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Sleeper Turnover

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ALC Rail Writer

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So I was wondering how much time Amtrak allots for a sleeper to be turned over and resold. For instance if one booked a roomette CHI-CLE could another person by the same roomette for ALC-WAS (giving the attendant one stop to remake the room) or is it longer/shorter?
 

the_traveler

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Whatever siding I'm sitting on!
If a room is sold CHI-CLE, technically the room could be resold CLE-WAS. The SCA may ask the new passengers to wait in the Lounge for a few minutes while (s)he prepares it. I have seen that done many times.

Using a longer train's example, the same room could be sold for GBB-GJT and GJT-RNO. The SCA would probably ask the new passengers to wait in the SSL or make their dinner reservations for that time!
 

chakk

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I had a situation many, many years ago when I wanted to book a roomette (known then as "economy bedroom") for me and my two small children from Colorado to California. I was only able to get a booking from Salt Lake City (riding in coach beforehand). But the conductor out of GJT found on his manifest that one room was vacant, so he let us enter it early -- which was much appreciated as the kids were sound asleep in the upper bunk as soon as it turned dark.
 

AlanB

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Years ago I boarded the Capitol Limited in Toledo heading for WAS. I had to wait in the H-room while the attendant cleaned my Bedroom, as the person riding in it from CHI to TOL had taken a shower.
 

pennyk

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Several times I have boarded the southbound Silver Meteor in Orlando and had to wait for the SCA to clean the room. In those instances, I went directly to the dining car for lunch. The room was ready by the time I finished lunch. The one time I boarded the Coast Starlight in Sacramento, I had to wait for my room to be cleaned. I believe I waited on the platform.
 

SarahZ

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About 20 minutes before we got to ABQ last year, our SCA asked if we would mind sitting in the empty roomette across the hall, as she had to get our room ready for passengers boarding in ABQ. It took her about five minutes to change out the bedrolls, vacuum, and empty the trash. I imagine she changed the head rest covers and restocked the water bottles after we departed, since it would only take a couple of seconds.
 

Railroad Bill

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Speaking as one who boards in CLE a lot, we have had several instances, mostly traveling westbound, where our assigned room had been occupied by someone leaving the train at CLE. A couple of times we were given a different room (#4 to #6 roomette) or Bedroom C instead of E, when the train was not that crowded. Glad we never had to wait in the lounge at 2 am. :help: for our room to be cleaned up.
 
G

Guest

Guest
We have been asked to sit in another roomette, while our roomette was prepared for some new passengers, boarding at the next stop (the same stop we would be leaving).

The SCA was always nice to us, and treated us well. I had no problem obliging his request.
 

EB_OBS

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Just ask anyone disembarking or boarding at Glacier Park during the peak summer months. Sometimes nearly the whole sleeper car turns over there. It's inevitable that you will have to wait for the SCA to clean and refresh the rooms and replace used linens.
 
C

crew

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Here's my personal horror story: working as a TA in a sleeper that was almost 100 percent occupied for the entire trip, we came to Flagstaff, where 14 of the 21 rooms in my car detrained. And at that same stop, a group of British tourists boarded my car, and occupied - you guessed it - 14 rooms. I did my best to get the rooms done, and some of them were kind enough to wait in the lounge car for a bit, but I still was up until well past midnight (and per the usual schedule, had to be back up less than 4 hours later). Some of them were nice, and understanding, about the fact that the rooms might not be absolutely Bristol fashion. But some of them were just nasty toward me for not being able to wave my magic wand and have the rooms instantly made immaculate (it should also be noted that the other sleeper had a very similar situation!!).
 

fairviewroad

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For all the (oftentimes justified) griping about SCA's on this forum, it's telling that the only "horror story" on this thread

comes from a crew member his/herself. So, great job to the SCA's for handling quick turnovers well! Personally, I've

never been asked to wait, or to vacate early. Luck of the draw, I suppose.
 

Gemuser

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Just ask anyone disembarking or boarding at Glacier Park during the peak summer months. Sometimes nearly the whole sleeper car turns over there. It's inevitable that you will have to wait for the SCA to clean and refresh the rooms and replace used linens.
Just out of interest is this more common in one direction or equally in both?
 

