What should Amtrak change?

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TheCrescent

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Amtrak should restore the Crescent’s schedule so that it leaves Atlanta to Greensboro (or part or that route) in the evening and arrives Washington to NYC in the morning.

I’ve flown out on the first flights of the morning from a few cities in the Carolinas, and they are packed full of frequent business travelers.

Amtrak is totally ignoring that market, but when the Crescent was privately run, that was its schedule. That private railroad surely ran its premier train on a schedule that maximized high-fare sleeping car revenues. Amtrak should do the same.

And Amtrak should have some kind of tie-in so that those passengers could get valuable miles or points from the trip (not AGR) and have a space at the station to get work done (not the derelict stations that scare off business travelers).
 

rs9

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Dec 26, 2021
Messages
218
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Chicago
I still think that Amtrak is seen as a second-rate/second-priority mode of transportation in the US and doesn't get the attention it rightfully deserves. It's interesting that in the midst of finger-pointing polluting modes of transportation, not much journalism challenges the maritime world, the biggest cause of transportation emissions. It kinda does with the automotive industry but goes to town on aviation's relatively small footprint. OK, its small footprint has a fairly big effect. But instead of penalizing these industries, which only passes the buck down to us travelers, how about focusing on the one transportation industry that is the most efficient and pollutes the least, rail?

I need to go from Savannah to Hampton, VA. The train route would have been miserable. I enjoy traveling by train even if it takes four times as long, but the long connections made no sense to me. And yes, I understand the challenges in long-distance train coordination. I decided to fly, even if it means going through the dreaded Atlanta airport and raising my carbon footprint by flying 50 minutes in most likely a B757 from Savannah to Atlanta, not the most efficient plane for this.

Again, it boils down to each and every one of us to write our so-called elected representatives and remind them of what rail transportation means to us and our society. Maybe then they'll remember that we're the important ones to focus on, not the vested interest lobbies banging on their doors.

Grumble, grumble, grumble...
In regard to your comment, I can perhaps offer some unique insight as a person whose New Years' resolution for '22 was to abandon air travel for Amtrak travel as much as possible to reduce my carbon footprint.

My attitude toward this has gone from: well, this will be something exciting and new to understanding that travel by Amtrak is just not a normal thing in this country, and that has consequences. By that, I'm not complaining about on-board service - and I travel in coach, for what it's worth. It's more that at least in this juncture in time, Amtrak service seems to be subject to the whims of the gods more than, say, air travel, and one has to keep that in mind for the timeliness of reaching their final destination.

If I wasn't naturally interested in transportation and wanted to learn more about Amtrak, I probably would have been left in a lurch a couple times this year. A LSL ROC-BOC trip was cancelled without any notice. I only knew because I come to this message board. I was able to book a flight for a reasonable price, but without advance notice I would have paid substantially more.

I had business class tickets on the LSL CHI-ALB and ALB-CHI for August '22. When business class service was removed from the LSL, there was no notification. For all intents and purposes, I didn't have tickets for the train. Again, because I'm on this message board, I knew to call and get it taken care of.

I think what I've learned this year, especially as a solo traveler in coach, is that Amtrak in many ways is "every man for himself." You gotta figure out how to get yourself from Point A to Point B in a comfortable, relaxing way. Amtrak isn't going to go any further than providing the physical train to get you there.

This is probably a vague way to address "what should Amtrak change?", but hopefully it's insightful enough.
 

jis

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Amtrak should restore the Crescent’s schedule so that it leaves Atlanta to Greensboro (or part or that route) in the evening and arrives Washington to NYC in the morning.

I’ve flown out on the first flights of the morning from a few cities in the Carolinas, and they are packed full of frequent business travelers.

Amtrak is totally ignoring that market, but when the Crescent was privately run, that was its schedule. That private railroad surely ran its premier train on a schedule that maximized high-fare sleeping car revenues. Amtrak should do the same.

