Checked baggage being cut from Boston Section of Lake Shore?

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by lordsigma, Dec 1, 2018.

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  1. Dec 8, 2018 #76

    Thirdrail7

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    Using the inland route via Springfield. Up until the early 2000s or so, Amtrak used to operate at least one if not two inland route trains to Boston.  That being said, it still has nothing to do with cutting a baggage car on the Lake Shore since the Lake Shore is long distance service and any reiteration of the inland route would either be part of state supported services or (if they're lucky)  NEC service.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 8, 2018
  2. Dec 8, 2018 #77

    VTTrain

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    They are going to have to reduce the travel time in order to be competitive.  Right now, the trip between Boston and Albany is painfully slow.  

    Both Cape Air and the bus compete on this route.  
     
  3. Dec 8, 2018 #78

    lordsigma

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    The study will be examining and proposing six alternatives some of which will include Pittsfield. The goal is under 2 hours for all of them between SPG and BOS and at least one option will be for 90 minutes or less travel time between SPG and BOS. Really all that’s certain is that they want to look at Springfield - Boston service. Ultimately what comes of it, as has been discussed, could be a number of things. It may be full inland route NHV- BOS, it may be Springfield - Boston only , Pittsfield - Boston, or possibly MBTA just not far enough in the process to speculate which way they go.

    The goal is 8 round trips SPG-BOS I believe. It’s also possible they do a combination of things who knows. Perhaps four round trips on the full inland route, and four Pittsfield or Albany to Boston? (Timed in a way to maximize SPG-BOS service which is the main priority.) anything is possible at this point.
     
  4. Dec 8, 2018 #79

    VTTrain

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    Don’t you think that the new Hartford Line makes an Amtrak inland route less likely?
     
  5. Dec 8, 2018 #80

    lordsigma

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    Getting back to the main topic though, I sent an email communication to my local congressman about the checked baggage cut. I am not necessarily expecting a response but we’ll see.
     
  6. Dec 9, 2018 #81

    jis

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    Via Springfield - on the Inland Route.
     
  7. Dec 9, 2018 #82

    cocojacoby

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    This is exactly why I thought the concept of baggage/dorms was so brilliant.  Put the crew in the car to open up revenue rooms and still have adequate space for the luggage.  Why Amtrak wanted so many straight baggage cars when they don't generate any revenue was a mystery to me.  I was hoping they had a potential deal with the US Postal Service but nothing ever came out of that suggestion.

    Additionally baggage/dorms could have climate controlled baggage sections which would have opened up the potential for carrying more pets (i.e., dogs bigger than those that can fit in a small carrier).  This would have tapped a whole new market for Amtrak.
     
  8. Dec 9, 2018 #83

    lordsigma

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    I know CTDOT wants the Boston connection and would like to see full inland route trains they have said it outright. It's all going to depend on what comes of the study. Honestly I think the smartest thing would be to start it off with a few expanded Amtrak Shuttles to Boston stopping at SPG, WOR,  FRA, BBY, and BOS. Palmer, a town to the east of Springfield, wants service badly. You could consider including them in this initial service or not. From there MassDOT could look at expanding the service with the additional trains continuing west of Springfield instead of south towards New Haven and look at other stations they may want to build. Keep in mind that the goal is SPG-BOS in a reasonable amount of time. Too many stops east of SPG will make it harder to achieve that.
     
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  9. Dec 9, 2018 #84

    bratkinson

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    It would make more sense to expand the number of roomettes in the coming bag-dorm cars and use only 30% of the total car floor space for baggage.  If memory serves, they have 8 roomettes planned in the bag-dorm cars, and if the diners go to all 'contemporary choice' meals, the ONE diner/aka first class lounge car  and cafe/lounge car attendant would have the entire car to themselves.  I would prefer to expand the car to 12 roomettes w/shower and after the 2 OBS crew rooms, sell the other 10 and make them a revenue-producing car. 

    But then, if I had a crystal ball, I'd put my money on Anderson cancelling the bag/dorm cars as well as the sleepers and getting a refund from CAF.  THAT would be the second 'big step' in cancelling LD trains...ancient sleeping cars with minimal maintenance and new baggage cars being used as 'axle count'.  Unhappy passengers don't come back!
     
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  10. Dec 9, 2018 #85

    Siegmund

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    Baggage-dorms, or some other sort of half-baggage-half-revenue-space car, make a great deal of sense, on almost every route except the few with heaviest baggage usage. Combines were used 150 years ago on light-load trips, and Amtrak made good use of Coach-Baggage cars when Superliner I came out. I am a little surprised that full baggage cars and transition sleepers are still a thing out west, actually... if I had been king, those would have been baggage-sleepers. 

    Re Inland Route service... yes, there was through Boston-Springfield-Washington service "forever". I would have guessed 3 trips a day, but the Museum's 1990 timetable revealed only two. Along with a multitude of trains splitting in New Haven with through cars to Springfield. I had sort of hoped that, if the desire was to eliminate the New Haven switching, they'd do something like extend additional trains northward, perhaps alternating Boston-Springfield-New York and Boston-Providence-New York hourly. (Yes, I know that possibility mostly died with electrification of the shoreline route.)
     
