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Thirdrail7

Train Jam 2018: CZ (5) March 15-18

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For reference, here is the previous thread regarding the operation of this train:

 

Train Jam CZ Feb 23

 

It seems like there has been some additional dialogue between the organizers and the Amtrak so let the debate begin:

 

 

Train Jam 2018: Announcements!

 

 


 

As always, we will be departing from Chicago’s Union Station and arriving in Emeryville, CA, which is just outside of San Francisco, California. Amtrak will provide shuttle buses for Train Jam attendees to complete the rest of the journey into downtown San Francisco

 


 

The Train

Continuing our partnership with Amtrak, we have been approved to rent out the entire California Zephyr again for Train Jam 2018. In addition, Amtrak has added one more sleeper car onto our train, which brings our maximum attendee capacity up to 340 people! This means that our train now consists of three coach class cars, three sleeper cars, one restaurant car, and two observation cars- which is A LOT of train cars.

 

PS: Don't forget the baggage car! You will also have a baggage car! ^_^

 

 

Ticket go on sale soon!

 


 

Public Ticket Sale

The public sale of Train Jam 2018’s tickets will start at 4:00pm Tuesday December 12, 2017 Central European Time. Here is a handy reference of what that means around the world! You will be able to find a link to purchase tickets on the front page of trainjam.com once sales go live.

 

 

Let's see how long it takes them to sell out this year.

Edited by Thirdrail7

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What is Central European Time? :huh:

Their link says UTC+1, which means western and central Europe which includes Poland and Hungary, but not as far east as Romania

Edited by PaulM

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If it is on the CZ, why are they giving the time in Germany?:huh: UTC I might understand more, but not the local time in Rio or Moscow or Peking. After all, the CZ only runs in the US.

Edited by the_traveler

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If it is on the CZ, why are they giving the time in Germany? :huh: UTC I might understand more, but not the local time in Rio or Moscow or Peking. After all, the CZ only runs in the US.

 

Dude, this is a geek train. This is how we roll. In high school, I kept my watch set to GMT, because I could :cool:.

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If it is on the CZ, why are they giving the time in Germany? :huh: UTC I might understand more, but not the local time in Rio or Moscow or Peking. After all, the CZ only runs in the US.

 

It is hazing at its best! Either you get it or you're left behind!!! ^_^

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Wow, a Train full of Geeks!

 

To paraphrase JFK: There hasn't been such a collection of Intellect in one place since Thomas Jefferson dined alone!😊

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That is 340 total, but it is not a charter just for that group. It is a regular run of the CZ.

 

If somebody is unlucky enough to have to go from Grand Junction to Helper or Ely to Truckee that day, they can buy tickets. However, there may be hundreds of geeks aboard also. That is why Amtrak is adding an extra coach, an extra sleeper and an extra SSL to that run.

Edited by the_traveler

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If somebody is unlucky enough to have to go from Grand Junction to Helper or Ely to Truckee that day, they can buy tickets.

No they can’t, the train jam people have bought the entire train from end to end.

 

True, it is a regular run, but it’s a regular run with every seat (including the extras) sold to a single customer before anyone else could book.

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Yep.
http://trainjam.com/about
"Our fourth year was our largest yet, and marked the first time that we were able to rent out the entire California Zephyr! "[/size]
That was last March.

Just tired to book DEN to SLC March 16 - SOLD OUT

"Problem with Availability: At least one portion of your trip is unavailable. Revise your travel dates and times so we may search for other available options.
[Error ID: 578S]"

Edited by KmH

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I hope that they paid extra to charter a train that is not a charter.

 

It is not fair for those who must travel that day that they can not get a reservation. And we complain that the Safety Patrol takes the whole SM for a few days from regular passengers.

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I hope that they paid extra to charter a train that is not a charter.

 

 

They tend to pick up the costs for the extra equipment. Additionally, if you read the previous thread, you'll see the year they didn't reserve the whole train, the sponsors were kind enough to pick up the tab for everyone to use the cafe car.

 

 

I hope that they paid extra to charter a train that is not a charter.

 

 

As I've asked before: How is it unfair that a train is sold out? What's the difference between this train being sold out and any other train that is sold out? What's the difference between this group taking all of the seats (before they even went on sale to the general public) and another group (or family) taking the last seats on the train?

 

 

And we complain that the Safety Patrol takes the whole SM for a few days from regular passengers.

 

Yes....you do.

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The Good News is that the Zephyr is SOLD OUT!

 

The Bad News is that the Zephyr is SOLD OUT!🤔

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The Good News is that the Zephyr is SOLD OUT!

 

The Bad News is that the Zephyr is SOLD OUT!

 

The better news is it is sold out with a BIGGER consist than it normally runs.....for the ENTIRE length.

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Wow. I can just imagine the "stimulating" convo that will take place in the SSL and Diner. Snore....

 

Many years ago, I was "privileged" to get a ticket on the now-defunct Rio Grande Zephyr westbound from Denver. Almost everyone on board was part of some conference of archivists. Librarians would be a lively bunch in comparison.

