Long Distance Train Coach & Sleeper Fares (Buckets)

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Joined
May 15, 2022
Messages
89
Location
Dallas
Based on my luck that my watchful waiting for my NYP-EVR trip turned out, now booked, with fares inventory being allocated from all high bucket to lowest bucket on the Lake Shore and second lowest on the Builder, I did a check on days in October that the Zephyr arrives in Emeryville one day before the Sunset/Eagle leaves LAX. It appears that some inventory reallocation has taken place, because the fares vary quite a bit now:

10/2 high bucket
10/4 high bucket
10/6 second highest bucket
10/9 high bucket
10/11 middle bucket
10/13 middle bucket
10/16 middle bucket
10/18 middle bucket
10/20 second lowest bucket
10/23 second lowest bucket
10/25 second lowest bucket
10/27 second lowest bucket
10/30 low bucket

To me, that indicates at least a first round of inventory distribution adjustment has taken place. Only 3 of 13 departures are now high bucket.

I don't know your planned itinerary, but October and November now appear to have been reallocated and it is the time to strike if any of the middle or second lowest bucket dates appeal to you. They typically only have a couple of rooms in the lowest allocated bucket, and I would never hold out waiting for a low bucket when a second lowest is available. Of course, you could score on 10/30.

That kind of search is what is needed to track down good fares. Amsnag made such searches easy, now they have to be done by hand. It isn't worth doing until there is a good chance that they've done an inventory adjustment after the initial allocation, spot checks are good enough in the first few months.
Thank you, I can probably make that 10/20 date work.
 

PaunchyPirate

Train Attendant
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Apr 18, 2022
Messages
54
Location
Pennsylvania
I also just took advantage of low buckets in the fall. I just booked Southwest Chief from CHI to LAX, Coast Starlight from LAX to EMY, and California Zephyr from EMY to CHI. Dates are 10/26 to 11/1. Roomettes for all 3 segments. Low bucket pricing for the long segments. I didn't pay attention to the CS bucket, since I wasn't going the full distance. Total trip for $1458. Not bad at all.

I debated on whether to just go with Business Class for the CS segment since it's just 12 hours. But since it was only $272, I decided to splurge on the roomette. I may need a nap at some point.
 
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trimetbusfan

Service Attendant
Joined
Nov 27, 2021
Messages
227
Location
Portland
Looks like there the bucket prices might be changing. Just went and looked prices on the Coast Starlight and was shocked to see how high some of the prices were. 😢

Highest bucket:
Roomette: originally $765 now $846
Bedroom: originally $1626 now $1776
FB: originally $1325 now $1402
(These probably require additional verification).

I also looked at fares for the Empire Builder and a few other routes, but those appear to be the same as they have been (for now at least).
 

niemi24s

Engineer
Joined
Feb 11, 2015
Messages
2,873
While in the process of finding the new fare buckets for the CS, discovered that the rail fare portion of sleeper fares now seems to be based on the third Coach bucket above the Saver fare instead of the customary second bucket above the Saver fare.

This change plus the increases in accommodation charges have seen the average Roomette fare on the CS for one adult increase by about 20%.

Have yet to see any fare changes on the other LD trains, but I only churn up enough ambition to look a few times a month.
 

niemi24s

Engineer
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Feb 11, 2015
Messages
2,873
Thanks for that input. Wonder how many different Bedroom buckets there really are? Maybe there's an additional Roomette bucket lurking somewhere.

Noticed somewhat the same thing last year for NER 66/67, but then the sleeper was pulled from that train. (I keep forgetting to delete that train from the chart).
 

pennyk

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MODERATOR NOTE: Please be reminded that this forum is designed to provide information to new riders and answer frequently asked questions. The description of this forum is:

"This forum provides basic information about Amtrak travel including tips of value to first time riders. Members: please post your insider travel tips in this forum. This forum is intended to be an information resource. For Amtrak questions or start a discussion, please use the Amtrak Rail Discussion forum."

General discussion of long distance fares will be (or have been) moved to an existing thread on the topic of long distance fares in the Amtrak Rail Discussion forum.


Thank you for your understanding, cooperation and participation.
 

trimetbusfan

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Nov 27, 2021
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Location
Portland
Here's a chart with the only new CS fares I could find. No idea why there were 6 Bedroom fares instead of the usual 5.
Found an eighth(!) bedroom bucket and a second family bedroom bucket (finally). I wonder if either of these (particularly the bedroom) is the low bucket.

This is for 11 (6).
F43AE75F-CB0C-4FCB-87CC-7304F9E1AB92.png
 

niemi24s

Engineer
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Feb 11, 2015
Messages
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Thanks for those two new fares. As a WAG, methinks the $936 Family Bedroom fare is the second lowest bucket. Maybe.
 
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niemi24s

Engineer
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Feb 11, 2015
Messages
2,873
Thanks for those additional fares.

Other than the CS having 8 Bedroom buckets (3 more than the norm), the other strange thing (to me, at least) is its buckets increase in a roughly geometric progression (ratio between successive steps nearly equal) whereas those of other trains increase in a roughly arithmetic progression (difference between successive steps nearly equal).

How 'bout them apples!!!! :rolleyes:
 
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