First NEC Sleeper Journey - A Huge Letdown

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crescent-zephyr

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With the limited staff with these (any single level) trains, it a big empty car with few bags, and one or two crew.
Cardinal has 2 in the “Cafe” plus 1 or 2 coach attendants at least. So minnimum is 4 crew. In theory you could put the sleeper SCA’s in the Dorm as well and free up an extra roomette or 2.
 

Tlcooper93

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I've seen pics of those "squashed-looking" MBTA double-deckers in Back Bay, but they may be the limit height-wise. Even if not, the catenary might be a factor.
In my commute today aboard one of them, I checked the height and looked at clearence. They are shorter than Superliners, and they probably have only a half food of clearance in BBY and other tunnels.
 

Cal

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In my commute today aboard one of them, I checked the height and looked at clearence. They are shorter than Superliners, and they probably have only a half food of clearance in BBY and other tunnels.
They were made so there could be bi-levels on the NEC where taller cars couldn't fit. I believe they were specifically for NYP, and then Marc and MBTA adapted variants too
 

Twinkletoes

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This is largely because 448/49 (but especially the Boston leg) can't compete with any other form of travel on that route (even intermediate cities), and it doesn't offer a service that would make it worth it. The train is late most of the time and has terrible service. It is already far too long a train ride, so a very small portion of passengers use the train to get from either end to the other.

I went to school in Oberlin close to the Elyria stop and would have gladly taken a train from South Station, but the whole Cleveland area has terrible stop times (in early morning around 3-4am), and it just wasn't worth the 16 hours aboard the train. A ticket in coach might be worth it if buses didn't provide faster and cheaper service to KCLE area.
Hello fellow Obie.
I arrived at Oberlin by traveling from Chicago to Elyria. At the that the eastbound train got to Elyria in the middle of the afternoon. In later years when I returned for reunions I found the middle of the night business to be quite annoying. I've tried the train a few times in recent years to visit relatives in Cleveland, but hanging out in a minimalist box (nothing like the old Terminal Tower of yesteryear) with relatives who kindly brought you to the station and want to see you off on the journey to Boston (4 hours late the last time I did it) is not encouraging. I've often wondered why they don't shift the "scheduled" time to have Cleveland arrival and departures in the late morning or afternoon.
 

Just-Thinking-51

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Yes we could use a better schedule, and more trains between Cleveland, Chicago, and the east coast. But even the low hanging fruit from a few years ago disappeared from Amtrak’s web site. Those route improvements plans order by Congress are not available.
 

IndyLions

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Brownsburg IN
2) I've occasionally been able to look into the baggage cars on the trains (single level service) I've ridden that have them. Being the last car in the train, you can go to the rear sleeper or business class car and look through what used to be the "railfan window."
Here's a peek through the "Railfan Window" into the VLII Baggage Car on the Silver Meteor southbound in mid-March. Looks like pretty reasonable usage. As a cyclist - I also love all the bike racks.

Also - notice the Fed Ex packages. I assume those are going / have gone away with the elimination of the Amtrak Express service.

Baggage Load.jpg

And no, I didn't open the door illegally. The VLII Sleeper Railfan window was just especially clean. Crazy for Amtrak, I know. :cool:
 

jiml

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Here's a peek through the "Railfan Window" into the VLII Baggage Car on the Silver Meteor southbound in mid-March. Looks like pretty reasonable usage. As a cyclist - I also love all the bike racks.

Also - notice the Fed Ex packages. I assume those are going / have gone away with the elimination of the Amtrak Express service.

View attachment 21594

And no, I didn't open the door illegally. The VLII Sleeper Railfan window was just especially clean. Crazy for Amtrak, I know. :cool:
That certainly is the nicest baggage car I've ever seen. On my last VIA trip pre-Covid the luggage rack in the BC car was broken, so the attendant had us self-store and retrieve our own bags from the baggage car ahead of us. Quite the different interior.
 

