California Zephyr: Sleeper & Coach Travel

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Joined
Apr 13, 2019
Messages
3
Hey! I sort of have a stupid question but I guess this would be the best place to ask! I'm planning a week long trip on the California Zephyr. I don't mind hanging out in coach for most of the trip but might consider getting a roomette for a night of the journey - I definitely wouldn't need the room during the day. I would be able to book a multi-city ticket for the coach leg/sleeper leg/coach leg correct? How would that work in terms of moving back and forth between the two once I'm on the train? (and side note: how would that work in terms of eligibility for free meals in the dining car). Thanks!
 

crescent-zephyr

Conductor
Joined
Oct 21, 2015
Messages
2,357
Not a stupid question! I used to buy coach for the day ride to Denver and then start my sleeper ticket from Denver when the AGR was zone based.

Do your homework and see what the price is but my guess is you won’t save a lot of money moving back and forth. You’ll only get meals covered while you’re in the sleeper, so plan that into your timing and keep in mind the train can be early / late into stations and you’ll be expected to vacate since your room may be turned for other passengers.
 

oregon pioneer

Conductor
Joined
Feb 15, 2011
Messages
2,231
I have done that a couple of times: once as I made a stopover in for a day (roomette overnight CHI to BUF, a day visiting a friend in Buffalo, then Business Class BUF to BOS) and once when my points would only get me from Oregon to CIN on the Cardinal, and I wanted to be awake early for the New River Gorge anyway, so I just went coach from CIN to my destination (BAL). I had to disembark form the train and walk down the side of the train, then board in the coach car. It was 5am. The conductor knew that I would be changing cars, so no problem with them waiting for me to walk to the other car.

Do you homework and compare costs. You may not even save enough by switching to make it worth having to buy your meals. In some other situations, it can be really worth it!
 

tricia

OBS Chief
Joined
Aug 23, 2011
Messages
999
Amsnag, a site that allows you to compare fares for the same route on up to 30 consecutive days, could be very helpful in your research. Here's a link.
 

tomfuller

OBS Chief
Joined
Oct 24, 2012
Messages
828
I saved a few bucks traveling with my wife taking the CZ out of Chicago in coach to Omaha and moved to a Roomette along the outside of the train at 11PM.
We had the Roomette as far as Glenwood Springs and moved back to coach to Winnemucca where our car was parked.
It is easier to move from one to the other at the service stops.
 

Skyline

OBS Chief
Joined
Feb 19, 2016
Messages
685
Not this precise scenario/itinerary, but I've researched doing something similar on the EB. I found some savings to be there, but not nearly what I'd hoped for. YMMV.
 
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