I like Business Class on any Amtrak train. However, the idea of fold-down seats for overnight bedding isn't something I would like. I want the privacy of a sleeper.
With long distance or medium distance train transfers, it would be nice if Amtrak could include an overnight in a quality hotel as part of the package. With a northbound Coast Starlight trip, having a quality hotel in PDX or SEA, at a discount rate, would be nice before transferring to the Empire Builder the next day. One of several reasons for the financial success of the Rocky Mountaineer is its affiliation with upscale hotels like Fairmont, for overnight, as part of their travel packages.
Here's my comment to the Fred Frailey column:
quote: Mr. Frailey, your final comment rings the best. It's time to recognize that the LD (Interregionals if you wish) were to have been gone starting during '76. The '79 Carter Cuts started the process, but waylaided until tje '96 Clinton Cuts. But all since then have been the '04 Bush "prunings".
It's time to accept "the party's over". These LD's pay the Class One's some token payment hardly compensatory to the opportunity cost the Class I has lost owing to the train they cannot run. And further, as Precision Railroading becomes more accepted, that Amtrak will cause more interference than previously.
The so called "Essential Service" cry by the advocacy community can easily be satisfied with busses at far less cost. There is not, unlike Canada, a single Amtrak station inaccessible by highway.
All told, time to order up the Adios drumheads and allow Amtrak to concentrate their efforts where rail transportation can be meaningful - the Corridors."
Posts: 9389 | From: Clarendon Hills, IL USA (BNSF Chicago Sub MP 18.71) | Registered: Apr 2002
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Mr Norman, here is one I have to disagree with you about. I don't think the government agency expected the passenger tains to be gone any more than they expected them to become profitable. Just a difference audience for the hopeless promises.
Posts: 2693 | From: Olive Branch MS | Registered: Nov 2002
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With regard to Fred Frailey's final comment, it would be interesting if a separate entity was created, "Amtrak Long Distance" as he puts it, to run the LD's. Without any tie to Amtrak and with separate funding and accounting, might it not give some LD routes a chance to remain viable?
Mr. Frailey's idea of stopping the train at night for a hotel stay might increase ridership for a few high spending customers but it would likely severely depress ridership in the coach sections. I can't imagine budget conscious coach passengers would be happy with the requirement of an overnight stay in Klamath Falls or Minot.
Until Amtrak or the federal government shows the ability to create or assist state agencies in building daytime corridor services that could replace the LD network, I will favor keeping the LD (or interregional) trains running.
Posts: 831 | From: Seattle | Registered: Jan 2011
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