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How do feel about riding "Coach" ?

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Qapla

Conductor
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Jul 15, 2019
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People tend to refer to having a sleeper as "1st Class" ... does that make Coach "2nd Coach"?

That brings up the question .... what do you think about coach? Do you tend to think of those who ride coach as
  • poor people
  • people who only ride a train for transportation - not for fun
  • not an "option" but something one "settles for"
  • something to be avoided

What do you think?
 

AmtrakBlue

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Delaware
For overnights, if I can afford a room, I'll get a room. Not because it's considered "first class" but because I sleep better on a flat surface. I have done coach overnight. I don't think coach pax are any different than me.
 

Bob Dylan

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Location
Austin Texas
People tend to refer to having a sleeper as "1st Class" ... does that make Coach "2nd Coach"?

That brings up the question .... what do you think about coach? Do you tend to think of those who ride coach as
  • poor people
  • people who only ride a train for transportation - not for fun
  • not an "option" but something one "settles for"
  • something to be avoided

What do you think?
I ride in Coach all the time on "Day trips" but @ my age I take a Roomette for all my Overnight trips.( that said, Coach on Amtrak is still much preferable to Airline Coach and Bus seats!)
 

Steve4031

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Chicago
My main objection with coach is as a single traveler I could get moved away from my window seat to accommodate families, etc. in a sleeper, or first class, I am guaranteed a window.

I’ve met interesting people from coach in the dining car many times.
 

Dakota 400

Conductor
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Mar 5, 2014
Messages
2,187
For overnights, if I can afford a room, I'll get a room. Not because it's considered "first class" but because I sleep better on a flat surface. I have done coach overnight. I don't think coach pax are any different than me.
I agree.

I ride in Coach all the time on "Day trips" but @ my age I take a Roomette for all my Overnight trips.( that said, Coach on Amtrak is still much preferable to Airline Coach and Bus seats!)
Amtrak, provide me with some day rail trips from where I live that I could take in Coach and I would gladly book such.
 

bratkinson

OBS Chief
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QB 101
I rode my last overnight coach on train #66 WAS-BOS about 2 years ago. Never again!

Both the conductor and assistant conductor made nearly incessant announcements, never more than 10 minutes apart, all night long WAS to NYP. The lights were on 'full bright' all night as well. That was the second time they 'destroyed' that train while I was on board. I'd ridden it a number of times prior to those clowns and slept far better.

I've ridden LD overnight coach a several times in the past 40 years. It's was OK, especially if I had the entire seat to myself. But I don't sleep well. Whether it's not laying flat, my own loud snoring (I sometimes wake myself up by snoring if I'm laying on my back), or the fear of hanging my feet in the aisle and tripping someone, I don't sleep more than maybe 10 minutes at a time. I, for one, have tripped over someones' feet hanging in the aisle as I'm looking horizontally more than downward while walking to the diner or lounge car.
 

v v

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People tend to refer to having a sleeper as "1st Class" ... does that make Coach "2nd Coach"?

That brings up the question .... what do you think about coach? Do you tend to think of those who ride coach as
  • poor people
  • people who only ride a train for transportation - not for fun
  • not an "option" but something one "settles for"
  • something to be avoided

What do you think?
  • poor people sometimes
  • people who only ride a train for transportation - not for fun sometimes
  • not an "option" but something one "settles for" sometimes
  • something to be avoided never avoided, but not chosen sometimes

Coach has as much to offer as sleeper, just in a different way. Of course travelling in coach with lots of people all around has it's own challenges, often though it's a positive experience but not always.
 

sttom

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 23, 2019
Messages
548
What is there to "think" about coach? I'm going somewhere, I'm not driving and it's not a bus.

Generally if I have to travel somewhere that would require an overnight trip on Amtrak, I'll put up with Southwest over sleeping in coach. But that has more to do with cost than comfort. Since flying causes anxiety.
 

the_traveler

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Whatever siding I'm sitting on!
I rode my last overnight coach on train #66 WAS-BOS about 2 years ago. Never again!

Both the conductor and assistant conductor made nearly incessant announcements, never more than 10 minutes apart, all night long WAS to NYP. The lights were on 'full bright' all night as well. That was the second time they 'destroyed' that train while I was on board. I'd ridden it a number of times prior to those clowns and slept far better.
I agree, WAS-NYP on 66 is the worst! :mad: And the 3:15 am departure (190 I think) is next.

