Autotrain Services Drastically Cut?

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MARC Rider

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Given that the busiest auto-train service I know of is essentially an auto "ferry" shuttle through the Eurotunnel, I would think that the most practical application for auto train service in the US might be on routes that allow drivers to avoid difficult driving or hazardous conditions. For example, perhaps an auto train that runs from the western suburbs of Denver right off I-70 to somewhere around Salt Lake City, right off I-80. People could take that to avoid having to drive over the Rocky Mountains. Might be especially popular when there's a lot of snow. Also, another one from say, the outskirts of Reno to the outskirts of Sacramento, allowing motorists to avoid having to drive over the Donner Pass. Another good route would be from somewhere in North New Jersey to somewhere just south of Fredericksburg, Virginia, allowing people to avoid having to drive I-95 through the Northeast Corridor. Maybe they could drop off part of the train in Lorton and attach it to the existing Auto Train to Florida. No sure what other high-volume highways would be so annoying that an auto train might be a nice alternative. Maybe Harrisburg-Pittsburgh, the mountains aren't as high as the Rockies, but the Turnpike is sure twisty and has some pretty stiff grades.
 

jis

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Those would be even more effective if the railroads were in base tunnels like under the Alps. But of course hell is likely to freeze over before anything of the sort happens :D
 

jacorbett70

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My AT experience (Sleeper car):
Southbound (September): Four dinner options: Room service 5PM, 6PM, sit-down meal 7PM, 9PM. The 7PM was full when I arrived so I took 9PM. There was both sit-down and takeout breakfast (Coffee, cereal, banana, crumb cake) and the diner filled up ~7AM leaving only takeout.
Northbound (10/22): Lighter load, I arrived after 1PM, only 5PM and 6PM room service was available. There was a 7PM sitdown option but that was long gone. The sleeper lounge did not have an attendant or any service so they called it a "sit down car." The coach lounge was placed between the coach and sleeper cars, offering service to both. There was both sitdown and takeout breakfast (same items).
 

Cal

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Given that the busiest auto-train service I know of is essentially an auto "ferry" shuttle through the Eurotunnel, I would think that the most practical application for auto train service in the US might be on routes that allow drivers to avoid difficult driving or hazardous conditions. For example, perhaps an auto train that runs from the western suburbs of Denver right off I-70 to somewhere around Salt Lake City, right off I-80. People could take that to avoid having to drive over the Rocky Mountains. Might be especially popular when there's a lot of snow. Also, another one from say, the outskirts of Reno to the outskirts of Sacramento, allowing motorists to avoid having to drive over the Donner Pass. Another good route would be from somewhere in North New Jersey to somewhere just south of Fredericksburg, Virginia, allowing people to avoid having to drive I-95 through the Northeast Corridor. Maybe they could drop off part of the train in Lorton and attach it to the existing Auto Train to Florida. No sure what other high-volume highways would be so annoying that an auto train might be a nice alternative. Maybe Harrisburg-Pittsburgh, the mountains aren't as high as the Rockies, but the Turnpike is sure twisty and has some pretty stiff grades.
It’d have to take the overland route, and donner pass is a non starter. Grades are too steep.
 

lordsigma

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What is "an employee call out"?
The schedule employee called out sick and they didn’t have anyone available to replace - at least that’s what they were saying was the reason there was no employee in the lounge. It seems others have heard this is some type of permanent change - I guess we’ll just have to see.
 
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lordsigma

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While there are some employees who are gripping any the vaccine mandate, I have heard of no instances where people are calling out as a form of protest, and if it is happening, it’s certainly not happening on some large scale.
That’s good to hear. In my work place (our due date is already past) I know of a few employees who were gripping constantly and threatening to resign - in the end of the ones I know even the most vocal of them fell in line and didn’t carry out their threats.
 

dwebarts

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What you say is true, as its just Human Nature, but anyone who works in Health Care, which is based on Science and requires Training and Knowledge, probably shouldn't be opposed to getting Vaccinated for all the various Illnesses and Bad News stuff such as COVID, should have Common Sense and want to protect themselves as well as their patients and family and friends!

