California Zephyr discussion

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Joined
Jan 3, 2023
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Location
Seattle
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.)
True - what I often do when I am on a longer trip that has a night in a roomette at either the beginning or the end is travel with a larger suitcase that gets checked, and with a small bag that I can easily carry with laptop, change of clothes, toiletries, etc. for the train trip. There is a small closet and an equally small space on the "stair" that is used to reach the upper bunk which can easily store a duffle bag or a small rolling suitcase the size that fits in the overhead of an airplane. If your train has no checked baggage then store it as indicated at the bottom of the stairs. The car attendant will also bring your suitcase up and down for you to change out items to save the trip, but they may not immediately be available.
 
Joined
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Location
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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.
I am on a three night trip from Dallas - Springfield then the CZ to Sacramento - Seattle. It is in middle of May and just got an email that they were moving my sleeper assignment. Fortunately I am still in an upper roomette, but I picked this date due to the shortage of sleeper space even though it is months away and two weeks before Memorial Day. I Was very surprised to see the sleepers full so far in advance. And now I have been moved.
 

MccfamschoolMom

OBS Chief
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If your train has no checked baggage then store it as indicated at the bottom of the stairs.
No checked baggage at my hometown station (for Lincoln Service to Chicago, then connect to CZ), so the hubby and I will be limited to the 2 personal items + 2 carryons each (and probably will make that just 1 carryon + 1 or 2 personal items each). Thinking of bringing old underwear & socks with us, so we can discard the used undies instead of lugging around dirty clothes (and eventually laundering them).
 

Bob Dylan

50+ Year Amtrak Rider
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True - what I often do when I am on a longer trip that has a night in a roomette at either the beginning or the end is travel with a larger suitcase that gets checked, and with a small bag that I can easily carry with laptop, change of clothes, toiletries, etc. for the train trip. There is a small closet and an equally small space on the "stair" that is used to reach the upper bunk which can easily store a duffle bag or a small rolling suitcase the size that fits in the overhead of an airplane. If your train has no checked baggage then store it as indicated at the bottom of the stairs. The car attendant will also bring your suitcase up and down for you to change out items to save the trip, but they may not immediately be available.
I have NEVER had a SCA offer to carry my Big Bag upstairs into my Room in over 40 years of riding in Superliners.

Red Caps will do it , but not OBS in my expierience.
 
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From my experience on about 15 different trains, there is always something broken. Maintenance on creature comfort items is about non-existant. Problems range from lighting doesn't work, electric outlets with no power, swivel seats (Superliner lounge car) with jammed swivel mechanism, footrest falling apart, etc. etc.

So if you were moved because they had to take your original car out of inventory, be glad for that. If they had continued to run that car, the trip would surely have been disapointing.

Fond (?) memory: on the Empire Builder Chigago to Glacier, the roomette AC was blowing some, but not very much air. We inquired if there might be an adjustment, but the attendant said, "Sorry, it is what it is."

During the day, we moved to the lounge, but for the night it was hot in the roomette. I studied the AC grill plate and realized it was on backwards, pointing the air towards the corridor rather than towards the beds. I went to turn it around, (Always take a screwdriver with you on Amtrak) but then found much more air came out of the duct with it off. So I left it off until morninng, and then I put it back.

Near the Glacer station, the attendant came around to make sure we were ready to get off, and with a smile he said, "I know what you did. You got all the air and everyone else cooked." That made me sad for the others, but it illustrates Amtrak's creature comfort maintenance.
 

zephyr17

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So if you were moved because they had to take your original car out of inventory, be glad for that. If they had continued to run that car, the trip would surely have been disapointing.
The car line was removed, not a physical car. A car line represents 6 different physical cars in 6 different consists for the CZ.

The car line was removed in all likelihood due to ongoing equipment allocation and staffing problems that Amtrak just cannot seem to solve. It wasn't because of defects on a single car. In any case, it would be difficult to know which physical car would be assigned to a specific car line on a specific departure months in advance, as Superliners run in a nationwide pool.
 
Joined
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I have NEVER had a SCA offer to carry my Big Bag upstairs into my Room in over 40 years of riding in Superliners.

Red Caps will do it , but not OBS in my expierience.

I have had the offer to bring them down shortly before arrival and up when I first got on. I typically do it myself but when I had kids going down those stairs I took them up on it.
 

Bonser

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The car line was removed, not a physical car. A car line represents 6 different physical cars in 6 different consists for the CZ.

The car line was removed in all likelihood due to ongoing equipment allocation and staffing problems that Amtrak just cannot seem to solve. It wasn't because of defects on a single car. In any case, it would be difficult to know which physical car would be assigned to a specific car line on a specific departure months in advance, as Superliners run in a nationwide pool.
I'm booked in 632 at end of May in bedroom on the EB 5 . They haven't contacted me yet but can I tell on the tickets if I'm still ok? How do I tell. It still says Car 632 on the eticket on the app.
 

zephyr17

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I'm booked in 632 at end of May in bedroom on the EB 5 . They haven't contacted me yet but can I tell on the tickets if I'm still ok? How do I tell. It still says Car 632 on the eticket on the app.
As long as the QR code shows up in the app, you should be okay.

Bear in mind that that represents the car still being in inventory in the reservations system. Checking for the QR code just shows you they pulled it if it disappears, without waiting for them to get around to notifying you.
 

Bonser

Lead Service Attendant
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As long as the QR code shows up in the app, you should be okay.

Bear in mind that that represents the car still being in inventory in the reservations system. Checking for the QR code just shows you they pulled it if it disappears, without waiting for them to get around to notifying you.
Thank you. And the QR code is the blue letter/number under the barcode?
 

Bonser

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That "box" is a QR code, not a bar code. ;) The blue letter/number is your reservation number.
Ok, thanks. It's the terminology that often confuses me. The box clearly doesn't have bars but I think of it the same as a supermarket scanning barcode. My mistake. So I'm good as long as the square QR code above the blue res number is still there. Correct?
 
Joined
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I'm booked in 632 at end of May in bedroom on the EB 5 . They haven't contacted me yet but can I tell on the tickets if I'm still ok? How do I tell. It still says Car 632 on the eticket on the app.
As of right now it appears they dropped 32 for the spring consist. So basically if you still have a QR code in a 32 car as otherwise suggested you aren’t in the affected period. The winter consist which started earlier in the month has the 32 car. The shift where the car goes away is likely sometime in early March when they shift from winter consists. That consist would then likely last until mid-late May usually the week leading up to Memorial Day weekend is when they shift to summer consists. Obviously it’s Amtrak so I certainly won’t put money in it but I’d be kind of surprised if they don’t try to pull the stops out to try to improve consists for the summer season.
 

zephyr17

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Washington State
So I'm good as long as the square QR code above the blue res number is still there. Correct?
Yep, you're as good you can be for now.

Obviously it’s Amtrak so I certainly won’t put money in it but I’d be kind of surprised if they don’t try to pull the stops out to try to improve consists for the summer season.
That's assuming, of course, they actually know what stops to pull. As you say, it's Amtrak.
 
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