Amtrak Has Stopped Printing All Schedules

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  • Member since
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Posted by blue streak 1 on Friday, April 13, 2018 4:31 PM

With the emphasis on millenians could that trigger a possible age discrimination or handicapped  law suit ?

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Posted by aegrotatio on Friday, April 13, 2018 10:38 PM

MrLynn

'Costed-down smart devices'? 'Bluetooth'? 'Pairing algorithms'?  Bluetooth is an erratic technology at best.

 

This is not even remotely true. The only people who say that are people who don't use it.

Even more to my point:  You don't use Bluetooth to get a train schedule, either.

 

 

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Posted by oltmannd on Saturday, April 14, 2018 7:54 AM

So, we have a couple reasons we would like printed schedules.

 - the on-board experience, following the route and time keeping

 - trip planning

We have a few solutions

 - kiosk printing at station in various forms

 - third party print and ship for fee

 - inclusion in seatback magazine

 - print at home

I'm thinking the only really viable solution is "print at home" (or library, or Staples) and those that can't do this are just going to have to find a friend, relative or neighbor who can help them out.

I think even having printable pdf schedules is going to be a thing of the past. Think about the cost to maintain them and even then, how often they are outdated before the next issue?

So, what then?  How can you easily do trip planning, have station and route info you need and be able to take hard copies with you if you like?

For me the "gold standard" is https://www.bahn.com/en/view/index.shtml

You want trip planning?  It's there.  You want train route info, click on the train number.  You want station info?  Click on the station info button.  You want a route map?  Click on the map view button.

Then print to you heart's content.

 

 

-Don (Random stuff, mostly about trains - what else? http://blerfblog.blogspot.com/

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Posted by oltmannd on Saturday, April 14, 2018 8:04 AM

As for the on-board experience, Amtrak really needs to catch up with the airlines and cruise ship folk, and even some other railroads.

Just about every plane with a seat-back screen will show you route info and your position, speed, etc.  Cruise ships have this info on one of the TV channels.  Even Southwest airlines will show you this info on your own device via WiFi for free en route.

I rode a couple trains in New Zealand last year. (Both of which I highly recommend!)  Both had on board displays with an audio route guide available from a headphone jack.  No reason in this age that Amtrak could not do the same - using existing on-board WiFi to start.

https://blerfblog.blogspot.com/2017/07/transalpine-express.html

https://blerfblog.blogspot.com/2017/07/the-northern-explorer.html

 

-Don (Random stuff, mostly about trains - what else? http://blerfblog.blogspot.com/

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Posted by zugmann on Saturday, April 14, 2018 11:04 AM

oltmannd
Just about every plane with a seat-back screen will show you route info and your position, speed, etc.

Last time I rode amtrak, the on board wifi did just that.

 The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer or any other railroad, company, or person.

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Posted by oltmannd on Saturday, April 14, 2018 3:42 PM

oltmannd
For me the "gold standard" is https://www.bahn.com/en/view/index.shtml You want trip planning?  It's there.  You want train route info, click on the train number.  You want station info?  Click on the station info button.  You want a route map?  Click on the map view button.

And, there is no reason Amtrak, et.al. couldn't contract with DB and have all this stuff work with US and Canadian schedules right now!

-Don (Random stuff, mostly about trains - what else? http://blerfblog.blogspot.com/

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Posted by oltmannd on Saturday, April 14, 2018 3:45 PM

zugmann

 

 
oltmannd
Just about every plane with a seat-back screen will show you route info and your position, speed, etc.

 

Last time I rode amtrak, the on board wifi did just that.

 

Cool.  It's been a couple years since I've ridden.  No WiFi then.

-Don (Random stuff, mostly about trains - what else? http://blerfblog.blogspot.com/

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Posted by MrLynn on Sunday, April 15, 2018 8:06 AM

oltmannd

 

 
zugmann

 

 
oltmannd
Just about every plane with a seat-back screen will show you route info and your position, speed, etc.

