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Author Topic: missing an Amtrak connection
RR4me
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Hello all, I am going to Minneapolis in late August, from the SF Bay Area. Thinking I could take the Coast Starlight from Martinez to Portland, then the Empire Builder to Minneapolis. If all goes according to schedule, this would work as there is about a 2 hour interval between when the CS is supposed to get to Portland, and when the Empire Builder leaves. My question is: what happens if the CS is late? Am I just out of luck? Seems like maybe too big a gamble if so.
Posts: 406 | From: La Grange, CA | Registered: Sep 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Vincent206
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From Amtrak's Disclaimer of Liability:
quote:
Amtrak further specifically disclaims liability for any inconvenience, expense, or damages, incidental, consequential, punitive, lost profits, loss business or otherwise, resulting from errors in its timetable, shortages of equipment, or due to delayed trains, except when such delay causes a passenger to miss an Amtrak train guaranteed connection. When a guaranteed Amtrak train connection is missed, Amtrak will provide passenger with alternate transportation on Amtrak, another carrier, or provide overnight hotel accommodations, at Amtrak's sole discretion, but only when such circumstances resulted from the actions of Amtrak and this shall constitute Amtrak's sole liability and passenger's sole and exclusive remedy.
If Amtrak sells you a ticket that includes a connection and you miss the connection because of a late train, Amtrak will accommodate you, unless there is some sort of major natural disaster that caused the train to be late.
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notelvis
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Often in the past when the northbound Coast Starlight is in danger of missing the connection in Portland, connecting passengers from the Coast Starlight are bussed from Klamath Falls to meet the Empire Builder....... generally around Pasco.

--------------------
David Pressley

Advocating for passenger trains since 1973!

Climbing toward 5,000 posts like the Southwest Chief ascending Raton Pass. Cautiously, not nearly as fast as in the old days, and hoping to avoid premature reroutes.

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RRRICH
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I didn't realize 14-28 was even a "guaranteed connection?" Is it?
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Gilbert B Norman
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It should be noted that 14-PDX-28 passengers who get the "busteetoot" K'Falls Pasco as Mr. Presley notes, will be deprived of two scenic highlights of their trip. First, on N/E Bound journeys would be the passage over the Cascade Mountains, which having once done on the Shasta during 1962, was indeed scenic. Next would be the passage on the Builder along the Columbia to Pasco, where the route turns inland towards Spokane (yes, Wasingtonians like to call it the "Inland Empire" but in reality it is an "if you've seen one wheatfield you've seen 'em all" experience).

Several here have noted that when making the 14-PDX-28 connection, they have built an overnight stop at Portland into the itinerary simply to ensure viewing of all this scenery. But that of course represents "time and bucks";.

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RR4me
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Thanks for the replies. Time and bucks is a big consideration, and as I am taking my elderly mother, a bus trip is not a good idea. I'm afraid this time, it's going to be flying both ways.
Posts: 406 | From: La Grange, CA | Registered: Sep 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
notelvis
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You might want to consider flying to MSP and returning on the train via PDX...... the layover on the return is about 4 hours and probably safer.

--------------------
David Pressley

Advocating for passenger trains since 1973!

Climbing toward 5,000 posts like the Southwest Chief ascending Raton Pass. Cautiously, not nearly as fast as in the old days, and hoping to avoid premature reroutes.

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DonNadeau
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"You might want to consider flying to MSP and returning on the train via PDX...... the layover on the return is about 4 hours and probably safer."

Yes, and because Southwest serves both Minneapolis and Oakland you will not be penalized for buying a one-way fare.

However, you will probably experience better scenery during daylight taking the Empire Builder eastbound. Seriously consider an overnight hotel stay in Portland or Seattle. Both stations are convenient to numerous good hotels.

--------------------
@DonNadeau

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TwinStarRocket
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The K-Falls to Pasco "bustitution" happened to me last September. Amtrak woke me by phone at 2am in my CS roomette to guarantee me I WOULD make the connection at PDX. About a half hour before K-Falls, when I just sat down in my first Pacific Parlor Car ever, an almost inaudible PA announcement told us to get out at K-Falls and take the bus.

We were on a 2-zone Guest Rewards ride, so the same day connection in PDX was required unless I wanted to spend a lot more points. There were no roomettes free on the next day's #28. I pleaded with Amtrak to let me layover in Seattle at my own expense to catch #8 (roomettes were available), but that was not allowed.

The bus ride was not scenic and included lunch stops at Subway where we had to pay. The bus was not in great shape. My son grabbed a 12 pack of Corona that helped the ride go better. The 2 hour wait in Pasco was boring.

I did complain to Amtrak that the purpose of my the trip was my first Coast Starlight and PPC ride, and that I would have changed dates last minute leaving Sacramento had they not told me as we left that the connection at PDX definitely would be made. They did send me a $500 voucher

Posts: 1564 | From: St. Paul, MN | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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