Permanent Way Inspector
ModeratorAU Supporting Member
Gathering Team Member
- Aug 24, 2003
UK visitor here... (I'm sorry if this observation has been made before, I haven't read every post).
Is the price-structure for the long-distance named trains/routes skewed by the cruise market? People who are accustomed to up-market cruises can afford to pay more for a super-deluxe service, this means that 'normal' (I can't think of a better word) passengers who want to make the trip in reasonable comfort but without fawning attendants and fancy meals have no realistic alternative. I get the economics and practicalities - the railways need to maximise their revenues and trains can only get so big.
To start with, you are correct in your observation about the lack of affordable class of travel between Coach and Sleeper Roomette.
As an observation of mine from significant experience in using Amtrak's various Sleeper accommodations at various fares, I would very much doubt that anyone would describe Amtrak's Sleeper Service as one involving "fawning attendants" in any fare class or accommodation.
The fares charged are just IMHO somewhat mindless application of supply and demand to exploit customers' willingness to pay, in order to maximize yield, sometimes ignoring things like overall occupancy and such. People from Cruise ship experience are very rapidly disabused of such expectations.
Having said that, you might come across discussion of things like Slumbercoach or Sections, which were available in the past to fill exactly the niche that you speak of, which Amtrak got rid of, or rather did not replace with new generation of the same for various reasons including being squeezed for funding and trying to make the most of what they had, not often very competently some would surmise.
At present there is an attempt to fill that gap in the opportunity presented by the on going exercise of replacing the entire fleet for Long Distance service. So yeah, most people would and do agree with the point you make and the advocacy groups are trying to do something about it. But it takes time.