Right now, July 2020, may be the ‘sweet spot’ for booking Amtrak travels.

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20th Century Rider

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 26, 2020
Messages
472
With a lot of uncertainty regarding the Amtrak system, reservations are way down. The pandemic has paralyzed the country as well as the rest of the world. Funding for Amtrak is still uncertain along with the outcome of the election…which may bring a positive impact on the rail system.

Why is now a sweet spot? Because others are hesitating and waiting to see what will happen with Covid and with Amtrak. But if you step up, know that your reservations can be cancelled and refunded without penalty until September 30… so you can grab space with points or cash, and monitor progress being made. The other piece is that travel can be booked up to a year ahead. But wait! Early January seems to yield the most availabilities and the best fares. There is also a good chance that a covid vaccine will be available by then… it’s a toss up. If you book now for the lowest of seasons… you may first in line to get that sleeper at the low bucket fare.

Another protection; if there is a drastic change in schedules, routes, or service frequencies, Amtrak will refund your money at such time service changes make your travel becomes unmanageable even after September 30. And there's more... AGR status levels have been rolled back for an extra year so qualification for 2022 won't start until January with paid reservations.

Work closely with the agents… be patient, and acknowledge that they too are under stress with all the uncertainty. A little kindness between patron and agent can yield a productive reservation experience.

This is what I did. I am going around the country from the West Coast in bedrooms and H rooms; all have private bathrooms. Starlight down to Emeryville, overnighting with a free stay through Marriott rewards with Bonvoy AMEX; then the Zephyr to CHI, Cardinal to WAS. 2 nights there to look around at all the pre inauguration sights, then off to BOS 1st class on the Acela; spending a few days in BOS. Then back to EUG via CHI and PDX. It cost 84k points which I thought was exceptional… all travel lowest bucket point redemptions except for Acela 1st class sector. Also got points redemption discount as an AGR MasterCard holder.

With all that is going on, this might be an excellent opportunity to get back on the rails. Should I decide to cancel with penalty I will forfeit 10% or 8400 AGR points. All things considered, that’s not bad. There's an old saying... "Go now if you can because no one knows what the future holds."

I wonder what others on this forum are thinking about when to go again???
 

Seaboard92

Conductor
Joined
Dec 31, 2014
Messages
3,523
I'll be on the rails on the 30th of this month. Taking the Crescent to Washington, DC to meet a friend to ride a rare milage excursion in Pennsylvania. Then I have to go to Indianapolis for work and I'm taking a crazy route to get there so I can cross more of the network off my list. Going Washington, DC-Philadelphia, PA-Pittsburgh-Chicago, IL-Pontiac, MI. Then renting a car to go to work in Indiana for a bit. Returning from Indianapolis, IN to South Carolina via Chicago, IL, and New Orleans, LA. With the exception of the Pennsylvanian, Wolverine, and Cardinal I'm in a sleeper the whole way.
 

dogbert617

OBS Chief
Joined
Aug 19, 2016
Messages
836
Do you or anyone else have any idea if flex dining will be done on long distance trains (other than Auto Train), in September? I was hoping Amtrak would restore the regular dining car menu by then, but for whatever reason sadly am not holding out hope myself the regular menu will be restored that quickly. I'm sure I'll be able to deal with flex dining, but deep down myself won't be expecting food to be as good. I hope at the same time it isn't as bad, as some have said online. Also good to hear Amtrak did extend the policy about doing refunds without any penalty a month later, through September.

Myself, I'm thinking about doing some sort of small trip or perhaps a few, in the future. One would be a small one to like La Crosse or Red Wing, and back. Another would be some sort of trip either on the Zephyr to western Colorado (at least to Glenwood Springs), or the Chief to Albuquerque. I might be more intrigued to do the SW Chief, if I knew for sure NM Rail Runner trains were operating. Yes, I was also thinking about doing a side visit to Santa Fe, as well. Sadly when I checked a week or 2 ago, Rail Runner trains aren't yet running again.
 