And Amtrak should have some kind of tie-in so that those passengers could get valuable miles or points from the trip (not AGR) and have a space at the station to get work done (not the derelict stations that scare off business travelers).
I agree that making all points transfers to other programs which was generously allowed during the Chase Card days very difficult if not impossible made the whole thing a little less attractive. The direct link with an international airline was even better.

I also agree that Amtrak should seriously renegotiate at least the NYP ATL segment schedule for the Crescent to restore it to what it was before the most recent change and remove those absurd ridiculous NEC milk run stops.
 
Joined
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Baltimore. MD
stations probably being the first you might see some action on.
In fact, they're being busy beavers in Baltimore working on a new platform and have the old station in scaffolding, doing some sort of work I can't see. The plan also includes a whole new station building on the other side of the tracks.

Also, they're quite busy at Washington Union Station with the track 22 project, although that may have been started before the Infrastructure Bill was passed, as I recall seeing construction in progress in June 2021.
 
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. . . and remove those absurd ridiculous NEC milk run stops.
To do that, they're going to have to reinstate the Northeast Regionals they cut during Covid. I think they're using the long-distance trains to cover for some of the New York - Washington corridor service. I've also been noticing that a much larger percentage of Northeast Regionals are being run through to/from Virginia than was the case before Covid. Also, before the pandemic, during the day, they would run Northeast Regionals pretty much hourly with an accompanying Acela. (Northbound Acelas would leave Washington on the hour, and the Regionals would leave 5-10 minutes later.) Now, while the service is technically hourly, it's because the alternate Regionals and Acelas, so you might have to spring for an Acela if you want to arrive at a particular time. The Regionals are getting more crowded, it would probably make sense to increase the number of departures.

I'm not a fan of riding the long-distance trains in the corridor because northbound, they can be delayed by CSX or NS, which happened to me on my way home from the Gathering in 2021, when I had to connect from my 6-hour late Capitol Limited to the Palmetto, which was half an hour late. Southbound they can be delayed because of the fussing of the attendants assigning seats at each stop caused excessive dwell time and late running, as I found riding the Crescent from New York to Baltimore in 2021.
 
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Santa Rosa
I wonder if it might be possible for Amtrak to run a pilot test regarding having a 2nd run, in each direction, for a long distance train. I've read many posts, on this and on other railroad forums, suggesting a 2nd train could produce a significant enhancement in revenue as well as be popular and appreciated by Amtrak passengers. It would be important, no doubt, to choose the right Amtrak train and have the pilot run during the best ridership months, probably during peak summer months for most trains.

My choice for the pilot test would be the Empire Builder for May through September. I have read where Whitefish, MT is the most popular stop, during the summer, for the Builder. Maybe the 2 runs, in each direction, could look like this:

#7 Westbound

Train A: Leave Chicago @ 1:00 PM (2 hrs earlier than the present schedule). Arrive into MSP 9:00 PM. Leave MSP @ 9:00 PM & arrive at Whitefish, MT @ 8:00 PM the next day. Leave WF @ 8:00 PM & arrive into SEA/PDX at 10:00 AM the next day.

Train B: Leave Chicago @ 9 AM & arrive into MSP @ 5:00 PM. Leave MSP @ 5:00 PM and arrive into Whitefish @ 4:00 PM the next day. Leave Whitefish @ 4:00 PM & arrive into SEA/PDX @ 6:00 AM the next day.

#8 Eastbound

Train A: Keep the schedule the same.

Train B: Leave SEA/PDX @ 8 PM. Arrive Whitefish @ 9:00 AM. Leave Whitefish @ 9:00 AM & arrive into MSP @ 8:00 AM the next day. Leave MSP @ 8:00 am & arrive into Chicago @ 4:00 PM.

If have not figured in the time for stopovers in various towns and cities, just for simplistic's sake.