Otherwise, they should be working in another field.
This makes logical sense. As we've all observed during our lifetimes, humans are often illogical beings. I used to shake my head every day riding a local bus in Santa Fe at the number of medical professionals out on a smoke break near the bus stop at St. Victim's (the local nickname for St. Vincent Hospital).
 

BLNT

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We cruise a lot. It's not uncommon for people to receive onboard credit if some ports are missed or if some other aspect of what you booked/paid for is not offered (venues, maintenance issues, etc).

Granted, Amtrak is not similar to cruise lines - but it would be nice to see some type of future credit given when amenities are cut to the bone. They made nice push a couple of years ago when they touted expanded sleeper car changes - what did we get, perhaps a new pillow if that?! Pretty much everything is lipstick on a pig, and a tired old pig at that.

Oh well...
 

MARC Rider

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That’s good to hear. In my work place (our due date is already past) I know of a few employees who were gripping constantly and threatening to resign - in the end of the ones I know even the most vocal of them fell in line and didn’t carry out their threats.
Once when I got a new boss who implemented some pretty irrational policies, I was griping and muttering about finding a new job. I wasn't the only one -- I had a colleague who was an Iraq war veteran (who must have put up with a lot of unpleasant things) come into my office, close the door and complain, and there was another colleague who also talked about leaving. In the end, we all figured out how to deal with the person, and we all stayed. Well, I stayed until I retired, and those other two are still "working for the man." It's really not all that easy to find a good job these days.
 

MARC Rider

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This makes logical sense. As we've all observed during our lifetimes, humans are often illogical beings. I used to shake my head every day riding a local bus in Santa Fe at the number of medical professionals out on a smoke break near the bus stop at St. Victim's (the local nickname for St. Vincent Hospital).
I am now reading a book called "The delusions of Crowds, why people go mad in groups." I strongly recommend it (at least so far. ) There's an interesting chapter about the speculative bubble involving George Hudson and the building of the British railway network in the 1840s. But, more to the point, the author has some expertise in neuroscience, and the bottom line seems to be kind of depressing -- we humans are pretty much run by our "lizard brains" (more technically called the "limbic system.") and we aren't as smart as we think we are. That's especially true when some demagogue or swindler is assiduous in tickling peoples' lizard brains to get the desired (for the demagogue or swindler) response. Actually, maybe we shouldn't feel so bad; most people manage to overcome their limbic system to some degree, but there are enough people who don't do enough higher level thinking to cause real problems in the real world.
 

jis

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But, more to the point, the author has some expertise in neuroscience, and the bottom line seems to be kind of depressing -- we humans are pretty much run by our "lizard brains" (more technically called the "limbic system.") and we aren't as smart as we think we are. That's especially true when some demagogue or swindler is assiduous in tickling peoples' lizard brains to get the desired (for the demagogue or swindler) response. Actually, maybe we shouldn't feel so bad; most people manage to overcome their limbic system to some degree, but there are enough people who don't do enough higher level thinking to cause real problems in the real world.
An episode we are apparently in the midst of at this moment?
 

pennyk

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MODERATOR NOTE: Please keep your comments on the topic of Auto Train services and avoid the general discussion of vaccines. Several posts have been removed from this thread as "off topic" inasmuch as they did not discuss the cut in services on the Auto Train. Thank you for your continued cooperation.
 

BLNT

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MODERATOR NOTE: Please keep your comments on the topic of Auto Train services and avoid the general discussion of vaccines. Several posts have been removed from this thread as "off topic" inasmuch as they did not discuss the cut in services on the Auto Train. Thank you for your continued cooperation.
It's a slippery slope!

Good housekeeping.
 

