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.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.
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).