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Huge ridership killer in reservation system for 3x weekly service

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looshi

Train Attendant
Joined
Oct 25, 2012
Messages
81
If Congress is passing an CR that resumes the current full funding of ALL federal programs , which includes AMTRAK ... WHY go to reduced LD service and not full dining ?

The majority of Amtrak's funding comes from ticket revenue. The current federal funding level assumes ridership that does not exist currently.
 

Lonestar648

Conductor
AU Supporter
Joined
May 17, 2015
Messages
2,708
The CR restores current funding, it doesn’t cover the Covid 19 revenue shortages that Amtrak management said it needed to maintain current daily trains. The difference is substantial.
 

lordsigma

OBS Chief
AU Supporter
Joined
Sep 15, 2017
Messages
960
If Congress is passing an CR that resumes the current full funding of ALL federal programs , which includes AMTRAK ... WHY go to reduced LD service and not full dining ?
A CR with level funding won’t cut it. Amtrak has stated they need 1.5 billion or so extra this year for 3x a week and the current level of furloughs - 5 billion for business as usual. Level funding for Amtrak all year this year could result in much worse cuts - possibly suspension of all LD except auto train and suspension of some corridors and deep frequency cuts on the NEC.
 

Amtrakfflyer

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Messages
473
Six months from now we will still have most of the problems we do today but the country will have a different vibe for lack of better words. We have a lot of rebuilding to do but we are a great Nation and are up to the task.
 

Barb Stout

OBS Chief
Joined
Mar 13, 2019
Messages
526
Big issue is that no one can make figure out the reservation system, so the long advance reservations level that management says will trigger return of service is impossible to achieve.
It sounds to me that it would possibly be better if people called Amtrak to make reservations. Has anyone tried it with respect to the post-Oct 3 days a week train schedule? If so, how did it go? The first time I used Amtrak, I made the reservations over the phone. The person I got was very helpful and gave me information that I didn't even think about asking about. I had purchased a 3? week pass and she gave me tips and tricks of how to get the most out of the system. She also told me about the 3 stations in Boston and options to get to the North station for the Downeaster.
 

lordsigma

OBS Chief
AU Supporter
Joined
Sep 15, 2017
Messages
960
It sounds to me that it would possibly be better if people called Amtrak to make reservations. Has anyone tried it with respect to the post-Oct 3 days a week train schedule? If so, how did it go? The first time I used Amtrak, I made the reservations over the phone. The person I got was very helpful and gave me information that I didn't even think about asking about. I had purchased a 3? week pass and she gave me tips and tricks of how to get the most out of the system. She also told me about the 3 stations in Boston and options to get to the North station for the Downeaster.
I only deal with the website just for general pricing and only book there when I Am using points. Otherwise i go to my local station at times I know the best agent is working.
 

jiml

Conductor
Joined
Feb 27, 2019
Messages
1,738
Location
Toronto area
Otherwise i go to my local station at times I know the best agent is working.
That used to be the tried and true method "back in the day" before websites and online booking. When we used to live in Toronto VIA was supposed to issue Amtrak tickets, but usually refused or gave up part-way through the process since they had to be hand-written. So we'd set off on the 2-hour drive to Buffalo-Depew, where the Amtrak agents were always patient and helpful. It's important to remember that the tickets then usually consisted of several "coupons" or vouchers covering each segment of travel and our usual routing (Toronto > Hammond-Whiting > Philadelphia (or Washington) > Orlando and back involved 3 or more each way depending on accommodation choices.
 

Qapla

Conductor
Joined
Jul 15, 2019
Messages
1,314
Location
Gator Country Florida
Since Palatka in a "NO" station

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and only somewhat closer - I would have to drive to Jacksonville for "in person" help with tickets. I find the website (as clunky as it is) and the phone the best way to book
 

niemi24s

Conductor
Joined
Feb 11, 2015
Messages
2,349
Since Palatka in a "NO" station. . .I would have to drive to Jacksonville for "in person" help with tickets.
Gee, it's an hour drive between those two stations. Well I think that's just deplorable! Simply deplorable!!
 
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mitako

Train Attendant
Joined
May 21, 2018
Messages
73
It is insanely complicated now to plan a long trip that involves more than one train, and I cannot imagine anyone except the most hardcore Amtrak fan is going to make the effort.

I love the train, and I'm in the process of trying to plan a trip for next year that's Los Angeles to Chicago, Chicago to DC, and then reverse. Let me tell you, it is ridiculous how tough it is to plan because of the 3x weekly scheduling and I am using a blank calender page and print out of the train schedules to try and figure it out.

Because the Capitol Ltd and the Cardinal are BOTH only leaving DC for Chicago on Sun/Wed/Fri, I either have to spend fewer days than I want in DC or stay longer than I want. Figuring out days of the week for two-night LD trains is really confusing, because depending on where you board, you have to remember that a train that left Chicago on Fri is going to reach Denver on Sat, for example, so if you are boarding in Denver, you have to take that into account and not the schedule put out by Amtrak.

Anyway, it's a mess and I cannot see much hope of a surge of riders when it's so friggin' hard to plan a trip with multiple legs, and the $$$$$$$ for a roomette or sleeper with subpar meals is insane.
 

Sidney

Train Attendant
Joined
Jul 12, 2020
Messages
81
You can get to Chicago from LA direct every day except Wednesday. Why the three Chicago to NY/DC trains run on the same days makes no sense.

I agree,most people aren't going to bother to make reservations with this tri weekly schedule and the substandard food is certainly not an incentive. I remember I used to look forward to meal times. Now it's just the need to eat. Why Amtrak is still charging high prices for sleepers is beyond me. I have taken three circle trips since May and the sleepers have been half empty.

What a way to run a railroad.
 

Lonestar648

Conductor
AU Supporter
Joined
May 17, 2015
Messages
2,708
I found if I use a pad with the departure days and arrival days of all the trains carefully blocked out, I can now work to plan a loop trip. Some same day connections are possible, like the SL west to LA connect to CS north. Connecting through Chicago is problematic without a overnight stay. Of course the online Amtrak site is less than helpful, then because the trip is more segmented the cost is obviously much more. This has to be an intentional effort to discourage any traveler from traveling on the long distance system.
 

neroden

Conductor
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
7,848
Location
Ithaca, NY
As usual, write your Congresspeople and Senators and tell them that Amtrak management is deliberately sabotaging the service. This is NOT what Congress wants.

The House of Representatives has already passed a bill requiring daily service. It has Democratic support in the Senate. Republican Senators saying they support it, but it was blocked by the Republican leader Mitch McConnell in the Senate. As far as I'm concerned that tells you how to vote if rail is your #1 issue.
 
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