Overnight Coach Configuration Ideas

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Re: Overnight Coach Configuration Ideas

Postby electricron » Sun Sep 02, 2018 11:51 am

Tadman wrote:There's no right/wrong answer here, but given the upcoming Acela Mk II, the time is right to explore options.

Amtrak is not going to offer a lesser class service on their Acela 2 trains, where they charge a smaller fare. They also aren’t going to offer, for the same reasons I wrote before, first class on their regional trains either.

One train just doesn’t have to offer every class of service.

Acela offers first class and business class, regional offered business class and standard class services, while the commuter operators running on the NEC offer third class or commuter services.

The various classes of services are being provided on the NEC, but they are provided on different trains with different fares. It does not matter what you call the various classes of services, but a simple look at the different seats and the amenities provide explains all you need to know about them.

Acela trains running on the NEC do not need lay flat seats, as just about if not all all these trains complete their journeys before midnight. No one expects to nor can they sleep all night on them.

Amtrak only runs one overnight regional train in each direction on the NEC. At best, they are the only trains that could possibly use lay flat seats in one car which would put first class seats in a regional train. Can you believe Amtrak would spend extra to order two or three cars configured this way within a new 500 car order? I don’t. It would be far cheaper for Amtrak to add a single Viewliner 2 sleeper car to these trains and provide a better first class experiences where they can charge an even higher fare. Golly, these two trains could use a few of the new 10 Dorm-Baggage Viewliner 2 cars if they can’t sell 30 bunks (15 rooms and roomettes) in a traditional Viewliner sleeper car.
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Re: Overnight Coach Configuration Ideas

Postby SouthernRailway » Sun Sep 02, 2018 5:37 pm

All long distance trains, and even lengthy routes such as the Carolinian, would probably be able to sell a good number of tickets for a discounted private room class of service. Call t Slumbercoach or lie-flat seats with walls. The Silver Starve has shown that there is a market for service between coach and first class sleeping car space. The “business class” on long distance trains was silly because it was simply a regular coach; there is a market for a distinct class above coach.
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Re: Overnight Coach Configuration Ideas

Postby STrRedWolf » Sun Sep 02, 2018 6:47 pm

electricron wrote:Amtrak only runs one overnight regional train in each direction on the NEC. At best, they are the only trains that could possibly use lay flat seats in one car which would put first class seats in a regional train. Can you believe Amtrak would spend extra to order two or three cars configured this way within a new 500 car order? I don’t. It would be far cheaper for Amtrak to add a single Viewliner 2 sleeper car to these trains and provide a better first class experiences where they can charge an even higher fare. Golly, these two trains could use a few of the new 10 Dorm-Baggage Viewliner 2 cars if they can’t sell 30 bunks (15 rooms and roomettes) in a traditional Viewliner sleeper car.


It'll be far cheaper for Amtrak to skip adding sleepers on the NEC, period. A three hour trip between DC and NYC? That's more nap territory than overnight snooze territory. Get a neck pillow from Faber, maybe a light blanket, set an alarm, recline the seat some, and hope you can check in way late at your destination hotel.

If you're doing something more long distance, then it's a maybe. That means something at least 8 hours long and runs overnight for one run.
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Re: Overnight Coach Configuration Ideas

Postby STrRedWolf » Sun Sep 02, 2018 7:58 pm

So, if I remember this thread correctly, we really need to split Long Distance service a bit more finely into "Overnight" (over 8 hours at night end to end) and "Multiday" (entire run takes 24 or more hours). The following would be overnight trains (per the schedules posted as of today):

  • Auto Train
  • Cardinal (DC to Chicago, which barely squeaks in at 23 hours)
  • City of New Orleans (Chicago to New Orleans)
  • Lake Shore Limited (Boston to Chicago)
  • NE Regional Newport News, VA to Boston, MA (#66 at 5:20pm to 8:00 am?!?), #65/67 (9:30pm to 1pm/1:30pm next day)

Most of these have sleepers. That said, I'm mistaken on the NE Regional 66/65/67, and I can see a Viewliner sleeper being slapped on here now, but it really should be a dedicated line and be called the Atlantic Overnight. The only thing that would solidify it would be the numbers of folk taking the entire length VA to MA and back. I can't see justifying a full sleeper if it's not going to be 75% full on a regular basis.
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