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Car access (moving between cars on Superliner)?


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#1 dirtpro06

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 03:16 PM

Complete newbie question - I grew up taking commuter trains on the SAN-LA line where one could roam about the train at leisure. I now live in OK and took the heardland flyer to Ft. Worth last week and was confined to one of the 4 cars for the duration. I understand some of why that is, but was wondering what kind of cars you have access to on a longer distance train. I expect that we will travel sleeper class - possibly Texas Star or California Zephyr. Wondering if that gets us access to regular seats/observation car/etc or if we'll have to sit in our room for the duration.

 

Thanks



#2 Thirdrail7

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 03:40 PM

You're free to move about the consist and use the common areas.  Access to coach seating is tricky because the seats may be taken.  


They say laughter is the best medicine. Obviously they never posted on AU.


#3 zephyr17

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 03:51 PM

Were the other cars locked off and unused?  That happens, crews sometimes lock off cars when the train is well below capacity.

 

As a sleeper passenger, you have access to all cars that are open to passengers.  You can sit in the lounge car, you do not have any right to sit in coach seats, but you can go into the coach cars. Note you should not go into the crew part of the trans-dorm.


Edited by zephyr17, 17 April 2018 - 03:52 PM.

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

#4 Lonestar648

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 03:51 PM

Sleeper passengers have. access to all passenger areas of the train while Coach passengers can go into any Coach, Lounge/Cafe, or Diner. Car to Car access on the western Superliners is on the the upper level. On the eastern single level trains (due to tunnel height) everything is on the same level.

#5 dirtpro06

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 04:00 PM

Copy, are the dome/observation cars considered public spaces or are those seats ticketed separately?



#6 Maglev

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 04:04 PM

Copy, are the dome/observation cars considered public spaces or are those seats ticketed separately?

The "Sightseer Lounge" car is considered a public space.  Seating is on a first-come basis.

 

Rarely, a train will be oversold, and the Conductor will reserve seats in the lounge car for passengers to use.


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#7 dirtpro06

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 04:06 PM

Got it, thank you all very much



#8 Lonestar648

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 04:07 PM

The lower level of the Sightseer Lounge cars are generally the Cafe where you can sit if you purchased from the Cafe. This may be closed off when the Cafe is closed like in the middle of the night. The upper level is always open except arriving the trains final destination or at the trains origin until the Conductors have scanned tickets so they don't have to hunt people down and Coach passengers have a hat check above their seat.

#9 Dakota 400

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 04:18 PM

Coach passengers are discouraged from entering the Sleeping Cars, but Sleeping Car passengers may wander the train, except for crew only areas, as they desire.

 

Once, and I don't recall the train I was on, may have been the Cardinal leaving Chicago, I left my Roomette very soon after departure with the intent on getting to the Lounge/Cafe car for an adult beverage.  Either the SCA or Conductor asked me to return to my accommodation until my "ticket had been lifted".  That didn't take much time, however.



#10 crescent-zephyr

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 04:41 PM

The Heartland Flyer has a cafe and it SHOULD have been advertised over the PA which should have included the Cafe' cars location and how to get there. Of course PA announcements could have been off in your car, or the Cafe' attendants mic wasn't working.. or many reasons. But you should have had access to the cafe car. 


Amtrak: - Coast Starlight*, Pacific Surfliner, San Joaquin*, Cascades*, Empire Builder*, California Zephyr*, Southwest Chief*, City of New Orleans*, River Cities, Illinois Zephyr*, Wolverine, Cardinal, Capitol Limited*, Lake Shore Limited, Downeaster, Acela Express*, Crescent*, Carolinian*, Silver Star*, Silver Meteor*, Maple Leaf* Texas Eagle.

 

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#11 Walt

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 06:13 PM

Coach passengers are discouraged from entering the Sleeping Cars, but Sleeping Car passengers may wander the train, except for crew only areas, as they desire.


Though, I'll add, if you are a Sleeper Car passenger, and you wander into Coach, make sure you have your ticket (or equivalent) with you. That's because when you go to return, a crew member might only "see" a passenger originating from a coach car, trying to access the Sleeper Cars.

#12 PVD

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 07:23 PM

On certain trains, or as a substitute for a bad ordered car, a "cross country cafe car" may be used, which is diner at one end, cafe at the other. If that cafe is in use instead of the one on the lower level of the SSL, the lower level cafe may be closed off. Haven't seen it too often, I have seen the CCC diner side used, with the cafe service still on the lower level of the SSL. 



#13 crescent-zephyr

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 07:28 PM

The last time I rode the Capitol, and the last several times I have ridden the City it has been seemingly standard operating procedure to use the CCC car as both Diner and Cafe (with only 1 LSA handling the money for both... which honestly is a super smart move for amtrak) and the SSL lower level being closed. 


