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.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.
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.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!
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.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.
<snip>It never occurred to me when booking that a 5 hour transfer time would be potentially insufficient.<snip>train
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.<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>
In the past Amtrak have put people with broken connections on shuttles to catch up with the next train using highways and freeways instead.What if any assistance does Amtrak give to get delayed passengers on a through ticket onto the connecting train
Our trains can fall much further behind than a mere eight hours.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!
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.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?