hsr_fan wrote:Look at the length of a typical Silver Star or Silver Meteor in the 1980's vs today. Amtrak has slashed its capacity, particularly sleeper capacity, despite demand being there. If Amtrak can't manage to do what VIA does and keep its old sleepers going, it should look at other options like converting surplus Amfleets to sleepers. I just know that the 50 car Viewliner fleet has proven insufficient to meet demand for first class capacity. But I guess this is a topic for a different discussion.
This seems like an appropriate place to mention my research -- while there may be a couple trains where capacity is particularly limited, my thread on sleeper availability showed that for the trains in the large sample that I looked at, you can get sleeper space even a day out, almost always. To take the same set of trains for July 6 returning July 7th:
Chicago-Minot, ND -- available both ways.
Chicago-Denver -- return is available
Chicago-Lamy, NM -- available both ways
Chicago-Dallas -- return is available
Chicago-Memphis -- 1st leg is available.
So even looking at what must be one of the busiest travel weeks of the year, at the height of the summer travel season, 7 of 10 of the trains I looked at have sleeper space available the day before departure. There is NOT strong demand for sleeper space in the Amtrak system. If someone else wants to look at the Silver Palm and get us statistics, that would be interesting, but at this point, I think