• Federal, Night Owl, Twilight Shoreliner (Trains 65, 66, 67)

  • Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.
Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, mtuandrew, Tadman

  • 430 posts
  • 1
  • 25
  • 26
  • 27
  • 28
  • 29
  by STrRedWolf
west point wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 11:30 pm
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 11:30 am
Why the Sleeper cannot be added/cut with the engine at WAS escapes me.
That is a puzzle as the last figures heard was that operating a car costs $4.00 / mile ? 187 miles X 2 (RT) x $4.00 == $1496 - ~6 miles to / from Ivy city = $24. So net savings are ~ $1472. Another advantage is if that car is at WASH if a sleeper for MIA , New Orleans, or CHI is bad ordered there would be a replacement available. Now the times give Ivy City maintenance time to fix the bad order. Other possible ways would be to drop a single sleeper on an inbound to NYP.

Yes a regular cut off sleeper on the 3 sleeper trains is also a possibility. Maybe Amtrak does not have any parking space until VRE gets its own parking yard there ? a
I think it's more of an operational and cost standpoint. If I remember correctly, Amtrak is always pull operation, and turning anything but an Acela is a requirement. So to take out the sleepers at WAS, you have to turn that equipment around (swap ends)... which is a trip through Ivy City Couch Yard's wye. That ties up an engine, and I doubt a regular pusher will do. That's power cost, crew cost...

Also, look at 65/67's scheduling. It hits at 6:30a/7a respectively. That's rush time Monday through Friday. To get off the line ASAP you gotta hold MARC and WAS-terminus trains, you got the VRE coming in... you don't have the time.

So why go through that pain when you can just leave the car on? It'll get turned at Newport News.
  by Rockingham Racer
I don't think there is a real strong need to turn a sleeping car, especially when half the seats
in the roomettes are always going backwards anyway. The bedrooms are different story, but I've ridden backwards on a Superliner bedroom on the Capitol Limited. It's not the end of the world, especially on this particular train where you're on your back for most of the trip.
  by danib62
One of the bedrooms is going to be “backwards” no matter which direction the car is pointing.
  by west point
My thought was disconnect the motor and sleeper together just as the Palmetto has done. The motor pushes the sleeper back to the car layover spot then disconnects anyway to go to the motor servicing location. At night a motor backs onto sleeper and then may either pull forward or if rear is clear just back to the holding point waiting for 66. After diesel detaches motor pushes itself and sleeper onto front of 66.
I imagine there is a hostler crew that moves cars around IVY during the day and night depending on what kind of service is needed for any car.
  by RRspatch
bostontrainguy wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 5:35 pm
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 11:30 am Mr. Dani, existing Labor Agreements call for one Attendant for each Sleeping Car.
What happened to Amtrak's plan to fix the call buttons and put attendants in the dorms since the attendant's room has been eliminated in the VIIs?
Someone figured Amtrak needed more baggage cars, some of which are in "axle count" service. Therefore Amtrak is short 15 VII Dorm cars. Twenty Five cars would have covered the Silvers, the Crescent, the Lake Shore and the Cardinal getting the OBS people out of the high priced rooms. Oh well.
  by BandA
Greg Moore wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 9:24 am
BandA wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 3:24 pm Why do you need the attendant south of Washington? Tell the passengers there is no attendant to assist, but allow them to continue to occupy the space. The sleeper is cleaned at the final destination, right? The passenger can return the room keys to a conductor? Luggage - becomes the passenger's problem?
Who do you think cleans and turns the car? It's the room attendant.
And what keys?
I haven't taken an Amtrak train yet; I assumed they locked the unused rooms, guess they don't need to. So if the passenger gets off at Washington, and the Attendant gets off at Washington too, but the train continues I'm confused how the room is cleaned / "linens" changed.
  by Greg Moore
The rooms have no locks.

Typically at one of the major stations a wrapped set of linens and a laundry bag will be dropped in the vestibule.
A car attendant will typically start changing linens a couple of hours before the final destination (my understanding is they don't get paid for work after the train arrives at its destination, hence an incentive to get things done before the arrive).
Then they bag stuff and drop it in the vestibule.

I believe as NYP, when the car is turned at Sunnyside, the dirty laundry will be exchanged for new. That said, with current COVID protocols, they may have updated things a bit.
  by bostontrainguy
Another not so glowing review of the Night Owl. May have been much better if they got that night cap but Amtrak cafe attendant wasn't going to oblige. Why can't they ever seem to get ready beforehand so they can be open on departure? BTW - looks like the new blankets are there but they still don't make up the beds with them for you.

  by jp1822
Couple of comments:

Amtrak should still try and figure out a way that they can't just keep the car "in service" while it heads to the Tidewater of Virginia. It would only add to revenue and ridership. Amtrak operated the Twilight Shoreliner for SEVERAL years with sleeper service from Newport News to Washington DC to Boston etc. It worked!

If you watch the video that was posted above on the overnight experience (which looked and appeared to be awful by the way), not only was business class full on #66, but the Viewliner Sleeper was full too.

If Amtrak doesn't try to improve some basics with this service, it's going to be gone again. The sleeper at the head-end just doesn't work, especially for this train. Is it really that hard to move the sleeper and baggage car (if needed) to the rear? You get the breakfast box the night before? More stuff to try and stuff away in a small private room as it is? When Amtrak did run a table car (lounge car) in between the Viewliner Sleeper and Business Class Car, it did make for a nice "place to go" for both business class passengers and sleeper class passengers. Presently Amtrak runs a 1/2 business class car and 1/2 lounge car with this train. Perhaps a full business class car (or low density car) and then regular cafe/lounge car would work just as well (or even an Amfleet Diner Lite car).

Amtrak should treat the Viewliner Sleeper class the same as it does Acela First class. I always feel the Viewliner Sleeper is the step child.

This type of overnight service should "work" just as smoothly and positively as the Auto Train. I think one of the consists presently has a new Viewliner II Sleeper, while the other is clearly still operating with a Viewliner I Sleeper. Operating BOTH with a Viewliner II Sleeper would just be SO much better and help to win a positive experience. The Viewliner I Sleepers just need a lot of TLC and refurb right now. What company would launch a "restored" service with older equipment if new equipment is readily available? Again, a relatively easy fix I would think.

I never understood the concept of the sleeping car attendant taking space in the Viewliner Dorm/Baggage Car, with a call button that would "ring to the room there" for the attendant. If there were three sleepers, that attendant in the sleeper third car back is going to get quite the work out. I couldn't imagine the SCA not being in the same sleeper he or she is caring for (use roomette #12).... The Viewliner Bagg/Dorm would do what the Heritage Sleeper Dorms did - house other onboard staff in a separate car, and not in rooms that could be sold. OBS on eastern long distance single level overnight trains ONLY took up space in the Viewliner Sleepers once the Heritage Dorm/Sleeper was retired around 2007.
  by danib62
Well I booked my first NER roomette trip for September. Had a companion coupon to use so $289 for 2 people is pretty darn reasonable and given the flight schedule this actually made the most sense for us. I'll be sure to post my impressions here.
  • 1
  • 25
  • 26
  • 27
  • 28
  • 29