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  2. Technically, it didn't exceed them since my estimates were for September;-) Looking at the numbers for Q3, this suggests another 30-50% growth quarter-over-quarter. I have little doubt that October beat September in terms of ridership by a good bit. One thing to note is that Brightline added additional weekend trains in October, which can't help but have helped. I'll slap some additional notes down elsewhere, but it looks like PPR is pretty steady while ridership is moving upwards solidly.
  3. Today
  4. Anderson? Seems to exceed even your estimates. This is good news. As for Virgin, 8 think the line will be Virgin Trains USA's Brightline. I don't expect to see everything going into the paint shop for a major redo.
  5. railiner

    What would you add?

    Very 'creative' map....are you going to build railroads where there aren't any?
  6. the_traveler

    Coast Starlight Without Pacific Parlour Car

    Do they even have that many?
  7. 4 tables? Sounds luxurious! Granted I don't spend much time in a dorm, but the only ones I've seen only have 2 tables.
  8. F900ElCapitan

    TE No. 21 over 10 hr late 11/20/18

    I’m not sure about the first delay, but the second was a broken rail and the third they report as freight train congestion. At least that’s just what Amtrak is tweeting. And it’s currently over 12 hours late, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they annul it in FTW.
  9. October ridership at 60,000. Revenue for the month at $1M ES1215520-ES949214-ES1350042.pdf
  10. I don't think it's a "course-of-business" item. IIRC New York (for example) flat-out refused to pay the initial invoices given them because Amtrak tried to give them a one-line "services rendered" invoice (Illinois was able to wriggle out from under part of theirs due to Amtrak deciding it was a "bright idea" to send out the PRIIA 209 bills after the legislatures had gone into recess). There is systematic exasperation from quite a few states. There's also some frustration at how the whole situation surrounding the PPC has been handled over the last few years...but a lot of it centers around the sheer costs Amtrak has loaded onto the corridor trains. That is a big threat for Amtrak because of the amount of overhead being carried by those trains. My understanding, from folks up there, is that WA and OR would have already sacked Amtrak if it had been feasible to do so. The insurance issue (which gave Indiana heartburn as well), among others, preempted that.
  11. It was truncations due to a tunnel incident, which lasted for weeks, and a fire, which lasted for a few days. My point is that losing service north of Sacramento did not get any attention in a state where transportation disruptions are always news. It's an example of where long distance train service ranks on the list of Californian transportation issues – at the bottom. No one I know who works in transportation service or policy, including specifically people in places served by the Starlight, are upset or even mildly concerned about what Amtrak might or might not do with long distance service. I'm sure there must be someone who cares, but I've yet to meet him or her. If a course-of-business billing disagreement meets your criteria for being "under direct attack", well okay.
  12. I know that in October-November before the holidays that Amtrak had cut the Empire Builder, California Zephyr and Southwest Chief back by one sleeper with only one sleeper on the Empire Builder to Seattle section of that train. I just made a reservation for last half of February and was assigned to car 831 or the second Seattle sleeper. Anyone know if they will be running both sleepers 830 and 831 during late February? Or is Amtrak now doing number of sleepers based on demand as long as they have the sleepers available.
  13. My understanding, via folks out there, is that WA is quite displeased and has done exploratory work regarding "other vendors" for the Cascades. I've also gathered that CA isn't thrilled with the billing situation (which Amtrak really made a soup sandwich of). As to the Starlight truncation, truncations due to weather or derailments are nothing new (and not much that Amtrak can do about them anyway).
  14. Okay, thanks for the info. I've spent quite a few months lurking here before joining in on the fun. There certainly is a wealth of information here fom the members.
  15. Yeah, I'd take a crowded SSL over four tables in the lower level of a trans-dorm any day.
  16. Once again, this is what bewildered me working that car. (Presumably) his company bought him a first class ticket, which includes alcohol, but he went to the cafe as paid for it. Oh well, more for the rest of the passengers in the car.
  17. cpotisch

    Who in the world are you???

    Nice! Glad to have you with us!
  18. Siegmund

    Who in the world are you???

