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CUS Metropolitan Lounge


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#1 slither

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Posted 09 February 2018 - 08:58 PM

    I'm sure that this has probably been addressed, but was wondering if sleeping car passengers are still escorted to their assigned cars from the new lounge. Hoping to leave from there early this summer. Thanks for the info.

M.J.S.


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#2 Chey

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Posted 09 February 2018 - 09:23 PM

We were, those of us leaving on the SWC, last September - to the train, not to the actual car. Same as it was before the new lounge.

Edited by Chey, 09 February 2018 - 09:25 PM.


#3 Steve4031

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Posted 09 February 2018 - 10:46 PM

Sometimes you are told the track number. Then you have to find your way. You can usually get a red cap.


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#4 bratkinson

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Posted 09 February 2018 - 10:55 PM

Sometimes you are told the track number. Then you have to find your way. You can usually get a red cap.


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When in doubt, I simply follow the crowd headed to that train.  I figure the leader of the pack, whether a red cap or anyone else, knows how to get to the track.  Unfortunately, in my dozen or so experiences at the new lounge, about 1/2 the time, the whole 'pack' gets stopped and held there while inbound passengers from a train on the other side of the platform come streaming in. 



#5 Woodcut60

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Posted 10 February 2018 - 07:14 AM

Sometimes you are told the track number. Then you have to find your way. You can usually get a red cap.


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I've always thought that was a nice touch, being accompanied by an Amtrak officer. Pity they have abolished that now, well, at least in Chicago.


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#6 crescent-zephyr

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Posted 10 February 2018 - 08:38 AM

I always enjoyed the "back door" escort. Made me feel like a VIP! But the new lounge is very nice so it's a fair trade in my book.

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#7 Lonestar648

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Posted 10 February 2018 - 11:02 PM

Mo one escorted anyone the trains I have been on since the new ML opened, just broadcasted the gate number over the PA.  I know my way around Union Station so many times end up in the front.  Some times we are boarding with all the Coach passengers, or even after most passengers have boarded.



#8 kbmiflyer

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Posted 11 February 2018 - 03:50 PM

My recent experience is they send you out the side door of the Metropolitan club and tell you the track number, ,no escort.  I had the misfortune of trying to board the #5 to Denver at the same time they were a little late boarding the #22 that was boarding on a closer track, we walked out the side door and into a clusterf*kc of people trying to board the Texas Eagle.  We managed to find our way through, but it was a big mess.  Love the new club but miss the VIP side door exit to the trains.



#9 SarahZ

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Posted 11 February 2018 - 04:25 PM

The track numbers are posted above each track. They're fairly large and easy to see.

 

When in doubt, follow the crowd. The people who know where they're going will generally be in the front of the pack. If you get lost in the crowd of people heading to/from Metra trains, just look for your track number.

 

I like the new system. If people need help finding track numbers, red caps and others are available to assist. 

 

Once you get out to the train, either look for your car number next to each door, or ask one of the crew to help you. The coach and sleeper attendants are generally posted outside their doors (unless they're helping with bags) and can direct you.


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#10 Steve4031

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Posted 11 February 2018 - 08:39 PM

Keep in mind that the car numbers on the side are not always accurate. For example you might see a car 630 on the Texas eagle when all the car numbers should read 21xx or 22xx.


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#11 Lonestar648

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 10:33 AM

Do NOT trust the car numbers, but the attendants will happily direct you to the correct car.  Make sure you know your track number before leaving the ML so you go to the correct platform in case two trains are boarding at the same time.  When it gets close to boarding time I already will have pulled my bag out of the baggage room to avoid the rush and crowd by the front door.



#12 ain't no Metroliner

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 01:40 PM

What if you want to get choice seats in business class on the outbound Cardinal? And you're a party of 6 to 8 who all want to sit together? You should leave the lounge early to get ahead in the queue at the gate?  



#13 Lonestar648

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 01:44 PM

If you get into the general boarding area you might be delayed.  I would suggest be ready to head to the gate (have bags and be near the front) so you can be in the front of the group heading to the platform.



#14 ain't no Metroliner

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 01:47 PM

Oh, so are you saying that from the Lounge, you don't need to first go through the general boarding area in order to get to the platform? 

 

Also, if we request a Red Cap from the lounge (we will have a lot of luggage), we'd also possibly have an edge? Or no?

