Jump to content




Potentially dumb questions from a 1st time overnight rider...


31 replies to this topic

#1 Guest_Streak_*

Guest_Streak_*
  • Guests

Posted 09 February 2017 - 04:07 PM

If I'm travelling alone, and book a sleeping car room, will I be the only person in that room for the duration or could someone else travelling alone be assigned to other seat/bed? To put it another way, am I booking the entire room or just the bed?

 

If I am booking the entire room, what are the policies on who is allowed to be in there with me? If someone in a coach seat said, "It's impossible to sleep in this cattle car. I'll give you X dollars to let me sleep in your other bed," am I asking for trouble by accepting? 

 

For two people going from (for example) CHI to LAX in a roomette it's $420/person as opposed to $664 when booked solo. Are there any websites for people looking to travel together specifically to help defray costs? Because I'd be more than happy to buy earplugs to deal with somebody snoring for a couple of nights if it meant I could save almost $250.

 

Thanks in advance for any insight you folks can provide.

 

 

 



#2 AmtrakBlue

AmtrakBlue

    Engineer

  • Gathering Committee Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,107 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Delaware

Posted 09 February 2017 - 04:23 PM

1)  You have the room to yourself

2)  You cannot invite someone to your room

3)  The $420 is for the room regardless if it's one person or two.  Two people will only cost $xx more than one person as each person is charged the lowest rail fare in addition to the cost of the room.


2011: Jun: WIL=>WAS=>WIL (NER) // Nov: WIL=>WAS=>CHI=>PRO (NER=>CL=>CZ)
2012: Apr: WIL=>WAS=>WIL (NER) // May(NTD): WIL=>PHL=>WIL (NER) / PHL=>PAO=>PHL (Keystone) // Aug: WIL=>WAS (NER) / BWI=>WIL (NER) // Oct(Gathering): PHL=>WIL (NER) / PHL=>HAR=>PHL (Keystone) / SEPTA, NJT, PATCO, River Line, Princeton Dinky
2013: May(NTD): WIL=>WAS=>WIL (NER)  // Oct (Gathering): WIL=>CHI (Card) / CHI=>MKE=>GLN=>CHI() / CHI=>JOL=>CHI () / CHI=>WIL(CL=>NER) / CTA, Metra. SEPTA (WIL=>NRK) // Nov:  PHL=>PHL (Autumn Express) 
2014: May(NTD):  WIL=>PHL=>WIL(NER) // May:  WIL=>BOS=>WIL(NER) day trip

2014: Oct(Gathering): WIL=>NYP=>TOL(pd-NER=>LSL) / TOL=>CHI=>LAX=>EMY(pts-LSL=>SWC=>CS) / EMY=>CHI=>TOL (pts-CZ-CL) / TOL=>WAS=>WIL(pd-CL=>NER)
2015: May: CHI=>CIN(pd-Card) / CIN=>WIL(pts Card)
2015;  Oct(Gathering):  WIL=>WAS(Acela) / ALX=>WAS(NER) / WAS=>BAL(Acela) / WAS=>WIL(NER)

2016: Mar: WIL=>WAS=>WIL (NER)  // Oct:  WIL=>NYP=>NYP=>WIL (Autumn Express) 


#3 the_traveler

the_traveler

    Engineer

  • Global Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 23,730 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Whatever siding I'm sitting on!
  • Interests:Planning my next trip

Posted 09 February 2017 - 04:54 PM

The room you buy is like a hotel room you buy. The cost is the same for the room for 1 person to stay in it or 2 people to stay in it.

That being said, any additional person must be reserved for that room prior to departure. In fact, coach passengers are normally not allowed in sleeping cars. That's why wou see signs on the doors saying "Ticketed Sleeping Car passengers only"!
Take it easy .......

Take the train instead and enjoy the ride!

The view is much better at 3 feet than it is at 30,000 feet!

#4 KmH

KmH

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,483 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Is this heaven? No. It's Iowa.
  • Interests:Astronomy, photography

Posted 09 February 2017 - 05:57 PM

You booked the entire roomette and get to choose which of the 2 beds you use.

