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Sleeper Car removed from Empire Builder on August 7?

Sleeper Car removed from Empire Builder on August 7?

Old Aug 16, 22, 5:28 pm
  #16  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: DC
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Posts: 1,153
For what it's worth, I got notified Saturday that I'd been downgraded to Coach for an early October CHI-RNO one-way trip on the California Zephyr. Called immediately and was able to salvage a roomette (had been in a family bedroom) the entire way, but have to switch rooms and cars in Grand Junction. Based on dummy bookings today, all sleeper space is now sold out from Denver to Grand Junction.

Anyone with sleeper space on the western long-haul routes this fall should keep tabs on their reservation and be prepared to call immediately of things look out of sorts or they get the dreaded email or phone call. You may have to consider switching rooms en route or even hopping between Coach and First Class one or more times. If you have to switch, keep in mind what time it will be then (both scheduled and if it's running late) so you aren't doing it in the middle of the night. Good luck.
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Mr. July is offline  
Old Aug 16, 22, 8:00 pm
  #17  
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 202
Originally Posted by Mr. July View Post
For what it's worth, I got notified Saturday that I'd been downgraded to Coach for an early October CHI-RNO one-way trip on the California Zephyr. Called immediately and was able to salvage a roomette (had been in a family bedroom) the entire way, but have to switch rooms and cars in Grand Junction. Based on dummy bookings today, all sleeper space is now sold out from Denver to Grand Junction.

Anyone with sleeper space on the western long-haul routes this fall should keep tabs on their reservation and be prepared to call immediately of things look out of sorts or they get the dreaded email or phone call. You may have to consider switching rooms en route or even hopping between Coach and First Class one or more times. If you have to switch, keep in mind what time it will be then (both scheduled and if it's running late) so you aren't doing it in the middle of the night. Good luck.
Amtrak has not been particularly timely about notifying affected passengers when they started pulling sleepers off this summer, starting with the Builder, then the SW Chief, and now the Zephyr.

If you are holding sleeper reservations and have the app, regularly check the app. If the QR code has disappeared, that means something happened to the reservation. This seems to happen almost as soon as the car's inventory is pulled from the system and is often significantly before Amtrak gets around to sending a notification. Keep tabs on those sleeper reservations and you will maximize your chances off getting reaccommodated in any remaining space and/or on alternative days.
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Old Aug 17, 22, 6:07 pm
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: DTW
Programs: Alaska, Delta, Southwest
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Originally Posted by Putnik View Post
Thanks for looking it up. At least I'll get to see the Columbia River to Portland in daylight.

It's interesting that WB Zephyr is timed perfectly for the scenic parts, yet the Empire Builder seems not be.
Assuming it's on time. Maybe you'll get lucky and it'll be delayed until the next morning.

FWIW, Empire Builder eastbound is decent for scenery, at least in the summer - depart Whitefish around 7:30 in the morning and traverse Marias Pass in the daylight. We did this a few years ago.
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Old Aug 17, 22, 6:32 pm
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
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Originally Posted by strickerj View Post
Assuming it's on time. Maybe you'll get lucky and it'll be delayed until the next morning.

FWIW, Empire Builder eastbound is decent for scenery, at least in the summer - depart Whitefish around 7:30 in the morning and traverse Marias Pass in the daylight. We did this a few years ago.
At this point, the best scenery would be if it was delayed 10-12 hours.
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Old Aug 18, 22, 12:29 pm
  #20  
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: DTW
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Originally Posted by Putnik View Post
At this point, the best scenery would be if it was delayed 10-12 hours.
I've been on an Amtrak LD train that was delayed 8 hours, so it's certainly possible.
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Old Sep 3, 22, 11:38 pm
  #21  
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
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Originally Posted by Putnik View Post
Thanks for looking it up. At least I'll get to see the Columbia River to Portland in daylight.

It's interesting that WB Zephyr is timed perfectly for the scenic parts, yet the Empire Builder seems not be.
To be fair, the westbound Builder does traverse the Cascades during daylight, and crosses the plains in the dark. It's pretty hard to schedule both the Rockies and the Cascades for the daylight, especially with the need to schedule connections (at both ends).

Of course, if we had a real passenger rail service in this country there would be more than one train per day...
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