Dreaming of a first class experience

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by junebug, Jun 30, 2019.

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  1. Jun 30, 2019 #1

    junebug

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    I'm a boomer with disposable income that likes to travel by train. What say we buy or lease space on long distance trains?
    For first class service. Comfortable beds, great food.
     
  2. Jun 30, 2019 #2

    FrensicPic

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    What you are "dreaming" of is the use of private railcars on Amtrak trains. Something that Amtrak management has put severe restrictions on recently. Its a fun way to travel and yes, it could provide "first class service".
     
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  3. Jun 30, 2019 #3

    yarrow

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    just take "the canadian" in sleeper plus class(not prestige class as that is priced too high for the little bit you get as opposed to sleeper plus)
     
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  4. Jun 30, 2019 #4

    spinnaker

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    Wow. Amazing. I have been thinking about the same thing recently. A company with a private ca that might just hold for or 5 bedroom suites. There might be a common area for dining and lounging. I wonder if people would pay the big bucks necessary for first class rail accommodations like that?
     
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  5. Jun 30, 2019 #5

    Just-Thinking-51

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    Ride the train elsewhere. Amtrak is well know for taking advantage of outfits that try to do thing better.

    Head north, or across the pond if you want to try something First Class.

    https://www.irtsociety.com
     
  6. Jul 1, 2019 #6

    junebug

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    I sure would. Frensic, what are the restrictions management has put on private railcars? The reins seem pretty tight. I think I'm dreaming of Amtrak going privatized.
     
  7. Jul 1, 2019 #7

    FrensicPic

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    Primarily restrictions on where PV's may be coupled to/uncoupled from trains. Must be an originating/termination station, few or no intermediate stations. Increase in the fees charged.

    Privatization of Amtrak? Lost of comments back and forth here on AU about that. I'm not holding my breath for that. You realize that passenger trains were "private" (Santa Fe, Union Pacific, Southern Pacific, etc.) prior to the creation of Amtrak.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2019
  8. Jul 1, 2019 #8

    Amtrakfflyer

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    Privatization means the end of Amtrak as we know it along with most if not all the network trains. Anderson’s and Trump administrations dream.

    Maybe a 2 day week first class only CA Zephyr type train would survive and some semblance of the Auto train for a while. Australia is one example only 1 day a week Ghan and it’s for tourists in first class only, coach was removed from the train a few years ago. So in that regard one might get their first class tourist travel experience but not a useful transportation system. 100 percent not the way I’d like to see it here. Amtrak does serve a purpose in rural and flyover country.

    Attachments and link just an interesting FYI.
    https://www.seat61.com/Australia.htm
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 1, 2019
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  9. Jul 1, 2019 #9

    Skyline

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    If the private railroads lost $$$ on pax service prior to May 1, 1971 ... why would anyone think it would be any different today? No, Amtrak is subsidized because it -- and almost all public transit -- could not exist otherwise. Amtrak's naysayers have got to realize it is an important part of national transportation needs/wants and deserves far more public funding than it receives currently. Its better trains are often sold out and need more rolling stock, staffing, and scheduling on existing routes plus some that haven't seen regular pax service in quite awhile.

    The type of luxury service being contemplated here could exist within the Amtrak framework only if there is a significant enough market willing to pay enough to cover all costs for it. Canada has shown there might be north of the border, at least twice weekly. Still, its flagship Canadian loses money.

    Perhaps if given time to grow, a similar US service could grow to break-even status, but the product has to be far above anything Amtrak has ever offered. The market for such service won't tolerate what most Amtrak pax do. Is the upscale, "pampered" pax rail market large enough to make it work? My guess is many potential riders would take a wait-and-see attitude, so it would take a few years to really grow (if it did).

    I also wonder if establishment of such a product might not prompt cancellation or rollback of other Amtrak long distance routes. Personally, I'd rather see increased Amtrak funding used to grow the current offerings, and make them better. Let private enterprise invest and provide the very luxurious American Orient Express-type service using its own rolling stock. If there really is a viable enough market there -- and there likely is not -- let them find it and prosper.

    Lastly, most increases in train size or frequency are going to have to be mandated to be given reasonable slots on freight railroads. It's going to take forward-thinking Executive and Legislative branches to pull that off.
     
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  10. Jul 1, 2019 #10

    Seaboard92

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    If you want to rent a car go to aaprco.com. Maybe you’ll get lucky and get me for an attendant
     
  11. Jul 3, 2019 #11

    MikefromCrete

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    Seaboard has the right answer for you, Junebug. Check the AAPRCO.com website and find a trip that you like. If you're just loaded with money, I imagine one or more of these private cars can arrange the trip of your dreams with as many amenities that you want.
     
  12. Jul 5, 2019 #12

    Cho Cho Charlie

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    Wasn't there, a few years ago, a private company (GrandLuxe Rail Journeys?) that would stick their high-end sleeper/lounge cars onto Amtrak's Silvers, running up and down the east coast?

    It didn't work for them, financially, and it quickly ended. I doubt it would ever work, for anyone else.
     
  13. Jul 6, 2019 #13

    Just-Thinking-51

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    Several outfits have try. Iowa Pacific was the latest. Amtrak use to give a multi car discount (if not a discount) to Iowa Pacific. There service on the City of New Orleans ended after the discount was revoked. Between the start and end of the service Amtrak managed to fail to hook the PV Cars to the City cause the PV Cars to leave a day later. Have strange electrical and air brake issue causing the PV cars to be left in Chicago on several occasions.

    Amtrak, if your a conspiracy type person, seem to make sure that Iowa Pacific cost skyrocketed, and there service would fail.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2019
  14. Jul 6, 2019 #14

    v v

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    Agree with the sentiment of both these posts. In the UK even a Conservative government are probably having to re-nationalise parts of a privatised network due to lack of investment from private companies holding franchises, BTW including Virgin.

    @junebug

    Seaboard92 is very knowledgeable re private cars as mentioned even if his own company can't help. There are lots of 'private' or tourist train journeys around the world, last week watched a tv program about the Maharaja's Express through India, the epitome of luxury using a royal train. Fascinating but for me no connection with reality.

    If you want to put train + moderate luxury + adventure together then try the 7 day TransSiberian Express in 1st Class, in late winter, you'll never forget that, ever. Not dangerous, just needs organising.

    Maybe the Ghan is the train for you, it's 3 days of pure train travel with at least a couple of stops for excursions into the center of the country, we travelled coach but could see that 1st class was in a world of it's own, again we have never experienced anywhere like it. There are many more as you probably know.

    Hope you take one or two of these train journeys, would very much like to read your take on them.
     
  15. Jul 7, 2019 #15

    dlagrua

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    Last I checked private rail car service still exists but only from select stations to select stations. I believe that the Broadway Ltd service from NYP to PGH is still running private rail cars and we also see a few in the Midwest and West. Even in an 8 hour trip for two (NYP-PGH) R/T fare can run $1500 coach/lounge to $3300 for a double drawing room (bedroom). The Broadway Ltd cars stay in a siding at the station in Pittsburgh for 2 days and then they return. Upon arriving coach/lounge passengers are checked into a hotel while sleeper passengers on the train parked in the station sleep onboard. The station has electrical service so the cars stay fully operational.
     
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