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Old 06-12-2014, 01:22 PM
 
Location: Northville, MI
11,882 posts, read 11,181,746 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ki0eh View Post
The toilet option for viewliner roomettes are kind of gross, in my opinion. Why don't they have public restrooms and personal showers like Alstom LHB sleeper cars from Germany. Looks like a bit of tweaking is needed in Amtrak sleeper designs.
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Old 06-12-2014, 01:40 PM
 
8,328 posts, read 14,574,087 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adi from the Brunswicks View Post
I wonder why sleeper train services are obsolete in the US. On busy routes, why doesn't Amtrak run overnight sleeper trains to ferry people. For example, wouldn't it be nice if one could board Amtrak in the evening, enjoy a comfortable night sleep, and arrive at my destination the next day morning. These service could be used in routes like Boston-DC, NYC-Montreal, Raleigh-Atlanta, San Fransisco-LA, or any other pair of cities within 400 miles of each other which people frequently travel between. Why has Amtrak decided not to start any new sleeper train services in recent times, when it has the potential to improve ridership on busy routes and increase revenue.
There is no rail connection between San Francisco and Los Angeles. There is an Amtrak train, the Coast Starlight, that runs from Los Angeles to Oakland and Sacramento (proceeding north to Portland and Seattle) that has sleeper service. Those only run once per day. There is a commuter line, the San Joaquin, that runs from Sacramento and the Bay Area to Bakersfield, with a bus over the Tehachipis to Los Angeles because there is no passenger rail connection on that route. It's a much shorter trip than the 12-14 ride on the Coast Starlight (which takes the scenic route along the coast, instead of the fast route via the valley) so there is no need for sleepers, especially because they only run during the day.

Ordinarily you don't really need sleeper service on trips under 8 hours or that don't run at night. Most of these runs weren't sleeper trains back when sleepers were more common--partially because sleeper is a premium service and it's just not that inconvenient to take a nap in a coach car for a short trip.
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Old 06-12-2014, 01:41 PM
 
8,328 posts, read 14,574,087 times
Reputation: 4048
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adi from the Brunswicks View Post
The toilet option for viewliner roomettes are kind of gross, in my opinion. Why don't they have public restrooms and personal showers like Alstom LHB sleeper cars from Germany. Looks like a bit of tweaking is needed in Amtrak sleeper designs.
Amtrak sleeper cars have shared public restrooms and showers. Only the deluxe roomettes and the disabled-access rooms have their own toilet and shower facilities.

It sounds like you haven't really looked much into what Amtrak already offers before deciding to complain about it. Perhaps this is an opportunity to educate yourself?
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Old 06-12-2014, 01:53 PM
 
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
2,540 posts, read 3,276,508 times
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Somebody mentioned the "Canadian " that goes across Canada......

Unless you have VERY deep pockets, AND time to waste, its a bad idea. Now, don't get me wrong, the scenery is amazing, in the Rockies, but a thousand miles of Manitoba and Saskatchewan and Alberta ........down right boring. The vast majority of the passengers on that run are not Canadians, they are "from away ".

My wife and I priced the rail trip, Toronto to Vancouver, as seniors, and we could have bought a good used car for that amount of money, and that was ONLY a one way trip. We flew to Vancouver, on West Jet , took five hours, and about 500 each for a return ticket.

Jim B.

Toronto.
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Old 06-12-2014, 02:18 PM
 
Location: San Antonio-Westover Hills
6,878 posts, read 18,227,631 times
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Check out the awesome YouTube vids some seasoned Amtrak riders have made. I love watching them! We took Amtrak from San Antonio to Houston as a sort of "test run" for our kids and now that we know they LOVE it, we can go all out and do a longer trip. Can't wait! I wish there were more trains running.
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Old 06-12-2014, 04:06 PM
 
20,804 posts, read 13,806,020 times
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Sleeper service died out as faster (airplanes) and or more personal (automobiles) made traveling distances both medium and long haul not only faster but more comfortable and economical.

In the last great gasp of American rail travel ( roughly late 1930's through early 1950's) it took one of the most famous trains New York Central's Twentieth Century Limited a little over sixteen hours to go from Croton Harmon in NY to Chicago. This was with one of the fastest and most modern steam locomotives (the Niagara) which had every mod con available at that time including scoops that could be lowered to take on water on the fly so as to cut back on stops for refueling. Today the best time over a slightly longer variation of the same route with diesel power is nearly twenty hours and often longer.

In contrast you can drive from many parts of NYS to Chicago much faster and certainly arrive quicker via plane. As the Interstate highway system expanded and airports built the need for long or even medium distance trains with their sleeper cars faded. Things only got worse when jets replaced propeller planes making flying across country, a few states or even interstate faster than before.

Finally it must be pointed out that for much if not all of the history of American rail passenger service runs at a loss. That is fare box recovery does not equal the costs of running the things. Then as now freight is what paid and continue to pay the bills.

Sleeper passenger service for trains is very expensive to run, especially at the high end with private cars/compartments and so forth. It is very labour and capital intensive (all those maids, porters, food and beverage, linens, etc...).

The real money from such service came from those able to afford "first class" service and business travelers. When both began to move to airplanes and personal vehicles it took a huge bite out of sleeper service. The other end (budget travelers) began to take to the roads as well but by bus such as Greyhound.

When all was said and done you had not enough demand for sleeper service an to cut losses RRs got shot of them fast as possible. For some it only prolonged the end as many passenger RRs went out of business anyway.
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Old 06-12-2014, 05:23 PM
PDD
 
Location: The Sand Hills of NC
8,774 posts, read 14,886,082 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adi from the Brunswicks View Post
The toilet option for viewliner roomettes are kind of gross, in my opinion. Why don't they have public restrooms and personal showers like Alstom LHB sleeper cars from Germany. Looks like a bit of tweaking is needed in Amtrak sleeper designs.
I know Amtrak is way ahead of some other countries (they don't allow people to ride outside on the trains) and they do have in room showers on the NY to Miami overnight trains. Not every room but they are available for $$$$ and all the roomettes have shower access in your car.
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Old 06-12-2014, 05:27 PM
 
Location: NYntarctica
11,438 posts, read 6,419,116 times
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Never realized this before, good question. When I was like 8 and 9 years old I would often ride on sleeper trains going between Piter and Moscow. I really liked the noise the trains would make so I would fall asleep mad quick lol.
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Old 06-12-2014, 05:37 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,074 posts, read 16,105,531 times
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Slow, stupidly expensive. Pretty much any distance where you'd want a sleeper, you'll get there faster in a plane and then you can just get a hotel for less and be more comfortable. For example, it's two hours from Sacramento to Seattle, costs about $300 if you're buying in advance and don't need flexibility round-trip. Amtrak costs $900 or so although that's for two people, so it's only $300 more than a flight for two people, and takes 20 hours. While more comfortable, I'd rather be uncomfortable for two hours and get where I'm going so I can do something else, sleep in a nice hotel rather than a cramped sleeper-ette

I've taken the train once and won't ever do it again. Might be fun if you're retired and just hopping around from town to town.

Last edited by Malloric; 06-12-2014 at 05:59 PM..
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Old 06-12-2014, 05:46 PM
 
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
4,896 posts, read 7,664,847 times
Reputation: 4508
Depending on how slow, that might be desirable. Is it more expensive than flying plus the cost of an additional night in a hotel?
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