North East Corridor (NEC) night train and sleeper journey

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Oregon Coast
I tried to book it to find out for train 67 on June 1, and it shows up. (That is no guarantee that it will come to pass). Coach from $33. Rooms from $318.
So sad is this attempt at a 'failed revival.' Umm! Take the $33 option with a nite cap before boarding. You will do just as well if not better... with lesser expectations and so tired you just fall into yur seat! And sleep! And get to the destination with still remaining big bucks in yer pocket for a grand hotel for a night stay upon arrival!

If only we all understood common sense... and Amtrak understood the definition of premium services that mean something and actually make a difference. Hmmm
 
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I tried to book it to find out for train 67 on June 1, and it shows up. (That is no guarantee that it will come to pass). Coach from $33. Rooms from $318.
Is that $33 from Boston to Washington? If so, snap it up!!!

Of course, the coaches are Amfleet 1 coaches, which a little skimpy in legroom, don't recline as far as they could, and have no window curtains, so you may or may not have a good night's sleep. You might want to spring a little extra for the business class, which is usually the 2x1 club seating with lots of legroom, leg rests, deep recline, and curtains on the windows. Even if the business class is one of the full Amfleet 1 business class cars with 2x2 seating, it still beats coack, as it has more legroom, a deeper recline of the seats, and curtains on the windows. Son't think curtains on the windows are important? Just wait until you're trying to sleep during the extended stop in New York Penn Station at 3 AM or thereabouts. They keep the platforms brightly lit all night long
 

TC_NYC

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I have a trip on 67 planned for September connecting at WAS to the Cardinal, hopefully it will be running sometime before then so that they can get the crews trained and the kinks ironed out by then.
You know the crews will show up surprised that the train even has a sleeping car... unfortunately.
 

Amtrak25

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I read stories of the sleeper car attendant, off the Capitol Ltd pool, had no clue and no training on how to work Viewliner room functions, whether it was with the bed, shutting off the lights, or the PA system.
 

jis

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I read stories of the sleeper car attendant, off the Capitol Ltd pool, had no clue and no training on how to work Viewliner room functions, whether it was with the bed, shutting off the lights, or the PA system.
Why would someone from the Cap pool know about Viewliners? He should not have been assigned outside his pool without further training.
 

Rambling Robert

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I am on Train 11 PDX to LAX Car #1130 and Room 13. When I booked the trip I was told this is a west facing/ocean view roomette. Is there anyway to confirm west facing. Thanks much!

This is my first booked sleeper.
 
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John Santos

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I am on Train 11 PDX to LAX Car #1130 and Room 13. When I booked the trip I was told this is a west facing/ocean view roomette. Is there anyway to confirm west facing. Thanks much!

This is my first booked sleeper.
Generally, there is no way to predict which way a car will face and thus no way to know before the train is actually assembled on the day of departure which side the windows will be on. This applies to both sleepers and coaches. Even transdorms, which are usually right behind the baggage car and must have their upper level door facing the rest of the train, are sometimes placed at the back of the train instead of the front.

However, all things being equal, the trains are usually assembled in a particular order from the arriving train the previous day, following whatever procedures at that particular station and yard are used, normally to minimize the amount of switching, uncoupling and recoupling required. So once a particular order is established, it will most likely stay that way for a while. Many things can disrupt this, though, such as adding or removing a car due to seasonal load factors, or replacing a car down for maintenance, or a train getting turned around due to weather or a derailment blocking the tracks, or an accident that damages some of the cars. Maybe even training new yard operations people, they might disassemble and reassemble trains just for practice.

Amtrak often cares about the order of the train (e.g. baggage car followed by transdorm followed by sleepers followed by diner followed by coaches) but it rarely if ever cares about the direction any particular car is facing.

I don't know if anyone keeps any statistics for particular trains; it might turn out that 75% of the time, the 1st sleeper on train X has the odd numbered rooms on the left, but there is no guarantee.
 

Fenway

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In late February I booked a sleeper from Seattle to San Jose on #11 when work had me working a Boston Bruins road trip out west and everything ran like clockwork. My attendant was excellent and I did show my appreciation.

He offered a telling comment when he said 'We run smoothly because Chicago is not involved'.

I have fond memories of the 'Night Owl' but never sprung for a sleeper as I could happily pass out in coach. I also learned the trick of taking either PATH or NJ Transit to Newark so I would be settled in before Penn Station.

I had the misfortune of being on this train




Full disclosure - I can book anything on Amtrak at no charge for the rest of my life but I still wish the accident never happened. My last memory was thinking we were going too fast as we passed Ruggles.
 

joelkfla

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Generally, there is no way to predict which way a car will face and thus no way to know before the train is actually assembled on the day of departure which side the windows will be on. This applies to both sleepers and coaches.
True for Superliners. But Viewliner sleepers are oriented with the vestibule nearer the diner, for the benefit of passengers in the Accessible Bedroom, and I believe the position of the diner relative to the sleepers is constant for a particular train. I don't know whether this holds true for single-level trains with just a cafe car and sleepers.
 

