First NEC Sleeper Journey - A Huge Letdown

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MARC Rider

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Does RPA have a position about whether they should sell sleeper space on 65-67 south of Washington? It might help more than our complaining here if Amtrak (and the congresspeople involved) start hearing complaints about this from organized interest groups. After all, why shouldn't Virginians be able to book a through sleeper ride to Boston?
 

Anderson

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Of course it too much work to pull off the sleeper at Washington DC with/while the engines change. So deadheading to Virginia it is.
Which, again, raises the question of "Why not arrange to run the crew through?" Given the furloughs, would it have been that hard to get folks to bid for it out of Boston?
 

OBS

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Which, again, raises the question of "Why not arrange to run the crew through?" Given the furloughs, would it have been that hard to get folks to bid for it out of Boston?
I'm sure it had to do with the fact there are only LSA jobs working out of BOS. So, not only would you have to find/hire and train people for the position, you would also need 2 extra people to sit on the extra board to cover one position. Not really cost effective the way things are currently arranged....
 
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PVD

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It is easy for people to not realize the other jobs on the LSL can come from Chicago.
 

west point

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If Amtrak can fill the sleeper to WASH then the politics of it might be the reason ? The statement "sorry no space available because some rooms taken to NPN might not go over well "
 

Tlcooper93

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I took another NE Regional Sleeper Journey last night; I thought I'd report the improvement.

Due to a last minute work trip down to Baltimore, I had the opportunity to do the Acela-Sleeper combo that I love.
In the morning, I took Acela 2159 to Baltimore, and at roughly 11pm, I hopped on train 66 back up. So happy I caught a glimpse of Acela Avelia at 30th St. Station on the way down. I didn't know it'd be there. Pardon the low image quality. I didn't bring my nice camera.
IMG-8420.PNG

Most of all, I'm really pleased to say that there were no station announcements until Providence (around 6:50), which served as a nice wakeup call before Boston to shower/get some coffee from the cafe car. This is consistent with what others have reported, and I guess it has stuck. The bottom bunk is much better to sleep on than the top bunk. Glad I didn't repeat my mistake.

Moreover, the pitiful snack box (which was all they offered last time) now compliments a free breakfast item from the cafe car (albeit extremely limited selection, no vegetarian items).

I'm guessing there was track/catenary work on MetroNorth tracks, as we ditched our Sprinter Loco for a P42 sometime around NYP. Got a glimpse of it at the iconic curve into South Station. When I de-trained, I noticed I was in the same sleeper as last time, 62002. Guess they keep it consistent. So far, I've seen this one, and 62043. This time, the sleeper car was about half full, with most people going to either Providence or Boston.

Roomette.jpgVL 62002.jpgIMG-8437 - Copy.PNG

There's been a lot of discussion on rommette pricing recently. I think 65-67 has a very reasonable price.
For last minute travel from Boston to DC, the sleeper train is by far the most economical, from some mild digging. Please correct me if you find something else.
Lowest fares between BOS and DC 3 days out:
United: $369 direct
JetBlue: $205 direct
NE Regional: $187, $238, $289 (C, B, S)
Acela: $336, $471
 

jis

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Does RPA have a position about whether they should sell sleeper space on 65-67 south of Washington? It might help more than our complaining here if Amtrak (and the congresspeople involved) start hearing complaints about this from organized interest groups. After all, why shouldn't Virginians be able to book a through sleeper ride to Boston?
To get RPA's position you will need to ask RPA at Contact Us | Rail Passengers Association | Washington, DC and hope someone answers. Usually Joe Aiello or Madi Butler are pretty good at getting back with an answer.

Just launching off a question in the ether at UA is unlikely to get you any definitive information about any official RPA stance or lack thereof on anything.
 

Just-Thinking-51

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I took another NE Regional Sleeper Journey last night; I thought I'd report the improvement.
Happy to hear that Amtrak is working out the kinks in this service. I do wonder how much is from the hard working employees, and how much is from the management.
 

Bostontoallpoints

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I just took the 67 sleeper from Westwood (Route 128) station to BWI on Thursday May 13. I booked a roomette for just myself. When the train pulled into the station the doors to the sleeper did not open when all the coach doors opened. I waited for a couple of minutes but the sleeper door never opened. I hurried down to the coach entrance and boarded the train. I walked through the café and business section to the sleeper car and found my room. It was clean enough but beaten-up and worn. My food box containing water and snacks was waiting next to the chair. Two water bottles were sitting in the holders. I sat in my room for another 10 minutes and the SA never showed up. I headed down to the café car to get a drink and was told by the café attendant to come back in 5 minutes. I met the conductor in business class and got my ticket scanned. After another 5 minutes sitting in my roomette the SCA finally stopped by to introduce herself. She claimed that she opened the door at the station but didn’t see me. Anyway she seemed nice enough and told me to head down to the café for my free drink and asked me if she could make-up the bed. When I came back with my free beer the top bunk was down and ready for sleeping. The next time I saw the SCA was 5:30 am when she knocked on my door to inform me my stop was in one hour and that the café was ready for breakfast. I got up, brushed my teeth and made myself presentable to obtain breakfast. I got a free coffee and sausage, egg and cheese sandwich from the café and ate in my room. The next time I saw the SA was when we were pulling into BWI station. She informed me that the station stop was mine and to head down to the exit door. No five minute warning but I was ready regardless. I gave the SCA a tip and she thanked me. I stood at the door for a minute with a business class passenger. It never opened. The SCA attempted to open the door but seemed unfamiliar with the buttons. After another minute she told us to both head down to the next car. She called to us to hurry up. I got off the train with about 20 seconds to spare. Amtrak needs to properly train their workers. All employees need to know how to open a door at a bare minimum. All in all it was good trip and on time. Was it first class service? Not even close.
 

