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Connection Guarantees with Tri-Weekly Service?

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Aside from the difficulty going forward of finding days that connecting is possible with the reductions, how on earth can Amtrak possibly guarantee missed connections ? Non of the press releases seem to address a change in the connection policy.

The very week of the planned changes I will be returning from Sacramento 10/08 on the Zephyr, connecting with the Capitol Limited in CHI to WAS and connecting onward to the Southbound Star to RGH. All booked w roomettes on a single reservation/ticket as normal guaranteed connections.

But both the connection to the Cap and to the Star- occur on days when there is no "next day" outbound train option. Won't take much lateness to make the dominos fall and I am getting the sense that I may get more "adventure" on this trip than I can handle. I don't really have to be anywhere by a certain date, but I also don't want to be jerked around with fares and accommodations that I've paid for.
 

tgstubbs1

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Mar 3, 2020
Messages
130
Aside from the difficulty going forward of finding days that connecting is possible with the reductions, how on earth can Amtrak possibly guarantee missed connections ? Non of the press releases seem to address a change in the connection policy.

The very week of the planned changes I will be returning from Sacramento 10/08 on the Zephyr, connecting with the Capitol Limited in CHI to WAS and connecting onward to the Southbound Star to RGH. All booked w roomettes on a single reservation/ticket as normal guaranteed connections.

But both the connection to the Cap and to the Star- occur on days when there is no "next day" outbound train option. Won't take much lateness to make the dominos fall and I am getting the sense that I may get more "adventure" on this trip than I can handle. I don't really have to be anywhere by a certain date, but I also don't want to be jerked around with fares and accommodations that I've paid for.
Do you like bus rides?
 

FrensicPic

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Was looking at LAX to MSP all trains, no bus connections. Found depart LA on Monday; arrive Portland on Tuesday at 1332; depart PDX at 1445 on #28. An hour and 13 minutes to make that connection IF ON TIME! If not, next #28 is on Thursday...two days later!
This is gonna be messy!
 

manchacrr

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Baton Rouge, LA
Was looking at LAX to MSP all trains, no bus connections. Found depart LA on Monday; arrive Portland on Tuesday at 1332; depart PDX at 1445 on #28. An hour and 13 minutes to make that connection IF ON TIME! If not, next #28 is on Thursday...two days later!
This is gonna be messy!
IIRC, if the northbound Coast Starlight #14 is running late enough, they will bus connecting passengers from Klamath Falls to meet the eastbound Empire Builder #28 in Pasco.
 

20th Century Rider

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During the most recent 'good old days' I had been rerouted on the SWC to the CS because the EB was xcled due to weather. Then I misconnected again in LA when the SWC was late. I learned that layover expenses were on me but made friends with the station MGR who gave me a hotel voucher. A misconnect now could result on 2 nights hotel expenses, and meals, and possible downgrade on the connecting train. As an earlier post mentioned... that's probably more 'adventure' than most can tolerate!
 

joelkfla

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Oct 16, 2018
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IIRC, if the northbound Coast Starlight #14 is running late enough, they will bus connecting passengers from Klamath Falls to meet the eastbound Empire Builder #28 in Pasco.
What happens to checked baggage?
 

FrensicPic

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IIRC, if the northbound Coast Starlight #14 is running late enough, they will bus connecting passengers from Klamath Falls to meet the eastbound Empire Builder #28 in Pasco.
Yes, they have been doing that for some time.
 
Joined
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Do you like bus rides?
No and I don't like "Gladiator movies" either !

I suppose I could opt for the Carolinian (79) out of WAS next day Oct 12 if I miss the Star connection on the 11th. We'll see what happens and what Amtrak proposes should things get sideways. The YTD Archives for 2020 show around a 10% missed connection rate using a 45 minute connection window.
 

bms

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Jan 29, 2018
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Cleveland
I cannot think of any good way to handle missed connections with this schedule, and I doubt Amtrak can think of one either. I would expect a lot more trains to depart late from Chicago because they're waiting for a connecting train.

The practice of planning a night in Chicago to guarantee your connection is out the window now too, unless you want to plan two or three nights on each end.
 

20th Century Rider

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I cannot think of any good way to handle missed connections with this schedule, and I doubt Amtrak can think of one either. I would expect a lot more trains to depart late from Chicago because they're waiting for a connecting train.