Rambling Robert

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Generally, there is no way to predict which way a car will face and thus no way to know before the train is actually assembled on the day of departure which side the windows will be on. This applies to both sleepers and coaches. Even transdorms, which are usually right behind the baggage car and must have their upper level door facing the rest of the train, are sometimes placed at the back of the train instead of the front.

However, all things being equal, the trains are usually assembled in a particular order from the arriving train the previous day, following whatever procedures at that particular station and yard are used, normally to minimize the amount of switching, uncoupling and recoupling required. So once a particular order is established, it will most likely stay that way for a while. Many things can disrupt this, though, such as adding or removing a car due to seasonal load factors, or replacing a car down for maintenance, or a train getting turned around due to weather or a derailment blocking the tracks, or an accident that damages some of the cars. Maybe even training new yard operations people, they might disassemble and reassemble trains just for practice.

Amtrak often cares about the order of the train (e.g. baggage car followed by transdorm followed by sleepers followed by diner followed by coaches) but it rarely if ever cares about the direction any particular car is facing.

I don't know if anyone keeps any statistics for particular trains; it might turn out that 75% of the time, the 1st sleeper on train X has the odd numbered rooms on the left, but there is no guarantee.

Thanks John for confirming it a hit or miss of getting a “room with a view” - despite what the booking agent said. I’d rather have a west facing window in Coach ... BOS/CHI/PDX/LAX - I’m used to the good old Amtrak Coach seats.

So the booking agent wasn’t entirely truthful.

So I guess - based on availability of window seats PDX to LAX in Coach (east or west viewing) - I’ll need to speak with the conductor or window agent in PDX to move from sleeper to Coach.

I don’t want to be disappointed in sleeper class.
 

Fenway

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Wikipedia has a pretty good writeup on the 1990 Night Owl crash

1990 Back Bay Rail Crash

To this day I can't fathom how Amtrak hired that engineer given his track record and then be allowed to supervise a trainee. In the final 10 miles between 128 and Back Bay what was the need of being over 100 mph?

It's a miracle nobody was killed.

I have no memory of the crash as I remember being surprised at how fast the train was going between Forest Hills and Ruggles and then being at the ER at the then Boston City Hospital. Amtrak offered me a quick settlement of $2500 and a lifetime pass and I signed off on it. I was 40 years old then and I have only found out in the past 10 years that a hip problem I have can be traced back to that accident.

I have no regrets.
 

Rambling Robert

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To this day I can't fathom how Amtrak hired that engineer given his track record and then be allowed to supervise a trainee. In the final 10 miles between 128 and Back Bay what was the need of being over 100 mph?

It's a miracle nobody was killed.

I have no memory of the crash as I remember being surprised at how fast the train was going between Forest Hills and Ruggles and then being at the ER at the then Boston City Hospital. Amtrak offered me a quick settlement of $2500 and a lifetime pass and I signed off on it. I was 40 years old then and I have only found out in the past 10 years that a hip problem I have can be traced back to that accident.

I have no regrets.
Perhaps there’s a then 40 year old lawyer who still knows the settlement... and how to re-open the claim. What an infrastructure mess - Dartmouth St had a sinkhole?! It’s worth a few hours trying - for your hip.

Getting on the CZ in Emeryville is twisted my left knee and ankle on the Square Stair. An assistant conductor took some of my info then the Conductor came back with a claim number, etc. The pain is so infrequent now - I didn’t pursue the claim. I was very impressed with how concerned the conductor was.

The recent train BOS to NYP was very fast only minutes out of BBY to 128. My iPhone app clocked 113MPH. I was expecting 90!
 

Fenway

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The recent train BOS to NYP was very fast only minutes out of BBY to 128. My iPhone app clocked 113MPH. I was expecting 90!

Heading south it is full throttle after BBY - inbound is a different story.

If you drive from BBY to RTE you are looking at 25-40 minutes at best.

When I-95 from Canton to Boston was killed in 1972 it destroyed the master plan of Boston expressways and that remains an issue today. The Orange Line should have been extended to RTE but a young Tom Menino stopped it fearing it would destroy Hyde Park following the playbook of the Red Line expansion not including Arlington and Lexington.
 
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The recent train BOS to NYP was very fast only minutes out of BBY to 128. My iPhone app clocked 113MPH. I was expecting 90!
According to a 2009 ETT RTE to Transfer is 130 for Acela, 120 for Regional, Transfer to BBY 120/110 respectively, for both tracks 1 and 2.
Transfer is the interlocking just South of Readville where the Dorchester Branch branches off.
Of course that ETT is 15 years old things may have changed since then.
 

jis

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According to a 2009 ETT RTE to Transfer is 130 for Acela, 120 for Regional, Transfer to BBY 120/110 respectively, for both tracks 1 and 2.
Transfer is the interlocking just South of Readville where the Dorchester Branch branches off.
Of course that ETT is 15 years old things may have changed since then.
Ignoring any TSRs, I believe it is the same today.
 
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