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How to wind up in a refurbished sleeper? (SW Chief)

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  • Member since
    March, 2017
  • 2 posts
How to wind up in a refurbished sleeper? (SW Chief)
Posted by NewEnglandRider on Friday, March 03, 2017 12:49 PM

Have taken the Southwest Chief from CHI -> LAX a few times, and one of those times we got one of the refurbished cars with the nicer sink, etc... made a huge difference to our trip! However the folks at Amtrak customer service tell me there's no way to request one of those cars. Is there, in fact, some way to make that happen outside of the "standard" channels?

 

many thanks!!

  • Member since
    August, 2005
  • From: At the Crossroads of the West
  • 7,951 posts
Posted by Deggesty on Friday, March 03, 2017 3:42 PM

NewEnglandRider

Have taken the Southwest Chief from CHI -> LAX a few times, and one of those times we got one of the refurbished cars with the nicer sink, etc... made a huge difference to our trip! However the folks at Amtrak customer service tell me there's no way to request one of those cars. Is there, in fact, some way to make that happen outside of the "standard" channels?

 

many thanks!!

 

Be in the coach yard when the train is being made up and ask that the car assigned to you is one of those?

Johnny

ACY
  • Member since
    August, 2013
  • 2,838 posts
Posted by ACY on Friday, March 03, 2017 6:08 PM

Pull

Influence. 

A short while after W. Graham Claytor died, his widow traveled on the Auto Train. The day before her trip, a sleeper was changed out so that she could ride in the car named for her late husband. I doubt thay Ms. Claytor would have made such a request because she was a very classy lady who would never resort to pushy, demanding, entitled behavior. I'm sure somebody in higher authority took it upon himself (herself?) to arrange this as a nice gesture. for a longstanding friend and supporter of Amtrak. 

So I guess the answer is to become the President of Amtrak, or the President's spouse. Big Smile  Short of that, I have no idea.

The ticket agent certainly doesn't have that kind of influence.

Tom 

  • Member since
    March, 2017
  • 2 posts
Posted by NewEnglandRider on Friday, March 03, 2017 9:36 PM

Can't say it occurred to me that "pull" or "influence" would come into play here... if you book a hotel room, there may or may not be an official way to request a specific room, a certain view, or whatever... but, often, if you speak to someone at the hotel (as opposed to the reservation agent), they're more than happy to accommodate the request if it's possible. Figured the same might be true with a sleeper car (which is, for what it's worth, a *lot* pricier than any hotel I've stayed in!)

...am I missing something? Is a request like that a significant imposition? I'm hardly going to throw a fit if I don't get the specific car I want; it's not as if I paid extra for that and I certainly don't think I'm entitled to it. But if it's doable, it'll make my wife's and my vacation more enjoyable, and isn't that sort of the point?

  • Member since
    February, 2013
  • 10 posts
Posted by bratkinson on Friday, March 03, 2017 10:06 PM
One can never 'guarantee' any particular car on a particular train unless you (or someone you know) 'at the top' can pull strings -and- the car is available where the train is made up. But then, trying to book a reservation within a couple of hours or even a couple of days in advance for sleeper space is almost assured to end up with 'sold out' on the screen.
  • Member since
    December, 2001
  • From: NS Main Line at MP12 Blairsville,Pa
  • 722 posts
Posted by conrailman on Friday, March 03, 2017 11:40 PM

What is in yard that days the Amtrak gives them. The Yard Crews makes up the trains.

ACY
  • Member since
    August, 2013
  • 2,838 posts
Posted by ACY on Saturday, March 04, 2017 7:05 PM

The yard crew takes orders from much higher up. I don't know the actual chain of authority in the Mechanical Dept., but the yard crew has little or no freedom to make these decisions on their own. 

Tom

  • Member since
    June, 2009
  • From: Dallas, TX
  • 2,340 posts
Posted by CMStPnP on Sunday, March 05, 2017 7:38 PM

Buy a compartment on the first floor and bring a battery powered drill (to remove flooring for the drain) and a nice sink basin with you packed away in your luggage.

  • Member since
    May, 2003
  • From: US
  • 11,292 posts
Posted by BaltACD on Monday, March 06, 2017 2:53 PM

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

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