 

Still, good to see people clamoring to ride the rails. A pity Amtrak has such an equipment shortage it can't add more to the consist on days like this, but I understand the logistical issues even if they could (deadheading back east among others, unless this group would be doing a RT).

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I'm sure game developers and archivists would say the same about rail fans.

 

 

Wow. I can just imagine the "stimulating" convo that will take place in the SSL and Diner. Snore....

 

Many years ago, I was "privileged" to get a ticket on the now-defunct Rio Grande Zephyr westbound from Denver. Almost everyone on board was part of some conference of archivists. Librarians would be a lively bunch in comparison.

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Wow. I can just imagine the "stimulating" convo that will take place in the SSL and Diner. Snore....

 

Many years ago, I was "privileged" to get a ticket on the now-defunct Rio Grande Zephyr westbound from Denver. Almost everyone on board was part of some conference of archivists. Librarians would be a lively bunch in comparison.

 

 

A trip report from someone who was with them before they secure exclusive occupancy tells a different tale:

 

I first found out about TrainJam in 2015 when I was (by pure coincidence) on the California Zephyr that they were on. I remember sitting in my room in Chicago as folks were boarding, and thinking "Man, this is youngest crowd ever on Amtrak. This is gonna be FUN." They had these great "Fun Meter" buttons that you could move the meter on from like 0 to 10.

Their event has grown every year. 2015 they shared the same lounge as the rest of the passengers, which led to a few issues that the group handled professionally. Last year (and I believe this year) they have their own lounge car and cafe (the line up sponsors to pick up the cafe car tab). It's a great group of friendly, energetic programmers and game developers from around the world. Overall I think it's a very cool event and idea. Should they be doing it with private cars? Maybe, but I'm guessing the economics of that don't work out at all for the group or the attendees - there just aren't enough berths and space in private cars. TrainJam is also able to split roomettes, not with Amtrak but on their own rooming list.

In terms of "suspending service" - the train is sold out, does it matter at all HOW it got sold out?

Interestingly one of the real challenges they have is the power capacity in the cars. On my train there were numerous blackout and brownouts - I think this is something the organizers have gotten a better handle on.

In terms of the games created and conjectured with sarcasm in a previous post, all the games are available here: http://trainjam.com/games

They have a 'theme' each year - I think in 2015 it was "on track". If you go to that link, the output and creativity are absolutely impressive. Even more so when you consider how many distractions there are on the California Zephyr. It's fun to follow the @trainjam Twitter and IG and see how many developers post "I'm so behind on my game because of the awesome views from the train".

 

Tab in the Cafe car that was picked up by sponsors. Past Reno it was pretty slim pickings.

 

 

Still, good to see people clamoring to ride the rails. A pity Amtrak has such an equipment shortage it can't add more to the consist on days like this, but I understand the logistical issues even if they could (deadheading back east among others, unless this group would be doing a RT).

 

An equipment shortage has nothing to do with this. At this point, this train is almost maximum length for DEN. It holds 14 pieces of equipment on the pit. The consist is up to 11 cars (1 bag, 1 transdorm, 3 coaches, 3 sleepers, 1 diner, 2 lounges) and you have at least 2 diesels, for a total of 13. You have one more piece to play with and I'd bet real money they add another diesel, which would max you out.

Edited by Thirdrail7

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If the 2018 has a sell out with many turn downs maybe Amtrak could do this.

1. Round up as many Superliners as possible.

2. put locos on the front and one on the rear. That might solve the HEP problem by dividing load between front and back. Of course train length would need to be limited to passenger train braking instead of freight train braking schedule..

3. At DEN split train at mid train break and turn front on wye and back both sections into DEN Union station leaving both locos at far end of platform(s). Ski train will probably need to be stored somewhere else.

4. Service train ; re board ; pull both sections to either side of wye; back one section onto other ; couple up and brake check rear section since front section can get its daily in station. Then whole train can continue onward.

5. Since the train will not have to make station stops except for crew and water stops it should be running close to or ahead of schedule ? There by arriving early still at EMY .

 

Possible ? Yes but not likely probable as equipment is certainly a problem . Are all Superliners equipped for loco MU control of rear loco ?

Edited by west point

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https://www.amtrak.com/charter-your-private-train

 

So using Train Jam's per person pricing the full train total comes to $111,030.

$42,180 for 222 coach seats

$40,740 for 84 Roomette seats

$21,750 for 30 Bedroom seats (2 persons per Bedroom)

$3450 for 6 Family Rooms (2 persons per Family room)

$2910 for 6 H-room (2 person per H-Room - paid for by a sponsor).

 

The sponsors are paying for the extra SSL car and whatever charter costs aren't paid for my Train Jam passengers.

 

How much do you think the extra SSL car costs?

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I think the Sponsors are paying for the cafe car costs as well. Also, Trainjam is coordinating the reservations and the collection of the fares. On the reverse trip there will be either be lots of space or closed off cars. Another thing is that everyone boarding in Chicago going all the way to San Francisco (Amtrak buses). This would mean that station stops are not needed except for service stops.

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