Sold out rooms/ Insane high fare buckets

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

zephyr17

Engineer
Joined
Jul 22, 2009
Messages
4,766
Location
Washington State
No, with eticketing conductors will just tell you to phone in to the reservation center and buy the upgrade from them or use the app. If purchased, the manifest will be updated and upgrade will be downloaded to his device.

It'll be at current bucket.
 

AMTRAK709

Train Attendant
Joined
May 6, 2021
Messages
19
Location
Columbus, GA
Also, another curiosity. If the Amtrak conductor (big IF) had have sold that one remaining bedroom as an upgrade upon departing NOL, does he (the conductor)
have a way of notifying the reservation system that the space is sold so that some unsuspecting passenger getting on hours farther up the line is kept from
buying the space???
 

OBS

Conductor
AU Supporter
Joined
Nov 9, 2011
Messages
1,855
Location
Long Island, NY
As noted on the post above yours, The Conductors are no longer allowed to sell rooms. It is handled thru the Res. office.
 

AMTRAK709

Train Attendant
Joined
May 6, 2021
Messages
19
Location
Columbus, GA
Thanks for all your help and replies. I guess it is my decision in the next 30 hours or so hours on whether to spend the money. Thanks again!!
 

zephyr17

Engineer
Joined
Jul 22, 2009
Messages
4,766
Location
Washington State
Also, another curiosity. If the Amtrak conductor (big IF) had have sold that one remaining bedroom as an upgrade upon departing NOL, does he (the conductor)
have a way of notifying the reservation system that the space is sold so that some unsuspecting passenger getting on hours farther up the line is kept from
buying the space???
That was one of the big reasons many (not all) conductors were reluctant to do upgrades in the era before eticketing. While his manifest would show whether a room would be occupied down the line, reservations could have sold it since the manifest was issued. He'd have to call into reservations, make sure the space was open and have it blocked for sale. It was a pain and many conductors did not want to deal with it.
 

saxman

Engineer
AU Supporter
Gathering Team Member
Joined
May 17, 2004
Messages
2,500
Location
Dallas, Texas
Thanks for all your help and replies. I guess it is my decision in the next 30 hours or so hours on whether to spend the money. Thanks again!!
Have you tried the Bidup option? I saw someone just post on another site that they got a roomette for only $255 from Minnesota to Spokane using the BidUp feature. I'm not sure if it works for roomettes to bedrooms, so I could be wrong.
 

saxman

Engineer
AU Supporter
Gathering Team Member
Joined
May 17, 2004
Messages
2,500
Location
Dallas, Texas
Does Amtrak add any significant capacity to Florida in the winter? Nope. Do they add it to the western routes in peak summer? Nope. To be fair, their ability to do so is hampered by the lack of fleet consistency - but that choice is another example of a choice that a true for-profit corporation probably wouldn't have made.
In the past, they've added a coach between CHI and MSP, a sleeper between CHI and DEN, and I think they are doing a coach between CHI and STL on the Eagle. They also added a 3rd sleeper and a 4th coach on the Starlight a few years ago during peak. The biggest problem is the lack of equipment to add more.

Except, unless these cars are due for their 4 yr air brake inspection, it is not a big deal to get them inspected and back in service...
Amtrak seems to make the process a big deal. I have no idea where they are being stored. Apparently they can only be inspected in Beach Grove, Chicago, or Los Angeles. I assume they are sitting in those places anyway.

How many airlines need special approval from another airline to add an extra flight for a special event? How many airlines suffer routine hull loss by commercial trucks and construction equipment fouling taxiways? How many airlines are saddled with domestic manufacturing requirements or have to wait ten years for an order to materialize? An airline can lease extra aircraft in a pinch and borrow against future earnings to increase the fleet size which Amtrak cannot.
I totally agree with this generalization. If I want to start a bus company and add service, all I need are buses and some permits. A private company can't really stop me. Same with an airline. Just need to lease some planes and might need to rent gate space from another airline, but in general an airline will be accommodated. But a passenger train...? In other words, the infrastructure is already there and available for public use.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jis

Cal

Engineer
Joined
Jan 23, 2021
Messages
2,237
Location
Socal
In the past, they've added a coach between CHI and MSP, a sleeper between CHI and DEN, and I think they are doing a coach between CHI and STL on the Eagle. They also added a 3rd sleeper and a 4th coach on the Starlight a few years ago during peak. The biggest problem is the lack of equipment to add more.
Coaches are regularly attached to the SWC and TE between Kansas City and St. Louis to Chicago.