 

No, you can't 'sub-let' the 2nd bed.

 

Indeed you can use both beds, one at a time of course..

You could pull the top bed down to take a nap mid-day while leaving the 'downstairs' in the 'day' configuration.

The Train Attendant-Sleeper Car (TA-SC) should be more than happy to pull the upper bunk down and arrange the mattress/lines stored there for the lower bed for you.

 

You can invite other sleeper berth passengers to visit with you in your roomette.

The dining car is usually placed in the 'consist' of long distance trains as a buffer between the Coach cars/Sightseer Lounge (SSL) car and the Sleeper Cars.

Doing so aids staff preventing coach passengers from entering the sleeper berth cars. 

 

I too travel in a roomette by myself.

I sleep in the upper bunk so the 'downstairs' is left in the 'day' configuration all the time.

A bonus is the using both bed mattresses in the upper bunk. Nice and cushy.

Plus Superliner sleepers don't have a window for the upper bunk so no lights from outside the train flashing on/off as the trains rails along at night.

 

The good news is the cost of a roomette includes meals in the dining car for 1 or 2 people - non-alcohol beverages, side-dish, main course, and dessert.

Three people can occupy a Bedroom and meals are included for all 3.

Four people (2 adults/2 kids) can occupy a Family room, including meals for all 4.


Edited by KmH, 09 February 2017 - 06:19 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.

 

 

 

 

 


#5 Texan Eagle

Texan Eagle

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,682 posts

Posted 09 February 2017 - 06:15 PM

I have wished for an "Uber Pool for Amtrak sleepers" kind of service, either provided directly by Amtrak or a third party that allows solo passengers to put up their roomettes/sleepers up for grabs by other solo passengers to split the cost and prevent sleepers from going half-empty with solo passengers holding on to entire rooms.

 

It does not exist yet, but someone enterprising enough needs to make this happen. 



#6 jis

jis

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 19,351 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
  • Interests:Trains, Planes and Travel

Posted 10 February 2017 - 12:01 AM

I have sublet the other berth in my roomette usually for free and occasionally for an informal fee several times. I don't understand why a categorical statement was made that you can't do that. That is what Open Sleeper tickets are used for.

Although my usual preference is to not sublet the other berth and hog the entire room by myself.

Edited by jis, 10 February 2017 - 12:03 AM.


#7 Tennessee Traveler

Tennessee Traveler

    Conductor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 945 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Franklin, TN

Posted 10 February 2017 - 12:06 AM

Before "ubering" to get a second passenger in the room, better check and see that some of us consider the upper bunk of the Superliner roomette to be more like a coffin than a bed.  You have minimal room between the sleeping surface and the ceiling over you and you are against solid wall with no window.  Plus the wall to the hall is very close so if you are the least bit claustrophobic, you will suffer in the upper bunk.

 

For young people climbing to the upper bunk is okay, but us older people simply don't have the flexibility to make that climb.  

 

If you have a friend or acquaintance you would like to make the trip and share your room, go for it.  But sharing a roomette with a stranger would be a nightmare even if a normal person. 


Edited by Tennessee Traveler, 10 February 2017 - 12:07 AM.


#8 ScouseAndy

ScouseAndy

    OBS Chief

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 250 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Liverpool- UK

Posted 10 February 2017 - 01:14 AM

This is where cultural back ground comes in - other then North America and perhaps Australia (??) virtually the rest of the world would have no quarms with sharing a room with up to another 5 people let alone 1! And the top bed in a 6berth couchette is comparable to the top berth in a roomette and potentially more cramped.

As has been mentioned providing an open sleeper has been purchased then someone can join you in the room. Don't know if you can upgrade onboard though??

#9 caravanman

caravanman

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,847 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Nottingham, England.
  • Interests:Open minded travel, in which the journey is often as interesting as the destination...

Posted 10 February 2017 - 06:39 AM

Despite my many Amtrak trips, I did not know there was an "open sleeper" ticket? How does one specify such?

 

Is it the same price as a solo booked sleeper ticket?

