BC gone on the LSL after July 2?

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Rambling Robert

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I’m on hold for the LSL BC. I’m booked Boston to Spokane on a special rate and very kind agent worked up the numbers and enough more for me to pass.

It’s amazing the depth of the AU knowledge base. A thread could open with a tough question and get answered a short time later.

Operations Research (OR) was one of my college fields of study but I never worked in it. OR took on tough questions. In the 60s it was used in the Moon Shot, 70s OR was used in optimizing overnight delivery and all over the car industry. Amtrak? 2022?

I sure hope at the beginning of the pandemic, after me hearing a barrage of radio ads “the sleeper is the safest way to travel during covid” - was Amtrak ready?
 

JP1822

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Now that's always a good question - when equipment is removed like this, where is it bound?

I do think the Lake Shore Limited needs a full cafe/lounge car - in the form of a Amfleet II Diner Lite or Amfleet I cafe/lounge. The current half business class and half cafe car just is not sufficient for the amount of capacity of passengers this train should or could have aboard. Amtrak continues to stunt the capacity of the Lake Shore Limited with fewer Amfleet II coaches than its ever had. Although they tried, thankfully they left the three sleepers (1 Boston, 2 NY Based) intact. This actually does make a difference in allowing the Lake Shore to be a clean-up train out of Chicago.

But one shouldn't ignore that the Business Class product on the Lake Shore proved popular - for those bound to upstate NY destinations, OR those looking for some sort of "middle ground" between sleeper and regular coach. A slumber coach it is not. Likewise, the Superliner Business Class Coach car on the Coast Starlight does work. It works because it is something different and has a unique product offering - be it more comfortable seats, free non-alcoholic drinks, etc.
 

jis

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What will happen to the present Business class/cafe cars used on the Lake Shore? Will they be sent to Florida for storage with the new dining cars?
They will go back to the Corridor pool where they came from in the first place. There has never been a long term allocation of Amfleet I Club/Dinettes to the LD pool. As far as we know there are none of these cars in Mothballs either.

Amfleet Is don't go to Florida. They are maintained in Bear and Wilmington DE.
 
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What they SHOULD do with the Cafe/Club car is leave it in the consist - make it unstaffed - and add a full Cafe to better serve all passengers with food service. Since I’m sure the crew is taking up an inordinate share of booth space in the Cafe, adding booth capacity while improving food service and maintaining BC would be the best for passengers.

Of course, since when has “what’s best for customers” on an LD train mattered to current Amtrak Management?
 

west point

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Have to wonder if this change is due to the cars meeting mandatory 5-year work? I have not seen that the net number of available passenger cars has increased. If maintenance work is not able to increase the net passenger worthy and roadworthy cars, then it is going to stay continual loss of one service to allow another to get some service? Someone who has noted service changes might have a better idea. For most SL trains it takes 6 cars to ready to change a consist. for single level it takes 4.
 

rs9

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I just spoke with an AGR customer service rep in regard to LSL business class reservations I have for around Labor Day. She confirmed there is no business class for those dates (no switch to NYP service).

However, she did say that business class is coming back to the LSL later in September. I did not press on any specifics. She suggested that its removal may be a staffing issue.
 

Railroad Bill

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Sorry to see the BC car gone from 448-449, Glad our RR group had a chance to ride it to Chicago last month. And I will miss the single seat ride to and from Boston. Glad we upgraded our trip to and from Boston in September and managed to get a reasonably price roomette and bedroom for the trips. AGR points come in useful at times.
 
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I just spoke with an AGR customer service rep in regard to LSL business class reservations I have for around Labor Day. She confirmed there is no business class for those dates (no switch to NYP service).

However, she did say that business class is coming back to the LSL later in September. I did not press on any specifics. She suggested that its removal may be a staffing issue.
Well, I'm glad I got to ride it last year. It was a great way to get from Boston to Albany. Let's hope this AGR rep is right, and it will be returning in September.
 

rs9

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I made another call to AGR customer service. This person says she spoke with the operations department, who told her that the cafe/business car is being replaced with a "full lounge car." I'm sure that's not the right Amtrak term, but hopefully it gets the point across.

She also said operations told her they "aren't sure when business class will be back." So it sounds like this may not be permanent, or maybe it will be, or who knows.

On my first call, the operator said business class was going away temporarily but would be back in the fall. So...we shall wait and see.
 

jis

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I made another call to AGR customer service. This person says she spoke with the operations department, who told her that the cafe/business car is being replaced with a "full lounge car." I'm sure that's not the right Amtrak term, but hopefully it gets the point across.
Yes. LSL is getting an Amfleet II Lounge Car which is on rare occasions also called a Dinette. It was desperately needed to provide adequate food service for the passengers in the 4-5 Coaches on the train.
 