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tim49424

Conductor
Joined
Dec 20, 2010
Messages
2,623
Do you or anyone else have any idea if flex dining will be done on long distance trains (other than Auto Train), in September? I was hoping Amtrak would restore the regular dining car menu by then, but for whatever reason sadly am not holding out hope myself the regular menu will be restored that quickly. I'm sure I'll be able to deal with flex dining, but deep down myself won't be expecting food to be as good. I hope at the same time it isn't as bad, as some have said online. Also good to hear Amtrak did extend the policy about doing refunds without any penalty a month later, through September.

Myself, I'm thinking about doing some sort of small trip or perhaps a few, in the future. One would be a small one to like La Crosse or Red Wing, and back. Another would be some sort of trip either on the Zephyr to western Colorado (at least to Glenwood Springs), or the Chief to Albuquerque. I might be more intrigued to do the SW Chief, if I knew for sure NM Rail Runner trains were operating. Yes, I was also thinking about doing a side visit to Santa Fe, as well. Sadly when I checked a week or 2 ago, Rail Runner trains aren't yet running again.
I went to Red Wing to visit friends back in October. It’s a beautiful area! If things are safe I’d love to go back again in the fall. It’s not a far trip for me, so I don’t take advantage of the dining car, however, I’d like to take a longer trip, but only if the regular meals are reinstated. I ate flex on the Cardinal and Silver Meteor last December and wasn’t impressed, obviously. I survived and if needed I’d do it again out east but not out west. It’s just not worth the fare. When I went to Minnesota, I ate in the cafe car and rode in coach.
 

dogbert617

OBS Chief
Joined
Aug 19, 2016
Messages
836
I went to Red Wing to visit friends back in October. It’s a beautiful area! If things are safe I’d love to go back again in the fall. It’s not a far trip for me, so I don’t take advantage of the dining car, however, I’d like to take a longer trip, but only if the regular meals are reinstated. I ate flex on the Cardinal and Silver Meteor last December and wasn’t impressed, obviously. I survived and if needed I’d do it again out east but not out west. It’s just not worth the fare. When I went to Minnesota, I ate in the cafe car and rode in coach.
Thanks for mentioning what you thought, of flex dining. Since I think I could deal with flex if it was only for one night and 2 days on the train, but that I worry if flex food would start to get to me after 2 nights and longer on a train?

Typically I bring some amount of non-perishable food of my own, onto the train for Amtrak trips. I suspect at certain longer station stops if I really needed it(namely Denver and Albuquerque), that there probably would be somewhere nearby I could run to for getting some food to go?

And thanks for mentioning what you thought, about Red Wing. I thought at some point, that'd be a nice town to go to. I do have to say on the SW Chief route, that I've sometimes wondered if Las Vegas, NM would be nice to visit?
 

Woodcut60

Lead Service Attendant
AU Supporter
Joined
Jan 13, 2015
Messages
265
"...your reservations can be cancelled and refunded without penalty until September 30..." So Amtrak has extended it with one month now? I'll check their website.
 

Qapla

OBS Chief
Joined
Jul 15, 2019
Messages
992
According to Amtrak website the changes to the Silvers is already implemented. By having the Meteor and Star run on alternate days they claim it still allows for daily service between Miami and New York. Both trains stop in Jacksonville.

However, when I use the website to check costs for a trip from JAX to ALC it gives an error saying there is a problem with one or more of the dates. This trip makes a connection in WDC. Seems you cannot leave JAX on certain days even though there is still supposed to be "daily" service through JAX. Since the Silvers are the only trains that already have a change in scheduled days - it seems odd that you used to be able to schedule this trip on any day of the week and now you can't.

