Sunset Limited discussion

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Devil's Advocate

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I think that thread was a hypothetical, specifically out of the ones already daily. I think most here would rather see a daily Sunset before 2x daily anything else.
It's also possible that the Sunset Limited is a victim of its circumstances. It has a weaker schedule so fewer people use it or care about it. The Texas Eaglet may be going down a similar path with worse service leading to reduced interest and support.
 

Cal

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It's also possible that the Sunset Limited is a victim of its circumstances. It has a weaker schedule so fewer people use it or care about it. The Texas Eaglet may be going down a similar path with worse service leading to reduced interest and support.
I don't think it's schedule is too weak. It has fairly convenient running times at a good amount of major cities. Phoenix, San Antonio, and New Orleans going east are the main problems.
 

allanorn

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I don't think it's schedule is too weak. It has fairly convenient running times at a good amount of major cities. Phoenix, San Antonio, and New Orleans going east are the main problems.
Rolling into LAX before the roosters are crowing isn't convenient if you enjoy sleep. ;) Phoenix and San Antonio do get the short end of the scheduling straw though.

I would like to see the SL get daily service. I'd probably be happy with 5x/week service if daily isn't in demand yet. I do wonder about rolling stock availability if it does go daily.
 

Anthony V

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Rolling into LAX before the roosters are crowing isn't convenient if you enjoy sleep. ;) Phoenix and San Antonio do get the short end of the scheduling straw though.

I would like to see the SL get daily service. I'd probably be happy with 5x/week service if daily isn't in demand yet. I do wonder about rolling stock availability if it does go daily.
Making the Capitol Limited a single level train, along with rehabbing a few Sightseer Lounges, could free up enough Superliners to allow the Sunset Limited to go to daily service. That being said, infrastructure improvements along the route needed for daily service would still need to be funded, which may happen under the auspices of the FRA Daily Long Distance Service Study.
 

Sidney

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Making the Capitol Limited a single level train, along with rehabbing a few Sightseer Lounges, could free up enough Superliners to allow the Sunset Limited to go to daily service. That being said, infrastructure improvements along the route needed for daily service would still need to be funded, which may happen under the auspices of the FRA Daily Long Distance Service Study.
Without a Sightseer the Capitol Limited might as well go back to single level.
 

JWM

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This poor train dating back to the mid-1960's with Southern Pacific seems like an orphan. The route deserves daily service and a better arrival time in L.A. A common problem is on time performance which the freight railroads go ballistic every time it is brought up. Until substantial fines are levied for giving priority to freight trains the situation will continue. The Santa Fe, after the "Super Chief" and "El Capitan" were running in two sections on the same schedule (read holidays and summer), was able to get one section into Los Angeles a little early so the second arrived right on schedule. Oh, how we have regressed.
 

allanorn

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SL Track Work has been extended; I just received a call from Amtrak bumping my departure time from LAX back to 7:30pm.

Has anyone taken the SL/TE from LAX while track work has been in progress? If so, do they serve dinner? The Amtrak call rep said they should serve dinner as it's in the dinner window, but I want to confirm from someone who's been on the earlier train.
 

AmtrakBlue

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SL Track Work has been extended; I just received a call from Amtrak bumping my departure time from LAX back to 7:30pm.

Has anyone taken the SL/TE from LAX while track work has been in progress? If so, do they serve dinner? The Amtrak call rep said they should serve dinner as it's in the dinner window, but I want to confirm from someone who's been on the earlier train.
Yes. I had dinner on it Friday after leaving LAX.
 

Bob Dylan

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SL Track Work has been extended; I just received a call from Amtrak bumping my departure time from LAX back to 7:30pm.

Has anyone taken the SL/TE from LAX while track work has been in progress? If so, do they serve dinner? The Amtrak call rep said they should serve dinner as it's in the dinner window, but I want to confirm from someone who's been on the earlier train.
As Amtrak Blue said, they do serve Dinner on #2/#422, but I'd suggest you have a Late Lunch @ Philipe across from LAX. Just can't beat those Dip Sandwiches!🥰
 

allanorn

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As Amtrak Blue said, they do serve Dinner on #2/#422, but I'd suggest you have a Late Lunch @ Philipe across from LAX. Just can't beat those Dip Sandwiches!🥰
Gluten intolerant, and I was hoping to get dinner at Houston's in Pasadena with ice cream at Wanderlust Creamery. Guess I may have to skip out on that instead, which will incidentally help my wallet. :)

Thanks @AmtrakBlue for your reply!
 

NativeSon5859

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The train is now just running with one coach. It’s a measly 5 car consist SAS-NOL…baggage (probably lightly used), sleeper, diner, lounge, coach.

Something has to be done about this train. It has poor arrival times in both NOL and LAX, only one sleeper with rooms take by crew, and just a lone coach so everyone will be stuffed in there pretty tight.
 

Cal

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The train is now just running with one coach. It’s a measly 5 car consist SAS-NOL…baggage (probably lightly used), sleeper, diner, lounge, coach.

Something has to be done about this train. It has poor arrival times in both NOL and LAX, only one sleeper with rooms take by crew, and just a lone coach so everyone will be stuffed in there pretty tight.
It's been running with one coach for a while I believe. Although it still has traditional dining and an SSL so it's okay.