Bob Dylan

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I made another call to AGR customer service. This person says she spoke with the operations department, who told her that the cafe/business car is being replaced with a "full lounge car." I'm sure that's not the right Amtrak term, but hopefully it gets the point across.

She also said operations told her they "aren't sure when business class will be back." So it sounds like this may not be permanent, or maybe it will be, or who knows.

On my first call, the operator said business class was going away temporarily but would be back in the fall. So...we shall wait and see.
In "Amtrak Speak", a "Full Lounge Car" on a Viewliner Train is a VL Diner which are mostly in Storeage in Florida, ( and are Open only to Sleeper Passengers currently)but as jis posted, an Amfleet II Lounge Car is probably what will be put in the consist of the LSL.
 
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jis

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In "Amtrak Speak", a "Full Lounge Car" on a Viewliner Train is a VL Diner which are mostly in Storeage in Florida.
I don't know about Amtrak speak. What I know is that the LSL is getting an Amfleet II Lounge Car. Possibly the ones that came off the Crescent, which got a Viewliner II Diner.
 

jis

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A VL Diner brings back such fine memories. Chicken Fricassee PERFECT - just like my Moms - communal table mate to share the memory - then when finished I happily went back to Coach.
To repeat though, LSL is not getting a second VL Diner. It is getting an Amfleet II Lounge car replacing the Amfleet I Cafe-BC Car.
 

rs9

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Newbie question: does the Amfleet II lounge car have the cafe/bar for buying food and drink?

While I see the need for lounge space, by a rough calculation Amtrak seems to be losing about 500k annually in revenue with no business class on the LSL.
 

jis

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Newbie question: does the Amfleet II lounge car have the cafe/bar for buying food and drink?

While I see the need for lounge space, by a rough calculation Amtrak seems to be losing about 500k annually in revenue with no business class on the LSL.
Yes. Of course. It serves as the general food service car for both Sleeper and Coach on the Cardinal and did so on the Crescent until a few days back.

In terms of providing food service for passengers in 5 Coaches from a half Cafe car as was the case with the BC was a terrible idea. A BC-Cafe in addition to an Amfleet lounge makes sense, but just a BC-Cafe made no sense. There were numerous complaints about the inadequacy of a half Cafe to serve 5 Coaches worth of passengers as their only food service.
 

trimetbusfan

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Yes. Of course. It serves as the general food service car for both Sleeper and Coach on the Cardinal and did so on the Crescent until a few days back.

In terms of providing food service for passengers in 5 Coaches from a half Cafe car as was the case with the BC was a terrible idea. A BC-Cafe in addition to an Amfleet lounge makes sense, but just a BC-Cafe made no sense. There were numerous complaints about the inadequacy of a half Cafe to serve 5 Coaches worth of passengers as their only food service.
Are you saying the crescent get its VLII diner back? (First I’ve heard of that..).
 

zephyr17

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Newbie question: does the Amfleet II lounge car have the cafe/bar for buying food and drink?

While I see the need for lounge space, by a rough calculation Amtrak seems to be losing about 500k annually in revenue with no business class on the LSL.
Yeah, it is a standard AmCafe with a service counter in the middle and tables on both ends instead of tables on one end and BC seating on the other.

Amtrak has no single level cars with genuine lounge style seating.

Still think there should be 2 cafe cars on the train, maybe an Amcafe on the NY section and a cafe/BC on the Boston. Of course current management would never countenance the horror of having 3 food service cars on one train!
 
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rs9

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For what it's worth, business class still randomly appears as Sold Out for 48/49. A sign of things to come, or the ghosts of the Amtrak website?
 

rs9

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Yeah, it is a standard AmCafe with a service counter in the middle and tables on both ends instead of tables on one end and BC seating on the other.

Amtrak has no single level cars with genuine lounge style seating.

Still think there should be 2 cafe cars on the train, maybe an Amcafe on the NY section and a cafe/BC on the Boston. Of course current management would never countenance the horror of having 3 food service cars on one train!
Three would be nice, but an unstaffed Cafe/business would be a compromise to address the service gap.
 

rs9

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One last update: I received a call to rebook an August LSL trip in business class. To make myself annoying, I again asked if business class might be coming back. This operator said she could actually see the ability to book business class within her system, but not in the public facing system. She described the removal as a "management decision" and "until further notice." So if one is a glass half-full human, perhaps we'll see the return of business class to the LSL. I sure hope so.
 
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I don’t think it’ll be back in the half cafe. Those cars are borrowed from Corridor service and with some of the new lines coming online I’d suspect the club dinettes will see use there. At the end of the day while the quieter car with 2 and 1 seating was nice at the end of the day the business isn’t light years different from coach which also has tons of legroom, foot rests, etc. I think they’d be better off with the full lounge and just keep the second coach car year round on the Boston section to make up for loss of business.
 
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