PVD

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online data (not always 100% correct) shows the MBTA cars are around 8" less in height....
 

jis

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They were made so there could be bi-levels on the NEC where taller cars couldn't fit. I believe they were specifically for NYP, and then Marc and MBTA adapted variants too
The MBTA and MARC (older) multi-levels are too tall for Penn Station and pre-date the NJT multi-levels specifically designed for Penn Station, which also happen to be the new multi-levels acquired by MARC using options from the original NJT order. Since then NJT has placed additional new orders, including for the Multi-Level Power Cars for converting the current collection of trailers into EMUs.

As a matter of fact, even multi-levels that fit Penn Station like the LIRR C-3s cannot be universally used in Penn Station. They cannot enter or exit through the Hudson Tunnels as there are additional clearance issues when entering or exiting on the diverging tracks at the entry to those from the Penn Station end. Only the NJT ones can fit through the more restrictive clearance.
 

IndyLions

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Overall a big disappointment, despite this being a much desired service. Will I take it again? Definitely. Will I recommend it? Maybe not to everyone.
Sorry to hear that - but not surprised. The VLI's are pretty tired at this point - and will take extra effort by the staff to be "the best that they can be"...

As an optimist - I'm hopeful the staff morale will get a boost by the return of co-workers from furlough, as well as the talk of expanded Amtrak service. Yes - the plan is more underwhelming than it should be - but if I'm an employee I'm encouraged they are not just talking about route reductions and amenity cutbacks.

If this increased morale can result in increased effort in cleaning, maintenance, etc. - not to mention some incremental improvement in food service even on this route - maybe another report in about 6 months time could be significantly more positive.
 

Larry H.

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Amtrak has often ignored the cleaning crews work and let substandard work become the norm.. This falls on supervisory workers whom evidently don't pay much attention to the small details which often are where the work shows up as sloppy. I recall taking the Lake Shore out of NY City and the sleeper room I had was full of dirty foot prints on the furniture and generally grimy looking. I used to supervise cleaning in some retail establishments and always stressed looking for dirt and when you see it be sure you have removed it. I recall and old ad by the New York Central showing the extent to which crews cleaned the cars, it was an amazing group of cleaners seeing that the windows were clean, the seats all perfectly vacuumed, the aisles were spotless ect. Those days seem to have disappeared.
 

railiner

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Amtrak has often ignored the cleaning crews work and let substandard work become the norm.. This falls on supervisory workers whom evidently don't pay much attention to the small details which often are where the work shows up as sloppy. I recall taking the Lake Shore out of NY City and the sleeper room I had was full of dirty foot prints on the furniture and generally grimy looking. I used to supervise cleaning in some retail establishments and always stressed looking for dirt and when you see it be sure you have removed it. I recall and old ad by the New York Central showing the extent to which crews cleaned the cars, it was an amazing group of cleaners seeing that the windows were clean, the seats all perfectly vacuumed, the aisles were spotless ect. Those days seem to have disappeared.
I agree. But, like most other area's of the railroad, including car and locomotive maintenance, track section gangs, station help, "ful crews" on freight trains, etc., they have replaced "armies" of workers, with just a few, aided in many cases by modern technology. It's all related to cost...
 
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Okay — this may sound a bit overkill — but I’m planning on a weekend trip on the corridor in the beginning of June to ride the sleeper on the « Night Owl » and to take advantage of the 2-for-1 sleeper deal.

The plan is to take the southbound Silver Star on Saturday — spend about 6 hours in DC before taking the 66 « Night Owl » to Boston — spend about 5 hours there before taking the 165 Regional back to NY on Sunday.

The fare for my friend and I on the 66 goes from $300 + $138 for the roomette to $150 + $138 for the roomette. I feel like $150 is a pretty great savings for that segment. Thus, I feel slightly inclined to take full advantage of the roomette deal and book a new VLII roomette on the Silver Star for the short hop down to DC. In coach it’s $120 (or $58 if i get on a normal regional) — which goes up to $128 + $129 for the roomette — the splurge feels a bit justified considering the savings of the roomette sale.

