Get off at the previous stop?

Discussion in 'Guest Forum for Amtrak Questions' started by Lorenzo, Jan 31, 2019.

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  1. Jan 31, 2019 #1

    Lorenzo

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    Lorenzo

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    Hello! I’m from Italy and I work for the Italian Railways. This summer I’ll do my honeymoon trip across the USA. I bought 2 California Zephyr tickets from Chicago to Salt Lake City and then we’ll move to Moab.

    I saw the California Zephyr stops at Grand Junction. Can I get of there instead of SL City? It is possible to rent a car in Grand Junction? Do I miss something of beautiful on the trip from Grand Junction to SL City?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Jan 31, 2019 #2

    VTTrain

    VTTrain

    VTTrain

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    There is no problem getting off the train early.  

    If you are going to Moab, getting off in Grand Junction makes a lot of sense.  Enterprise rent a car is a few blocks from the train station in Grand Junction, and they will come and pick you up.  Their website is here: https://www.enterprise.com  

    You just have to be careful about the train running late.  I am not sure if Enterprise will stay open or not.  It would be best to check with them.  There is only about a half an hour window between when the train is scheduled to arrive and when Enterprise closes.

    You could always make a back-up reservation for a rental car at the airport and take a taxi or Uber there.  The hours of operation at the airport are much better.

    If you drive from Grand Junction to Moab you can see a genuine ghost town on the way.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cisco,_Utah
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 31, 2019
  3. Jan 31, 2019 #3

    pennyk

    pennyk

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    Getting off the train early may create a problem if you have checked luggage.  If you decide to get off early, make sure your car attendant knows in advance that you will be detraining early.
     
  4. Feb 1, 2019 #4

    Lorenzo

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    Lorenzo

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    Thank you very much for your replies! We have definitely chosen GJ as stop to start the Parks trip.

    We’ll travel by plane from Italy with 1 checked luggage (23 kg) and 1 cabin luggage (bagpack) for each one.

    In the Amtrak website I read “Each passenger may bring 2 personal items, 25 lbs. and 14 x 11 x 7 inches each, and 2 carry-on items, 50 lbs. and 28 x 22 x 14 inches each, onboard”. So we can take all our luggages on board with us, right?

    We booked 3 tickets for the same train (so we’ll do our trip without getting off untill GJ):

    - 2 reserved coach sits (upper level) from Chicago to Omaha

    - 1 Superliner Roomette from Omaha to Denver

    - 2 reserved coach sits (upper level) from Denver to SL City (Grand Junction).

    Thank you and have a good day!
     
  5. Feb 1, 2019 #5

    VTTrain

    VTTrain

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    Have a great trip!  
     
  6. Feb 1, 2019 #6

    Ronbo

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    I am curious why you booked the way that you did. Seems like it would be best, maybe less expensive, to just get a Roomette all the way from CHI-GJT?

    Plus you would get three meals! , and wouldn’t have to switch back and forth between Coach and Room?
     
  7. Feb 1, 2019 #7

    VTTrain

    VTTrain

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    Just to clarify for since the original poster is from Italy and likely isn't familiar with our station codes, CHI - GJT is Chicago to Grand Junction.  
     
  8. Feb 1, 2019 #8

    cpotisch

    cpotisch

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    Strongly agree with this. Since Arrow (the Amtrak booking system) prices continuous segments much lower than for multiple interrupted segments, the more you break up a trip like that, the less you save (in addition to the obvious hassle of switching between accommodations multiple times).
     
  9. Feb 1, 2019 #9

    cpotisch

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    Correct.

    I am wondering though, why not just book your tickets to Grand Junction instead of Salt Lake City? Amtrak doesn't have a change fee and the ticket will likely be cheaper, and, if you don't want to have to deal with them onboard, you'll be able to check your suitcases as well (since, as 1@pennyk[/USER] alluded to, checked bags go to where you are ticketed, and you obviously want that to be where you're actually disembarking).

     
  10. Feb 3, 2019 #10

    BCL

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    Yes.  The definition Amtrak has for "carry on" baggage is fairly generous, similar to the size that US domestic airlines would allow for checked-in baggage.  However, Amtrak's maximum size for standard check-in baggage is 75 linear (add height, length, depth) inches.  Also - Amtrak personnel generally aren't that strict about what you bring on board.  Worst case might be they charge an oversized fee.  However, I'm not sure you're going to be able to fit what you're bringing in a single roomette, but there might be storage space elsewhere in your sleeper car.  You'll have no issue with that in coach.  I've seen luggage piled at a bulkhead and lots of luggage kept downstairs near the door.  I had a child stroller and that's where the conductor suggested I store it.

    This is what the upper level of a Superliner coach car looks like:



    There are open racks above the seats, and as you can see they should accommodate very large items.  I understand that they can even accept skis.
     