The practice of planning a night in Chicago to guarantee your connection is out the window now too, unless you want to plan two or three nights on each end.
If you want to travel on Amtrak, then money must not be an issue... prepare accordingly for financial liabilities.😰
 

flitcraft

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Absolutely the way to go! A decently large backpack (not a bookbag!), the kind backpackers use for multiple days in the woods, is the way to go.
I have plenty of practice in packing light--I spent six weeks in Beijing once with only a 20 inch carryon bag and a 'personal item.' Of course, now that more snacks (and possibly meals) need to be toted onboard, it will be a bit more of a challenge. But not having to worry about misconnects and checked bags make packing light the best way to go, if you can. I used to carry a frameless backpack--Tom Bihn's Aeronaut--but a blown out rotator cuff put paid to that, so now I use a 20 inch wheelie and bungee my personal item on top!
 

anumberone

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Absolutely the way to go! A decently large backpack (not a bookbag!), the kind backpackers use for multiple days in the woods, is the way to go.
Hopefully you are not suggesting camping 😀 It's safer to camp in the woods than Chicago.
 

Skyline

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Hopefully you are not suggesting camping 😀 It's safer to camp in the woods than Chicago.
Agreed woods vs Chicago or anyplace "civilized."

No, my post was about using a large backpack while travelling instead of luggage. Tho I sometimes combine backpacking with riding trains , and so it serves both purposes but I have to wear my hiking clothes on the train because I don't want to carry those in my pack while hiking (dead weight and space issues). Not a problem if I can find a laundromat before the return train trip.

Before anyone asks how I can do my laundry without a spare set of clothes to wear ... rain gear. 🤣
 

20th Century Rider

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Absolutely the way to go! A decently large backpack (not a bookbag!), the kind backpackers use for multiple days in the woods, is the way to go.
Railroading and urban backpacking... One would be amazed what can be placed in a small backpack... minimalist with the clothing as in extra pair of socks! 2 cup hot water heater and cutting knife, fork, spoon, and tiny cutting board. Don't forget the 'happy juice' in light reusable plastic bottle, some nuts, raisins, and mini snacks... and fruit. A small toilet kit has everything from clippers to after shave, and shaver, sonic care toothbrush that keeps its charge for a month... phone charger... and I do include the Macbook Aire for when in a wifi area... also provides incredible amounts of googled info not only on Amtrak, but in area where staying. I forage for food with grocery stores as first priority. In the winter I include earmuffs, beanie, scarf... and always wear my jacket when out. Money wallet has only cards I need and limited cash... kept in a special and secure neck strap hidden in front under my shirt. All that is needed is a place to lay my head... but I insist on a room with a loo, a sink, and a lock on the door. Books have been written by full timers so this is just a sketch of how I personally work things on the rail - road.

My model for focused thinking... all the 90 year olds I saw backpacking in Europe when I was younger... guess now that I am getting up in age it's pretty much my turn!!!

ah0eykprjhyazusgdgkgbg6rhnpjc4xkhmqxz9jctsfkzcyenplxbtxtasexscif-.jpg
 

Lonestar648

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With this new schedule, I keep thinking Amtrak wants passengers to be unhappy, to be inconvenienced, and to be frustrated enough not to travel again. If they were really trying to build back the number of passengers, Amtrak would be bending over backwards to make every passenger want to ride again, and soon. Connecting through Chicago will be difficult at best, since the reservation site is very unfriendly not saying why your request failed. So trying to reschedule say a canceled trip will be a nightmare at best.
 

AmtrakBlue

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With this new schedule, I keep thinking Amtrak wants passengers to be unhappy, to be inconvenienced, and to be frustrated enough not to travel again. If they were really trying to build back the number of passengers, Amtrak would be bending over backwards to make every passenger want to ride again, and soon. Connecting through Chicago will be difficult at best, since the reservation site is very unfriendly not saying why your request failed. So trying to reschedule say a canceled trip will be a nightmare at best.
Or maybe wants pax to be angry enough to contact their state reps to do something about funding Amtrak and removing the F&B mandate.
 

20th Century Rider

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With this new schedule, I keep thinking Amtrak wants passengers to be unhappy, to be inconvenienced, and to be frustrated enough not to travel again. If they were really trying to build back the number of passengers, Amtrak would be bending over backwards to make every passenger want to ride again, and soon. Connecting through Chicago will be difficult at best, since the reservation site is very unfriendly not saying why your request failed. So trying to reschedule say a canceled trip will be a nightmare at best.
It's just like everything else in US Government Bureaucracies... everything is disconnected and poorly run... with people running around in circles aimlessly. So what do you think about what's going on with the postal system? Why are they taking down sorting machines just before the election??? And the justice system? The military? Environmental protection? How many say in utter despair... the US Government is by the people but for itself???