My question is this — is the VLII roomette enjoyable enough on such a short trip (3.5 hours) to justify paying ~130 dollars on top of the normal fare for it and ~200 dollars on top of the regional fare? I certainly won’t do any sleeping and I already have access to the Metropolitan Lounge in NYP with my evening sleeper ticket. It would simply be to experience the new cars and maybe eat a meal in the diner (although the current dining is quite abysmal). If you made it through this post please let me know what you think.
 

Bob Dylan

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Okay — this may sound a bit overkill — but I’m planning on a weekend trip on the corridor in the beginning of June to ride the sleeper on the « Night Owl » and to take advantage of the 2-for-1 sleeper deal.

The plan is to take the southbound Silver Star on Saturday — spend about 6 hours in DC before taking the 66 « Night Owl » to Boston — spend about 5 hours there before taking the 165 Regional back to NY on Sunday.

The fare for my friend and I on the 66 goes from $300 + $138 for the roomette to $150 + $138 for the roomette. I feel like $150 is a pretty great savings for that segment. Thus, I feel slightly inclined to take full advantage of the roomette deal and book a new VLII roomette on the Silver Star for the short hop down to DC. In coach it’s $120 (or $58 if i get on a normal regional) — which goes up to $128 + $129 for the roomette — the splurge feels a bit justified considering the savings of the roomette sale.

My question is this — is the VLII roomette enjoyable enough on such a short trip (3.5 hours) to justify paying ~130 dollars on top of the normal fare for it and ~200 dollars on top of the regional fare? I certainly won’t do any sleeping and I already have access to the Metropolitan Lounge in NYP with my evening sleeper ticket. It would simply be to experience the new cars and maybe eat a meal in the diner (although the current dining is quite abysmal). If you made it through this post please let me know what you think.
I dont think it's worth it for the short hop from NYP-DC.

If you have, or can get an AU Member to get you Upgrade or Companion Coupons, I suggest riding on Acela for this segment.( BC Fares are as Low as $69/FC $184)

I'd wait until theres better Food served in the Diners before riding a LD Train for such a short distance.
YMMV
 

Tlcooper93

Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 9, 2021
Messages
133
Location
Boston
Okay — this may sound a bit overkill — but I’m planning on a weekend trip on the corridor in the beginning of June to ride the sleeper on the « Night Owl » and to take advantage of the 2-for-1 sleeper deal.

The plan is to take the southbound Silver Star on Saturday — spend about 6 hours in DC before taking the 66 « Night Owl » to Boston — spend about 5 hours there before taking the 165 Regional back to NY on Sunday.

The fare for my friend and I on the 66 goes from $300 + $138 for the roomette to $150 + $138 for the roomette. I feel like $150 is a pretty great savings for that segment. Thus, I feel slightly inclined to take full advantage of the roomette deal and book a new VLII roomette on the Silver Star for the short hop down to DC. In coach it’s $120 (or $58 if i get on a normal regional) — which goes up to $128 + $129 for the roomette — the splurge feels a bit justified considering the savings of the roomette sale.

My question is this — is the VLII roomette enjoyable enough on such a short trip (3.5 hours) to justify paying ~130 dollars on top of the normal fare for it and ~200 dollars on top of the regional fare? I certainly won’t do any sleeping and I already have access to the Metropolitan Lounge in NYP with my evening sleeper ticket. It would simply be to experience the new cars and maybe eat a meal in the diner (although the current dining is quite abysmal). If you made it through this post please let me know what you think.
I think it is entirely up to you. If you chose to spend a sizable amount of cash that way, I think it is similar to other pricey leisure activities. There's nothing wrong with it, as long as you know what you are doing.

Patronizing the Night Owl is a good idea. It will ensure that the sleeper service doesn't go anywhere, and it may even make them consider improving their service.