I believe the formal normal consist for the Starlight was 3 sleepers (including transdorm) for off-peak seasons and four sleepers (including transdorm) for peak season with 3 coaches + the BC car and service cars.
 

jis

Engineer
AU Lifetime Supporter
Gathering Team Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2003
Messages
28,830
Location
Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
Amtrak seems to make the process a big deal. I have no idea where they are being stored. Apparently they can only be inspected in Beach Grove, Chicago, or Los Angeles. I assume they are sitting in those places anyway.
Amfleets appear to be inspectable at Bear DE and even Hialeah. Viewliners are mostly Hialeah I guess.

The Amfleet IIs were parked in many places, more visibly at Lorton and at Jacksonville in addition to Hialeah and perhaps some at Sunnyside too. Viewliners were mostly at Hialeah and Sunnyside AFAIK. There has been a lot of Viewliner deadheading going on between Sunnyside and Hialeah. Seems to be routinely one to three on each 97/98.
 
Last edited:

AmtrakBlue

Engineer
Gathering Team Member
Joined
May 6, 2011
Messages
12,644
Location
Delaware
Have you tried the Bidup option? I saw someone just post on another site that they got a roomette for only $255 from Minnesota to Spokane using the BidUp feature. I'm not sure if it works for roomettes to bedrooms, so I could be wrong.
He did try the bid up and it was "unsuccessful" (most likely someone offered more).
 

bratkinson

OBS Chief
Joined
Aug 7, 2004
Messages
921
Location
QB 101
In the past, they've added a coach between CHI and MSP, a sleeper between CHI and DEN, and I think they are doing a coach between CHI and STL on the Eagle. They also added a 3rd sleeper and a 4th coach on the Starlight a few years ago during peak. The biggest problem is the lack of equipment to add more.
That was then, this is now...
Historically, whenever they add a coach CHI-STL, it would show as train #321, in addition to tr 21 & 421 (3x/wk). Checking mid July, it does not show up across several days.

The same with a CHI-MSP coach. It would show up as train #37, IIRC. It's not there this July, either.

I didn't check CHI-DEN.

Other forum posters have surmised there's a shortage of LD equipment right now as the inspections & maintenance on the stored equipment was not kept up to date. Maybe in a month or so, they'll get caught up and rebuild 'normal' summer LD consists. All we can do is wait and see.
 

AmtrakBlue

Engineer
Gathering Team Member
Joined
May 6, 2011
Messages
12,644
Location
Delaware
That was then, this is now...
Historically, whenever they add a coach CHI-STL, it would show as train #321, in addition to tr 21 & 421 (3x/wk). Checking mid July, it does not show up across several days.

The same with a CHI-MSP coach. It would show up as train #37, IIRC. It's not there this July, either.

I didn't check CHI-DEN.

Other forum posters have surmised there's a shortage of LD equipment right now as the inspections & maintenance on the stored equipment was not kept up to date. Maybe in a month or so, they'll get caught up and rebuild 'normal' summer LD consists. All we can do is wait and see.
I was booked on #21, not #321, in 2019 from CHI - STL and was told to board a specific car that I believe was for STL passengers. I did not hang around to see if they took the car off #21 continued on it's way. I can't remember if #321 showed on the departure board in CUS.
 

bratkinson

OBS Chief
Joined
Aug 7, 2004
Messages
921
Location
QB 101
I was booked on #21, not #321, in 2019 from CHI - STL and was told to board a specific car that I believe was for STL passengers. I did not hang around to see if they took the car off #21 continued on it's way. I can't remember if #321 showed on the departure board in CUS.
Whenever I've been in the 421 or 422 sleeper (about once per year) in the past 15 years or so, the add-on STL coach was always the last car of the train, to make for simple removal/addition at STL. The same was true with the MSP coach, the few times I've gone through there in the summer.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Cal

