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Train Jam CZ Feb 23


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#61 Train2104

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Posted 25 February 2017 - 10:03 PM

Going thur the Tweets.

Common issues were food service short coming.
Lack of showers.
Lack of flat sleeping.


Hopefully the organization will share feed back with Amtrak. A simple post trip survey would be sweet.

 

Why would food service be an issue if the train has the same number of passengers onboard when it's sold out in the summer? The constant-snacking endemic to hackathons?

 

Given that there were coach seats at the end and roomettes sold out ridiculously early, it would make more sense for Amtrak to add more sleepers next year, charge the group more for them, and have the group pass the cost on to the rider. Heck, given the fact that the majority of the crowd is young people you probably don't even need extra attendants. When I took my first sleeper ride last year on the CZ in the transdorm, I never made use of the attendant's (personal) services, I just figured the bed out on my own. And in retrospect, that was probably a good idea, since getting everything out of the way to enable the beds to move was hard enough with one of us working and the other squeezing out of the way.



#62 Just-Thinking-51

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Posted 25 February 2017 - 10:32 PM

 
Why would food service be an issue if the train has the same number of passengers onboard when it's sold out in the summer? The constant-snacking endemic to hackathons?


A) Few trains start full and stay full for entire trip.

B) Tweets are not very scientific.

Long lines for coffee, long lines for breakfast, and Food runs by passengers at stops, were mentioned

Standard issues on full trains. Things to work on.

Amtrak put some work into this train. Summer time train length. Extra Lounge. Pressure on the host (it seems).
Pressure to get rested crews. Even had a snow plow leading the way for a bit. Not truly certain but it seem someone in the chain of command want a good run for this group. It help they have a sponsored event, not just mob traveling.

So my OP was about get this group a great experience, and looks like they did. It does not mean it can be not be better next year. Or that there was nothing to improve upon.


.

Edited by Just-Thinking-51, 25 February 2017 - 10:35 PM.


#63 west point

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Posted 25 February 2017 - 10:48 PM

This CAL Z situation really brings up the question of lack of equipment. Not enough equipment to run an extra section ? RR agreement and crew availability a question. Run extra equipment on rear / front of train . Probably front but what of Denver back in and may not be able to clear north end interlocking(s) ? EMY should be long enough ? What about any servicing needed enroute including 1000 mile inspection ?
Then the inability to cover the cancellations of CAL Z by SW Chief and Coast Starlight ? Here it is low travel season and Amtrak unable to meet any surge fleet needs ?

#64 Thirdrail7

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Posted 25 February 2017 - 11:12 PM

The only other working plan would be to run it as a special train with either Amtrak equipment or PVs. But like Third Rail said BNSF and UP are not required to handle the train. But it would be guaranteed revenue as well.

 

 

This CAL Z situation really brings up the question of lack of equipment. Not enough equipment to run an extra section ? RR agreement and crew availability a question. Run extra equipment on rear / front of train . Probably front but what of Denver back in and may not be able to clear north end interlocking(s) ? EMY should be long enough ? What about any servicing needed enroute including 1000 mile inspection ?
Then the inability to cover the cancellations of CAL Z by SW Chief and Coast Starlight ? Here it is low travel season and Amtrak unable to meet any surge fleet needs ?

 

 

These two are semi-related so I'll address them at the same time. A lack of a surge fleet does not mean that there isn't the ability to run an extra section nor does it mean an extra section is guaranteed revenue. At what point do you price yourself out of contention? Adding additional train may not only meet resistance with the hosts, but it may also hinder the groups ability to travel.  One of the things that makes this train palatable to the group is it is an existing train. The crew is in place, the equipment is in place, the schedule is in place and the operating agreement is in place.  It is one thing to spring for a few attendants. It is another to spring for 2400 miles of diesels, fuel, crews and host fees.

 

That may drive them away from the train. While some may say "so be it" and "if they want to take over an entire train, they should pay for the entire operation," you may have turned away years over future revenue. The seeds that were planted for this trip have germinated. Hopefully, it will blossom into a yearly tradition and you can have a train that is full, end to end.

