BC gone on the LSL after July 2?

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rs9

Service Attendant
Joined
Dec 26, 2021
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125
Location
Chicago
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.
Using the Lake Shore Limited as the example, it appears that the low bucket business class surcharge is about 60% of the "rail fare," which is the saver fare. With a coach car designated as 1x2, 75% occupancy at 160% fares would come out to an overall revenue increase of 20% as compared with a 100% full coach car.

Of course, there might be added costs to running one more car - is another OBS needed, maintenance, opportunity cost, etc.

The flip side is whether business class on long distance routes can win new business. BC on the LSL convinced me to switch from flying to rail (I had been putting thought into my carbon footprint of flying 4-5 times per year). Another example is the Chicago-Kansas City route. Even though the Lincoln Service-River Runner is a longer trip by about 4 hours, I'm more inclined to take that train as opposed to the Southwest Chief because of the business class offering (and lack thereof on the Chief).
 
Joined
Jun 15, 2022
Messages
7
Location
Joliet Illinois
Be patient I just recently found a Roomette on LSL Chicago to Nyp for under 400
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.
 

NEPATrainTraveler

Service Attendant
Joined
Sep 12, 2018
Messages
141
Welp, there goes my plan of getting on at ALB or SYR and riding business class to CHI. I actually have been looking at doing a trip during the first week of November to Milwaukee and that was when I first noticed BC was gone on the LSL. While I lucked out during my 2018 LSL trip and had no seatmate in coach, I know that I may not always be that lucky, so I have long thought of taking business class instead of coach. The removal of BC obviously messed up that plan. I ended up finding out that a roomette on the date I needed was low bucket and I had a travel voucher from last year that was expiring, so I went for it. Nice thing about sleeper fares is that you can get refunded to the original form of payment without having to pay extra for a flexible fare, so if my plans fall through I can get my money back. I won't get the voucher back, but that's okay with me.

I wish the Capitol Limited had BC. Roomette prices are higher bucket for the date I need.
 
Joined
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QB 101
As CSX/MBTA has shut down #448/449 Sun-Thu for the last week and 2 more weeks, they've been running a deadhead #448, aka, train #1448 from ALB to BOS on Thursday nights. I just watched it come through both Westfield MA (MP 105) and Springfield MA (MP 98) and confirmed it did, indeed, have a full cafe car on it vs BC/Cafe. There were tables visible through the windows on both ends seen in the Westfield cam.

NEPATrainTraveler: my BC from ALB-SPG 2 weeks from now got downgraded to coach. At least I booked my NY section sleeper CHI-ALB to get away from the horns all night long.
 
Joined
Sep 15, 2017
Messages
1,693
As CSX/MBTA has shut down #448/449 Sun-Thu for the last week and 2 more weeks, they've been running a deadhead #448, aka, train #1448 from ALB to BOS on Thursday nights. I just watched it come through both Westfield MA (MP 105) and Springfield MA (MP 98) and confirmed it did, indeed, have a full cafe car on it vs BC/Cafe. There were tables visible through the windows on both ends seen in the Westfield cam.

NEPATrainTraveler: my BC from ALB-SPG 2 weeks from now got downgraded to coach. At least I booked my NY section sleeper CHI-ALB to get away from the horns all night long.
are you on the Viewliner 2?
 

amtrakpass

Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 21, 2016
Messages
200
Took 48 recently and was in a viewliner 1 in car 4811. The NY section had two other sleepers that were viewliner 2. Plus the Boston section had a viewliner 1 at the headend. Wasn't paying close enough attention whether or not one of the NY VL2 cars was a crew dorm.
And I agree it is unfortunate that amtrak and CSX seem to have a mutual understanding to suspend the Boston Section at the drop of a hat for what amounts to standard regular maintenance.
Traditionally railroads have continued running the trains through with stop boards in charge of track foreman or temporary speed restrictions as needed for this type of work. Those things might cause minor delays but there is no reason for a weeks long suspension of service just to replace some ties or rail. It is only in the last decade or so that railroads have been asking for and receiving a complete suspension of service for normal maintenance that I am aware of
 

rs9

Service Attendant
Joined
Dec 26, 2021
Messages
125
Location
Chicago
As CSX/MBTA has shut down #448/449 Sun-Thu for the last week and 2 more weeks, they've been running a deadhead #448, aka, train #1448 from ALB to BOS on Thursday nights. I just watched it come through both Westfield MA (MP 105) and Springfield MA (MP 98) and confirmed it did, indeed, have a full cafe car on it vs BC/Cafe. There were tables visible through the windows on both ends seen in the Westfield cam.

