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Tennessee Traveler

Size of the Western LD Winter Consists

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I know that in October-November before the holidays that Amtrak had cut the Empire Builder, California Zephyr and Southwest Chief back by one sleeper with only one sleeper on the Empire Builder to Seattle section of that train.  I just made a reservation for last half of February and was assigned to car 831 or the second Seattle sleeper.  Anyone know if they will be running both sleepers 830 and 831 during late February? Or is Amtrak now doing number of sleepers based on demand as long as they have the sleepers available.

 

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When there is only one Seattle sleeper, car 0831 is the dorm. (The consist/line number thread is a bit misleading, in that it gives the impression the dorm might always be 0832 or 0840 even if there is only one sleeper.) And in my experience, even if your ticket says 0831 now, you're quite likely to find yourself moved into the 0830 car between now and departure time - they put as few people in the dorm as they have to.

There is a picture posted on this forum of two Seattle sleepers in January 2017 - but in the dozen or so times I've seen the Builder pass by the last two winters (and the three times I rode it) there was never a second Seattle sleeper. 

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I posted that picture of two westbound Seattle sleepers (and two coaches) in January, 2017. I was in car 0830, the sleeper next to the diner, and then there was another sleeper towards the front of the train then the trans dorm.  I was watching the fares on this train after I purchased my Family Bedroom ticket in June , and noticed that another Family Bedroom became available at one point (I think around November).  So, the second sleeper was added maybe due to increased demand.  When I rode back later in the month, there was only one Seattle sleeper and coach.

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Thanks, guys.  I called back today and asked to be moved to car 0830 and the AGR Customer Service Agent said that they have not opened the car 830 for reservations and they were only selling rooms in the 831 car.  I know that car 830 was and has been the primary sleeper so  I am doubtful they are not selling rooms in 0830. The agent says that they are selling rooms in car 831(I have roomette 3) and there are other rooms sold in that car in addition to mine.  Do they use a regular sleeper for the transdorm? The transdorm roomette numbers are roomettes and numbers are 15 and higher.  Is there any way other than calling to verify that they are not selling rooms in 0830?

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Just curious, TT, as to where you are traveling?  Maybe the space is being held for local traffic (eg, MSP-CHI).

Also, remember the First Rule of Amtrak:  It doesn't have to make sense.  

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2 hours ago, Maglev said:

Just curious, TT, as to where you are traveling?  Maybe the space is being held for local traffic (eg, MSP-CHI).

Also, remember the First Rule of Amtrak:  It doesn't have to make sense.  

Maglev, I am riding from Seattle all the way to Chicago and I have never heard of them holding sleeper 830 for local transportation such as Minneapolis to Chicago.  I think what happened if that I called AGR to make my points reservation and requested roomette 3.  Most likely roomette 3 is already sold since she first said the computed offered roomette 5 so she had to inquire for separate roomette number one at a time so she got a roomette 3 in car 831(whether this is a substitute for the transition sleeper or not, I don't know).  Today, the rep I talked to indicated she could not inquire on "what roomettes in 830 were available" but she could inquire on specific roomette number and when she checked for roomette 3 in 830 she said it said "unavailable".  She did say to call back later to see if they had opened up 830 so I think if she had tried roomette 5 or higher and if it was not sold, I think she would have been able to book that in 830.  I think what is limiting is that either she did not know how or the computer system will not allow you to simply inquire on what rooms are still available  but will only let you inquire room by room one at a time.  Makes no sense. I think I'll call back Friday and ask them to check room by room in 830. Since the room is still low bucket I don't think they have sold that many roomettes for February 22 as of yet.

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Both 5 and 6 today ran with three full sleepers, the trans/dorm, two coaches, and what I can only assume was a coach/bag (plus the lounge, diner and baggage car). Almost certainly lengthened for the holidays--it would seem that Amtrak still knows how to increase capacity when demand warrants.

A hazy picture through light snow of a late running 5 approaching GSC shortly before dusk:

2.thumb.jpg.0e2aab7fba46a553f433db664a6c7f6e.jpg

And a somewhat better picture from before the snow moved in of a westbound BNSF freight:

1.thumb.jpg.c32a2dda53b815673db6790980d0e15b.jpg

Edited by keelhauled

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9 minutes ago, NativeSon5859 said:

I’m traveling CHI-SEA on 2/8 and I got room 4 in the 731 car.

I'm traveling SEA-CHI on 2/20 and have room 3 in 831 car so I'm hoping there are two Seattle sleepers this Winter or if one sleeper, it is x31 instead of x30. 

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