarahZ!

As to the red cap service, I feel bad utilizing that when we are hale enough to carry our own bags/selves. Is this bad etiquette?
 

Cina

Lead Service Attendant
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Mar 26, 2014
Messages
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After asking that I checked the on-time performance of the Coast Starlight into LAX for the past week or so here... http://www.dixielandsoftware.net/Amtrak/status/StatusPages/CoastStarlightStatus.htm ...and it seems like it's usually early. But I don't know if that should be any consolation - seems kind of tight to me.
I did this connection last summer and it turned out alright, but if it doesn't I can guilt my friend into driving to LA from Aliso Viejo, so it'll be ok. The PAC surf to Irvine just cuts some time off her drive to pick me up.

The first time I made this trip via train she drove all the way to Bakersfield to pick me up in the wee hours, so LAUS wouldn't kill her! :p
 

the_traveler

Conductor
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That connection is guaranteed.if the CS is not too late, they hold the Surfliner.

As far as the Red Cap, no it's not. And besides if you do see someone "waiting who needs it more than you do", it is your right to let them use it instead! I have come into WAS on the CL, gotten a Red Cap, put my bag on the cart - then before we left, there was one more person who wanted a Red Cap. Since all the seats were taken, and she needed it more than I did, I gave up my seat so she could ride. And I walked into the station - and I use a walker.
 

niemi24s

Conductor
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That connection is guaranteed.if the CS is not too late, they hold the Surfliner.
Well I'll be a monkey's uncle! Isn't that sweet of them? And because it's a guaranteed connection they must be quite confident it will get made.

Although it's probably of no real concern - any idea how late is too late?
 
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the_traveler

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I don't know the exact time, but if it's running like 30 minutes late, they will probably hold it. But if it's running 4 hours late, I doubt it.
 

FormerOBS

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As usual, Sarah is right on almost everything. But please DON'T stuff your good clothes in the gap under the door. Ask the SCA for an extra shower towel, or use two or three hand towels. Hand towels are also good to block the flow of air from the overhead vent if it gets to be too powerful. Just stuff it into the vent.

Tom (AKA the Voice of Experience)
 

SarahZ

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As usual, Sarah is right on almost everything. But please DON'T stuff your good clothes in the gap under the door. Ask the SCA for an extra shower towel, or use two or three hand towels. Hand towels are also good to block the flow of air from the overhead vent if it gets to be too powerful. Just stuff it into the vent.

Tom (AKA the Voice of Experience)
I should have clarified that as "dirty clothes that are going in the laundry when you get back". :) But yeah... the SCA can get you some extra towels. I didn't even think about that.
 

CHamilton

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The connection from the CS to Surfliner 796 is guaranteed. I've done it several times, and have always made the connection. The closest call was when train 11 left SEA four hours late due to a several-hour delay on the northbound 14 the night before. But it was Christmas Day, and we made up a lot of time along the way. So by the time we got to SBA, we were told that we'd be able to make the connection as "796 is behind us"! When we arrived at LAX exactly at 10:10, 796 was waiting on the opposite track. We rushed across, and the Surfliner left at 10:17. :)
 

oregon pioneer

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Feb 15, 2011
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I have missed that connection in LAX, and I can tell you that if the CS is "too late" they will have an AmBus ready to take you (and others who missed the connection) to your destination. The AmBus will stop at every station where the train had a passenger scheduled to stop.

That was no consolation when it meant getting into our San Diego hotel at 4am, but boy, were we glad we had a guaranteed room, and could go right to sleep for 6+ hours! I am too old to be in agreement with those who think that it's worth sitting up to save a short night's sleep.
 

Phil S

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I use earplugs (and a good stiff drink) at night and have never been bothered by snoring In an adjacent roomette. That said, why not take along some extras and offer them to the neighbors? The walls between roomettes are aluminum foil thin. I routinely get treated to one-sided cell phone conversations from adjacent roomettes. Earplugs for all will help. Likewise, gentle admonishments about taking the cell phone to the café car or sightseeing car (if there is one) usually/often produce positive responses. Suffering in silence is I think the worst possible tactic.

Just my 2c worth. Best wishes for an enjoyable trip. - Phil S
 

Cina

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All of this talk about the Surfliner got me thinking; we are booked on 796 from LA to IRV, because that's what I did last year when staying with my friend. But since we're staying in Dana Point, I got to thinking...is there a station closer to dana point that would be even easier? Looks like San Juan Capistrano is a heck of a lot closer. Is it possible to "modify" my res to detrain at SNC instead of IRV or would I have to purchase a second ticket?
 

AmtrakBlue

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Is SNC before or after IRV? If before, I would just get off at SNC. Let the conductor know in case no one else is booked to get off there. If after, you could call to MODIFY your ticket or maybe just buy a ticket from IRV to SNC.
 
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Everydaymatters

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I'm an expert at a solution for your first question.

True Story: When I used to travel in coach From Chicago to Washington, there was one trip in particular where all of people around me were extra jovial and there was a lot of camaraderie and fun. This went on all evening and gradually every one fell asleep.

The next morning nobody would talk to me! They wouldn't even look me in the eye!

Fast forward several years when my daughter and grand kids and I took a road trip. After the first night, my daughter said she was not spending another night in a hotel with me until she could get to the drug store. She said that her husband has a snoring problem and she got him nasal strips. Voila! problem solved.

Moral of story, have your mom get some Breath Right strips. No more snoring and she'll sleep like a baby.
 

Cina

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She uses nasal strips religiously and has even tried a mouthpiece; she has sleep apnea and what she NEEDS is a cpap but she's hesitant. That being said, her snoring isn't as bad as her dad's; grandpas snoring used to rattle the windows upstairs! :D

I'm glad I'm able to reassure her.
 

niemi24s

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Bob Dylan

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As others said, SNC is closer than IRV. If you are going in Coach it is Unreserved, Biz Class is Reserved Seating and an Upgrade!

You will need to Call and have the Agent Modify your Rez and it will cost you $3 more ( $18 vs. $21 Value Fare) since SNC is 12 miles farther down than the line than IRV.
 
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Cina

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Mar 26, 2014
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Thanks for the advice all! My friend still thinks she'd rather pick us up in Irvine, so it's all for naught, though it's good to know for next time!

Now I just have to decide if I have enough gumption to find a redcap and decide if I want to utilize this service, which will probably be a gametime decision.
 
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