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Keith1951

Train Attendant
Joined
Jun 29, 2021
Messages
95
Location
Ohio
I want to book the Texas Eagle from Chicago to San Antonio. When I went to Amtrak's site I see 2 trips for my date Oct 6, 2023, one #21 is sold out for the rooms and the other is #421. They have the same price, the same times, and the same route as far as I can tell. Am I missing something or are they the same, or can I just book the #421 with no worries? Why are there two? They both can't depart at the same time, can they?
 

AmtrakBlue

Engineer
Gathering Team Member
Joined
May 6, 2011
Messages
14,844
Location
Delaware
I want to book the Texas Eagle from Chicago to San Antonio. When I went to Amtrak's site I see 2 trips for my date Oct 6, 2023, one #21 is sold out for the rooms and the other is #421. They have the same price, the same times, and the same route as far as I can tell. Am I missing something or are they the same, or can I just book the #421 with no worries? Why are there two? They both can't depart at the same time, can they?
They are part of the same train till it reaches San Antonio, so go ahead and book #421.
At San Antonio, they'll take off the #421 sleeper and a coach to be put onto the westbound Sunset Limited.
 

zephyr17

Engineer
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
7,273
Location
Washington State
I want to book the Texas Eagle from Chicago to San Antonio. When I went to Amtrak's site I see 2 trips for my date Oct 6, 2023, one #21 is sold out for the rooms and the other is #421. They have the same price, the same times, and the same route as far as I can tell. Am I missing something or are they the same, or can I just book the #421 with no worries? Why are there two? They both can't depart at the same time, can they?
421 is the train number for the through cars to LA that are transferred to the Sunset. Same physical train.

I think there's only one sleeper on it and on the days it connects to LA, it is 421's since the sleeper goes to LA.

It is an artifact of reservation system, which cannot support cars going to different destinations under the same train number. It is a similar situation to the Portland section of the Empire Builder, 27/28, which splits from the Seattle section, 7/8, at Spokane or the Boston section of the Lake Shore, 448/449, which splits from the New York section, 48/49, at Albany. In the past, the Eagle sometimes ran a cut-off coach to St. Louis as 821/822, and the Empire Builder ran a cut-off coach to Minneapolis/St Paul as 807/808.
 

DennisInGeorgia

Train Attendant
Joined
Oct 29, 2008
Messages
93
Location
Atlanta
We want to book ATL-TUS. When we went online, the only connection possible was through NOL. Since we’re not happy with being on the streets after dark there, we tried the connections through WAS and through CHI and none was listed (?) Calling AGR, it appears this is only possible with a live agent. Is this normal? Does this require more points than online? Seems kinda odd. Help??
 

zephyr17

Engineer
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
7,273
Location
Washington State
Connections in Amtrak’s reservation system are manually constructed and entered, not generated algorithmically. A roundabout ATL-TUS with 2 connections at WAS and CHI was apparently never entered, although I would not have expected to have been. It would not be a common routing. It really isn't a glitch.

Since the connection between 20 and 29 at WAS is a "legal" guaranteed connection, as is the connection between 29 and 421 at CHI, simply book it through the Multi-City option. You can do it by entering as little as 2 "segments", ATL-CHI and CHI-TUS. The connection at Chicago will be guaranteed as long as you book it on one reservation using Multi-City and not separate reservations.

Or you can call.

The cost, in cash or points will not change by booking with a agent versus the app or website.
 
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Just-Thinking-51

Very bored and cranky pundit
AU Supporting Member
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Sep 17, 2009
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USA
Or just book each leg by itself.
Atlanta to NYC. NYC to Chicago. Chicago to Tucson AZ.

Wow that a lot of train time. Doing the overnight in New Orleans much easier.
Atlanta to NOL. Night at Hotel. Then NOL to Tucson AZ.
Sorry I get fear of a big city, but take a taxi to hotel. For food you can pick a restaurant to deliver or a hotel with a restaurant. No need to walk the streets if you don’t want to.
 

zephyr17

Engineer
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
7,273
Location
Washington State
Or just book each leg by itsel
Atlanta to NYC. NYC to Chicago. Chicago to Tucson AZ.
There is not a connection from Atlanta to Chicago at NYP. The Lake Shore Limited leaves about 2 1/2 hours before the Cresent arrives. The only connection from Cresent points to Chicago is at WAS to the Capitol.

When you say "book each leg by itself" I hope you mean by entering all segments individually within Multi-City under one reservation. It is a very bad idea to book same day connections that would ordinarily be guaranteed as separate reservations.
 

