NYP to WAS on LD trains

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NYP to WAS on LD trains

Postby LM Train » Sun Nov 05, 2017 5:44 pm

I am currently on the Silver Meteor traveling from NY to Orlando for the first time. I noticed that at least half of my coach car is going to WAS (from NYP) and the forward car as well. So I looked up fares for NYP-WAS for Sunday, 11/19, and, lo and behold, you can book the Silver Meteor, Silver Star, Crescent, etc. between the two cities. When I asked the conductor, he said this was a recent thing. And I thought that I would not have so many colleagues before D.C...

Meanwhile, If I want to take an early train from NYP to Harrisburg, two of the trips listed on the schedule do not show up as choices (with connections in Philly): trains 151/605 and 111/607.
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Re: NYP to WAS on LD trains

Postby Tadman » Sun Nov 05, 2017 6:49 pm

This was done a year or two back. I seem to remember that the seats dont open up until X time before departure to keep people from short hauling and blocking NYP-South spaces.

I've also wondered if biz class seats are blocked from short haul situations. I often ride Chicago-New Buffalo which I could do on the South Shore commuter train. I go coach, but the option to go biz class is available. I'm not sure why, as this prevents Chicag-Detroit riders to take these more expensive seats.
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Re: NYP to WAS on LD trains

Postby bratkinson » Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:07 pm

I suspect the Amtrak reservation computers know from analysis of historical data for each train on average, how many coach or BC seats are vacant NYP-WAS. Then, barring a significant group booking near departure date, they should be able to sell perhaps 50% of the NYP-WAS seats in two cars for 'shorts' without hesitation. Then, perhaps 2 weeks prior to departure, a portion of the still vacant seats are made available as shorts. In all probability, even if you check 11 months in advance, I strongly doubt that any NYP-WAS shorts on LD trains are available around the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. That's why Amtrak has to borrow whatever rolls to fill added trains on the corridor.

As far as connecting trains to Harrisburg not showing up, I noticed a couple weeks ago that various connecting train options from SPG to CHI are no longer offered, either. Perhaps they decided there wasn't enough connecting traffic to make it an option, or, maybe the PHL-HBG segment usually fills up on its own, so they no longer offer it as a connection.
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Re: NYP to WAS on LD trains

Postby GirlOnTheTrain » Mon Nov 06, 2017 6:58 pm

Tadman wrote:I've also wondered if biz class seats are blocked from short haul situations. I often ride Chicago-New Buffalo which I could do on the South Shore commuter train. I go coach, but the option to go biz class is available. I'm not sure why, as this prevents Chicag-Detroit riders to take these more expensive seats.


I know the Carolinian isn't really LD but when I took it in the spring the crowd in the business class car thinned out considerably before Washington. My seat mate disembarked at Baltimore and I was blissfully seatmate free for the rest of the trip to SAL (silly NS trackwork bustituted the trip the rest of the way). Made for a nice nap after lunch, ha.
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Re: NYP to WAS on LD trains

Postby hi55us » Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:05 pm

I don't blame the people for booking the LD Trains southbound. More legroom and less stops than Regional trains (no NCR, BWI, MET ect... on a lot of them). Smartly, looks like Amtrak isn't willing to sell any northbound tickets, only on the Palmetto which has a section of coaches added/removed at WAS IIRC.
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Re: NYP to WAS on LD trains

Postby ApproachMedium » Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:41 pm

This was experimented with during the holidays. They would only do it for southbounds, and i think it pretty much still works that way because of OTP. It caught on as an excellent way to reduce last minute crowd rushing out of NY/Philly during busier hours so they just kept doing it. You will rarely see it come up for the northbount trains because their on time performance is not always so accurate, since amtrak does not control them until DC and from DC to NY the stops are allowed to leave before the scheduled time, drop off only.
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Re: NYP to WAS on LD trains

Postby LM Train » Tue Nov 07, 2017 3:00 am

For the longest time, these particular trains have always had the notation "stops only to receive/discharge passengers from City A to City B," so I was startled to find out that that policy was not obeyed. Is a change in the timetable notation in order?

