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How is coach on the Capitol Limited Train


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#1 Guest_kendawgbyrd_*

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Posted 29 March 2018 - 10:29 AM

Taking a trip and considering coach and since I am conceited and introverted and a loner and not a people person, are there any single seats in coach or near the cafe train? 

Is there a way to get 2 seats by yourself? What is the car config? 3 seats or 2 seats?



#2 Lonestar648

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Posted 29 March 2018 - 11:17 AM

The CAP LTD is 2+2 both upper and lower level.  I think there are 62 seats upper level with a center stairs.  If you want or need your privacy, I strongly suggest a roomette.. You can have your meals brought to your room, you control the temp of your room, and your room is quiet except for outside noise, and passengers passing down the hall, boarding, etc.  There are no single seat seats  and if you buy two seats, then you should use that money for the roomette.



#3 Maglev

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Posted 29 March 2018 - 11:31 AM

The coaches on The Capitol Limited have two seats on each side of the aisle.  There is plenty of leg room, and the seats have leg rests and foot rests.  There is no arm rest between the seats, which is good because if you get two seats you can spread out.  The train crew will try to get you two seats so that you are as comfortable as possible, but this may not happen if the train is full.  There is no guarantee of a second seat.

 

Try to get a seat away from the center of the car (where lights for the stairs stay on all night) and away from the end of the car (where there is noise from the door between the cars).  


Edited by Maglev, 29 March 2018 - 04:59 PM.

Northeast corridor Heritage, Metroliner, Amfleet and Acela, CN Super Continental, Broadway Limited, Lone Star, Sunset Limited, Coast Starlight, San Joaquin, Southwest Limited, National Limited, Champion, California Zephyr, Capitol Limited, Wolverine, Crescent, Empire Builder, Cascades, Lake Shore Limited, Silver Meteor, Cardinal. 


#4 spinnaker

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Posted 29 March 2018 - 06:28 PM

I was on the Cumberland to Pittsburgh route last year and I pretty much had a whole car to myself.   I am not sure I would spend money on 2 seats.

 

I was also on the Chicago to Pittsburgh run and I don't think it was all that full but wasn't certain since I was in a roomette.



#5 the_traveler

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Posted 29 March 2018 - 07:32 PM

Buying 2 seats only guarantees you 2 seats on the train. It DOES NOT guarantee that you will have 2 seats next to each other! (Your second seat could be in the car behind you.)

Edited by the_traveler, 29 March 2018 - 07:32 PM.

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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!

#6 Ryan

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Posted 30 March 2018 - 07:29 AM

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#7 Guest_kendawgbyrd_*

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Posted 31 March 2018 - 07:54 AM

Buying 2 seats only guarantees you 2 seats on the train. It DOES NOT guarantee that you will have 2 seats next to each other! (Your second seat could be in the car behind you.)

Yeah, that's too great a risk. I wouldn't buy 2 seats but seek them out together.



#8 Lonestar648

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Posted 31 March 2018 - 01:47 PM

I found that 2 value Coach seats typically cost $202 and a Roomette $336, so that is a $235 jump to get a Roomette on the CL.  I guess one has to put a value on being happy verses what you can spend.  



#9 spinnaker

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Posted 31 March 2018 - 04:05 PM

 

Buying 2 seats only guarantees you 2 seats on the train. It DOES NOT guarantee that you will have 2 seats next to each other! (Your second seat could be in the car behind you.)

Yeah, that's too great a risk. I wouldn't buy 2 seats but seek them out together.

 

To keep people from sitting next to you.

 

 

 

1.  Wear a T-Shirt that says.   "Let me tell you about my grandchildren".  You can double down by taping some photos of random kids.       or a T-Shirt  "Let me tell you about my honor student"

 

2.  Get some business cards printed up that you are an insurance salesman.   As soon as someone sits next you you, hand one out and tell them how this was their lucky day.

 

3.  Get a barf bag out.   Just say "as soon as this train starts moving, I am going to need this"! 

 

If you do one or more of those things you will never have anyone sitting next to you.   At least not for long. ;)



#10 spinnaker

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Posted 31 March 2018 - 04:08 PM

I found that 2 value Coach seats typically cost $202 and a Roomette $336, so that is a $235 jump to get a Roomette on the CL.  I guess one has to put a value on being happy verses what you can spend.  

 

 

I finally learned this.   I used to stay at cheap hotels, bought  cheapest airline seats etc.  I was always afraid to spend the money even though I could afford more.   Noe I know I can afford better and I am not afraid to spend it.     Life is just way too short.



