• Will we ever see another all-Pullman passenger train?

  • General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.
General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.

Moderators: mtuandrew, gprimr1

  by Westernstar1
 
I agee with Mr. Perkowski and Mr. SouthernRailway, above. I have often wondered what motivates an Amtrak passenger to spend $600 to $800 for sleeping accommodations , one-way, on a long distance train. Say LA to SEA. More costly than a luxury room at a Fairmont Hotel.

Could it be the passenger doesn't like to fly? Possibly there are no airports at or near the destination point. Is the scenery along the way a motivating factor? Maybe the passenger is "experiential" and just wants the experience of taking a passenger train.

What do you get for that $600 to $800? A roomette or bedroom less than clean, including unclean toilets. Air conditioning which may or may not work. A train attendant, although usually competent, may not be on your trip. Coffee in that coffee percolator, outside your room, which may have been sitting around all day and make you yearn for Folgers instant. Then there is the food. Palatable at best or unpalatable.

I have to think a private, all-Pullman train, would be able to provide much better service, accommodations, and amenities for less than what an Amtrak sleeper costs.

WS
  by SouthernRailway
 
Westernstar1 wrote: Tue Jun 02, 2020 12:21 pm I have often wondered what motivates an Amtrak passenger to spend $600 to $800 for sleeping accommodations
In my case, not wanting to get coronavirus on a plane.
  by Alphaboi
 
Ideally the train would have options at multiple price points; sections or couchettes, compartments w/ shared facilities, and ensuite compartments. If it's strictly a night accommodations don't need a daytime (so the budget option could be fixed berths). Then just have a cafe/bar/lounge car. Sll buy-onboard save complimentary continental breakfasts for sleeper passenger (let them order room service too).

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  by John_Perkowski
 
Alphaboi wrote: Tue Jun 02, 2020 9:11 pm Ideally the train would have options at multiple price points; sections or couchettes, compartments w/ shared facilities, and ensuite compartments. If it's strictly a night accommodations don't need a daytime (so the budget option could be fixed berths). Then just have a cafe/bar/lounge car. Sll buy-onboard save complimentary continental breakfasts for sleeper passenger (let them order room service too).

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You DO REALIZE we are not talking about standard service, rather about an elite tier of service hat really did provide the best.
  by Alphaboi
 
Yes, but in order for this to have any hope of being viable the train would need multiple service tiers. I picture a range from OBB Nighter couchettes to Caledonian Sleeper double rooms. It's the closest we could ever get again to an all Pullman train.

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  by west point
 
An alll sleeper train might work from the NEC to Florida. Remember the all Pullman Florida special/ Florida would be the first location to justify an all sleeper train.. The train would require several items requiring a lot of cash.
1. Enough track infrastructure improvements to allow 24 - 26 hour times from NYP - MIA. 60 MPH average eventually. Daily service requires 4 train set 3x week requires 2 train sets. Frida , Sunday, Wednesday.
a. Elimination of slow sections of route including curves, bridges, signals, switches, etc.
b. Mostly 2 MT whole route'
c. crossing protections for class 4 , 5, or 6 tracks
d. Max speeds allowed for 90 and 110 but schedule not predicated on those speeds but available to make up time.
2. Limited stops south of Alexandra and north of JAX
3. Improvements at Florence to enable servicing immediately including catering .
4. Enough Diesel locos south of WASH to allow for collision or loco failures. ( Probably 4 units ).
5. Each train consist at least 8 sleepers , full dinner ( 24/ hour service ), lounge. More sleepers requiring another dinner.
6. 20 minute WASH turns including adding subtracting sleepers.
7. The Covid-19 recovering patients may be unable to fly due to high cabin altitudes. Present recovering patients have as many as 25% with lingering after effects. That of course may reduce in the future. Plus not every recovered has breathing problems.
8. Departure times around 3:01 PM both ends following Acela 3:00 departure.
9. There should be demand as EAL had an all first class Flight from West Palm Beach to New York as as late as the mid1970s
  by Alphaboi
 
Which is why both an aggressive marketing strategy and budget sleeper options are critically important.

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  by mtuandrew
 
Alphaboi wrote: Mon Jul 13, 2020 10:29 am Which is why both an aggressive marketing strategy and budget sleeper options are critically important.
I’m here for the budget options. Roomettes are affordable for two, but not so much for a solo traveler (they’re also hogging space.) Slumbercoaches and sleeper seats make sense. I don’t see Amtrak going for open sections or open couchettes - too communal (and for sections, too old-fashioned) for American tastes. No one has gone broke by playing to American territorialism :P

Who’s paying for the aggressive ad campaign though? Are we assuming a well-funded private company will take on the mantle, and only rely on Amtrak for power if at all? Because Amtrak doesn’t have “aggressive ad campaign” money for anything but the Acela.
  by Alphaboi
 
I think open sections are the way to go; it's the easiest option to implement and you basically get a hostel/capsule hotel on wheels. Very easy to make it look and feel futuristic.

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  by urr304
 
All sleeper trains were not always luxury per 20th Century Ltd or Broadway. A couple all Pullman trains that the PRR ran between Washington and New York were just sleepers, no diner, no lounge no buffet.

Instead of sections, slumbercoach would be a better option, even though a section had the biggest bed [lower], I do not think they would appeal to today's traveller. Slumbercoach could allow a more attractive fare.
  by mtuandrew
 
urr304 wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 4:04 am All sleeper trains were not always luxury per 20th Century Ltd or Broadway. A couple all Pullman trains that the PRR ran between Washington and New York were just sleepers, no diner, no lounge no buffet.
Huh, interesting - kind of the precursor to the redeye flight. Can you point us to some names and schedules?
urr304 wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 4:04 amInstead of sections, slumbercoach would be a better option, even though a section had the biggest bed [lower], I do not think they would appeal to today's traveller. Slumbercoach could allow a more attractive fare.
Yep, we’ve discussed that too, over in Amtrak. CarterB and I agreed that Amtrak should do something of a blind test and offer “enhanced single accommodations” on the Lake Shore Limited. The twist is that Amtrak would be trialing two types of cars - a 32-passenger Slumbercoach and a 32-passenger lie-flat sleeper seat car - and travelers wouldn’t know which they would get until boarding. Both would have approximately equal amenities (outlet, light, microfridge, available blanket & pillow) but no sink and no food service. Whichever is more popular & profitable would get the nod for volume production.
  by urr304
 
Consists and schedules changed over the years, but for awhile The Edison and another unnamed train were all sleeping cars between Washington and New York City. Sleepers could be occupied at 9 or 10PM and occupied at destination ranging from 6AM until 8AM, services also included Baltimore-NYC and Philadelphia-DC with cars picked up or dropped off. The Philadelphia service was to Broad Street until its demise.

Similar arrangements were between NYC-Boston.

For some years, PRR operated the Liberty Ltd in two sections, one all sleeper, the other all coach with services, DC-Chicago. The Pittsburgher was for many years all sleeper before cuts began. And then there were a lot of pickups and drop off of sleepers all around.

There was not time for food service on these runs, you would board cars and get to sleep then get up after arrival. Remember some stations had shower facilities for a fee.
  by west point
 
IMHO we probably will see an all sleeper trains back in Europe. That will probably be a insight for Amtrak. Remember there are already some in the far east.
  by urr304
 
For more reflection, New Haven's Owl was all sleeping cars between New York-Boston, once both ways then coaches on Boston-New York, then coaches on Saturday night out of New York then both ways until gone. No listing showing food service.

NYC had some trainswere all sleeper in addition to 20th Century Ltd, Commodore Vanderbilt, Detroiter, Cleveland Ltd [at least one way].