Is the lounge car important to you or your trip?

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by Thirdrail7, Sep 18, 2019.

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  1. Sep 18, 2019 #1

    Thirdrail7

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    Does the lounge car appeal to you? Would you mind if it was removed from your consist?

    I'm wondering aloud since the new high speed equipment will not have seats in the café car(unless something dramatically changes.)

    This means a push towards at seat dining. Looking at the eastern long distance fleet, the lounge is for first class passengers only. Granted, there is a café with tables to utilize but the next order for equipment is on the horizon. Lounge cars are non revenue items and their day may be over, particularly if there is a push towards corridor type service.

    At the end of the day, does it make or break a trip?
     
  2. Sep 18, 2019 #2

    AmtrakBlue

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    It’s nice to have a place to go to on a long trip. Get out of my coach seat or room for a bit.
     
  3. Sep 18, 2019 #3

    pennyk

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    I also like a lounge car. In fact, one plus of flexible dining is the sleeper lounge. I used it for hours on my last LSL trip. I will be traveling on the Meteor in October and I figure I will use it then also.
     
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  4. Sep 18, 2019 #4

    keelhauled

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    But if they get rid of the lounges, where will the crew be able to reserve acres of table space for papers and coffee cups to slowly drown out all potential passenger utilization of the area? Won’t someone think of the conductors?
     
  5. Sep 18, 2019 #5

    FrensicPic

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    Lounge car or dining car?
    I don't spend a lot of time in the SSL except to get a couple of brews in the afternoon. The diner, definitely yes!
     
  6. Sep 18, 2019 #6

    crescent-zephyr

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    Yes. If I don't get a window seat I like the freedom of sitting in the lounge to enjoy the views.

    On the long distance trains I of course like to ride in the SSL cars so I can see out both sides of the train during scenic areas.
     
  7. Sep 18, 2019 #7

    Just-Thinking-51

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    Is the lounge car important, no.

    It is however a very busy car.

    I think the shrinking of the available space, (by the smokers lounge, or a business class seating, or the extra equipment and or personnel.) has caused less people to even and try to use the lounge car. I have seen people reach the lounge area, and turn right around and leave after see no available space.

    It may not be need on a short haul train. It is need on the LD system.

    My biggest issue is by using half for business class, simple adding seat it now count toward the number of conductor need. Leave the car a pure table car, you have space for equipment and crew. Additionally a whole lot of tables for customers use, and no required staffing of conductors.

    Recap it’s not needed. It is however desirable, if not needed on a LD train.
     
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  8. Sep 18, 2019 #8

    Qapla

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    Since I have only traveled coach I have not used the "lounge" car - I have made extensive use of the "cafe" car. Yes, I like to sit at the table and look out the windows while also have my tablet open so I can use it without having to have it on my lap of the shakey tray on the back of someone else's seat.

    So, YES, I think that some of the "non-revenue" cars are "important", not only to make the ride nicer - but, to keep the ridership count up. Remove too many "non-revenue" items from the train, be it from the consist or the services, ridership will fall.
     
  9. Sep 18, 2019 #9

    crescent-zephyr

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    The SSL cars are way more of a true lounge than the diners being called lounges. If you get a chance to ride a superliner long distance train I think you'll really like it. It's honestly one of the best designed lounge cars imho.. and it was an amtrak creation!
     
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  10. Sep 18, 2019 #10

    Palmland

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    A lounge car is absolutely critical on so called experiential trains. That’s why many people ride them. Imagine the climb up the front range of the Rockies without a SSL. I’d put Auto-Train in that category too. But, many other trains, not so much.

    I’d be happy with a small lounge area in the diner for VII fleet (a CCC car for the east). This seems more doable now with faster flexible dining plan. In the past most railroads had such a car on their secondary trains and it worked well.

    As far as a short day trip in coach, it’s not really necessary.
     
  11. Sep 18, 2019 #11

    MARC Rider

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    This stand up lounge is for the high speed equipment. They're used for shorter trips, i.e., 2-3 hours on the NEC. When I travel first class on the Acela, I don't have access (or at least easy access) to the cafe car. I certainly don't care for the 2.5 hour trip from NY to Baltimore, and it's not even a problem for the 6 hour trip from Baltimore to Boston. Even when I take Acela BC or the regionals, I only go to the cafe car to buy food, and eat at my seat. That's partly because I find the Amfleet cafe booths to be uncomfortable. True, the cafe cars on the Regionals do have a lot of fans who like to ride them and spread out with laptops and work stuff. For a short trip, though, I'm fine with sitting in my seat.

    For the longer trips, especially overnight trips, cafe cars where you can kill some time socializing with other passengers is part of the attractions of taking a 12+ hour train ride over the much faster flying.
     
  12. Sep 18, 2019 #12

    v v

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    Yes, very important

    Yes, very much as it's a major part of an Amtrak LD train ride, same as the diner is.
     
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  13. Sep 18, 2019 #13

    RichieRich

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    HappyHour.jpg AT-1.jpg 8 trips/year on the Auto-Train. Me & the niece always get 2 connecting bedrooms and open the wall. We host a happy hour with people we meet during our pre-boarding picnics. Dinner in the diner, then back to the rooms and watch RedBox movies on laptops. So, never use the lounge car. Back in the day, we used to stop in when they used to have the wine-tastings.
     
