Assigned seats on the train?

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Bob Dylan

50+ Year Amtrak Rider
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I'm considering a Lake Shore Limited from Chicago Union Station to New York Union Station around 9:30 pm at night departure. My question is should I get there early because I want a window seat or do they seat you by destination? All the NYC people in one car while people getting off sooner are in others or people getting on at later stations but going to NYC will eventually wind up in your car? What is the process?
There are at least 2 Coaches going to New York City(#48) with the Boston Section (#448)at the Front of the Train, so your Chances of getting a Good Seat in the Amfleet II Coaches is good.

It will depend on the Passenger Load and the Crew, but every time I've taken the Lake Shore to NYP in Coach I've been able to pick my own seat.
 
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Getting there more than, say, 30 minutes early won't help much. Being at or near the front of the line when they start boarding IS important in getting a window seat. Know that #48/448 most likely boards from at the easternmost glass doors in the waiting area at CHI as far as I know. If you see the crowd from the Metropolitan lounge boarding/waiting to board about 9:05-9:10 (I've always ridden sleeper), stand by the door then if they haven't already called for coach boarding.
 

zephyr17

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Why is that a problem? Someone's not going to take a trip because they can't get just the right seat?
Well, most airline sites allow you preview a available seats before purchase. For air travel, I will decide against flights based on which seats are available, so the concept of changing plans based on seat availability does not sound at all outlandish to me. With that said, there are no seats on Amtrak nearly as bad as bad airline seats, so it assumes much less importance.
 
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Well, most airline sites allow you preview a available seats before purchase. For air travel, I will decide against flights based on which seats are available, so the concept of changing plans based on seat availability does not sound at all outlandish to me. With that said, there are no seats on Amtrak nearly as bad as bad airline seats, so it assumes much less importance.
When the boss tells someone that they have to fly out to De Moines on the 14th of the month, or when vacation days are fixed, and a person can only travel on certain dates, the vast majority of people aren't going cancel or change their plans because they can't set the seat of their choice. Maybe a few retired people can be picky like that, but even then, this is transportation, you get there at the same time, whatever seat you get.
 

zephyr17

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When the boss tells someone that they have to fly out to De Moines on the 14th of the month, or when vacation days are fixed, and a person can only travel on certain dates, the vast majority of people aren't going cancel or change their plans because they can't set the seat of their choice. Maybe a few retired people can be picky like that, but even then, this is transportation, you get there at the same time, whatever seat you get.
When I traveled on business, I was usual able to choose flights based at least partly on seat availability. I was never forced into a middle seat. My employers were usually flexible on time of day, and were all right with taking an earlier or later flight as long as I was where I was supposed to be when I was supposed to be.

Most of my selections based on seat availability I referred to were actually for business travel. It wasn't when I was a "privileged" retiree.

Since I retired, I have not flown at all.

So, as I said the capability of seeing seats in advance and making travel plans at least partly based on that is not at all outlandish, even for business travel. Who wants to be stuck in a middle seat if one can find reasonable alternatives?
 
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rs9

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Here's one video from Feb. 2022 that suggests that passengers on the LSL departing from Chicago are grouped into cars by destination - at least for NYP passengers.

 

daybeers

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Why is that a problem? Someone's not going to take a trip because they can't get just the right seat?
Those upgrade coupons are precious, and to use them on Acela, you're already paying a higher base fare for not much upgrade in the experience department. It's the same thing with not being able to see the seat map before paying in cash: why?
 
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