One conductor likes to announce: “Next stop BWI in 5 minutes” and “Now arriving BWI” and “Last call for BWI”. While this wouldn’t be bad, it’s at 4 am and many are trying to sleep!:eek:
 

Duane Witte

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Location
Missouri
If I am not going to be on the train overnight then coach is fine by me. Since I require a Bi-Pap to sleep and prefer not to sleep sitting up any overnight trip will be in at least a roomette.
 

Bob Dylan

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I agree, WAS-NYP on 66 is the worst! :mad: And the 3:15 am departure (190 I think) is next.

One conductor likes to announce: “Next stop BWI in 5 minutes” and “Now arriving BWI” and “Last call for BWI”. While this wouldn’t be bad, it’s at 4 am and many are trying to sleep!:eek:
And yet you and I have ridden on both several times! o_O 😄 I consider 190 the Worst ( remember the Washington Gathering?), since you can ride in the 2x1 B business Class Car on #66/#67 and have the Curtain Closed and the Lights out.

My biggest problem on #66/#67 is the Long Layover @ NYP with the Brighter than Bright Lights , and Noisy Passengers in the Cafe car since there is only a Curtain between BC and the Cafe.
 

Siegmund

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northwestern Montana
I think of it as the normal way to travel by train, what "everyone" does except a rich elite few.

Admittedly I am occasionally one of those rich elite few, when my work pays for an overnight trip for me. But I could never afford to buy a sleeper myself, and can't imagine my employer being willing to for a cross-country trip.

But coach is very spacious and comfortable, compared to flying or riding the bus - nice legroom, lots of luggage storage, nice big windows. Just like any trip, plan accordingly: bring things to entertain yourself if you aren't into the scenery, bring a pillow, blanket, earplugs, and blindfold if you are overnighting. But I will happily take overnight in coach over a pair of packed (pre-March) flights even if the total trip time is twice as long.
 

crescent-zephyr

Conductor
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Oct 21, 2015
Messages
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I consider it the same to coach vs. 1st class on a domestic flight. I’m gonna pay the difference for the comfort, but I’m also going to look for a deal and travel the right time / day so I’m not paying a crazy high price.

I don’t consider coach passengers on delta or Amtrak as poor.

Now when it comes to a day trip, I’ll factor in meals and length of the trip.
 

anumberone

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Los Angeles
People tend to refer to having a sleeper as "1st Class" ... does that make Coach "2nd Coach"?

That brings up the question .... what do you think about coach? Do you tend to think of those who ride coach as
  • poor people
  • people who only ride a train for transportation - not for fun
  • not an "option" but something one "settles for"
  • something to be avoided

What do you think?
I tried to run that first class heading by a gentleman working in the information booth at LAUS and got schooled. He said, ooh, 1st Class, we both had a laugh and I learned a valuable lesson.
 

IndyLions

Lead Service Attendant
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Nov 6, 2016
Messages
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Location
Brownsburg IN
Nothing wrong with Coach passengers or riding in Coach in general. I do love the fact that there are options though. In my specific situation, BC for short haul and a Roomette for LD work better, whether I’m traveling for business or pleasure.

When I’m traveling Business, the quiet of BC/Sleeper allows me to get a ton of work done at prices comparable to major airlines. It’s not a mode of travel I’m not able to justify every time - but for several trips a year on certain routes it works out well.

When I’m traveling for pleasure - rail travel is my preferred mode for relaxation. BC/Sleeper offers a quieter environment - and since it is for vacation I can budget the additional cost.

When I sent my daughters off to college for overnights on the Cardinal and LSL - I sent them BC if it was available and Coach if it wasn’t. Those trips were planned in advance - and I usually was able to get a good BC fare. I thought BC was worth it because they almost always got a single seat to themselves. But on those occasions when they went Coach they usually still had a good experience.
 

Chey

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Sep 27, 2014
Messages
475
Location
NW TX
It's hard enough for me to sleep in my own bed, much less trying it in a train in coach. That works fine for day trips, most of my trips are LD and a roomette's the only way I'm going to get a few hours rest.

I've never thought of a roomette as being "first class" - I've met some great people in coach. I don't fly, so any seat in a train would be "first class" to me. I love train travel and wish I could do it more often.

I have to save up my money to travel LD so that I can have a roomette but I can tell you that AGR points have helped a lot. Unfortunately, those points don't go as far as they used to.
 

scrollmaster

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My wife and I are almost 70 and use Amtrak exclusively for long distance travel and ride by bedroom for the concenience, meals and private bath/toilet. If only a few hours and not needing the bed we get roomette for the privacy and meals if applicable. I have ridden coach twice and extremely disliked the crowding. I always have a lot of points so cost is no issue. I do try to time Double Days and purchase to help keep my Select Plus and made it the last two years but barely.
 