NEPATrainTraveler: my BC from ALB-SPG 2 weeks from now got downgraded to coach. At least I booked my NY section sleeper CHI-ALB to get away from the horns all night long.
This seems further confirmation of a BC/Cafe car shortage, given they have been removed from service before the end of business class this weekend.
 

joelkfla

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12 miles from Walt Disney World
From what I've read, the NYP section has 2 V IIs, so yes, I'll be in a V II. Two days earlier, I'll be on #51 from WAS->CHI in the 5109 car...a V II sleeper/bag.
Just looked at 48 in EKH: there were 2 sleepers at the back of the train: the 1st was a VL I, and the 2nd was a VL II.

1656652894323.png

Same for 49 at Fairport, NY:

1st sleeper:
1656653781104.png

2nd sleeper:
1656653849168.png
 
Joined
Aug 7, 2004
Messages
1,012
Location
QB 101
This seems further confirmation of a BC/Cafe car shortage, given they have been removed from service before the end of business class this weekend.
Actually, July 1 is/was the expected end of business class on 448/449. Back in May, I tried a July 3 trip and BC was either marked as non-existent/not an option or as 'sold out'. As of last night, todays' 449 showed no coach and no BC in existence...not even sold out. Tomorrow showed 'sold out'. A number of others at the top of this thread tried various July dates with similar results.

So, is it a 'shortage' of cafe/BC cars or is it simply pending future reassignment? Could it simply be a case of wanting getting more revenue from it? For what it's worth, the 10-15 times I've ridden BC ALB-SPG in the past few years, I think I only saw it filled once. The rest of the time, typically fewer than 10 seats were filled. So, moving the cars to the NYP section would definitely get it filled, especially for cities east of Buffalo. Doing so would also solve the no food for coach passengers NYP-ALB as it has been.
 
Joined
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Actually, July 1 is/was the expected end of business class on 448/449. Back in May, I tried a July 3 trip and BC was either marked as non-existent/not an option or as 'sold out'. As of last night, todays' 449 showed no coach and no BC in existence...not even sold out. Tomorrow showed 'sold out'. A number of others at the top of this thread tried various July dates with similar results.

So, is it a 'shortage' of cafe/BC cars or is it simply pending future reassignment? Could it simply be a case of wanting getting more revenue from it? For what it's worth, the 10-15 times I've ridden BC ALB-SPG in the past few years, I think I only saw it filled once. The rest of the time, typically fewer than 10 seats were filled. So, moving the cars to the NYP section would definitely get it filled, especially for cities east of Buffalo. Doing so would also solve the no food for coach passengers NYP-ALB as it has been.
Only if it was staffed. Sadly, split cars run for BC on Empire Service NYP to ALB trains unstaffed. Who knows what they might try, although NYP to ALB Cafe would be a welcome improvement.
 

Amtrak25

Lead Service Attendant
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Dec 7, 2021
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New Jersey
6 dinette tables, 2 of which are glommed by the crew, in a Biz-Dinette car, for 5 coaches / 300 seats has not been acceptable.

Until they open the diner for coach passengers, there needs to be some provision for food service south of Albany. The non-existance is not acceptable either, relecting more of Anderson's sabotage that needs ot be rectified.

They can run a cafe car of some sort, I don't care what, and attach it to the dual-mode loco south of Albany. I don't care if there is no commisary in Albany. Amtrak can deal with it and make it work. No the LD train goes 3-1/2 hours with no coach food, and right through a supper period in each direction.
 
