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Author Topic: Business Class on Amtrak LD trains
yukon11
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I have been reading some discussion, in another Amtrak forum, about the possibility of having business class seats on Amtrak long-distance trains.

BC on long distance trains would be more expensive than regular coach seats, but much less than a sleeper. It could provide more privacy and could allow single seats with no seat partner (a great benefit, on many occasions, to my thinking). Complimentary pillows, blankets, and ear plugs could be offered.

Even the possibly of lie-flat seats, like they have on some airline carriers, for napping.

With the new LD Viewliner cars being added, could that free up older coach cars for BC upgrade?

There was, a while back, a plan to convert the Coast Starlight arcade cars into business class seats. They were going to allow BC passengers access to the Pacific Parlor car, as well. Anything ever come of that idea?

I think the idea would be welcome for passengers taking mid-distance trips on long-distance trains.

Richard

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Gilbert B Norman
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While I cannot add anything to Richard's thoughts, all should be interested to know that it was possible to travel Chicago-Denver in a Parlor Car seat on the CB&Q "Denver Zephyr". There was a rate for such appearing in the Public Timetables.
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yukon11
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The CB&Q Denver Zephyr must have been quite a train. Only 15-16 hrs. from Chicago to Denver. Here is a timetable:

http://www.streamlinerschedules.com/concourse/track8/denverzephyr193809.html

Was it one of the first diesel passenger trains?
The parlor-observation car must have been fun.

Richard

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smitty195
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I had totally forgotten about the plan to have Biz Class on the Starlight. I think it's a good idea. Unfortunately, the Amtrak manager who thought up and proposed that idea was fired this week. Brian Rosenwald, the man who saved the Parlour Cars, was just fired by Boardman after his 40+ year career at Amtrak and the railroads. I'd love to know the inside story on that one.
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Gilbert B Norman
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I have met Mr. Rosenwald 'along the way'; I've also known enough Amtrak people to learn the place is a political cesspool.

There is a signed posting from Fred Frailey at Trainorders (as distinct from that I know his handle over there) that Mr. Rosenwald was not fired but chose to retire; all the same he could read, or someone read to him, the writing on the wall.

Nuff said.

Returning to the DZ, it was the last conventional 'train', which, during 1956, to ever be re equipped in a single order. It was a solid Budd streamliner with all cars of the same exterior design. Here is 'Q' ad copy illustrating the ten car consist as delivered from Budd:

http://d3vui3t7cisnc8.cloudfront.net/img/medium/200902060498C93BAEAF12_0001.jpg

Now of course, there is a 'rest of the story' to that ad copy. One looks at it and wonders ' where does the Q have a three tracked line that close to the Front Range (Rockies)? Well, the equipment is actually on the Chicago Sub ('racetrack' in fanese) about five miles West of my home near Lisle. Q rented some oatburners, dressed their riders up in Western garb, and had the photo shoot (of course they paid for something that any railfan would gladly have done for free). The photo was then cropped and placed atop one of the Range (remember, this was during pre Photoshop days; all computers did back then was add 2+2). Voila, the Q had three tracks running into Denver.

Now the solid consist had a rather short shelf life if in fact any at all. First to be added to each consist were 2 Slumbercoaches from the lot of 18 that Budd built 'on spec', however Q added their 'skirting' to conform with their 'Silver--' fleet. Then, secondly, with the ebb and flow of traffic, older cars (holidays? anything that rolled) would be added to the 'core' consist.

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yukon11
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quote:
Originally posted by smitty195:
I had totally forgotten about the plan to have Biz Class on the Starlight. I think it's a good idea. Unfortunately, the Amtrak manager who thought up and proposed that idea was fired this week. Brian Rosenwald, the man who saved the Parlour Cars, was just fired by Boardman after his 40+ year career at Amtrak and the railroads. I'd love to know the inside story on that one.

***************************
That is interesting, Smitty. I haven't taken the Coast Starlight in at least 10 years. I didn't know, whether or not, if they converted the arcade room to business class seats. I may get a chance to take the Starlight, next summer, from Eugene to Martinez.

How did you find out about the firing of Mr. Rosenwald? I have always thought firing someone is a really drastic step. Hopefully, he will have a good retirement/severance pay.

The one guy I think should be fired is the guy who came up with Windows 8. It's just awful.

Richard

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notelvis
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And for just $250,000 you could start down the path towards restoring and owning your own replica of that nice rear observation car -

Railroad Relics

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yukon11
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And if I were a AAPRCO'er I would jump at the chance.

By the way, there is an efficient way of turning on and off your Windows 8 computer....plug and unplug the wall cord.

Richard

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Railroad Bob
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B. Rosenwald was my boss from time to time, as he and I moved through different jobs/depts. with Amtrak. Always a receptive guy to suggestions from underlings. Some of his projects went well; some not. I give him credit for that long RR career; anyone who gets close to 40 years in that industry has accomplished something.
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Jerome Nicholson
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Last i heard of converting the arcade coaches to Business Class, the idea was shelved for lack of funds.
I wish mr. Rosenwald well in his retirement; let's hope his good ideas don't follow him there.

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notelvis
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quote:
Originally posted by yukon11:
And if I were a AAPRCO'er I would jump at the chance.


Richard

Likewise!

Perhaps it's time to add a couple of lottery tickets to my weekly budget.

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PullmanCo
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Remember,

A PV is even worse than a boat:

It's a hole. You pour money down it.

--------------------
The City of Saint Louis (UP, 1967) is still my standard for passenger operations

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DonNadeau
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Business class sounds good to me!

A seat on one side of the aisle and two on the other might be a more viable in terms of offering much greater comfort without needing to price it astronomically and accommodating couples, who want to sit closer together.

The two abreast seats could be spaced apart similar to traditional first class seats on major airlines. Of course, these seats would be the same larger size as the single one.

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

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