Amtrak will go to the ends of the world to make sure they mess up a good idea... in this case a return to the 'Night Owl.' How much did it cost? Did they pay you to clean up the room you paid for??? Did those midnight announcements help you to sleep better? And was that bottle of Fiji water the best part of the trip?Just wanted to share a few thoughts and pictures from my overnight journey from BOS - WAS on the inaugural return of sleeper cars to the NE Regional 65-67.
I would put this in the trip reports, but I thought it might spark additional conversation.
Miles in Transit (who had a roomette next to mine booked only from BOS to BBY) has a video out.
Arriving at South Station and being able to wait in the lounge is a plus. Amtrak lounges are great, and often staffed by wonderful people. This was no exception.
They offered to check my bags, but I did not have any luggage aside from my instrument and backpack.
The sleeper car was the first car at the front of the train, so it was quite a walk, especially since tracks have been shortened at SS due to construction. I must admit, the cars are old, but from the outside, they look great!
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I am sorry to report the my roomette was dirty when I arrived. The floor had not been thoroughly vacuumed, and while the seats were clean, the table and all other surfaces had to be wiped down. This was different from my November trip aboard the Cal Zephyr, which was overall a well cleaned room and pleasant trip.
The train departed and arrived on time, and station stops were exactly as planned, with the exception of New Haven, which lasted longer than scheduled. I was genuinely surprised how well patronized the train was, especially at the Providence stop. About 50 people boarded the train there.
In the morning, the "continental breakfast" they offered was abysmal. It was a cracker, a muffin, with a bottle of Fiji water (the best thing in the box) with a Kind Breakfast bar. The box they offer is identical on the outside to the Acela First Class "snack box," just much worse.
My experience at Union Station was positive, though the Acela Lounge there is quite a letdown. I expected cleaner seats (crumbs were all over some of them) and cleaner bathrooms (someone left the men's room a mess in more ways than one).
My Acela return journey after brief business in DC was great. The train was on time every step of the way, and Amtrak's Acela product is obviously fine tuned and very good. I would say business class offers the best value, as first class really is not much different with the exception of food (but during covid times, there's basically no difference). It was especially fun to take advantage of the 20 minute NYP stop and check out the new station.
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By far the biggest let down of the sleeper train however, is the full volume diatribes the took place at every single major stop throughout the journey (the worst was NYP; that announcement lasted 2 minutes).
How is anyone in the sleeper car supposed to get consistent sleep. I doubt anyone who books a sleeper car is getting out at any of the intermediate destinations (especially NYP).
Doesn't Amtrak have a moratorium on announcements after 9 p.m.? I know that this train is technically a corridor train, but when I last road the sleeper version in 2001, there were no announcements after New London.
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.
Thoughts on the announcements and food service?
Sounds like the service... is really 'watered down.'