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zephyr17

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Just reserved a roundtrip on the CZ, departing westbound on 9/30 (roomette 2 in car 532) and departing eastbound on 10/3 (roomette 5 in car 631). What level are those roomettes in, and will those rooms be likely safe from cancellation?
(Still have to make a hotel reservation for the overnight in Emeryville between trains. I can either try to earn more AGR points or earn Wyndham Rewards points, but would prefer a hotel as close to the Emeryville station as possible, as we have no plans to do touristy things in San Francisco.)
They are upper level roomettes. 2 is next to the mid-car coffee station, 5 is midway down the aisle.

532 is the second sleeper, not the base, so if they resume last summer's shenanigans, that'll be one at risk. The 31 car line is the "base" sleeper for the CZ. Personally, I won't trust them until they have gone a full year without pulling that crap again on any train, which will be October. Until then, for myself, I would not want to be in anything except the base sleeper or maybe the transdorm (40 car line on the CZ).

Note my criteria full year without them removing sleepers with sold inventory is my own and is wholly arbitrary. There are others who will say the staffing/equipment crisis is now past and not to worry anymore. But I want to see them establish a track record of honoring their reservations before I book a non-base sleeper myself.

531 is the base sleeper and should be safe.

Hyatt is the most convienent to the Emeryville station.
 

Rizla Ronnie

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Hi:
I've written a feature article on our CZ trip last year ( retired hack for my sins 😉 ) and I need to get some basic fare information for 2023 to add to the end of the article.
Emails to Amtrak's press office are unaswered.
Without inputing a whole host of dates to get a variety of fares does anyone know the basic Fares From for coach, Roomette and Family Bedroom for a one-way trip for two passengers.
I appreciate they may fluctuate but is there a basic base fare ?
Many thanks in advance.
 

zephyr17

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Hi:
I've written a feature article on our CZ trip last year ( retired hack for my sins 😉 ) and I need to get some basic fare information for 2023 to add to the end of the article.
Emails to Amtrak's press office are unaswered.
Without inputing a whole host of dates to get a variety of fares does anyone know the basic Fares From for coach, Roomette and Family Bedroom for a one-way trip for two passengers.
I appreciate they may fluctuate but is there a basic base fare ?
Many thanks in advance.
Amtrak yield manages fares much like the airlines, though with fewer yield management buckets (5-6) and somewhat less volatility. There is no "may" about it, fares fluctuate widely. It is subject of much discussion here.

Does United Airlines have a "basic fare" ORD-SFO? No? Same thing.

However, @niemi24s here has done the work of inputting of multiple dates and has created an invaluable chart of fares between end points in the "Long Distance Coach and Sleeper Fares" thread in the Amtrak FAQ and First Time Rider Forum here. Many of us find it an invaluable resource when shopping for low(er) buckets. Refer to that.

The best you are going to be able to do without misrepresenting is "coach fares range from a to b, sleeper fares range from x to y".
 

jis

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Hi:
I've written a feature article on our CZ trip last year ( retired hack for my sins 😉 ) and I need to get some basic fare information for 2023 to add to the end of the article.
Emails to Amtrak's press office are unaswered.
Without inputing a whole host of dates to get a variety of fares does anyone know the basic Fares From for coach, Roomette and Family Bedroom for a one-way trip for two passengers.
I appreciate they may fluctuate but is there a basic base fare ?
Many thanks in advance.
Look up the following thread:


That is the best information that you can get here on the range of fares based on the multiple buckets based yield management fare system used by Amtrak. There is no fixed base fare, unless one arbitrarily considers the lowest bucket as base fare or some such.
 
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Look up the following thread:


That is the best information that you can get here on the range of fares based on the multiple buckets based yield management fare system used by Amtrak. There is no fixed base fare, unless one arbitrarily considers the lowest bucket as base fare or some such.
This is the link directly to the most recent list of fares: Long Distance Train Coach & Sleeper Fares (Buckets)

Columns in the table are Coach, Roomette, Family Bedroom, and Bedroom.
 

Rizla Ronnie

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This is the link directly to the most recent list of fares: Long Distance Train Coach & Sleeper Fares (Buckets)

Columns in the table are Coach, Roomette, Family Bedroom, and Bedroom.

Thanks for that.
What are the five different numbers in each column for ? All I'm really looking for is the lowest possible FROM fare in each category. The newspaper doesn't need any more info than that.
 

zephyr17

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Thanks for that.
What are the five different numbers in each column for ? All I'm really looking for is the lowest possible FROM fare in each category. The newspaper doesn't need any more info than that.
They're the yield management bucket price points as found by @niemi24s.

