Tell me about the Texas Eagle!

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by kittycatalina, Apr 28, 2008.

Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

  1. Apr 28, 2008 #1

    kittycatalina

    k

    kittycatalina

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    Messages:
    1
    Hello train enthusiasts!

    My family and I are planning a trip on the Texas Eagle from Chicago to Austin. I see there is the option of the 21 or 421 on some days. What is the difference on the two routes/trains?

    Also, other than AAA are there any discounts usually available? I have read in the past that in the summertime sometimes there are discounts for children's fares, is that typical?

    Our party will be me, my husband and our little train enthusiast (3 years old). We plan on sharing a regular bedroom. I'm having fun reading about all your experiences, but do you have any tips for us?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Apr 28, 2008 #2

    the_traveler

    the_traveler

    the_traveler

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    Messages:
    25,570
    Location:
    Whatever siding I'm sitting on!
    Welcome kittycatalina!

    There is no difference between train #421 and train #21. They are both the same train.

    The only difference is the "train" you buy your ticket on. One "train" goes to San Antonio only, while the other "train" continues to Los Angeles. It just means (and I'm making up these locations) "train #421" is the 2nd car and "train #21" is the 5th car of the same train!

    If you want to save money, pick the "train" that has the lowest cost! ;)

    It needs to be sold that way so passengers going beyond San Antonio will be "on the right train". The cars continuing are combined in San Antonio with the Sunset Limited. I'm sure you would not be happy if you were going to say El Paso, and found your car was left in San Antonio! :eek:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 28, 2008
  3. Apr 28, 2008 #3

    RobertF

    R

    RobertF

    Service Attendant

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2008
    Messages:
    177
    Location:
    SLC Utah
    As your going to Austin, then the only real difference is which of the listed trains is cheaper! :) The 421 cars will be broken off to goto LA at San Antonio but Austin is before San Antonio it really does not matter to you, take whichever is cheaper!

    Enjoy your trip!!
     
  4. Apr 28, 2008 #4

    guest

    g

    guest

    Guest

    Children ages 2-15 are always 50% off on Amtrak! Since you want a bedroom, be sure to book as soon as you are sure of the dates, since they sell out fast and the prices go up as the supply goes down. Remember all three of you will pay the basic rail fare, but you only have to pay for one accomodations charge for the bedroom. This will include all meals for all three of you, all of the services included in sleeping car service, and access to the 1st class lounge in Chicago. Enjoy your trip and be sure to ask any more questions here as you think of them!
     
  5. Apr 28, 2008 #5

    RobertF

    R

    RobertF

    Service Attendant

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2008
    Messages:
    177
    Location:
    SLC Utah
    Also, make sure you check the bedrooms on BOTH trains if they are available (both the 421 and the 21)... the prices may well be different. It's the same train as far as you are concerned since you are getting off before the split. Sometimes you can find a bedroom on one but not the other.

    I've ridden the TE 3 times now (2 times with my kids, once by myself), but never as far as the split in San Antonio.... I'm doing the full Chicago to Los Angeles trip in July and I can't wait!!!

    Wooo wooo
     
  6. Apr 28, 2008 #6

    the_traveler

    the_traveler

    the_traveler

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    Messages:
    25,570
    Location:
    Whatever siding I'm sitting on!
    Yes, check out the bedroom prices on BOTH trains! Even if they are the same train, like I said they are sold separately. Thus, you may find a bedroom on #21 may be (and I'm just making this price up) $300 additional, while on #421 it may be $400 additional! Or as RobertF said, it may be available on one "train" but not on the other "train".
     
  7. Apr 28, 2008 #7

    gswager

    g

    gswager

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2002
    Messages:
    2,828
    Location:
    Portales, NM
    For those who book TE (Texas Eagle) from Chicago to one of the stations after San Antonio on sleeper class, there is big different. #42x will allow you to stay in the sleeper class at San Antonio station while #2x not. That means you will be stuck at the platform, station, or even at the Riverwalk in the middle of the night.
     
