Amtrak Autumn Express Thread

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25Hz
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Re: Amtrak Rare Mileage Excursion in the Mid-Atlantic Region

Post by 25Hz » Thu Aug 22, 2013 12:12 pm

Looks like i know what to request for my birthday...... :D
Next stop the square, journal square station next!

SouthernRailway
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Re: Amtrak Rare Mileage Excursion in the Mid-Atlantic Region

Post by SouthernRailway » Thu Aug 22, 2013 8:24 pm

chuchubob wrote:Bigger windows to view the fall foliage.
You're right. I just figure that Amtrak has to haul the Horizons in from somewhere else; even if they come to PHL on a regularly-scheduled train in lieu of its regular consist, the switching costs would add up. I was figuring that Amtrak would just try to maximize profit by using whatever spare Amfleets were sitting around the local coach yard.

Noel Weaver
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Re: Amtrak Rare Mileage Excursion in the Mid-Atlantic Region

Post by Noel Weaver » Thu Aug 22, 2013 11:46 pm

I think this is a golden opportunity to ride some really beautiful and historic territory. I did not hear whether there would be any photo stops but I have my doubts. Ride the territory and enjoy it, I doubt if any riders will be sorry that they spent $89.99 for something lilke this. I have heard that if this works out there is a good chance for some more really rare mileage maybe next year. I think it is a win win for Amtrak and its supporters. If I were still in the northeast I can assure you I would spring for a ticket. I went up from Florida several years to ride an Amtrak special on the Delmarva Division and even though there were no photo runs, I thoroughly enjoyed the ride over some more historic trackage.
Noel Weaver

SouthernRailway
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Re: Amtrak Rare Mileage Excursion in the Mid-Atlantic Region

Post by SouthernRailway » Fri Aug 23, 2013 4:55 am

OK, I'll plan to go. If others from this board are going, maybe we could all meet up.

Note to Amtrak: if you add a "vintage" car to the consist, you could sell space in it at a premium fare and make more money.

Jersey_Mike
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Re: Amtrak Rare Mileage Excursion in the Mid-Atlantic Region

Post by Jersey_Mike » Fri Aug 23, 2013 6:16 am

The PV owner (and we all know who that will be) will stand to make the money from selling tickets on his car...Chuchubob excepted of course who apparently just has to stick out his thumb.

I plan to go as the last time I was booked on this trip, then provided by the Harrisburg Chapter, a conflict came up and I had to give the ticket to someone else. BTW are the E8's making an official fall foliage trip this year? Harrisburg Chapter website didn't say anything about any.

Gilbert B Norman
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Re: Amtrak Rare Mileage Excursion in the Mid-Atlantic Region

Post by Gilbert B Norman » Fri Aug 23, 2013 8:00 am

Well, I guess with the ex-NJT Comets going into California service (I see 'em quite often moving DH on #5), there might be a Horizon or two released and otherwise unassigned during a 'shoulder' travel period. Put 'em to use and maybe put a few more pennies into the piggybank than are taken out.

One must wonder; will there be more fans than daisy pickers or v.v.?

An additional thought; here in the Midwest, Horizons seats are configured half forward, half rear riding. One thought is this will make for easier turning of the equipment at HBG - especially if a P-42 is at either end of the consist as is the case with the Midwest trains. But on the other hand, there could be some mighty unhappy folk when they find they will have to ride backwards in one direction. Someone seated on the non scenic side (Eng N; Fire S), could feel mighty gypped.

All told, just as glad I had several occasions to view The Port from the comfort and privacy of a Roomette. I'll just leave it at that.

ExCon90
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Re: Amtrak Rare Mileage Excursion in the Mid-Atlantic Region

Post by ExCon90 » Fri Aug 23, 2013 1:05 pm

The usual pattern for these trips results in a continuous loop, without needing to turn the train. From Columbia the train crosses the Shocks Mill Bridge to Enola, then continues north (RR west), then a right turn eastward over Rockville Bridge, and is then facing in the right direction for the return trip via 30th St. The best side is the fireman's side the whole way; I don't even like to think about being stuck in an aisle seat, facing backwards, and on the wrong side! Question: are the seats in the Horizons permanently fixed in their usual positions, or can they be turned but for operating convenience they normally aren't? It would certainly be a nice gesture on Amtrak's part to have them all face forward if possible. Another question: does Amtrak know enough about railfan excursions to know that you don't sell every last seat on the train?

jp1822
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Re: Amtrak Rare Mileage Excursion in the Mid-Atlantic Region

Post by jp1822 » Tue Aug 27, 2013 12:44 am

Gilbert B Norman wrote:Hey y'all @ 60 Mass; here is a revenue enhancement idea.

See if you could scour up a few A-II's for the consist. With their larger windows and 60 seat configuration, you'd be able to charge a premium to occupy them. I guess Dome 10031 is ruled out account those things known as wires with 11KV running through them.

The Port Road is a 'been there done that' for me in this life; the scenery IS spectacular.