Just-Thinking-51

Very bored and cranky pundit
AU Supporting Member
Joined
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Messages
2,824
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When you say "book each leg by itself" I hope you mean by entering all segments individually within Multi-City under one reservation. It is a very bad idea to book same day connections that would ordinarily be guaranteed as separate reservations.
There advantage to book your train travel guaranteed or individually. You don’t get your ticket lifted on one segment then the computer will canceled all other segment. If you book individually your space on the next train will be there when you get there. Of course the guarantee has its advantage too. I just experienced more passenger getting told there compartment is not available due to a previous train not lifting the ticket. Never need the guarantee connection. (Knock on wood).

Your mileage may differ.
 

zephyr17

Engineer
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
7,273
Location
Washington State
There advantage to book your train travel guaranteed or individually. You don’t get your ticket lifted on one segment then the computer will canceled all other segment. If you book individually your space on the next train will be there when you get there. Of course the guarantee has its advantage too. I just experienced more passenger getting told there compartment is not available due to a previous train not lifting the ticket. Never need the guarantee connection. (Knock on wood).

Your mileage may differ.
I book overnight connections as separate reservations. I book same day connections on the same reservation.

I would never, ever book a connection from an overnight train to another train on arrival day on a separate reservation. I have been on far too many 12 hour late trains not to book such a connection in a way that the guarantee would be clearly in full force. I have had the stew and been put up at Amtrak expense in Chicago several times. To deliberately make a reservation in such a way as to forgo, or at least significantly undermine, the guarantee strikes me a foolhardy.

I have had my ticket not scanned once, so I know the consequences. My remedy for that is if my ticket is not personally scanned by the conductor, I will hunt them down and confirm that I am checked in/scanned. I will not take an SCA's word that they told the conductor that I am onboard and the conductor took care of it. I will find the conductor and verify it directly. I will certainly not forgo the guarantee because a conductor might be lazy. Happily, on my last two cross country journeys, no one indulged in that practice and the conductors walked through the sleepers scanning tickets.
 

zephyr17

Engineer
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
7,273
Location
Washington State
There should be a link from finding the train to want to actually booking it, but no dice. I have been trying to book 3 tickets, and can put 2 in my "cart", then when I try to book another, the "cart" disappears and you have to start all over. Did a comedian set up this website????
Either that or a thousand chimps typing into thousand IDEs for a thousand years.
 
Joined
Sep 18, 2009
Messages
1,974
Location
CYN
Can anybody do a false reservation on Amtrak's website? I've been trying to order tickets for 2 days and just get an error when I hit the "Find Trains" button. I've cleared out my cookies and the browsing history and have tried a couple of different browsers and computers. So the problem seems (to me) to be with Amtrak's website.

Thanks,
jb
 

AmtrakBlue

Engineer
Gathering Team Member
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May 6, 2011
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Delaware
I just tried WIL - WAS on 4/27/23 and it shows me trains.

What city pairs and date? I can try those if you'd like.
 
Joined
Sep 18, 2009
Messages
1,974
Location
CYN
So how does one go about reporting this error? I called the station and they show availability on the trains for Saturday (3/11) from CYN to CLT. The error is:

"We are unable to process your request. Try again or call 1-800-USA-RAIL for assistance. (Ref.27Q28SQQ)"

I suppose I could call, but it would be nice if there were an online way to report website errors to Amtrak.

jb

PS They do have a "contact" form. I'll use that.
 

AmtrakBlue

Engineer
Gathering Team Member
Joined
May 6, 2011
Messages
14,844
Location
Delaware
So how does one go about reporting this error? I called the station and they show availability on the trains for Saturday (3/11) from CYN to CLT. The error is:

"We are unable to process your request. Try again or call 1-800-USA-RAIL for assistance. (Ref.27Q28SQQ)"

I suppose I could call, but it would be nice if there were an online way to report website errors to Amtrak.

jb
Should be a Contact Us either at the top right of the page or on the bottom left (I’m not at my computer right now).
I’ve contacted them in the past, via email, using the link.
 

acelafan

Conductor
Joined
May 24, 2009
Messages
1,011
Location
Atlanta, GA
Not ideal, but could you buy a ticket from the previous station, which I think is RGH? I will see if I can ask a friend of mine who works at Amtrak to take a look. I couldn't buy a ticket from ALX on #66 last summer due to a problem in ARROW due to human error, which they fixed.
 

PaulM

Engineer
Joined
Jun 27, 2008
Messages
2,343
Location
Quincy, IL
"We are unable to process your request. Try again or call 1-800-USA-RAIL for assistance. (Ref.27Q28SQQ)"

I've been noticing this error almost word for word on many websites lately. It's what I call the lazy programmer error.

I once got this error when I was trying to log on to a bank website. Calling customer service was useless. It wasn't until several days later that I realized I was entering the wrong password.

I wonder whether this is a bug or a feature.
 
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