Jump to content
Adrouault

If you could add any amenities to Amtrak, what would they be?

Recommended Posts

The sheets are sheets, those are fine. I'm pretty sure the acrylic blankets are used for their fireproofness, which wool is not, particularly. The mattresses, on the other hand, especially the upper berths, could certainly stand some improvement. As for pillows, I usually pack my own. I prefer 100% goose down. I rarely stay in hotels that accommodate that, let alone Amtrak.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Speaking of amenities, how about Wi-Fi on the Superliners?

I had Wi-Fi in my sleeper room on board the Southwest Chief between Chicago and Los Angeles earlier this week. The car had a mobile Wi-Fi router tied to a cellular network so the quality and availability of the Wi-Fi service varied considerably depending on where we were. If we were passing through a populated area with good cellular coverage (e.g. Kansas City, Albuquerque), we had internet access. If we were in the middle of nowhere, there was spotty or no internet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

HOT WATER FOR TEA IN THE SLEEPING CARS. (Yes, I'm shouting, though not at anyone on this forum. :hi:)

 

And I'll second the call above for return of paper timetables, specifically the national system timetable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Paper timetables are a necessity. The pocket timetables for the individual routes are perhaps more important than the national booklet, but both are important.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Silver Meteor has the blankets in a sealed plastic bag. Though thin, they are warm.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Amtrak Forum

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They are both irrelevant. People have smartphones. And if you don't, you have Julie. 7

 

Just because you find it preferable or more convenient to get your information from a smartphone or Julie doesn't mean everyone else feels the same way. This is often particularly true of generations who remember phones with cords and with a literal dial to place your calls; These are also often some of Amtrak's highest revenue (bedrooms, etc.) customers. Is it really worth alienating them to save literal pennies printing a route timetable folder?

 

But the National Timetable also plays a marketing and "familiarization" role for passenger rail (ie., look at all the other places we can go by train). The website, phones, and Julie all work very well for looking up needed information; They often fail just as strongly at a general and casual overview. It is much easier (and more pleasant) to peruse a timetable than it is to ask Julie twenty different questions.

 

Let the games begin :D

 

Indeed, phones work fine for games..... :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My home phones have cords, most have dials; I collect old phones. The ones with dials have a neat little device that captures pulses, and then transmits them in touch tones. I have these expensive little devices because I dont want to give up my metal bodied, bakelite handsetted 302 and my 500, but being one of a handful of rotary dialers on my exchange, the phone company didnt want to continue to support pulse dialing at some expense.

 

To continue to indulge my extravagece would have been unreasonable to request. So is yours.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The first 10+ years of riding on Amtrak was exclusively in coach. My idea is to allow coach passengers to have ONE shower per trip after about 8 hours on board.

The lounge area at the head end primarily used by women, could be converted to a shower room by taking out the toilet and replacing with a shower.

You would pay the coach attendant or someone else for a $5 chit to use to get into the shower room. Towels, soaps etc. could be provided just as they are for the

sleeping car passengers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They are both irrelevant. People have smartphones. And if you don't, you have Julie. 7

 

He's right. We're in the 21st Century where the iPhone is king. I keep updated NEC PDF timetables in my iBooks. Yes it was great to have a hard copy of a National Timetable. But times have changed and we must go with the flow.

 

A great example I can use is here in Philly Septa will be no longer selling tokens at Subway Stations starting in the new year. In favor of their New Payment Technology referred to as "Septa Key". Which is a contactless card that you scan against a reader and it deducts your fare from your "Key Card". People in Philly are annoyed by it. But what they don't understand is that Septa is the only Public Transit agency in the nation that still has tokens and paper transfers. I believe that the MTA in NYC ceased token fares in 2003, give or take a few years. Bottom line.. Tokens and Paper Transfers are a waste and outdated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On trains where the Business Class seating is essentially the same as coach, I think there should be a guarantee of two seats per passenger in Business Class.

Edited by Maglev

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why do you think such a nutty thing as this?

 

It is an additional amenity that could be offered with no capital expenditure. Fares could be adjusted to prevent lost revenue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It would also reduce capacity. And frankly, I am not sure what it would benefit. Perhaps in business class they could allow you the indulgence of buying an empty seat, something they do not let you do in coach. What they really need to do is develop a business class concept that offers more than an actually reserved seat, a curtain, and a warm soda.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dedicated 2-1 Business Class seating standard system-wide; Current LD seating pitch. As a minimum. Standardize the whole hard product so it is the same no matter if you're riding the Coast Starlight, the Cardinal, a Surfliner or any other train with BC.

 

Ideally, the hard product for Long Distance BC would incorporate a lie-flat pod.

