BC gone on the LSL after July 2?

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JP1822

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If they are removing the business class car from the Lake Shore Limited, or moving it to the NY section, Amtrak really should update the reservation system completely and not sell seats it doesn't intend to have available. I checked a few dates in August (NYP to Erie, PA) to book business class and it doesn't make any sense - based on what's reported here and what the online reservation system is showing.

The Lake Shore Limited was supposed to get an Amfleet II Diner Lite back. The cafe definitely needs more capacity for food service. At the same token, there is value into offering an option on long distance trains that is unique between coach and sleeper class. These cars with their 2x1 seating and other amenities could fill the void.
 

jis

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It seems like they intend to release BC seats for sale at some point in the NY section. BC is appearing as "Sold Out" at present.

LSL is getting an Amfleet II Lounge or Dinette that will be part of the Boston Section on the day that BC in the Bston Section is discontinued.
 
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zephyrstar

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Interestingly 49/449 (16) had an Amfleet 1 Business Class car (at least that's how it was labeled on the outside) between the Boston Sleeper and the Amfleet 1 cafe car when it came through South Bend on June 17. The consist was as follows:

Locomotive
Locomotive
VL 1 sleeper
AM 1 Business Class
AM 1 cafe (Northeast Regional branding on the outside)
AM 2 coach
AM 2 coach
AM 2 coach
AM 2 coach
AM 2 coach
VL diner
VL 1 sleeper
VL 1 sleeper
VL baggage
 
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Interestingly 49/449 (16) had an Amfleet 1 Business Class car (at least that's how it was labeled on the outside) between the Boston Sleeper and the Amfleet 1 cafe car when it came through South Bend on June 17. The consist was as follows:

Locomotive
Locomotive
VL 1 sleeper
AM 1 Business Class
AM 1 cafe (Northeast Regional branding on the outside)
AM 2 coach
AM 2 coach
AM 2 coach
AM 2 coach
AM 2 coach
VL diner
VL 1 sleeper
VL 1 sleeper
VL baggage
That is what they use when the AM 2 coach is shopped in Bos as they have no extra AM 2 coaches thete.
 

jis

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Interestingly 49/449 (16) had an Amfleet 1 Business Class car (at least that's how it was labeled on the outside) between the Boston Sleeper and the Amfleet 1 cafe car when it came through South Bend on June 17. The consist was as follows:

Locomotive
Locomotive
VL 1 sleeper
AM 1 Business Class
AM 1 cafe (Northeast Regional branding on the outside)
AM 2 coach
AM 2 coach
AM 2 coach
AM 2 coach
AM 2 coach
VL diner
VL 1 sleeper
VL 1 sleeper
VL baggage
Looks like they have already done the replacement of the BC-Cafe by a full Cafe, and have plugged in a full BC till July when BC is supposed to be discontinued.
 

rs9

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Saw a report from a Midwest train (Wolverine) that its cafe/BC car was unavailable for the run. Amtrak Midwest - No cafe service

I suppose its not clear if the cafe car was unstaffed or if it didn't run at all, but this lends support to the idea that the removal of BC from the LSL is not intended to be permanent but is an equipment/staffing shortage issue at the moment. Given the timing, there is some credence to the idea that the cafe/BC cars are coming upon a hard deadline for required evaluation/maintenance.
 
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A full-size cafe car has long been needed on the Lake. Since the coaches are normally AM-2, the nicer seating in the split club (compared to the typical AM-1) is much less of a step up on a LD train like the Lake. A bit more civility, privacy & the ability for some to snag a single seat, are nowhere near as important to that train as the long running cafe car problem. It would really be nice to see the split move to the NY section, providing NYP-ALB food service, and even have baggage back BOS & Worcester (bag dorm perhaps), but that might be way too much to hope for.
 

jis

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It would really be nice to see the split move to the NY section, providing NYP-ALB food service, and even have baggage back BOS & Worcester (bag dorm perhaps), but that might be way too much to hope for.
The only way to get Bag-Dorm on the LSL would be take it away from the Crescent or the Cardinal. I doubt that will happen. Eventually Lake Shore will just get another full Sleeper.
 

