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Checked baggage being cut from Boston Section of Lake Shore?

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Can anyone remember approx. when Amtrak attempted to discontinue trains 448/449 and what NY and MA to prevent AMT from following thru?  I raise this question because of the possibility that baggage service discontinuance might be the beginning of a new plan to discontinue the train and replace it with buses.

Andy

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On 12/21/2018 at 8:12 PM, twropr said:

Can anyone remember approx. when Amtrak attempted to discontinue trains 448/449 and what NY and MA to prevent AMT from following thru?  I raise this question because of the possibility that baggage service discontinuance might be the beginning of a new plan to discontinue the train and replace it with buses.

Andy

A bit off, maybe.

The sleeper was a guarantee of Amtrak when MA funded the Mail+Express terminal in Springfield. Not 100% but do recall.

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BTW, it is now listed on the service alerts page, so it is now completely official. :(

Quote

https://www.amtrak.com/service-alerts-and-notices

Edited by cpotisch

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The online reservation system still shows roll-up bicycle service availability, on 7 January and beyond. Six slots – the usual for a V2 baggage car – are available between Boston and Albany. It shows three slots available from Boston to Chicago, and three slots between NY Penn station and Chicago.

I still gotta believe that this is an error – somebody forgot to change it. Not surprisingly, it doesn't look like there are a lot of (or even any) bikes moving between Boston/Chicago or NY/Chicago right now, so there's little or no immediate damage. But I wonder what Amtrak would do if I bought a bike ticket today and rolled up in Boston on Monday?

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19 hours ago, TiBike said:

The online reservation system still shows roll-up bicycle service availability, on 7 January and beyond.

Wile-E-Coyote-GENIUS-AT-WORK-Rare-Warner

19 hours ago, TiBike said:

 But I wonder what Amtrak would do if I bought a bike ticket today and rolled up in Boston on Monday?

How bikes many can fit into a Viewliner sleeper? We may find out sooner than we find out how many licks it takes to get into the center of a tootsie pop (which I believe is three) ^_^

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They're still allowing five pets in the cars between Boston and Albany, so bikes shouldn't be a problem. Bicycles don't bark all night, bite other passengers or crap on the floor. Bicyclists, on the other hand...

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On 1/4/2019 at 4:01 PM, TiBike said:

The online reservation system still shows roll-up bicycle service availability, on 7 January and beyond. Six slots – the usual for a V2 baggage car – are available between Boston and Albany. It shows three slots available from Boston to Chicago, and three slots between NY Penn station and Chicago.

I still gotta believe that this is an error – somebody forgot to change it. Not surprisingly, it doesn't look like there are a lot of (or even any) bikes moving between Boston/Chicago or NY/Chicago right now, so there's little or no immediate damage. But I wonder what Amtrak would do if I bought a bike ticket today and rolled up in Boston on Monday?

Do it.  I wanna see what happens.

 

(Use a really cheap bike.)

Edited by neroden

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Last night I made a reservation for August on the LSL (Boston) to CHI -> SWC to TUS.  For add-ons, the Amtrak web site asked me if I wanted to include a bike and, oh by the way, bikes were sold out.  I don't know if this means there are a limited number of bike slots available but my particular train was sold out, or if all bike slots are listed as "sold out" for all 448/449 for the indefinite future.  Maybe because baggage and bikes are still available on the 48/49, it was easier to change the web site to mark all bike slots on the Boston section as sold out than to remove the option completely.

(This didn't affect me as I'm not planning to bring a bike.)

I will have two wheelie duffel bags, a large and a medium, and would like to check the large one through, but I've lugged them in the past, and I can fit both of them in the overhead in a VL roomette.  I'll leave the big one (camping gear) on the luggage rack downstairs on the TE/SL unless they let me check it in Chicago.  One time as I was boarding the EB in Chicago, the SLA volunteered to put it in a luggage area over the front truck of the sleeper.  At least, that's where I thought she put it, she wasn't gone long enough to bring it all the way to the baggage car, I think.  (I half expect someone to tell me I'm wrong, there is no such storage area, she must have put it in the baggage car, but there wasn't any baggage tag on it when I got to Seattle, just my name tag...) Then, about a mile north of CUS, we stopped because a door/hatch on the side of one of the cars (mine, I think) was OPEN!  The SLA reassured me that my duffel bag hadn't fallen out and couldn't possibly have fallen out, but I was a little paranoid all the way to Seattle, where it was fine.  :)

 

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10 hours ago, John Santos said:

I don't know if this means there are a limited number of bike slots available but my particular train was sold out, or if all bike slots are listed as "sold out" for all 448/449 for the indefinite future.

It's the latter. :(

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BTW, it turns out (rather unsurprisingly) that Amtrak.com will not even let you bring a bike if you are booked on 448/449 between ALB and CHI, even though 48/49 is the same train and still does allow it. So any bikers traveling for that portion of the route will now have to book 48/49, at least until they can program it to allow bikes for that stretch.

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It is pretty safe to figure that as far as the system is concerned, it is a train with no baggage car.

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Not a problem...book from Chicago to Albany....claim your bike, and........start pedaling.....:D

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1 hour ago, railiner said:

Not a problem...book from Chicago to Albany....claim your bike, and........start pedaling.....:D

Jokes aside, I think you missed what I was saying. If you’re travelling on 448/449 between CHI and ALB (or intermediate points), it still does not allow you to bring a bike, as it doesn’t “know” that it’s the same train as 48/49, which does have a baggage car and bike racks. So let’s say you are travelling from Chicago to Albany; if 48 is sold out or much more expensive than 448 and you therefore have to book the latter, you won’t be able to bring a bike, despite the fact that the NY section baggage car is on the same train and could be used.