 

Update and make more comfortable the Sleeper accommodations. Definitely gain better mattresses, improved sheets and more plush/heavier blankets. And better/thicker pillows.

 

But as has been stated before, CLEAN THE DARN TRAINS BETTER. Do more complete deep-cleaning of passenger spaces, and if things like carpeting are beyond help, strip and replace with new.

 

 

 

 

I'm ready to receive the throwing of produce my way now. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good point about making coaches BC reducing capacity instead ----

You could fill the CAF options with BC only cars and add one to each single level car train. That way capacity is actually increased.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm a fan of standardizing BC (you'd probably have two slight variants on the product for single-level and bi-level BC), though I'd have it as two products (one for overnight/LD trains and another for daylight/corridor trains). Some minor variations aside, Amtrak really should make a reasonably standard BC product a "take it or leave it" proposition and have some other label for non-standard products ("Custom Class" or "Parlor Car Service" come to mind).

The other thing I would like to see, setting the above aside, is some sort of "better than Business Class" service on the VA Regionals. The main reason in this case is that (1) something like 25% of the revenue from VA's trains is from BC pax; and (2) you've got a not-insignificant number of pax traveling from, say, RVR or Hampton Roads up towards New York, and the needs of a two hour trip are really not the same as an eight-hour trip.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A question that needs answering is ----- Does Amtrak make BC on single level trains = BC in Acela-1s ? Sine all Acelas is either BC or first class the big question might be will Amtrak BC be 2& 1 or 2 & 2 ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I personally never liked the branding of Acelas basic service level as Business Class. I would market something like Regional Coach (current coach service), Regional Business (2-1 seating, free soft drinks), Acela (current Acela BC), and Acela First (same as it is now). If they could get the slots, Id also buy but some commuter style equipment and run a third lower class of service that was unreserved, no food service, and ran more locally- call it Corridor Economy or something. I think it would bring in some of the bus business without really compromising the other services.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I personally never liked the branding of Acelas basic service level as Business Class. I would market something like Regional Coach (current coach service), Regional Business (2-1 seating, free soft drinks), Acela (current Acela BC), and Acela First (same as it is now). If they could get the slots, Id also buy but some commuter style equipment and run a third lower class of service that was unreserved, no food service, and ran more locally- call it Corridor Economy or something. I think it would bring in some of the bus business without really compromising the other services.

I would probably retain food service if they were running a long-haul commuter-type train, but mainly because I suspect that said food service would make money (as F&B apparently does on the Regionals as-is). I might not have a cafe area, but a "standing buffet" (in UK terms) could probably justify itself on a WAS-NYP run, particularly if Amtrak were willing to load on a modest number of additional stops (e.g. Hamilton, NJ) while holding to a travel time in the four-hour range (I'd want to keep the travel time under that level, but anything in the 3:30-4:00 range should work for marketing/convenience purposes).

 

TBH what I would probably be inclined to do with such a train (presuming it could pass ADA muster) would be to have a single "Cafe/Accessible" car with a decent number of accessible seats (you could probably fit a few dozen), have two cars abutting it with similar seats, and have the rest of the cars be non-ADA bilevels. If you've got ten Wheelchair slots in one car and two more in each of the neighboring cars (plus some other non-stair but non-wheelchair seats in the single-level car), that's about as many as you have on an existing Regional. A ten-car train with this configuration (presume that 9 of the cars are NJT-style bilevels plus the one oddball) would have a capacity sitting somewhere just over 1200. If you could remove the extended single-level portion from 7 of the cars you might be able to slip in an extra 8 seats per car (so 56 seats overall), for a total capacity in the mid-1200s.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just be aware though that to actually provide 100 seat capacity in the NJT style multilevels one will have to severely curtail baggage space. The situation on NJT MLV trains carrying airline passengers between EWR and NYP is not a pretty site at all, and would be a significant hazard should one of these catch fire or derail.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just be aware though that to actually provide 100 seat capacity in the NJT style multilevels one will have to severely curtail baggage space. The situation on NJT MLV trains carrying airline passengers between EWR and NYP is not a pretty site at all, and would be a significant hazard should one of these catch fire or derail.

Depending on what you're looking at for the service (e.g. what role it is to play), I think dropping to one carry-on/one personal item would be a reasonable change for that service. FWIW, how would this compare with bus services' allowances?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How does one enforce such a thing at say, NY Penn Station? And where are the hundred people going to put their one carry on item in the MLV cars, unless you furnish them like the Atlantic City MLVs were, in which case you don;t get to 100 seats, since a lot of space is taken up by luggage racks.

 

Bus service has ample luggage hold under floor with curbside checkin/cjeckout. MLVs don't, and I doubt Amtrak will get seriously into checked baggage business on Commuter-like trains.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×