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Northeast Regional Overnight: Business or Coach?

Northeast Regional Overnight: Business or Coach?

Old Jan 13, 18, 10:36 pm
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Northeast Regional Overnight: Business or Coach?

I'm taking a "red-eye" overnight trip on Amtrak on the Northeast Regional. Is business class worth it? It's a 9hr ride.

I know business class seat pitch is slightly larger, but their coach looks as good as a first class on a plane. Does NE coach class seats have footrests?

Also absolutely need to have a window seat to sleep. Will business class make it easier to get a window seat, because it's more empty, or will it backfire because there's only 1 business-class car.

Last edited by Rommie2k6; Jan 13, 18 at 10:52 pm
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Old Jan 14, 18, 6:33 am
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Historically the overnight trains have used a consist where Business has 2x1 seating. If they’re still doing that and the opportunity to get a seat with no seat mate appeals to you, it may be the one (and IMO only) time it’s worth it to go Business on the NE Regional.
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Old Jan 14, 18, 11:23 am
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They may or may not still have the old club class 2x1 business class cars on the red-eye Regional. In the past three times that I've taken it, it was only on the train once.

Although the seats are nicer, it is slightly noisier as 1/3rd of the car is Business class, the other 2/3rds is the cafe and cafe seating, with the cafe in the middle, so you get the food prep noise.
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Old Jan 14, 18, 3:42 pm
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Both types of business class cars have footrests and curtains which you will not see either in coach. I also normally book business for the extra legroom and a few less people in the car, the free drinks are also useful, particularly if going BOS-WAS/Virginia or vice versa. The club cars are particularly nice with extra recline and leg rests like the Amfleet II coaches.
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Old Jan 16, 18, 11:14 am
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It's really a 50/50 shot at getting the 2-1 Leather seats on the overnight regional these days. I commute on the northbound regional (#66) daily from PVD-BOS (along with 200 other commuters) and it has the "special seats" only about 50% of the time, unfortunately with no real pattern lately.

I would pay for Business class and hope for the best, but keep in mind you might be stuck in a normal coach with 2-2 seats. Even if you end up in a traditional business class car, you'll have a lot less people getting on/off throughout the night (I'm pretty sure they sell only the 16 seats the 2-1 seat car has, even when it's the bigger ~50 passenger car). You'll also get a curtain to block out the lights from outside the train.
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Old Jan 21, 18, 11:25 am
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I don't know if its worth it or not. Ive taken 66/67 about a dozen times over the past year and my experiences are mixed. On 67 (the southbound), I usually take coach as I usually get a "two side" to myself through New York and usually to at least Philadelphia. At Philadelphia you pick up a fair number of business types who are going to DC and my experience is that the train is at least 60 to 70 percent full. Going to Boston, there is only one "major" stop after New York (Providence) and I find the chances of having to share a seat on train 66 to be lower.

As to business class, I've opted for it twice. Both last minute because the demand was so low that the difference between what I had paid for coach and the offered business fare was so small, that it was worth it to me. One time, I booked WAS to NLC for $133 and about an hour before departure time, business was $150. Easy call there.

As to consist, its hit and miss. I agree with hi55us. The only insight I've had into guessing in advance as to what the consist would be would be to look at business class availability one to three days before departure. If business is close to sold out or has "one seat left" or "two seats left", chances are its a leather seated business car (combi business-cafe-coach table car). 66/67 rarely have enough passengers for a dedicated business car.

Now all that said, on my last 67 trip, I talked to conductor who mentioned that there are discussions regarding re-introducing a sleeper service on 66/67 - provided more Viewliner II sleepers get delivered.
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