I think Westbound Train A could leave @ 1:00 PM as most of the possible connecting trains, from the east, get in by 10:30 AM to 11:00 AM. It might be a little dicey for passenger wanting to make the connection from the Wolverine and Blue Water trains. In that case, #7 Train B would be a problem. Passengers wanting to make that connection, from the east, would have to lay over in Chicago.

One advantage is that all 4 runs would have the Builder going through Glacier Park during daylight. Westbound Train A would have some dark hours through Glacier, but probably mostly daylight during the summer months.

One of my biggest gripes, regarding Amtrak, is their constant inability to try new ideas and see what advantages may result from those new ideas. If Amtrak tried 2 trains, in both directions, they could just abandon the idea with negative results.

My idea may be (and probably is) hypothetical hokum. However, if nothing else, I would like to see the Westbound train #7 start out from Chicago at 1 PM. It now gets into Whitefish at 10 PM. I am planning a trip on the Builder, during next July, a round trip from Portland. A 10 PM boarding time, in Whitefish, for the return is just too late.

Richard
 

PaTrainFan

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I wonder if it might be possible for Amtrak to run a pilot test regarding having a 2nd run, in each direction, for a long distance train. I've read many posts, on this and on other railroad forums, suggesting a 2nd train could produce a significant enhancement in revenue as well as be popular and appreciated by Amtrak passengers. It would be important, no doubt, to choose the right Amtrak train and have the pilot run during the best ridership months, probably during peak summer months for most trains.

My choice for the pilot test would be the Empire Builder for May through September. I have read where Whitefish, MT is the most popular stop, during the summer, for the Builder. Maybe the 2 runs, in each direction, could look like this:

#7 Westbound

Train A: Leave Chicago @ 1:00 PM (2 hrs earlier than the present schedule). Arrive into MSP 9:00 PM. Leave MSP @ 9:00 PM & arrive at Whitefish, MT @ 8:00 PM the next day. Leave WF @ 8:00 PM & arrive into SEA/PDX at 10:00 AM the next day.

Train B: Leave Chicago @ 9 AM & arrive into MSP @ 5:00 PM. Leave MSP @ 5:00 PM and arrive into Whitefish @ 4:00 PM the next day. Leave Whitefish @ 4:00 PM & arrive into SEA/PDX @ 6:00 AM the next day.

#8 Eastbound

Train A: Keep the schedule the same.

Train B: Leave SEA/PDX @ 8 PM. Arrive Whitefish @ 9:00 AM. Leave Whitefish @ 9:00 AM & arrive into MSP @ 8:00 AM the next day. Leave MSP @ 8:00 am & arrive into Chicago @ 4:00 PM.

If have not figured in the time for stopovers in various towns and cities, just for simplistic's sake.

I think Westbound Train A could leave @ 1:00 PM as most of the possible connecting trains, from the east, get in by 10:30 AM to 11:00 AM. It might be a little dicey for passenger wanting to make the connection from the Wolverine and Blue Water trains. In that case, #7 Train B would be a problem. Passengers wanting to make that connection, from the east, would have to lay over in Chicago.

One advantage is that all 4 runs would have the Builder going through Glacier Park during daylight. Westbound Train A would have some dark hours through Glacier, but probably mostly daylight during the summer months.

One of my biggest gripes, regarding Amtrak, is their constant inability to try new ideas and see what advantages may result from those new ideas. If Amtrak tried 2 trains, in both directions, they could just abandon the idea with negative results.

My idea may be (and probably is) hypothetical hokum. However, if nothing else, I would like to see the Westbound train #7 start out from Chicago at 1 PM. It now gets into Whitefish at 10 PM. I am planning a trip on the Builder, during next July, a round trip from Portland. A 10 PM boarding time, in Whitefish, for the return is just too late.

Richard
Where is the equipment going to come from?
 
