Empire Builder Westbound, Change from Bedroom to Roomette

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amtraknovi

Train Attendant
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Aug 17, 2011
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Going from Chicago to Sea in October and prefer a bedroom for the trip. Back in the old days of AGR distance charts, I almost exclusively traveled in bedrooms because I earned ample points with my business spending on amex and chase cards.

Obviously those days are over and we'll it's roomettes mostly these days

I have basically enough saved up and with the buy points promo decided to splurge on the bedroom for this trip (traveling with GF on her first ever trip on a train) and went to book and sure enough no availability :(

What is available is Chi to SpK in a bedroom and Spk to Sea in a roomette. Of course this all happens at like 140AM. The Empire Builder is one of the only LD trains I haven't been on so am unfamiliar about the switch in SPK.

Has anyone here ever moved rooms in in SPK? Am I crazy to consider splitting up the trip bedroom and roomette? Besides the inconvenience of having to move it looks like it is just as expensive which is a bummer too.

Any thoughts on what I should do?
 

Exvalley

Conductor
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I would suggest switching rooms at a more reasonable time, such as the Whitefish stop (about 9 pm).
The gamble is whether or not the train is running late. If it is, the Whitefish stop may still wind up being quite late. But you also want to maximize your time in the bedroom - which means you may regret choosing an earlier stop if the train is running on time.

 
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amtraknovi

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the running late gamble is interesting. If it is really late, could sleep through the night. Most likely would add a lot of anxiety to the night though.
 

zephyr17

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Oh, hell no. I ride the Buider fairly regularly and would never consider breaking the trip in Spokane at zero dark thirty and I've been offered it. Plus the way website presents Arrow data, that option is only offered when the rooms are in the two different "trains," 7 and 27. So it wouldn't just be changing rooms within a car or between two adjacent cars, the switch would be between one end of the train to the other.

That would be a nonstarter for me.
 

joelkfla

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The gamble is whether or not the train is running late. If it is, the Whitefish stop may still wind up being quite late. But you also want to maximize your time in the bedroom - which means you may regret choosing an earlier stop if the train is running on time.

Personally, I would try to schedule the switch even earlier, like sometime in the afternoon, or even morning if that saves some bucks. Then even if it's running 6 hours late, it would still be at a reasonable hour. I think being assured of a good night's sleep is more important than spending a few more daytime hours in a bedroom.

I don't see the value of a bedroom over a roomette for solo daytime travel.
 

neroden

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Plus the way website presents Arrow data, that option is only offered when the rooms are in the two different "trains," 7 and 27. So it wouldn't just be changing rooms within a car or between two adjacent cars, the switch would be between one end of the train to the other.
....which gives you the clue. The available bedroom is in the Portland section.

What the original poster should try to do, IMO, is to reserve a bedroom from Seattle to Portland and then get a Cascades ticket from Portland to Seattle. Slightly longer trip, bedroom all the way to Portland and change trains in Portland.
 

amtraknovi

Train Attendant
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Aug 17, 2011
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Thanks all the help.

I missed the window to buy points with the 30% discount. I looked at the CHI PDX option, had the bedroom pulled up but just couldn't justify spending so much cash (1500$) p to buy the necessary points when I could get the roomette with what I have currently. basically was going to be 39,500 and $1500 to get it done.
 
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Cal

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I don't see the value of a bedroom over a roomette for solo daytime travel.
If you spend a decent amount of time in you're room (which I do), it's very nice. First of all if you're travelling together one person can nap while the other looks out the window without having to setup the upper bunk (or pulling out the lower bunk). Being able to actually have room to move at any time is a great benefit. And having your own restroom.
 
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