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Passenger Trains > Compare Amtrak and Via fares


Date: 02/08/19 12:22
Compare Amtrak and Via fares
Author: SpeederDriver

I don't know if I'm missing something, but in light of the recent discussions about Amtrak losing money on its long distance trains, I looked up the fares for Toronto-Vancouver vs. Chicago-Seattle for a June departure.  It appears that a cabin for 1 on Via commands many times the revenue of a roomette on Amtrak.  Is Amtrak leaving money on the table?



Date: 02/08/19 12:31
Re: Compare Amtrak and Via fares
Author: Lackawanna484

Amtrak makes great use of bucket pricing on the Auto-Train.  During some peak periods, I doubt there are any peak direction lowest bucket prices, while opposite direction, the coach and roomete prices are all lowest bucket.



Date: 02/08/19 12:39
Re: Compare Amtrak and Via fares
Author: andersonb109

For starters, VIA to the west coast  is a four night trip. Amtrak is two. So that's also double the meals served on VIA. 



Date: 02/08/19 13:06
Re: Compare Amtrak and Via fares
Author: MEKoch

VIA fares in the Summer are VERY high.  They can charge these prices and get it from tourists.



Date: 02/08/19 13:12
Re: Compare Amtrak and Via fares
Author: CarolVoss

MEKoch Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> VIA fares in the Summer are VERY high.  They can
> charge these prices and get it from tourists.

Be sure to make the conversion from Via prices which are quoted in Canadian dollars to US dollars— then compare to ATK. $1 USA dollar is $1.33 Canadian today.
C

Carol Voss
Salinas, CA



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/08/19 13:15 by CarolVoss.



Date: 02/08/19 15:11
Re: Compare Amtrak and Via fares
Author: ProAmtrak

Sad part is the erxtension on The Canadian's Schedule no thanks to CN and what happened back in 1990, that in my opinion was the wrose thing that can happen to them when they were doing so well!



Date: 02/08/19 15:58
Re: Compare Amtrak and Via fares
Author: jp1822

VIA Charges Per Person - for room and rail fare, which Amtrak does not. That's a HUGE difference right off the bat. So VIA is getting higher prices in general for its long distance trains, particularly the Canadian. I don't think there is any denying that. But patrons are willing to pay the higher fees to VIA because they feel they are getting their money's worth! If Amtrak delivered a better or equal product to that of VIA, wouldn't it be reasonable to say patrons would pay the same price or have no issue with it? 

VIA is getting a LOT more money for sleeper fares than Amtrak, and is that offsetting the diner losses? Problem is VIA goes from extreme highs (25 cars plus in peak season including two Presitge cars) to extreme lows (10 or less cars in non-peak season). 



Date: 02/08/19 22:13
Re: Compare Amtrak and Via fares
Author: Skyline

Wouldn't it be nice if Amtrak had enough cars to assemble a 25-unit consist?



Date: 02/09/19 05:42
Re: Compare Amtrak and Via fares
Author: Lackawanna484

Skyline Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Wouldn't it be nice if Amtrak had enough cars to
> assemble a 25-unit consist?

They can organize an 18 car special train with two electric motors. And will do that next week.

Posted from Android



Date: 02/09/19 05:52
Re: Compare Amtrak and Via fares
Author: santafedan

The VIA trip was WORTH it.



Date: 02/09/19 14:42
Re: Compare Amtrak and Via fares
Author: SpeederDriver

>>>>The VIA trip was WORTH it.

That's the key point.



Date: 02/10/19 07:31
Re: Compare Amtrak and Via fares
Author: ATSF3751

The VIA Rail Canadian is really a tourist train that attracts a clientele that is willing and (appearently) able to part with the cash for what really is a vacation experience at extrordinary prices. The Canadian is "novelty" transportation that fails at most levels to function as a viable transport option given it's frequency of operation. That might be different if the train was a daily operation.

Most Amtrak LD trains operate daily and do serve as a transportation service, however small, to a number of communties. It attracts a diverse crowd that is more price sensitive. Charge the same price levels in first class for Amtrak and watch the rooms go empty.  

Having ridded the Canadian, both as a CP operation and VIA, it is a wonderful experience, although I think the CP route was better. Anyway, I mention the train to friends and most are excited to look into riding the train until they discover the prices for sleeper. On a comparison, the CP fares of the early 1970's, were far more affordable as i recall, even when adjusted for inflation. Yes, you paid for dining, but I was always a light eater, so that was no problem for me. CP also had the cafe dome for light meals. 



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/10/19 07:42 by ATSF3751.



Date: 02/10/19 10:51
Re: Compare Amtrak and Via fares
Author: badgerexpat

I have consistently read that VIA's system-wide farebox recovery is far below Amtrak's, half or less. That's partly because (as I have also read) VIA's landlords have absolute authority over repairs and maintenance, unaudited (by law), and they charge VIA a pretty penny. (As well as do a very good job.) I may be misinformed about one or both of those claims, or something may have changed.


As for being a tourist train, that may fairly describe the small number of people who ride the Canadian from end to end, but it stops at a several dozen very isolated flag-stop communities which have few other transportation options, maybe actually none in the depths of winter. I have also read, and I wish I could check it out, that fares to and from these isolated localities are very much less per mile than the fares between populous cities, or to/from touristy destinations like Jasper.


Does anyone know more (or or have more accurate information) about these matters?



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/10/19 10:53 by badgerexpat.



Date: 02/10/19 11:49
Re: Compare Amtrak and Via fares
Author: ATSF3751

badgerexpat Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I have consistently read that VIA's system-wide
> farebox recovery is far below Amtrak's, half or
> less. That's partly because (as I have also read)
> VIA's landlords have absolute authority over
> repairs and maintenance, unaudited (by law), and
> they charge VIA a pretty penny. (As well as do a
> very good job.) I may be misinformed about one or
> both of those claims, or something may have
> changed.
>
>
> As for being a tourist train, that may fairly
> describe the small number of people who ride the
> Canadian from end to end, but it stops at a
> several dozen very isolated flag-stop communities
> which have few other transportation options, maybe
> actually none in the depths of winter. I have also
> read, and I wish I could check it out, that fares
> to and from these isolated localities are very
> much less per mile than the fares between populous
> cities, or to/from touristy destinations like
> Jasper.

Yes, it probably does serve a few isolated communities that may not have other transportation options. That said, Canada has numerous communities without rail passenger service that seem to get along just fine. For those places that need transport options by rail, Via could run an accomodation train to carry those local patrons for a cost much lower then what Via pays to operate The Canadian. I think Via does operate some services similar to that in a few of the Provinces. 
>
>
> Does anyone know more (or or have more accurate
> information) about these matters?



Date: 02/10/19 15:39
Re: Compare Amtrak and Via fares
Author: DavidP

badgerexpat Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I have consistently read that VIA's system-wide
> farebox recovery is far below Amtrak's, half or
> less. That's partly because (as I have also read)
> VIA's landlords have absolute authority over
> repairs and maintenance, unaudited (by law), and
> they charge VIA a pretty penny. (As well as do a
> very good job.) I may be misinformed about one or
> both of those claims, or something may have
> changed.
>
My observation is that VIA has a much higher ratio of on board service employees to passengers, particularly in the dining cars.

Dave



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