    I'm on the pre-1970 Builder route, anyway Middle-of-nowhere northwest Montana, but in Kalispell often for work, and lots of chances to see the Builder as it passes through Whitefish. Occasional trips up the forest service roads alongside the tracks between Whitefish and Libby looking for good berry-picking spots. Outside of enjoying model and full-size railroads, a statistician, bridge player, classical composer, and private pilot.
  19. Looks like Texas Eagle No. 21 lost 2 hours between STL and Arcadia, Mo., and 5 1/2 hours between Walnut Ridge, Ark., and Little Rock. Any word on the cause? A friend of mine, who has taken trains overseas but has traveled Amtrak seldom, took the Flyer to FTW today en route to Austin and is waiting for No. 21 to arrive, currently 10 hr 58 min late at Longview. [emoji33]
  20. I love the topic, and ships in general, but I think we are straying a bit far from the original path of trying to help someone with their trip to the US. Should we consider moving any further discussion on this to the non-rail area? Lots of interesting thoughts and different viewpoints, but maybe not for this thread....Certainly not my call, but if the mods think so, they'd have a valid point...
  21. Every November I have a work conference which rotates among Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver, and my employer has been willing to buy me a sleeper berth on the Empire Builder instead of making me fly. (As long as the sleeper is available at the low-bucket price of ~$200 each way it's often the same price or a little cheaper than a flight, too.) I always look forward to that trip, and typically sit up with my interior curtains drawn, and watch Montana go past by moonlight and/or starlight, and only go to sleep about Bonner's Ferry. I was happy that this year my sleeper attendant waited until I boarded and asked me whether I wanted my bed turned down - last year the bed was already made when I got on at 9pm and I had to turn it back into a seat (and into a bed for a second time at midnight) myself. One thing that hasn't changed is that the sleeper is always about 80 degrees when I got on. First thing I do is turn the temperature knob to Cool and then go back downstairs for fresh air. It takes it half the night to cool down. I suppose if it's too cold it takes it half the night to warm up, too, and they've decided that turning up the heat in winter results in fewer complaints. I didn't have moonlight this trip, but got great reflections of town lights off Whitefish Lake, and again off the river between Libby and Troy. I have to drive US-93 a few times a week and enjoyed watching (and passing) headlights in that first half hour after Whitefish. If you're a picture taker chasing the train, you have to pick your spot for your one shot - it's pretty much impossible for a car to overtake the train between Whitefish and Stryker (where the track curves away from the highway toward the Flathead Tunnel.) Last year I discovered that I sleep poorly in a roomette: if I'm lying horizontally, I rock side to side and feel like I'm going to fall out of bed. This year I planned to try reclining one half of the bed only 3/4 of the way, and seeing if I'd sleep better reclining than lying flat. Nice idea, but turns out the cushions don't lock in place once you put them more than halfway down. When I tried to climb onto the 3/4-reclined bed, it zoomed the rest of the way down and I bonked my head into the wall. Ah well... it was a nice idea. Back to plan B - I had brought an extra pillow and blanket, mostly to wedge beside my head and make me feel less like I was tipping over. Beautiful morning view of the Columbia Gorge. An odd east wind had flushed out the morning fog. Leaves were still turning along the tracks, while the trees at the top of the cliffs were coated in frost. The usual cold boxed breakfast for sleeper passengers. I had never realized before that the P42s stand several inches shorter than the F40s did. If you stand on tiptoe you can actually look straight ahead over the top of the engine, from the front of the lounge car. But there's one thing that nags at me. Both last year and this year, I had the feeling that it was 1968. The Builder is short in winter - one sleeper and one coach to Seattle, one sleeper and two coaches to Portland (two only because they need a place for baggage and a place for handicapped seats, I expect.) I walked through the train before I slept. Five roomettes and two bedrooms occupied in the Portland sleeper. 13 and 14 people in the two Portland coaches. About 25 in the Seattle coach. It was comfortable and the service was great but I can only imagine what'll happen once the budget folks see just how empty the train is --- and this from, supposedly, the best-performing of the long distance trains. It's still very popular in Montana. We often have 20 or more people getting on in Whitefish, and a similar number getting off. But I guess nobody from anywhere else rides. The yield management strategy produces some odd results. Last year I got a $200 sleeper both ways; the sleep was full and coach half-full on the way there; on the return trip they claimed the one coach was sold out and people were being sold first-class tickets from Seattle to Wenatchee and seated in the dorm rooms nearest the sleeper. This year I couldn't get a return sleeper unless I wanted to pay $425, though cheapest-bin coach seats were still available. Leaving Whitefish I (and one other passenger) were assigned to rooms that had just been vacated by people getting off in Whitefish; we sat temporarily in vacant rooms while we waited for ours to be cleaned. Why not just put us in one of those other rooms? We had a choice of eight or ten of them. At least on the Portland side, the lounge serves until a civilized hour of the morning, and there is plenty of seating upstairs. Going to Seattle, the diner closes "promptly upon exiting the Cascade Tunnel," at about 6:30 in the morning, 4 hours before arrival. You have to REALLY want your free breakfast to get it. The dining car staff absolutely insist that they pack people in four to a table at only four of the eightteen tables, instead of letting anyone spread out. Really? It's that awful to have to tear off a paper tablecloth from another table? Sure, I get that, in the summer when they have to seat 72 people at each of three sittings for dinner. I don't see the point with 16. The way the dining car was run last year felt like a deliberate attempt to drive away the tiny bit of remaining business that it had. The lounge attendant this year smiled and said something like "we aren't quite as uptight about it as they are on the Seattle section." Given the expensive return sleeper, I had to fly home. I will reluctantly admit the Embraer 175 is more comfortable than the Dash 8s and Q400s Alaska/Horizon used to fly. But oh how I appreciate the ease of getting on and off the train, and the comfort while aboard -- and while waiting to board! -- compared to fighting with airport security. Next year will have to book farther ahead and make sure I can ride both ways. Even a full train feels so much more civilized. But if this is still the best-performing long distance train, Amtrak is in a lot more trouble than I thought. It only ran one car longer (a second Seattle coach) last summer.
  22. the_traveler

    Coast Starlight Without Pacific Parlour Car

    The “lounge” in the trans-dorm is only a rest area for the train’s staff and the Conductor.
  23. Ok here's my story. From PHL-NYP the FC Car was sold out we ended up sitting next to two business travelers who had their stuff spread out on our seats who promptly moved their stuff when they saw our arrival. Mom and I sat across from each other. When we got to NYP the seat next to my Mom was empty. The conductor told us that the guy who had that seat was "at the bar" and I could sit there. So from just after passing New Rochelle to Route 128 I was able to sit next to my Mom. So it appears that passengers who use upgrade coupons are best off boarding at WAS, NYP, RTE, BBY, or BOS.
  24. Yesterday
  25. There is only one dining car and passengers are not allowed to use the (small and unimpressive) crew lounge on the lower level of the Trans-Dorm. So I don't know where you heard that there are two diners or that passengers can relax in the crew dorm, but it is definitely not true.
  26. Agreed. There very well could be someone out there who wants them, but a bunch of scuffed up, roofless, plastic train cars probably won't fetch much.
  27. Based on my first/last/only trip in a roomette in the dorm car 18 months ago, the 'lounge' area was a wide-open vacant space about 8 ft x 20 ft, if memory serves.
  28. It's all about the experience. What would you say to someone who said this? Well played, my friend! Touché.
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