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If I were going to pilot a test for a second frequency of a long-distance train, I think I would pick the Lake Shore Limited. It's already pretty successful and has a lot of large intermediate cities to generate traffic. The other frequencies, in fact, would be able to call on the large cities in Ohio during more normal times of the day. In fact, I believe that advocates have even put together proposed schedules for additional frequencies in the corridor. Of course, doing this would depend on having additional equipment that's currently non-existent, but a single night train would require less equipment than a 2-nighter.

Another possibility could be a day train between Washington and Atlanta using the Crescent route that would call on the stations in the Carolinas during the day instead of in the middle of the night. Maybe also a companion to the Palmetto that would serve Raleigh and (especially) Columbia during daytime hours.
 

LMC

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Dec 2, 2022
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Albuquerque
This forum complains a lot about Amtrak. Though I think we all share a love of what we have been given (no matter how much it may test our love), we will all admit that the company has its shortcomings.

I think most on this forum would agree however, that many of Amtrak’s issues do actually stem from being starved of cash. Moreover, Amtrak is forced to do what most other transportation modes are incapable of doing. Run a company, and pay for most of its infrastructure. Now however, Amtrak is flush with cash, and poised to make some monumental changes.

Therefore, what are three major things you would change, or actions that you would take, post 66 billion to improve Amtrak on the whole? Let’s try to avoid too much talk of dining (we have 100 pages of that already).
This is such a GREAT question...
First of all, I would say that Amtrak would be my preferred mode of travel -- except for these three things... (spoiler alert, dining is on this menu anyway).

Amtrak has an opportunity to shine even brighter for a larger population of US travelers. How can they do this? First, let's look at the demographics of who now travels by train from economy to rooms. Second, let's look at other nations who have excellent train service. Third, let's look at the gaps from work commutes to pleasure.

This forum complains a lot about Amtrak. Though I think we all share a love of what we have been given (no matter how much it may test our love), we will all admit that the company has its shortcomings.

I think most on this forum would agree however, that many of Amtrak’s issues do actually stem from being starved of cash. Moreover, Amtrak is forced to do what most other transportation modes are incapable of doing. Run a company, and pay for most of its infrastructure. Now however, Amtrak is flush with cash, and poised to make some monumental changes.

Therefore, what are three major things you would change, or actions that you would take, post 66 billion to improve Amtrak on the whole? Let’s try to avoid too much talk of dining (we have 100 pages of that already)


1) Demographics... most are male and white with a normal fast food dietary pattern.

To improve demographics, one could focus on who isn't traveling and add amenities to reach these groups.

Coach economy: Amtrak could reach a higher demographic of traveler by emphasizing it is a smaller carbon footprint for travel, it is relaxing, and cheap. It is typically clean, not as crowded as a flight. A business executive could work during the commute. ~having a rental car business close or a cooperative agreement would be beneficial.

Premium Services: Roomettes, rooms, etc. Room and Roomette configuration. There should be some form of better plug ins, lighting, and use of space. The closets are useless. There should be room for 2 bags in the smallest roomette. Solo female travelers would really take advantage of this travel if a few more items were in place. The rooms are outdated.

The food is horrible, especially for those with food issues like gluten sensitivity -- approximately 30% of the US -- 4% for medical diagnoses and 10% for medical reasons, the rest is preference are gluten free. While 1/3 of the nation eats gluten free, Amtrak chooses to not train staff nor have any food available for gluten free eaters for long commutes on premium services. Many now are shifting to a more low carb preference, especially those who are diabetic (about 20% of the nation's population) again, no options. This rules out a large portion of premium commuters who opt for other travel services. If Amtrak wants to improve the demographics they do need to focus on the food options. Premium services includes taking care of their longer commuters basic needs. People will travel if they are truly comfortable and open their wallets if they feel comfortable.


2. Comparsions -- European trains focuses on both economy and premium service. It is easy to get car rental at train stops. The seats are as comfortable in economy as the US (my opinion). Their premium service is truly premium with room comfort and dining. They do offer gluten-free, diabetic, and other options if booked 24 hours in advance. It isn't hard. It can be kept gluten-free in sealed packages and reheated. A good gluten free meal doesn't have to be highly processed and low class... but can be desireable to all customers if it is made delicious. I have purchased catering for many large high-end events where we only did gluten free and those gluten eaters didn't even care because it it was just delicious food.

