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Guest EKG

Auto Train Business Class?

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Guest EKG

Hello, Amtrak aficionados!

 

Has anyone tried the new Business Class on the Auto Train yet? My wife and I are debating whether to do BC or a roomette for our trip to Florida in May, and would love any feedback as far as the Auto Train BC layout, typical crowd level, comfort, etc.

 

The difference between BC and the roomette is around $100 right now, which isn't huge... but then again, $100 would pay for one of our Disney tickets (or most of one, anyhow).

 

If it makes a difference, we'll be headed to my folks' house in Orlando immediately after arrival... so we can always crash there and nap if we don't sleep much on the train. So, while some sleep on the train would obviously be nice, I think we're more interested in the general comfort level of the two options.

 

Thanks in advance for your insight!

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I cannot answer any of your questions, unfortunately, but it baffles me that the service is not even mentioned in the timetable. What's the big secret? Oh, I know, you can find out all about it if you know where to look on line.

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My aunt and uncle are planning to travel on the Auto Train in business class on Sunday. According to my aunt, everything else was sold out. I will ask her about it after their trip.

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Penny:

 

I'll be looking forward to this report as well. I've heard various things about it & don't know what conclusions to draw.

 

Tom

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Guest EKG

Penny -- yes, I'd love to hear what your aunt and uncle have to say about the experience! Since my original post, I found the thread about this topic in the main forum... and reading those posts doesn't give me much hope that Business Class will be anything other than a standard 2 + 2 coach car with standard coach seats. But, whatever the case, it'll be great to have some definite info out there -- it's strange that two months after the service was introduced, there are no trip reports or confirmed info floating around the Internet. It may be that, as Palmetto alluded to, the BC option is so well hidden on the website that no one is using it! That gives me hope that the BC car might be a quiet and uncrowded one.

 

The point may actually be moot for now, though -- I just discovered that the roomette price for our travel day has dropped a good bit, to where the difference between BC and a roomette is only $29 (rather than $100). So, we very well may just jump on that. But, again, it'd be awesome to know what the BC is actually like for future reference.

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I just spoke to my aunt who is on the train right now. She is not terribly impressed with business class so far.

According to her, the seating is downstairs in one of the coaches (she likes downstairs, so that is a plus). The perks are: each passenger was given 2 bottles of water and the package containing blanket, eyeshades, ear plugs. They will dine in the sleeping car dining car (rather than coach dining car) and they were boarded before coach passengers.

 

My aunt was hoping that one of the perks would be that their car would have priority and be among the first to be detrained. (No dice - of course Amtrak would have no reason to do that for BC).

 

EKG - I would definitely go with a roomette.

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EKG- Second what Penny said! Book the Roomette!😉

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For $29, book the sleeper. No doubt about that.

 

On Auto Train, no passengers can be safely detrained until all passenger cars are in place and auto carriers are detached. Then detraining is permitted for everybody. Those on the lower level usually go first, unless they linger and take a few more minutes to gather their things.

 

Tom

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Guest EKG

Thanks again for your help, everyone -- we had a fun time on the Auto Train, and the roomette was a good choice. I am curious, though -- the roomette (upper level, #6) was really comfortable and relaxing during the day, but the ride was *much* bumpier overnight while we were trying to sleep. Are the tracks in worse shape on the overnight portion, or does the train go faster overnight (thus amplifying the bumps), or did we just feel the bumps more because we were lying down rather than sitting up, or all of the above?

 

(I also felt like the roomette was muggier overnight than during the day. Do they raise the climate control temperature overnight, or was this just a natural result of heading south?)

 

We're looking at maybe doing a Southern California trip next summer -- we'll definitely look at Amtrak again!

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The first subdivision you ride on is the RF&P owned by CSX and generally it's pretty good. Once your south of Richmond its CSXs North End sub which isn't that good. So it's actually the track.

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It's a trip of a bit over 850 miles. The condition of the track will naturally vary from location to location. There are places where the track was recently maintained, and others that are due for attention, and others that fall somewhere in between.

 

Tom

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Keep in mind that the center of gravity is pretty low to keep those Superliners from being top heavy. Thus, the distance of your body to the cg is greater. The moment of inertia is pretty strong way up there - especially on the top bunk. I also think you tend to feel more bumps horizontally than vertically. At any rate, yes - Since I started riding Amtrak nearly 17 years ago, I've always thought we were going to tip over when I was in the top bunk of the top level.