In terms of sleeper prices, the lowest buckets are seldom available and pretty much require research, patience, and flexibility to get (or dumb luck). Just quoting the lowest bucket for sleepers in an article would be highly misleading without a caveat that they are seldom available. Quote the range.
 

Sidney

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They're the yield management bucket price points as found by @niemi24s.

In terms of sleeper prices, the lowest buckets are seldom available and pretty much require research, patience, and flexibility to get (or dumb luck). Just quoting the lowest bucket for sleepers in an article would be highly misleading without a caveat that they are seldom available. Quote the range.

Being retired and very flexible I’ve always managed to get low bucket on every trip I’ve been on.Even managed to snag that $364 Bedroom on the CONO. As mentioned,it takes patience and flexibility to find a low bucket price. Bear in mind the price includes the Coach fare,in case you didn’t know.

I managed to find a roomette from Chicago to Cumberland Md next month for $245. Coach fare is $96 so $149 for an overnight with two meals included(albeit Flex)is very reasonable. On the other hand I rode Coach from Ft Lauderdale to DC on the Star last week. Even four months out the cheapest sleeper fare was over $700 which I will not do.Best deal I ever got was r/ t from Bloomington Il to LA on the Eagle/Sunset for less than 20,000 points for this June during their 40 percent sale last fall for a roomette
 

Rizla Ronnie

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They're the yield management bucket price points as found by @niemi24s.

In terms of sleeper prices, the lowest buckets are seldom available and pretty much require research, patience, and flexibility to get (or dumb luck). Just quoting the lowest bucket for sleepers in an article would be highly misleading without a caveat that they are seldom available. Quote the range.
Thanks for that.
Amtrak's Chicago press office finally got in touch and were unable to answer to answer the simple question of what is the cheapest or most basic fares they offer on the CZ in 2023.
I guess I shouldn't be surprised but I am. It is the first question anyone reading a feature on this iconic route is going to ask.
I'm sure an airline press office in a similar situation wouldn't have difficulty in finding out.
Most of their websites will have a cheap fare finder instantly available.
Telling readers you're going to have to expend a lot of time and effort and hope for pot luck is hardly a great advertisement for a 21st century transport system.
Clearly the article will have to reflect this.
 

MccfamschoolMom

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This is the link directly to the most recent list of fares: Long Distance Train Coach & Sleeper Fares (Buckets)

Columns in the table are Coach, Roomette, Family Bedroom, and Bedroom.
I just compared the buckets for the CZ in that chart with our e-receipt from Amtrak for hubby & me's CZ tickets for end of September/beginning of October (purchased a week ago). Looks like our roundtrip roomette fares fall somewhere between the lowest and second-lowest buckets on the chart, which seems pretty decent to me. (And makes me feel a little better about plunking down that much money on train tickets!)
 

Gp30sieb

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We are booked the end of January on the CZ from Chicago. Train #5 Car 532 #6 Roomette. Is this a good room? I believe it is on the upper level. From Reno to Emeryville we are in Coach. This is our first long distance train trip. Not sure if we will fly home from SFO or go somewhere else on the train and fly from there. Will have to decide soon.

So, I called AGR and was on hold for 50 minutes. I finally got through and asked to change rooms. The agent told me there would be a higher fare to go to Car 531 #12 or Car 540. I told him why I wanted to change and he said not to worry I would get a refund if that happened. But, I didnt want my trip cancelled at the last minute. I asked him to check how much the higher fare would be. When he came back he said that it wasnt higher. It would be the same price. So he moved us to 531 Room 12. I hope this is good.
If your trip leaves CHI on 1/30 I will be a neighbor in #7. This has been a useful thread. I am upstairs in a 31 car in both directions.
 
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jis

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MODERATOR'S NOTE: General discussion of dispatching, restocking and refueling of Amtrak trains moved to a new thread on the subject:


Please continue the general discussion of dispatching, restocking and refueling in this new thread and leave this California Zephyr thread for discussion of California Zephyr specific booking, accommodation, train consist and travel experience.

Thank you for your understanding, cooperation and participation.
 
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Hello! I have travelled in a Viewliner II roomette and will soon be on the CZ in a Superliner Roomette and have some questions.

