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Date: 12/01/19 20:59
Another big AutoTrain
Author: GenePoon

53(1) had the 815 and 814, seventeen Superliners and twenty-eight auto carriers.



Date: 12/01/19 21:18
Re: Another big AutoTrain
Author: jp1822

Anderson said he would be adding sleepers if he could! Be curious to know if they are pressing the six Deluxe Sleepers into service (which would maximize the high end revenue). I believe that all six Deluxe Sleepers are back on the road. Perhaps one was a complete wreck, come to think of it. Would have to look further into that.  



Date: 12/01/19 22:09
Re: Another big AutoTrain
Author: abyler

jp1822 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> six Deluxe Sleepers into service (which would
> maximize the high end revenue). I believe that all

???

Auto Train fares
1 person in roomette - $296
2 person in roomette - $431
1 person in bedroom - $488
2 person in bedroom - $631

There's 2 roomettes for every bedroom. Looks like they make more money selling roomettes unless the comparison is roomettes at single occupancy and bedrooms at double occupancy.  Makes you wonder if the deluxe sleepers are even worth existing.  Make the bedrooms more scarce to drive the prices up further, or else change the bedrooms to drawing rooms with a two person lower level bed (something I bet many older and married people would like)



Date: 12/02/19 04:25
Re: Another big AutoTrain
Author: mp51w

 change the bedrooms to drawing
> rooms with a two person lower level bed (something
> I bet many older and married people would like)

You got that right!



Date: 12/02/19 05:41
Re: Another big AutoTrain
Author: FloridaTrainGuy

The bedroom's lower beds are supposedly capable of sleeping two.



Date: 12/02/19 09:54
Re: Another big AutoTrain
Author: DevalDragon

FloridaTrainGuy Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The bedroom's lower beds are supposedly capable of
> sleeping two.

They can, provided both occupants know each other very well.



Date: 12/02/19 14:44
Re: Another big AutoTrain
Author: Lackawanna484

Tonight's Auto-Train, the 53(02) had 17 and 30.

The coaches looked full, from my perspective in the Henry Clay Inn.

Posted from Android



Date: 12/02/19 15:50
Re: Another big AutoTrain
Author: jp1822

abyler Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> jp1822 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > six Deluxe Sleepers into service (which would
> > maximize the high end revenue). I believe that
> all
>
> ???
>
> Auto Train fares
> 1 person in roomette - $296
> 2 person in roomette - $431
> 1 person in bedroom - $488
> 2 person in bedroom - $631
>
> There's 2 roomettes for every bedroom. Looks like
> they make more money selling roomettes unless the
> comparison is roomettes at single occupancy and
> bedrooms at double occupancy.  Makes you wonder
> if the deluxe sleepers are even worth existing. 
> Make the bedrooms more scarce to drive the prices
> up further, or else change the bedrooms to drawing
> rooms with a two person lower level bed (something
> I bet many older and married people would like)

????

I think you need to RE-CHECK your prices!!! I wish things were that cheap1

Your sleeper prices ARE NOT CORRECT, and basically you can never really pinpoint specific pricing due to the practice of supply and demand rules Amtrak imposes. 

But if we do try to hold a constant - lets look at peak period traffic, Lorton to Sanford for this Friday, Dec 6th (Adult Fare):

1 person in roomette - $614 NOT $296
2 person in roomette - $757 NOT $431
1 person in bedroom - $1,124 NOT $488
2 person in bedroom - $1,267 NOT $631

As for your statement - "makes you wonder if the deluxe sleepers are even worth existing." Yes they are worth existing because passengers are wanting larger rooms.

I don't want to give Amtrak any more suggestions, but they should likely build more demand pricing for bedrooms on the Auto Train, as a separate product since it does carry these unique cars. Passengers want the larger rooms and also don't want to climb into the bunks on the Auto Train. That' just the demographic of the train. It also carries more sleepers than any other train in the Amtrak system, and ironically loses less money in comparison too. VIA Rail Canada created a special sleeper car for its train that carried the most sleepers and had a demographic somewhat similar to the Auto Train whereby they didn't really want to crawl into an upper bunk. They also charge more money for this newly created special sleeper. Hmmmm.      

