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Rail Pass for LD trip with bedroom


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#1 margo

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 03:39 PM

We have taken several long distance trips, but have never used the pass.  I understand it only covers coach class and I think you add on your room.  Is that right?  Our trip would be for 11 days -LCH/LAX, Lax/SEA, SEA/CHI, CHI/LAX, LAX/LCH.I think coach would be $812.00 each.  As you can see, we just like riding the train, especially the CS and the EB. I only have enough AGR to cover 1 leg of it, so I might just save them. It's our 3rd LD trip this year, so I'm running low on AGR.  This might be our last trip, so we want it to be special. (Lots of rail riding, few hotels and layovers)  Thank you.


Trains ridden: Downeaster, Adirondack, Vermonter, Silver Meteor, Silver Star, Crescent, Cardinal, Capitol Limited, Lake shore Limited, Empire Builder, California Zephyr, Southwest Chief, Texas eagle, Sunset limited, Coast Starlight, Empire Service, City of New Orleans. Scenic excursion trains-Combres & Toltec from Chama NM, Georgetown Loop in CO, White Pass & Yukon in Alaska.  I also rode the KCS passenger train from Shreveport, LA to Dequincy, LA many times, and Lake Charles to Kansas City,  before Amtrak.  This shows my age . My father and brother worked for the KCS, so I guess trains are in my blood!


#2 zephyr17

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 03:49 PM

You pay the accomodation charges on top of the pass just like you would on a regular ticket with the accomodation charges on top of the rail (coach) fare.

 

Getting a sleeper automatically knocks the rail fare down to the lowest "value" (not "saver") bucket of the coach fare.  Still, a good way to see if the pass is a good value is to do a head to head comparison of the coach fares against the cost of the pass.  The accommodation charges would be on top regardless and the pass does nothing to change them.


SP Coast Daylight, AT&SF San Diegan, AT&SF Super Chief, D&RGW Rio Grande Zephyr, Southwest Limited/Chief, San Diegan/Pacific Surfliner, San Joaquin, Cascades, California/San Francisco Zephyr, Coast Starlight, Empire Builder, Sunset Limited (LA-Orlando), Desert Wind, Pioneer, City of New Orleans, Silver Star, Silver Meteor, Lake Shore Limited, Cardinal, Hoosier State (Amtrak),  Hoosier State (Iowa Pacific), Ann Rutledge, Adirondack, Maple Leaf, NE Regional, Capitol Limited, Via Canadian (CP route), Via Super Continental, Via Atlantic Limited, Via Hudson Bay, Via Skeena, Via Canadian (CN route), Via "Corridor" (Toronto-Montreal), BC Rail Cariboo Dayliner, Eurostar, Thalys, DB, Netherlands Rail, Austrian Railways, BR, Korail (conventional), Korail KTX


#3 willem

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 08:25 AM

If I understood and recall correctly, you cannot buy a room on a rail pass until six months before travel. This used to be a big disadvantage because the rooms opened (11 months out) at low bucket, and the low bucket rooms could be all gone by the six month point. Now rooms are first available at an intermediate bucket, but you are still gambling with the price of the room.

 

Since I always expect to have another Amtrak trip somewhere over the horizon, I do not mind collecting vouchers by rebooking a room when the price drops. When I plan a trip, often almost a year in advance, I reserve the rooms (and pay for them, of course) and then set an Amsnag fare alert for my travel date and itinerary. If the price drops, I rebook and get a voucher, which I then use the next time I pay for a trip. And on it goes.

 

As noted, buying a room gets one the lowest bucket Value fare, but that means nothing if one is traveling on a rail pass. If you want to travel in a sleeper, I would suggest just making the reservation normally and not use a rail pass. If you expect to have no further Amtrak reservations in a year (when the voucher would expire), you could take a cash refund with a 10% penalty (if your initial departure date is at least two weeks away, again if I recall correctly).

 



#4 margo

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 02:33 PM

Thank you.


Trains ridden: Downeaster, Adirondack, Vermonter, Silver Meteor, Silver Star, Crescent, Cardinal, Capitol Limited, Lake shore Limited, Empire Builder, California Zephyr, Southwest Chief, Texas eagle, Sunset limited, Coast Starlight, Empire Service, City of New Orleans. Scenic excursion trains-Combres & Toltec from Chama NM, Georgetown Loop in CO, White Pass & Yukon in Alaska.  I also rode the KCS passenger train from Shreveport, LA to Dequincy, LA many times, and Lake Charles to Kansas City,  before Amtrak.  This shows my age . My father and brother worked for the KCS, so I guess trains are in my blood!





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