  • There is no sink in any of the Superliner roomettes, right?
  • In the VLII I was able to put one of the lower seats flat to make a sort of chaise/lounge-y thing to lay out my legs. Can I do that in a SL?
  • There is zero overhead storage on a SL? I was able to fit my case in the VLII overhead storage with ease so I want to make sure I pack appropriately.
  • Can you do all meals in your room on the CZ?
Thank you!
 
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AmtrakBlue

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Hello! I have travelled in a Viewliner II roomette and will soon be on the CZ in a Superliner Roomette and have some questions.

  • There is no sink in any of the Superliner roomettes, right?
  • In the VLII I was able to put one of the lower seats flat to make a sort of chaise/lounge-y thing to lay out my legs. Can I do that in a SL?
  • There is zero overhead storage on a SL? I was able to fit my case in the VLII overhead storage with ease so I want to make sure I pack appropriately.
  • Sneak question: Can you do all meals in your room on the CZ?
Thank you!
  • There is no sink in any of the Superliner roomettes, right? - correct
  • In the VLII I was able to put one of the lower seats flat to make a sort of chaise/lounge-y thing to lay out my legs. Can I do that in a SL? - yes
  • There is zero overhead storage on a SL? I was able to fit my case in the VLII overhead storage with ease so I want to make sure I pack appropriately. - There is a luggage area on the lower level by the stairs. A carry-on size bag should fit on the step in your room. What I've done is use a duffle bag for my next day clothes which I take out of my big bag in the luggage rack before I go to bed.
  • Sneak question: Can you do all meals in your room on the CZ? - you are able to have all of you meals in your room. Hopefully your car attendant will be cooperative as it is part of their duties.
 

MccfamschoolMom

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Correct; the Viewliners let you put bags above the hallway, while Superliners either have the second level or the great outdoors above the hallway.
On the Superliner sleeping cars, if a piece of luggage doesn't fit in your room, you can try storing it in a luggage storage area on the lower level. (So if one needs to access items in that piece of luggage, one will be making a LOT of trips down the hall or up & down the stairs.)
 

jis

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5(19) is being short turned at Winnemucca due to freight train derailment. From Amtrak Alert:

UPDATE: Due to ongoing delays, California Zephyr Train 5 which departed Chicago (CHI) on 1/19 will terminate at Winnemucca (WNN). Alternate transportation will be provided. For more information, please call or text 1-800-USA-RAIL.
 

MccfamschoolMom

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Had an upper level roomette booked on the Zephyr (car 632) for late May.

Got an email today telling me that I was involuntarily moved to a lower level roomette in car 631. Called, and was told they had to remove car 632 from inventory and therefore consolidated all the passengers in 631.

Just FYI.
At least you didn't get downgraded to coach! (Something that I've read of happening to others in this thread.)
 

zephyr17

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Had an upper level roomette booked on the Zephyr (car 632) for late May.

Got an email today telling me that I was involuntarily moved to a lower level roomette in car 631. Called, and was told they had to remove car 632 from inventory and therefore consolidated all the passengers in 631.

Just FYI.
Hope all those who thought Amtrak's crack management team had finally figured out how to do equipment, maintenance and staff planning are taking note. Because they clearly have not.

Well, my clock for trusting a sleeper other than the "base" car line on any given train has now reset to May 2024 at the earliest.

@Boat Stuck, glad you at least didn't get involuntarily downgraded to coach, though sorry you lost your upper level roomette. At least they notified you well before your departure. That is an improvement. Victims of these Charlie Foxtrots last year often didn't get notified until just two weeks before departure.
 
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What date was it?
Around Memorial Day, which makes it even more ridiculous that Amtrak can't find a second sleeper car on one of the most popular routes for one of the busiest time of the year.

At least you didn't get downgraded to coach! (Something that I've read of happening to others in this thread.)
@Boat Stuck, glad you at least didn't get involuntarily downgraded to coach, though sorry you lost your upper level roomette. At least they notified you well before your departure. That is an improvement. Victims of these Charlie Foxtrots last year often didn't get notified until just two weeks before departure.
Amtrak actually found a good solution. After I called, the very nice front-line agent couldn't find me an upper-level roomette, and she transferred me (without me asking) to a second-tier agent. At the same time, I was looking on amtrak.com and noticed that 1 bedroom was available for my travel date. When the second-tier agent couldn't find me a better roomette either, I asked whether I can get a discounted upgrade to a bedroom, and she was able to price an upgrade from roomette to the last bedroom at the second-lowest fare bucket. It is Bedroom A, which is not ideal, but for just a $415 upcharge, I took it over the lower level roomette in a heartbeat.
 
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