 

Furthermore, there is still a limit on cars through Denver, so it isn't just a matter of adding additional equipment to an existing train.

 

 

It was definitely interesting watching this train progress. It was up an hour at its peak before running into the snowy areas. It fell behind due to the plowing operations observed by Rover. 


They say laughter is the best medicine. Obviously they never posted on AU.


#65 Tennessee Traveler

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Posted 25 February 2017 - 11:26 PM

I not sure this was the full summer consist.  When I observed the train on MH Cam as it departed Chicago it appeared to be the Winter consist(two sleepers and two coaches) with the extra SSL at the end.  I am assuming this equipment will turn and be the CZ 6 departing Emeryville tomorrow 2/26.  

 

Not related, but in watching the Galesburg Railroad Museum cams tonight the 6 hour late CZ 6 arriving today had three extra coaches at the end.  I don't know if those coaches had passengers.  Since the doors did not open in Galesburg stop, I assume they were dead heading back to Chicago.  



#66 Triley

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Posted 26 February 2017 - 01:05 AM

I not sure this was the full summer consist.  When I observed the train on MH Cam as it departed Chicago it appeared to be the Winter consist(two sleepers and two coaches) with the extra SSL at the end.  I am assuming this equipment will turn and be the CZ 6 departing Emeryville tomorrow 2/26.  


Very wrong. Transdorm, two sleepers, diner, lounge, three coaches, lounge.

And yes, it will be returning as 6(26). No the extra lounge will not be in service.

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#67 chakk

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Posted 26 February 2017 - 03:16 AM

Trains can and do sell out.

This group is now big enough to book a full length peak summer time trainset. There was a question of if any seats were available this year, and unlike early Train Jams, this year is No. They booked the full trainset.

So unlike the safety patrol which can't book early due to school board issues. This group can book 11 month and one day early before the tickets are even seen by the public.

Train sold out. It happens.


And it sold out in 30 minutes after the first coach seats and sleeper berths went on sale last November.

#68 chakk

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Posted 26 February 2017 - 03:33 AM

Years ago, when I rode the city bus to work, one dark rainy winter morning, it was raining, and the scheduled bus that I would have liked to have boarded, just passed me by. You see, although it was scheduled, it was full that morning, without nary a seat, or even a standing space available. Sometime scheduled transportation gets sold out.
 
Sometimes regularly scheduled transportation gets sold out, for whatever reason.
 
As to Amtrak, until the US Govt. gets serious about long distance double-tracked rail, what do you expect??
 
<snip<imo.



Similar thing happened to me in the Colorado Rockies a few years ago. Although I had a confirmed ticket in hand, a Greyhound driver refused to let me board his bus to get to Denver for a flight home that evening. He said all seats were occupied and he would not permit me to sit in the aisle or stairwell. So, I caught a greyhound going the opposite direction 20 minutes later to Glenwood Springs, where I caught the CZ to my home state. And that bus driver let me ride for free.

In the case of Train Jam, I feel 100% certain that no passenger who held a confirmed seat on 5(23) was denied boarding. The train was SOLD OUT, and Amtrak web site said so in no uncertain terms. I am also certain that no Amtrak phone agent circumvented their own rules about SOLD OUT trains to provide a ticket to someone to board said SOLD OUT train.


Edited by chakk, 15 March 2017 - 09:10 PM.


#69 Rover

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Posted 26 February 2017 - 04:39 PM

Why can't Amtrak accommodate the Train Jam with three engines to pull more sleepers. Isn't that what the CZ used to run back in the day anyway??? (I saw a freight train come through Truckee this afternoon with 9 engines..) I feel like Amtrak would just prefer the NW Corridor... but would like to dump all LD routes. The Govt. run passenger rail system in the US is not up to 1st world standards, is it??


Edited by Rover, 26 February 2017 - 05:22 PM.

I've ridden: ~ The Empire Builder 1981 ~ The Coast Starlight 1981 ~ The Texas Eagle ~ The Sunset Limited ~
Books: ~ Time-Life - The Old West ~ The Railroaders * Rail Ventures - 4th Edition

 

I think it is absolute mythology that there's any national system that is profitable. And I think the naysayers just have to get over it. ~ Amtrak President Alex Kummant ~ June 2008

 


#70 chakk

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Posted 26 February 2017 - 11:18 PM

The rebuilt Denver station does not have platforms long enough to hold a train with three more passenger cars.