What's up with that?
 

jiml

Conductor
Joined
Feb 27, 2019
Messages
1,344
I'll be on the rails on the 30th of this month. Taking the Crescent to Washington, DC to meet a friend to ride a rare milage excursion in Pennsylvania. Then I have to go to Indianapolis for work and I'm taking a crazy route to get there so I can cross more of the network off my list. Going Washington, DC-Philadelphia, PA-Pittsburgh-Chicago, IL-Pontiac, MI. Then renting a car to go to work in Indiana for a bit. Returning from Indianapolis, IN to South Carolina via Chicago, IL, and New Orleans, LA. With the exception of the Pennsylvanian, Wolverine, and Cardinal I'm in a sleeper the whole way.
Looking forward to that trip report. Not only will it cover some interesting routes, but add some perspective to the current situation (including diminished dining). Stay safe though.
 

20th Century Rider

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 26, 2020
Messages
472
I'll be on the rails on the 30th of this month. Taking the Crescent to Washington, DC to meet a friend to ride a rare milage excursion in Pennsylvania. Then I have to go to Indianapolis for work and I'm taking a crazy route to get there so I can cross more of the network off my list. Going Washington, DC-Philadelphia, PA-Pittsburgh-Chicago, IL-Pontiac, MI. Then renting a car to go to work in Indiana for a bit. Returning from Indianapolis, IN to South Carolina via Chicago, IL, and New Orleans, LA. With the exception of the Pennsylvanian, Wolverine, and Cardinal I'm in a sleeper the whole way.
One of the joys of participating on this forum is to see how others who enjoy rail travel zig and zag around the country. Your itinerary looks like a lot of fun!

One routing I see you're taking is Philadelphia-Pittsburgh-CHI. If you have a sleeper on the Capitol you don't get to your bed until the wee hours of the morning. My preference would have been to go to WAS and pick the Capitol there. But then again I haven't been on the Pennsylvanian and will eventually want to experience it to cross it off of my bucket list.
 

20th Century Rider

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 26, 2020
Messages
472
Do you or anyone else have any idea if flex dining will be done on long distance trains (other than Auto Train), in September? I was hoping Amtrak would restore the regular dining car menu by then, but for whatever reason sadly am not holding out hope myself the regular menu will be restored that quickly. I'm sure I'll be able to deal with flex dining, but deep down myself won't be expecting food to be as good. I hope at the same time it isn't as bad, as some have said online. Also good to hear Amtrak did extend the policy about doing refunds without any penalty a month later, through September.

Myself, I'm thinking about doing some sort of small trip or perhaps a few, in the future. One would be a small one to like La Crosse or Red Wing, and back. Another would be some sort of trip either on the Zephyr to western Colorado (at least to Glenwood Springs), or the Chief to Albuquerque. I might be more intrigued to do the SW Chief, if I knew for sure NM Rail Runner trains were operating. Yes, I was also thinking about doing a side visit to Santa Fe, as well. Sadly when I checked a week or 2 ago, Rail Runner trains aren't yet running again.
When booking the extensive cross country itinerary above I came up with a contingency plan for 'coping' with the scaled back food service. The res agent reiterated that full service dining was scheduled to be restored in the fall. She also acknowledged many complaints about flex dining and there's pressure on Amtrak to restore a higher level of service.

That said, what does one do for a 9 day LD itinerary? My contingency plan is to order Kosher meals from Amtrak which supposedly are of a higher quality but kosher meal choices have been reduced. Boarding in EUG will have a fresh chef salad for the first night. Will try to pick up a cold meal before boarding again in Emeryville a day later. When changing in CHI will get a few 'to go' meals from Pret A Manger [means 'ready to eat' in French]; and at WAS for the hotel stay in WAS, and on the return shop atPret A Manger in BOS and CHI. Their food is eaten cold and can last safely for several hours. If I do come across a sushi bar will certainly get a bento box! Will budget for around $150 for supplemental wholesome meals.

