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Digest: Amtrak adding sleeping-car service on Northeast Corridor

By | March 8, 2021

News Wire Digest fourth section for March 8: Bus advocates express concerns about Washington Union Station plans; Pittsburgh faces decision on new light rail equipment

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Amtrak to offer sleeping cars on Northeast Regional trains beginning April 5

Amtrak will return sleeping-car service to the Northeast Corridor beginning April 5, with sleepers added to one overnight Northeast Regional train in each direction. Northbound, train No. 66 will depart Washington Union Station at 10 p.m., arriving in New York at 1:55 a.m. and Boston’s South Station at 7:58 a.m. Southbound, train No. 67, operating Sundays through Thursdays, departs Boston at 9:30 p.m., arriving at New York’s Penn Station at 2:30 a.m. and Washington Union Station at 7 a.m. On Fridays and Saturdays, the sleeping car will operate on train No. 65, with slightly different arrival times. Roomette, Bedrooms, and Accessible Bedrooms are available, with one-person, one-way fares as low as $288 between Boston and Washington. Roger Harris, Amtrak’s executive vice president, chief marketing and revenue officer, says in a press release that the sleeping-car accommodations are “a one-of-a-kind way to reach your destination … “In addition to all the safety precautions we are taking to make rail travel a safe experience, a private room will enhance the trip and give customers the added benefit of more comfort, space and privacy.” Visit the Amtrak website for more information.

Amtrak To Add Private Rooms to Overnight Northeast Regional Trains

 

Bus advocates criticize plans for Washington Union Station redevelopment

Plans for redevelopment of Washington Union Station, already under review because of concerns they are too car-centric, are now being criticized by the bus industry for a design that would decrease current bus capacity by as much as 72%. The Washington Post reports the preliminary design by the Federal Railroad Administration would reduce the bus facility from 61 to as many as 40 spaces, with some options that could reduce that number to 17. Proponents say the smaller facility better uses scarce space and the current bus station is not used efficiently. Greyhound, a major user of the facility, has asked the current size be maintained or even expanded. The $10 billion project, which will expand Union Station rail facilities and retail space, is at least a decade from beginning construction.

Pittsburgh faces decision on new light rail equipment

The Pittsburgh-area Port Authority of Allegheny County is gearing up for the process of replacing its oldest light rail vehicles, which will take up to nine months to prepare specifications and five to eight years to receive the equipment after ordering. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that many of the 53 Siemens-built vehicles date to the opening of the light rail system in the mid-1980s. The fleet also includes 28 cars built by CAF in the 2000s. A Port Authority spokesman told the newspaper that the agency first has to decide whether to rehabilitate or replace the equipment, noting the 35-year-old equipment is going to reach a point where a rehab is no longer fiscally feasible. Replacing the fleet will come with a price tag of $400 million to $500 million.

8 thoughts on “Digest: Amtrak adding sleeping-car service on Northeast Corridor

  1. There should be at least two sleeping cars on each train. Besides the Washington – Boston sleeping car another sleeping car would be assigned between Washington and New York. The New York sleeper would be added or set out allowing passengers to board before train arrival at 10 pm or remain on board after set out until 7 am, respectively. This practice was done with the Boston – Washington ‘Owl’ jointly operated by the New Haven Railroad and Pennsylvania Railroad.

  2. $288 between Boston and Washington! What a deal? Until the taxpayer subsidies are factored in! Wonder how much the taxpayers will be on the hook for this service?

  3. Let’s give 66 and 67 a name. How about the “Federal Express”? I used to board it in the middle of the night in New York just because it was either the last or one of the last trains to have Pullman food service in the first-class lounge car.

  4. Hey!!!!! Nice Idea! I can’t believe it. I love it. I hope it catches on. And I could only hope that they keep the little snack station at the end of the car fully supplied – plenty of coffee and hot water for tea, creamers, sugars, some orange juice, maybe some oranges and apples, and maybe some breakfast bars for the morning and cookies for a late night snack. Great news all around though. Congratulations to the creators. Now put it in the hands of the right marketers.

    1. Charles – I know that, but if we can dream, let’s dream big. Actually, “Federal Express” became just “Federal” before WWII, long before PRR disappeared and became the Northeast Corridor. The “Federal Express” was the first train over Hell Gate Bridge when it opened in 1917, and the “Federal” famously went through the bumper and into WUS in 1953.

      1. Well, maybe Amtrak doesn’t want any bumper shots like that one! Anyway, Federal Express these days makes people think of that company that has purple and orange paint on their planes and trucks. But hey, that would make the sleeper service a “package deal”!

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