Handling of misconnect from Sunset Limited to Texas Eagle at San Antonio

Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

Shanson

Train Attendant
AU Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2021
Messages
84
Location
Austin TX
22 couldn't wait less than an hour for 422?
The SAS crew needs an hour to detach the 422 cars from #2, connect them to 22, reestablish the electricity, and do a brake test. Passengers are advised that if 2/422 doesn't arrive by 6:00 a.m., connection will be by bus.

On a recent trip, we arrived at 6:10 a.m., but we got lucky and we continued by train, although the departure stretched to 7:30 a.m.

I agree that an 8 a.m. departure would reduce the likelihood of being moved to a bus.
 

Bob Dylan

50+ Year Amtrak Rider
AU Supporting Member
Joined
May 31, 2009
Messages
24,875
Location
Austin Texas
The SAS crew needs an hour to detach the 422 cars from #2, connect them to 22, reestablish the electricity, and do a brake test. Passengers are advised that if 2/422 doesn't arrive by 6:00 a.m., connection will be by bus.

On a recent trip, we arrived at 6:10 a.m., but we got lucky and we continued by train, although the departure stretched to 7:30 a.m.

I agree that an 8 a.m. departure would reduce the likelihood of being moved to a bus.
This would be better for us, but no way UP would agree to such a Schedule since they own most of the Tracks on this route, and their Freights are numerous from San Antonio to Taylor, and in East Texas from Ft. Worth/Dallas to St Louis.

Same thing for West Texas between El Paso and San Antonio with other traffic in LA almost mandating the current Schedule of Late Night Departures and O-Dark-Thirty Arrivals.
 

Sidney

OBS Chief
Joined
Jul 12, 2020
Messages
902
How about an earlier depature from LA on 2?..8PM instead of 10. Passengers connecting from Washington,Oregon and Northern California could connect in Sacramento to the bus/San Jaoquin combination. Certainly would be a much better chance of catching 22.
 

marcoloco

Train Attendant
Joined
Jul 8, 2022
Messages
27
Location
Houston, TX
It's a big problem on this route. They used to hold #22 until the train #2/22 arrived at SAS. But lately, they have not been doing that. I think that the answer would be to make #22 leave SAS at 8AM or 9AM. (Change the schedule) as 7 AM is too early anyway in my opinion. Even now, leaving at 7AM, it arrives late into Chicago and basically does not connect to anything anyway. That's just my opinion as to a partial solution to this problem. I'm a frequent rider on the Sunset Limited and I always go to Houston, so it does not affect me, but, yes, sometimes #2/22 arrives into SAS at 8AM, 9AM or even later in some rarer cases.
 

marcoloco

Train Attendant
Joined
Jul 8, 2022
Messages
27
Location
Houston, TX
How about an earlier depature from LA on 2?..8PM instead of 10. Passengers connecting from Washington,Oregon and Northern California could connect in Sacramento to the bus/San Jaoquin combination. Certainly would be a much better chance of catching 22.
There's too many southbound passengers on the Coast Starlight that like to connect to the Sunset Limited. An earlier departure time of train #2/22 would break that connection. This connection has been a part of Amtrak since the beginning and I don't think it's a good idea to break it. I think a later departure of the #22 out of San Antonio would be a good idea, like 8AM or 9AM instead of 7am.
 

zephyr17

Engineer
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
6,597
Location
Washington State
There's too many southbound passengers on the Coast Starlight that like to connect to the Sunset Limited. An earlier departure time of train #2/22 would break that connection. This connection has been a part of Amtrak since the beginning and I don't think it's a good idea to break it. I think a later departure of the #22 out of San Antonio would be a good idea, like 8AM or 9AM instead of 7am.
It has been broken periodically. There was a period for a few years when the Sunset was changed to a 2 pm LA departure.

When the Starlight has had severe timekeeping issues they have dropped the guarantee even with the 10 pm departure and started routing connecting passengers on the San Joaquin/Thruway bus connection. When the Starlight improved they reinstated it. That has happened a couple of times in my recollection.
 

