Services on Hoosier State?

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by zephyr17, Apr 16, 2012.

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  1. Apr 16, 2012 #1

    zephyr17

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    zephyr17

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    I am considering booking a trip Everett, WA to Indianapolis for Christmas to see family. Usually when I go to Indy by train, I just go to to Chicago and rent a car at CUS since the Hoosier State/Cardinal's schedule is so miserable CHI-IND. However, given the time of year, I don't want to do a long drive when there is the possiblity of severe winter weather conditions, so I am tentatively planning to go ahead and book the train all the way this time.

    I am kind of thinking, on the return, to book it on a Hoosier State day rather than a Cardinal day since it originates in Indy and eliminates the possibility of delay incurred NYP-IND. I want to minimize the risk missing the Builder. The timetable shows that there are no amenities of any kind on the Hoosier State, just a coach. However, I've seen posts here that they actually are running a cafe on it these days. Is that true? It would be nice to have some kind of services since it is as 5 hour ride.

    On a different but related topic. Since Amsnag is snagged, I poked around at various dates (including some low travel months) and it seems the low bucket on the Builder for a roomette SEA(or EVR)-CHI is $330.00, which seems a bit high. Does that square with other folks experience? I can get the $330 price now around Christmas for dates that work for me.

    Thanks, everyone!
     
  2. Apr 16, 2012 #2

    Shanghai

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    I think there was a snack car on the Hoosier State last year on a

    trial basis and the trial was not successful. On my last trip, I

    recall seeing a sign in the IND station saying no food service on

    the train.
     
  3. Apr 17, 2012 #3

    johnny.menhennet

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    From everyone else I've heard on here, I believe that there is no food service any more on the Hoosier State. I think that $330 for a roomette around Christmas time is very reasonable, since that train (and all others, FTM) are very full.
     
  4. Apr 17, 2012 #4

    OBS

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    That is interesting, I thought there Is/was a law that all train service over four hours had to have food service...
     
  5. Apr 17, 2012 #5

    Trogdor

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    Why would you think that?
     
  6. Apr 17, 2012 #6

    Eric S

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    That sounds like something that might have been an ICC regulation in years past.
     
  7. Apr 17, 2012 #7

    dn4192

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    A friend of min just took that train about a week back and no food service.
     
  8. Apr 17, 2012 #8

    OBS

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    I think you are correct. This was back in 70's that I recall was the original application of this law/regulation...
     
  9. Apr 17, 2012 #9

    zephyr17

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    Thanks, all. Sounds like I need to bring something to nosh on.

    BTW, it was a propose ICC reg about quality of service, standards of service. It was basically proposed in response to SP's downgrade of the Sunset, which had its sleepers, diner and lounge removed and went from LA to New Orleans with coaches and an automat car. ICC decided it didn't have the power to order services without a published reg, IIRC. By the time it went into effect, Amtrak was already there. Also, ICC made a deal with SP to allow SP to drop the service frequency to 3 days a week in 1970 in exchange for adding a transcontinental sleeper, in conjunction with Southern, and a coffee shop/lounge. That is how the Sunset got to be triweekly.

    Come to think of it, even the SP provided an automat car. The Hoosier State doesn't even had that...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 17, 2012
  10. Apr 17, 2012 #10

    TML

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    I don't think delays will be a problem at IND, even with the Cardinal. The timetable has the Cardinal arriving at IND at 4:44 and leaving at 6:30 - this long layover is specifically designed to give the Cardinal a "cushion" because it is often late during the segment between WAS and IND. In fact, I've been monitoring the Cardinal's on-time performance at Lafayette, IND (a station between CHI and IND) and I've so far never noticed any serious delays at that station.

    On a side note, this is why I am looking forward to the time when Amtrak upgrades the Cardinal to daily service, replacing the Hoosier State. They have this planned in the Performance Improvement Plan they did a couple of years ago; all that's left is to wait for new equipment to be delivered and for upgrades on the Buckingham Branch to be completed.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 17, 2012
  11. Apr 17, 2012 #11

    Swadian Hardcore

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    Actually, I would like to see Amtrak get some automat cars. Not on the HS but maybe on other trains. Is the HS even longer than four hours? I saw it was at just four.
     
  12. Apr 17, 2012 #12

    zephyr17

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    Time change. Indianapolis is on Eastern Time, Chicago is on Central. So it leaves Indy at 6:00 ET and gets to Chicago at 10:05 CT, Chicago is an hour behind, so it is 5 hours.

    I wouldn't mind seeing automats either, if the alternative was nothing. Just so long as they don't put them back on the Sunset as the only meal service.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 18, 2012
  13. Apr 18, 2012 #13

    OBS

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    They tried a car like that on the Pere Marquette about 10-15 years ago... My experience was that the machines were often empty, or were out of change thus you needed exact change for machines, etc...lasted maybe 3-4 months? IIRC.

    I remember it because they built it out of one of the former table cars that were used on A/T prior to Superliners.

    .
     
  14. Apr 18, 2012 #14

    OlympianHiawatha

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    When the Heartland Flyer started several years ago, in addition to the Lower Level Cafe Lounge there were vending machines in one of the other cars but Oklahoma and Texas had Kittens over that since the subsidies called for staffed food service only. The machines were gone within a few months.
     
  15. Apr 18, 2012 #15

    zephyr17

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    Well, I went ahead and booked it to lock in the $330 accomodation charge.
     
  16. Apr 18, 2012 #16

    jphjaxfl

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    Espee put Vending Machine Cars on a number of their trains including the Coast Daylight. I traveled from LA to SF in the teardrop ended Parlor Car in 8/70. The train also had a full length Espee Dome Lounge Car. You could get cocktails, beer, wine, softdrinks, nuts and chips in the Parlor Car or the lounge, but the only food service was from the Vending Machine Car. It tasted bad and was expensive along with attendant who expected a tip for opening a can or bottle and putting it on a paper plate.
     
  17. Apr 19, 2012 #17

    Swadian Hardcore

    Swadian Hardcore

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    How did SP ever get Great Domes? I thought they only had 3/4 Domes and maybe regular domes.
     
  18. Apr 19, 2012 #18

    zephyr17

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    SP never bought any domes. The 3/4 domes were home-builds, and those were the only ones they had.
     

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