if 2 separate tickets, will delay/missed connection be protected?

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Technically no, but if others are transferring between trains, most times the 2nd train is held.
I'm on the 1st train and the 2nd train just left, according to Amtrak's train status page. :( (not that I blame the 2nd train... don't think they can wait 4 and half hours)
 
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I have no personal experience but my guess is guaranteed connection really just means they will provide accommodations overnight for the missed train if you miss it (assuming they can't make alternate arrangements). It's not like they will hold the train for you.
 
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I have no personal experience but my guess is guaranteed connection really just means they will provide accommodations overnight for the missed train if you miss it (assuming they can't make alternate arrangements). It's not like they will hold the train for you.
the Amtrak station agent told me "sorry.. not if they are not

the same ticket"(which I fully understand) I got on Hotwire.com

and got a 4-star hotel for $61 for tonight... (after paying for it,

Hotwire revealed that it was the Hyatt Regency downtown,

so not too bad) The Amtrak agent rebooked me for the same

train tomorrow, so all is well. :)
 
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There is no guarantee a train will be held, especially if the delay is long, but when the connections are in the system, they know the numbers of connecting passengers from arriving trains, and it does factor into decisions. Sometimes it's a hold, sometimes it's overnight accommodations, once in a while a different route (like LSL i/o CL) or using a bus to jump to a place here a connecting passenger can meet a train.
 

Tennessee Traveler

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Personally, as a general rule, I will not make a Chicago connection west to east but instead always book a hotel stay and then book the east bound train like Capitol Limited, Lake Shore LTD, etc the next day. I have no hesitancy to make east to west connections. However, I am going to be brave and have booked a June same day connection from the Empire Builder to the City of New Orleans. Hopefully, the 4 hours 50 minutes scheduled connection time will be adequate.
 
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The CL leaves Chicago at 6:40pm while the LSL leaves at 9:30pm. The LSL is known by some at AU as the "cleanup" train to get passengers who miss the CL (if space exists). If you arrive after the CL left but before the LSL leaves you should try to get on the LSL depending on your destination.
 

HP_Lovecraft

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This issue comes up for me once in a while because I've found that if I book tickets separately, I can usually get a much cheaper fare. The saver fares don't always show up, and lots of the local routes have special codes, but you can only use one code.

I was just in NYC last month, and my fair was almost 1/2 by booking everything separately Plus, amtrak doesnt like close connections, booking separate allows me to make them as close as I can.

I dont expect a free hotel room for a missed connection, but I've learned if my train is late, and I'm going to miss it, call them before the next train leaves, and they will rebook me on the next one. A few times the agent was able to get me a "low bucket" rate, which makes me wonder what else they could do, if properly motivated..
 

Triley

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This issue comes up for me once in a while because I've found that if I book tickets separately, I can usually get a much cheaper fare. The saver fares don't always show up, and lots of the local routes have special codes, but you can only use one code.

I was just in NYC last month, and my fair was almost 1/2 by booking everything separately Plus, amtrak doesnt like close connections, booking separate allows me to make them as close as I can.

I dont expect a free hotel room for a missed connection, but I've learned if my train is late, and I'm going to miss it, call them before the next train leaves, and they will rebook me on the next one. A few times the agent was able to get me a "low bucket" rate, which makes me wonder what else they could do, if properly motivated..
I wouldn't call it a lack of motivation. Ticket agents are held accountable for things like adjusting fares down, and there can be pretty serious reprimands involved, and I would hope someone would risk their job for that. Is it possible it wasn't a saver fare, but maybe a value fare that you had originally booked, and was able to be rebooked in to? Not that I'm questioning that it didn't happen, because it certainly may have. Just hope others don't get there hopes up.
 

AmtrakBlue

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This issue comes up for me once in a while because I've found that if I book tickets separately, I can usually get a much cheaper fare. The saver fares don't always show up, and lots of the local routes have special codes, but you can only use one code.

I was just in NYC last month, and my fair was almost 1/2 by booking everything separately Plus, amtrak doesnt like close connections, booking separate allows me to make them as close as I can.

I dont expect a free hotel room for a missed connection, but I've learned if my train is late, and I'm going to miss it, call them before the next train leaves, and they will rebook me on the next one. A few times the agent was able to get me a "low bucket" rate, which makes me wonder what else they could do, if properly motivated..
Sounds like you're doing this on the "commuter" routes because the bolded part can't be done with LD trains. The next train doesn't leave till the next day (or in case of the SL and Card, two days). Maybe you can edit your post because it can be misleading for LD travelers.
 

