Late Sunset Limited (10/11/19)

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

Rasputin

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 17, 2019
Messages
664
Well at least passengers won't be rousted out at 5 a.m. but unfortunately some connections may be missed.

I wonder if they will serve breakfast.
 
Joined
Oct 10, 2019
Messages
8
I’m travelling Austin LAX next month, connecting with the Coast Starlight same day. It never occurred to me when booking that a 5 hour transfer time would be potentially insufficient. What if any assistance does Amtrak give to get delayed passengers on a through ticket onto the connecting train
 

F900ElCapitan

Lead Service Attendant
AU Supporter
Joined
Oct 7, 2018
Messages
370
This train was a bit of an outlier, there’s a very good chance you’ll make your connection.

As for your question, do you have a single reservation for your whole trip to your final destination? If not, call Amtrak and have your reservations “cross-referenced.” Doing that or having a single reservation will provide you with a guaranteed connection. This way if you do miss the connection Amtrak will do the best they can to get you to your destination. It also depends on your final destination, if your going to San Luis Obispo or south of that, they’ll likely put you on a Pacific Surfliner. If you’re going north of Oakland, they’ll likely put you on a Amtrak bus to Bakersfield and then on a train through the Central Valley to connect back up with the Coast Starlight. If they have put you on a different routing, they are pretty good at refunding any accommodation charges that wouldn’t be available on the new route, ie sleeper room.
 
Joined
Oct 10, 2019
Messages
8
This train was a bit of an outlier, there’s a very good chance you’ll make your connection.

As for your question, do you have a single reservation for your whole trip to your final destination? If not, call Amtrak and have your reservations “cross-referenced.” Doing that or having a single reservation will provide you with a guaranteed connection. This way if you do miss the connection Amtrak will do the best they can to get you to your destination. It also depends on your final destination, if your going to San Luis Obispo or south of that, they’ll likely put you on a Pacific Surfliner. If you’re going north of Oakland, they’ll likely put you on a Amtrak bus to Bakersfield and then on a train through the Central Valley to connect back up with the Coast Starlight. If they have put you on a different routing, they are pretty good at refunding any accommodation charges that wouldn’t be available on the new route, ie sleeper room.
I’m booked on one ticket I believe, through to Seattle, my UK travel agent arranged it so I will get on to them and check, thanks.
Can’t believe trains can be 8 hours late - that would pretty well be enough time to get from one end of the UK to the other!
 

F900ElCapitan

Lead Service Attendant
AU Supporter
Joined
Oct 7, 2018
Messages
370
I’m booked on one ticket I believe, through to Seattle, my UK travel agent arranged it so I will get on to them and check, thanks.
Can’t believe trains can be 8 hours late - that would pretty well be enough time to get from one end of the UK to the other!
Sounds like a great trip! I’m also assuming/hoping you're booked on the Texas Eagle 421 coach or sleeper (and not connecting from 21 (Texas Eagle) to 1(Sunset Limited)). The 421 are through cars and get uncoupled from the Chicago-San Antonio Texas Eagle and are then coupled to the Sunset Limited for the remainder of the trip to LA. If you are on these cars, when you arrive in San Antonio you’ll have a choice of staying onboard (or just getting off for fresh air and to stretch) for the entire stay (4 hours and 50 minutes) or you can leave your stuff on the train and cab/Uber/Lyft or walk over to the Riverwalk, which is worth seeing. Just plan to be back at the station no later than 20 minutes before departure (of which 2:45am isn’t difficult to make), the only issue is they won’t let you reboard while they are switching the cars, but there will be plenty of time after the switching. If you’re doing the 21 to 1, then you will have to disembark with all of your stuff and wait in the station for the Sunset Limited to arrive and they allow you to board.
 

bratkinson

OBS Chief
Joined
Aug 7, 2004
Messages
811
Fortunately, in my experience, there's a TON of padding in the Sunset/Texas Eagle schedule going into LA. When I rode it last year, I think we were 4+ hours late out of El Paso. By Maricopa, only 2 hours late. We arrived at LAX pretty close to on time. I went the other way this past April. Same thing...2 hrs late at Maricopa, 1 at El Paso, early at San Antonio.
 

tricia

Conductor
Joined
Aug 23, 2011
Messages
1,011
Fortunately, in my experience, there's a TON of padding in the Sunset/Texas Eagle schedule going into LA. When I rode it last year, I think we were 4+ hours late out of El Paso. By Maricopa, only 2 hours late. We arrived at LAX pretty close to on time. I went the other way this past April. Same thing...2 hrs late at Maricopa, 1 at El Paso, early at San Antonio.
I think the extra padding likely is there at least in part to manage the AZ time difference half the year: Unlike it's neighbors AZ doesn't observe Daylight Savings Time, but the SL keeps the same schedule year round.
 

