U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Urban Planning
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 06-12-2014, 06:13 AM
 
Location: Northville, MI
11,882 posts, read 11,176,832 times
Reputation: 6320

Advertisements

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.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 06-12-2014, 08:50 AM
 
26 posts, read 40,128 times
Reputation: 36
I don't know if they even make domestically, a Pullman car anymore. Plus I don't think there are that many used passenger rails used like they were 60 years ago.

Years ago people took all kinds of Pullman, on the L&N, Illinois Central, Frisco, Spirit of Noew Orleans, Allegheny etc there were tons of Pullman cars on the lines, including fabulous dining cars, and club cars.

People shifted modes of transportation when flying became cheaper or affordable....better highway systems, more comfortable vehicles with a/c. Personal vehicles offered complete independence ! you could stop where you wanted, have a snack, visit an attraction, and have mobility of your own at you final destination. Also, you could make your own schedule and not beholden to the RRs.

There are still wonderful trips to be had across the entire nation of Canada using the CP ! all the way to the west coast, through the mountains !
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-12-2014, 08:56 AM
 
Location: Northville, MI
11,882 posts, read 11,176,832 times
Reputation: 6320
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaxxedOut View Post
I don't know if they even make domestically, a Pullman car anymore. Plus I don't think there are that many used passenger rails used like they were 60 years ago.

Years ago people took all kinds of Pullman, on the L&N, Illinois Central, Frisco, Spirit of Noew Orleans, Allegheny etc there were tons of Pullman cars on the lines, including fabulous dining cars, and club cars.

People shifted modes of transportation when flying became cheaper or affordable....better highway systems, more comfortable vehicles with a/c. Personal vehicles offered complete independence ! you could stop where you wanted, have a snack, visit an attraction, and have mobility of your own at you final destination. Also, you could make your own schedule and not beholden to the RRs.

There are still wonderful trips to be had across the entire nation of Canada using the CP ! all the way to the west coast, through the mountains !
I hear the Californian Zephyr is still a wonderful train ride to take. However, it mainly caters to tourists, not for the common person wanting to go to California in a fast and efficient manner. I was thinking of daily overnight sleeper trains for shorter distances, which can be covered in 1 night.

By taking an overnight train ride, you save yourself the stress of long drives, finding a clean motel to stay overnight, and finding places to eat nearby. All of that is taken care of by the train crew.

Among airlines, the only ones treating you like people are southwest. The rest treat you like prisoners for what you pay .
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-12-2014, 09:55 AM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
Location: Long Island / NYC
45,991 posts, read 42,018,377 times
Reputation: 14810
Sleeper service is very expensive to run. Most of the shorter distance routes, fares cover most (75-90%) but not all of the operating costs. The sleeper service get much more subsidy, there's no reason to increase them.

As to why they're obsolete, most people would rather fly even if the service bad and get there. Long distance driving gives the advantage of stopping and sightseeing along the way, but I'd rather do an overnight train than a long drive which gets tiring.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-12-2014, 11:35 AM
 
1,709 posts, read 1,676,578 times
Reputation: 1838
Because airplanes are quicker. It's quantity over quality for most Americans, and thus a 5-hour trip in a crowded airliner is viewed as a better alternative than a trip in a luxurious train that takes a couple days. Plus, Amtrak is pretty mediocre, train trips (outside of the Northeast Corridor) are often slower than travel car, and many cities don't have Amtrak access in the first place. Our passenger rail system is lacking compared to ones around the world, and it shows.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-12-2014, 12:12 PM
 
Location: New Mexico
6,603 posts, read 3,681,147 times
Reputation: 12410
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adi from the Brunswicks View Post

Among airlines, the only ones treating you like people are southwest. The rest treat you like prisoners for what you pay .
I just flew Southwest from ABQ to San Francisco through San Diego....a horrible experience. Domestic airline travel is no longer a rational way of travelling. Apparently our standards and expectations have dropped so low that the airlines figure they can get away with anything. I would have gladly taken train and enjoyed the trip but I had to get there for a wedding and then get back hme. I often take a sleeper on Amtrak if I take a longer trip.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-12-2014, 12:48 PM
 
4,247 posts, read 9,724,266 times
Reputation: 3788
We take sleeping cars on vacations. But we also had a weekend trip from Cumberland, MD to Chicago - the timing makes Amtrak a far more rational choice for that than any other mode.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-12-2014, 01:06 PM
 
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
4,896 posts, read 7,663,909 times
Reputation: 4508
In Europe, I've used overnight train trips in lieu of paying for a hotel. Because I already had a Eurail pass, I'd look for long, overnight trips, and zigzag around Europe.

I remember 3 different configurations of cars:
1. sleepers with 4 bunk beds per cabin
2. cabins with room for 6 people to sit with a luggage rack above, (I'd look for an empty or nearly empty one to lay across the seats)
3. an open car with all seats facing forward with an aisle down the middle. This last was the least comfortable for sleeping, and thankfully, the most rare configuration, in my experience.

I've never ridden Amtrak, so don't know how well this would translate to the US.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-12-2014, 01:13 PM
 
4,247 posts, read 9,724,266 times
Reputation: 3788
Amtrak - Plan - Onboard - Sleeping Accommodations
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-12-2014, 01:13 PM
 
Location: Northville, MI
11,882 posts, read 11,176,832 times
Reputation: 6320
Quote:
Originally Posted by SunGrins View Post
I just flew Southwest from ABQ to San Francisco through San Diego....a horrible experience. Domestic airline travel is no longer a rational way of travelling. Apparently our standards and expectations have dropped so low that the airlines figure they can get away with anything. I would have gladly taken train and enjoyed the trip but I had to get there for a wedding and then get back hme. I often take a sleeper on Amtrak if I take a longer trip.
If you think southwest is bad, then fly American cross country next time. They only offered beverages once during the entire trip, and when my 85 year old grandpa asked for more water they served him with frustration .
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Urban Planning
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top