Below some pics of Pret A Manger in Union Station Chicago.
IMG_7754.jpg
crawfish-and-avocado-salad-Pret-A-Manger-London.jpg63410118-chicago-il-circa-march-2016-inside-of-pret-a-manger-pret-a-manger-is-a-sandwich-shop-...jpg
 

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Devil's Advocate

Conductor
Joined
May 24, 2010
Messages
11,442
From what I understand one reason the current flu vaccine has an unpredictable efficacy is because it can take several months to go from initial creation to mass production, mass distribution, and mass treatment. The virus will continue to mutate during this window and some variations will be difficult for a mass produced vaccine to anticipate and incorporate. Even if a vaccine is created and distributed quickly enough to be effective the mutations will continue and any immunity provided will eventually be lost. Which means that nearly everyone will need to be treated within an unknown window of time in order to achieve eradication. If we can believe the tens-of-millions who have declared they will refuse vaccination then we're likely to be living with some variant of this virus for a lot longer than currently hoped.

When booking the extensive cross country itinerary above I came up with a contingency plan for 'coping' with the scaled back food service.
That food honestly looks really good. If Amtrak made better use of regional restocking they could carry meals of this freshness and quality all throughout the national network. Many of us feel that even the much maligned Aramark could at least approach this kind of quality with the right motivation. Personally I think there are three main reasons Amtrak food has become so unappetizing over the years.

1. Amtrak doesn't spend enough for fresh meals made with quality ingredients (See John Mica)
2. Amtrak dining car meals are prepared days in advance and only stocked once at the start of a trip
3. Amtrak obviously doesn't feel compelled or threatened enough to worry about offending us

Amtrak could spend more but then they'd run even further afoul of the Mica rule. Amtrak has restocked some lounge car items mid-route in the past but to the best of my knowledge this only involved generic pantry goods and alcohol. Although I do not think Aramark is incapable of making good food I do feel that substantially improving the quality may require a vendor change to convince them the contract is both worthy of effort and open to alternatives. It doesn't even have to be the whole network. One long distance route that is granted a new regional setup and scores high marks with customers might be enough to change Aramark's tune. If not that may simply mean it's time to move them all. It won't be easy but it will be easier than building tracks and trains fast enough that passengers won't need access to decent meals while traveling.
 
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Seaboard92

Conductor
Joined
Dec 31, 2014
Messages
3,523
Looking forward to that trip report. Not only will it cover some interesting routes, but add some perspective to the current situation (including diminished dining). Stay safe though.
I look forward to typing it up. I will do my best to give as many details as possible on everything from the passenger load factor, to the food service, and staff morale. I'm sure you will find my work interesting as well.

One of the joys of participating on this forum is to see how others who enjoy rail travel zig and zag around the country. Your itinerary looks like a lot of fun!

One routing I see you're taking is Philadelphia-Pittsburgh-CHI. If you have a sleeper on the Capitol you don't get to your bed until the wee hours of the morning. My preference would have been to go to WAS and pick the Capitol there. But then again I haven't been on the Pennsylvanian and will eventually want to experience it to cross it off of my bucket list.
I enjoy zigging and zagging around the country to give you good trip reports. I'm used to not getting into my room until the wee hours of the morning because I live at the midpoint of the Silver Star. So regardless of where I'm going I always end up to board or detrain between midnight and five in the morning. I would prefer to do the trains in the opposite order because the scenery is better going eastbound on the Pennsylvanian, and southbound on the Crescent. But I didn't get a choice in my routing thanks to work.

My next routing to finish the network will be a really funky routing as I'm missing CHI-STL, GBB-KCY, SAS-NOL, SPK-VAN in the national network services. If you need quarantine entertainment you should read some of my old trip reports.
 

brianpmcdonnell17

Conductor
Joined
Mar 5, 2016
Messages
1,359
According to Amtrak website the changes to the Silvers is already implemented. By having the Meteor and Star run on alternate days they claim it still allows for daily service between Miami and New York. Both trains stop in Jacksonville.

However, when I use the website to check costs for a trip from JAX to ALC it gives an error saying there is a problem with one or more of the dates. This trip makes a connection in WDC. Seems you cannot leave JAX on certain days even though there is still supposed to be "daily" service through JAX. Since the Silvers are the only trains that already have a change in scheduled days - it seems odd that you used to be able to schedule this trip on any day of the week and now you can't.

