Checked baggage being cut from Boston Section of Lake Shore?

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Thirdrail7

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Chiming in, the winter right sizing has taken place. I brought it up in the Silver Star with two cafe car thread. 

This has taken place for the last few years. Unless otherwise needed, the eastern long distance trains will generally have three coaches.

The LSL used to carry four coaches west of Alb to accommodate local travel from the NYP section. This year, they are cutting the local coach at ALB with the P32. 
 

VTTrain

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Chiming in, the winter right sizing has taken place. This has taken place for the last few years.
So at least as far as BOS-ALB there is nothing new to see here.  Thanks for that clarification.

I agree that it makes a lot of sense for Amtrak to only have the equipment that they need.  Hauling perpetually empty seats doesn't do anyone any good.
 
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cpotisch

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I'm looking at a bunch of videos of 448/449 taken before the 7th, and I can tell you that it had been running with two coaches. So it definitely lost a coach, even though I guess that could theoretically not be directly connected with the loss of the baggage car and second loco.
The question is whether or not losing a coach is normal.  Videos taken before the 7th may reflect the consist for holiday travel.
Videos I saw were taken on the 5th and 6th (of January), respectively. So the fact that they got rid of the second coach, on the first day of the new baggage-car-free, single loco service, to me indicates that this is more than just a winter downsizing.
 
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VTTrain

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Videos I saw were taken on the 5th and 6th (of January), respectively. So the fact that they got rid of the second coach, on the first day of the new baggage-car-free, single loco service, to me indicates that this is more than just a winter downsizing.
You may be confusing correlation with causation.  We know that the elimination of the coach is normal for January.  The real question will be whether or not the coach comes back after the winter.
 

cpotisch

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You may be confusing correlation with causation.  We know that the elimination of the coach is normal for January.  The real question will be whether or not the coach comes back after the winter.
I’m just saying that the fact that the Boston section lost that coach on the same day as its baggage car and second loco, to me suggests a correlation between the two, especially considering the NY section also apparently lost a coach.
 

VTTrain

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I’m just saying that the fact that the Boston section lost that coach on the same day as its baggage car and second loco, to me suggests a correlation between the two, especially considering the NY section also apparently lost a coach.
I agree there is a correlation.  (That was my point.). We don’t know yet if there was causation.  Only time will tell.  
 

Thirdrail7

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I’m just saying that the fact that the Boston section lost that coach on the same day as its baggage car and second loco, to me suggests a correlation between the two, especially considering the NY section also apparently lost a coach.
The winter right sizing generally occurs the week after New Years. Again, EVERY eastern LD train lost equipment starting Saturday.  So, it makes sense to eliminate the baggage car and a locomotive when you're planning consist changes.

Speaking of which, I haven't paid much attention but the LSL has run with two diesels for the last few days. It is likely an engine didn't make a trip.  

The coaches will likely return in March....as usual.
 

cpotisch

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Interesting. It appears that the combined Lake Shore is still running with two P42s, yet the Boston section is only using one. I guess they've decided that the fuel savings of only using one P42 between Boston and Albany makes up for the extra switching work in ALB?

 

Amtrak706

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The winter right sizing generally occurs the week after New Years. Again, EVERY eastern LD train lost equipment starting Saturday.  So, it makes sense to eliminate the baggage car and a locomotive when you're planning consist changes.

Speaking of which, I haven't paid much attention but the LSL has run with two diesels for the last few days. It is likely an engine didn't make a trip.  

The coaches will likely return in March....as usual.
Every single NY section of 48 I’ve seen come by my window since they got rid of the Boston baggage car has had three coaches. I’ll defer to your knowledge Thirdrail, but all I know is that I’ve never seen this before, and I’ve lived near the Hudson Line and watched them come by since the early 00s. It’s always been four coaches even through winter.
 

cpotisch

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Every single NY section of 48 I’ve seen come by my window since they got rid of the Boston baggage car has had three coaches. I’ll defer to your knowledge Thirdrail, but all I know is that I’ve never seen this before, and I’ve lived near the Hudson Line and watched them come by since the early 00s. It’s always been four coaches even through winter.
I believe you, but considering the LSL is actually still running with two locomotives west of Albany, I don't see any reason why they would do this, other than lower demand in the off-season. Originally I thought it was being cut it to one P42 the whole way from Boston to Chicago, which would explain the shortening of both sections, but that's not what's happening. :wacko:
 

bratkinson

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Every single NY section of 48 I’ve seen come by my window since they got rid of the Boston baggage car has had three coaches. I’ll defer to your knowledge Thirdrail, but all I know is that I’ve never seen this before, and I’ve lived near the Hudson Line and watched them come by since the early 00s. It’s always been four coaches even through winter.
Perhaps it's a 'safety net' in case the lead unit has a HEP failure for any reason.  Winter in an unheated train can be far more harmful to Amtrak than cooking in summer.  Back in the 70's, I had a couple of trips where I went to bed fully dressed and could see my breath.   At least I had the warmth of a blanket on top of me.  I doubt the coach passengers fared so well.
 

