• 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

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  by dgvrengineer
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Mon Apr 19, 2021 6:16 am Another unfavorable report posted over at the site that Mr. Atkinson placed his and, of the same trip, Mr. Dgv... has here.

That report noted announcements made through the night, a less than spotless car, no "comp beverage", a "less than qualified" Attendant, a "Breakfast fit for the trash" and "on and on..."

The only "favorable" noted is that both 66 and 67 were on time.

Sounds like a hit or miss; I'll pass.
My reading of his report doesn't agree with yours Mr Norman. First of all, BRA says not a peep out of the speakers all night, which corresponds with what I said.
No where in his report does he mention anything about less than spotless car conditions. He does comment the car appears to have been recently refurbished. It had a new thicker mattress pad, new blankets (which are lighter weight but warmer), new curtains and new pillow cases with a different design and no stains on the carpet. This does not sound to me like a complaint about a less than spotless car.
We were offered an adult beverage which both of us declined.
The "breakfast pack" that was offered was not really breakfast, but an assortment of snack items offered when we first boarded, that was similar to what was offered in First Class on the Acela. Breakfast was available in the lounge car in the morning. BRA chose not to eat on board and to wait until WAS Union Station to have breakfast. Unfortunately for him, his place of choice was closed as are almost all the food service places in the Washington food court. I had the Jimmy Dean Sausage Egg Biscuit on board, and it was surprisingly good. BRA nowhere says the "breakfast was fit for trash". He refused the evening snack pack "due to his medication timing restrictions".
I think "less than qualified attendant" does him a disservice. He had our beds made up in advance and offered us the room next door if we wanted to stay up and talk a while, since there were no other passengers. He made up both beds with feet forward as that is the way most people prefer to sleep. Unfortunately, that 'put BRA's bed with his head next to the toilet. My room layout was opposite, so I didn't have that problem.
Your comments give the impression that we had a bad trip experience. This was not the case. Other than some rough track, the overall experience was above expectations. As BRA says at the end of his report, "Would I do this trip again? Definitely YES (his capitalization)". And he states he is planning to do it again this fall.
Others may want to check AU to read his full report. Your characterization does BRAtkinson and his report a disservice and is totally opposite of our trip experience.
  by danib62
 
Can someone post a link to the report? Getting tired of these selective second hand retellings.
  by dgvrengineer
 
danib62 wrote: Tue Apr 20, 2021 10:20 am Can someone post a link to the report? Getting tired of these selective second hand retellings.
Here is the report from BRAtkinson on another site.
Quote:

As promised, here's the writeup of my trip last night on #67 in roomette #2...

A person on another forum indicated he was planning to ride the restored sleeper on #67 BOS-WAS on the thirteenth, so I figured it would be a good time for me to 'get back into training' since the start of Covid. I sent him a private email and asked if he'd mind company, and he went on to say he's riding WAS-BOS beforehand on #2166.

So we met on the Acela when I boarded at NHV and chatted until after we left BOS on #67 before calling it a night.

Unlike the 'good old days' 15 years ago when the sleeper was still on the Twilight Limited or whatever it was called, it was at the rear adjacent to the cafe/BC car. Our train had the electric motor up front, a full baggage car, then the sleeper (handicap room and vestibule at front, but door closed, attendant was waiting for us at the rear door of the BC/Cafe), followed by I think 4 coaches we had walked past.

The sleeping car attendant had made our beds in advance, with my new friend in #1, and me in #2. The three of us talked for a bit and he said he's on the extra board and got bumped from his normal Capitol Ltd assignment. He also said he'd turn off the speaker system before we left BOS. Good thing. Not a peep out of the speakers in the room or hallway all night. It was only the two of us in the sleeper the entire night. A couple of minutes later, the SCA came back with our 'boxed' breakfast, which I knew what was inside as it was identical to what I had in the Acela First Class a couple hours earlier. I declined due to my medication timing restrictions (1 hr before eating, or 4 hours after) and I had read somewhere that Johnny Rockets '50s diner was still open at WAS. I had a couple of good breakfasts there in the past.