Amtrak is supposed to be a government sponsored service for US citizens... yet they must survive without funding. This is being questioned by all Americans of all beliefs and parties... it would certainly be a patriotic quest to bring more efficiency to government spending of our tax dollars... because you and I fund the government!



Lots and lots more has been written about federal spending... lots more to google!
 

me_little_me

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Joined
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Messages
3,265
Before anyone asks how I can do my laundry without a spare set of clothes to wear ... rain gear. 🤣
So you're the guy my wife saw running around with only a raincoat and showing what's inside to everyone. Now she wants me to get one!
 

Skyline

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Joined
Feb 19, 2016
Messages
743
Railroading and urban backpacking... One would be amazed what can be placed in a small backpack... minimalist with the clothing as in extra pair of socks! 2 cup hot water heater and cutting knife, fork, spoon, and tiny cutting board. Don't forget the 'happy juice' in light reusable plastic bottle, some nuts, raisins, and mini snacks... and fruit. A small toilet kit has everything from clippers to after shave, and shaver, sonic care toothbrush that keeps its charge for a month... phone charger... and I do include the Macbook Aire for when in a wifi area... also provides incredible amounts of googled info not only on Amtrak, but in area where staying. I forage for food with grocery stores as first priority. In the winter I include earmuffs, beanie, scarf... and always wear my jacket when out. Money wallet has only cards I need and limited cash... kept in a special and secure neck strap hidden in front under my shirt. All that is needed is a place to lay my head... but I insist on a room with a loo, a sink, and a lock on the door. Books have been written by full timers so this is just a sketch of how I personally work things on the rail - road.

My model for focused thinking... all the 90 year olds I saw backpacking in Europe when I was younger... guess now that I am getting up in age it's pretty much my turn!!!

View attachment 19035
By the look of your pack, you might be what we backpackers refer to as a true ultralighter. They even cut their toothbrushes in less than half to save weight! That's not me. I like my "stuff" too much to do without, so I use a 55-liter backpack. As I age, perhaps I should take the hint from ultralighters because the weight is getting harder to manage.
 

Skyline

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So you're the guy my wife saw running around with only a raincoat and showing what's inside to everyone. Now she wants me to get one!

Haha. Actually, when I've done long distance backpacking, especially the Appalachian Trail, we've gone into a town every week or so to resupply food, other expendables, get a real shower, eat real meals, and do laundry. Since we seldom carry a lot of extra clothes, the rain gear is what we wear while at the laundromat because the clothes we have REALLY needs laundered! It's kinda sketchy if the laundromat doesn't have a rest room to change in but so far I've managed to stay out of jail!
 

20th Century Rider

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By the look of your pack, you might be what we backpackers refer to as a true ultralighter. They even cut their toothbrushes in less than half to save weight! That's not me. I like my "stuff" too much to do without, so I use a 55-liter backpack. As I age, perhaps I should take the hint from ultralighters because the weight is getting harder to manage.
It's amazing what a little careful planning will do... in my 70's I am fighting the battle to bring as much comfort along but also with ease of movement... which is essential pre and post boarding the train. And by carrying smaller and lighter, it takes up less room in the sleeping compartment. The 'perfect solution' is continuously evolving! 😊 🌈
 

20th Century Rider

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Haha. Actually, when I've done long distance backpacking, especially the Appalachian Trail, we've gone into a town every week or so to resupply food, other expendables, get a real shower, eat real meals, and do laundry. Since we seldom carry a lot of extra clothes, the rain gear is what we wear while at the laundromat because the clothes we have REALLY needs laundered! It's kinda sketchy if the laundromat doesn't have a rest room to change in but so far I've managed to stay out of jail!
It was my dream of dreams to hike the Appalachian Trail... so long ago when I was young and skinny... but never got to it. What an adventure that would have been... but have done a lot of traveling and hiking in my life... so no regrets. BTW I'll bet you were always glad to get to a hot shower while on the trail!

When I daydream about the beauty of such a hike, I like to listen to Aaron Copland's Appalachian Spring... first became familiar with in 7th Grade music appreciation class... yup... this trail has alway been in my fantasy imagination!



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