Silver Star Consist

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Oreius

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Just hopped on 91. Train only has TWO coaches, 1 lounge, 1 diner , and 2 sleepers and a baggage car. Do they pick up more coaches along the way? Normally the Star has at least 4…
 

John Bobinyec

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"Normally" was before they started up 7 days a week this summer. It only has 2 coaches as of now.
jb
 

Oreius

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Wow. When I rode 92 from Tampa in 2019, it had 4 coaches, 1 lounge, no diner, 2 sleepers, and one baggage!
 

Oreius

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It seems as though the Star gets the shaft! It makes more stops than the Meteor—especially in Florida.

You’d think it would have more coaches…

For a few years, it lost its diner, and was nicknamed “The Starvation!”
 

pennyk

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It seems as though the Star gets the shaft! It makes more stops than the Meteor—especially in Florida.

You’d think it would have more coaches…

For a few years, it lost its diner, and was nicknamed “The Starvation!”
The last time I saw the meteor, it only had 2 couches also - but 3 sleepers.

Amtrak is short of crew to work the coaches.

The Star now has a diner. Those of us that live along the route are quite happy about that. We are also happy that it is running daily.
 

jis

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Amtrak is still woefully short of OBS. Last time I was on the Meteor there were only two SCAs serving three Sleepers and helping out in the Diner/Lounge. I believe there is just one CA for the Coaches at present.

At the RPA shindig a shortage of mechanical staff was also mentioned, causing a backlog in getting cars inspected in a timely manner to meet FRA requirements etc., causing an artificial shortage of usable cars on any given day.
 

Oreius

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I guess that explains why I was able to get my room for half off the usual bucket. I booked this back in March.
 

jis

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They have an Amfleet 2 Cafe. The sleepers use the VL2 diner.
The Amfleet II Food Service Cars are officially known as Diner/Lite. They were converted from what used to be Lounges to Diner/Lite in the 2006 to 2010 timeframe as part of food service cost saving program. One thing they have never been called in Amtrak parlance is a Cafe! Go figure!
 

Cal

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At the RPA shindig a shortage of mechanical staff was also mentioned, causing a backlog in getting cars inspected in a timely manner to meet FRA requirements etc., causing an artificial shortage of usable cars on any given day.
Aren't Amfleet II's currently b eing used on Illinois services too?

If you corrected me on the other thread I mentioned this, apologies. Haven't gotten there yet.
 

Oreius

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The Amfleet II Food Service Cars are officially known as Diner/Lite. They were converted from what used to be Lounges to Diner/Lite in the 2006 to 2010 timeframe as part of food service cost saving program. One thing they have never been called in Amtrak parlance is a Cafe! Go figure!
I rode my 2nd trip back in 1993 on the Empire Service from Buffalo to NYC. The train had 3 Amfleet 1 coaches and an actual Cafe. The car was labeled as a “Cafe.” However, it did not have booth seating—in hindsight it was an Amfleet “Snack Coach,”

In 1994, I rode the same route—in the old Turboliners. They too, had a “snack coach” as well as a dedicated business class car.

My very first Amtrak trip was in 1990 from Buffalo to Boston round trip on the Lake Shore Limited. That train had an actual Amfleet Lounge, with one end having booths and the other side lounge seating similar to what you see on the SSL. One end was also reserved for smoking! The Lounge stayed on the train to Boston. I received the acrylic Amtrak blanket that I still have today on that trip. I also rode in a Heritage Fleet coach—with the toilets that dropped waste on the track.

The Lake Shore Limited’s westbound number—49–has been my lucky number since 1994.
 
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jis

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That's the same consist that the Crescent has been running post-pandemic. The eastern single level trains use consists interchangeably, so Silver Service will be the same.
Except the Silver Meteor and the Lake Shore Limited and the Cardinal of course. Hmmm :)
 
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Oreius

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Just arrived in Kissimmee. I spoke with David, my SCA. He told me Amtrak actually has no shortage of workers; in fact they’re hiring and training more in Miami. I think it just might be less demand, along with rolling stock being out of commission due to lengthy inspection. I told him that 2 measly coaches seemed crazy—especially since the Star and Meteor had 6 coaches and 3 sleepers back in February!