But it is interesting to learn that Amtrak is getting into the fan trip business for their own account, and no doubt have factored in having to pay NS for pilot Engineers and Conductors (how many Amtrak T&E in service today are Rules Qualified over the Port?). Only 'cost' likely not factored is having to call in some non-Agreement 'help' to work on an otherwise day off.
I would concur Mr. Norman, as I don't see how the Horizon windows are any "larger" or even can be compared to "picture windows" of an Amfleet I or even the larger window-ed Amfleet II. The later is the better option. But Amtrak can never seem to scrounge up enough Amfleet II's as spares.....They have used Amfleet I's for excursion use. Seems weird that they would haul Horizons from the Midwest to the East Coast for such a journey. We haven't really had a complete Horizon set in Philly since the Pennsylvanian travelled between NYP and CHI.

The "picture window" cars that Amtrak had most recently are/were the former "Heritage Coach Cars" that were refurbished for the Adirondack at one time. Some still roam around the system as MOW cars.

JimBoylan
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Re: Amtrak Rare Mileage Excursion in the Mid-Atlantic Region

Post by JimBoylan » Tue Aug 27, 2013 1:08 am

ExCon90 wrote:does Amtrak know enough about railfan excursions to know that you don't sell every last seat on the train?
Depends which roving resume is in charge this season. 20 years ago, Buckingham Valley Trolley Ass'n. - Penn's Landing Trolley liked to run trolley trips with about 20% standees, to keep the ticket price low. Other groups charged more so that they could make an acceptable profit with 10% empty seats. One of the BVTA vice-presidents back then was ConRail official. ConRail Historical Society's 1st trip sold the non-window seats in the ends of the cars. Are the insiders of these Groups now Amtrak officials?

Earle Baldwin
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Re: Amtrak Rare Mileage Excursion in the Mid-Atlantic Region

Post by Earle Baldwin » Tue Aug 27, 2013 5:20 am

We purchased our tickets last night. As suggested by Mr. Noel Weaver above, I'm just looking forward to what should be a very enjoyable day riding the train over very appealing routing.

Perhaps Amtrak will favor us with one of the 40th Anniversary units.

Bob

ExCon90
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Re: Amtrak Rare Mileage Excursion in the Mid-Atlantic Region

Post by ExCon90 » Tue Aug 27, 2013 1:55 pm

JimBoylan wrote:
ExCon90 wrote:does Amtrak know enough about railfan excursions to know that you don't sell every last seat on the train?
Depends which roving resume is in charge this season. 20 years ago, Buckingham Valley Trolley Ass'n. - Penn's Landing Trolley liked to run trolley trips with about 20% standees, to keep the ticket price low. Other groups charged more so that they could make an acceptable profit with 10% empty seats. One of the BVTA vice-presidents back then was ConRail official. ConRail Historical Society's 1st trip sold the non-window seats in the ends of the cars. Are the insiders of these Groups now Amtrak officials?
That Conrail Historical Society excursion is the one I was thinking of. I gather from the subsequent fallout that they're never going to do that again. In fact, that's why I was wondering -- I don't know whether Amtrak has ever been involved in an excursion in which actual ticket sales weren't handled by some other organization. Of course the small windows wouldn't bother you if you didn't have a window ...

CentralValleyRail
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Re: Amtrak Rare Mileage Excursion in the Mid-Atlantic Region

Post by CentralValleyRail » Tue Aug 27, 2013 11:38 pm

It's Sold Out ALREADY!

Rats I couldn't even get my hands on 2 tickets.

Hopefully some more cars are added to the trip.

Or like Amtrak stated a new way to make revenue maybe they'll add a second departure 30 minutes behind the first one. (unlikely I know)

njt/mnrrbuff
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Re: Amtrak Rare Mileage Excursion in the Mid-Atlantic Region

Post by njt/mnrrbuff » Wed Aug 28, 2013 8:27 am

How can a trip be sold out about a week after it was mentioned? It's not even September yet. I'm sure that more cars will be added. If I can get a ticket, I will definitely be on the trip.

electricron
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Re: Amtrak Rare Mileage Excursion in the Mid-Atlantic Region

Post by electricron » Wed Aug 28, 2013 9:15 am

It's easy to sell out one train a year where there is more than one train per hour service levels.
Note: I skipped by one train per day, per week, per month, and per quarter to get to per year; and I was being kind to the statistics god stopping at per year when it has been several years since a similar trip has been scheduled by Amtrak.

Jersey_Mike
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Re: Amtrak Rare Mileage Excursion in the Mid-Atlantic Region

Post by Jersey_Mike » Wed Aug 28, 2013 9:40 am

Whew, good thing I bought my tickets early Tuesday morning :-D Going to need to get to the station early in order to get a reasonable seat.
njt/mnrrbuff wrote:How can a trip be sold out about a week after it was mentioned? It's not even September yet. I'm sure that more cars will be added. If I can get a ticket, I will definitely be on the trip.
Wouldn't a comparable NRHS Harrisburg trip like this cost on the order of $120 or more?

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