Another note: European trains seem to have less "sway" and faster speeds. Not sure if this is an actual "rail size issue or the type of train.

3. Lastly, the gaps. In addition to the other improvements, a large focus on why travel trains campaign is important. The economy of train commuting is better on our carbon footprint. It is convenient. It is cost effective. It is pleasurable travel. You can still be work productive or just enjoy time with your companion. Improving train travel isn't rocket science, but the advertising for better travel needs to warrant a change in behavior by reflecting a truly stellar product that reaches some of your gap customers. In other words, revisit points 1 & 2.
 
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skylar

Train Attendant
Joined
Nov 25, 2022
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30
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Seattle, WA
I wonder if it might be possible for Amtrak to run a pilot test regarding having a 2nd run, in each direction, for a long distance train. I've read many posts, on this and on other railroad forums, suggesting a 2nd train could produce a significant enhancement in revenue as well as be popular and appreciated by Amtrak passengers. It would be important, no doubt, to choose the right Amtrak train and have the pilot run during the best ridership months, probably during peak summer months for most trains.

My choice for the pilot test would be the Empire Builder for May through September. I have read where Whitefish, MT is the most popular stop, during the summer, for the Builder. Maybe the 2 runs, in each direction, could look like this:

#7 Westbound

Train A: Leave Chicago @ 1:00 PM (2 hrs earlier than the present schedule). Arrive into MSP 9:00 PM. Leave MSP @ 9:00 PM & arrive at Whitefish, MT @ 8:00 PM the next day. Leave WF @ 8:00 PM & arrive into SEA/PDX at 10:00 AM the next day.

Train B: Leave Chicago @ 9 AM & arrive into MSP @ 5:00 PM. Leave MSP @ 5:00 PM and arrive into Whitefish @ 4:00 PM the next day. Leave Whitefish @ 4:00 PM & arrive into SEA/PDX @ 6:00 AM the next day.

#8 Eastbound

Train A: Keep the schedule the same.

Train B: Leave SEA/PDX @ 8 PM. Arrive Whitefish @ 9:00 AM. Leave Whitefish @ 9:00 AM & arrive into MSP @ 8:00 AM the next day. Leave MSP @ 8:00 am & arrive into Chicago @ 4:00 PM.

If have not figured in the time for stopovers in various towns and cities, just for simplistic's sake.

I think Westbound Train A could leave @ 1:00 PM as most of the possible connecting trains, from the east, get in by 10:30 AM to 11:00 AM. It might be a little dicey for passenger wanting to make the connection from the Wolverine and Blue Water trains. In that case, #7 Train B would be a problem. Passengers wanting to make that connection, from the east, would have to lay over in Chicago.

One advantage is that all 4 runs would have the Builder going through Glacier Park during daylight. Westbound Train A would have some dark hours through Glacier, but probably mostly daylight during the summer months.

One of my biggest gripes, regarding Amtrak, is their constant inability to try new ideas and see what advantages may result from those new ideas. If Amtrak tried 2 trains, in both directions, they could just abandon the idea with negative results.

My idea may be (and probably is) hypothetical hokum. However, if nothing else, I would like to see the Westbound train #7 start out from Chicago at 1 PM. It now gets into Whitefish at 10 PM. I am planning a trip on the Builder, during next July, a round trip from Portland. A 10 PM boarding time, in Whitefish, for the return is just too late.

Richard

Given the current equipment shortages, I wonder if a smaller-scale test would be better, with twice-daily service between the large cities at the termini - SEA/PDX-SPK and CHI-MSP? That would allow for more reasonable arrivals/departures from the intermediate cities, where both Spokane and Minneapolis have arrivals late at night even when on-time, and wouldn't require sleepers since the entire trip could be done during the day.