If you do the math using the above rates, presuming that bedrooms are ALWAYS taking two people and roomettes are split between half with double occupancy and half with single occupancy, there's a dollar difference of $520 and a capacity difference of 5 passengers. I don't consider that a huge breaking point. It's also getting rarer that a roomette is double occupancy as the years go on. For the Auto Train, many are booking the roomette across the aisle and taking one roomette each. 


 



Date: 12/03/19 13:22
Re: Another big AutoTrain
Author: GenePoon

Jp1822 wrote:


I think you need to RE-CHECK your prices!!! I wish things were that cheap1

Your sleeper prices ARE NOT CORRECT, and basically you can never really pinpoint specific pricing due to the practice of supply and demand rules Amtrak imposes.

But if we do try to hold a constant - lets look at peak period traffic, Lorton to Sanford for this Friday, Dec 6th (Adult Fare):

1 person in roomette - $614 NOT $296
2 person in roomette - $757 NOT $431
1 person in bedroom - $1,124 NOT $488
2 person in bedroom - $1,267 NOT $631

As for your statement - "makes you wonder if the deluxe sleepers are even worth existing." Yes they are worth existing because passengers are wanting larger rooms.

=================

THANK YOU. Your post is a welcome change from the "cram 'em in, low-buck Corridor mentality which seems to affect Amtrak, their northeastern-minded hoi polloi and those who use raw statistics to lie.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/03/19 13:23 by GenePoon.



Date: 12/03/19 13:26
Re: Another big AutoTrain
Author: GenePoon

jp1822 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Anderson said he would be adding sleepers if he
> could! Be curious to know if they are pressing the
> six Deluxe Sleepers into service (which would
> maximize the high end revenue). I believe that all
> six Deluxe Sleepers are back on the road. Perhaps
> one was a complete wreck, come to think of it.
> Would have to look further into that.

=======================

The W. Graham Claytor was to be written off but the decision was reversed and it was repaired. Palm Beach returned to service after lying in the dead line for nine years.

I think only the New York, a standard Superliner II sleeper, was the only sleeping car finally lost after the Great (and fatal) AutoTrain wreck, caused by bad track.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/03/19 13:34 by GenePoon.



Date: 12/03/19 20:02
Re: Another big AutoTrain
Author: abyler

jp1822 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> abyler Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> > Auto Train fares
> > 1 person in roomette - $296
> > 2 person in roomette - $439
> > 1 person in bedroom - $488
> > 2 person in bedroom - $631
> ​
> I think you need to RE-CHECK your prices!!! I wish
> things were that cheap1

Those are the the prices if you bother to purchase more than a week out, which is what most people do, in this case for Tuesday, March 17, 2020.

> Your sleeper prices ARE NOT CORRECT, and basically

They are correct and literally off the Amtrak website.

> you can never really pinpoint specific pricing due
> to the practice of supply and demand rules Amtrak
> imposes. 

You can literally just book at least a couple of months out like a normal travellers and get those exact pinpoitned prices which are the base travel price.  The prices I posted are the prices you will find for any random future day once you start looking at least 2 months out.

> But if we do try to hold a constant - lets look at
> peak period traffic, Lorton to Sanford for this
> Friday, Dec 6th (Adult Fare):

How many people book their ticket 5 days in advance?

> 1 person in roomette - $614 NOT $296
> 2 person in roomette - $757 NOT $439
> 1 person in bedroom - $1,124 NOT $488
> 2 person in bedroom - $1,267 NOT $631

These are called walk-up fares. Almost nobody pays those last minute fares. The average fare paid by a sleeper traveller on Auto Train was $288 when Amtrak last posted the data in 2016 - the price of a single person in a roomette or 2 people in a bedroom.  (107,508 sleeper customers paying $30,875,587 in total fares).

