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jis

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Well, and there's a case for occasionally going all-reserved or requiring reservations. Thanksgiving Wednesday comes to mind. But that should really be limited to "extra fare" trains or "unusual peak periods" so you don't run into situations of having to leave pax on the platform because of safety concerns.

(Mind you, "adequately equip the trains to avoid regular standee crisis situations*" or "allow open ticket but you have to 'slot in' when you get to the station" are also options here.)

*Based on what I've heard, the last few years of unreserved Regional service coincided with the Warrington "let's skip maintenance and deadline 'surplus' equipment to make the Acelas happen" phase.
I agree with you. Premium trains tend to be all reserved and the fares are high enough to take the hit on slight under occupancy without any noticeable adverse effect. But the low end premium trains even seem to get some unreserved cars in places where the top premium trains are reserved. Witness the Shnkansens in Japan for example. On the Tokkaido Line, the Nozomis are all reserved while everything else has non-reserved cars.

During Warrington's last year when there were rows and rows of Amleet parked at Wilmington, the Regional were often down to just 5 cars and sometimes even just 4.
 
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