  11. Feb 3, 2019 #11

    cpotisch

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    Each Superliner sleeper has a pretty large luggage area downstairs, exclusively for the passengers in that car. I guarantee there will be enough space in there for their suitcases.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 3, 2019
  12. Feb 3, 2019 #12

    Devil's Advocate

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    I have been on Superliners that ran out of space to store more luggage downstairs.  Many of my trips have been during busy holiday periods and most of the time it's okay but there have been a few trips where there was simply no obvious place to put anything down below until more people disembarked.  Sometimes people left their extra luggage in the walkway or against the exterior door, but then it risks falling over, getting trampled, spills and stains, or simply being moved somewhere unknown.  In this case I'd suggest asking the car attendant for assistance.  Sometimes they can repack things more efficiently.  Other times they can place luggage in other areas typically used for other purposes.
     
  13. Feb 4, 2019 #13

    Lorenzo

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    Lorenzo

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    Thanks again very much to all you for your replies and yours suggestions! 

    Exactly, I bought 3 different tickets because:

    1. It was cheaper;

    2. I read the roomette is very small and the reserved coach at the upper level very comfortable, big and very panoramic so it seems the perfect solution for traveling during the day.

    I have another question: can we travel also on the panoramic coaches I saw on google? They seem fantastic!!

    https://goo.gl/images/ht9VJq
     
  14. Feb 4, 2019 #14

    cpotisch

    cpotisch

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    How much cheaper? Roomettes are WAY more comfortable than coach, whether it be during the day or at night. The windows are just as big, the seats are wider, and the sheer privacy (and therefore insulation from all the sounds and smells of coach) really can not be beat. And if you want to take a nap, the beds are right there. Also remember that you get your meals included in the dining car, unlike coach passengers, who have to pay pretty exorbitant prices to dine. So to reiterate: unless the price difference is really significant (l'm thinking like $150+), get a Roomette the whole way.

    That's just the lounge car, which is unreserved and open to all passengers.
     
  15. Feb 5, 2019 #15

    Lorenzo

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    Lorenzo

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    We saved 50$ each one... The problem is I bought these 3 different tickets with ‘saver fare’ and I cannot have money back, just change but if I change both the coach tickets with roomette I’ll spend:

    - 85$ more (each one) from Chicago to Omaha 

    - 140$ more (each one) from Denver to GJunction
     
  16. Feb 5, 2019 #16

    cpotisch

    cpotisch

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    Well the $50 per person for a Roomette the whole way would definitely have been worth it, IMO, but since you got Saver coach tickets, the 25% cancellation fee for an e-voucher definitely is not ideal. It might be worth it to just call and ask if they are at all willing to give you the full value back for those tickets as a voucher if you’re using it to upgrade to a sleeper the whole way, but I wouldn’t be too optimistic. Can you tell me what’s that 25% fee would work out to for your coach tickets?

    EDIT: I'm realizing that this is all probably a moot point if you don’t have or don't want to spend the $100 it would take to get a sleeper the whole way. So before I keep talking, is that something you are open to or am I just blabbing for no real reason?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 5, 2019
  17. Feb 5, 2019 #17

    Devil's Advocate

    Devil's Advocate

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    &

    Have you ever had to work your own job to buy your own ticket while paying your own bills?  In most cases I think everyone's opinion is equally valid, but right or wrong when I see someone who has probably never had to pay their own way advise working age/class people how much they should or should not spend (or tip) it really irks me.  The manner in which you perceive money and value is likely to be very different from that of an adult or emancipated youth.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 5, 2019
  18. Feb 5, 2019 #18

    cpotisch

    cpotisch

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    We only take the train give or take once or twice a year, and when we do, I always chip in with some of my savings (something I don't dip into often). For a 40 or so hour trip, I think that the $100-150 would be very much worth it to have a room the whole way. Recognizing that they may not be able/willing to spend an extra $100, I explicitly said the following:

    Also note that the OP was of the opinion that coach is more comfortable than a Roomette for day travel, which I (and I think many other members) would disagree with. So since that indicated that his reasoning for going coach for most of the trip wasn't necessarily cost, I figured it would be worth emphasizing.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 5, 2019
  19. Feb 5, 2019 #19

    BCL

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    Since nobody mentioned it earlier.....

    There is one benefit to having your own room which wasn't mentioned, which is that you're allowed to consume your own alcoholic beverages in a roomette.  One is allowed to consume alcoholic beverages pretty much anywhere on the train if such beverage was purchased onboard.  I've heard some crews say they don't worry too much about outside alcoholic beverages being consumed if the passengers are behaving, but there are no guarantees.

    And since I mentioned alcoholic beverages, be very careful bringing alcoholic beverages into Utah.  If you were on board the train and completely passing through, I don't believe they can really do anything about, but Utah has some of the most ridiculous laws in the United States on alcohol.  It's generally illegal to bring in alcoholic beverages for personal use from outside of the state unless it's a commercial transaction.  There are some rules that allow it, but they are bizarre, such as only the duty free limit with a flight directly (no connecting flight from the United States) to an airport in Utah, or an inheritance.  There are also restrictive laws on where alcoholic beverages can be purchased, including state-owned liquor stores.  I won't get into the details, but it can be frustrating.  They've even been known to run police operations where they look for people buying alcohol across the state line where they follow drivers into Utah.
     

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