  14. Sep 18, 2019 #14

    Devil's Advocate

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    The lounge car is very important to me, but I doubt that matters to anyone with any power at Amtrak. I fully expect Amtrak to continue identifying and removing anything that isn't reliably revenue positive, eventually including most of the long distance network itself.
     
  15. Sep 18, 2019 #15

    anumberone

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    I like to take advantage of the lounge car in the morning, get a cup of coffee and check out the surroundings. It gives my wife time and room to get get dressed, do her thing to get ready before heading to the dinning car for breakfast. Also nice to buy a drink from the cafe and enjoy some conversation before turning in for the night. I'm not much into competing for a seat during busy times.
     
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  16. Sep 18, 2019 #16

    Mystic River Dragon

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    Not sure which lounge cars OP meant, so here's my yes or no to all the ones I can think of:

    Yes to SSLs, so you can go there to see the side with the best scenery, no matter which roomette side or coach side you are on.

    No to Acela cafe--those stools look like an accident waiting to happen.

    No to café lounge on the Northeast Regionals--crowded, dirty, with crew taking up half of it and millennials with all their hardware taking up the rest.

    Yes to café lounge on the nicer Corridor trains--Downeaster, Carolinian, other trains with nice scenery and friendly passengers to talk with.

    Yes to sleeper lounge on the Cardinal--again, because of the lovely views, it would be nice to be able to see out both sides.

    Toss-up on sleeper lounge for the Meteor, Crescent, and Star. I think I will find it extremely depressing to see those lovely new dining cars that should have been filled with decent food, good conversation, and new friends taken up instead by people frozen to their devices instead of looking out the window at the view, and with the trash from their flexible dining TV dinner scattered around them. However, I realize other people will feel differently, so I can see keeping the sleeper lounges--I just won't use them.

    Just as a housekeeping issue, I think encouraging people to bring meals back to the sleepers is just asking for trouble, especially in warmer climates--I would assume it would attract insects and also make the roomettes/bedrooms harder to clean.
     
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  17. Sep 18, 2019 #17

    crescent-zephyr

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    They have every right to use the Lounge as you do. They are most likely getting actual work done...
     
  18. Sep 18, 2019 #18

    jis

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    Then you will be happy to learn that the new Acela 21s do not have any stools in the food service car. Only standing space next to high table space appropriate for people standing next to them.
    Since one can already do that and many already have their food brought to them in their sleeping accommodation compartments (even I have on many occasions), I don't see what the big deal is.
     
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  19. Sep 18, 2019 #19

    Mystic River Dragon

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    crescent-zephyr:

    You are absolutely right--of course the millennials have just as much right to use the café lounge and may very well be working.

    But that reminds me of another reason to not have the café lounge tables on the Regionals, at least on the shorter ones--there is really no need for them, because there is really not much to look at between PHL and NYP, and people can work just as easily at their seats with their computers on the tray tables.

    jis:

    Standing in the Acela café as the train is going however many miles an hour doesn't sound all that safe, either!:D

    Yes, you're right about the food--I never ate in my roomette so never thought about it being done a lot already. However, I do tend to drop things a lot, so I personally am better off not eating in my room. The rest of you are probably a whole lot neater than I am.:)
     
  20. Sep 18, 2019 #20

    Rasputin

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    More food = More mice.
     
  21. Sep 18, 2019 #21

    AmtrakBlue

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    MRD, I’ve taken a regional from WIL to BOS and would have been very unhappy if there had not been a cafe car. I had dinner in the cafe car because I would not have wanted to eat the pizza at my seat.
     
  22. Sep 18, 2019 #22

    jis

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    So are you of the school that wants everyone to be tightly buckled in with three point seatbelts in their seats on a train?;) Apparently you have no problem walking from your room to the Dining Car and back. Is that because the speed is only 79mph on a route with numerous grade crossings as opposed to 135mph on a sealed corridor with much reduced chance of collision with anything?:D
     
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  23. Sep 18, 2019 #23

    Mystic River Dragon

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    Yes, it's more me than the train, jis--I'm not used to the Acela so don't think I could balance myself properly. People who do it all the time I guess can, though. No, I would be very annoyed to have to be buckled in--I like the freedom to move around in a train.

    Betty, I do see your point. And now that I think about it, I believe you are right. South of Philly and north of NYP both have some lovely scenery, and the train isn't as crowded, so a café car does make sense to keep on the Regionals. I have just gotten jaded because of being stuck in the PHL-NYP corrider and having to start or end there, regardless.
     
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  24. Sep 18, 2019 #24

    lordsigma

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    I could live without the lounge seating on the corridor trains - I always go back to my seat and rarely sit down in a cafe car - and i might be ok with the idea of the viewliner diners as a single food service car for the the eastern long distance trains. But the trains with SSL cars are different and should keep some semblance of a lounge with seating.
     
  25. Sep 18, 2019 #25

    Dakota 400

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    Your thoughts about the under use of the new dining cars (as compared to the way they were designed) probably would be the same as mine. I'd keep thinking: "but, this isn't what the money was spent for in introducing this car."
     

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