Connection 8 to 30 or 48?

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tonijustine

Train Attendant
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May 3, 2017
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84
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Indiana
My son and I are going to be coming back from Seattle to Elkhart in mid-October. Originally, we were going to overnight with family in Chicago so we didn't have to worry about missing a connection. Now, my family member is moving out of state and we won't have a couch to crash on so we are looking at the connections in Chicago for both 30 and 48. Since my parents will pick up at the station, I would rather choose the earlier train, but the connection seems awfully tight for comfort. However, if I book a connection with 30 and miss it, I have another chance with 48 later than night.

If I were to book a roomette, miss 30 and get on 48 instead, what are the odds that I'll also get a roomette on 48?

I've looked at 8's on-time performance for the period of 10/1 through 4/11 would have had me missing the 30 connection about 15% of the time and only twice would I have missed the 48 connection (assuming they didn't hold the train for us).

Amtrak vets, what do you think? Should I book for the 30 and use 48 as a backup? And if it all goes terribly wrong, I think they'll put us up overnight, correct?
 

Cal

Foamer
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Jan 23, 2021
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Socal
Amtrak vets, what do you think? Should I book for the 30 and use 48 as a backup? And if it all goes terribly wrong, I think they'll put us up overnight, correct?
If you book it as a single ticket, it's guaranteed. If it's under two separate reservations, it's not.
 

bms

Lead Service Attendant
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Jan 29, 2018
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486
Location
Cleveland
Go ahead and book the connection to #30. If you happen to miss it, they will rebook you onto #48 anyway. 85% of the time you'll make the connection to #30, though.
 

greatwestern

Service Attendant
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Dec 6, 2017
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106
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Bristol England
In 2018 when I missed my connection from No. 8 to 30 (going to Washington DC), I was initially offered an overnight hotel in Chicago and a rebooking on the next day's 30.

When I said this would mean a missed flight out of Washington to the UK, I was then booked onto that night's 48 but in coach rather than sleeper (none available) - we were so late on No. 8 that I only just made 48 !

Looks like a missed 8 to 30 connection for onward travelling to Elkhart should be dealt with fairly painlessly as long as your journey Seattle to Elkhart is on a single booking.
 

John Bobinyec

Conductor
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Sep 18, 2009
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CYN
By October, 30 and 48 will be running daily. So perhaps someone can comment about the possibility of being put up in a hotel and being booked on the next day's train, if the connection from 8 is missed.

jb
 

caravanman

Engineer
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Mar 22, 2004
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Nottingham, England.
You can expect to be put up in a Chicago hotel if you miss a "guaranteed connection". I have had this experience. However, the possibility of getting a vacant roomette on the following days train are all down to pure chance.
I suggest booking the later train connection for peace of mind, and plan something fun or interesting to do for a few hours if you arrive into Chicago with lots of spare time?
 
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My son and I are going to be coming back from Seattle to Elkhart in mid-October. Originally, we were going to overnight with family in Chicago so we didn't have to worry about missing a connection. Now, my family member is moving out of state and we won't have a couch to crash on so we are looking at the connections in Chicago for both 30 and 48. Since my parents will pick up at the station, I would rather choose the earlier train, but the connection seems awfully tight for comfort. However, if I book a connection with 30 and miss it, I have another chance with 48 later than night.

If I were to book a roomette, miss 30 and get on 48 instead, what are the odds that I'll also get a roomette on 48?

I've looked at 8's on-time performance for the period of 10/1 through 4/11 would have had me missing the 30 connection about 15% of the time and only twice would I have missed the 48 connection (assuming they didn't hold the train for us).

Amtrak vets, what do you think? Should I book for the 30 and use 48 as a backup? And if it all goes terribly wrong, I think they'll put us up overnight, correct?
Others have answered your question, but I am wondering why you are booking a roomette from Chicago just to Elkhart?
If I were you, I would book Roomette Seattle to Chicago, and coach on the earlier train Chicago to Elkhart.
While it's a "guaranteed connection" and if the worst happened and you missed both trains to Elkhart, if you didn't want to stay over at Amtraks's expense, another option would be to take the South Shore to South Bend, and get a ride from there.
 

SubwayNut

Conductor
Joined
Nov 17, 2011
Messages
1,504
I would just book myself in coach for the under 2 hour ride (remember the ride is an hour shorter than the times on your ticket due time change) on 30 from Chicago to Elkhart. Amtrak will rebook you on 448/48 if you miss the connection.

The issue with the South Shore Line to the South Bend Airport as a back up is that the last train leaves Millenium at 7:10pm on Weekdays and 9:15pm on weekends so Amtrak leaves later, I routinely take the Lake Shore Home (well before the pandemic) to South Bend because of its later departure time.

To connect to Elkhart on public transit from the South Shore Line arriving at South Bend Airport (Transpo Route 4 to Transpo Route 9 to Interurban Trolley Yellow Line) you need to be on either the 8:40am or 12:35pm train out of Millenium. On Saturdays only the 8:40am train connects to buses going all the way to Elkhart. There is no Sunday bus service in Elkhart or South Bend.
 

tonijustine

Train Attendant
Joined
May 3, 2017
Messages
84
Location
Indiana
Others have answered your question, but I am wondering why you are booking a roomette from Chicago just to Elkhart?
If I were you, I would book Roomette Seattle to Chicago, and coach on the earlier train Chicago to Elkhart.
While it's a "guaranteed connection" and if the worst happened and you missed both trains to Elkhart, if you didn't want to stay over at Amtraks's expense, another option would be to take the South Shore to South Bend, and get a ride from there.
I've got a bedroom from SEA to CHI. I am not opposed to coach, but think a roomette a better option for allowing my son to wind down, and besides, I have the points to cover it.
 

oregon pioneer

Engineer
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Feb 15, 2011
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near Seneca, Oregon
Nicely clear answer, Ryan. Only thing I have to add is that, especially midweek, there's a good chance they won't fill every single roomette on 48/448 out of CHI. People do get on at later stations for the overnight, and the train includes both NY and Boston sections. For Elkhart, you can be put on either section.

At worst, if you do miss the connection to 30, AND they have to put you in coach on 48/448, they will issue a voucher for the difference. That's a topic for a whole 'nother discussion, but I think your likelihood of traveling on from CHI in a roomette as you wish is actually quite high, all things considered.
 

Tom Booth

Service Attendant
Joined
Jul 5, 2019
Messages
205
Location
Jersey City
Go ahead and book the connection to #30. If you happen to miss it, they will rebook you onto #48 anyway. 85% of the time you'll make the connection to #30, though.
I imagine that at some of the EB's late arrivals were due to snow and/or spring flooding. These are less likely in October.
 
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tonijustine

Train Attendant
Joined
May 3, 2017
Messages
84
Location
Indiana
If you are only going to Elkhart, you won't be put up in a hotel. If you miss 30 and 48, you will be put in a taxi/bus to your destination....
I was afraid of that. That was my experience before when I missed both after a ridiculous delay on the Desert Wind, but that was also decades ago, so I wasn't sure if things changed. The good thing is that I can get a ride if we miss both connections.
 
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