Silver Star vs. Silver Meteor Roomette Prices?

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I was trying to show what price tag Amtrak puts on meals by comparing September roomette prices of the SS vs. SM from PHL to ORL on Amsnag.

SS prices: $179, $201, $222

SM prices: $251 or $310

I'm not sure if you'd get lunch on the SM arriving in ORL with an arrival of 12:49pm.

I haven't seen a day where the SS is higher but some days it gets pretty close. On 9/5 and 9/9 the SS is at its highest ($222) and the SM is at its lowest ($251) but on 9/6 and 9/7 it's the reverse (SS $179/SM $310). You would think that the day would be the biggest driver of popularity so you should see more $179/$251 days and $222/$310 days. If it was $310 vs. $179, I'm taking the Star ($131 for even 3 meals isn't worth it for me) but if it was $251 vs. $222 I'm taking the Meteor. Supposedly the SS rooms were supposed to be much cheaper but if too many people are filling up the "cheaper" option, all of a sudden the price difference isn't that big anymore.

niemi24s, you seem to be the expert when it comes to prices, do you have any insight as to what is happening?

SS prices: $179, $201, $222

SM prices: $251 or $310
 

DevalDragon

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The Silver Meteor has a dining car and the sleeper included meals.

The Silver Star does not have a dining car and meals are not included.
 

Ryan

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He knows that, hence the question.

Philly, you can't just look at the buckets, you have to go day by day to see what price is being charged for each train to compare apples to apples.

I did that in a post somewhat recently (maybe a month or so ago), I'll dig it up when I get a chance, but that may not be until this evening. Going from memory, there was a pretty wide range in price difference depending on what day you were traveling. Some days (few of them) were down in the $40 or less range. Others may have been as high as $400, but I think the big bump in the $150 range.

Do recall that the prices are demand driven, so other factors such as schedule and the different cities served drive pricing just as much.

Actually, having said that, I think I've talked myself in a circle. To wash out all of those effects, you do want to compare each of the 5 buckets alongside each other. That will give you a better idea of how Amtrak thinks passengers will value the dining car. Steps to accomplish this:

1. Pick a pair of cities that are both served by each train, making sure that the same meals are served on each (the differing schedules may make this difficult or impossible). Now you're comparing the "same" thing to the max extent possible (e.g. Bedroom from WAS to JAX with a dinner and breakfast served).

2. Now that you have apples to apples, run through Amsnag until you find 5 different prices for each train.

3. Line 'em up and subtract. If you are lucky, the Meteor will be higher either by the same dollar value or percentage. That will tell you how much Amtrak thinks people are willing to pay a price premium to have a diner (mostly). Note that's not what Amtrak values the meals at, but what value the revenue managers (whose job it is to drive revenue as high as possible) think that the public would be willing to pay in order to have dining car meals.
 

niemi24s

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Here's a chart showing the various buckets for all the trains, but it's been a few months since I've seen if it needs updating:

LDtrainbucketsk.jpg

Checking do see if needs to be updated is a project for a rainy day.
 
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Philly,

I think you would get lunch on the SM going to ORL if you went at 11:30, although you might have to eat fast if they are running early. The last time I went to WPK (arrival time 12:27), someone from the dining car staff came through and asked what time I wanted to go to lunch. When I said I'd be getting off soon, they told me I was still welcome and to come down at 11:30 if I felt like it. (I didn't, since my destination was one with a lot of restaurants and I had planned to eat lunch there a little later anyway, but it was nice that the option was there. :) )
 

pennyk

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Philly,

I think you would get lunch on the SM going to ORL if you went at 11:30, although you might have to eat fast if they are running early. The last time I went to WPK (arrival time 12:27), someone from the dining car staff came through and asked what time I wanted to go to lunch. When I said I'd be getting off soon, they told me I was still welcome and to come down at 11:30 if I felt like it. (I didn't, since my destination was one with a lot of restaurants and I had planned to eat lunch there a little later anyway, but it was nice that the option was there. :) )
I have never been denied lunch on the Meteor traveling to either Winter Park or Orlando. However, I do recall meeting a friend at the WPK station a few years ago, and although he should have been served in time, he had to take it "to go." I believe, and he claimed, that the dining car staff knew he was detraining in WPK, but they failed to deliver his meal in time. He ate his lunch in the WPK station.

When the train is running early, lunch starts early. When running a bit late, lunch generally starts at noon.
 
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dlagrua

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Here's a chart showing the various buckets for all the trains, but it's been a few months since I've seen if it needs updating:

LDtrainbucketsk.jpg

Checking do see if needs to be updated is a project for a rainy day.
This is great info. As many of us know, years back the bucket range was always posted in the Amtrak national schedule and it was a good reference. Then it went away and now the schedule has gone away. Amsnag keeps a watch on things but I wish there was a way to compile a yearly reference of the bucket ranges. As for the Star vs the Meteor; quite frankly we do not want to travel on a train for 20 hours without sit-down meals. The meals in the dining car really break up the ride, make the trip seem shorter, more pleasant, and [i am guessing] minimize fatigue..
 
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