I don't think the fact that there is only one coach makes it any more tight than two coaches, as I'm pretty sure it's pretty full anyway. But the small capacity definitely isn't helping prices.
 

west point

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The train is now just running with one coach. It’s a measly 5 car consist SAS-NOL…baggage (probably lightly used), sleeper, diner, lounge, coach.

Something has to be done about this train. It has poor arrival times in both NOL and LAX, only one sleeper with rooms take by crew, and just a lone coach so everyone will be stuffed in there pretty tight.
90% full next train to NOL. Cannot even try to market the train with just 1 coach. Amtrak in most cases is not trying to market and of the LS trains.
 

marcoloco

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90% full next train to NOL. Cannot even try to market the train with just 1 coach. Amtrak in most cases is not trying to market and of the LS trains.
I'm the most frequent rider on the Sunset Limited, making 10 round trips anualy from HOS to LAX in the sleeper. Unfortunaly, this year (2023) is going to be horribly hard to get reservations, because the host railroad (UP) charges Amtrak by how many cars the carry in the consist. Also, we are going through another president of Amtrak like in the past, they are just interested in making themselves look good (That meaning the more they can cut expenses and make themselves look good on paper, the better). What they forget is us taxpayers are paying taxes to keep these trains running, some loose a little, others make money. Amtrak has PLENTY equipment and cars, make no mistake about it. Listen to me, I have almost a million miles traveled on Amtrak. Complain about it, you taxpayers voted back in 1971 to fund this system, it's a good idea, the ideal way to travel, but the lamebrains running it are it for themselves, not us taxpayers. Try getting sleep reservations right now form June, July or Augsust on the Sunset Limited, from NOL or HOS, everything already booked. Why not put on a additional sleeper for AT LEAST the peak travel months. Amtrak management ain't gonna do it. These are YOU taxpaying citizen's trains, not the head honchos of
Amtrak who just work there and want to make themselves look good on paper, like politicians
 

west point

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What is the source of information citing UP is charging by number of cars? As well if so any other routes or RRs? If so what a crock. As well minimum number of axels on a UP route?
 
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As far as I know the specifics of the individual railroads' Amtrak contracts are confidential. In any case they must be based on avoidable cost per the terms of the National Railroad Passenger Act. I can't really see additional cars where the payload is mostly air on a line that hosts heavy freight cars causing additional, justifiable "avoidable costs".

The more likely explanation is the equipment shortage caused by Amtrak tripping over its own shoelaces.
 

Railspike

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Arrived in Houston from LAX in which #2 was terminated in Houston last night 9 hrs late.

I've been riding pre-Amtrak and Amtrak trains for years. We were in a Superliner 1 sleeper. Our bedroom was missing its chair. Parts available from damaged cars? Carpeted walls were filthy. Amtrak is bound to have a better car for high-priced, so-called First Class service.
Just east of Del Rio we hit a pickup truck (Twitter said it was a "disabled vehicle") about 11 PM. We sat there for almost 9 hours waiting for a mechanical crew to come from San Antonio to fix the damaged brake line in the lead unit (#19). It was later determined that #19 couldn't be fixed on site and we would go forward with one locomotive. #19 was left on a nearby siding.
And then just east of East Bernard (about 45 minutes from Houston) a UP freight in front of us loses power. Add another 1.5 hours.
My wife said this trip could be her last.
 
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Arrived in Houston from LAX in which #2 was terminated in Houston last night 9 hrs late.

I've been riding pre-Amtrak and Amtrak trains for years. We were in a Superliner 1 sleeper. Our bedroom was missing its chair. Parts available from damaged cars? Carpeted walls were filthy. Amtrak is bound to have a better car for high-priced, so-called First Class service.
Just east of Del Rio we hit a pickup truck (Twitter said it was a "disabled vehicle") about 11 PM. We sat there for almost 9 hours waiting for a mechanical crew to come from San Antonio to fix the damaged brake line in the lead unit (#19). It was later determined that #19 couldn't be fixed on site and we would go forward with one locomotive. #19 was left on a nearby siding.
And then just east of East Bernard (about 45 minutes from Houston) a UP freight in front of us loses power. Add another 1.5 hours.
My wife said this trip could be her last.
Questions in my mind:
  1. Why did it take 9 hours to get a mechanical crew from San Antonio, which is a 3-hour drive away?
  2. If the train was able to proceed without the damaged engine, why didn't they do that in the first place, when they knew it would take 9 hours to get a mechanical crew?
 

Railspike

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Questions in my mind:
  1. Why did it take 9 hours to get a mechanical crew from San Antonio, which is a 3-hour drive away?
  2. If the train was able to proceed without the damaged engine, why didn't they do that in the first place, when they knew it would take 9 hours to get a mechanical crew?
We had the same questions.
 

Bob Dylan

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Questions in my mind:
  1. Why did it take 9 hours to get a mechanical crew from San Antonio, which is a 3-hour drive away?
  2. If the train was able to proceed without the damaged engine, why didn't they do that in the first place, when they knew it would take 9 hours to get a mechanical crew?
#2/#422 changes Engineers and Conductors in Alpine( 400 Miles West of SA)which are based in San Antonio.

Since a UP/ Amtrak Replacement Crew had to be rounded up in San Antonio to staff the Sunset, ( the original Crew timed out), it took awhile to notify the replacements, and then transport them to the location of the Sunset East of Del Rio, 150 Miles West of San Antonio.

Also, Law Enforcement had to release the Train after doing an investigation of the Accident which usually takes several Hours.( especially in Rural areas)
 
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