 

Last time I rode amtrak, the on board wifi did just that.

 

 

 

Cool.  It's been a couple years since I've ridden.  No WiFi then.

 

Yes, the onboard train status and map via Amtrak Connect (wireless) is much improved.  The maps still don't show names for bodies of water (my wife's frequent question: what river [or bay, or lake] is that?).

A touchscreen on the seat back with train status, maps, and timetables would be an ideal solution, obviating the need to bring your own wireless devices onboard (though of course many do anyway).  But installing these would be a huge expense.  Will the new coaches Amtrak has ordered to replace the aging Amfleet cars have them?  For the older cars, putting maps and timetables into the seatback magazines would be a boon, IMO.

/Mr Lynn

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Posted by PJS1 on Sunday, April 15, 2018 8:37 AM

Given the high percentage of people who have smart phones, tablets, etc., putting touch screens, etc. on seatbacks or anywhere on a train would not be cost effective.

One of the reasons Amtrak may have discontinued videos in the long-distance train lounge cars is because so many of the passengers can play a movie of their choice on their tablet, phone, etc.

I suspect a significant percentage of those who don't have a tablet, smart phone, PC, etc. are seniors.  Not to worry.  We will be gone in the not too distant future.  And most of the young people, i.e. anyone under 70, have grown up accustomed to these devices.

The personal communication device revolution is just beginning.  At some time in the future, hotels, cruise ships, etc. may remove phones from their rooms.  Most of their guests will have a smart phone or at least a cell phone.  This is largely true even today.  For the few that don't the hotel could rent them a burner for a nominal fee.  

Rio Grande Valley, CFI,CFII

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Posted by MrLynn on Sunday, April 15, 2018 8:49 AM

oltmannd

So, we have a couple reasons we would like printed schedules.

 - the on-board experience, following the route and time keeping

 - trip planning

We have a few solutions

 - kiosk printing at station in various forms

 - third party print and ship for fee

 - inclusion in seatback magazine

 - print at home

I'm thinking the only really viable solution is "print at home" (or library, or Staples) and those that can't do this are just going to have to find a friend, relative or neighbor who can help them out.

I think even having printable pdf schedules is going to be a thing of the past. Think about the cost to maintain them and even then, how often they are outdated before the next issue?

So, what then?  How can you easily do trip planning, have station and route info you need and be able to take hard copies with you if you like?

For me the "gold standard" is https://www.bahn.com/en/view/index.shtml

You want trip planning?  It's there.  You want train route info, click on the train number.  You want station info?  Click on the station info button.  You want a route map?  Click on the map view button.

Then print to you heart's content.

 

Good summary of the discussion, Don.

I don't think it should be hard to keep the PDF shedules updated and available.  The railroad crews must have their own route timetables, so Amtrak's PR people can always piggyback on those.

For the future, I think inserting local route, schedules, and maps into the seatback magazines would work best for older cars (and older, less tech-savvy passengers).  Seatback touchscreens would be ideal for new cars.

That Bahn website does look very well designed and user-friendly.

Amtrak's new website is not as bad as I first thought. I was used to the old one.  Last week, when NER 94 north out of Richmond-Staples Mill was infinitely delayed (engine failure at Newport News), I was frantically trying to figure out alternatives to Boston (using other trains to connect in DC or NYC), and I overlooked the option on the Schedule page to "Get downloadable schedules for all routes," and didn't figure out an alternative until too late to board Train 92 (we got in line, but didn't make the cut for available seats, even in the Cafe Car).  There were ticket agents at the station, but they were swamped helping others.  Would the Bahn website have made it easier?

/Mr Lynn

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Posted by Sunnyland on Saturday, April 21, 2018 3:50 PM

sorry to hear this, as some people do not have computer or do not know how to work them. I have saved previous schedules and the last timetable, so I can refer to it and website to see if it has changed.  If not, I still carry the old one with me. But I mostly ride MO River Runner and Lincoln Service, do plan to ride City of NOLA laster this summer so will be checking that one. 

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