  11. Dec 9, 2018 #86

    cocojacoby

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    And it takes a lot longer.  I went via the inland route once just to experience it and it seemed to take forever.

    Always thought the old Night Owl could have been rerouted via the inland route and that would have generated more baggage and express business than the shoreline.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 9, 2018
  12. Dec 9, 2018 #87

    lordsigma

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    Email sent to RPA on checked baggage.
     
  13. Dec 12, 2018 #88

    neroden

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    They're announcing no checked baggage to Boston as of January 7th.  They're also claiming that they'll strictly enforce the carry-on policy (which they won't, zero chance of that).
     
  14. Dec 12, 2018 #89

    lordsigma

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    Has it been announced publicly or is this internal?
     
  15. Dec 12, 2018 #90

    chrsjrcj

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    Someone asked Amtrak about it on Facebook a few days ago, and they confirmed. Sorry, I do not have the link. It was a comment in an unrelated post. 
     
  16. Dec 12, 2018 #91

    cpotisch

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    I saw the same thing in a post in the AU Facebook group. It’s definitely happening. :(
     
  17. Dec 12, 2018 #92

    Thirdrail7

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    Yes, because they've done a WONDERFUL job at enforcing the carry-on policy so far.  <_<
     
  18. Dec 12, 2018 #93

    TiBike

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    The website is still out of sync. Amtrak is still taking reservations for bikes on 449 on 7 January and beyond. And if you click on the "Baggage Information" link, you get:

    "Checked Baggage
    "Each passenger can check up to 4 bags - 2 free of charge and 2 for $20 per bag, each not to exceed 50 lbs. (23 kg), 75 linear inches (length + width + height)".
     
  19. Dec 12, 2018 #94

    lordsigma

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    I received this response from the RPA. Im assuming that they simply sent this as an explanation indicates that they don't have much of an issue with the decision:

    The Chicago to New York checked baggage car will continue to operate round-trip on Trains 48/49, but the Boston to Chicago round-trip checked baggage car on Trains 448/449 will be removed starting Monday, January 7, 2019. With this change, checked baggage will no longer be offered to/from Springfield to/from Worcester and to/from Boston on Trains 448/449. Passengers will have to carry-on baggage for those origins and destinations. A roomette has been removed from sale in the sleeper car on the Boston section of the Lake Shore to accommodate the additional carry-on baggage of sleeper car passengers. Passengers boarding 449 in Boston who desire to check baggage for Chicago and points west can still check them, but delivery to the customer at the endpoints will be delayed 24 hours due to the requirement to route them on Train 67 from Boston. The same 24 hour delay would apply to passenger bags checked inbound to Boston via connections to Train 66. Express Shipping will continue to/from Boston via the baggage car on 66/67 that can connect Express at Washington to/from all other national Express network locations. Springfield will no longer have any trains with baggage cars operating through that location and therefore will have to embargo all Express Shipping to/from that location.
     
  20. Dec 12, 2018 #95

    lordsigma

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    I suppose for sleeper passengers having the "unused sleeper" open for baggage makes this less of an issue...for people that really don't want to deal with their bags they can ask for baggage assistance at the station and have the agent or red cap drop it in that roomette. This is ASSUMING they don't mess with staffing at the stations. And this would only help Springfield and Boston.
     
  21. Dec 12, 2018 #96

    VTTrain

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    One less roomette won’t make the remaining roomettes any cheaper.   
     
  22. Dec 12, 2018 #97

    cpotisch

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    Very true. And it also likely won’t be able to fit every sleeper passenger’s previously-checked bags. Not ideal at all.
     
  23. Dec 12, 2018 #98

    cpotisch

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    I do have to say, my main concern right now is the noise that Boston sleeper passengers will be put through. The train is (currently) pulled by two P42s, and with no buffer between the locos and Boston sleeper... :unsure:
     
  24. Dec 13, 2018 #99

    bratkinson

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    And that's why I will NEVER ride in the Boston sleeper again!  One may say 'they don't blow the horn that often...'  Wanna bet???  Traveling eastbound from CHI, departing there at 9:30, I generally try be in bed about an hour later.  In Indiana, and even Ohio, there's a highway crossing about every 2 miles it seems...although it's probably 5 miles or so in reality.  And if you're in the front car, the horn will definitely keep you awake.  At least I can take out my hearing aids, which helps greatly, but I STILL hear the horn when I'm within 3 cars of the locomotive on any train...including the Superliners!
     
  25. Dec 13, 2018 #100

    NativeSon5859

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    I’m planning a transcon trip for February using points and I was looking at doing SEA-CHI-BOS, but I absolutely hate being right next to the engines. I like hearing the horn blow, but from a bit of a distance, not close enough where you have to wear ear plugs. Riding in the dorm car on the CONO is very loud - can’t imagine this would be any better.
     

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