  8. Apr 28, 2008 #8
    Is the Cross Country Cafe running on the Eagle yet?
     
  9. Apr 28, 2008 #9

    AlanB

    A

    AlanB

    Conductor Honored Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2002
    Messages:
    28,406
    Location:
    Queens, New York
    Yes it is. However, unlike the City, at least for the moment Amtrak continues to run a Sightseer Lounge car on the Eagle. It runs unmanned, which means no food service in the car, but at least people can still enjoy the big windows and the scenery outside the train.
     
  10. Apr 29, 2008 #10

    daveyb99

    d

    daveyb99

    OBS Chief

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2005
    Messages:
    910
    Location:
    Grapevine, TX
    Actually, there is a minor difference. If I recall:

    Coach is the same.

    #421 has Roomettes, Bedrooms, and Family Bedroom

    (and #422)

    #21 has only Roomettes in the Transition Sleeper.
     
  11. Apr 29, 2008 #11

    daveyb99

    d

    daveyb99

    OBS Chief

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2005
    Messages:
    910
    Location:
    Grapevine, TX
    Interestingly enough, the Sightseer cafe WAS staffed on the northbound #22 17APR2008
     
  12. Apr 30, 2008 #12

    Green Maned Lion

    Green Maned Lion

    Green Maned Lion

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2007
    Messages:
    8,018
    Location:
    NJ
    Only on days when 421/422 runs. Otherwise 21 has all accomodation types.
     
  13. Apr 30, 2008 #13

    eee

    e

    eee

    Train Attendant

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Messages:
    56
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    A few questions from a newbie:

    Why does the train spend the night in San Antonio?

    Are all passengers allowed to spend the night on the train and can you come and go as you please (spend a few hours at the riverwalk and get back on the train at 2 am)?
     
  14. Apr 30, 2008 #14

    George Harris

    G

    George Harris

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2006
    Messages:
    5,027
    Location:
    now in California
    Night in San Antonio: It is actually a couple of through cars. They spend the night because the cars are added to the Sunset Limited when it comes throough on its way from New Orleans to Los Angeles, and of course they are dropped off on the return trip.

    As to the come and go: I have no first hand knowledge, but from what has been posted by others, you can fairly well come and go except during those times that the cars are being moved around. only passengers ticketed through on trains 421/422, which is the designation of the through cars can stay in them.
     
  15. May 1, 2008 #15

    Lamar

    L

    Lamar

    Train Attendant

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2008
    Messages:
    44
    Location:
    Texas
    I rode the TE yesterday and today from STL to DAL and ate in a regular dining car and a cafe in the lower level of the Sightseer lounge. Same set-up last Wednesday DAL to CHI.
     
  16. May 1, 2008 #16

    Green Maned Lion

    Green Maned Lion

    Green Maned Lion

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2007
    Messages:
    8,018
    Location:
    NJ
    I hope the CCCs aren't getting bad ordered already!
     
  17. May 1, 2008 #17

    the_traveler

    the_traveler

    the_traveler

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    Messages:
    25,570
    Location:
    Whatever siding I'm sitting on!
    I don't know for sure, but I thought the CCC on the TE was not until the new schedule on May 12.
     
  18. May 12, 2008 #18
    Woohoo, we just booked our August trip!

    I had to call the 800# (and wait on hold forever, but that's another story) to put 3 of us in the bedroom. The agent was really friendly, and gave us some tips for traveling with a toddler.

    I was given a confirmation #, but no hard tickets until check in, is that common?

    Also, is there an online map so I can see which unit I'll be in?

    I've spent the afternoon looking at everyone's pictures and getting excited!
     
  19. May 12, 2008 #19

    daveyb99

    d

    daveyb99

    OBS Chief

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2005
    Messages:
    910
    Location:
    Grapevine, TX
    AMTRAK charges to mail tickets. No problem though. When you arrive at the station, pick them up at the window. Or you can make a trip and get them earlier.

    By which 'unit' do you mean the car layout. If so, check this site.

    Have a blast....
     
  20. May 12, 2008 #20

    AlanB

    A

    AlanB

    Conductor Honored Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2002
    Messages:
    28,406
    Location:
    Queens, New York
    Yes, you'll have to pick up your tickets when you get to the station.

