Cardinal Losing Business Class?

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dogbert617

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I just did some playing around with Amtrak's website looking at fares and tickets, and sadly this is true starting with the #50 train on October 1st, 2019 departing eastbound from Chicago that day. Last eastbound train I see business class available for on #50 going east from Chicago is on September 28, and westbound on #51 from NYC on September 29. I wonder if the day I rode the Cardinal going east in late May, that business class had sold out for whatever reason? And why I didn't see it as an option, when I booked this train then? Interesting I learn this late it has business class, since to me that'd be more affordable to upgrade to on Card vs. sleeper, considering this train as of now sadly doesn't have a dining car.

Never mind Amtrak's site is out of date, and VERY badly needs to remove the Cardinal dining car menu that's oddly still shown on the website! To me it's pathetic, that a la Silver Star(vation), the only option for food on board is getting something out of the cafe car. And never mind when I rode #50 going east, a surprisingly high amount of food items were starting to run out by the time we were east of Charleston, WV.
 
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Seaboard92

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The Cardinal’s business class was always well patronized when I was deadheading on it. Especially WAS-CVS. But it usually had a good till HUN. With a handful of overnight passengers. I’ve never gone west of HUN so I can’t speak to the portion in Indiana. The one time I did go west of HUN I was in a sleeper and didn’t really go back there to find out.
 

Thirdrail7

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Last time we rode the Cardinal business class was full but since seating was not as abundant as in coach, the brain-trust at Amtrak probably determined the car is low revenue. So many cuts and few editions these days.
Seating isn't as abundant because it operated with the split club configuration. It had 18 seats on one side and tables on the other.

Now, does anyone remember the other purpose of the table portion of business car?

It was used a lounge for the sleeping and business class passengers since the cafe car was used as a split cafe/diner lite car.

Now, let's say there are these huge, new, underutilized cars with convection ovens, micorwaves and tables that are up for grabs as dining options are <ahem>rationalized. Could they also be used as a lounge and to deliver food to sleeping car passengers, while simultaneously freeing up the split clubs, which are in tight supply?

Hypothetically, of course.
 

Rasputin

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What trains presently use these split club cars besides the Cardinal and the Lake Shore (of course the Lake Shore isn't using one now)? Are they commonly used on the NEC?
 

PVD

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They are typically seen on the overnights on the NEC, All the Empire Service trains (no cafe service on trains that originate/terminate in Albany), the Maple Leaf, and the Vermonter. Not sure where else. Maybe the Downeasters....
 

Thirdrail7

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What trains presently use these split club cars besides the Cardinal and the Lake Shore (of course the Lake Shore isn't using one now)? Are they commonly used on the NEC?
Off the top of my head, I know the Vermonter, The Downeasters, most of the Empire Service ( I believe the Adirondack is an exception and with the combination Adirondack/Maple Leaf operating, I'm not sure about the Maple Leaf) and a great deal of the Michigan Service uses them.

The Lake Shore track work has concluded so they may indeed have their split cafe back.
 

PVD

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The ADK uses a regular cafe and has no BC at all. AFAIK, the combined ADK/ML has both cafe cars and splits up/combines at Albany, but I'm not 100% on that.
 

neroden

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So, more evidence that Amtrak management doesn't know its head from its ass. Business class is basically a cash factory, people paying extra at no extra cost to Amtrak, so they remove it in order to slash revenues. (Though they have gratuitously added various free drinks ot business class, which aren't going to change anyone's mind about taking business class, but do add costs. All about cutting revenues and raising costs.)

Sounds like what they actually needed on the Cardinal was a full business class car. I suppose they might have run out of those too... but it really does look more like management is deliberately attempting to cut revenues and raise costs, probably in order to more effectively lie to Congress about long-distance trains, which is deceitful.
 

jis

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Off the top of my head, I know the Vermonter, The Downeasters, most of the Empire Service ( I believe the Adirondack is an exception and with the combination Adirondack/Maple Leaf operating, I'm not sure about the Maple Leaf) and a great deal of the Michigan Service uses them.

The Lake Shore track work has concluded so they may indeed have their split cafe back.
Maple Leaf still has split Business/Cafe. I am sitting in one now awaiting departure from NFL after clearing customs.

One strangeness about the full BC cars is that those Amfleet I cars are actually considerably less comfortable than the Amfleet II Coaches, so are probably unsuitable for use on LD trains. What Amtrak needs is real LD BC cars which they currently do not have.
 