What's up with that?
That's because there is no guaranteed connection between the SS and CL, so you can only book a trip from Jacksonville to Alliance on SM days. I have booked the SS to CL connection on my own and been successful, but it is risky.
 

20th Century Rider

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 26, 2020
Messages
472
According to Amtrak website the changes to the Silvers is already implemented. By having the Meteor and Star run on alternate days they claim it still allows for daily service between Miami and New York. Both trains stop in Jacksonville.

However, when I use the website to check costs for a trip from JAX to ALC it gives an error saying there is a problem with one or more of the dates. This trip makes a connection in WDC. Seems you cannot leave JAX on certain days even though there is still supposed to be "daily" service through JAX. Since the Silvers are the only trains that already have a change in scheduled days - it seems odd that you used to be able to schedule this trip on any day of the week and now you can't.

What's up with that?
The agent I spoke with yesterday indicated there is a lot of public pressure and congressional pressure to restore service; we can only hope the Silvers will both be running daily again and sooner rather than later. Everything remains up in the air with this pandemic; quarantine restrictions, and curtailed passenger travel.
 

20th Century Rider

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 26, 2020
Messages
472
From what I understand one reason the current flu vaccine has an unpredictable efficacy is because it can take several months to go from initial creation to mass production, mass distribution, and mass treatment. The virus will continue to mutate during this window and some variations will be difficult for a mass produced vaccine to anticipate and incorporate. Even if a vaccine is created and distributed quickly enough to be effective the mutations will continue and any immunity provided will eventually be lost. Which means that nearly everyone will need to be treated within an unknown window of time in order to achieve eradication. If we can believe the tens-of-millions who have declared they will refuse vaccination then we're likely to be living with some variant of this virus for a lot longer than currently hoped.


That food honestly looks really good. If Amtrak made better use of regional restocking they could carry meals of this freshness and quality all throughout the national network. Many of us feel that even the much maligned Aramark could at least approach this kind of quality with the right motivation. Personally I think there are three main reasons Amtrak food has become so unappetizing over the years.

1. Amtrak doesn't spend enough for fresh meals made with quality ingredients (See John Mica)
2. Amtrak dining car meals are prepared days in advance and only stocked once at the start of a trip
3. Amtrak obviously doesn't feel compelled or threatened enough to worry about offending us

Amtrak could spend more but then they'd run even further afoul of the Mica rule. Amtrak has restocked some lounge car items mid-route in the past but to the best of my knowledge this only involved generic pantry goods and alcohol. Although I do not think Aramark is incapable of making good food I do feel that substantially improving the quality may require a vendor change to convince them the contract is both worthy of effort and open to alternatives. It doesn't even have to be the whole network. One long distance route that is granted a new regional setup and scores high marks with customers might be enough to change Aramark's tune. If not that may simply mean it's time to move them all. It won't be easy but it will be easier than building tracks and trains fast enough that passengers won't need access to decent meals while traveling.
Exactly what I've been saying... over and over again. It's the inefficiency of Amtrak bureaucracy that holds things back with food issues and maintenance issues. Heating and cooling systems on those Superliners keep failing and makes so many uncomfortable. Sure they're getting old... but that's no excuse for sloppy upkeep. Amtrak can and will do better with a more streamlined organization, and a more supportive government. While such may appear to be 'pie in the sky,' there's no reason why better service can't be achieved for America's rail travelers.
 

John Santos

Train Attendant
Joined
Jun 24, 2018
Messages
79
From what I understand one reason the current flu vaccine has an unpredictable efficacy is because it can take several months to go from initial creation to mass production, mass distribution, and mass treatment. The virus will continue to mutate during this window and some variations will be difficult for a mass produced vaccine to anticipate and incorporate. Even if a vaccine is created and distributed quickly enough to be effective the mutations will continue and any immunity provided will eventually be lost. Which means that nearly everyone will need to be treated within an unknown window of time in order to achieve eradication. If we can believe the tens-of-millions who have declared they will refuse vaccination then we're likely to be living with some variant of this virus for a lot longer than currently hoped.
[...]
Coronavirus is not a flu virus and behaves very differently.