west point

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I believe you, but considering the LSL is actually still running with two locomotives west of Albany, I don't see any reason why they would do this, other than lower demand in the off-season. Originally I thought it was being cut it to one P42 the whole way from Boston to Chicago, which would explain the shortening of both sections, but that's not what's happening. :wacko:
Why is demand lower in winter?  That is an important question not asked or answered.  Agree demand is somewhat lower in winter but should increase in winter to Florida!  Our unsubstantiated thoughts are there is no Amtrak advertising for LD trains which should be done in winter time.  That advertising can spill over to summer!  ACL and SAL actually had to add equipment and trains in winter. As well they both borrowed other equipment from RRs that did have a excess of winter time equipment.  We do recognize that Amtrak can schedule more medium and light maintenance on equipment in winter but there is no justification for so many pieces being sidelined.  Because it is winter ground HEP has to be kept connected and horrors what if ground power has a long time supply failure.  If Beech has a failure? ?  Getting enough locos connected in time is problematic.
 

VTTrain

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Why is demand lower in winter?  
On the Lake Shore Limited?  Most likely because demand plummets for leisure travel to Chicago, New York and points in between during the winter.  I am sure that there are other factors but that has to be a big one.
 

cpotisch

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On the Lake Shore Limited?  Most likely because demand plummets for leisure travel to Chicago, New York and points in between during the winter.  I am sure that there are other factors but that has to be a big one.
Indeed. Think about it. The Lake Shore Limited literally runs all the way up through upstate New York, and then on to Chicago. Pretty much all those towns are known for being absolutely frozen in the winter. Meanwhile in the summer, they are absolutely lovely.

The trains to Florida are a completely different story, since the weather down there is most pleasant in the winter, and you have all the snowbirds making their way back and forth around that time. They Silvers and the LSL have VERY different markets, and VERY different routes.
 

PVD

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In addition, the NY portion of the Lake is covered by Empire Service and the Leaf. Unless you are going past Buffalo, you have choices.
 

cpotisch

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In addition, the NY portion of the Lake is covered by Empire Service and the Leaf. Unless you are going past Buffalo, you have choices.
But that factor doesn't really change seasonally.
 

Thirdrail7

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Every single NY section of 48 I’ve seen come by my window since they got rid of the Boston baggage car has had three coaches. I’ll defer to your knowledge Thirdrail, but all I know is that I’ve never seen this before, and I’ve lived near the Hudson Line and watched them come by since the early 00s. It’s always been four coaches even through winter.
It started in 2017.  You must have missed it. Additionally ,they tried single diesel operation for summer operation in 2016. 
 

Seaboard92

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Don't forget the Seaboard Airline, Atlantic Coastline, and Seaboard Coastline for that matter. They didn't just scramble to find cars for their existing trains they ran full size seasonal extras. The Florida Special ran 15 plus cars but was only a winter train. And it had a lovely on board experience.
 

bratkinson

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I was aboard 449 for the past 2.5 hrs in business class and was floored at what I saw. In their 'great wisdom', Amtrak decided to provide space aboard 448/449 for bicycles! They took out 2 of the 6 booths and replaced them with 4 bike racks! Just how many bikes do they expect to load/unload between BOS and ALB? The full baggage car has racks out of NYP, so that's not a problem for them.

But as the photo I took from in front of the counter shows, the remaining 4 booths are crew use only. The rearmost booth on the left is conductor 'stuff'. The rearmost on the right is <choose one or more: additional conductor stuff, Amtrak company stuff formerly put in the baggage car, additional cafe supplies, pseudo-checked baggage for BOS sleeper passengers> + 1 conductor; the next booth has one conductor; and the closest booth is reserved for the cafe attendant.

So where do the coach passengers get to enjoy their just-purchased food? Why, at their seats, of course! Heaven forbid they could possible use the 'first class passenger lounge/food' car! It looks like Anderson has discovered a new way to discourage passengers from using long distance trains.
 

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Rasputin

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Just unbelievable! I just wonder if that Boston section of the Lake Shore is long for this world!
 

TiBike

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Awesome! Amtrak might finally be getting over its long distance bike derangement syndrome. [emoji468][emoji467][emoji106]
 

bratkinson

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Apparently, there's enough demand for bikes these days. We lost 5 minutes at Schnectady to pull down and load a bike on the NY section baggage car on the rear. With my newest scanner, I usually keep my 'ears on' in my roomette. That's how I knew about the bike.
 

daybeers

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omg that makes me so angry! Can you please call Customer Relations and tell them what happened? I don't care if there was stuff they used to store in the baggage car or whatever kind of excuse there is, the crew should only take up one booth. Amtrak really needs to get its stuff together regarding this and the bike situation.
 
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