Way2Kewl

Train Attendant
Joined
Sep 29, 2019
Messages
45
<snip>It never occurred to me when booking that a 5 hour transfer time would be potentially insufficient.<snip>train
<snip>I’m also assuming/hoping you're booked on the Texas Eagle 421 coach or sleeper (and not connecting from 21 (Texas Eagle) to 1(Sunset Limited)).<snip>
As F900ElCapitan mentioned, if you're on the Eagle #21 then Sunset #1, call and see if you can be moved to #421 (Eagle thru to LAX) so you can stay on the car/sleep undisturbed.

https://asm.transitdocs.com/train/2019/10/12/1
School to the bottom and select HISTORY for LAX
Last 2 months Average Ar delay: 2 hours and 19 minutes late. 3 out of 60 were over 5 hrs late. Odds are in your favor.
Last 12 months Average Ar delay: 2 hours and 5 minutes late​
 
Joined
Oct 10, 2019
Messages
8
Thanks everyone. I finally have my ticket and yes I’m booked all the way from Austin to LA on the 421
However what I am now concerned about is that it appears to have been booked as a multi city trip. Although there is one reservation number and I am not intending to stop over in LA the ticket is headed “AUS - Multiple Cities. Multi-City Trip” Whilst the body of the ticket lists the two segments separately ie Austin to LA and then LA to Seattle. Reading the on line booking terms suggests this means I don’t have a guaranteed connection and am responsible if I miss the second train. Is this right?
 

Rasputin

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 17, 2019
Messages
664
I think that is just fine and that is how our tickets always read when we have connections between trains. So I think you have a guaranteed connection (unless you are stopping over in LA) so you should be fine. Hope you have a great trip.
 

Devil's Advocate

Conductor
Joined
May 24, 2010
Messages
11,285
What if any assistance does Amtrak give to get delayed passengers on a through ticket onto the connecting train
In the past Amtrak have put people with broken connections on shuttles to catch up with the next train using highways and freeways instead.

Can’t believe trains can be 8 hours late - that would pretty well be enough time to get from one end of the UK to the other!
Our trains can fall much further behind than a mere eight hours.
 
Last edited:

greatwestern

Train Attendant
Joined
Dec 6, 2017
Messages
55
Commenting on Caro's ticketing:

I am certainly no expert on the "guaranteed" connection validity of Amtrak tickets.

I can only quote that my booking for Portland Oregon to Chicago where I selected the routing Coast Starlight to Sacramento then Californian Zephyr to Chicago is shown on my ticket as "One - Way" with no mention of "Multi City".

Similarly on my booking from Chicago to Portland Oregon where I selected the outward routing Southwest Chief to Los Angeles then Coast Starlight to Portland with a break in Portland before returning to Chicago on the Empire Builder the ticket shows as "Round - Trip".

Both these trips include same day connections, similar to the Austin - Seattle trip quoted which, on the evidence of my booking (especially my Portland - Sacramento - Chicago booking), I would think would have been quoted as "One - Way".
 

Rasputin

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 17, 2019
Messages
664
My 2018 eticket for Santa Fe to Lamy, Lamy to Chicago on 4 and Chicago to Boston on 448 reads "Multi-City Trip."

The eticket for an upcoming trip on 449 to Chicago connecting to 5 to Colorado reads "One-Way."

I don't think the distinction means much in the way of guaranteed connection. The legs are on the same ticket with no stopover noted so I think the connection is guaranteed.
 

F900ElCapitan

Lead Service Attendant
AU Supporter
Joined
Oct 7, 2018
Messages
370
Thanks everyone. I finally have my ticket and yes I’m booked all the way from Austin to LA on the 421
However what I am now concerned about is that it appears to have been booked as a multi city trip. Although there is one reservation number and I am not intending to stop over in LA the ticket is headed “AUS - Multiple Cities. Multi-City Trip” Whilst the body of the ticket lists the two segments separately ie Austin to LA and then LA to Seattle. Reading the on line booking terms suggests this means I don’t have a guaranteed connection and am responsible if I miss the second train. Is this right?
You can always call Amtrak and ask if you’re at all concerned. There are other ways a smart agent can make this a guaranteed connection if it is not. But, if you have your entire itinerary on one reservation number and you bought it as a through trip, then you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.
 
Top