The mutation rate is MUCH lower than flu viruses, but not zero. There are now a fair number of strains of COR-SARS-2 (the particular coronavirus that caused COVID-19), at least two significant ones, but no evidence they are different enough that immunity to one strain doesn't imply immunity to all of them. It usually takes a lot more than a single or handful of point mutations to create a strain that is sufficiently different to prevent cross-immunity.

With flu viruses, the virologists attempt to predict the most common strains for the coming season based on which of the thousands of strains in the wild were most common in the previous season in the other hemisphere and which strains were common but not included in last year's vaccine. So our Fall 2020 vaccine will be based on any they missed in the Fall 2019 vaccine and what was common in the Southern Hemisphere this past spring and right now (their Fall and Winter 2020, March-September.) Flu viruses mutate fast, so oftentimes a new strain evolves that the previous vaccine is ineffective against. Sometimes they guess wrong and rare and obscure strain suddenly becomes more virulent and more prominent. (I think that's what happened with H1N1 in 2009.) Sometimes, the vaccine is quite good at preventing what would have been the most common strain, and some scrub virus comes in from the dugout and hits a homer. (I'm missing baseball!) Since it takes several months to develop, test and manufacture each year's vaccine, it is a moving target and sometimes they miss.

Coronaviruses have much better error-correcting genes and proteins to ensure they accurately reproduce (what would be an ECC in computer memory) than flu viruses have, but they still do mutate. (That's how some random bat or other wild virus suddenly became so serious and infectious in humans.) It is not yet known if their mutation rate is sufficient that new strains can evolve quickly enough to defeat a vaccine or acquired immunity (from having previously survived an infection.) There are some reports of people getting sick twice, but in most cases, it isn't known if some of the tests were bad (positive, false negative while they were still sick, then a relapse with another positive test) or if they had actually fully recovered before getting sick again. It isn't known (but seems unlikely) that they survived one strain, but got sick again because they caught a different strain.

There are various reasons why a vaccine might have a limited lifetime. Some just wear off after a while. (This is why you need to get a tetanus shot every 10 years or so, and other vaccines require boosters.) Some vaccines are less effective than others and you need multiple doses to get full immunity, e.g. Hep B. Sometimes the virus mutates sufficiently that the old vaccine or previous exposure to the disease doesn't help against the current strains. This is what happens with the flu. (Though there is evidence that getting your annual shot over many years does help against many new strains, because they aren't identical, but are similar enough to partially prime your immune system against them.)

Even a vaccine that wears off in a year and/or is only partially effective can help a lot against the pandemic because it greatly reduces the pool of vulnerable people (potential spreaders) during that time, and having to get a booster every year is much better than getting sick. Also, it gives more time to develop better vaccines and treatments.
 

20th Century Rider

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 26, 2020
Messages
472
Coronavirus is not a flu virus and behaves very differently.

The mutation rate is MUCH lower than flu viruses, but not zero. There are now a fair number of strains of COR-SARS-2 (the particular coronavirus that caused COVID-19), at least two significant ones, but no evidence they are different enough that immunity to one strain doesn't imply immunity to all of them. It usually takes a lot more than a single or handful of point mutations to create a strain that is sufficiently different to prevent cross-immunity.

With flu viruses, the virologists attempt to predict the most common strains for the coming season based on which of the thousands of strains in the wild were most common in the previous season in the other hemisphere and which strains were common but not included in last year's vaccine. So our Fall 2020 vaccine will be based on any they missed in the Fall 2019 vaccine and what was common in the Southern Hemisphere this past spring and right now (their Fall and Winter 2020, March-September.) Flu viruses mutate fast, so oftentimes a new strain evolves that the previous vaccine is ineffective against. Sometimes they guess wrong and rare and obscure strain suddenly becomes more virulent and more prominent. (I think that's what happened with H1N1 in 2009.) Sometimes, the vaccine is quite good at preventing what would have been the most common strain, and some scrub virus comes in from the dugout and hits a homer. (I'm missing baseball!) Since it takes several months to develop, test and manufacture each year's vaccine, it is a moving target and sometimes they miss.