#11 bratkinson

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Posted 31 March 2018 - 09:16 PM

One of my 'tricks' to get (and keep) a full seat to myself is seat location in the car, as well as which car to ride (if given a choice).  I've ridden more than enough NEC trains as well as LD trains in coach and have made a 'limited mental study' of the human nature of passengers.  As a result, I decided to forgo my 'center of the car' for a better ride for 2-3 rows from the rear end of the last car on the train (on the NEC, the BC car is last and the quiet car the next car forward). 

 

Why the last car?   Because at full-length platforms (on the NEC, mostly), most boarding passengers will be closer to the center of the platform.  Very few congregate near the ends of the platform, hence, making the choice of last coach (quiet car or business class) automatically reduces the number of passengers looking for seats in that car.  If only the coaches near the center of the train are on the platform, I walk through to the last car.  Only a very small percentage of passengers will walk back (or forward, if coaches in the front of the train) to find a car that is sometimes nearly devoid of passengers.  Oh...by the way...If you're forced to sit in a specific car(s) because of destination (such as 448/449, 27/28 and 421/422), if you know where the conductors are replaced by a new crew, grab your seat check and move to the last car as the passengers are boarding at that stop.  A new conductor will assume that the previous conductor permitted you to sit in a different car than the rest of the passengers for that destination for a reason and not hassle you about being in the 'wrong car' (unless you ARE incorrectly seated in any of the 6 trains/blocks indicated above.

 

Why the last 2-3 rows of the last car?  For starters, most passengers will board at the forward vestibule of a car (on the NEC).  Experience shows that most passengers will choose the first open seat they come to that doesn't already have someone at the window seat.  As more passengers board, they will migrate more towards the rear of the car and seeing that all those double seats already have someone in them.  However, 4 out of 5 times they'll turn back and find a single seat in the middle of the car.  And for those boarding passengers that got on one or more cars ahead that can't find a seat to themselves and keep walking back, the same 'rules' apply...they'll take the first open seat they can sit alone.

 

One more trick...have a small suitcase on the vacant seat next to you for easy access as well as to provide an armrest.  If you really want to get tricky, pretend to be sleeping as well.  Both of those tend to lead boarding passengers that either there's someone next to you (in the lounge car, perhaps) or they want to be polite and not disturb your sleep.  But if someone wants to sit there, by all means be polite and move your stuff off that seat for them.

 

On commuter trains such as Metro North or Metra whose trains originate at stations such as GCT or Union, the rearmost cars - the ones closest to the gate, will always get the most passengers as they don't want to walk any further than necessary to get a seat.  So, I do the opposite, sit in the lead car.  At shorter platforms along the route, the conductors/engineers will frequently put the rear of the train at the platform and the first car or two beyond.  They may also 'switch up' and board the lead cars at some stations, and rear cars at others.  Experience on a particular route will show you which cars get the least amount of passengers.  And don't forget that some commuter train conductors will tell you to be in the first 4-5 cars for your station as only those will be spotted at the platform.  For Long Island and NJ Transit trains at Penn Station, I'll always head for the front car, as it's usually the furthest away from the steps most passengers use.

 

Of course, there will be times where I'm the one getting on mid-route and the last car is almost full.  There's no fully vacant seats, so it's pick one with a skinny person in it.  I'm 50-60 pounds overweight, and sitting next to a skinny person makes the journey much more comfortable.  Remember, they, too, may be using the same tricks to discourage me from sitting next to them.   

 

Almost forgot...if the toilets are at the rear of the car, take a seat at least 3-4 rows away from the toilets, as the traffic past your seat and 'blue chemical' smell can become unpleasant.


Edited by bratkinson, 31 March 2018 - 09:18 PM.


#12 benale

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Posted 26 April 2018 - 12:20 PM

One of my 'tricks' to get (and keep) a full seat to myself is seat location in the car, as well as which car to ride (if given a choice).  I've ridden more than enough NEC trains as well as LD trains in coach and have made a 'limited mental study' of the human nature of passengers.  As a result, I decided to forgo my 'center of the car' for a better ride for 2-3 rows from the rear end of the last car on the train (on the NEC, the BC car is last and the quiet car the next car forward). 
 
Why the last car?   Because at full-length platforms (on the NEC, mostly), most boarding passengers will be closer to the center of the platform.  Very few congregate near the ends of the platform, hence, making the choice of last coach (quiet car or business class) automatically reduces the number of passengers looking for seats in that car.  If only the coaches near the center of the train are on the platform, I walk through to the last car.  Only a very small percentage of passengers will walk back (or forward, if coaches in the front of the train) to find a car that is sometimes nearly devoid of passengers.  Oh...by the way...If you're forced to sit in a specific car(s) because of destination (such as 448/449, 27/28 and 421/422), if you know where the conductors are replaced by a new crew, grab your seat check and move to the last car as the passengers are boarding at that stop.  A new conductor will assume that the previous conductor permitted you to sit in a different car than the rest of the passengers for that destination for a reason and not hassle you about being in the 'wrong car' (unless you ARE incorrectly seated in any of the 6 trains/blocks indicated above.
 