    Just click here to see the layout of the car. If you're on the Texas Eagle, then you want to look at the diagram for the Superliner sleeping car.
     
  21. May 12, 2008 #21

    jackal

    jackal

    jackal

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    Messages:
    1,379
    Location:
    SGF
    A few minor points, mostly for other newbies reading this thread to keep y'all from thinking there's conflicting information:

    ...Unless you're starting from an unstaffed station with no automated ticket machines. Amtrak will then mail the tickets free of charge, provided you're booking more than (IIRC) 5 (or maybe it's 9) days before the train. If it's within that window, Amtrak will mail them but charge an express mail fee.

    Most of the time, not a good idea. As long as you haven't picked up the ticket (or had it mailed to you), Amtrak will refund 100% of your ticket in the event of a cancellation (accomodation upgrades excepted). Once the tickets have been picked up or mailed, the most you can get refunded is 90%, although in this case, you could also exchange for a voucher for future travel worth 100% of your ticket.
     
  22. May 12, 2008 #22

    p&sr

    p

    p&sr

    OBS Chief

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Messages:
    983
    Location:
    Northern California
    And if it's too late even for that, there are still ways to travel. Like picking up your tickets on board the train? (You'd want to be sure you can prove you really have the reservations, and that you have paid for them... if you did.)

    Where I am, I catch the Amtrak Bus from an unstaffed bus-stop. If I don't have tickets, it is possible to travel anyway by handing the bus driver my driver's license as a security deposit. Then on arrival at the station, we go together to the Ticket Counter and get the tickets, for the bus ride just completed and for the rail travel to follow.

    I've seen it done, but much prefer not to hand over such a vital document. And I'd rather not fuss with getting tickets issued right before departure. What if there's a long line? What if their computer is down? (Then I guess you could just talk to the conductor on board and explain? But if you've already surrendered your ID for the bus ride and didn't get it back, then they wouldn't even let you buy a ticket on board...)

    Call me old-fashioned, but there's nothing quite like holding the printed tickets in your hand to be convinced that your reservations actually exist as you were told. I'd take my chances on the 10% penalty, or gladly accept a voucher in place of a refund.

    Besides, picking up tickets in advance is a great excuse to visit the Station and do some Train-Watching!
     
  23. May 12, 2008 #23

    Green Maned Lion

    Green Maned Lion

    Green Maned Lion

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2007
    Messages:
    8,018
    Location:
    NJ
    Amen.
     
  24. May 12, 2008 #24

    jackal

    jackal

    jackal

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    Messages:
    1,379
    Location:
    SGF
    If that question mark was supposed to be there, then the answer is yes, that is possible, too. I can't remember if you can select this option online or if you must call to book your reservations, but if travel is within a certain number of days (5, probably) and, again, from an unstaffed station, the conductor will receive your printed ticket with his materials from the train's initial departure terminal (is that an oxymoron? :lol: ) and will be able to give it to you when you board and show your license.

    I'm so used to 100% electronic airline reservations, and I'm the type of person that will lose a piece of paper before you even give it to me, so picking up tickets early is a foreign concept to me.

    I won't argue with your last sentence, though! :lol:
     
  25. May 12, 2008 #25

    RobertF

    R

    RobertF

    Service Attendant

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2008
    Messages:
    177
    Location:
    SLC Utah
    Yeah... but there is nothing like the last min. panic of "Where did I put those tickets"... or the panic of having forgotten them at home, etc...

    One time we had a cleanup lady take our tickets that we had (stupidly) put down on a table next to us at the station. She threw them in her trash can. For a few minutes we were in a panic until I remembered the cleanup lady. I chased her down, must have looked like a loony going through her trash and there they were. Amazingly they were in perfect condition. No coffee spills or nastiness on them.

    I prefer to get my tickets at the station, the day I'm traveling, if at all possible. Of course there are those unattended stations, etc... and that is a different issue. Noting like a good panic to ruin an otherwise wonderful train experience.
     

Share This Page



arrow_white