Atlantic Coast (Silver/Palmetto/Carolinian) Service discussion 2023 Q4-2024

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No toilets in the VL2 on 91(2), from Baltimore southward. Since I was in the VL2 H-room, where you can hear every little sound happening in the hallway to the vestibule, I eavesdropped the conversation between the SCA and the mechanics who came on at both WAS and Richmond. He told them that the pump motor for the evacuation system was running constantly, and he was afraid it would burn out, so he turned the system off. On the scanner, It sounded like the mechanics reset something and got it to stop running, but it started up again as soon as they left the car.

Fortunately, there were a couple of unsold rooms next door in the VL1. First he told us to use the bathroom in a bedroom. I did, and the floor was covered with urine. Guess somebody lost control when the car hit a bump. Then we were directed to use the toilet in a Roomette, which was fine. I'm glad we didn't have to hike all the way to the coaches, and deal with those overused bathrooms.

I called Customer Relations, and they gave me a $200 voucher.
 
On kind of a whim I decided to take a trip to Florida in early Dec. in part to ride Brightline. I have a roomette from Philadelphia to Orlando on the 97 and then returning a few days later from Miami, also on the Meteor, although I would have preferred the Silver Star due to later departure but it was quite a bit more. I accepted the lowest fair options, which unfortunately placed me in the 11 car both ways, and as I read on this forum are VIs which I experienced one time previously on the Cardinal.

I called Amtrak (I prefer to make modifications on the phone) to see if I could switch to the 10 so that I could have my first VII experience. To make that change going south on the same train would be an upcharge of almost couple hundred, more than I want to spend, though the return change is a reasonable increase and I accepted that. Do they automatically charge more for VIIs? Question is, any strategies on when/how to check in to see if I can make that other switch for a more reasonable upcharge? I am even willing to adjust travel days. Thanks for any pro tips.
 
On kind of a whim I decided to take a trip to Florida in early Dec. in part to ride Brightline. I have a roomette from Philadelphia to Orlando on the 97 and then returning a few days later from Miami, also on the Meteor, although I would have preferred the Silver Star due to later departure but it was quite a bit more. I accepted the lowest fair options, which unfortunately placed me in the 11 car both ways, and as I read on this forum are VIs which I experienced one time previously on the Cardinal.

I called Amtrak (I prefer to make modifications on the phone) to see if I could switch to the 10 so that I could have my first VII experience. To make that change going south on the same train would be an upcharge of almost couple hundred, more than I want to spend, though the return change is a reasonable increase and I accepted that. Do they automatically charge more for VIIs? Question is, any strategies on when/how to check in to see if I can make that other switch for a more reasonable upcharge? I am even willing to adjust travel days. Thanks for any pro tips.
It is my understanding that the Silver 11 cars are usually V2s and 10 cars are usually V1s. Although, not too long ago, both cars were V1s.
 
On kind of a whim I decided to take a trip to Florida in early Dec. in part to ride Brightline. I have a roomette from Philadelphia to Orlando on the 97 and then returning a few days later from Miami, also on the Meteor, although I would have preferred the Silver Star due to later departure but it was quite a bit more. I accepted the lowest fair options, which unfortunately placed me in the 11 car both ways, and as I read on this forum are VIs which I experienced one time previously on the Cardinal.

I called Amtrak (I prefer to make modifications on the phone) to see if I could switch to the 10 so that I could have my first VII experience. To make that change going south on the same train would be an upcharge of almost couple hundred, more than I want to spend, though the return change is a reasonable increase and I accepted that. Do they automatically charge more for VIIs? Question is, any strategies on when/how to check in to see if I can make that other switch for a more reasonable upcharge? I am even willing to adjust travel days. Thanks for any pro tips.
The agent apparently did not know how to modify your reservation to switch cars/rooms. Call back and ask for a supervisor. There is NO up charge for changing rooms. But you could get lucky if the price happens to have dropped. ;)
 
The agent apparently did not know how to modify your reservation to switch cars/rooms. Call back and ask for a supervisor. There is NO up charge for changing rooms. But you could get lucky if the price happens to have dropped. ;)
Exactly. And I wasn't savvy enough to ask for a modification, either even though I have read about that countless times here. I thought the AGR agents were better equipped than others but evidently not. Bottom line, I called again and talked to another agent who moved me back to the other car at my original fare and I am good to go! Thank you.
 
I’m taking the Silver Meteor from DC to Miami in December, with a 7:30p scheduled departure. Do I get dinner on the train or should I find something between the air & space museum and the station?
 
I’m taking the Silver Meteor from DC to Miami in December, with a 7:30p scheduled departure. Do I get dinner on the train or should I find something between the air & space museum and the station?
You will get dinner on the train if you are a Sleeper passenger. As a matter of fact when I traveled on the Meteor back from the Philly Gathering last week, I had my dinner after we left Washington DC.
 
I’m taking the Silver Meteor from DC to Miami in December, with a 7:30p scheduled departure. Do I get dinner on the train or should I find something between the air & space museum and the station?
The few times I did not get dinner boarding the Meteor in DC were when the train was running really late. The lounge attendant announced this in advance to the sleeper passengers and provided compensation for those passengers to get something to eat in the station. This last happened many years ago, so I am not sure of the current protocol. I would certainly wait for the train in the lounge for many reasons.
 
Headed north on Silver Meteor. I looked on line for current trip info and found that the Silver Star, my alternative route, is running 7 hours late in NC today. I looked around on line to see why and couldn't find anything on the Amtrak websie (my question--why not? It would be interesting to know --equipment, track congestion, line failure?)
Obviously these routes recover from delays. It must put a lot of pressure on Amtrak to address this disturbance in the system. What effect will this have on the return trip tomorrow?
 
