Why don't more "High Profile" people ride the train?

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Back during the “golden age” of rail passenger service, much of the prestige enjoyed by “extra fare” long distance trains such as the 20th Century Limited and the Super Chief was due to the “high profile” people who rode on them: movie stars & entertainers, captains of industry, prominent sports figures, world famous musicians, visiting royalty, leading scientists, educators, politicians, etc.

In a different thread, someone mentioned that they once encountered Lisa Minnelli in a sleeping car, so perhaps some celebrities still do ride the train. (The price of a bedroom on long-distance Amtrak trains is now to a point where traveling in one could almost be looked upon as a status symbol.)

We recognize that for many “high profile” people, their schedules require that they fly or drive. Also, that they expect to be accommodated in a manner to which they feel they are entitled re: meals, sleeping accommodations, service, etc.

Even so, if some of the “high profile” people of today - particularly those who champion using mass transportation to save the environment - would travel on Amtrak trains (even just on a token trip or two) it would certainly help to encourage more people to consider riding the train.

Your comments, please.
 
There is nothing in the Amtrak portfolio that would in the least attract a "high profile" traveler, at least LD, apart from the NEC (Acela). From the foul tempered dragons that guard the lounges, to the minimal snacks, the single file lines, to the crummy flip top toilets in the Viewliner sleepers, to the surly on board personnel (not all, just some of them), to the inconsistent service, to the flex "meals" (ok that is recent), to the terrible wines, the delays, the dirty windows and the rattling doors -- the product is anathema in every respect to what the pampered "high profile" traveler demands and expects.

Something, perhaps, like this: https://www.aviationnepal.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Emirates-first-class.jpg
 
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Are high profile travelers any different from regular travelers in this regard? Most people with enough disposable income will automatically consider drive or fly, and that's it.

I was one of those people. Now I better understand how train travel is way more environmentally friendly (and could be drastically so) as compared to flying.

I believe we need a large-scale change in thinking about transportation in this country. I have no doubt it won't happen, but it's going to take that society-level change before celebs are going to be on the Lake Shore Limited.
 
There is nothing in the Amtrak portfolio that would in the least attract a "high profile" traveler, at least LD, apart from the NEC (Acela). From the foul tempered dragons that guard the lounges, to the minimal snacks, the single file lines, to the crummy flip top toilets in the Viewliner sleepers, to the surly on board personnel (not all, just some of them), to the inconsistent service, to the flex "meals" (ok that is recent), to the terrible wines, the delays, the dirty windows and the rattling doors -- the product is anathema in every respect to what the pampered "high profile" traveler demands and expects.

Something, perhaps, like this: https://www.aviationnepal.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Emirates-first-class.jpg
Do you think Amtrak employees would behave and act this way towards some high-powered celebrity on their train? In regard to keeping their train clean and presentable, when we have company over, we make a best effort to clean up the house and make sure our bathroom is super clean and nice. Don’t you think that Amtrak personnel might show a little more pride in their work and ensure that everything on their train was also super clean and nice if they knew that a celebrity would be using the accommodations?
 
Do you think Amtrak employees would behave and act this way towards some high-powered celebrity on their train? In regard to keeping their train clean and presentable, when we have company over, we make a best effort to clean up the house and make sure our bathroom is super clean and nice. Don’t you think that Amtrak personnel might show a little more pride in their work and ensure that everything on their train was also super clean and nice if they knew that a celebrity would be using the accommodations?
I would hope not. They should not get any better service than the rest of the passengers. they paid the same fare as everyone else.....
 
High profile people do take the Acela.
Yeah, once a little while after 9/11, we were held up on the platform of union station one morning because a bunch of VIPs (There were cops, dogs, Men in Black, etc.) were preparing to board a Metroliner to go up to New York and see the wreckage. I later heard that Senator Hillary Clinton was part of the delegation.
 

What great threads. I had forgotten about them. I am sure we'l get more stories with this one. But in today's social media crazed world I would expect to see more photos of celebs aboard trains captured on Twitter and Facebook. Now they might be far more inclined to stay in their rooms for privacy.
 
Although we’ve read postings from people who have had encounters with rude and/or unprofessional SCAs and other Amtrak employees, we have never encountered any on our long-distance trips. In fact, most of the SCAs we’ve had went out of their way to make us feel like we, too, were “high profile” VIPs. The same goes for the conductors, ticket agents, Red Caps, and other station personnel we’ve had dealings with.

Other than the delays caused by the host railroads and/or the weather, traveling in a bedroom on a long-distance Amtrak train shouldn’t automatically be looked upon as something that the rich and famous would find demeaning.
 
A few years ago I spoke with an SCA on the Lake Shore Limited who told me of some of the stars he's taken care of. I think the LSL is a good train for that. He said a lot of Broadway performers made the trip. He had an album of mementos but never got around to showing it to me.
 
Is it safe for "celebs" to travel by Amtrak? Apart from the mainly crap standard of Amtrak service, do these folk not need to keep their distance from the general public?

Most Hollywood-type celebrities fly commercial flights... albeit usually in first class (but not always).

peter
 
There is nothing in the Amtrak portfolio that would in the least attract a "high profile" traveler, at least LD, apart from the NEC (Acela). From the foul tempered dragons that guard the lounges, to the minimal snacks, the single file lines, to the crummy flip top toilets in the Viewliner sleepers, to the surly on board personnel (not all, just some of them), to the inconsistent service, to the flex "meals" (ok that is recent), to the terrible wines, the delays, the dirty windows and the rattling doors -- the product is anathema in every respect to what the pampered "high profile" traveler demands and expects.

Something, perhaps, like this: https://www.aviationnepal.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Emirates-first-class.jpg

There have been attempts in the past by third party providers to appeal to a more demanding class of clients. For example Iowa Pacific running luxury cars on the CONL. Apparently there wasn't enough of a market.
 
Do you think Amtrak employees would behave and act this way towards some high-powered celebrity on their train?

Not everybody knows or recognizes every celebrity or CEO or sportsperson or whatever.

So the Amtrak employee must potentially be able to expect that any average person they deal with at any moment may be somebody famous or important.
 
I’ve sat next to or across from celebrities a few times when flying: a rapper that people took selfies with (I don’t know who it was), and plenty of politicians (two Senators, one of whom is regularly on a flight I take).

They fly for the same reason I do: usually it’s the fastest way to get from Point A to Point B.
 
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