Triley

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They made nice push a couple of years ago when they touted expanded sleeper car changes - what did we get, perhaps a new pillow if that?! Pretty much everything is lipstick on a pig, and a tired old pig at that.
New pillows, sheets, blankets. Have the amenity kits become in stock and available for use? Superliner sleeper are also undergoing refurbishment, as well as the coaches and lounges.

Covid set everyone back. I’m not really sure what you were expecting?
 

BLNT

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New pillows, sheets, blankets. Have the amenity kits become in stock and available for use? Superliner sleeper are also undergoing refurbishment, as well as the coaches and lounges.

Covid set everyone back. I’m not really sure what you were expecting?
For nearly $3k round trip, apparently too much!
 

daybeers

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Given that the busiest auto-train service I know of is essentially an auto "ferry" shuttle through the Eurotunnel, I would think that the most practical application for auto train service in the US might be on routes that allow drivers to avoid difficult driving or hazardous conditions. For example, perhaps an auto train that runs from the western suburbs of Denver right off I-70 to somewhere around Salt Lake City, right off I-80. People could take that to avoid having to drive over the Rocky Mountains. Might be especially popular when there's a lot of snow. Also, another one from say, the outskirts of Reno to the outskirts of Sacramento, allowing motorists to avoid having to drive over the Donner Pass. Another good route would be from somewhere in North New Jersey to somewhere just south of Fredericksburg, Virginia, allowing people to avoid having to drive I-95 through the Northeast Corridor. Maybe they could drop off part of the train in Lorton and attach it to the existing Auto Train to Florida. No sure what other high-volume highways would be so annoying that an auto train might be a nice alternative. Maybe Harrisburg-Pittsburgh, the mountains aren't as high as the Rockies, but the Turnpike is sure twisty and has some pretty stiff grades.
The most practical application for auto train service in the U.S. is no auto train service. Seriously, I get the AT makes money and takes cars off I-95, but it's a drop in the bucket for Florida tourism, it doesn't go that far, doesn't really save time, is aimed at retired folks with cash to burn, and subsidizes driving and suburbia. The United States doesn't need more of that. We need better train and other transit service so you don't have to be stuck in a car to begin with.
 

lordsigma

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The most practical application for auto train service in the U.S. is no auto train service. Seriously, I get the AT makes money and takes cars off I-95, but it's a drop in the bucket for Florida tourism, it doesn't go that far, doesn't really save time, is aimed at retired folks with cash to burn, and subsidizes driving and suburbia. The United States doesn't need more of that. We need better train and other transit service so you don't have to be stuck in a car to begin with.
Ack! Don't kill my most frequently used LD train. 😂 Though you do make some good points - but it's not just used by retirees though they surely provide a lot of ridership. I think it's a unique service that's justifiable by the particular market is serves. Northeast - Florida is probably the only real market where it works.
 
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lordsigma

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Has anyone tried calling Customer Relations for compensation for the reduced services on the AT?
Do we even really have full confirmation that the subject of this thread is an actual thing - that there actually are reduced services - or that this was a couple instances of inability to staff the sleeper lounge (which again is what crew were saying when I was aboard?)
 

OBS

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Do we even really have full confirmation that the subject of this thread is an actual thing - that there actually are reduced services - or that this was a couple instances of inability to staff the sleeper lounge (which again is what crew were saying when I was aboard?)
Considering every report says there was never a line in the coach lounge, it would make sense ($$) not to have two lounges staffed.
 

dwebarts

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The most practical application for auto train service in the U.S. is no auto train service. Seriously, I get the AT makes money and takes cars off I-95, but it's a drop in the bucket for Florida tourism, it doesn't go that far, doesn't really save time, is aimed at retired folks with cash to burn, and subsidizes driving and suburbia. The United States doesn't need more of that. We need better train and other transit services so you don't have to be stuck in a car to begin with.
I'd love to take the AT but I don't have a car, so I can't. I could easily get to Lorton via the VRE common connection points with WMATA. It's the AT rules that prohibit it.
 
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