Cho Cho Charlie

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There is no guarantee that a train will be held, but as an example there were 20 passengers connecting and the incoming train will arrive 15 minutes after the scheduled departure time, the train may be held.
You got me wondering, how does Amtrak "know" there are 20 connecting passengers, when they all hold separate tickets? I mean, with separate tickets, I would assume there are no official links, but instead, simply 20 different passengers with coincidentally the same names.
 

brianpmcdonnell17

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There is no guarantee that a train will be held, but as an example there were 20 passengers connecting and the incoming train will arrive 15 minutes after the scheduled departure time, the train may be held.
You got me wondering, how does Amtrak "know" there are 20 connecting passengers, when they all hold separate tickets? I mean, with separate tickets, I would assume there are no official links, but instead, simply 20 different passengers with coincidentally the same names.
I think in the example the 20 passengers have both trains on one ticket. This would only apply if the connection was not booked on a single ticket for cost reasons. If the connection is not bookable on a single ticket, the example is not relevant.
 

Cho Cho Charlie

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if I have 2 separate tickets, will delay/missed connection be protected?

I think in the example the 20 passengers have both trains on one ticket. This would only apply if the connection was not booked on a single ticket for cost reasons. If the connection is not bookable on a single ticket, the example is not relevant.
I thought the example (this thread) was all about having two separate tickets. While it might have been originally bookable on a single ticket, it wasn't. I don't think the answer changes much, if we extend it from just one such passenger, to 20 passengers. I don't think there would be any "link" between the separate tickets to make Amtrak aware of the connection.
 
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However, if 30 passengers are expected to board Train A at station X, where Train B is scheduled to arrive before A but is late enough to miss that connection, then Train A's conductor can pretty reliably surmise that if only 5 or 10 people have showed up by Train A's scheduled departure, then the missing 20 are likely all on Train B, hoping to board Train A, whether or not they have "connecting" tickets.

I don't know whether that sort of info goes into making decisions about whether to hold a train, but it might ought to. Given how sparse Amtrak's LD network is, there aren't all that many stations where such connections can be made (or missed).
 

brianpmcdonnell17

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if I have 2 separate tickets, will delay/missed connection be protected?
I think in the example the 20 passengers have both trains on one ticket. This would only apply if the connection was not booked on a single ticket for cost reasons. If the connection is not bookable on a single ticket, the example is not relevant.
I thought the example (this thread) was all about having two separate tickets. While it might have been originally bookable on a single ticket, it wasn't. I don't think the answer changes much, if we extend it from just one such passenger, to 20 passengers. I don't think there would be any "link" between the separate tickets to make Amtrak aware of the connection.
My point is that if that the example is relevant if the OP had a chance to book the whole trip on one ticket but did not, however other passengers did book the connection on one ticket. The conductors would not know that the OP is making the connection, but they would be aware that others are and may hold the train for them.
 

Triley

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if I have 2 separate tickets, will delay/missed connection be protected?
I think in the example the 20 passengers have both trains on one ticket. This would only apply if the connection was not booked on a single ticket for cost reasons. If the connection is not bookable on a single ticket, the example is not relevant.
I thought the example (this thread) was all about having two separate tickets. While it might have been originally bookable on a single ticket, it wasn't. I don't think the answer changes much, if we extend it from just one such passenger, to 20 passengers. I don't think there would be any "link" between the separate tickets to make Amtrak aware of the connection.
My point is that if that the example is relevant if the OP had a chance to book the whole trip on one ticket but did not, however other passengers did book the connection on one ticket. The conductors would not know that the OP is making the connection, but they would be aware that others are and may hold the train for them.
And the decision to hold the train would be made by CNOC or perhaps a train master, not the conductor.
 

the_traveler

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My example was if the 20 passengers were connecting from the SWC to the CS at LAX, and they bought tickets for (say) KCY to EMY, ABQ to SLO and FLG to PDX, instead of buying one ticket from KCY to LAX and another from LAX to EMY. Thus if you bought a ticket from NDL to LAX and another from LAX to DAV, chances are you may find the CS held or a bus in Barstow to "catch up" to the CS for connecting passengers.
 

RSG

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This issue comes up for me once in a while because I've found that if I book tickets separately, I can usually get a much cheaper fare. The saver fares don't always show up, and lots of the local routes have special codes, but you can only use one code.

I was just in NYC last month, and my fair was almost 1/2 by booking everything separately Plus, amtrak doesnt like close connections, booking separate allows me to make them as close as I can..
After I discovered there was no price advantage to purchasing round trip tickets, I started booking one-way tickets almost exclusively and often also book travel legs separately. Sometimes, it's a matter of booking an available space on a popular train before sellout on one leg (as is the case oftentimes with the California Zephyr), when there's still a bit of breathing room on another leg. Other times, there can be a choice of how to reach the final destination and there can be an advantage to waiting and seeing if one route becomes more economically advantageous as time progresses (such as travelling to the East Coast from CHI). Then there's the desire to override the suggested booking, either to cut down on layover time, or because booking a self-imposed layover (eg, overnight) is more desirable than using the suggested routing.
So far, I've had no issues making connections which weren't of my own doing. But it also seems that the extremely late trains I am on are either to my final destination, or a connection to a very long layover (like the Lake Shore Limited).
 

