Coast Starlight (11) cancelled again…at least on 9/11

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F900ElCapitan

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Well at least south of Sacramento, anyone know why?
The full story is I was supposed to be on this train as part of a decent trip from Essex, MT to Portland to Los Angeles to Dallas. On train 11 portion I reserved 2 opposing roomettes for my wife and I so we could sightsee out either side and not care which direction the sleeper was pointing. After seeing the Business Class car ahead of the two main sleepers (which does appear to be fixed now per watching the Chehalis Railcam), I had us moved to the 40 car. Well a few days later, my reservation was acting funny (it wouldn’t show any details and said I needed to call to access it) so I called and was told the 40 car had been cancelled AND there was no more room in the remaining sleepers. So, I decided rather than wait to see if space would become available, to switch directions and now we will be headed east to Chicago and then to Dallas.
The Coast Starlight has had so many issues this year, I just curious as to what now as there don’t seem to be any alerts on Amtrak.com.
 

Trogdor

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Is the train cancelled, or just one sleeper line? The thread and the opening message seem to imply different things.
 
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Cal

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desertflyer

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I had a friend booked on train 11 for 9/11 between EMY-SBA and this was the notice she got on TUESDAY 9/7:
InkedE-xU_0pVQAImqVi_LI.jpg
This was totally unacceptable considering the Pacific Surfliner already had a service alert, but nothing for the Starlight. There also were other options for her trip, which she wasn't advised of. And at the last minute! It's understandable that trains get cancelled, just really upset with the way it was handled.

Anyways, I was on #14 northbound LAX-OKJ yesterday 9/10/21 and there were a couple of interesting things.

1 - there was no dedicated baggage car and instead used a coach/baggage Superliner as the last car. We had bikes to check and getting them to the last car on the train was absolute chaos. The staff really had no idea what to do with the bikes and at first the baggage handlers told us to wait for them to finish loading all bags before they would know what to do with our bikes. Finally they decided to take the bikes first and then figure out how to load the bags around them, which was better so that we could walk back to the front of the train to board our sleeper. We had dished out a lot for a Bedroom and then an additional $40 for our bikes and it was a horrible way to start the trip. Also when they were unloading the bikes, I could see how they stacked them with other bikes on top which can damage the bikes if done wrong. They dropped other people's bikes trying to get ours out since they were at the bottom of the stack. Luckily my 1973 Super Sport is beat up or I would have been pretty upset with the bike handling. Install some simple (inexpensive even) racks or straps in the coach baggage cars, Amtrak!!

2 - there was no transdorm/crew sleeper. We were in the 1431 car and it was the first car behind the engines. Not a problem for me, but louder than usual horn noise for sure.

3 - train 11 hit a utility truck south of Paso Robles, causing both of our trains a fairly significant delay. Not Amtrak's fault. When train 11 passed, I noticed it also didn't have a dedicated baggage car. The conductors on our train let passengers who had taxi or friends picking them up in Paso Robles get off the train and into their friends cars instead of waiting on the crash, even though we were ~12 miles outside of town, which was a nice touch. Here's an article about the crash: Amtrak train strikes truck in Templeton

It seems like the Starlight has some unusual things happening with the schedule and consist still. It was a good day trip in the bedroom for sure, but some definite room for improvement on messaging and baggage.
 

Triley

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Thank god, I thought they booked them on a nonexistant sleeper as with the CZ. But was confused because the 40 car is the transdorm.

Surprised that it was announced this late,should've been announced long ago.
The 40 car is being pulled for the season. Don't ask me why, but the dorm and full bag car are to be removed from all western trains except the Builder and Zephyr.
 

daybeers

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The 40 car is being pulled for the season. Don't ask me why, but the dorm and full bag car are to be removed from all western trains except the Builder and Zephyr.
So, worse bike racks instead of using the ones in the cars Amtrak paid millions for instead of more Viewliner sleepers, higher percentage of rooms taken up by staff, and fewer coach seats since they have to use a coach/bag instead of a full coach. Nice!
 

Oreius

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My long-anticipated trip is this Wednesday. I assume this won’t affect it?

There have been so many threatening “monkey wrenches” in play with this train. And it is possible I may be stuck up here in Anchorage—they’re calling for strong winds overnight with gusts up to 45-50 mph. My flight leaves at 4:30 AM tomorrow…
 

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I love how Amtrak waits until the last minute to tell customers they're on their own and will now have to replace advance purchase fares with last minute walk-up fares at other carriers to keep going or just get back home again. Even in the middle of the DFW meltdown at American Airlines I never had to deal with Amtrak level dysfunction. It's almost at the point where it's easier to assume a Southern Pacific style conspiracy over simple incompetence.
 

Cal

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My long-anticipated trip is this Wednesday. I assume this won’t affect it?

There have been so many threatening “monkey wrenches” in play with this train. And it is possible I may be stuck up here in Anchorage—they’re calling for strong winds overnight with gusts up to 45-50 mph. My flight leaves at 4:30 AM tomorrow…
As long as you're not in the 40 car! Goodluck with your flight.
 

F900ElCapitan

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All I can say is the nice longer ride on the EB was well worth not putting up with this junk. The 11 of the 11th was already nearly sold out in the sleepers. Then they cancel the 40 car and didn’t even have enough capacity to handle what was booked??? Then this joke of lack of notification for the track work? Wow!! I love Amtrak…but this is some of the worst I’ve read (and DEFINITELY the worst I’ve experienced) yet.
 

F900ElCapitan

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The 40 car is being pulled for the season. Don't ask me why, but the dorm and full bag car are to be removed from all western trains except the Builder and Zephyr.
So, in reality and beyond the CS, this means the transdorm from the CL and CONO and baggage from the SC and SL? I think those are the only other services affected.
 

zephyr17

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The 40 car is being pulled for the season. Don't ask me why, but the dorm and full bag car are to be removed from all western trains except the Builder and Zephyr.
This is just nuts.

The series of decisions out of Amtrak upper management lately is just crazy unless their intent is to undermine long distance service.

Despite his being better at PR, Flynn's time is up.

Save Amtrak, fire Flynn.
Save Amtrak, fire Gardner.
Save Amtrak, fire the Board.
 

John Bredin

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This is just nuts.

The series of decisions out of Amtrak upper management lately is just crazy unless their intent is to undermine long distance service.

Despite his being better at PR, Flynn's time is up.

Save Amtrak, fire Flynn.
Save Amtrak, fire Gardner.
Save Amtrak, fire the Board.
Save our nerves, confirm story first.
 
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Save our nerves, confirm story first.
The original claim matches up with other recent trends and it comes from a connected booster with no rational incentive to put Amtrak in a bad light.
 

20th Century Rider

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Made it safe to Seattle!! Hotel next door to the station.
You indeed gotta really nice place to stay! And you're gonna have a great time!

Now you must, must, must, and repeat again - Must! Take the Bremerton Ferry RT out of the Bremerton ferry doc. It is so scenic... depending on the weather you may see Mt. Rainier in the distance framed by the skyline. And of course when you get to the port of Bremerton there are the fascinating naval museums... you can even get on a museum ship the USS Turner; when you work up your hunger get a fresh crab sandwich ... have fun and enjoy... BTW please eat some fresh lobster and send that energy down the Oregon Coast. Enjoy enjoy enjoy!



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