Headed north on Silver Meteor. I looked on line for current trip info and found that the Silver Star, my alternative route, is running 7 hours late in NC today. I looked around on line to see why and couldn't find anything on the Amtrak websie (my question--why not? It would be interesting to know --equipment, track congestion, line failure?)
Obviously these routes recover from delays. It must put a lot of pressure on Amtrak to address this disturbance in the system. What effect will this have on the return trip tomorrow?
According to a post on FB, yesterday's Silver Star 92 was delayed in Florida due to a CSX trespasser incident.
 
According to a post on FB, yesterday's Silver Star 92 was delayed in Florida due to a CSX trespasser incident.
Meaning that someone was killed somewhere due to being on the CSX line in Florida? Resulting in a delay of many hours while the investigative process was conducted? It's a sad event but in FL it has be come common enough to suggest creating a checklist so investigators can assess how to move on without holding up traffic. They do it on interstates too. Seems cold but there are many other considerations.
 
I will be travelling on the Silver Meteor later in December in a sleeper from MIA to PHL. I have not done it in a sleeper NB, so and I was researching. According to the FAQs posted here back in 2015, I should get breakfast, lunch, dinner and another breakfast the next morning. Is that correct for a sleeper?
 
I will be travelling on the Silver Meteor later in December in a sleeper from MIA to PHL. I have not done it in a sleeper NB, so and I was researching. According to the FAQs posted here back in 2015, I should get breakfast, lunch, dinner and another breakfast the next morning. Is that correct for a sleeper?
Yes
 
I took the Silver Meteor NB yesterday leaving from Central Florida and arriving in VA via roomette. It seemed the crew was complete with some trainee attendants. I was able to select a dinner time reservation (5,6,7 or 8) shortly after boarding. At dinner I had a full menu option. The table was set with table cloth, metal utensils and fresh flowers. I selected the (famous) Amtrak flatiron steak. Requested rare. It came rare with mashed potatoes, gravy, small green beans and carrots and a fresh mixed salad. An interesting addition to the steak gravy was a sprinkling of fried onion crisps. Dessert was a mocha caramel pie. Tasty and well-prepared. Service was a little like a roadside diner..but polite and attentive. Breakfast opened at 6:30 but I was gone by then. It was probably the best general experience I've had in 4 years of making this trip.
My continuing issue with the route is the rough condition of the section from Savannah though SC. That's CSX track used by a lot of freight. It seems their equipment would suffer the most.
 
I am flying down to JAX/Florida on Tuesday to visit friends in Ponte Vedra for a couple days and then flying to Miami via Chicago later in the week. I checked on the Silver Meteor train tracker (the Palmetto was just too early, I did not want to drag my hosts out of bed that early) and the Amtrak option was just not reliable, heck it didn't even show up on the tracker I was using. I kind of regret flying to Chicago to Miami instead of using Amtrak but I could not find reliable data and my friends had never used Amtrak outside the NE Corridor.
 
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Well, I'm bummed. Turns out at least on this trip today the 9711 car is V1. Was very much looking forward to my first VII experience.

Edit: Both sleepers are VI today.
I’ve noticed that as of late, it’s really a gamble whether the Meteor will have a VL2 or not… I wonder why? (ignoring the obvious answer of equipment availability)

Furthermore, at some point it went back down again from 4 coaches to 3, and still hasn’t regained its 3rd sleeper. I guess Hialeah is having problems.
 
I’ve noticed that as of late, it’s really a gamble whether the Meteor will have a VL2 or not… I wonder why? (ignoring the obvious answer of equipment availability)

Furthermore, at some point it went back down again from 4 coaches to 3, and still hasn’t regained its 3rd sleeper. I guess Hialeah is having problems.
Following is a mix of observed facts and heresay that I have heard through the grapevine, so to be taken with a pinch of salt.

The number of Coaches went down from 4 to 3 after Labor Day. As far as I can tell there are no plans to add the fourth Coach until just before Memorial Day '24, and there are no plans to add the third Sleeper for the balance of FY '24. The third Sleeper continues in the LSL through to the end of the FY AFAICT.

As for Sleepers, there has never been a guarantee that there will be one of each V1 and V2. Basically there will be whatever is available. It is possible that V2s which have been running for a while are being rotated through overhaul while V1s that are coming out of Mothballs are being used instead.

Apparently VL Sleepers will be in short supply for a while as they go through the refurbishment which is apparently a bit more than just cushions replacement in case of the Viewliner 1s.
 
Following is a mix of observed facts and heresay that I have heard through the grapevine, so to be taken with a pinch of salt.

The number of Coaches went down from 4 to 3 after Labor Day. As far as I can tell there are no plans to add the fourth Coach until just before Memorial Day '24, and there are no plans to add the third Sleeper for the balance of FY '24. The third Sleeper continues in the LSL through to the end of the FY AFAICT.

As for Sleepers, there has never been a guarantee that there will be one of each V1 and V2. Basically there will be whatever is available. It is possible that V2s which have been running for a while are being rotated through overhaul while V1s that are coming out of Mothballs are being used instead.

Apparently VL Sleepers will be in short supply for a while as they go through the refurbishment which is apparently a bit more than just cushions replacement in case of the Viewliner 1s.
Turns out on my trip last Saturday, according to my SCA Sunnyside swapped out the entire consist at the last minute. She did not know why.
 
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