Maple Leaf Business Class always sold out

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Abe26

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Hi,

I'm checking availability for business class on the maple leaf from Buffalo to NY and I see it's always sold out, unless it's far out in advance. I see all other trains going from Buffalo to NY have availability, but not the maple leaf.

I also don't understand why they have 3 trains early morning, and then one train at 1pm. Shouldn't it more spread out?
 

Thirdrail7

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Hi,

I'm checking availability for business class on the maple leaf from Buffalo to NY and I see it's always sold out, unless it's far out in advance. I see all other trains going from Buffalo to NY have availability, but not the maple leaf.
The Maple Leaf travels a great distance, only has 18 business class seats and passes through Albany on its way to NYP at a favorable hour for local travel. As such, through seats may not be readily available.

I also don't understand why they have 3 trains early morning, and then one train at 1pm. Shouldn't it more spread out?
When you consider the trip length, which is based not from BUF, but the trains originating passenger terminal, this probably the most realistic schedule.
 

Thirdrail7

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Since these are state supported trains, New York State decides the consist. There are only som many options since they want to provide food service along the route.

They decided to go with a cafe that has tables on one side of the car and 18 business class seats on the other side. This offers two seats on one side of the car and one on the other. This allows food service and business class to be offered in once car.

If they wanted to go with more business class seats, there is a 60 seat version available (with two and two seating which is not as nice or roomy in my opinion as the previous two and one set up), but then they would need a separate car if they want to provide food service. That would increase the costs to New York State since you've added another car to the consist.

The other option is to offer food service with an all table cafe car and skip business class all together.
 
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Abe26

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But doesn't the empire service provide a business car and a separate Cafe car?
 

PVD

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No, the Empire Svc trains use the same split cars.
 

Trogdor

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They could offer a separate BC car and use the split cafe for (the denser) coach seats.
Huh?

There aren’t any cafes with coach seats. They all either have tables on both sides, or have tables on one side, and 2+1 seating on the other.
 

PVD

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I sort of remember something like that arrangement many moons ago, maybe someone else can verify what I'm thinking of, but haven't seen anything of the sort in quite a while.....
 

OBS

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I sort of remember something like that arrangement many moons ago, maybe someone else can verify what I'm thinking of, but haven't seen anything of the sort in quite a while.....
Seats were removed and replaced with tables...At least 10 years ago...
 

me_little_me

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Huh?

There aren’t any cafes with coach seats. They all either have tables on both sides, or have tables on one side, and 2+1 seating on the other.
No kidding. But to bring in the additional income from more BC customers, cars can be modified.
 

jis

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If money is available why just settle for modifying cars? Why not get more cars that could provide many more seats. And if money is not available then the whole thing about making any significant hardware changes is moot.
 

jis

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Which allows the consists to be used interchangeably.
Interchangeably only with the Adirondack, since those two trains have Amfleet II cars in the consist. The rest of the Empire Service trains don't.
 

PVD

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But the ADK runs without BC. Not 100% sure, but I think it uses a regular cafe, not split.....
 

jis

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But the ADK runs without BC. Not 100% sure, but I think it uses a regular cafe, not split.....
It has a split Cafe often. If you are lucky you can use one of the BC seats for Coach fare, though if you are going to Canada you will be chased off into one of the Canada cars. The Cafe remains unoccupied while crossing the border, while all cross border passengers are usually crowded into the minimum number of cars that can hold all of them.
 

zephyr17

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Interchangeably only with the Adirondack, since those two trains have Amfleet II cars in the consist. The rest of the Empire Service trains don't.
Maple Leaf had a couplr Amfleet IIs when I rode it last year. I was in one.
 

me_little_me

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If money is available why just settle for modifying cars? Why not get more cars that could provide many more seats. And if money is not available then the whole thing about making any significant hardware changes is moot.
Because it costs a LOT more for new cars. Of course it all depends on the revenue
1) Will having a full car of BC ( up from 18 seats) and a half car of coach (down from a full car) bring in more revenue than the present configuration? Can coach requirements handle the loss of half a car?
2) Is the change justified based on the cost of conversion and amortization?
3) How does that compare to buying a new car or rehabbing an old, unused car?

It isn't just an issue that if you need more BC, you buy a new car because you have SOME money.
 

PVD

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Does it fit in with what NYS wants to pay for, which, to a great extent, ultimately decides.
 
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jis

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Because it costs a LOT more for new cars. Of course it all depends on the revenue
1) Will having a full car of BC ( up from 18 seats) and a half car of coach (down from a full car) bring in more revenue than the present configuration? Can coach requirements handle the loss of half a car?
2) Is the change justified based on the cost of conversion and amortization?
3) How does that compare to buying a new car or rehabbing an old, unused car?

It isn't just an issue that if you need more BC, you buy a new car because you have SOME money.
Actually we are just whistling in the wind ;). There is no money to do either because NYSDOT has not budgeted such. Heck they can’t even get around to funding food service on the Albany trains either. Nor are they willing to fund another frequency west of Albany by extending an Albany turn. No money so the whole thing is moot.

BTW there are no new cars as in from the factory involved necessarily. If NY was willing to lease more cars it is quite likely Amtrak could find five or so cars specially after the midwest cars are freed up when the Siemens cars are delivered.
 
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jiml

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Interchangeably only with the Adirondack, since those two trains have Amfleet II cars in the consist. The rest of the Empire Service trains don't.
The Amfleet I cars are frequently in Toronto - at least until recently, hence my observation. I would have guessed that the Adirondack was the exception to the group.
 

PVD

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Both of those trains (normally) use a mix of AM1 and AM2 cars so you generally see both. I've occasionally seen an extra AM2 on the Leaf holiday time, and on the ADK I've seen an AM1 added/dropped for the ALB-NYP traffic. Car or set availability can always vary the standard setups. As JIS pointed out above, and ADK may have a split cafe/BC, while the "standard" ADK has no BC, if a cafe car is needed, why not? SSYD might need the full car for a different train, or they might have a bad one on an ADK, and the split is available...
 

jis

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The Amfleet I cars are frequently in Toronto - at least until recently, hence my observation. I would have guessed that the Adirondack was the exception to the group.
The consists used by both the Maple Leaf and the Adirondack have two Amfleet II cars, at least 2 Amfleet I cars and an Amfleet I Cafe/BC, though the BC part is not used on the Adirondack, and that car may be substituted by a full Amfleet I Cafe on the Adirondack.

A standard Empire Service consist does not have any Amfleet II cars in their consist.
 

wwchi

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you can also check as the days get closer to see if something opens up. Often someone changes plans and there is no penalty (at least not on my BC train) for cancelling at the last minute. The Michigan trains I take often have a BC seat open up!
 
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