I definitely agree with BD on the silver portion. Wait until the food service improves, which if the rumours are true, it might happen.

Hello fellow Obie.
I arrived at Oberlin by traveling from Chicago to Elyria. At the that the eastbound train got to Elyria in the middle of the afternoon. In later years when I returned for reunions I found the middle of the night business to be quite annoying. I've tried the train a few times in recent years to visit relatives in Cleveland, but hanging out in a minimalist box (nothing like the old Terminal Tower of yesteryear) with relatives who kindly brought you to the station and want to see you off on the journey to Boston (4 hours late the last time I did it) is not encouraging. I've often wondered why they don't shift the "scheduled" time to have Cleveland arrival and departures in the late morning or afternoon.
Glad to see other grads here! I always felt unsafe at the Elyria station during those hours. Its almost as if Ohio doesn't want people to use the train, given the terrible schedule.
An impossible and glorious dream I have is for the old Terminal Tower station to be revamped into an actual intercity rail station. Alas, probably not going to happen.
 
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Joined
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NJ
I dont think it's worth it for the short hop from NYP-DC.

If you have, or can get an AU Member to get you Upgrade or Companion Coupons, I suggest riding on Acela for this segment.( BC Fares are as Low as $69/FC $184)
I definitely agree with BD on the silver portion. Wait until the food service improves, which if the rumours are true, it might happen.
Thanks for your input! Erring on the side of ‘not worth it’ as well after some thought — as I simply dont think the VLII alone is worth that price for 3.5 hours, especially when I’m just gonna end up in a VLI later that night. Food and lounge access definitely are not factors to consider as of now either.

In do wonder, though, how would I go about finding companion coupons or upgrades on AU (new member here)?
 

Bob Dylan

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Austin Texas
Thanks for your input! Erring on the side of ‘not worth it’ as well after some thought — as I simply dont think the VLII alone is worth that price for 3.5 hours, especially when I’m just gonna end up in a VLI later that night. Food and lounge access definitely are not factors to consider as of now either.

In do wonder, though, how would I go about finding companion coupons or upgrades on AU (new member here)?
Post on the AGR Forum, there usually are Members willing to share Coupons they cant. use or are fixing to expire! No charge, were friendly here!😊
 

daybeers

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HFD
Thanks for your input! Erring on the side of ‘not worth it’ as well after some thought — as I simply dont think the VLII alone is worth that price for 3.5 hours, especially when I’m just gonna end up in a VLI later that night. Food and lounge access definitely are not factors to consider as of now either.

In do wonder, though, how would I go about finding companion coupons or upgrades on AU (new member here)?
Here's the thread. Welcome to AU!
 

JP1822

Train Attendant
Joined
Mar 8, 2019
Messages
48
Amtrak did a pretty descent job advertising the launch of this service (with amenities, private room travel, and the breakfast), has pictures of the Viewliner II sleeper on its website (that the original ad drew people to), and then goes and launches the service with an elder and rundown Viewliner I sleeper, instead of a Viewliner II sleeper that they could have used. If I were just to read the advertisements, I would have expected a Viewliner II not a Viewliner I sleeper.

But, so typical for Amtrak. Their advertising and branding is one thing, but their execution fails to live up time and time again. And yes, this will provide adequate excuses for the service to be doomed and get cancelled. I personally think they should just run the car through to Newport News and have a cleaning crew come onboard there and take care of things. This would have also shifted the Viewliner sleeper to operate at the rear of the train.

Linens and sheets can be changed out before arrival into Newport News (or even Washington DC) and Boston. Any supplies or re-supplies could be picked up in Washington DC, NYP, or Boston. Boston already services the Lake Shore.

Wouldn't be surprised if Boston threw a fit and said since we only service one sleeping car three days a week and its a Viewliner I, we'll only service Viewliner I's for anything else. Regardless, Amtrak needed to debut this service with a Viewliner II Sleeper. They took the wind right out of their advertising launch for this RESTORED service.........
 

bratkinson

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As promised, here's the writeup of my trip last night on #67 in roomette #2...