Amtrak: - Coast Starlight*, Pacific Surfliner, San Joaquin*, Cascades*, Empire Builder*, California Zephyr*, Southwest Chief*, City of New Orleans*, River Cities, Illinois Zephyr*, Wolverine, Cardinal, Capitol Limited*, Lake Shore Limited, Downeaster, Acela Express*, Crescent*, Carolinian*, Silver Star*, Silver Meteor*, Maple Leaf* Texas Eagle.

 

VIA: - Canadian*

 

Iowa Pacific - Hoosier State*, and City of New Orleans Pullman*.   


#14 CAMISSY55

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 08:38 PM

Coach passengers are discouraged from entering the Sleeping Cars, but Sleeping Car passengers may wander the train, except for crew only areas, as they desire.
 
Once, and I don't recall the train I was on, may have been the Cardinal leaving Chicago, I left my Roomette very soon after departure with the intent on getting to the Lounge/Cafe car for an adult beverage.  Either the SCA or Conductor asked me to return to my accommodation until my "ticket had been lifted".  That didn't take much time, however.


A comment and a question.

Comment:I have been led to understand that coach passengers are not allowed to enter sleeping cars, not just discouraged. The exceptions being either invitated and accompanied by a sleeping car passenger with approval from SCA or Conductor OR in the seemingly rare occasion of a "tour" (to see sleeping accommodations), also with a SCA or Conductor.

That is the primary reason I feel safe as a woman who travels alone on Amtrak LD trains. It's also why my husband doesn't worry...as much!

Question: I have left my room soon after boarding when instructed by SCA to go to the DC because they are on their last seating. I leave the door open with curtain closed (because I think I'm safe from wanderers!) and leave my e-ticket in a conspicuous place for the Conductor to scan. Is that the wrong thing to do?

#15 spinnaker

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 08:53 PM

I took the EB and the CL across country in a roomette.   I passed through sleeper cars countless times on the way to and from the diner and the sight seeing car.   Not once was I asked for my ticket.   So so much for your peace of mind on security.  In fact I don't recall being asked to show my ticket at all, even after boarding.  



#16 crescent-zephyr

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 09:13 PM

With e-tickets, the Conductor can "scan" your ticket without actually scanning your ticket. Since sleepers are assigned to an individual, the Conductor can just verify with the SCA that his / her  passengers showed up, and then check them in.

 

The Amtrak staff does a pretty good job of remembering faces, and who belongs where. One time I walked across the hallway just to snap a photo (no one was assigned to the roomette across from me, and I didn't sit down... literally just snapped a photo out the window).  A few moments later the SCA, when walking past the hallway asked me not to enter any rooms except my own. He wasn't "visible" when I walked across... but he saw, and noticed me.  (and I told him I was just taking a photo and he understood and then encouraged me to use the "railfan" window... which of course I knew about ha.).  


Amtrak: - Coast Starlight*, Pacific Surfliner, San Joaquin*, Cascades*, Empire Builder*, California Zephyr*, Southwest Chief*, City of New Orleans*, River Cities, Illinois Zephyr*, Wolverine, Cardinal, Capitol Limited*, Lake Shore Limited, Downeaster, Acela Express*, Crescent*, Carolinian*, Silver Star*, Silver Meteor*, Maple Leaf* Texas Eagle.

 

VIA: - Canadian*

 

Iowa Pacific - Hoosier State*, and City of New Orleans Pullman*.   


#17 the_traveler

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 09:46 PM

With few exceptions, the Dining Car is between the sleeper and coach. The DC staff has good memory of what end you usually enter from, and may question those who they may think may not belong in the sleeper. I have been questioned.
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!

#18 Lonestar648

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 11:09 PM

If the Conductor doesn't scan your ticket getting on and need to see ytour ticket they will come to the DC since they know it is last call. I have my tickets on my cell using the Amtrak APP.  I carry the phone since it is also my camera.


Edited by Lonestar648, 17 April 2018 - 11:10 PM.


#19 cirdan

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 07:32 AM

The lower level of the Sightseer Lounge cars are generally the Cafe where you can sit if you purchased from the Cafe. This may be closed off when the Cafe is closed like in the middle of the night. The upper level is always open except arriving the trains final destination or at the trains origin until the Conductors have scanned tickets so they don't have to hunt people down and Coach passengers have a hat check above their seat.

 

I think you mileage may vary. The cafeteria counter itself is locked when it closes down at night, but depending on who is on duty, they may let you still sit there. 

 

Not that it's an especially interesting place to be when it is closed, mind you.



#20 Skyline

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 10:20 AM

As a sleeping car passenger who has paid mightily for the "privilege," I should have the right to invite and accompany a coach passenger to my room. Not to use a bed, but maybe to just sit and talk, share a drink, play cards, etc.  Usually this is not an issue for a SCA; in fact often they are not even aware. A couple of times it has been an issue. I asked the SCA each time to go get a "supervisor" so we could resolve it. Both times, that request caused the SCA to let my guest pass. YMMV.

 

Sometimes you just have to stand up for what you believe to be your rights. There are plenty of SCAs who are not on ego trips. A few are.






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