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rs9

Service Attendant
Joined
Dec 26, 2021
Messages
125
Location
Chicago
Actually, July 1 is/was the expected end of business class on 448/449. Back in May, I tried a July 3 trip and BC was either marked as non-existent/not an option or as 'sold out'. As of last night, todays' 449 showed no coach and no BC in existence...not even sold out. Tomorrow showed 'sold out'. A number of others at the top of this thread tried various July dates with similar results.

So, is it a 'shortage' of cafe/BC cars or is it simply pending future reassignment? Could it simply be a case of wanting getting more revenue from it? For what it's worth, the 10-15 times I've ridden BC ALB-SPG in the past few years, I think I only saw it filled once. The rest of the time, typically fewer than 10 seats were filled. So, moving the cars to the NYP section would definitely get it filled, especially for cities east of Buffalo. Doing so would also solve the no food for coach passengers NYP-ALB as it has been.
Yes, but there have been numerous reports of the consist traveling with an Amfleet I business class car, in lieu of the BC/cafe car, in the lead-up to this removal date.

There have been reports of Midwest trains running without a BC/cafe car due to "unavailability." This suggests to me the car type may be reaching a period of mandatory servicing. But of course, this is just speculation.

I agree that business class would make more sense running through to NYP, but it seems that Amtrak could have simply made that switch almost immediately if it wanted to.
 
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6 dinette tables, 2 of which are glommed by the crew, in a Biz-Dinette car, for 5 coaches / 300 seats has not been acceptable.

Until they open the diner for coach passengers, there needs to be some provision for food service south of Albany. The non-existance is not acceptable either, relecting more of Anderson's sabotage that needs ot be rectified.

They can run a cafe car of some sort, I don't care what, and attach it to the dual-mode loco south of Albany. I don't care if there is no commisary in Albany. Amtrak can deal with it and make it work. No the LD train goes 3-1/2 hours with no coach food, and right through a supper period in each direction.
I would like to see it. But I certainly would not blame it on Andersen, the situation existed for years before him.
 

Amtrak25

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Yes Anderson is to blame because he not only threw coach passengers out of the diner, uhm "sleeper lounge" just as Viewliner diners went into service, when there were 2 dinner seatings on 49 prior to Albany, they cut off take-out snack sales served by the diner crew to coach passenger as well.
 
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Lubec, ME
I agree that business class would make more sense running through to NYP, but it seems that Amtrak could have simply made that switch almost immediately if it wanted to.
If the BC was still a split cafe/BC then moving it to the NY section means no food service for 448/449 which travels through lunch period Westbound, Dinner Eastbound. For a full BC car, probably makes sense to have it on the NY section as there is likely to be more patronage from NYC.

Ideally you would have at least a cafe BOS - ALB and open the diner to coach passengers NYP - ALB so everyone would have access to some kind of food.
 
Joined
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If the BC was still a split cafe/BC then moving it to the NY section means no food service for 448/449 which travels through lunch period Westbound, Dinner Eastbound. For a full BC car, probably makes sense to have it on the NY section as there is likely to be more patronage from NYC.

Ideally you would have at least a cafe BOS - ALB and open the diner to coach passengers NYP - ALB so everyone would have access to some kind of food.
Actually, they've been running the full cafe car on 448/449 as of yesterday. Whether the split cafe now goes to New York is only my crystal ball suggestion.
 

trimetbusfan

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Nov 27, 2021
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75
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Portland
If the BC was still a split cafe/BC then moving it to the NY section means no food service for 448/449 which travels through lunch period Westbound, Dinner Eastbound. For a full BC car, probably makes sense to have it on the NY section as there is likely to be more patronage from NYC.

Ideally you would have at least a cafe BOS - ALB and open the diner to coach passengers NYP - ALB so everyone would have access to some kind of food.
On the empire builder they put cafe food in the diner and offer it to Coach passengers between SEA and SPK. They could probably do something similar on 48 from ALB to NYC.
 
Joined
Jan 9, 2021
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Boston
Indeed, there’s a nice large amfleet dinette on my 449 today. My opinion is this is an improvement, given the food requirements.

Interestingly enough, there was a baggage car. Not sure if it was in service or not; I have not kept up with the details of this train in a bit.
 
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