Amtrak25

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Above, there are 5 Amfleet-2 coaches in a row. How many are the Boston section ?

In the past, I have seen 60-seat Am-1 "business class" label cars in the Boston section, but subbing for an Am-2 coach. It creates confusion with passengers as to whether that or the split dinette is the actual business class car.

The Biz-dinette car usually comes out of the Chicago pool, not a NE Regional one.
 

fdaley

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When we rode from BOS to ALB on Monday (6/13), the usual BC-cafe combo car was in the consist right behind the Boston sleeper, with the BC end toward the sleeper. There were two Amfleet 2 coaches on 449, and another three waiting at Albany from #49 from NYP.
 

zephyrstar

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Above, there are 5 Amfleet-2 coaches in a row. How many are the Boston section ?

In the past, I have seen 60-seat Am-1 "business class" label cars in the Boston section, but subbing for an Am-2 coach. It creates confusion with passengers as to whether that or the split dinette is the actual business class car.

The Biz-dinette car usually comes out of the Chicago pool, not a NE Regional one.
There are usually five AM-2 coaches on this train, positioned between the cafe and the diner. It's unusual to have a car (in this case the AM-1 business class coach) between the cafe and Boston sleeper.

I only observed the train from the outside during the station stop at South Bend, so I'm not sure what the interior configuration of either the BC coach or the cafe car was.
 
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I'm guessing the NEC full BC car and Cafe was a last minute substitution in BOS. Living in the SPG area, I regularly watch the recently added virtual railfan Springfield cam.

I was surprised to see the NEC A-1 between the sleeper and Cafe on 449 last week. It came back 2 days later and not seen since. For what it's worth, the full NEC BC car is a step down from LD A-2 coach. 2 inches less legroom an no underneath flip-up leg rest which the cafe/BC had. I've tried multiple times to sleep in a full BC car on #66 (night owl) with little success despite having a full seat to myself. When the used a cafe/BC car about 10 years ago, sleep was better, despite too many station announcements.

So I'm better off on my July 15 #448 trip being downgraded to coach. I'm fortunate, too, that 448/449 isn't bused Sun-Thur aside presently is.
 

rs9

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I'm guessing the NEC full BC car and Cafe was a last minute substitution in BOS. Living in the SPG area, I regularly watch the recently added virtual railfan Springfield cam.

I was surprised to see the NEC A-1 between the sleeper and Cafe on 449 last week. It came back 2 days later and not seen since. For what it's worth, the full NEC BC car is a step down from LD A-2 coach. 2 inches less legroom an no underneath flip-up leg rest which the cafe/BC had. I've tried multiple times to sleep in a full BC car on #66 (night owl) with little success despite having a full seat to myself. When the used a cafe/BC car about 10 years ago, sleep was better, despite too many station announcements.

So I'm better off on my July 15 #448 trip being downgraded to coach. I'm fortunate, too, that 448/449 isn't bused Sun-Thur aside presently is.
Is there any picture of these Amfleet I full business class cars? I honestly can't find one on the Internet, which actually seems like quite an accomplishment. I read somewhere these cars seat 60 - seems like an awful lot of business class tickets to sell for any Amtrak route. Do the seats have the same generous recline as found in the cafe/BC cars and Amfleet II long distance coaches? If not, that is a real decline for business class.

My understanding is the Carolinian and the Palmetto use the Amfleet I business cars (as well as the Pennsylvanian). Do these trains run Amfleet I coach cars?
 

fdaley

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On the couple of rides I've had in them, the full Amfleet-1 business cars really seemed barely any different from coach. It's 2-and-2 seating with a bit more legroom, but on NEC trains this hardly seems worth the extra fare. And when I booked a BC seat in one of these cars on the Pennsylvanian a couple of years ago, I was quite sure I'd have been more comfortable in the Amfleet-2 cars they were running for coach passengers.

The half-cars with the burgundy seats and the 2-and-1 seating really do feel like an upgrade from coach.
 