A person on another forum indicated he was planning to ride the restored sleeper on #67 BOS-WAS on the thirteenth, so I figured it would be a good time for me to 'get back into training' since the start of Covid. I sent him a private email and asked if he'd mind company, and he went on to say he's riding WAS-BOS beforehand on #2166.

So we met on the Acela when I boarded at NHV and chatted until after we left BOS on #67 before calling it a night.

Unlike the 'good old days' 15 years ago when the sleeper was still on the Twilight Limited or whatever it was called, it was at the rear adjacent to the cafe/BC car. Our train had the electric motor up front, a full baggage car, then the sleeper (handicap room and vestibule at front, but door closed, attendant was waiting for us at the rear door of the BC/Cafe), followed by I think 4 coaches we had walked past.

The sleeping car attendant had made our beds in advance, with my new friend in #1, and me in #2. The three of us talked for a bit and he said he's on the extra board and got bumped from his normal Capitol Ltd assignment. He also said he'd turn off the speaker system before we left BOS. Good thing. Not a peep out of the speakers in the room or hallway all night. It was only the two of us in the sleeper the entire night. A couple of minutes later, the SCA came back with our 'boxed' breakfast, which I knew what was inside as it was identical to what I had in the Acela First Class a couple hours earlier. I declined due to my medication timing restrictions (1 hr before eating, or 4 hours after) and I had read somewhere that Johnny Rockets '50s diner was still open at WAS. I had a couple of good breakfasts there in the past.

The SCA's accustomed Superliner bedmaking showed up in that the 'head' of the bed in my room was next to the toilet. It only took a couple of seconds for me to take it apart as I normally do anyway and put head away from the toilet. I mentioned it to him this morning while he was making it up and he said he was bumped to #66/67 a couple days ago with zero Viewliner training. He said he knew from experience that most passengers want to sleep feet first, so that's how he made up the beds. I prefer feet first, too, but not with my head next to the toilet.

Three things hit me while rearranging the bed:

#1...the new looking mattress pad is a good 5 inches short! And hard as a rock, too. I've likely spent well over 150 nights in Viewliner roomettes and never seen more than 2” short on the mattress pad.

#2 was 2 NEW blankets! I was expecting the old familiar dark blue ones! The new ones are light blue on one side and white on the other, with black nylon edging all the way around. Hopefully it will minimize fraying as it's heavier than the nylon edging on my blankets at home that has mostly come unstitched after a number of trips through my washing machine and dryer hrough the years.

#3 was new pillows and pillow cases with 2 kittycorner non-parallel black strips on them! Nice!

Also, the Viewliner must have had a mini-refurb in the past year. New curtains and new looking, no stains carpet!

Neither my friend, Larry, nor I got much sleep last night. For me, first night out is always minimal sleep, after that, I sleep like a rock on trains. He and I both noticed the rough ride approaching Providence. Fortunately, with the Viewliner at the front, it rode far better than at the rear of the train, even with a bag dorm following as on the Cardinal. We both fell asleep shortly after Providence, but I awoke while not moving at New Haven. We were there for about 20 minutes, probably 'waiting time'.

Once on Metro North territory, even at a relaxed speed (40ish, I suspect), the ride was a bit rough (as usual) There were multiple areas of trackworkers, as there were 8-10 short 'toots' of the horn at maybe 5 locations with very bright lights between NHV and NRO. I'm also convinced that the engineer NHV-NYP either wasn't familiar with the territory or the PTC was malfunctioning on MN. I didn't count, but from NHV to NRO, we had 'quick stop' applications of the brakes, and as soon as we stopped, two toots and away we went. Sometimes only 50 yards or so and the process repeated. I'm guessing it happened 20 times or more. It even happened twice between NRO and the split to NYP about a mile from NRO. It never happened after that. So maybe it was MN problems. Larry said he looked out the window and saw that we were on track 4 (east/southmost) track and #2 (3-1-2-4 track numbering) was down to the dirt in several extended sections that was being worked on. I managed to fall asleep about 4-5 minutes after NRO but woke up in Penn Station while we killed time there. I fell asleep just after going under the Hudson and didn't wake up until the Baltimore stop.