 

Although the top bunks are a bit restrictive, the option to lie flat is so much better than trying to sleep sitting up in coach.

 

Odd that, as I often doze off sitting up in front of the tv on my sofa... :D

 

Ed.


Edited by caravanman, 10 February 2017 - 06:40 AM.


#10 AmtrakBlue

AmtrakBlue

    Engineer

  • Gathering Committee Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,107 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Delaware

Posted 10 February 2017 - 06:57 AM

Despite my many Amtrak trips, I did not know there was an "open sleeper" ticket? How does one specify such?

 

Is it the same price as a solo booked sleeper ticket?

 

Although the top bunks are a bit restrictive, the option to lie flat is so much better than trying to sleep sitting up in coach.

 

Odd that, as I often doze off sitting up in front of the tv on my sofa... :D

 

Ed.

I believe the open sleeper ticket is sold at the price of the rail fare for the room.  You have to call and then you tell them you want on open sleeper and give them the rez # of the person who's room your going to share.  Then tell them where you're getting on and off.


2011: Jun: WIL=>WAS=>WIL (NER) // Nov: WIL=>WAS=>CHI=>PRO (NER=>CL=>CZ)
2012: Apr: WIL=>WAS=>WIL (NER) // May(NTD): WIL=>PHL=>WIL (NER) / PHL=>PAO=>PHL (Keystone) // Aug: WIL=>WAS (NER) / BWI=>WIL (NER) // Oct(Gathering): PHL=>WIL (NER) / PHL=>HAR=>PHL (Keystone) / SEPTA, NJT, PATCO, River Line, Princeton Dinky
2013: May(NTD): WIL=>WAS=>WIL (NER)  // Oct (Gathering): WIL=>CHI (Card) / CHI=>MKE=>GLN=>CHI() / CHI=>JOL=>CHI () / CHI=>WIL(CL=>NER) / CTA, Metra. SEPTA (WIL=>NRK) // Nov:  PHL=>PHL (Autumn Express) 
2014: May(NTD):  WIL=>PHL=>WIL(NER) // May:  WIL=>BOS=>WIL(NER) day trip

2014: Oct(Gathering): WIL=>NYP=>TOL(pd-NER=>LSL) / TOL=>CHI=>LAX=>EMY(pts-LSL=>SWC=>CS) / EMY=>CHI=>TOL (pts-CZ-CL) / TOL=>WAS=>WIL(pd-CL=>NER)
2015: May: CHI=>CIN(pd-Card) / CIN=>WIL(pts Card)
2015;  Oct(Gathering):  WIL=>WAS(Acela) / ALX=>WAS(NER) / WAS=>BAL(Acela) / WAS=>WIL(NER)

2016: Mar: WIL=>WAS=>WIL (NER)  // Oct:  WIL=>NYP=>NYP=>WIL (Autumn Express) 


#11 Lonestar648

Lonestar648

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,247 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Texas

Posted 10 February 2017 - 11:21 AM

Any sharing has to be part of the reservation prior to departure so the names are on the manifest for the SCA and the Conductor.  If two Coach passengers wish to upgrade to an available room once on the train, the Conductor has the ability to sell the space using the satellite communications system available to the Conductor and the Engineer. The transaction has to be by credit card.


Trains Traveled On:
Texas Eagle                                      Sunset Limited                            California Zephyr                                Southwest Chief                Empire Builder            Capitol Limited           Lake Shore limited (NYP & BOS)      Crescent
Kentucky Cardinal                             Cardinal                                       Pere Marquette                                  Wolverines                        Lincoln Service            Empire Service          Keystone Service                               Acelas
NE Regionals                                    Pioneer                                        Desert Wind                                       Broadway Limited             Three Rivers                Southwest Chief        Coast Starlight                                    Empire Service
 
Amtrak Miles Logged: over 206,000


#12 PerRock

PerRock

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,618 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ann Arbor, MI
  • Interests:Passenger Rail, Auran Trainz, Traveling, Graphic Design

Posted 10 February 2017 - 12:35 PM

 But sharing a roomette with a stranger would be a nightmare even if a normal person. 