PVD

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If you are going to a system where coach passengers can't use the diner, a full cafe might be more appropriate than the split car. Using a full Am1 BC car doesn't really cut it on a train with AM-2 coaches. And BC didn't do too well on he Crescent using an AM-2. Nothing to really make it worth it.
 
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Acela150

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Off the top of my head, I know the Vermonter, The Downeasters, most of the Empire Service ( I believe the Adirondack is an exception and with the combination Adirondack/Maple Leaf operating, I'm not sure about the Maple Leaf) and a great deal of the Michigan Service uses them.

The Lake Shore track work has concluded so they may indeed have their split cafe back.
66/67/65 normally have the split car. But that is easy to rotate out.

Maple Leaf still has split Business/Cafe. I am sitting in one now awaiting departure from NFL after clearing customs.

One strangeness about the full BC cars is that those Amfleet I cars are actually considerably less comfortable than the Amfleet II Coaches, so are probably unsuitable for use on LD trains. What Amtrak needs is real LD BC cars which they currently do not have.
I'd actually be ok with a LD Business Class style car. Opens up some new possibilities.
 

bretton88

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The supposed reason that the Cardinal is losing business class is that Amtrak is giving the Cardinal it's full diner back and replacing the split cafe car with a full cafe car.
 

Rasputin

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The supposed reason that the Cardinal is losing business class is that Amtrak is giving the Cardinal it's full diner back and replacing the split cafe car with a full cafe car.
That would be nice but I assume that it is merely a table car serving contemporary dining.
 

jis

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If Amtrak is serious about providing Business Class service on LD trains, it needs to create a small subfleet of LD BC cars based on non-existent additional LD cars. Unless you have a distinctive hard product you cannot credibly charge significant permium based purely on two cans of Pepsi and 25% additional AGR TQP.
 

Amtrakfflyer

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You brought up another Guest Rewards pet peeve. 25 percent more points for business and I think it’s 50 percent for Acela first. Zero bonus points for sleeper travel. I’d think it would be on par with Acela first for point purposes and earn a 50 percent bonus as well.

It’s not like anyone’s getting rich on the new program. Another way Amtrak gives the one finger salute to people riding and spending good money on long distance trains.
 

dogbert617

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Coast Starlight comes to mind as well, its business class has been rumored to be on the chopping block for sometime now.
I fin it really weird that train out of all Superliner long distance trains, somehow has business class. How does business class work on the Starlight, i.e. they curtain off one half of a car for its business class passengers? Or do something else, as to where the business class passengers are seated within Starlight?

On a side note if that's true Card may soon have a dining car once again, that's nice news. I'm sure that'll only be contemporary dining once this move occurs, but it pained me that the Card only had a cafe car and no diner, when I rode it in late May. Reports of the Card having no diner before I rode this train btw back in May, were why I chose not to upgrade to a sleeper.
 

dogbert617

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You brought up another Guest Rewards pet peeve. 25 percent more points for business and I think it’s 50 percent for Acela first. Zero bonus points for sleeper travel. I’d think it would be on par with Acela first for point purposes and earn a 50 percent bonus as well.

It’s not like anyone’s getting rich on the new program. Another way Amtrak gives the one finger salute to people riding and spending good money on long distance trains.
And seriously, no extra points for those dropping money to ride in a sleeper? I didn't think AGR was THAT messed up, but it is moreso than I think. No wonder I don't have any faith in Anderson, and all the others (Gardiner, etc) leading Amtrak now.
 

Palmland

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I ride the Palmetto a couple times a year. I usually get BC but not for a couple small cans of soda or the bonus points. Rather, we like it because it’s less crowded as coach is often packed once it gets into NC and VA.

Of course this would not be the case if Amtrak opened the 4th coach to passengers. Apparently it’s against policy to let passengers spread out to be more comfortable. The 4th car is opened for the large crowd that boards at Richmond.
 

me_little_me

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I ride the Palmetto a couple times a year. I usually get BC but not for a couple small cans of soda or the bonus points. Rather, we like it because it’s less crowded as coach is often packed once it gets into NC and VA.

Of course this would not be the case if Amtrak opened the 4th coach to passengers. Apparently it’s against policy to let passengers spread out to be more comfortable. The 4th car is opened for the large crowd that boards at Richmond.
And, most importantly of all, restrooms that are cleaned more often than weekly. :rolleyes:
 
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