Sidney

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I found this picture allegedly of an Amfleet I business class car before the recent makeover. I remember traveling in Business Class on the Maple Leaf in 2001 and the seats were burgundy like these. So, this could be what you were looking for.View attachment 28663
If only every long distance train could have a business class car with 2x1 seating. It's a nice bridge between Coach and a sleeper. BC has a better chance for your own pair of seats. Of course,the LSL is taking theirs off. I would always book 448 out of Chicago to ensure that single seat. I ll be on 448 in August,sadly in Coach. Just can't justify what they are charging for a roomette. I have a bid up at the lowest possible price. I did a bid up in April at the lowest price offered and got it. Hopefully it will work on my next trip.
 

rs9

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If only every long distance train could have a business class car with 2x1 seating. It's a nice bridge between Coach and a sleeper. BC has a better chance for your own pair of seats. Of course,the LSL is taking theirs off. I would always book 448 out of Chicago to ensure that single seat. I ll be on 448 in August,sadly in Coach. Just can't justify what they are charging for a roomette. I have a bid up at the lowest possible price. I did a bid up in April at the lowest price offered and got it. Hopefully it will work on my next trip.
Putting aside the current car shortage, it seems like Amtrak has some opportunities to be creative in creating business class opportunities, and building new revenue. I do like the BC/cafe cars and have only used that service on the LSL thus far. Like you, I'll be in coach in August (and will hopefully supercede your bid by $1 :cool:).

However, one of the things I don't like about the cafe/BC service is that my return trips to Chicago on 449 often have the business class section facing coach, rather than the Boston sleeper. The amount of foot traffic for the long trip is pretty high.

One way to both solve this issue and increase revenue opportunities would be to use a normal coach for business class, but restrict the seating to 1 x 2 seating. Anecdotally I've noticed there's enough travelers in pairs who fill up the 2 seat side, so there shouldn't be too many solo travelers forced into a two-seat situation. It's less airy and spacious than the cafe/BC cars, but it would essentially guarantee business customers a car to themselves. It would up BC seats to about 45 or so on Amfleet II at least.
 

Sidney

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Putting aside the current car shortage, it seems like Amtrak has some opportunities to be creative in creating business class opportunities, and building new revenue. I do like the BC/cafe cars and have only used that service on the LSL thus far. Like you, I'll be in coach in August (and will hopefully supercede your bid by $1 :cool:).

However, one of the things I don't like about the cafe/BC service is that my return trips to Chicago on 449 often have the business class section facing coach, rather than the Boston sleeper. The amount of foot traffic for the long trip is pretty high.

One way to both solve this issue and increase revenue opportunities would be to use a normal coach for business class, but restrict the seating to 1 x 2 seating. Anecdotally I've noticed there's enough travelers in pairs who fill up the 2 seat side, so there shouldn't be too many solo travelers forced into a two-seat situation. It's less airy and spacious than the cafe/BC cars, but it would essentially guarantee business customers a car to themselves. It would up BC seats to about 45 or so on Amfleet II at least.
Yes! Ideally,one car on a LD train should be a designated BC car where you will pay more than Coach but nowhere near a sleeper and solo travelers would be guranteed to have both seats. I always have said here I try not to do Coach overnight because of the prospect of having a seatmate. Having both seats makes all the difference in the world.

Case in point.I did a rail pass last year. One of my segments was Albuquerque to Kansas City. My attendant had me sit with a guy who was sprawled over both seats when I boarded and was grossly overweight. His seat check said Chicago. I told him no way I was sitting next to him and to find me another seat,which he did. Thankfully I had both seats.

It's such a simple solution to giving solo travelers who want space and can't afford a roomette some sembelence of privacy. You would pay more,so Amtrak would not lose revenue. Will they ever implement it?

My original plan for a circle trip in August was Coach from NYP to CHI. No chance to bid up and at a 4PM departure I really didnt want the prospect of a seatmate the entire trip.Solution was Coach to Rochester on an earlier train
,disembarking and catching the LS after 11PM.Even with a seatmate hopefully I ll be too tired to care. At $725 for a roomette from NYP and$600 from ROC I'll pass.

Obsessive? Maybe so.
 
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