RSG

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For the purposes of those new to Amtrak who might be reading this thread, if you know or have a reasonable suspicion that you will not be able to board the train at the departure station on your ticket at the time of scheduled departure, by all means call 800-USA-RAIL and speak to an agent and explain your situation. (Personally, I would even do this if on a late train on a single ticket where a connection might be missed during peak travel times just to confirm the situation.)

Unlike airline tickets, Amtrak tickets hold no value after the train for which they are issued leaves the station. The modification window is extended if the train's departure is delayed, but oftentimes that isn't readily apparent to the agent who might take the call, so call in advance of the scheduled departure. If you receive an agent who can't give you the information you ask for, or is dismissive, or says "there's nothing I can do", politely terminate the call and call back. The odds are pretty good you will get a more helpful agent on the second try (and almost always by the third try). But don't expect them to overturn the laws of physics and make the train go backwards after it has left a station or do other impossible feats (particularly those that may impact their employment status).
 

BCL

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Unlike airline tickets, Amtrak tickets hold no value after the train for which they are issued leaves the station. The modification window is extended if the train's departure is delayed, but oftentimes that isn't readily apparent to the agent who might take the call, so call in advance of the scheduled departure. If you receive an agent who can't give you the information you ask for, or is dismissive, or says "there's nothing I can do", politely terminate the call and call back. The odds are pretty good you will get a more helpful agent on the second try (and almost always by the third try). But don't expect them to overturn the laws of physics and make the train go backwards after it has left a station or do other impossible feats (particularly those that may impact their employment status).
Not entirely. There's the option to purchase a flexible fare ticket, and those tickets are 100% fully refundable like a full fare airline ticket. Sometimes I've seen that's the only option for a coach fare. For example, I just checked the CZ for tomorrow from Emeryville to Chicago, and all that's available is flexible at $326. Later days I see the flexible price is the same, but value is maybe $170.

There's also a bit of time (I've heard two hours) to cancel a segment (an receive an E-voucher credit) before being declared a no-show. I wouldn't count on it, but they keep it open some time since occasionally it takes time for a conductor to lift a ticket. If you're really worried about it, having an Amtrak account and a device with internet access will make it easier to modify or cancel a reservation.

On top of that, unreserved trains have tickets that theoretically can be used later for the same station pair, or even cancelled for credit. A few conductors have told me that if they fail to lift my ticket, I should feel free to do what I want with the ticket. Of course that implies a good faith effort to make myself available to have my ticket scanned, so no hiding in the lavatory until arriving at the destination.
 

RSG

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Unlike airline tickets, Amtrak tickets hold no value after the train for which they are issued leaves the station. The modification window is extended if the train's departure is delayed, but oftentimes that isn't readily apparent to the agent who might take the call, so call in advance of the scheduled departure. If you receive an agent who can't give you the information you ask for, or is dismissive, or says "there's nothing I can do", politely terminate the call and call back. The odds are pretty good you will get a more helpful agent on the second try (and almost always by the third try). But don't expect them to overturn the laws of physics and make the train go backwards after it has left a station or do other impossible feats (particularly those that may impact their employment status).
Not entirely. There's the option to purchase a flexible fare ticket, and those tickets are 100% fully refundable like a full fare airline ticket. Sometimes I've seen that's the only option for a coach fare. For example, I just checked the CZ for tomorrow from Emeryville to Chicago, and all that's available is flexible at $326. Later days I see the flexible price is the same, but value is maybe $170.
There's also a bit of time (I've heard two hours) to cancel a segment (an receive an E-voucher credit) before being declared a no-show. I wouldn't count on it, but they keep it open some time since occasionally it takes time for a conductor to lift a ticket. If you're really worried about it, having an Amtrak account and a device with internet access will make it easier to modify or cancel a reservation.

On top of that, unreserved trains have tickets that theoretically can be used later for the same station pair, or even cancelled for credit. A few conductors have told me that if they fail to lift my ticket, I should feel free to do what I want with the ticket. Of course that implies a good faith effort to make myself available to have my ticket scanned, so no hiding in the lavatory until arriving at the destination.
That's very interesting and good to know; I speak from my experiences in my first year of Amtrak travel, when I missed the outbound train for an LD trip at the scheduled departure station and when I called about options for rebooking was when I was informed that I should have called prior to the train departure time. The second time was when I was departing PHL for CHI via WAS and missed the outbound Northeast Regional. I knew that the next (and last) option was to catch the Acela, so I showed up at 30th Street Station and requested to be rebooked. I had to pay $130, which I thought was full fare value at the time; but perhaps that reflected a trade-in value.
Both of these were in the days of paper tickets and I don't recall seeing three tiers of fares then as I do today. Since the advent of eTicketing, I've had fewer issues with rebooking (and sometimes purchase a backup ticket when my plans are uncertain since I know I can receive full value). I've also since booked a last-minute ticket via telephone agent and been told that my "Saver" fare was fully refundable. (Even though I had no worries since I was already at the departure station and then the ticket was only around $39, so any loss would have been minimal.)
 
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