Posts Tagged ‘Viewliner sleepers’

Sleepers to Return to Boston-Washington Route

March 14, 2021

Sleeping car service is returning between Boston and Washington on the Northeast Corridor starting April 5.

The Viewliner sleepers will operate on Trains 66 and 67 with a scheduled running time of nine to 10 hours depending on the direction and the day of the week of travel.

No. 67 operates as Train 65 on Friday and Saturday nights.

Passengers will receive a complimentary continental breakfast box in the evening and may either go to the train’s cafe car for coffee and juice in the morning or have the car’s attendant deliver it to their rooms.

Amtrak also will offer passengers one complimentary alcoholic beverage.

Passengers will be able to make use of first-class lounges in Boston and Washington.

However, the lounge in Philadelphia will be unavailable and New York passengers will need to board through Penn Station because the Moynihan Train Hall and its Metropolitan Lounge are closed overnight.

The Northeast Corridor has always had sleeping cars operating on long distance trains that continue beyond Washington.

But sleeping car service between Boston and Washington has been absent since 2003.

For many years Amtrak offered an overnight train between the two terminals named the Night Owl. That train had a New York-Washington “Executive Sleeper” that was dropped off or picked up at Penn Station.

That service ended when Amtrak ceased using Heritage Fleet sleepers.

Starting in 1997, the Boston-Washington sleepers operated south to Newport News, Virginia, when he train was renamed the Twilight Shoreliner.

Amtrak officials have said the resumption of sleeping car service between Boston and Washington is being made possible by the assignment of Viewliner II sleepers to the Silver Star and Silver Meteor between New York and Miami.

Sleepers that had been operating in Silver Service have been reassigned to the Northeast Corridor.

The intercity carrier said it has enough Viewliner II sleepers to cover the resumption of daily service on the New York-Miami run in late spring.

Viewliner II sleepers have already been introduced on the New York Miami route and will be maintained at the Hialeah Maintenance Facility in Miami.

Currently the Silver Service trains are running with just one Viewliner II sleeper, Amtrak plans to soon increase that to two of every three sleepers on each train.

Train 66 is scheduled to depart Washington nightly at 10 p.m., arriving in New York at 1:55 a.m. and Boston’s South Station at 7:58 a.m.

No.  67 leaves Boston Sunday through Thursday at 9:30 p.m. It arrives in New York at 2:30 a.m. and Washington at 7 a.m.

On Fridays and Saturdays No. 65 runs on a slightly different schedule.

Amtrak said fares between Boston and Washington for one person in a roomette could be as low as $288.

Your Seat in an Amtrak Viewliner Roomette

May 23, 2020

Here is your seat in your Viewliner roomette aboard Amtrak’s Lake Shore Limited.

You’ve just boarded and are looking forward to a relaxing trip to the East Coast.

But right now you’re just getting settled in your room as No. 48 sits in Chicago Union Station.

As a sleeper class passenger you were able to board ahead of most passengers so it will be several minutes before the Lake Shore leaves Union Station behind.

One downside to your seat is that it doesn’t recline as much as a coach seat does. But your seat does fold down into a bed, which is a benefit those in coach doesn’t have.

So have a seat and welcome aboard. Your train travel journey is about to begin.

Travel Downturn Keeping Some Amtrak Fares Lower

March 17, 2020

Aside from fewer people traveling, the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on Amtrak has meant greater availability of fares at lower levels, an analysis by Trains magazine has found.

The analysis found that coach and sleeping car fares are at their lowest price level on most routes.

Amtrak fares vary depending on demand on a given day. The higher the demand the more likely that fares are to be higher.

Trains reported that passengers who believe they will be able to travel during historic busy travel periods will find sleeping car fares higher than what can be had now but still lower than what those fares would be under normal circumstances when sleeping car rooms are often sold out.

A roomette this summer on the Chicago-Washington Capitol Limited can be had for $310, which matches the current adult roomette fare.

On the Chicago-New York Cardinal, roomettes are selling for $595 whereas last year during the summer they sold for $900.

The Cardinal has long had less sleeping car space than other eastern long-distance trains and thus its sleeping car fares have tended to be higher and space is harder to get.

Nos. 50 and 51 typically operate with one Viewliner sleeper although in recent weeks sleeping car space on the route has increased slightly with the assignment of a Viewliner baggage-dormitory car to the train.

The Trains analysis spot check found that a sleeping car accommodation on the Chicago-Los Angeles Southwest Chief can be had this summer for $740 whereas it current is priced at $604.

The respective fares for the California Zephyr (Chicago-Emeryville, California) are $685 for the summer versus $547 now and for the Chicago-Seattle/Portland Empire Builder they are $900 versus $513 now.

The COVID-19 has resulted in sleeping car accommodations being sold out northbound on the Auto Train through March 23 whereas southbound plenty of space is available.

When demand for the Auto Train is strong Amtrak has the option of expanding sleeping car consists from seven cars to eight.

The Auto Train equipment pool includes Amtrak’s only two Superliner sleepers that have only bedrooms on the upper level.

Viewliner II Diner Has Yet to be Assigned to the Cardinal

October 13, 2019

Amtrak has yet to assign a Viewliner II dining car to the Cardinal although it indicated that it had planned to do so effective Oct. 1.

The Chicago-New York train received the flexible dining service on that date, but sleeping car passengers are being served in half of an Amfleet food service car rather than in a Viewliner II diner as is the case with other eastern overnight trains.

Amtrak’s new vice president for long distance services, Larry Chestler, told Trains magazine that the Viewliner II diner won’t be assigned to Nos. 50 and 51 “for the time being.”

Chestler said the Amfleet II lounge cars because used on the train, “are the most suitable for this service given the configuration of the cars and the Cardinal’s passenger volume.”

He probably was referring to the fact the Cardinal is assigned just one Viewliner sleeping car and that the onboard crew uses a portion of its rooms.

Amtrak has said that it has not assigned a second sleeper to the Cardinal because it has yet to repair a Viewliner sleeping car that was damaged in the February 2018 collision of the Silver Star and a CSX freight train.

At present, Amtrak has only one of 25 Viewliner II sleeping cars on its active roster. Those cars feature a different room configuration than Viewliner I sleepers.

Sleeper space aboard the Cardinal can be hard to book with rooms often selling out weeks and sometimes months in advance.

The Cardinal operates tri-weekly via Indianapolis and Cincinnati and uses two equipment sets.