The SCA's accustomed Superliner bedmaking showed up in that the 'head' of the bed in my room was next to the toilet. It only took a couple of seconds for me to take it apart as I normally do anyway and put head away from the toilet. I mentioned it to him this morning while he was making it up and he said he was bumped to #66/67 a couple days ago with zero Viewliner training. He said he knew from experience that most passengers want to sleep feet first, so that's how he made up the beds. I prefer feet first, too, but not with my head next to the toilet.

Three things hit me while rearranging the bed:

#1...the new looking mattress pad is a good 5 inches short! And hard as a rock, too. I've likely spent well over 150 nights in Viewliner roomettes and never seen more than 2” short on the mattress pad.

#2 was 2 NEW blankets! I was expecting the old familiar dark blue ones! The new ones are light blue on one side and white on the other, with black nylon edging all the way around. Hopefully it will minimize fraying as it's heavier than the nylon edging on my blankets at home that has mostly come unstitched after a number of trips through my washing machine and dryer hrough the years.

#3 was new pillows and pillow cases with 2 kittycorner non-parallel black strips on them! Nice!

Also, the Viewliner must have had a mini-refurb in the past year. New curtains and new looking, no stains carpet!

Neither my friend, Larry, nor I got much sleep last night. For me, first night out is always minimal sleep, after that, I sleep like a rock on trains. He and I both noticed the rough ride approaching Providence. Fortunately, with the Viewliner at the front, it rode far better than at the rear of the train, even with a bag dorm following as on the Cardinal. We both fell asleep shortly after Providence, but I awoke while not moving at New Haven. We were there for about 20 minutes, probably 'waiting time'.

Once on Metro North territory, even at a relaxed speed (40ish, I suspect), the ride was a bit rough (as usual) There were multiple areas of trackworkers, as there were 8-10 short 'toots' of the horn at maybe 5 locations with very bright lights between NHV and NRO. I'm also convinced that the engineer NHV-NYP either wasn't familiar with the territory or the PTC was malfunctioning on MN. I didn't count, but from NHV to NRO, we had 'quick stop' applications of the brakes, and as soon as we stopped, two toots and away we went. Sometimes only 50 yards or so and the process repeated. I'm guessing it happened 20 times or more. It even happened twice between NRO and the split to NYP about a mile from NRO. It never happened after that. So maybe it was MN problems. Larry said he looked out the window and saw that we were on track 4 (east/southmost) track and #2 (3-1-2-4 track numbering) was down to the dirt in several extended sections that was being worked on. I managed to fall asleep about 4-5 minutes after NRO but woke up in Penn Station while we killed time there. I fell asleep just after going under the Hudson and didn't wake up until the Baltimore stop.

North (East) of Providence and south of Baltimore were the only really choppy areas of track. And MN trackage was a bit choppy/bouncy the entire time.

We came to a stop in WAS 5 minutes early, at 6:55.

In the WAS station, it appeared that about 1/3 of all the storefronts upstairs are boarded up and only a handful of rush-hour passengers. In the food court, more than half are gone...including Johnny Rockets. There are zero tables and zero chairs down there, and a small number of trash recepticles. Wendys was open. They're next to the former Johnny Rockets, and they had a decent honey/chicken on a croissant for $1.95. I had two. Larry had eaten his boxed breakfeast, so he and I chatted standing up across the way at a front counter from an abandoned restaurant in the food court before proceeding to the Metropolitan lounge to await our trains home...#174 for me at 10:10 and #51 for him at 11:00. Surprisingly, the snacks in the lounge in WAS haven't changed since before Covid. Perhaps the lateness of the hour at BOS is the reason cold water and soda was all that was available.