Edited by cpotisch

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I have actually experienced that sans bicycle. I was at a NYS Hockey function in Lake Placid, and needed to go to Colorado for the national meeting and I drove to Albany, left my car, and took the LSL. One way I  booked the Boston sleeper.

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A video posted in Amtrak Fans and one on YouTube (seen below) show that the Boston section is not only running without a baggage car, but also with only coach, and one P42! So not only do we no longer have checked baggage and bike racks between Boston and Albany, and that it will be deafening in the Boston sleeper, but prices are also going to go up for coach because there now is half the capacity! Yay! :angry:

 

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This also means that the combined train will likely run with the same single P42.

I live next to the Hudson Line and I can see Amtrak going by from my window. I have noticed that 48 has only had three coaches (down from four) for the last few days, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this had to do with the single unit operation north of Albany. I don’t know about 49 as this time of year it’s dark by the time it gets to me.

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Just now, Amtrak706 said:

This also means that the combined train will likely run with the same single P42.

I live next to the Hudson Line and I can see Amtrak going by from my window. I have noticed that 48 has only had three coaches (down from four) for the last few days, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this had to do with the single unit operation north of Albany. I don’t know about 49 as this time of year it’s dark by the time it gets to me.

I figured that the combined train would run with the single unit, since the actual Boston section by itself never needed two locos. I’m not pleased to hear that the New York section has apparently shrunk as well. The LSL is already quite pricey, so the removal of two coaches definitely isn’t going to help bucket-wise (especially for the Boston section, which has literally lost 50% of coach capacity). This all really is a shame.

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2 minutes ago, cpotisch said:

I figured that the combined train would run with the single unit, since the actual Boston section by itself never needed two locos. I’m not pleased to hear that the New York section has apparently shrunk as well. The LSL is already quite pricey, so the removal of two coaches definitely isn’t going to help bucket-wise (especially for the Boston section, which has literally lost 50% of coach capacity). This all really is a shame.

And I know for a fact that the NY section of the LSL does not usually shrink in the winter, so it’s probably not that. I have been watching them come by since about 2004. There were a few years where the Boston section was a stub train that did not run through to Chicago, and during that time 48/49 usually had five coaches and three sleepers. This ended 2009 ish and they have almost always run with four coaches since then. There is the odd missing car now and then that has been set out somewhere, but that only lasts for a few days at most before it gets replaced.

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Actually, the BOS section of the Lakeshore Ltd USUALLY runs with a single coach in January through March or so.  The times I've ridden it during Jan-Mar, it's only half to two-thirds full.  I've never seen it sold out BOS-SPG on any trip any time of the year (I avoid holiday periods, though).  Why drag a 2nd coach when it would be less than 1/2 full as would the 1st coach?  Yes, some group could show up at the last minute and pack the car, but surprise groups have long done that on Amtrak and its predecessors.

As for the sleeper up front, I was hoping it would be at the rear, and the BOS section moved to the rear of the train when joined to #49 at ALB, and the NY section sleepers in the front...separated by the baggage car.   I have little doubt the unfortunate BOS section sleepers that haven't said 'never again' because of the disgusting boxed meals will almost 100% abandon the train once they listen to the horn 'full blast' all night long, especially eastbound through Indiana and Ohio!  Obviously, Anderson has never spent a night 'close to the horns'.  Oh...take a look at those P42's...they have horns facing BOTH directions!  I'm sure Anderson is wishing all BOS sleeper passengers 'sweet dreams' these days!  

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So the sky isn’t falling and it’s business as usual.  Good to know!  It sounds like an efficient use of resources to me.

Frankly, I would never buy a ticket for the Boston sleeper because it is so close to the locomotive.  I’d book business class and then switch to the New York sleeper in Albany.  

Edited by VTTrain

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VTT's method is perfectly reasonable, the ALB-BOS stretch is daytime anyway, not when the majority of people use the beds. The BC section is usually pretty calm and relatively private.

Its much easier to put the Boston section on the front, the NY power is coming off, you just back up the BOS section to join, from Chicago pull Boston up, and back on the NY power.

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8 hours ago, bratkinson said:

Actually, the BOS section of the Lakeshore Ltd USUALLY runs with a single coach in January through March or so.  The times I've ridden it during Jan-Mar, it's only half to two-thirds full.  I've never seen it sold out BOS-SPG on any trip any time of the year (I avoid holiday periods, though).  Why drag a 2nd coach when it would be less than 1/2 full as would the 1st coach?  Yes, some group could show up at the last minute and pack the car, but surprise groups have long done that on Amtrak and its predecessors.

I'm looking at a bunch of videos of 448/449 taken before the 7th, and I can tell you that it had been running with two coaches. So it definitely lost a coach, even though I guess that could theoretically not be directly connected with the loss of the baggage car and second loco.

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1 hour ago, cpotisch said:

I'm looking at a bunch of videos of 448/449 taken before the 7th, and I can tell you that it had been running with two coaches. So it definitely lost a coach, even though I guess that could theoretically not be directly connected with the loss of the baggage car and second loco.

The question is whether or not losing a coach is normal.  Videos taken before the 7th may reflect the consist for holiday travel.

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