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Train Tours


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#1 Guest_kendoggbyrd_*

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Posted 08 July 2017 - 10:12 AM

Does Amtrak do tours of their various trains? Is this only on "train Day?" Can you arrange a tour?



#2 the_traveler

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Posted 08 July 2017 - 10:16 AM

No they don't. The only "tour" is when you ride and walk to other cars.
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!

#3 KmH

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Posted 08 July 2017 - 11:42 AM

Sleeper passengers are granted access to most of the train.

Passengers don't have access to baggage cars, the locomotives, food prep areas, and other crew areas.


Edited by KmH, 08 July 2017 - 11:43 AM.

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#4 Lonestar648

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 09:46 PM

On some trains at some origin stations, you might find a SCA who may allow a guest to board with a Passenger if not close to departure, if the SCA feels the Guest will be off quickly.  When I took my youngest grandchild on her first overnight train trip, the SCA allowed her mom and dad to go with us so she could show them the room and so a photo could be taken.  We arrived before boarding started so there was 15 - 20 minutes before departure.  I made sure the SCA knew the guests were off the train.  Since the Diner was next to our car I showed them the car through the glass.  Looked at the shower on the lower level as well.  Do not think this would work in NYP, WAS, or CHI, but I saw it work in LAX and SEA.  Another place was in Denver due to the long service time if the train is on time or early.

 

By yourself no way. but with a passenger a definite maybe.


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#5 dogbert617

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 06:03 PM

I didn't know Amtrak would sometimes allow a non-ticketed person to see what a sleeper car looked like. Interesting. I wonder if Amtrak has ever permitted that, in the middle of the day in Chicago after the inbound long distance cars were cleaned, but before they started to board outbound long distance trains for the day? Of course they do restrict who can enter the gate areas in Chicago for Amtrak except when the train is boarding, so who knows how employees in CHI would handle that. And I worry that with the Amtrak security I always see walking around that station, that it probably wouldn't be allowed.

Maybe the Amtrak employees would be more open to showing a customer what a sleeper was like, at a longer service stop station in the middle of a long distance route? (I.e. Denver, Albuquerque, Tucson, KC, etc)

#6 Lonestar648

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 09:43 PM

I suggest a starting point like NOL, SAS, SEA, LAX but, once heavy boarding starts  no way.  be early, and know someone who is boarding, even in LAX since there is no one guarding the ramps.  On the SL departure, my daughter was allowed to take a photo of us in our room since we were among the first to board at 9:15 for the 10 departure, but he was a super SCA.  


Trains Traveled On:
Texas Eagle                                      Sunset Limited                            California Zephyr                                Southwest Chief                Empire Builder            Capitol Limited           Lake Shore limited (NYP & BOS)      Crescent
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NE Regionals                                    Pioneer                                        Desert Wind                                       Broadway Limited             Three Rivers                 Coast Starlight                          
 
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#7 MikefromCrete

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 10:03 PM

I didn't know Amtrak would sometimes allow a non-ticketed person to see what a sleeper car looked like. Interesting. I wonder if Amtrak has ever permitted that, in the middle of the day in Chicago after the inbound long distance cars were cleaned, but before they started to board outbound long distance trains for the day? Of course they do restrict who can enter the gate areas in Chicago for Amtrak except when the train is boarding, so who knows how employees in CHI would handle that. And I worry that with the Amtrak security I always see walking around that station, that it probably wouldn't be allowed.

Maybe the Amtrak employees would be more open to showing a customer what a sleeper was like, at a longer service stop station in the middle of a long distance route? (I.e. Denver, Albuquerque, Tucson, KC, etc)

 

I doubt if any Amtrak employee would allow a non-passenger aboard a train, even during a crew change stop. They would be responsible for any problems that "visitor" might cause. Just because Lonestar got to show someone around his car doesn't mean it happens on a regular basis. 


Edited by MikefromCrete, 05 August 2017 - 10:03 PM.


#8 FrensicPic

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 10:16 PM

Some years ago when we first started traveling by train, after we had booked the Coast Starlight, we went down to LA Union Station a few weeks before the trip, walked out to the train and talked to a SCA. That one particular SCA allowed us to see the accommodations on a sleeper (we had booked a Roomette) before boarding had begun. We were on and off in less than 10 minutes. Noticed my last couple of trips out of LA, Red Caps are taking passengers out to the platform even before the train arrives from the yard.