Coronaviruses have much better error-correcting genes and proteins to ensure they accurately reproduce (what would be an ECC in computer memory) than flu viruses have, but they still do mutate. (That's how some random bat or other wild virus suddenly became so serious and infectious in humans.) It is not yet known if their mutation rate is sufficient that new strains can evolve quickly enough to defeat a vaccine or acquired immunity (from having previously survived an infection.) There are some reports of people getting sick twice, but in most cases, it isn't known if some of the tests were bad (positive, false negative while they were still sick, then a relapse with another positive test) or if they had actually fully recovered before getting sick again. It isn't known (but seems unlikely) that they survived one strain, but got sick again because they caught a different strain.

There are various reasons why a vaccine might have a limited lifetime. Some just wear off after a while. (This is why you need to get a tetanus shot every 10 years or so, and other vaccines require boosters.) Some vaccines are less effective than others and you need multiple doses to get full immunity, e.g. Hep B. Sometimes the virus mutates sufficiently that the old vaccine or previous exposure to the disease doesn't help against the current strains. This is what happens with the flu. (Though there is evidence that getting your annual shot over many years does help against many new strains, because they aren't identical, but are similar enough to partially prime your immune system against them.)

Even a vaccine that wears off in a year and/or is only partially effective can help a lot against the pandemic because it greatly reduces the pool of vulnerable people (potential spreaders) during that time, and having to get a booster every year is much better than getting sick. Also, it gives more time to develop better vaccines and treatments.
Thank you for sharing such detailed info... you have impressive medical knowledge and wisdom! :) 🌈
 

Sidney

Train Attendant
Joined
Jul 12, 2020
Messages
17
Scrolling through fares today I noticed the points needed for trips have come down while the cash fares remain unchanged. Example Chi to LA on the SW Chief,the points needed dropped from 21,500 to 16,300. If you booked a trip on points check your trip. It's nice to see something going down in price for a change.
 

Bob Dylan

Conductor
Joined
May 31, 2009
Messages
20,008
Scrolling through fares today I noticed the points needed for trips have come down while the cash fares remain unchanged. Example Chi to LA on the SW Chief,the points needed dropped from 21,500 to 16,300. If you booked a trip on points check your trip. It's nice to see something going down in price for a change.
Old saying: " You get what you pay for!"

Amtrak 2020: "You don't get what you pay for!"
 
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20th Century Rider

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 26, 2020
Messages
472
Exactly Bob; we're all feeling frustrated. My thing for the points reservation under this strand was that in the event of more problems down the road my max loss would be 10% of the points... then again, as Amtrak continues to slide those points decline in value.

Hoping to eventually get down to Austin on the Eagle for a good Tex Mex meal and perhaps meet up with you to talk rail. I'm buying! ;) 🌈 🤠

Hope I don't get my hand slapped for personalizing a message!
 

Bob Dylan

Conductor
Joined
May 31, 2009
Messages
20,008
Exactly Bob; we're all feeling frustrated. My thing for the points reservation under this strand was that in the event of more problems down the road my max loss would be 10% of the points... then again, as Amtrak continues to slide those points decline in value.

Hoping to eventually get down to Austin on the Eagle for a good Tex Mex meal and perhaps meet up with you to talk rail. I'm buying! ;) 🌈 🤠

Hope I don't get my hand slapped for personalizing a message!
Sounds great,and also hope you like BBQ, we have the Best in the World!!
 

OlympianHiawatha

Conductor
Joined
Feb 7, 2008
Messages
4,283
Since I would be forced to wear a muzzle mask and eat dog food in a pseudo diner, my interest in traveling Amtrak has dropped to Absolute Zero.
 
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