I walked through the second Coach after watching the engine swap at DC. There were 6 people who boarded at DC who couldn’t sit because people were hogging 2 seats for themselves. Either way, 2 Amfleet 2 coaches can seat only 59. So, they were packed.
Most of the people in the second Coach were ticketed to points in Virginia, and the Carolinas. Only 2 or so were ticketed to Miami (God love them).
 
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AmtrakBlue

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Just arrived in Kissimmee. I spoke with David, my SCA. He told me Amtrak actually has no shortage of workers; in fact they’re hiring and training more in Miami. I think it just might be less demand, along with rolling stock being out of commission due to lengthy inspection. I told him that 2 measly coaches seemed crazy—especially since the Star and Meteor had 6 coaches and 3 sleepers back in February!

I walked through the second Coach after watching the engine swap at DC. There were 6 people who boarded at DC who couldn’t sit because people were hogging 2 seats for themselves. Either way, 2 Amfleet 2 coaches can seat only 59. So, they were packed.
Most of the people in the second Coach were ticketed to points in Virginia, and the Carolinas. Only 2 or so were ticketed to Miami (God love them).
If they’re hiring & training then there is a shortage … until all hired are trained and onboard.
 

jis

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Just arrived in Kissimmee. I spoke with David, my SCA. He told me Amtrak actually has no shortage of workers;
How would he know? Does he moonlight in the HR department? SCA's are notoriously poor source of reliable information about corporate matters. Mostly they dole out wishful thinking in my experience when it comes to that. Information on their daily day to day beat, they do have reliable information, but not about something that might happen in three months even there.

And why would they be hiring if there was no shortage?
 

Barb Stout

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I walked through the second Coach after watching the engine swap at DC. There were 6 people who boarded at DC who couldn’t sit because people were hogging 2 seats for themselves.
When this kind of thing happens, do the car attendants notify the hogs that they have to let someone sit next to them or is that up to the newly arrived passengers to negotiate?
 

Cal

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How would he know? Does he moonlight in the HR department? SCA's are notoriously poor source of reliable information about corporate matters. Mostly they dole out wishful thinking in my experience when it comes to that. Information on their daily day to day beat, they do have reliable information, but not about something that might happen in three months even there.

And why would they be hiring if there was no shortage?
Isn’t one of our primate sources on this matter also OBS? Why are they more trustworthy than any other OBS?
 

jis

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Isn’t one of our primate sources on this matter also OBS? Why are they more trustworthy than any other OBS?
There is an area where OBS are trustworthy which I identified. Outside of that they really have no way of knowing for sure. Of course an individual may have connections and sources, but in my experience over 40 years of hearing what is happening at Amtrak from OBS staff in general, specially when I did actually know way more than them due to my connections 😉 I have found those are very few and far between and tend not to make unequivocal categorical unhedged statement about any such. Apparently even our OBS appears to agree with me since he liked my post. So I really don’t see any contradiction here at all. There are always exceptions here and there and they earn others respect through extended period of meaningful exchange of info. We have always had such participants at AU over the years.
 
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Cal

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There is an area where OBS are trustworthy which I identified. Outside of that they really have no way of knowing for sure. Of course an individual may have connections and sources, but in my experience over 40 years of hearing what is happening at Amtrak from OBS staff in general, specially when I did actually knew way more than them due to my connections 😉 I have found those are very few and far between and tend not to make unequivocal categorical unhedged statement about any such. Apparently even our OBS appears to agree with me since he liked my post. So I really don’t see any contradiction here at all. There are always exceptions here and there and they earn others respect through extended period of meaningful exchange of info. We have always had such participants at AU over the years.
That’s fair. I just was thinking that someone did say that there were nation wide OBS shortages and we took it without much pushback. However with thst said, I do believe them as it sounds reasonable. But just wanted to point that out
 

jis

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That’s fair. I just was thinking that someone did say that there were nation wide OBS shortages and we took it without much pushback. However with thst said, I do believe them as it sounds reasonable. But just wanted to point that out
It did help us believe that because various members of Amtrak management have mentioned the matter of staff shortage repeatedly too.
 
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