Empire Service Coach vs Business

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Joined
Nov 24, 2009
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Hillsborough, NJ
Will probably be taking a trip next week from NYP to AMS (Amsterdam NY) via Amtrak Empire Service. We have never taken the Empire service before. Coach fare is $76 while business class is priced at $181.00. For over double the price what extra amenities are included in business class? AFAIK, business class on other trains that we have taken is just an included soft drink and a bit more leg room. Can anyone who has taken the Empire service provide an opinion on whether business class is worth over double the cost?
 

zephyr17

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Jul 23, 2009
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Washington State
The main one is the seating. It is 2 + 1 on Empire Service trains and is more comfortable than coach. And the soft drink.

There are only 15 Business Class seats (5 rows x 3 seats), which probably accounts for the significant price difference. I'd opt for Business Class when riding the Maple Leaf between Toronto and New York when it was available, but I travel alone and not having a seatmate for a very long ride was worth it to me. The soft drink was not a deciding factor.

Can't tell what the trade off is for you.
 
Joined
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For most people, the refreshed AM1 is more than adequate for that trip. Since you said "we" in your inquiry, I'll surmise that a single seat is not a criteria. Unless you have long legs or are a person of size the AM1 coach seat should be fine for the trip. The left side is nicer going up the Hudson. If you are traveling certain times, in the afternoon, the sun can be annoying since an AM1 coach has no curtains. BC must be close to sold out, that is a very large price difference.
 
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Thanks for the replies but for roughtly a three hour trip coach should be perfectly fine. The price differential for BC just doesn't seem worth 2x the cost of coach. For 2X+ in price we should expect at least twice the comfort
 

neroden

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Feb 23, 2014
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Ithaca, NY
The main advantage of Empire Service business class is the 2x1 seating. The other advantage is that it's in the cafe car. If you have trouble walking (like my girlfriend) and want to be able to go buy food easily (like my girlfriend when there isn't a pandemic), the proximity can be convenient. In coach you could be 7 cars away from the cafe car.
 

jccollins

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For most people, the refreshed AM1 is more than adequate for that trip. Since you said "we" in your inquiry, I'll surmise that a single seat is not a criteria. Unless you have long legs or are a person of size the AM1 coach seat should be fine for the trip. The left side is nicer going up the Hudson. If you are traveling certain times, in the afternoon, the sun can be annoying since an AM1 coach has no curtains. BC must be close to sold out, that is a very large price difference.
Does the business class section have window curtains? As someone with migraines aggravated by the sun THAT could be a deciding factor between the two classes
 

OlympianHiawatha

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Feb 7, 2008
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Norman, OK
Will probably be taking a trip next week from NYP to AMS (Amsterdam NY) via Amtrak Empire Service. We have never taken the Empire service before. Coach fare is $76 while business class is priced at $181.00. For over double the price what extra amenities are included in business class? AFAIK, business class on other trains that we have taken is just an included soft drink and a bit more leg room. Can anyone who has taken the Empire service provide an opinion on whether business class is worth over double the cost?
$105 is an awfully expensive Coke; that's getting near stadium pricing 🤣
 

TheVig

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Jun 22, 2020
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Charlotte NC
Last October, wife and I took a day trip to POU from NYP. Up in coach on the Maple Leaf, and back on Empire. I booked business back. Smart move on my part. A lot of the coach passengers that boarded in POU, couldn't find a seat. Stood up the whole time to NYP. Staff in the cafe car was blaming the reservation system. More bodies than seats available.

I don't have a lot of regular experience riding that line, but I'm told the Empires stay fairly packed.
 
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