Skylar
 

railiner

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I wonder if it might be possible for Amtrak to run a pilot test regarding having a 2nd run, in each direction, for a long distance train. I've read many posts, on this and on other railroad forums, suggesting a 2nd train could produce a significant enhancement in revenue as well as be popular and appreciated by Amtrak passengers. It would be important, no doubt, to choose the right Amtrak train and have the pilot run during the best ridership months, probably during peak summer months for most trains.

My choice for the pilot test would be the Empire Builder for May through September. I have read where Whitefish, MT is the most popular stop, during the summer, for the Builder. Maybe the 2 runs, in each direction, could look like this:

#7 Westbound

Train A: Leave Chicago @ 1:00 PM (2 hrs earlier than the present schedule). Arrive into MSP 9:00 PM. Leave MSP @ 9:00 PM & arrive at Whitefish, MT @ 8:00 PM the next day. Leave WF @ 8:00 PM & arrive into SEA/PDX at 10:00 AM the next day.

Train B: Leave Chicago @ 9 AM & arrive into MSP @ 5:00 PM. Leave MSP @ 5:00 PM and arrive into Whitefish @ 4:00 PM the next day. Leave Whitefish @ 4:00 PM & arrive into SEA/PDX @ 6:00 AM the next day.

#8 Eastbound

Train A: Keep the schedule the same.

Train B: Leave SEA/PDX @ 8 PM. Arrive Whitefish @ 9:00 AM. Leave Whitefish @ 9:00 AM & arrive into MSP @ 8:00 AM the next day. Leave MSP @ 8:00 am & arrive into Chicago @ 4:00 PM.

If have not figured in the time for stopovers in various towns and cities, just for simplistic's sake.

I think Westbound Train A could leave @ 1:00 PM as most of the possible connecting trains, from the east, get in by 10:30 AM to 11:00 AM. It might be a little dicey for passenger wanting to make the connection from the Wolverine and Blue Water trains. In that case, #7 Train B would be a problem. Passengers wanting to make that connection, from the east, would have to lay over in Chicago.

One advantage is that all 4 runs would have the Builder going through Glacier Park during daylight. Westbound Train A would have some dark hours through Glacier, but probably mostly daylight during the summer months.

One of my biggest gripes, regarding Amtrak, is their constant inability to try new ideas and see what advantages may result from those new ideas. If Amtrak tried 2 trains, in both directions, they could just abandon the idea with negative results.

My idea may be (and probably is) hypothetical hokum. However, if nothing else, I would like to see the Westbound train #7 start out from Chicago at 1 PM. It now gets into Whitefish at 10 PM. I am planning a trip on the Builder, during next July, a round trip from Portland. A 10 PM boarding time, in Whitefish, for the return is just too late.

Richard
I like your suggestion, but I always thought that the best timetable would make the gaps between multiple schedules even...thus 12 hours between 2 schedules, 8 hours between 3 schedules, etc., with perhaps some 'tweaks' to account for other traffic, or operating hours, or connections...🤷‍♂️
 

zetharion

Service Attendant
AU Supporting Member
Joined
May 15, 2022
Messages
109
Location
Dallas
Another thing I would like Amtrak to change is allow us to tip using our freakin cards. A LOT of people carry either very little or no cash on them anymore. I know thats asking a LOT from Amtrak's 1970's computer system but it is possible.
 

TheCrescent

OBS Chief
Joined
Jun 24, 2020
Messages
550
If Amtrak made it easier to sleep in sleeping car rooms, I’d take Amtrak more.

1. Thicker, more comfortable mattresses. Maybe that can’t be done; if so, having a memory foam top for each bed would help. It’s hard to sleep on a hard mattress because every vibration of the train can be felt.

