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Reserving a Silver Meteor Viewliner II Sleeper

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jersey42

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I am trying to find out if any Viewliner II sleepers are regularly on the current Silver Meteor consist. If so, what is the best way to snag a roomette in one of the new cars?

I have seen some posts in the long Viewliner II thread that indicate the xx12 car is usually a Viewliner II. I am trying to get some guidance from Amtrak reservations without much help in 3 separate calls. Here is what they are telling me:
  • They have no way of knowing which cars are the Viewliner IIs, or if a Viewliner II will be on a specific train on a specific day.
  • One said they could not assign a specific car or room number.
  • One said I could request a car, but the 9812 and 9712 cars on the two trains I am looking at do not come up as available cars. Not sure if this means they are sold out or they are not on the train.
  • One really did not understand what I wanted.
 

pennyk

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A competent reservation agent should be able to assign a specific car and room. My guess is that the agent will not know if a Viewliner II Sleeper is on the train. It is possible that the days on which you are looking, Amtrak is only planning to have 2 sleepers in the consist.

When I plan to travel, I likely will ask for the 12 car and if the 12 car is not shown as an available car, I will request the 11 car.
 

Steve4031

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IIRC what I read in that same thread, the 12 car is used during the holidays. If the 12 car is removed the Viewliner II would be moved to another line number though I do not remember which one. The response above indicates that it is best to ask for the 11 car.

The agents do not know or care about new equipment. I had a friend who works for Amtrak. She is generally pretty accommodating to my rail fan efforts on facebook and private messages. When jobs were on the line, and the furloughs were looming, I made the mistake of asking when the Siemens cars would start operating out of Chicago. She was not working in a customer service role, nor was she on the clock when she responded. She flatly said she did not care. They are mostly out of the loop until after us rail fans find out because we are combing the internet looking for new information while they are dealing with their day to day life and hoping they have a job.
 

jersey42

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A competent reservation agent should be able to assign a specific car and room. My guess is that the agent will not know if a Viewliner II Sleeper is on the train. It is possible that the days on which you are looking, Amtrak is only planning to have 2 sleepers in the consist.

When I plan to travel, I likely will ask for the 12 car and if the 12 car is not shown as an available car, I will request the 11 car.
Thanks. The one agent did say the 11 car was available. So I think I will give it a try.

My wife has never ridden in a Viewliner roomette and was not real keen on the toilet in the room. I have only ridden solo in Viewliners, so it has never been an issue for me.
 
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My wife has never ridden in a Viewliner roomette and was not real keen on the toilet in the room. I have only ridden solo in Viewliners, so it has never been an issue for me.
Honestly the seal on the toilet is good enough that it's only noticeable if you use it. Just never open it and walk to the coach bathrooms to do your business and you'll never smell the toilet (although unfortunately I have smelled the neighbors' before). Still not quite sure what Amtrak were thinking when they went with the original Viewliner roomette design. The people I would travel with are mostly not shy about *using* the toilet for #1 in each others presence, it's more the fact that after you do a #2 the room still smells that bothers me.

I really hope in this administration that Amtrak gets funding and a chance to take the Viewliner Is out of service for refurbishment and refit them to have bathrooms and get rid of the roomette toilets once and for all. (Though I wonder how much cheaper that would be than just ordering more Viewliner IIs and scrapping the old cars).
 

anumberone

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Dropping a deuce in a viewliner roomette could be uncomfortable if your traveling with someone your not real familiar with, otherwise its convenient in certain situations. Suggest closing curtains while stopped at a station.
 

jis

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With the speed CAF delivers Viewliner IIs... you’d need to wait another decade for the new cars to arrive. 😆🤣
I would be quite surprised if any more Viewliners are ordered. My conjecture is that the next single level Sleeper or Diner order will use a well established mass produce shell and trucks, not a small 50 car order using a non-standard shell such as the Viewliner.
 

Dakota 400

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I read from a fairly reliable source that the V-IIs will be the 11 sleeper when there are only 2 sleepers.
Thank you for answering my question. I'll need to remember that when I book my next Amtrak trip.
 

John Santos

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I know they ordered VII diners and VII sleepers, and I think they also got a bunch of VII baggage cars. As per usual, they stopped providing baggage service on many single-level LD routes just when the baggage cars were delivered, and switched to flex "dining" (in quotes) just as the spiffy new diners were delivered. :(
Did they also order a bunch of VII coaches, or is that what the much-discussed Amfleet replacement order is all about?
Do the VII's have a common shell, or are the sleepers, diners and baggage cars all different?
According to Wikipedia, the VI's were a new, unusual design in that they were modular and the rooms and roomettes could be replaced relatively easily. I suspect that it would also be relatively easy to change the number of rooms and roomettes. Are the VII's also modular? Are the modules interchangeable with VI's? Or could the company that is building the VII modules modify the design to fit VI's? I think the easiest and quickest way (though perhaps not the cheapest way) to update the VI's would be to swap out the modules for new VII (or similar) modules.
 