AmtrakBlue

Engineer
Gathering Team Member
Joined
May 6, 2011
Messages
12,644
Location
Delaware
Whenever I've been in the 421 or 422 sleeper (about once per year) in the past 15 years or so, the add-on STL coach was always the last car of the train, to make for simple removal/addition at STL. The same was true with the MSP coach, the few times I've gone through there in the summer.
I do remember my car was the last car and could kick myself for not thinking about it and going back to rail fan window.
 

mitako

Train Attendant
Joined
May 21, 2018
Messages
89
Just for kicks, I just priced a trip on the SWC from Los Angeles to Chicago, two passengers, one of them a senior. That's a two-night trip. Looking at two weeks from now, leaving on a Friday, price for a bedroom showed as $2383. First Friday in December, $2092. Going out as far as possible, into May of 2022, bedroom on a Friday for $1237. That's why I plan my trips around a year in advance and book usually 10 months or so out.
 

Michigan Mom

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 28, 2012
Messages
891
Location
MI
To add another layer to this discussion.... it isn't just high sleeper car prices. It's also in Coach.
I've been pricing one way flights vs Amtrak coach from Miami to Detroit, and there is no way to justify paying more for train/bus than for a flight.
 

Siegmund

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Nov 19, 2018
Messages
290
Location
northwestern Montana
Re the discussion of shortages of LD equipment:

I happened to see 7(11) pass through Whitefish this evening (on time - beautiful sunset.)

I was very surprised to see it running with the minimum legal consist (baggage, transdorm, one Seattle sleeper, one Seattle coach, two Portland coaches, one Portland sleeper.) That's the typical non-covid winter consist... but it normally runs with two Seattle sleepers all summer (and occasionally in ski seaon too), and frequently has two Seattle coaches.
 
  • Sad
Reactions: Cal
Joined
Feb 20, 2020
Messages
4
Are points being devalued by AGR?
Today (June 16, 2021) I booked a roomette from SAC to DEN, for September 2, 2 seniors for $656.
When I looked at cost for points it said 49,061. Seems like it should have been about 26,500.
According to ‘The Points Guy’, 49,000 points should be worth about $1,225. Am I missing something?
 

Bob Dylan

50+ Year Amtrak Rider
Joined
May 31, 2009
Messages
23,208
Location
Austin Texas
Are points being devalued by AGR?
Today (June 16, 2021) I booked a roomette from SAC to DEN, for September 2, 2 seniors for $656.
When I looked at cost for points it said 49,061. Seems like it should have been about 26,500.
According to ‘The Points Guy’, 49,000 points should be worth about $1,225. Am I missing something?
Remember, when it's close to a Holiday ( Labor Day) the Buckets go up and Points become worth Less,as Supply and Demand becomes the Ruling factor in Travel!

I did some test bookings for July Austin-Emeryville in Roomettes( TexasEagle/Sunset/Coast Starlight, or Texas Eagle/Thruway Van/Zephyr (on the days the Trains weren't Sold out,)the Lowest Roomette Trip I could book was $1789 Cash, 68,000 AGR! Points
 

nti1094

Service Attendant
Joined
Apr 9, 2015
Messages
104
What is with the almost impossible task of booking a room on pretty much any long distance train that is not sold out or some insane high price? I have been getting queries back on sone dates listing rooms on the LSL CHI to NYP at $1800 for example! Are they running fewer sleeping cars than the usual summer consists? I have noticed that the CONO has had only a single dorm car (or some days a regular superliner sleeper with rooms taken for the crew) lately, as opposed to the usual summer consist of Dorm and sleeper car. What are the other trains running?

Or is it that ridership has returned with a vengeance?
 

AmtrakBlue

Engineer
Gathering Team Member
Joined
May 6, 2011
Messages
12,644
Location
Delaware
Combination of things.
Superliner sleepers and coaches are going through rehab, so not as many are available right now
Yes, people are anxious to get out and travel, so demand is up for the fewer cars available
The greater the demand, the higher the prices
 
Top