2. More pillows. I had only one in my room on a recent trip.

3. Less light coming into the rooms. Can’t Amtrak have motion-sensor lighting in sleeping car corridors at night, instead of having the lights on all night? And maybe shades instead of curtains? If that can’t be done, maybe Amtrak could have eye masks available on board?
 

LMC

Joined
Dec 2, 2022
Messages
5
Location
Albuquerque
Sometimes traveling by train makes sense from a business perspective if one can work on the train.
For the premium seats, however, it is really about offering quality amenities. This is just like a plane. The difference in airplanes can be the difference between Qatar or Spirit. What does Amtrak want to aim toward... Qatar or Spirit? Is it a hot towel and a wonderful meal with travel as an experience or do they just want to cram as many butts in a seat as possible and focus on ridership as a number. The latter will not sell well.

I thing broadening the reach of the people that are looking at the amenities. Adding comfort and workability to the train. A train should give the feeling of a bit of luxury. In some trains, I will admit, it can feel more like a hostel.

Internet is problematic on the train, but most of us tether when needed anyway. On one 3 day trip, I was able to plug away just like at the office (remote work is sorta easy for my jobs). My productivity stayed, and yet, I got to my destination relaxed and not airport rushed. I was able to sleep without the hotel hassle.

People who buy economy seats are getting a great deal on the train at this moment. However, there is room for improvement. More comfortable seats than most economy planes and the ability to work, walk around and stretch your legs. It isn't fast, but it is more comfortable. It is much easier than sitting in traffic between DC and Philly or other major metropolis lines.

For business, the train can make a lot of sense. It depends on how you plan for it.
 

zephyr17

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Jul 23, 2009
Messages
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Washington State
. Less light coming into the rooms. Can’t Amtrak have motion-sensor lighting in sleeping car corridors at night, instead of having the lights on all night?
Many Superliner IIs still have the older, dim-ish hallway lighting. The old dimmer lighting plus the old blackout curtains kept light out very well.

The much lower aisle lighting is one of the reasons I am always delighted when I draw a Superliner II, despite their worn, shabby looking interiors and spraying faucets.

They went to the current, super bright "nuclear dawn" LED lighting on the Superliner I refurbish and both generations of Viewliners (although the V Is might have been florescents). At about the same time they got rid of the blackout curtains and replaced them with the thin curtains we see today.

These are the things that happen when decisions are made by people who have no familiarity with the actual product.
 

danasgoodstuff

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Jun 23, 2021
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456
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PDX
The food is horrible,
On the western trains since traditional dining is back, the food is most certainly not horrible. Up to date with contemporary tastes and good for various dietary restrictions, maybe not. But I found the food on the western trains to be very good indeed on my extended trips this year on the Empire Builder, and even east of Chicago it was nowhere near as bad as it is often made out to be here.
 

Bob Dylan

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Austin Texas
On the western trains since traditional dining is back, the food is most certainly not horrible. Up to date with contemporary tastes and good for various dietary restrictions, maybe not. But I found the food on the western trains to be very good indeed on my extended trips this year on the Empire Builder, and even east of Chicago it was nowhere near as bad as it is often made out to be here.
But you're comparing Traditional Dining to Flex Food( which most of the Food Complaints are about), which is No contest with Traditional Dining Winning by a Mile!
 
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danasgoodstuff

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Jun 23, 2021
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456
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But you're comparing Traditional Dining to Flex Food( which most of the Food Complaints are about), which is No contest with Traditiinal Dining Winning by a Mile!
No, I'm comparing them each to the blanket assertion that 'the food is horrible', for once I wasn't comparing them to each other.
 

TheCrescent

OBS Chief
Joined
Jun 24, 2020
Messages
550
Amtrak should offer a pre-departure drink (or a drink upon departure) to sleeping car passengers.

Airlines usually give pre-departure drinks in first class, but on Amtrak, you have to wait until the cafe car opens to buy one, and you have to wait until dinner is served to get a complimentary one. That means potentially several hours of waiting.
 
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