 

I've done it on all the sleeper trains I've been on in Europe. Often with more than one person (most I've had is 5 people in a 6-person room). What I think most people are proposing & what makes sense is not what most people are fearing. You wouldn't do away with Closed Sleepers entirely; if you want one all for yourself you can book one. Alternatively if you want a cheaper Open Sleeper then that would be an option as well. I'd jump at the chance if Amtrak offered an open sleeper system; I'd even be happy if it didn't come with meals.

 

Any sharing has to be part of the reservation prior to departure so the names are on the manifest for the SCA and the Conductor.  If two Coach passengers wish to upgrade to an available room once on the train, the Conductor has the ability to sell the space using the satellite communications system available to the Conductor and the Engineer. The transaction has to be by credit card.

 

The devices OBS use to book your tickets, is the same that they use to scan your tickets; and is really just an iPhone. It uses standard cell towers, like your phone does. The difference is that the conductor can book you a room & the phone will hold onto the data until it gets a signal & then send it. Whereas if you just use the Amtrak App on your phone (or the website) you have to wait around until you get signal then buy your tickets.

 

peter


Given the choice; I fly Amtrak.
 
http://www.amtraktrainz.com

#13 Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 15,604 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Austin Texas
  • Interests:Passenger Trains/Travel/Sports(except Soccer)/Government-Politics/Reading/Old Buildings
    Movies/Music/Unicorns and Ancient Aliens!

Posted 10 February 2017 - 01:45 PM

[quote name="Lonestar648" post="697563" timestamp="1486743686"]

Any sharing has to be part of the reservation prior to departure so the names are on the manifest for the SCA and the Conductor.  If two Coach passengers wish to upgrade to an available room once on the train, the Conductor has the ability to sell the space using the satellite communications system available to the Conductor and the Engineer. The transaction has to be by credit card.[/quote]
While this is technically correct,most Conductors do NOT want to do on board upgrades,they'll tell you to get on your phone/device and do it yourself or else that you should have booked in advance!( and if they did do it you'd pay the Highest Buckets, no deals aboard the train anymore!)

In one word, Lazy!🤔
 
"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
 
".. I ride on a Mail Train Baby, can't buy a thrill.."--I said that!
 
"..My heart is warm with the friends I make,and better friends I'll not be knowing,
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay

#14 Triley

Triley

    Conductor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 861 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Southern New Hampshire

Posted 10 February 2017 - 04:11 PM

Any sharing has to be part of the reservation prior to departure so the names are on the manifest for the SCA and the Conductor.  If two Coach passengers wish to upgrade to an available room once on the train, the Conductor has the ability to sell the space using the satellite communications system available to the Conductor and the Engineer. The transaction has to be by credit card.

While this is technically correct,most Conductors do NOT want to do on board upgrades,they'll tell you to get on your phone/device and do it yourself or else that you should have booked in advance!( and if they did do it you'd pay the Highest Buckets, no deals aboard the train anymore!)

In one word, Lazy!
Wrong as well. Conductors have no way to accept credit cards any more. The company has recalled all conductor credit card machines, so it is cash only. So as far as calling a conductor lazy for not wanting to handle the procedure? That's just....

If the passenger wants to pay cash, the conductor has no choice but to call and find what the current fare would be, and have the room pulled from the inventory. If it's a credit card sale, the passenger has no choice but to call and do it themselves.

I wish folks would reference their blue books before fully understanding the procedure, and saying negative things about the crew!


Sorry, I also meant to tag Peter in this post too.

Edited by Triley, 10 February 2017 - 04:13 PM.

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.


#15 Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 15,604 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Austin Texas
  • Interests:Passenger Trains/Travel/Sports(except Soccer)/Government-Politics/Reading/Old Buildings
    Movies/Music/Unicorns and Ancient Aliens!

Posted 10 February 2017 - 04:51 PM

Hate to disagree with an Excellent OBS Triley , but I personally have heard several Conductors in the past year ( on different Routes) say and do what I mention in my post when passengers asked about upgrading while on the train!(I didn't know anything about the info in re Credit Cards,Cash etc. )

I consider this dereliction of duty and laziness on the part of these Conductors,not All! YMMV

Edited by Bob Dylan, 10 February 2017 - 04:53 PM.

