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About railbuck

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  1. railbuck

    Unsold sleepers

    The problem then becomes that fewer coach passengers will use the diner at the higher prices, which spreads the fixed costs over fewer meals, which necessitates even higher prices, spiraling out of control. I've said before, and continue to believe, that this is part of the reason for Contemporary Dining, and a reason it is likely to spread beyond the initial two trains. By restricting food service in the dining car sleeper lounge to meals-included sleeper passengers and not publishing menu prices, the accounting cost per meal can be inflated exorbitantly in an attempt to meet the break-even mandate.
  2. railbuck

    German & French trains

    Rule of thumb, a change of stations is always necessary when connecting in Paris. Eurostar arrives at Gare du Nord. St. Lazare is one stop away on the RER E, an easy transfer compared to some of the possible combinations.
  3. More to the point, Amtrak is probably unwilling to try anything that might increase net foodservice costs, which operating a Viewdiner as a dining car in NEC Regional service likely would.
  4. Certainly. You just need to find a washboard road.
  5. Seems like the logical thing would be to have a coach-bag on #1/2 and a coach-bag on #421/422 so as not to have to transfer the baggage between cars (to be clear, two coach-bags west of SAS). Run a V2 bag and standard coach on #21/22 on the days it runs without #421/422.
  6. By not selling the boxed meals to non-sleeper passengers, there is no published menu price, thus theoretically fewer limits on creative cost allocation. Or we could call it fresh, contemporary accounting.
  7. railbuck

    Southwest Chief News & Future Operations

    The words "increasing and at record levels" in combination with a graph showing 2011-2017 imply that 2017 is the record level, which it obviously is not. If the intent is to say is that 2011-2017 taken as a whole are record levels, a graph showing long distance ridership for a longer period (maybe even back to 1971) would be an appropriate way to support that claim. For example: Source: http://www.realtransit.org/nec8.php
  8. Ignorance of the reader may, however, be a direct result of the ignorance of the writer.
  9. railbuck

    Experience on the "Nightowl" Trains?

    I disagree. Why would a couple buy two berths in a section if it's cheaper to get a private room. Since they can sell individual berths with a section, I think each berth should sell for about half of what a roomette would cost. That way, more single passengers will be willing to upgrade from coach, and on average, they wouldn't lose any revenue compared to roomettes. I also think it might make sense to have the sections designated for single passengers up until a certain number of days from departure. That way, the people who are able to share a roomette, won't be using up the berths, which can be sold individually and relatively cheaply to individual passengers. You're assuming multiple types of accommodations would be available on a given train. More likely they'd convert a route to exclusively offer Contemporary Sleeping.
  10. railbuck

    Experience on the "Nightowl" Trains?

    Slice a Delta A350 down the middle, and you get a center aisle with a row of suites on each side, just like the Viewliner Delta One sketch by cocojacoby. The cabin interior width is 221", so half of that is 110.5". Viewliners are 125" outside. I haven't found any numbers on the interior width, but it has to be really close to what Delta is working with for one side of the plane. I think the dimensions are about right. From a revenue perspective, instead of being able to sell 15 accommodation charges and 15 to 30 railfares, there are now 34 suites for sale. Each one could be priced a little lower than a current roomette so that a single traveler pays a little less and a couple pays a little more than the current fare structure. Overall revenue should go up since the "wasted" space in a single-occupant roomette can be sold. And since the charge is per person rather than per room, it's easier for people unfamiliar with Amtrak to figure out how the pricing works. No more threads about open sleeper tickets or how many people can use a day room. The seats would have to be much simpler and less maintenance-intensive than the airline seats, though.
  11. There's also the possibility, depending on timing, that they would pull you from the train at Galesburg and put you on the bus to Champaign to board the CONO there.
  12. It wouldn't work because the freight companies would still run freights that are too long to fit in the hole. So you would still have to deal with that. Most delays aren't the fault of the dispatcher but whomever is managing the actual railroad (bean counters) trying to do less with more. If you eliminate the bean counters and I can promise you the railroads will be more fluid. If the government took over dispatching, it could require that no train be longer than the shortest siding on its route. As a side benefit, the resulting construction of siding extensions would create jobs.
  13. I wonder if the OP actually contemplated loading and unloading cars at NOL or if that was just an indication of the route. Offhand I wouldn't see much demand for CHI-NOL or NOL-SFA, at least in comparison to CHI-SFA. I also wonder if it would need to be a separate train, at least at the beginning. Just pick up a couple autoracks and the associated passengers on the way out of CHI (around Kankakee, maybe?) and run them through on the extended CONO.
  14. The fast run between Frankfurt airport and Köln is interesting too, but not nearly as scenic as along the Rhine. Euromed (Valencia to Barcelona) has some nice views along the coast. Has anyone done the Semmering route between Vienna and Graz along the east edge of the Alps? I'm looking at working that in later this year.
  15. railbuck

    Amtrak's New "Fresh Choices" Dining on CL & LSL

    Destroy is exactly correct. There is no longer breakfast service on the LSL. While I will bring my own cooler and acquire eggs and ice in Chicago, many people will simply fly. In my case, west of Toledo, flying to Chicago would be inefficient; the choice is between Amtrak and driving. I was looking forward to the VL2 on the LSL; board at breakfast time, eat an omelet and visit with other passengers in the ambience of the new dining car while riding across northern Indiana. Now that it will be a sleeper lounge, I won't even have access to the car, food or no food.