Bostontoallpoints

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Also FYI. I use to take the Nightowl and then the Federal traveling between Boston and Philadelphia 6 times a year for work. I always rode in the sleeper. It's nice to see the sleepers back in service.
 

Tlcooper93

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Amtrak needs to properly train their workers. All employees need to know how to open a door at a bare minimum. All in all it was good trip and on time. Was it first class service? Not even close.
Very disappointing to hear. So far all of the sleeper car attendants I've had on the Night Owl (including my trip last night) have been stellar. Many of them are veterans of other LD routes and were recently shifted.
 
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Bostontoallpoints

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What would she have been able to do if there had been a need for an emergency exit? This is quite an illustration of incompetence.
Well she didn't open the door to the sleeper when then train arrived at Route 128 station. I waited for a good 2 minutes and the doors never opened. She claimed she did after I had given up and left for the coach cars. After seeing her in action the next morning at BWI I don't believe the SCA ever opened the doors on her own. If the SCA had trouble at the beginning of the trip why did she never seek help or instruction on the opening of the doors at some point in the night? It's not like there is never an attendant or conducter sitting in the cafe car that she could talk to. Amtrak has a service problem and obviously a management problem. For the prices they are charging the service does not come close to acceptable.
 

Bostontoallpoints

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Very disappointing to hear. So far all of the sleeper car attendants I've had on the Night Owl (including my trip last night) have been stellar. Many of them are veterans of other LD routes and were recently shifted.
I hope it was the SCA's first night. I'll ride the sleeper again as I find it conveinent use of my time. Some people may not be as forgiving as I am.
 

Dakota 400

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Well she didn't open the door to the sleeper when then train arrived at Route 128 station. I waited for a good 2 minutes and the doors never opened. She claimed she did after I had given up and left for the coach cars. After seeing her in action the next morning at BWI I don't believe the SCA ever opened the doors on her own. If the SCA had trouble at the beginning of the trip why did she never seek help or instruction on the opening of the doors at some point in the night? It's not like there is never an attendant or conducter sitting in the cafe car that she could talk to. Amtrak has a service problem and obviously a management problem. For the prices they are charging the service does not come close to acceptable.
I hope that you will let Amtrak Customer Service aware of what you experienced. I recommend a snail mail letter, sent Certified Mail. That's what I did and I received a very satisfactory personal reply in return.
 

TC_NYC

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Since the result of selling tickets on a car which is *already travelling to NPN*, even with the extra cost of the attendant, is going to be a profit, PRIIA's "states must pay costs" silliness should not apply and Amtrak should just do it. If someone's giving them guff about this, it's a good reason to go to Congress and demand total revocation of the PRIIA rule.
Honestly from that perspective the state should be paying the cost of lugging an empty car 374 miles from NPN-WAS round trip unoccupied
 

John Bredin

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Does a sleeping car need an attendant for the few daytime(ish) hours this train travels south of WAS? Essentially no-one's going to want their bed made up during that time. Signs could be posted warning that there's no attendant until WAS northbound/after WAS southbound.
 

Mailliw

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My guess would be there's a union rule requiring an SCA on duty anytime a sleeping car is in service.
 

MARC Rider

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Does a sleeping car need an attendant for the few daytime(ish) hours this train travels south of WAS? Essentially no-one's going to want their bed made up during that time. Signs could be posted warning that there's no attendant until WAS northbound/after WAS southbound.
There are people who like to have beds made up for sleeping during the day. If they ran without a sleeping car attendant, how long would it be before we started seeing complaints in Amtrak Unlimited that there was no attendant in the expensive sleeping compartment that someone booked? :)
 

Rasputin

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There are people who like to have beds made up for sleeping during the day. If they ran without a sleeping car attendant, how long would it be before we started seeing complaints in Amtrak Unlimited that there was no attendant in the expensive sleeping compartment that someone booked? :)
Or that a passenger was injured trying to move the berth up or down.
 

John Bredin

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There are people who like to have beds made up for sleeping during the day. If they ran without a sleeping car attendant, how long would it be before we started seeing complaints in Amtrak Unlimited that there was no attendant in the expensive sleeping compartment that someone booked? :)
Le parfait est l'ennemi du diet bien. :) Better to ride in an attendant-less sleeper south of WAS than having no sleeping rooms available south of WAS on these trains, the present situation.

Of course someone would complain. Some people complain if there's a 🚽 next to their 🛏 while others complain if there isn't, and some people in each faction think that Amtrak is consciously showing contempt for its sleeper passengers by not configuring small bedrooms :) the only logical way. ;)
 

Seaboard92

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I think a lot of these attendants are coming off the Capitol Limited pool which is superliner equipped and I'm not sure how much training they have on the Viewliner and Amfleet doors. Now the Amfleet I doors are relatively easy to operate, they do need a bit of force in the non automatic mode. But the Viewliner doors are the easiest in the entire system to operate from both the outside and inside of the car body. Basically a modified version of the Budd doors from the heritage fleet. If they can't figure that out they shouldn't be working on these trains.
 
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Cal

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But the Viewliner doors are the easiest in the entire system to operate from both the outside and inside of the car body. Basically a modified version of the Budd doors from the heritage fleet. If they can't figure that out they shouldn't be working on these trains.
Easier than the superliner doors? I would think they are the easiest. You turn a handle and open.
 

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