> As for your statement - "makes you wonder if the
> deluxe sleepers are even worth existing." Yes they
> are worth existing because passengers are wanting
> larger rooms.

Are they? And how is this demonstrated?  If passengers inordinately want larger rooms, the larger bedrooms should command a huge premium from the start over the roomettes.  Instead, the base price of a bedroom is $488 vs. $296 in a roomette. In the space where a bedroom is in a car, you can put 2 roomettes.  The marginal revenue of 2 roomettes over 1 bedroom is $104 extra before considering whether a second person is in any of the rooms.  In theory, if the rooms were equally valuable, the base charge for a bedroom should be $592, and if the bedoom was in excessive demand from passengers wanting larger rooms, Amtrak should be able to charge $700 or more for the bedoom.

The upcharge for a second person in either room is $143 which is the Value level base coach fare of $115 plus a $28 surcharge for the dinner meal.  This upcharge is completely unrelated to the size of either room - you can add a person for the same price to either one.

Lets compare.  Half a Superlienr can hold
30 coach seats = $3450 revenue at the Value fare level.
10 roomettes = $2960 revenue at the base room charge for one person (of which $280 goes to the diner account)
5 bedrooms = $2440 revenue at the base room charge for one person (of which $140 goes to the diner account)

If all bedrooms are double occupancy, the 5 bedrooms produce $2440 in room charges and $715 in second passenger upcharges, or $3155 total, of which $280 goes to the diner.  For those keeping score, that's $2875 in ticket/room charges for 5 bedrooms vs. $3450 in coach seat charges.

If half of roomettes are double occupancy, 10 roomettes produce $2960 in room charges and $715 in second passenger upcharges, or $3675, total of which $420 goes to the diner.  Still less than what the coach produces, but more than the bedrooms.

If all roomettes are double occupancy, 10 roomettes produce $2960 in room charges and $1430 in second passenger upcharges, or $4390, total of which $560 goes to the diner.  This is the maximum revenue possible for a Superliner configuration.

> I don't want to give Amtrak any more suggestions,
> but they should likely build more demand pricing
> for bedrooms on the Auto Train, as a separate
> product since it does carry these unique cars.

They aren't unique. They are just cars with 5 extra bedrooms which are available in every sleeper on the train except the crew dorm.  Unique would be an increased room size that could actually comfortably sleep two people in a bottom bed and third person in a top bunk.

The current Auto-Train consist is supposed to have 6 sleepers and 2 deluxe sleepers.  That provides the following inventory:
8 Family Bedrooms
8 Accessible Bedrooms
50 Bedrooms
92 Roomettes

That is many more roomette than bedrooms, even with the deluxe sleepers. If the bedrooms made so much financial sense, all the sleepers would be deluxe sleepers.  There is nothing stopping Amtrak from simply converting them if the money was there to be made.

> Passengers want the larger rooms and also don't
> want to climb into the bunks on the Auto Train.

It's possible that is true, but your statement is speculative and not grounded in any data.

> That' just the demographic of the train. It also

Do you have a source for demographics of ridership on the Auto Train or is this just your speculation?

> carries more sleepers than any other train in the
> Amtrak system, and ironically loses less money in
> comparison too. VIA Rail Canada created a special

It loses less money because of the charge for vehicles. There isn't anything unique about its fare structure otherwise.  The average of sleeper fares on Amtrak in 2016 was in a range from $168 (City of New Orleans) to $321 (California Zephyr).  Auto Train is in the range, not an exception.

> sleeper car for its train that carried the most
> sleepers and had a demographic somewhat similar to
> the Auto Train whereby they didn't really want to
> crawl into an upper bunk. They also charge more
> money for this newly created special sleeper.
> Hmmmm.      

Amtrak doesn't charge proportionately more money for the bedrooms.

> If you do the math using the above rates,

The above rates you quoted are simply higher room charge rates with the same $143 upcharge for a second customer in the room.  Even at the higher rates 2 roomettes produce more room charge revenue than one bedroom.