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#9 OlympianHiawatha

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 11:08 PM

If you are traveling Coach (or Business if available) on a long distance train and are interested in what the Sleepers are like, ask the Conductor or a crew member.  If space is available they will likely escort you there for a look, hoping you may end up doing an upgrade.  Up until a few years ago, the Conductor had flexibility to charge what (s)he thought was reasonable for a Sleeper upgrade and good deals could be had.  But now they are forced to comply with the current available bucket.



#10 crescent-zephyr

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 12:37 PM

[quote name="MikefromCrete" post="719543" timestamp="1501988587"][quote name="dogbert617" post="719498" timestamp="1501974209"]
I didn't know Amtrak would sometimes allow a non-ticketed person to see what a sleeper car looked like. Interesting. I wonder if Amtrak has ever permitted that, in the middle of the day in Chicago after the inbound long distance cars were cleaned, but before they started to board outbound long distance trains for the day? Of course they do restrict who can enter the gate areas in Chicago for Amtrak except when the train is boarding, so who knows how employees in CHI would handle that. And I worry that with the Amtrak security I always see walking around that station, that it probably wouldn't be allowed.
Maybe the Amtrak employees would be more open to showing a customer what a sleeper was like, at a longer service stop station in the middle of a long distance route? (I.e. Denver, Albuquerque, Tucson, KC, etc)
[/quote]
 
I doubt if any Amtrak employee would allow a non-passenger aboard a train, even during a crew change stop. They would be responsible for any problems that "visitor" might cause. Just because Lonestar got to show someone around his car doesn't mean it happens on a regular basis.
[/quote]

Not sure if it's a rule or not... But I've seen it happen several times in both sleeper and coach. Sometimes it's a family helping other family members onto the train. Once, last November, my sleeper attendant let a regular Railfan on to the sleeper to get an apple and some juice from the sleeper. So yeah... It happens. As with everything on Amtrak, ymmv.

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#11 Acela150

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 11:48 PM

If you are traveling Coach (or Business if available) on a long distance train and are interested in what the Sleepers are like, ask the Conductor or a crew member.  If space is available they will likely escort you there for a look, hoping you may end up doing an upgrade.  Up until a few years ago, the Conductor had flexibility to charge what (s)he thought was reasonable for a Sleeper upgrade and good deals could be had.  But now they are forced to comply with the current available bucket.

 

It honestly isn't worth going to the Conductor for an upgrade these days. It's easier to call Amtrak to do it. The conductor can get the updated info on his or her device. 


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#12 PVD

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Posted 10 August 2017 - 02:32 PM

It may be difficult to get a live preview,  but there are some decent you tube videos that passengers have posted of their trips in various types of rooms. That may be of some use.



#13 OlympianHiawatha

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Posted 11 August 2017 - 09:00 AM

 

If you are traveling Coach (or Business if available) on a long distance train and are interested in what the Sleepers are like, ask the Conductor or a crew member.  If space is available they will likely escort you there for a look, hoping you may end up doing an upgrade.  Up until a few years ago, the Conductor had flexibility to charge what (s)he thought was reasonable for a Sleeper upgrade and good deals could be had.  But now they are forced to comply with the current available bucket.

 

It honestly isn't worth going to the Conductor for an upgrade these days. It's easier to call Amtrak to do it. The conductor can get the updated info on his or her device. 

 

 

Unless, of course, you are in an area where there is no cell service.



#14 Ryan

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Posted 11 August 2017 - 08:48 PM

If there isn’t cell service, the conductor isn’t going to be able to call to get price and availability and is going to ask you to come back later.
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#15 ehbowen

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Posted 11 August 2017 - 10:25 PM

...and is going to ask you to come back later.


[Preferably after the next crew change!]

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#16 dlagrua

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Posted 01 September 2017 - 09:21 AM

With the elimination of Amtrak National Train Day, the general public no longer has "tour" access to a LD train. IMO, the train day promotion was beneficial but since there was no way to gauge its success, it fell to Boardman's cost cutting program. The only way to see the interior of an Amtrak train is to purchase a ticket or use the online virtual tour . 



#17 Lonestar648

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Posted 01 September 2017 - 10:31 PM

Having those cars open got a number of people to try Amtrak.


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                 Coast Starlight                          
 
Amtrak Miles Logged: over 211,000




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