OBS

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I know they ordered VII diners and VII sleepers, and I think they also got a bunch of VII baggage cars. As per usual, they stopped providing baggage service on many single-level LD routes just when the baggage cars were delivered, and switched to flex "dining" (in quotes) just as the spiffy new diners were delivered. :(
Did they also order a bunch of VII coaches, or is that what the much-discussed Amfleet replacement order is all about?
Do the VII's have a common shell, or are the sleepers, diners and baggage cars all different?
According to Wikipedia, the VI's were a new, unusual design in that they were modular and the rooms and roomettes could be replaced relatively easily. I suspect that it would also be relatively easy to change the number of rooms and roomettes. Are the VII's also modular? Are the modules interchangeable with VI's? Or could the company that is building the VII modules modify the design to fit VI's? I think the easiest and quickest way (though perhaps not the cheapest way) to update the VI's would be to swap out the modules for new VII (or similar) modules.
No they did not order coaches...
 

Trogdor

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I know they ordered VII diners and VII sleepers, and I think they also got a bunch of VII baggage cars. As per usual, they stopped providing baggage service on many single-level LD routes just when the baggage cars were delivered, and switched to flex "dining" (in quotes) just as the spiffy new diners were delivered. :(
Did they also order a bunch of VII coaches, or is that what the much-discussed Amfleet replacement order is all about?
Do the VII's have a common shell, or are the sleepers, diners and baggage cars all different?
According to Wikipedia, the VI's were a new, unusual design in that they were modular and the rooms and roomettes could be replaced relatively easily. I suspect that it would also be relatively easy to change the number of rooms and roomettes. Are the VII's also modular? Are the modules interchangeable with VI's? Or could the company that is building the VII modules modify the design to fit VI's? I think the easiest and quickest way (though perhaps not the cheapest way) to update the VI's would be to swap out the modules for new VII (or similar) modules.
The shells are common, as far as I know. In fact, the shells themselves were produced years ago and stacked up around CAF's plant awaiting the modules for the interior.

As "modular" as the design is, apparently the modules aren't very easily swappable, which led not only to the delay in getting the V-II sleepers ready for service, but also to (from what I've gathered, though I don't recall if it's an official Amtrak decision or just online speculation) Amtrak's decision not to redo the Viewliner Is to have a common layout with the IIs.

It all sounded like a good idea when the order was placed in 2010, and had the order been delivered on time, it's entirely conceivable there could have been a follow-up (coaches and/or cafes). But loads of production problems at CAF meant lots of things (including the order itself, which was supposed to have 25 bag-dorms and now has a nearly useless total count of 10 of that type) meant that lots of things changed during the many years of delays. This led to cars being delivered just in time to no longer be useful for their originally intended purpose.
 

Acela150

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A competent reservation agent should be able to assign a specific car and room. My guess is that the agent will not know if a Viewliner II Sleeper is on the train. It is possible that the days on which you are looking, Amtrak is only planning to have 2 sleepers in the consist.

When I plan to travel, I likely will ask for the 12 car and if the 12 car is not shown as an available car, I will request the 11 car.
BINGO!!!!

  • They have no way of knowing which cars are the Viewliner IIs, or if a Viewliner II will be on a specific train on a specific day.
  • One said they could not assign a specific car or room number.
  • One said I could request a car, but the 9812 and 9712 cars on the two trains I am looking at do not come up as available cars. Not sure if this means they are sold out or they are not on the train.
  • One really did not understand what I wanted.
1. That is correct. They can't guarantee these things right now.
2. That agent doesn't know their own job then...... The outsourced agents are top notch... *eye rolls*
3. Yes you can request a car. It's not that hard to do it. But, it is possible that it's not showing up in ARROW.
4. See post two.
 

Cal

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1. That is correct. They can't guarantee these things right now.
2. That agent doesn't know their own job then...... The outsourced agents are top notch... *eye rolls*
3. Yes you can request a car. It's not that hard to do it. But, it is possible that it's not showing up in ARROW.
4. See post two.
Most of the agents I've (or really my parents..) have talked to before honestly were not really up-to-date with routes. They didn't specifically know the western long distance train numbers and/or names. I doubt they'd know the type of car. They were nice though..
 

lordsigma

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On the southbound trains - the 12 car. I am sitting in a Viewliner 2 roomette now. It’s quite striking walking from the new car to the old - the older cars are definitely showing some age.
 

Cal

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On the southbound trains - the 12 car. I am sitting in a Viewliner 2 roomette now. It’s quite striking walking from the new car to the old - the older cars are definitely showing some age.
I am glad I found this post. if I ever take it, I am asking for car 11 or 12. I don't want the in-room toilet.
 

pennyk

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I saw train 98 Silver Meteor travel through Orlando this afternoon and the 12 car was a Viewliner 2 Sleeper. It also had 3 engines.
 
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