> a huge breaking point. It's also getting rarer
> that a roomette is double occupancy as the years
> go on. For the Auto Train, many are booking the
> roomette across the aisle and taking one roomette each. 

This is again speculative. Unless you have secret inside Amtrak ridership and room occupancy data, I can't see how you could possibly assert this with any certainty.



Date: 12/03/19 20:03
Re: Another big AutoTrain
Author: abyler

GenePoon Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> THANK YOU. Your post is a welcome change from the
> "cram 'em in, low-buck Corridor mentality which
> seems to affect Amtrak, their northeastern-minded
> hoi polloi and those who use raw statistics to
> lie.

Where's the lie Gene?



Date: 12/04/19 10:41
Re: Another big AutoTrain
Author: FloridaTrainGuy

GenePoon Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> jp1822 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Anderson said he would be adding sleepers if he
> > could! Be curious to know if they are pressing
> the
> > six Deluxe Sleepers into service (which would
> > maximize the high end revenue). I believe that
> all
> > six Deluxe Sleepers are back on the road.
> Perhaps
> > one was a complete wreck, come to think of it.
> > Would have to look further into that.
>
> =======================
>
> The W. Graham Claytor was to be written off but
> the decision was reversed and it was repaired.
> Palm Beach returned to service after lying in the
> dead line for nine years.
>
> I think only the New York, a standard Superliner
> II sleeper, was the only sleeping car finally lost
> after the Great (and fatal) AutoTrain wreck,
> caused by bad track.

Info here: https://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/AccidentReports/Reports/RAR0302.pdf

Found this from another site: Superliners from P052-18, April 18, 2002 Crescent City, FL derailment are being prepared to be moved from Sanford Auto Train station to from what I was told, to the FRA's Transportation Technology Center, in Pueblo, Colorado. Two of the liners I understand were/are to be used for terrorist/hostage type training by law enforcement and one was going to be blown up for research purposes. P052-18 derailed cars 3-23, after passing over a track buckle/sun kink. Sleeper 32100 ended up on its right side in a ditch, the derailments 4 fatalities were from this car. Coach car 34125 was found, upright, perpendicular to right of way. While coach car 34126 was found on lying on its left side. The cars left Sanford approx. June 16, 2005.

Sounds like at least these three were lost.



Date: 12/04/19 17:59
Re: Another big AutoTrain
Author: jp1822

Abyler - I sure hope then you are advocating to open up the Superliner Trans-Dorm Sleepers for revenue passengers, cause you just built the case.......... And if you are going to cite prices, may I suggest you include a date, and also the direction of travel. The date you cited is also Lorton to Sanford in the latter part of March, which is an offpeak trip. Most are travelling BACK to Northeast, NOT to Florida in this time period. So more sleeping and coach space is needed coming north, but the same consist has to return south, so Amtrak is keeping the prices down based on their supply and demand rules of pricing. Admist all the diagramming of my post, lets go back to the basics - you said the Deluxe Sleepers may not be worth existing. I don't believe that's true and built numbers for it accordingly. Re-design these rooms and create drawing rooms. Sure! I agree with that! But I don't believe Amtrak should take any sleeper off the road. They need all they can get. By the way, January 2020 prices are not too far off from what I had quoted. Those who can book three months out - glad they can cause I've never been able to.  



Date: 12/04/19 19:17
Re: Another big AutoTrain
Author: abyler

jp1822 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Abyler - I sure hope then you are advocating to
> open up the Superliner Trans-Dorm Sleepers for
> revenue passengers, cause you just built the

If there is space in there, of course it should be opened and sold.

> case.......... And if you are going to cite
> prices, may I suggest you include a date, and also
> the direction of travel. The date you cited is
> also Lorton to Sanford in the latter part of
> March, which is an offpeak trip. Most are
> travelling BACK to Northeast, NOT to Florida in

I'm not coninvced by any of this talk of "peak" and "directions" about Auto-Train. The busiest months for Auto-Train wit the highest ridership are the summer, not the winter.  There are certainly seasonal migrants to Florida, but there are also lots of regular travellers and vacaitoners at all times of the year. Amtrak uses pricing to balance the movements to fill the train both ways. If it can make more money in the "peak" direction while managing demand, good for Amtrak.