 
"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
 
".. I ride on a Mail Train Baby, can't buy a thrill.."--I said that!
 
"..My heart is warm with the friends I make,and better friends I'll not be knowing,
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay

#16 trainman74

trainman74

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,217 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Sherman Oaks, CA

Posted 10 February 2017 - 05:13 PM

This is where cultural back ground comes in - other then North America and perhaps Australia (??) virtually the rest of the world would have no quarms with sharing a room with up to another 5 people let alone 1!


In my experience, there are shared sleeping car rooms in Australia, at least on the Sydney-Melbourne service -- my experience came at a slow time of year, though, so I ended up not having to share.

#17 Texan Eagle

Texan Eagle

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,682 posts

Posted 10 February 2017 - 06:53 PM

I'd jump at the chance if Amtrak offered an open sleeper system; I'd even be happy if it didn't come with meals.


THIS! I would LOVE to have a Basic Sleeper option on Amtrak, like it is offered on trains in Europe and Asia. I don't need the privacy of entire room to myself, I don't even want complimentary meals. All I want is a flat bed to sleep at night. Makes train journeys 10x more comfortable and fun. I've done tons of overnight journeys in India in open-plan sleepers and would jump at every opportunity to do again.



#18 Lonestar648

Lonestar648

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,247 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Texas

Posted 13 February 2017 - 11:55 AM

Seems in this country everyone wants their privacy.  Like the 8 foot solid privacy fences so they don't see or have to interact with people.  I enjoy the train, especially eating in the DC where every meal is a different group of people from a different part of the country or the world.  The only time I really need the privacy of my room is when I am traveling on business and I have consultation documents to write on my laptop with notes spread out. (I avoid flying if possible)  I remember long ago Pullman Berths, I think Via Rail still has them, Coach facing seats during the day, upper and lower berths at night. We would travel over night between Pittsburgh and New York.  


Trains Traveled On:
Texas Eagle                                      Sunset Limited                            California Zephyr                                Southwest Chief                Empire Builder            Capitol Limited           Lake Shore limited (NYP & BOS)      Crescent
Kentucky Cardinal                             Cardinal                                       Pere Marquette                                  Wolverines                        Lincoln Service            Empire Service          Keystone Service                               Acelas
NE Regionals                                    Pioneer                                        Desert Wind                                       Broadway Limited             Three Rivers                Southwest Chief        Coast Starlight                                    Empire Service
 
Amtrak Miles Logged: over 206,000


#19 chakk

chakk

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,004 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 26 February 2017 - 11:44 PM

Yes, you can still book an upper or lower berth in an open section on Via Rail's Canadian. Complete with the heavy curtains seen in old movies. This type of accomodation also has the most comfortable mattress on the train

Edited by chakk, 26 February 2017 - 11:45 PM.


#20 Devil's Advocate

Devil's Advocate

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,801 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Paper Street
  • Interests:Travel by Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

Posted 27 February 2017 - 03:28 AM

The Conductor has the ability to sell the space using the satellite communications system available to the Conductor and the Engineer. The transaction has to be by credit card.

 
The only satellite communications system I'm aware of is the one that periodically transmits current location and locomotive performance. It's similar to preventive maintenance and progress tracking systems used in commercial trucking and yellow iron vehicles and is not intended to perform financial transactions.

 

If the passenger wants to pay cash, the conductor [b]has no choice[/i] but to call and find what the current fare would be, and have the room pulled from the inventory. If it's a credit card sale, the passenger has no choice but to call and do it themselves.

I've been riding Amtrak a long time and in my experience the conductors do indeed have the choice of simply refusing to check availability or refusing to perform an upgrade. How much time do you spend on the LD network as a standard revenue passenger? Sometimes the revs know more than the non-revs when it comes to practical experiences.

If I had a tumor I'd name it Marla.




Reply to this topic



  

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users