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About lordsigma

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  1. One other interesting local development that may be a similar situation - it appears the Vermonter is running with only one engine this winter (normally they run two in the winter) I guess they’re getting serious about saving fuel.
  2. lordsigma

    Red cap question

    I was just wondering what is the customary tip for a red cap? Today I was at NY ClubAcela and they got me a red cap even though I said I didn’t need one (and had no baggage) but i got the early boarding advantage as a result but felt bad as I didn’t have any cash to tip as I wasn’t expecting it them to send one. Just wondering for future reference!
  3. From the response I got from the RPA, no job cuts are planned as far as they know this is about equipment, fuel, etc. I am at Springfield often and it’s usually one or two on duty. If you saw 3 or more it may have been near shift change time in the middle of the day.
  4. I wish they would consider running it seasonally on the Boston section rather than permanent removal. In off season run a single bag dorm on the New York only. On peak season run the regular bag on New York and bag dorm on Boston. Boston will still have its baggage service via 65/67 so it doesn’t require modifying anything there, Springfield doesn’t have dedicated baggage personnel the regular agents did the baggage, and Worcester and Pittsfield did trackside baggage so operationally it would be no big deal. But seems unlikely. It should be noted that many stations don’t have dedicated baggage personnel, only really the major ones do. At manned stations not big enough to warrant checked baggage personnel and red caps, the regular agents that work the counter also do checked baggage, baggage assistance, and helping passengers with wheelchairs, etc.
  5. One unfortunate thing is that a checked baggage area was included in the new Springfield station that will never get used. Amtrak still isn't using the new station although I heard an indication it may finally be happening sometime soon. The new high level platform should be done sometime in the spring.
  6. Do coach BOS - ALB, sleeper ALB - CHI.
  7. I suppose for sleeper passengers having the "unused sleeper" open for baggage makes this less of an issue...for people that really don't want to deal with their bags they can ask for baggage assistance at the station and have the agent or red cap drop it in that roomette. This is ASSUMING they don't mess with staffing at the stations. And this would only help Springfield and Boston.
  8. I received this response from the RPA. Im assuming that they simply sent this as an explanation indicates that they don't have much of an issue with the decision: The Chicago to New York checked baggage car will continue to operate round-trip on Trains 48/49, but the Boston to Chicago round-trip checked baggage car on Trains 448/449 will be removed starting Monday, January 7, 2019. With this change, checked baggage will no longer be offered to/from Springfield to/from Worcester and to/from Boston on Trains 448/449. Passengers will have to carry-on baggage for those origins and destinations. A roomette has been removed from sale in the sleeper car on the Boston section of the Lake Shore to accommodate the additional carry-on baggage of sleeper car passengers. Passengers boarding 449 in Boston who desire to check baggage for Chicago and points west can still check them, but delivery to the customer at the endpoints will be delayed 24 hours due to the requirement to route them on Train 67 from Boston. The same 24 hour delay would apply to passenger bags checked inbound to Boston via connections to Train 66. Express Shipping will continue to/from Boston via the baggage car on 66/67 that can connect Express at Washington to/from all other national Express network locations. Springfield will no longer have any trains with baggage cars operating through that location and therefore will have to embargo all Express Shipping to/from that location.
  9. Has it been announced publicly or is this internal?
  10. Email sent to RPA on checked baggage.
  11. One big difference between the two is how they are used. The Meteor carries a lot more sleeper passengers and a lot more overnight passengers in general as the more direct route which is probably why it was selected to keep the diner between the two. If one looks at the statistics the Star tends to have a much shorter almost corridor like ridership. People traveling within Florida (as it makes more stops within the state) and people from the stations in the Carolinas where it is the only train.
  12. I know CTDOT wants the Boston connection and would like to see full inland route trains they have said it outright. It's all going to depend on what comes of the study. Honestly I think the smartest thing would be to start it off with a few expanded Amtrak Shuttles to Boston stopping at SPG, WOR, FRA, BBY, and BOS. Palmer, a town to the east of Springfield, wants service badly. You could consider including them in this initial service or not. From there MassDOT could look at expanding the service with the additional trains continuing west of Springfield instead of south towards New Haven and look at other stations they may want to build. Keep in mind that the goal is SPG-BOS in a reasonable amount of time. Too many stops east of SPG will make it harder to achieve that.
  13. Getting back to the main topic though, I sent an email communication to my local congressman about the checked baggage cut. I am not necessarily expecting a response but we’ll see.
  14. The study will be examining and proposing six alternatives some of which will include Pittsfield. The goal is under 2 hours for all of them between SPG and BOS and at least one option will be for 90 minutes or less travel time between SPG and BOS. Really all that’s certain is that they want to look at Springfield - Boston service. Ultimately what comes of it, as has been discussed, could be a number of things. It may be full inland route NHV- BOS, it may be Springfield - Boston only , Pittsfield - Boston, or possibly MBTA just not far enough in the process to speculate which way they go. The goal is 8 round trips SPG-BOS I believe. It’s also possible they do a combination of things who knows. Perhaps four round trips on the full inland route, and four Pittsfield or Albany to Boston? (Timed in a way to maximize SPG-BOS service which is the main priority.) anything is possible at this point.
  15. If they decided to go with Amtrak as the operator And wanted to go as far as Pittsfield I wouldn’t be surprised if they went all the way to Albany. But it may only terminate at Springfield and in that case they may do a New Haven - Boston option. They may also do neither and operate it as MBTA commuter service.