> this time period. So more sleeping and coach space
> is needed coming north, but the same consist has
> to return south, so Amtrak is keeping the prices
> down based on their supply and demand rules of
> pricing. Admist all the diagramming of my post,
> lets go back to the basics - you said the Deluxe
> Sleepers may not be worth existing. I don't

The basic point was questioning whether they are maximizing revenue with all bedroom cars.  If they are, then no reason to change anything.  I'm certainly not anti-bedroom, I like the larger rooms.

> believe that's true and built numbers for it
> accordingly. Re-design these rooms and create
> drawing rooms. Sure! I agree with that! But I
> don't believe Amtrak should take any sleeper off
> the road. They need all they can get. By the way,

Well, that isn't something I said. I just questioned what the configuration should be. I know having a full sized two person lower level bed would be an in demand item.  I don't know why a 3 person Drawing Room configuration isn't the standard bedroom at this point, since Amtrak has figured out how to make a one person Roomette into a 2 person room.

Seems like 5 bedrooms could become 4 drawing rooms 8'-1-1/2" wide each vs. 6'-6" for a bedroom. That's 19.5" extra space, which could expand the lower bed from 3'-4" to 4'-6" to be a true full bed for two people.  I'd love to see rooms that size, I bet they would sell like hotcakes.  Could also do 2 bedrooms and 2 drawings rooms 9'-9" wide, which would be enough room for a Queen sized lower bed.  If they did this and put the drawing rooms in the middle they could convert a bedroom and drawing room into 5 person double suite.  5 person families are about 1/3 of all families with kids, so its not like this might not be a popular configuration too.



Date: 12/04/19 20:06
Re: Another big AutoTrain
Author: jp1822

Point taken......

Any reconfiguration of a bedroom to make it larger or the bedrooms on the lower level so one doesn't have to climb into a bunk is going to come with an increased price.....ala VIA Sleeper Prestige Class. I believe there's a market out there for that and for the experential travel, but I don't think it's this current administration that will bring that to be. Warrington wanted a "transcon" deluxe sleeper train coast to coast but that was ill-defined and never went past "GO."

I've also thought Amtrak should now take the crew lounge in the Superliner Trans/Dorm Sleeper and make that into a large bedroom. Unfortunately, the time for a crew lounge has come and gone. I realize the conductor may position and set up shop there (not all do anymore!), but there's some other alternatives that could be made. 

I wish I knew more of the back story on the development of the Superliner Deluxe Sleepers. When in the position to know, should have had ears more open. Sure, they'd be a "nice to have" on all trains as an extra sleeper line, but Amtrak just purchased six (6). Looking at most "emergency exit schematics" of the Superliner fleet, it makes one wonder (Deluxe Sleeper included along with Trans Dorm/Sleeper), but that consist never came to be for all Superliner trains. Moreover, Amtrak bought six (6) cars (max needed if spreading one each per Superliner trainset for a given train's route), but they were shuffled off to the Auto Train. For what it is worth, I've heard they fill fast when in "peak trip season."  

Bedrooms were in much more demand these past two years than ever before - CY2019 and CY2018. I wish Amtrak would publish more statistics on its sellout rates and demand for coach, bedroom, roomette etc. for trains, but it lacks. 

Anderson seems to hold a little passion for the Auto Train since he believes this is where a "sleeper" should be added..........it's an inititative. 



Date: 12/05/19 05:19
Re: Another big AutoTrain
Author: Lackawanna484

I've counted the cars on the Auto Train, and posted them here. In real time. There are fewer cars On Auto Train in September than in December. Many fewer.

On 12/19, there are coach seats available sb for $280, but $112 northward. Roomette is $614 sb, and $482 nb. No bedrooms available south, but all are available.

(Amtrak bucket pricing is designed to capture these flows in demand.)

Posted from Android



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/05/19 05:19 by Lackawanna484.



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