Some observations from my trip:

AFAIK, the train had 2 coach cars (possibly 3) in the front, a lounge/cafe, a diner, and at least 2 or 3 sleepers. With the exception of the Washington folks in both cars, my car primarily consisted of people going to Jacksonville and points south; therefore, the head car had people who originated from NYP through WAS disembarking between Alexandria and Jacksonville. I had a seatmate traveling NYP-WAS and nobody until after Richmond (I want to say; I hung out and napped in the lounge car from there through Savannah when at that point I saw somebody in the seat next to mine) through Orlando. At Orlando, I'd say 60%-75% of the passengers in my car disembarked, can't say anything about the other car.

The dining car reservation times were 5pm, 6pm, and 8pm. (7pm was during the engine changeover in WAS.) I chose 8pm. For the NYP-WAS passengers, there were few to no takers for any of the times that I could tell. This could be an opportunity for travelers who want dining car service during this segment.

I don't know why I was so fascinated with the efficiency of passenger management, but I have to say Amtrak did a great job. The lady who managed the assignments was so professional and charming, as were the crew members overall. And the train was early at Orlando, even though it was late until around Florence. Not bad for a first time overnight Amtrak trip!

I agree with the sentiment raised that Amtrak should do anything to maximize its revenue for long distance trains -- with the ever gazing eye of Congress watching over them.
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Re: NYP to WAS on LD trains

Postby LM Train » Tue Nov 07, 2017 3:36 am

hi55us wrote:I don't blame the people for booking the LD Trains southbound. More legroom and less stops than Regional trains (no NCR, BWI, MET ect... on a lot of them). Smartly, looks like Amtrak isn't willing to sell any northbound tickets, only on the Palmetto which has a section of coaches added/removed at WAS IIRC.


I took a trip on the Palmetto in August from Philly to D.C., and us passengers disembarking at D.C. or earlier were directed to the first two cars, which were both empty when I disembarked at WAS. There were many people waiting for that train (southbound) at WAS, but based on the empty cars and the value of efficient train car door management, I concur that those empty cars were more than likely detached at the station.

ApproachMedium wrote:This was experimented with during the holidays. They would only do it for southbounds, and i think it pretty much still works that way because of OTP. It caught on as an excellent way to reduce last minute crowd rushing out of NY/Philly during busier hours so they just kept doing it. You will rarely see it come up for the northbount trains because their on time performance is not always so accurate, since amtrak does not control them until DC and from DC to NY the stops are allowed to leave before the scheduled time, drop off only.


It seems that you could check baggage on the NYP-WAS segment of these trains, as there is no "No checked baggage" notation on these trips. But I am only speculating. That option in the northbound direction is currently limited to two trains, both of them at night (the Palmetto and the overnight NE Regional).

bratkinson wrote:As far as connecting trains to Harrisburg not showing up, I noticed a couple weeks ago that various connecting train options from SPG to CHI are no longer offered, either. Perhaps they decided there wasn't enough connecting traffic to make it an option, or, maybe the PHL-HBG segment usually fills up on its own, so they no longer offer it as a connection.


Are there 1 car Keystones (or Keystones that only operate with one car open and the others closed)? In every trip I've taken on them, at least 2 cars were opened, and I've taken trips where there were ~10 people in my car HAR-PHL/NYP in the evening.

These connecting trips are listed in the timetable -- therefore, they should be offered. Are trains leaving PHL 6:25am & 7:25am and arriving HAR 8:15am & 9:10am, respectively, that full? (Many passengers disembark at Lancaster!) Perhaps, but regardless, I stand by my statement. Plus, I cannot find viable alternatives to get to Philadelphia 30th Street by bus (Greyhound, Peter Pan, Megabus, Boltbus, etc.) at those departure times.

