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niemi24s

Conductor
Joined
Feb 11, 2015
Messages
2,294
Quick spot checks of one Eastern and one Western LD train at the start of the fourth fiscal quarter show Coach fares remain unchanged but. . .

. . .Sleeper fares have gone up about 7%.
 
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west point

Conductor
Joined
Jun 9, 2015
Messages
2,210
Demand exceeding supply ? Is supply being held down or is it about pre Covid-19.
 

Nick Farr

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Dec 25, 2019
Messages
265
Location
Michigan
There's a lot of first timers and younger families on my #5 CZ. All the old railfans with scanners are nowhere to be seen.

Could COVID save the sleepers?
 

niemi24s

Conductor
Joined
Feb 11, 2015
Messages
2,294
One peculiarity about the LD train fare buckets remains and it's had me puzzled for more than a year. All LD trains have identical buckets/fares for travel in either direction between end points - except the Auto Train.

Sleeper fares on the Northbound Auto Train are less than the Southbound train by a constant $3 and Coach fares are $3 to $5 less. For such a piddly difference I'm thinking it's just a programming fluke in Arrow that didn't get corrected during this latest across-the-board fare increase.

But perhaps there's some logical basis for this difference. Anyone know?
 

Nick Farr

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Dec 25, 2019
Messages
265
Location
Michigan
Umm... probably because seniors are advised not to travel and there is a global pandemic still happening?
Or course. I point that out to say that there's hope in attracting new sets of customers, ones who might not have booked in the past.

I see new kinds of people traveling and to keep them coming back we're going to have to focus on figuring out who they are and how to make them repeat customers (in spite of Amtrak)
 

brianpmcdonnell17

Conductor
Joined
Mar 5, 2016
Messages
1,390
Location
Chicago, Illinois
One peculiarity about the LD train fare buckets remains and it's had me puzzled for more than a year. All LD trains have identical buckets/fares for travel in either direction between end points - except the Auto Train.

Sleeper fares on the Northbound Auto Train are less than the Southbound train by a constant $3 and Coach fares are $3 to $5 less. For such a piddly difference I'm thinking it's just a programming fluke in Arrow that didn't get corrected during this latest across-the-board fare increase.

But perhaps there's some logical basis for this difference. Anyone know?
Maybe it's because some people use the train for moving to Florida permanently and don't return north, resulting in less demand in that direction.
 

niemi24s

Conductor
Joined
Feb 11, 2015
Messages
2,294
Maybe it's because some people use the train for moving to Florida permanently and don't return north, resulting in less demand in that direction.
That might be, but looking at it the other way more demand for the Southbound AT (or any other train) would customarily see fares increased by a bucket or about 25%. The increase here is a measly 1% at the very most.

But in regard to your point, all the ridership data I recall seeing gives total ridership (sum of boardings and detrainings at any station). Is there any way to check ridership based on travel direction/train number?
 

20th Century Rider

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 26, 2020
Messages
706
Location
Oregon Coast
The rise in fares is either to stem financial losses due to the pandemic, or to discourage ridership at a time when revenue is most needed to justify LD cutbacks. Administratively such fare increases are unjustifiable... especially with a paid for and included food service that is so bad that it brings safety and health concerns.

I sure do hope there are government watchdog agencies observing these conversations.
 

Barb Stout

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Mar 13, 2019
Messages
485
One peculiarity about the LD train fare buckets remains and it's had me puzzled for more than a year. All LD trains have identical buckets/fares for travel in either direction between end points - except the Auto Train.

Sleeper fares on the Northbound Auto Train are less than the Southbound train by a constant $3 and Coach fares are $3 to $5 less. For such a piddly difference I'm thinking it's just a programming fluke in Arrow that didn't get corrected during this latest across-the-board fare increase.

But perhaps there's some logical basis for this difference. Anyone know?
My experience is different. I had been checking since January on routes for a loop between NM, Chicago, and New Orleans for a late December trip which we're now not going to take this year and won't until after the vaccine is available. When looking at the Sunset Limited between Deming NM and New Orleans, sometimes it was less expensive to travel to Deming from New Orleans compared to the other way. Similarly, the City of New Orleans from New Orleans to Chicago was sometimes less expensive than the price going from Chicago to New Orleans. I guess folks would prefer to be in New Orleans in late December/early January than Chicago or Deming, lol.
 

niemi24s

Conductor
Joined
Feb 11, 2015
Messages
2,294
My experience is different. I had been checking since January on routes for a loop between NM, Chicago, and New Orleans for a late December trip which we're now not going to take this year and won't until after the vaccine is available. When looking at the Sunset Limited between Deming NM and New Orleans, sometimes it was less expensive to travel to Deming from New Orleans compared to the other way. Similarly, the City of New Orleans from New Orleans to Chicago was sometimes less expensive than the price going from Chicago to New Orleans. I guess folks would prefer to be in New Orleans in late December/early January than Chicago or Deming, lol.
Your experience is different simply because you are comparing fares in both directions either on the same or different specific travel date(s). It differs from my comparison because mine is a comparison of all 5 of the different possible fares that can be offered on any travel date during the next 11 month period for a certain accommodation. No specific travel date is involved simply because all 330 of them are involved.

But this doesn't mean a trip North on the AT is always cheaper than the trip South. Could be less - all depending on what buckets are offered for sale. But for your DEM/NOL trip, the 5 buckets available for assignment for each sleeper are, unlike the AT, the same for travel in either direction. And note that just because there are 5 buckets assigned to each sleeper and each portion of the total trip, all 5 may not be offered. As an example, after searching fares for all 11 months, only the Family Bedroom had all of its 5 buckets made available. Only 4 of the 5 buckets were offered for a Bedroom and only 3 of the 5 buckets were offered for a Roomette.
 