The train would have to be split in two in the yard and the two sections brought in to separate tracks.

#71 Rover

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Posted 27 February 2017 - 06:57 AM

The rebuilt Denver station does not have platforms long enough to hold a train with three more passenger cars.

The train would have to be split in two in the yard and the two sections brought in to separate tracks.

 

Infrastructure!! :angry2:


I've ridden: ~ The Empire Builder 1981 ~ The Coast Starlight 1981 ~ The Texas Eagle ~ The Sunset Limited ~
Books: ~ Time-Life - The Old West ~ The Railroaders * Rail Ventures - 4th Edition

 

I think it is absolute mythology that there's any national system that is profitable. And I think the naysayers just have to get over it. ~ Amtrak President Alex Kummant ~ June 2008

 


#72 Just-Thinking-51

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Posted 14 March 2017 - 11:36 AM

Train Jam 2018 is booking the CZ leave Chicago on March 15th.

Mark your calendars. Train Jam will return March 15-17, 2018. Tickets will go on sale Later this year! 🚂🚂🚂🚂


Now this how you do it. Book the train before the tickets go on sale to the general public. If someone want to travel on March 15 they get a "Sold Out" message.

#73 KmH

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Posted 14 March 2017 - 02:54 PM

Funny.

February '18 is the furthest in advance Amtrak.com goes as far as ticketing today from my desktop computer.

It won't show March '18. Typical I think of Amtrak's normal  limit of booking only 11 months in advance.


Edited by KmH, 14 March 2017 - 02:55 PM.

1963U. S. Congress - underground trolley system • Disneyland train (1968/various other dates) • Old Tucson steam train (1969)

Amtrak: California Zephyr Coast Starlight •  Southwest ChiefSunset LimitedTexas Eagle • Illinois Zephyr

. . . . . . . Amtrak miles - 16,383, so far.

 

 

 

 

 


#74 CCC1007

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Posted 14 March 2017 - 03:25 PM

Funny.
February '18 is the furthest in advance Amtrak.com goes as far as ticketing today from my desktop computer.
It won't show March '18. Typical I think of Amtrak's normal  limit of booking only 11 months in advance.

If Amtrak wanted to they can just fail to create the train in the normal inventory, a one day black hole where the special move happens...

#75 Just-Thinking-51

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Posted 14 March 2017 - 06:15 PM

One think that group sales does not have to wait for the 11 month out rule. Block it now, and no worry.

#76 Triley

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Posted 14 March 2017 - 09:37 PM

One think that group sales does not have to wait for the 11 month out rule. Block it now, and no worry.

 

In fact it would make far more sense to do so, if you know you're taking up so much capacity.


My posts are my own opinions and do not represent the views of my employer in any way, shape, or form. ~ Now back to your regularly scheduled program.


#77 chakk

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Posted 14 March 2017 - 09:43 PM

And if you want to ride it, you will have to watch the TrainJam social media sites for the date and time that tickets go on sale. Based on past years' experiences, the train will sell out in minutes!

#78 RSG

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 08:52 AM

Okay kids, mark your calendars: Train Jam 2018 will happen March 15-17, 2018. "Tickets will go on sale later this year!"

#79 JoeBas

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 12:00 PM

Assuming that there's an Amtrak to ride, by then, of course. ;)



#80 Thirdrail7

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Posted 14 May 2017 - 11:32 PM

Train Jam 2018 is booking the CZ leave Chicago on March 15th.
 

Mark your calendars. Train Jam will return March 15-17, 2018. Tickets will go on sale Later this year!


Now this how you do it. Book the train before the tickets go on sale to the general public. If someone want to travel on March 15 they get a "Sold Out" message.

 

 

 

I don't know why this popped into my head, but you're correct. There is a complete block and the website shows sold out.  Perhaps the group can lobby for more sleepers.


They say laughter is the best medicine. Obviously they never posted on AU.





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