One of these days I'll contact Amtrak about these trips, if no one beats me to it. But then I will be taking these trips once or twice a year at most, so I am not the best passenger to ask for sustained service.
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Re: NYP to WAS on LD trains

Postby ApproachMedium » Tue Nov 07, 2017 12:25 pm

The first 3 cars are removed from the Palmetto when it arrives in DC southbound, and added when it arrives northbound. This is effectively Trains 181 and Train 198, as they were canceled and combined with 89 and 90 due to the lack of equipment since the two wrecks a few years ago.

There are keystones that operate with very few passengers. They basically would otherwise be a deadhead move to return equipment and crews to their home locations for the next days service, but amtrak runs them as revenue trains to grab those few extra dollars on a set that already has to pass thru anyways. There are plenty of keystone trains that run with at least 4 full cars on a daily basis.
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Re: NYP to WAS on LD trains

Postby ryanov » Tue Nov 07, 2017 6:32 pm

I recently was booked on 90 from Wilmington to Newark, and I remember thinking "there was another regional after 188 that wasn't 66" and that the number was 198, but it never occurred to me that it could have been removed from the schedule. Let me tell you, that's not a positive change. 66 arrived before 90 did at Wilmington, and I got rebooked over the phone. We had a nice walk around downtown to kill the time, but I don't know that I'd plan on 90 again as an option.
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Re: NYP to WAS on LD trains

Postby Noel Weaver » Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:07 pm

I guess the worst you could experience SB would be a NE Regional passing you by, the LD's have extra time or at least did when I was riding up there a few years ago for more time in loading passengers and baggage. Being that the LD's have checked baggage service and usually a lower overall top speed I would prefer a regular regional train for corridor travel. Northbound it is even worse with LD's often being late, sleeping passengers and stuff blocking seats and lots of other obstacles. NO give me a nice clean and fresh set of cars NB out of DC or any other station rather than a very stale LD with maybe smelly toilets and people as well. Dining cars either sold out or closed out.
If I was headed north on 90, 92 or 98 I would get off at Washington and enjoy a ride on a nice fresh set of equipment on one of the regionals. Just my opinion.
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Re: NYP to WAS on LD trains

Postby ApproachMedium » Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:49 pm

ryanov wrote:I recently was booked on 90 from Wilmington to Newark, and I remember thinking "there was another regional after 188 that wasn't 66" and that the number was 198, but it never occurred to me that it could have been removed from the schedule. Let me tell you, that's not a positive change. 66 arrived before 90 did at Wilmington, and I got rebooked over the phone. We had a nice walk around downtown to kill the time, but I don't know that I'd plan on 90 again as an option.



This is the norm for that train almost every day.
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Re: NYP to WAS on LD trains

Postby ApproachMedium » Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:50 pm

Noel Weaver wrote:I guess the worst you could experience SB would be a NE Regional passing you by, the LD's have extra time or at least did when I was riding up there a few years ago for more time in loading passengers and baggage. Being that the LD's have checked baggage service and usually a lower overall top speed I would prefer a regular regional train for corridor travel. Northbound it is even worse with LD's often being late, sleeping passengers and stuff blocking seats and lots of other obstacles. NO give me a nice clean and fresh set of cars NB out of DC or any other station rather than a very stale LD with maybe smelly toilets and people as well. Dining cars either sold out or closed out.
If I was headed north on 90, 92 or 98 I would get off at Washington and enjoy a ride on a nice fresh set of equipment on one of the regionals. Just my opinion.
Noel Weaver



If you were on 90 92 or 98 you are probably going to be late enough that youll just be happy the train is getting you to NY. And if you are on 90, the next set of "fresh" stuff out of DC wont be until 315AM on train 190/150
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Re: NYP to WAS on LD trains

Postby mohawkrailfan » Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:20 am

People posting on this thread know the deal. But I feel bad for anyone who just books a train from WAS to NYP that looks as good as any other and then, on the day of travel, finds out it's the one that's four hours late every day.
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Re: NYP to WAS on LD trains

Postby andrewjw » Thu Nov 09, 2017 3:54 pm

It looks from above like the LD trains that are being opened up that were not prevoiusly available are opened up southbound only. So that wouldn't start being a larger issue.
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