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Barb Stout

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Mar 13, 2019
Messages
485
Your experience is different simply because you are comparing fares in both directions either on the same or different specific travel date(s). It differs from my comparison because mine is a comparison of all 5 of the different possible fares that can be offered on any travel date during the next 11 month period for a certain accommodation. No specific travel date is involved simply because all 330 of them are involved.

But this doesn't mean a trip North on the AT is always cheaper than the trip South. Could be less - all depending on what buckets are offered for sale. But for your DEM/NOL trip, the 5 buckets available for assignment for each sleeper are, unlike the AT, the same for travel in either direction. And note that just because there are 5 buckets assigned to each sleeper and each portion of the total trip, all 5 may not be offered. As an example, after searching fares for all 11 months, only the Family Bedroom had all of its 5 buckets made available. Only 4 of the 5 buckets were offered for a Bedroom and only 3 of the 5 buckets were offered for a Roomette.
Yes, I never saw 5 different prices for the same accommodation during that 30 day span. I just wanted to compare the lowest available fare for coach or a roomette during that time span and thus used Amsnag.
 

me_little_me

Conductor
Joined
Jul 16, 2010
Messages
3,266
When looking at the Sunset Limited between Deming NM and New Orleans, sometimes it was less expensive to travel to Deming from New Orleans compared to the other way.
When we go to El Paso to visit our hearts in NM where we left them, Amtrak often offers to pay us to go to Deming. I tell them I'm not that desperate! We've even been to the Duck Race there! That was enough time. We'd have more things to do and more people to meet if we went to El Malpais.

Okay, only kidding. Deming is not THAT bad! It's at least as much fun as Mequite, NM where we lived for 12 years.
 

Chey

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Sep 27, 2014
Messages
475
Location
NW TX
Deming IS that bad. I remember being cheated at a gas station there in 1975. In later years when I was driving between West Texas and Phoenix I made it a point to stop in Las Cruces and not stop again till I got to Globe.

But sometimes instead I have gone through Hatch from whence come my favorite chiles in the whole world.
 
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Bob Dylan

Conductor
Joined
May 31, 2009
Messages
20,316
Location
Austin Texas
Deming IS that bad. I remember being cheated at a gas station there in 1975. In later years when I was driving between West Texas and Phoenix I made it a point to stop in Las Cruces and not stop again till I got to Globe.

But sometimes instead I have gone through Hatch from whence come my favorite chilis in the whole world.
Love me some Hatch Chilis!🥰
 

Barb Stout

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Mar 13, 2019
Messages
485
When we go to El Paso to visit our hearts in NM where we left them, Amtrak often offers to pay us to go to Deming. I tell them I'm not that desperate! We've even been to the Duck Race there! That was enough time. We'd have more things to do and more people to meet if we went to El Malpais.

Okay, only kidding. Deming is not THAT bad! It's at least as much fun as Mequite, NM where we lived for 12 years.
My sister lives in Silver City, so Deming is her closest Amtrak stop. She finds plenty to do in Silver City and the surrounding Gila National Forest. I live in ABQ and we had plans to meet up in El Malpais to camp and hike this spring, but then were Covid19ed out of it and once NM started the first phase of re-opening, it's too hot for me there.
 

me_little_me

Conductor
Joined
Jul 16, 2010
Messages
3,266
But sometimes instead I have gone through Hatch from whence come my favorite chilis in the whole world.
Chilis? Acch! You must be one of those - ugh - TEXANS! Texans make chili. These are chile peppers or "chiles"! They ere not a meat product with beans sometimes mixed in. I've seen people strung up with the Ristras in Hatch for spelling it with an "i" at the end.

Oh, the horror! Oh the humanity!
 

Chey

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Sep 27, 2014
Messages
475
Location
NW TX
Chilis? Acch! You must be one of those - ugh - TEXANS! Texans make chili. These are chile peppers or "chiles"! They ere not a meat product with beans sometimes mixed in. I've seen people strung up with the Ristras in Hatch for spelling it with an "i" at the end.

Oh, the horror! Oh the humanity!
That's how I originally spelled it but autocorrect 'fixed' it.

Sorry, I'll go back and try to correct it.

And yeah, I'm one of those -ugh- Texans.
 

niemi24s

Conductor
Joined
Feb 11, 2015
Messages
2,294
Yes, I never saw 5 different prices for the same accommodation during that 30 day span. I just wanted to compare the lowest available fare for coach or a roomette during that time span and thus used Amsnag.
For one adult in a Roomette between NOL and DEM only found three different fares during any of the many 30 day periods checked and the lowest was $421. That seems about right for the low bucket fare because on a travel date when the low bucket is $505 for the entire route, it's $421 for your portion on that same travel date.
 

Barb Stout

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Mar 13, 2019
Messages
485
And for 2 people in a sleeper, the lowest I found for Dec 15-Jan 15 was $591. I have no idea what bucket that is other than it's not the highest bucket.
 

20th Century Rider

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 26, 2020
Messages
706
Location
Oregon Coast
And for 2 people in a sleeper, the lowest I found for Dec 15-Jan 15 was $591. I have no idea what bucket that is other than it's not the highest bucket.
The more I see and realize sky high costs of traveling in a roomette, the more discouraged I become. With Superliners falling apart, the overall lack of positive and caring passenger service, and the spector of continuing service reductions, I'm finding it harder to motivate myself to put out big bucks. When I travel across the country I'm lucky to be able to pull it off for between $1600 & $2100 RT... unless going by coach.

Dining cutbacks don't come up to the standards of dorm food at college... We joke about the removal carrot slivers from the 3" salads... etc. for a good laugh... C'mon! I am not gonna continue to pay for that!
 
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