Would I do this trip again? Definitely a YES. I'm about a third of the way to having enough AGR points to do it again...possibly in fall.
Last edited: Wednesday at 2:17 PM
  by Arborwayfan
 
Thanks for the report!

Viewliners have always had inferior beds. Cutting them out to go around a toilet was a mistake. Toilet down the hall is fine. I have even chosen to sleep in the top bunk because there's a little more leg room.

Funny thing about the orientation: When I have a top bunk I often have to change the orientation, because at 6'2" I can't climb up the steps and get into bed with my head up by the steps, at least not easily. I want to climb up the steps and turn into the bunk and crawl along until my head is at the far end.

Sam
  by jonnhrr
 
Having a sleeper calling at Washington in the graveyard hours might work if you did what they did in the old days and allowed a Boston bound sleeper to be occupied starting at say 9 PM then added to the train, and a Washington bound one dropped off and allowed occupancy until say 8 AM. This would require extra switching though, although Washington has the switchers to do this.

Jon
  by STrRedWolf
 
jonnhrr wrote: Tue Apr 27, 2021 10:03 am Having a sleeper calling at Washington in the graveyard hours might work if you did what they did in the old days and allowed a Boston bound sleeper to be occupied starting at say 9 PM then added to the train, and a Washington bound one dropped off and allowed occupancy until say 8 AM. This would require extra switching though, although Washington has the switchers to do this.

Jon
The timing of the travel between Boston and DC for these trains is 9h30m. Most people sleep for 8. No need to move the sleeper with passengers on it.
  by David Benton
 
I think a sleeper train would do well , if it continued further south . An early morning slot on the long Bridge may be possible , otherwise i would combine the Palmetto and Carolinian to Richmond or beyond to free up a slot.
  by danib62
 
The train does continue south to Newport News, just not the sleeper.
  by David Benton
 
danib62 wrote: Tue Apr 27, 2021 5:50 pm The train does continue south to Newport News, just not the sleeper.
yes , i was thinking a earlier train , heading further south , such as to Raleigh , or even Florida.
  by Greg Moore
 
David Benton wrote: Tue Apr 27, 2021 5:19 pm I think a sleeper train would do well , if it continued further south . An early morning slot on the long Bridge may be possible , otherwise i would combine the Palmetto and Carolinian to Richmond or beyond to free up a slot.
Perhaps a NYP-Newport News Sleeper... leaving NYP at 11:00 PM or so.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
David Benton wrote: Tue Apr 27, 2021 6:39 pm i was thinking a earlier train , heading further south , such as to Raleigh , or even Florida.
Well Mr. Benton, sounds like you have the. Havana Special in mind.

Shall we relay the track Miami-Key West to boot?

You could ride it all the way to that forbidden land if you so choose; not too many other of us around here could.
Last edited by Gilbert B Norman on Tue Apr 27, 2021 8:33 pm, edited 3 times in total.
  by bostontrainguy
 
David Benton wrote: Tue Apr 27, 2021 6:39 pm
danib62 wrote: Tue Apr 27, 2021 5:50 pm The train does continue south to Newport News, just not the sleeper.
yes , i was thinking a earlier train , heading further south , such as to Raleigh , or even Florida.
I always thought a Night Owl/Palmetto combination would be interesting.
  by jonnhrr
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Tue Apr 27, 2021 8:21 pm
David Benton wrote: Tue Apr 27, 2021 6:39 pm i was thinking a earlier train , heading further south , such as to Raleigh , or even Florida.
Well Mr. Benton, sounds like you have the. Havana Special in mind.

Shall we relay the track Miami-Key West to boot?

You could ride it all the way to that forbidden land if you so choose; not too many other of us around here could.
We just have to reactivate the West India Fruit and Steamship Company daily car ferry sailings from West Palm Beach to Havana (as described in the 1950 Official Guide). Don't even need to add track to Key West that way. One seat ride the whole way. :)
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