If you get into the general boarding area you might be delayed.  I would suggest be ready to head to the gate (have bags and be near the front) so you can be in the front of the group heading to the platform.



#15 Lonestar648

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 01:53 PM

From the ML you go straight to the platform.

 

Red Caps can also help you in this too.  Just make sure to that you get with them so you are in the first group to go, they have a limited number of carts.



#16 ain't no Metroliner

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 01:55 PM

From the ML you go straight to the platform.

 

Red Caps can also help you in this too.  Just make sure to that you get with them so you are in the first group to go, they have a limited number of carts.

 

Perfect, thanks!



#17 ChuckL

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 04:23 PM

From the ML you go straight to the platform.
 
Red Caps can also help you in this too.  Just make sure to that you get with them so you are in the first group to go, they have a limited number of carts.


Unfortunately, the number of Red Caps was cut drastically by more than half in November, and I was told so by the staff at the front desk of the ML.

I went outside the lounge about a half hour before I was told the track number and call for boarding from the lounge would be announced. I was right at the beginning of the line for Red Caps and lucked out that time and got a Red Cap who was able to get us to our sleeping cars even before the gates opened.

On the way back home, I advised the staff that I would need Red Cap assistance for the Wolverine and was told they would notify them. I went out the front door of the ML early again, and this time no Red Cap even showed up and I had to struggle with my sprained ankle to the boarding area after they had called the train. There was not an escort to the train either. I’m not sure if the cutback in Red Caps was seasonal, but tend to think not because it was at the same time Amtrak was making other service cuts. I would DEFINITELY check with the front desk at the ML to see if the situation has changed back for the better. I’ll find out in May when I travel to Chicago again.

Just as an aside, the situation at the ML at LAX was completely different with an abundance of Red Caps who came to the second floor and then took you down a ramp to your train car. Everyone needing a Red Cap was accommodated for all of the trains I observed during a 4 hour layover in the lounge.


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Edited by ChuckL, 12 February 2018 - 04:30 PM.


#18 Steve4031

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 05:11 PM

Checking with the front desk does not guarantee a red cap. My girl friend wanted assistance from the lounge for BC on Lincoln service. None showed so I helped her down to the train. The delay for waiting for no show red cap cut things tight for us. She made it on board. The conductor shut the trap on the bc car. I had to hustle to an open door to get off. If I hadn’t been there gf would have missed the train.


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#19 crescent-zephyr

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 06:02 PM

While the new lounge is VERY nice... it does seem odd to put the first class lounge further away from the boarding gates of the Amtrak trains. I'm not saying I have the perfect solution, but I do know Amtrak spent alot of money on re-designing the station for better passenger flow and I'm not sure if this design was the best use of the money. 


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#20 seat38a

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 09:48 PM

 

From the ML you go straight to the platform.
 
Red Caps can also help you in this too.  Just make sure to that you get with them so you are in the first group to go, they have a limited number of carts.


Unfortunately, the number of Red Caps was cut drastically by more than half in November, and I was told so by the staff at the front desk of the ML.

I went outside the lounge about a half hour before I was told the track number and call for boarding from the lounge would be announced. I was right at the beginning of the line for Red Caps and lucked out that time and got a Red Cap who was able to get us to our sleeping cars even before the gates opened.

On the way back home, I advised the staff that I would need Red Cap assistance for the Wolverine and was told they would notify them. I went out the front door of the ML early again, and this time no Red Cap even showed up and I had to struggle with my sprained ankle to the boarding area after they had called the train. There was not an escort to the train either. I’m not sure if the cutback in Red Caps was seasonal, but tend to think not because it was at the same time Amtrak was making other service cuts. I would DEFINITELY check with the front desk at the ML to see if the situation has changed back for the better. I’ll find out in May when I travel to Chicago again.

Just as an aside, the situation at the ML at LAX was completely different with an abundance of Red Caps who came to the second floor and then took you down a ramp to your train car. Everyone needing a Red Cap was accommodated for all of the trains I observed during a 4 hour layover in the lounge.


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At LAX they operate with the golf carts that can load lots of people vs the odd carts they use at CUS which can only take few people at a time. The LAX lounge attendant will generally put EVERYONE on the the golf cart to send them to the trains since there are lots of open seating in the carts.






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