North (East) of Providence and south of Baltimore were the only really choppy areas of track. And MN trackage was a bit choppy/bouncy the entire time.

We came to a stop in WAS 5 minutes early, at 6:55.

In the WAS station, it appeared that about 1/3 of all the storefronts upstairs are boarded up and only a handful of rush-hour passengers. In the food court, more than half are gone...including Johnny Rockets. There are zero tables and zero chairs down there, and a small number of trash recepticles. Wendys was open. They're next to the former Johnny Rockets, and they had a decent honey/chicken on a croissant for $1.95. I had two. Larry had eaten his boxed breakfeast, so he and I chatted standing up across the way at a front counter from an abandoned restaurant in the food court before proceeding to the Metropolitan lounge to await our trains home...#174 for me at 10:10 and #51 for him at 11:00. Surprisingly, the snacks in the lounge in WAS haven't changed since before Covid. Perhaps the lateness of the hour at BOS is the reason cold water and soda was all that was available.

Would I do this trip again? Definitely a YES. I'm about a third of the way to having enough AGR points to do it again...possibly in fall.
 
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bratkinson

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Were the new blankets comfortable?
The blanket was not as heavy in weight as the old woven ones, but I think it was somewhat warmer. Perhaps it's a lightweight 'foam' with a slightly fuzzy cotton (or ?) covering on each side.

I'm a 'heavy blanket' person and keep a couple of all wool surplus Army blankets on my bed in winter...and the windows open.
 
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Tlcooper93

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Jan 9, 2021
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Boston
As promised, here's the writeup of my trip last night on #67 in roomette #2...

A person on another forum indicated he was planning to ride the restored sleeper on #67 BOS-WAS on the thirteenth, so I figured it would be a good time for me to 'get back into training' since the start of Covid. I sent him a private email and asked if he'd mind company, and he went on to say he's riding WAS-BOS beforehand on #2166.

So we met on the Acela when I boarded at NHV and chatted until after we left BOS on #67 before calling it a night.

Unlike the 'good old days' 15 years ago when the sleeper was still on the Twilight Limited or whatever it was called, it was at the rear adjacent to the cafe/BC car. Our train had the electric motor up front, a full baggage car, then the sleeper (handicap room and vestibule at front, but door closed, attendant was waiting for us at the rear door of the BC/Cafe), followed by I think 4 coaches we had walked past.

The sleeping car attendant had made our beds in advance, with my new friend in #1, and me in #2. The three of us talked for a bit and he said he's on the extra board and got bumped from his normal Capitol Ltd assignment. He also said he'd turn off the speaker system before we left BOS. Good thing. Not a peep out of the speakers in the room or hallway all night. It was only the two of us in the sleeper the entire night. A couple of minutes later, the SCA came back with our 'boxed' breakfast, which I knew what was inside as it was identical to what I had in the Acela First Class a couple hours earlier. I declined due to my medication timing restrictions (1 hr before eating, or 4 hours after) and I had read somewhere that Johnny Rockets '50s diner was still open at WAS. I had a couple of good breakfasts there in the past.

The SCA's accustomed Superliner bedmaking showed up in that the 'head' of the bed in my room was next to the toilet. It only took a couple of seconds for me to take it apart as I normally do anyway and put head away from the toilet. I mentioned it to him this morning while he was making it up and he said he was bumped to #66/67 a couple days ago with zero Viewliner training. He said he knew from experience that most passengers want to sleep feet first, so that's how he made up the beds. I prefer feet first, too, but not with my head next to the toilet.