AlanB

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For all the (oftentimes justified) griping about SCA's on this forum, it's telling that the only "horror story" on this thread

comes from a crew member his/herself. So, great job to the SCA's for handling quick turnovers well! Personally, I've

never been asked to wait, or to vacate early. Luck of the draw, I suppose.
Oh I can promise you that there are plenty of horror stories out there. It doesn't really matter if one is a good SCA or a bad one, one certainty I can promise is that you will find horrible passengers. I personally witnessed one several years ago on the Empire Builder in the Portland sleeper while on an OTOL Fest.

We had an SCA who was still rather new to Amtrak, working the extra board, and making her first run on the EB. She'd been with Amtrak long enough to know the job, but not long enough to have figured out all the shortcuts that can make things faster. And no one had warned her in advance that she had to help with the wine tasting. :eek:

That threw her totally off and prevented her from getting to lunch with the turnovers, meals to those requesting them, and general duties. And mom & I had been unable to get a through room, so we were moving from 14 to 10 at Whitefish. Only, none of us realized that the person occupying 14 was the Portland coach attendant. Had any of us known, she could have just left us in 14 and the coach attendant would have been happier in 10, he told me so in fact. Sadly it meant that she cleaned two rooms when she could have gotten away with just cleaning 10.

But still she'd been holding her own for the day; until. Until the customer from he double hockey sticks. This man & his wife had boarded at either East Glacier or Essex, I'm not totally sure. But they boarded in coach, because the Bedroom that they wanted was sold out to Whitefish. He'd already made a huge fit in the dining car while our group was eating, because he wanted his free meal for being a sleeper car passenger. Only he wasn't entitled to one since he wasn't occupying his sleeper until after meal service would be over for the night.

However, he wasn't having any of that nonsense and made such a scene in the diner that the LSA finally relented and allowed him to come to the final seating. He still wasn't happy with that, he wanted to be seated immediately, but the diner was full and the LSA wouldn't budge on that point. So he finally left resigned to the last seating.

Unknown to me at that time, he immediately visited the sleeper after getting the LSA to cave to dinner to inform our SCA that he expected his room to be ready for him when he returned from his meal at the final seating. The fact that someone was still in that room didn't matter a whit to him. It also didn't matter that they were getting off probably only moments before he'd be done with his meal.

Our SCA was busy cleaning the room shortly after Whitefish when I came by to thank her for getting room 10 ready for us, and to tell her that I had learned that she had done it more or less for nothing, as again the attendant from coach would have been thrilled to have 10 instead of 14. Just as we were finishing up our conversation, and she'd been working the entire time, along comes Mr. Wonderful to yell at her again over the fact that his room wasn't ready and that he would be filing a formal complaint over her poor service. I was almost ready to smack him, even though it wouldn't have helped the situation.

After he left to return to the lounge for a few more minutes, she let it slip to me that she'd not gotten lunch and if she didn't get to the diner in the next few minutes, she wouldn't get dinner either. On my way back to my room, I met my good friend Mike Hammond who was looking for the SCA because he & his wife wanted to turn in for the night and needed their room made up. I turned Mike around and went & made up their room for them into the nighttime configuration.

After doing that, I went back to let her know that I'd done so and that she didn't need to check on them and should hurry to the diner to get her meal which she did do; stopping along the way to let Mr. Wonderful know he could occupy his room. When she had returned to our car, she stopped by our room again to thank me and to insist that we let her know when to come set our room up for the night; something that I did do. The next day she didn't want to accept my tip because I'd helped her out, but I insisted that she take it as she had done her best for all of us, despite the howls of protest from Mr. Wonderful. Mr. Wonderful was still howling about the poor service he'd received from everybody at Amtrak and gave her nothing, despite his heavy demands on her.

She had to bring him coffee in the morning, then their breakfast, and help with luggage.

Two years later mom & I bumped into her again working as an SA in the diner on the CZ on our way to Seattle for the Gathering. She immediately recognized us, although it took mom & I a moment to place her. She was still doing a wonderful job, and was the best crew member in that diner. She should have been the LSA IMHO, as overall service would have been better. Mom & I kept requesting to sit in her section for each meal.
 
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