MARC Rider

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Baltimore. MD
For my Northeast Corridor rides, coach is perfectly fine, and the fares on the Northeast Regional are high enough that the true "budget travelers" are going to be riding the Chinatown buses, anyway. That said, I definitely take business class if I'm riding overnight on 66/67, and during busy times, when the trains really get full. Even if Business class sells out, I have more room. I sometimes take business class just for the hell of it, because I can get the 25% AGR TQP bonus. I also ride business class on the Carolinian and Vermonter, and the Empire service, as the coaches are Amfleet 1s, and I appreciate the extra legrooom on a longer ride. I also ride Business class on the Palmetto, even though the coaches are Amfleet 2's and there no difference in legroom, because, in my experience, I've always had a seat row to myself in Palmetto Business class all the way from Savannah to Baltimore, whereas I've seen the coaches, and they fill up. At least on Saturdays in mid-April.

Generally the only time I spring for the Acela is when I have first class upgrade coupons to use. Now that is first class, with roomy seats, open bar, and meal service included. Actually, I'd use Acela anyway to go between Baltimore and Boston, because it does cut a whole hour off the trip compared to the Regional. The Acela first class crowd is more what you would expect of first class, the fancy business people and such, but not everybody is like that.
 

MARC Rider

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Oh yes, back in 1988, my wife and I rode coach on the Capitol Limited to and from Chicago. This was right before we got married. The ride west was OK, but on our return, the crowd in our coach was so rowdy (and also, we were stuck with bulkhead seats and no window) that we ended up spending the entire night in the dome car, which was nice and quiet, and was kind of neat watching the little towns pass by.
 

Barb Stout

OBS Chief
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Mar 13, 2019
Messages
529
I thought I could sleep in coach, but in spite of taking various measures (the Amtrak sleep kit with it's especially necessary blanket and blindfold), my knees still got cold. Why just my knees? I can and like to sleep sitting up with my legs crossed "Indian-style", but apparently I need extra warmth in the knee area when sleeping like this. Also, I need to find what kind of clothing will help keep me in place as apparently the Amtrak seats are slippery and I tend to slip down as I relax. So I need to find "grippier" clothing. If anyone else has this problem and has found a solution, I would love to hear it.

Because of the above issue and because most of the time I'm traveling with my sister who has a hard time sleeping in general, we do travel in roomettes most of the time except when we go from Chicago to Ohio as all the Ohio stops are during the night, so one doesn't get decent sleep anyway, so we always do coach for that section.
 

MikefromCrete

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Mar 24, 2009
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Crete, IL
Probably 95 percent of all Amtrak passengers travel on coach (including business class which is just an upgraded coach). Sleeper travel is limited to the few long distance, overnight trains. The Northeast Corridor, Midwest Corridors, Pacific Coast corridors and all the other regional trains across the country far outnumber the LD trains.
You can't classify coach passengers as "poor," that is outrageous.
 

Twinkletoes

Train Attendant
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Aug 29, 2017
Messages
21
I hesitated at first to respond because it is framed in a way that assumes that the label “first class” means anything real and that people who travel in sleeper “first class” have categorical beliefs about the status of people who travel in coach. I concur with MikefromCrete

I live in the northeast and take a lot of coach trips on the Northeast Regional service, so I have no set beliefs about coach and economic status. Sometimes I take the Acela to save time. I never pay for first class because “free” food doesn’t lure me and there is no quiet car option. Acela “business” class has that option. In December, I used one of my Rewards upgrade options for the experience, but I truly missed the quiet car experience. For the usual coach on the Northeast Regional trains I always choose the quiet car.

To echo others, I like sleepers for the flat bed, private toilet, and privacy. Sometimes the sleepers are sold out when I need to travel so there is no choice. No big deal most times. The most intrusive thing is the constant announcements and the lack of control over happenstances of the obese seat mate or noisy passengers. Oh yes one can be “trapped” in the sleepers with the party people, colicky baby, or boisterous kids. Thus, is the luck of the draw in congregate travel-train, bus, or train.
 

Gary Behling

Train Attendant
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Mar 28, 2019
Messages
47
People tend to refer to having a sleeper as "1st Class" ... does that make Coach "2nd Coach"?

That brings up the question .... what do you think about coach? Do you tend to think of those who ride coach as
  • poor people
  • people who only ride a train for transportation - not for fun
  • not an "option" but something one "settles for"
  • something to be avoided

What do you think?
I personally do not like sitting with strangers---so I always get a bedroom
 
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