Three things hit me while rearranging the bed:

#1...the new looking mattress pad is a good 5 inches short! And hard as a rock, too. I've likely spent well over 150 nights in Viewliner roomettes and never seen more than 2” short on the mattress pad.

#2 was 2 NEW blankets! I was expecting the old familiar dark blue ones! The new ones are light blue on one side and white on the other, with black nylon edging all the way around. Hopefully it will minimize fraying as it's heavier than the nylon edging on my blankets at home that has mostly come unstitched after a number of trips through my washing machine and dryer hrough the years.

#3 was new pillows and pillow cases with 2 kittycorner non-parallel black strips on them! Nice!

Also, the Viewliner must have had a mini-refurb in the past year. New curtains and new looking, no stains carpet!

Neither my friend, Larry, nor I got much sleep last night. For me, first night out is always minimal sleep, after that, I sleep like a rock on trains. He and I both noticed the rough ride approaching Providence. Fortunately, with the Viewliner at the front, it rode far better than at the rear of the train, even with a bag dorm following as on the Cardinal. We both fell asleep shortly after Providence, but I awoke while not moving at New Haven. We were there for about 20 minutes, probably 'waiting time'.

Once on Metro North territory, even at a relaxed speed (40ish, I suspect), the ride was a bit rough (as usual) There were multiple areas of trackworkers, as there were 8-10 short 'toots' of the horn at maybe 5 locations with very bright lights between NHV and NRO. I'm also convinced that the engineer NHV-NYP either wasn't familiar with the territory or the PTC was malfunctioning on MN. I didn't count, but from NHV to NRO, we had 'quick stop' applications of the brakes, and as soon as we stopped, two toots and away we went. Sometimes only 50 yards or so and the process repeated. I'm guessing it happened 20 times or more. It even happened twice between NRO and the split to NYP about a mile from NRO. It never happened after that. So maybe it was MN problems. Larry said he looked out the window and saw that we were on track 4 (east/southmost) track and #2 (3-1-2-4 track numbering) was down to the dirt in several extended sections that was being worked on. I managed to fall asleep about 4-5 minutes after NRO but woke up in Penn Station while we killed time there. I fell asleep just after going under the Hudson and didn't wake up until the Baltimore stop.

North (East) of Providence and south of Baltimore were the only really choppy areas of track. And MN trackage was a bit choppy/bouncy the entire time.

We came to a stop in WAS 5 minutes early, at 6:55.

In the WAS station, it appeared that about 1/3 of all the storefronts upstairs are boarded up and only a handful of rush-hour passengers. In the food court, more than half are gone...including Johnny Rockets. There are zero tables and zero chairs down there, and a small number of trash recepticles. Wendys was open. They're next to the former Johnny Rockets, and they had a decent honey/chicken on a croissant for $1.95. I had two. Larry had eaten his boxed breakfeast, so he and I chatted standing up across the way at a front counter from an abandoned restaurant in the food court before proceeding to the Metropolitan lounge to await our trains home...#174 for me at 10:10 and #51 for him at 11:00. Surprisingly, the snacks in the lounge in WAS haven't changed since before Covid. Perhaps the lateness of the hour at BOS is the reason cold water and soda was all that was available.

Would I do this trip again? Definitely a YES. I'm about a third of the way to having enough AGR points to do it again...possibly in fall.
Glad to hear some things have improved since my inaugural journey.
For me the deal breaker is the loud announcements at night. It seems like the attendant took care of that.

In terms of the snack box, the Acela box provides substantially more food than the sleeper box. Things might have changed, but in taking them back to back, 67 was a far cry from what 2166 provided.
 

MikeM

OBS Chief
Joined
Jun 2, 2009
Messages
518
Location
Wichita Falls TX
Re the volume issue... time for another plug for gaffer's tape. Gaffers tape plus paper napkins make a great ad hoc volume control.

Gaffer's tape - the tape that keeps Amtrak habitable...
 
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