No Class in Business Class.
I frequently take the Lake Shore Limited from Boston to Chicago and, rather than book a sleeping car all the way, I buy a Business Class ticket from Boston to Albany and book a sleeper from there to Chicago.
There are two reasons for this. First, I save about $50. Second, after the Boston section joins the New York section in Albany, anyone in the Boston sleeper has to walk through at least six coaches to get to the dining car.
The business class car is divided roughly into thirds. In one section of the car—a little over a third, I’d say— are big comfortable seats, two on one side of the aisle, one seat on the other side.
There’s a middle section where an attendant serves food and drink to all passengers, both business class and coach.
The other third of the rail car is a lounge area supposedly for all passengers. It’s fitted out with five booths, each accommodating four people.
Except that one of those booths is posted as being for use by the conductors only and is off limits to all passengers.
And now Amtrak has removed two other booths and replaced them with—yes— bicycle racks!
What’s wrong with that, you ask? Well, in addition to the jarring appearance of bicycle racks in the middle of what purports to be a lounge, the fact is it leaves only two booths for an entire trainload of passengers. Some “lounge area” that is!
Rail Passengers Association president and CEO Jim Mathews points out that the conductors really do need a workspace to deal with all their paperwork and it does seem that the lounge car is the only practical place for that. But, says Mathews, any new coaches should have a small private office area specifically dedicated for use by the conductors.
And accommodating bikers and their bikes is a fine idea, but there has to be a better way than having them in racks in the middle of the lounge car. There just has to be!
Are there any tunnels to travel through on the Boston to Chicago route?
It seems to me there may be one or two, but I can’t think of any specific tunnel. If there are any, they are short. Trains in and out of Chicago’s Union Station are on ground level with the building(s) above them, not underground.
Does the Boston to Chicago Lakeshore Limited go through any tunnels? What about below ground at Chicago’s Union Station?
Offhand I can’t think of any specific tunnels on the Lake Shore route. Trains at Union Station in Chicago are at ground level with the buildings above them.
One would hope Amtrak would drop this appalling idea rather quickly of installing bicycle racks of all things into an area that’s supposed to represent a premiere class of passenger train travel.
And what on earth is Amtrak’s affinity for bicycles all about anyway? I fail to see how bicycles in any way can enhance the overnight long distance passenger train experience.
Bicycles, if they belong on trains at all, belong only in the baggage car where they don’t occupy valuable passenger space.
I strongly disagree with you that bikes don’t belong on a train, they are a marriage made in Heaven as far as I’m concerned, as they expand, sometimes drastically, where you can go to by train without the need for a car. However, I do agree this is not the right way or place. That they had to take out much needed seats to accomodate for bikes just shows the growing need for new and extra rolling stock…