Acela return, June 1

Old May 8, 20, 8:12 pm
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Acela return, June 1

Good news -- https://www.washingtonpost.com/trans...rd-new-normal/
Three Acela routes a day

Bad news -- CDC still recommends a 14 day quarantine when returning from New York!
https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2...or%2014%20days.

"It remains our guidance that residents who were recently in the affected areas of New York, out of an abundance of caution, should self-quarantine for 14 days."
Maybe this will be resolved by June 1?
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Old May 10, 20, 4:35 pm
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Another update -- all passengers to wear face masks or coverings at all times, except when seated alone or with a companion.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/trans...rs-wear-masks/

Still no clarity as to enforcing social distancing on the train itself, e.g., blocking every other row. Or, for that matter, in Union Station and NY Penn Station!
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Old May 14, 20, 9:37 am
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Originally Posted by AndyPatterson View Post
Another update -- all passengers to wear face masks or coverings at all times, except when seated alone or with a companion.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/trans...rs-wear-masks/

Still no clarity as to enforcing social distancing on the train itself, e.g., blocking every other row. Or, for that matter, in Union Station and NY Penn Station!
I mean, I think part of the problem is that at various stations (NYP, WAS, included) there's basically no way to enforce it if you have a reasonably full load of pax boarding. If you have 200+ pax boarding a train at WAS (hardly unheard-of for some peak-hour Regionals) then the resulting queue would have to stretch for over 1200 feet. And of course, that's before we get into the rush hour loads of MARC/VRE commuters.

And that's WAS. Trying to enforce social distancing at NYP at rush hour would be an utter joke under anything close to normal circumstances. In the case of NYC, the problem (and no small part of why the virus went as wild there as it did) is that in a lot of respects, social distancing is just flat-out impossible.
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Old May 14, 20, 10:20 am
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Originally Posted by GrayAnderson View Post
I mean, I think part of the problem is that at various stations (NYP, WAS, included) there's basically no way to enforce it if you have a reasonably full load of pax boarding. If you have 200+ pax boarding a train at WAS (hardly unheard-of for some peak-hour Regionals) then the resulting queue would have to stretch for over 1200 feet. And of course, that's before we get into the rush hour loads of MARC/VRE commuters.

And that's WAS. Trying to enforce social distancing at NYP at rush hour would be an utter joke under anything close to normal circumstances. In the case of NYC, the problem (and no small part of why the virus went as wild there as it did) is that in a lot of respects, social distancing is just flat-out impossible.
WAS was a mess. Then they took the roped lines away, and it was a BIG mess. Then they put them back, and it's just a mess again. NYP? My God, that is the most ridiculous thing ever. No one knows what track the trains are coming in. Everyone stands there watching the board, then everyone dashes to the escalator. No social distancing there.
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Old May 15, 20, 6:17 pm
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Originally Posted by jrich7970 View Post
WAS was a mess. Then they took the roped lines away, and it was a BIG mess. Then they put them back, and it's just a mess again. NYP? My God, that is the most ridiculous thing ever. No one knows what track the trains are coming in. Everyone stands there watching the board, then everyone dashes to the escalator. No social distancing there.
Amen! I wonder if the "new" NYP -- to be built across 7th Street, in the old Farley Post Office building, will have a much more spacious waiting area and/or better designed track level so that there's less crowding on the tracks. Compare with PHL, which has very wide platforms at the track level.

NYP is a textbook example of poor design, at least as to Amtrak (I have never taken NJ Transit or LIRR, but those are probably just as inefficient).
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Old May 18, 20, 7:34 pm
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Originally Posted by AndyPatterson View Post
Amen! I wonder if the "new" NYP -- to be built across 7th Street, in the old Farley Post Office building, will have a much more spacious waiting area and/or better designed track level so that there's less crowding on the tracks. Compare with PHL, which has very wide platforms at the track level.

NYP is a textbook example of poor design, at least as to Amtrak (I have never taken NJ Transit or LIRR, but those are probably just as inefficient).
Never took LIRR, but NJ Transit is the same thing, but just in a different part of the station. Everyone stands around, or sits on the floor!, and waits for an announcement. Then total chaos as everyone runs for the gate.
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Old Jul 28, 20, 2:21 pm
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Originally Posted by AndyPatterson View Post
Amen! I wonder if the "new" NYP -- to be built across 7th Street, in the old Farley Post Office building, will have a much more spacious waiting area and/or better designed track level so that there's less crowding on the tracks. Compare with PHL, which has very wide platforms at the track level.
As far as I'm aware, there are no (meaningful) track level changes planned to NYP as part of Farley.

Originally Posted by jrich7970 View Post
Never took LIRR, but NJ Transit is the same thing, but just in a different part of the station. Everyone stands around, or sits on the floor!, and waits for an announcement. Then total chaos as everyone runs for the gate.
Part of the problem is (was?) Amtrak's obsession with acting like an airline. Train stations shouldn't have "gates", they have "platforms". When an LIRR (or, for the most part, NJT) train boards, there are about 10 staircases down to the train. Amtrak (for the longest time) insisted on everyone going through one escalator (except for those who knew how to board from the lower level, or even just another staircase in another concourse).

Another part of the problem is that NYP is constrained at 21 tracks (4 of which terminate), and so trains can't stay at a platform very long without impacting capacity. This leads to the "load and go" model with 10 minute boarding windows. That said, there's no reason at (eg) WAS or BOS that trains can't board 20 or 30 minutes before departure, since they're usually sitting there empty anyway.

Anyway, the reason I'm kicking this thread... I just got an email with some really low Acela fares... $69/ow between NY and DC (14 day AP, sale ends 8/31 for travel through 9/12). I don't think I've ever seen Acela fares that low on that segment.

Also, this interesting piece of news: "New on Acela: Starting August 3, we will automatically reserve you a seat on your Acela reservation. Want to sit in the Quiet Car or at a conference table? You can change your seat easily on the Amtrak app, Amtrak.com or on board."
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Old Jul 29, 20, 7:52 am
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Originally Posted by bennos View Post
Also, this interesting piece of news: "New on Acela: Starting August 3, we will automatically reserve you a seat on your Acela reservation. Want to sit in the Quiet Car or at a conference table? You can change your seat easily on the Amtrak app, Amtrak.com or on board."
Interesting. I didn't get the email, but this doesn't shock me, given that they rolled assigned seating out on Acela First Class a year or two ago. I do think it will lead to mass confusion though as people get used to it - it was bad enough in First within a single car. I can only imagine the traffic jams along the rest of the train if (when) people get on the wrong car and have to walk 3 or 4 cars up to find their seat.

In the long run, I like the idea, but getting people adjusted to this will be a bear.
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Old Jul 29, 20, 9:05 am
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The same was true with jet aircraft. People became concerned when the looked out the window and couldn't see the propeller. They got used to it.
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Old Jul 29, 20, 3:05 pm
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Originally Posted by Mr. BoH View Post
Interesting. I didn't get the email, but this doesn't shock me, given that they rolled assigned seating out on Acela First Class a year or two ago. I do think it will lead to mass confusion though as people get used to it - it was bad enough in First within a single car. I can only imagine the traffic jams along the rest of the train if (when) people get on the wrong car and have to walk 3 or 4 cars up to find their seat.

In the long run, I like the idea, but getting people adjusted to this will be a bear.
Normally I'd agree, but given that Acela ridership will probably take some time to recover perhaps the adjustment won't be so bad. (Somehow even the 34 St AMC was able to implement reserved seating!) I'm definitely looking forward to assigned seats when I eventually start riding trains again.
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