 

RE: Business Class - This is the most inconsistent service offered on Amtrak. I really wish there would be some director of Business Class who would create continuity in the service across the various trains.

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Excellent idea VF, therefore it doesn't stand a chance @ 60 Mass! 😕

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Check out Delta Airlines Delta One business class. That is what Amtrak should be offering. Would work really well on the Auto Train and on the "Night Owl" on the NEC. I just did a solo trip on the Auto Train and would easily have taken Business Class if this was offered:

 

https://www.google.com/amp/amp.travelandleisure.com/airlines-airports/delta-one-suite%3fsource=dam

 

They do.. It's called Sleeper Service. ;)

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Check out Delta Airlines Delta One business class. That is what Amtrak should be offering. Would work really well on the Auto Train and on the "Night Owl" on the NEC. I just did a solo trip on the Auto Train and would easily have taken Business Class if this was offered:

 

https://www.google.com/amp/amp.travelandleisure.com/airlines-airports/delta-one-suite%3Fsource=dam"]https://www.google.com/amp/amp.travelandleisure.com/airlines-airports/delta-one-suite%3fsource=dam[/url]

They do.. It's called Sleeper Service. ;)

Not on 67!

 

In all seriousness, then we here at AU would then be complaining about the inconsistency of Delta One type business class vs Carolinian type business class, and so on. Basically unless everything matches 100%, which is unrealistic, someone is going to be unhappy.

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66/67 used to carry sleepers. There was the Washington to Boston sleeper, and there was the New York Executive Sleeper, which ran north out of Washington and was dropped at Penn Station in the middle of the night. I worked them both on the Washington extra board in early 1987. The Boston job was tolerable, but I hated the New York job because of poor security after the car was dropped and the rest of the train left. The occupied car was left alone and no security personnel ever checked on us until the passengers detrained in the morning. I was promised a radio in case of trouble, but they NEVER had one for me. The Penn Station folks didn't care.

 

Tom

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66/67 used to carry sleepers. There was the Washington to Boston sleeper, and there was the New York Executive Sleeper, which ran north out of Washington and was dropped at Penn Station in the middle of the night. I worked them both on the Washington extra board in early 1987. The Boston job was tolerable, but I hated the New York job because of poor security after the car was dropped and the rest of the train left. The occupied car was left alone and no security personnel ever checked on us until the passengers detrained in the morning. I was promised a radio in case of trouble, but they NEVER had one for me. The Penn Station folks didn't care.

 

Tom

I've heard all about them from various attendants, but was wondering how that worked in NYP. What a PITA that must've been.

 

You know..I asked a high up manager on the corridor about the sleeper returning to 67, and he claimed they have actually been looking in to it, but were waiting for the new sleepers to show up before it'd ever happen. So let's hope!

 

I've still been pushing for OBS to have some mode of communication with the crew, for safety. Had an extra board attendant who was hit a few months back, and thankfully it was a busyish train so there were many other passengers around who jumped in for -her- safety. But if it happened on a train like 67 where the cafe was empty, and the crew is following the rules for the corridor and not sitting in the car...

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Guest 561Marisa

I travelled from Lorton to Sanford on 10/13/17. I was in a coach seat (a few bedroom accommodations were available to buy at the counter at check in, but were very expensive). I was lucky and did not have a person next to me on the 2 by 2 coach seating, but even so, sleeping was not as comfortable as I expected. There is what I'll call a partial reclining unit to support your upper thighs/knees, but it does not go all the way down to the ankles (I'm 5'10" tall). There is a foot rest and plenty of leg room, the seat generously reclines back, and there are AC outlets along the window railing (BRING your own pillow/blanket for comfort)!. Vs. driving that distance myself, a coach seat on AutoTrain was very convenient and saved wear and tear on my car (and me), but it was not ideal for sleeping. I understand that business class is EXACTLY the SAME as coach seating - 2 by 2 seating with partial reclining unit to support upper thighs/knees, however you do get more amenities and a separate dining car. You will pay more for business class, but the seats are the same as the coach compartment - don't expect a reclining chair (i.e. Lazy Boy) in business class. A Conductor showed me some of the sleeping accommodations - a roomette is the way I plan to go next month and I will update this blog thereafter to advise.

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Oddly enough for the fare paid, one gets more AGR TQPs in Business Class than in Sleeper. Go figure!

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Oddly enough for the fare paid, one gets more AGR TQPs in Business Class than in Sleeper. Go figure!

One of many concerns of ours during the roll out of the New and Unimproved AGR2.0!

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