Why the last 2-3 rows of the last car?  For starters, most passengers will board at the forward vestibule of a car (on the NEC).  Experience shows that most passengers will choose the first open seat they come to that doesn't already have someone at the window seat.  As more passengers board, they will migrate more towards the rear of the car and seeing that all those double seats already have someone in them.  However, 4 out of 5 times they'll turn back and find a single seat in the middle of the car.  And for those boarding passengers that got on one or more cars ahead that can't find a seat to themselves and keep walking back, the same 'rules' apply...they'll take the first open seat they can sit alone.
 
One more trick...have a small suitcase on the vacant seat next to you for easy access as well as to provide an armrest.  If you really want to get tricky, pretend to be sleeping as well.  Both of those tend to lead boarding passengers that either there's someone next to you (in the lounge car, perhaps) or they want to be polite and not disturb your sleep.  But if someone wants to sit there, by all means be polite and move your stuff off that seat for them.
 
On commuter trains such as Metro North or Metra whose trains originate at stations such as GCT or Union, the rearmost cars - the ones closest to the gate, will always get the most passengers as they don't want to walk any further than necessary to get a seat.  So, I do the opposite, sit in the lead car.  At shorter platforms along the route, the conductors/engineers will frequently put the rear of the train at the platform and the first car or two beyond.  They may also 'switch up' and board the lead cars at some stations, and rear cars at others.  Experience on a particular route will show you which cars get the least amount of passengers.  And don't forget that some commuter train conductors will tell you to be in the first 4-5 cars for your station as only those will be spotted at the platform.  For Long Island and NJ Transit trains at Penn Station, I'll always head for the front car, as it's usually the furthest away from the steps most passengers use.
 
Of course, there will be times where I'm the one getting on mid-route and the last car is almost full.  There's no fully vacant seats, so it's pick one with a skinny person in it.  I'm 50-60 pounds overweight, and sitting next to a skinny person makes the journey much more comfortable.  Remember, they, too, may be using the same tricks to discourage me from sitting next to them.   
 
Almost forgot...if the toilets are at the rear of the car, take a seat at least 3-4 rows away from the toilets, as the traffic past your seat and 'blue chemical' smell can become unpleasant.

Several trains now have business class with 2 to 1 seating so if you can grab those single seats you obviously will be guaranteed to have a seat to yourself which makes all the difference in the world on an overnight trip. The Cardinal and The Lake Shore has them. Nothing is more uncomfortable than sharing a seat with a stranger on an overnight train. That's why unless the sleeper prices are totally outrageous I will always opt for a roomette. Another option is to reserve Coach for the daytime and a roomette overnight. My basic rule of thumb for that is if you can get dinner and breakfast out of it for under $180 it's worth it. Next month I'll be traveling from Albequerque to Chicago. I'm doing Coach to Raton,sleeper to Kansas City with two meals and Coach to Chicago. Saved $110

#13 benale

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 08:03 AM

When I do cross country trips my last leg is Chicago to Harrisburg. I always thought the Chi Pittsburgh leg on the CL was too short to get a roomette considering it gets to Pittsburgh at 5AM. The train is always full and the last several times in Coach I was seated next to overweight guys. The worst part of train travel is having to share a seat with a stranger. Of course I wouldnt mind being seated next to an attractive woman but that never happens. Low bucket on the CL for a roomette from Chi Pit is $123. It's worth it. Unfortunately after June 1 it's made to order steak for dinner to a cold boxed lunch...and the prices are remaining the same

#14 Lonestar648

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 08:27 AM

Yes, but you get the dedicated "Sleeping Car Lounge" to compensate you. 



#15 crescent2

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 08:02 PM

I don't know if you've made your trip yet, but there are more replies today so I'll share my experience.

 

On my most recent coach trip on the Crescent from ATN to NOL with two friends, our car was literally almost empty, but the car attendant put a single passenger in the seat next to the third person in our group for some reason.  That passenger seemed to prefer a seat to herself, but she did not ask (AFAIK) to be moved.  I have no idea why the attendant did this.  There were no groups that boarded later and the car remained almost empty the whole way.  I say this just to point out that even if a car is almost empty, you may still have a seatmate.  This is another YMMV, of which there are many on Amtrak. 

 

If having a seatmate will truly make your trip less pleasant (or if your segment is overnight), I agree with the suggestion to consider a roomette.  Your meals in the dining car (if such are still in existence!) are included with the roomette fare. 


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