Widfara

Train Attendant
AU Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2022
Messages
29
Location
Cedar Creek, Texas
My very first Amtrak adventure was interrupted by the Eastbound Sunset not connecting with the Texas Eagle. Back in 2004, we were put on a bus to catch up and connect, I think in Dallas?
I remember being astonished that a bus was faster than a train in America. (I soon got used to that concept...) :D
I abhor riding buses.
After my Seattle stopover, I was booked on the Coast Starlight to LA, and was booked in a bedroom for the 61+ hour 3-nighter from Los Angeles to Chicago, but due to the recent repetitive delays on the Sunset Texas Eagle Limited have truncated my trip, and will now go only to Sacramento, and pick up the California Zephyr the next day back to Chicago. I have a room reserved in Rancho Cordova, and will get to use the Light Rail, and the hotel will let me check in early for a not exorbitant fee of $30 (some want $10-15/hr for early in).
 

marcoloco

Train Attendant
Joined
Jul 8, 2022
Messages
27
Location
Houston, TX
It has been broken periodically. There was a period for a few years when the Sunset was changed to a 2 pm LA departure.

When the Starlight has had severe timekeeping issues they have dropped the guarantee even with the 10 pm departure and started routing connecting passengers on the San Joaquin/Thruway bus connection. When the Starlight improved they reinstated it. That has happened a couple of times in my recollection.
keep in mind also, that the portion of the trip (Coast Starlight) along the ocean between San Luis Obispo, is one of the most scenic routes on the entire Amtrak system. When passengers are routed from Sacramento to Lax on the San Joaquin line, they missed this part of the trip and some are very disappointed.
 

ScottR

Service Attendant
AU Supporting Member
Joined
May 24, 2021
Messages
178
Location
Monterey
I think I may have made a mistake. I am on a trip from LA to Longview on the 422. When booking online, there were no available roomettes. However, I’ve done the trip a number of times as my family lives in East Texas, so I know the sleeper car for 422 gets disconnected and proceeds north In the morning as the truncated Eaglet.

Now I WAS able to book a 422 roomette to San Antonio, then another 422 roomette on the San Antonio to Longview leg. Both in the same car if course, since there is only one sleeper. roomette Is 5 to San Antonio, then 8 to Longview…so almost Next to each other. But after reading this thread

1. I have two separate reservations. It occurs to me they are not linked. So if indeed the 422 arrives too late to get connected and the reserve sleeper is attached and the northbound has left, then I just missed my train with no obligation on Amtrak’s part to get me anywhere….right?

2. Even if we do arrive and the switch is made, what does one do between 4.50 am and 7.00 am? I assume I’ll have to clear out of 5 so they can prepare it for the next passenger, and can’t move into 8 until that one is ready, and there is no observation Car since that one is going on to NOLA…and I don‘t recall San Antonio station as very good to be at at 5.00 am? Do I hide in the bathroom for two hours😊

I will call customer support and see what they can do (Maybe I should have done a multi city booking…wonder if that would have worked?)but I wanted to get something on paper anyway, and it was a cheap roomette from San Antonio to LVW, so not a disaster….
 

marcoloco

Train Attendant
Joined
Jul 8, 2022
Messages
27
Location
Houston, TX
I think I may have made a mistake. I am on a trip from LA to Longview on the 422. When booking online, there were no available roomettes. However, I’ve done the trip a number of times as my family lives in East Texas, so I know the sleeper car for 422 gets disconnected and proceeds north In the morning as the truncated Eaglet.

Now I WAS able to book a 422 roomette to San Antonio, then another 422 roomette on the San Antonio to Longview leg. Both in the same car if course, since there is only one sleeper. roomette Is 5 to San Antonio, then 8 to Longview…so almost Next to each other. But after reading this thread

1. I have two separate reservations. It occurs to me they are not linked. So if indeed the 422 arrives too late to get connected and the reserve sleeper is attached and the northbound has left, then I just missed my train with no obligation on Amtrak’s part to get me anywhere….right?

2. Even if we do arrive and the switch is made, what does one do between 4.50 am and 7.00 am? I assume I’ll have to clear out of 5 so they can prepare it for the next passenger, and can’t move into 8 until that one is ready, and there is no observation Car since that one is going on to NOLA…and I don‘t recall San Antonio station as very good to be at at 5.00 am? Do I hide in the bathroom for two hours😊

I will call customer support and see what they can do (Maybe I should have done a multi city booking…wonder if that would have worked?)but I wanted to get something on paper anyway, and it was a cheap roomette from San Antonio to LVW, so not a disaster….
Don't worry, this happens to me all the time. The attendant (porter) will understand your situation and just keep you in the same room. In case 422 arrives late into San Antonio, there will be a bus to take you to Longview. So don't worry, enjoy your trip.
 
Top