Topic Author
Posts: 484
Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2001 7:19 am

Upcoming Amtrak Trip

Tue Feb 22, 2005 1:48 pm

Hello everyone,
I will be traveling on Amtraks Lakeshore Limited in a few days and I was wondering if I should pay $16 to upgrade from coach to business class. The trip is 5 hours long. Is it worth it? Can anyone tell me about the seats and service in these two classes? Thanks, and looking forward to your responses.

Posts: 941
Joined: Thu May 20, 2004 1:25 pm

RE: Upcoming Amtrak Trip

Tue Feb 22, 2005 2:00 pm


I'll bet if you went to you would find people with a wealth of info. Also if you go to and schedule a trip, it will come up with a list of room options. Click on each one and it will describe and has a couple of pics of each. On the coast starlight, I think to go fropm a seat to a room was an extra $172.
Some people are like Slinkies. They bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.
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Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 3:51 pm

RE: Upcoming Amtrak Trip

Tue Feb 22, 2005 2:03 pm

Pay the $16 now. Go business class. Seats are better. More room. Quiet car if you want it.

As for the Coast Starlight - getting a room is an absolute must! Meals are them complimentary as is access to the Pacific Parlour Car where there is always something to eat or drink . . . Wine Tasting in the afternoon, brunch during the day. Plus club seating in the Parlour Car. It's the best damn train Amtrak has. . . .
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 2:55 pm

RE: Upcoming Amtrak Trip

Tue Feb 22, 2005 3:07 pm

Myself I have not ridden the Lake Shore Limited as all of my Amtrak trips were southern route transcon or east coast. My understanding from what I've heard from others who have ridden the LSL is that compared to most other Amtrak services, its's at par or slightly below. Of course, "business" class has a few more amenties than coach. True first class is via private car service. I may take a long haul trip that way with some of my railroader friends from back east someday. I can't think of a better way to travel than riding on your own private car, complete with chef, steward/porter and usually the best view on the train. Amtrak's lounges have decent stock and good employees but the appearance and furnishings are laughable at best. Only reason I patronized the Crescent's lounge on my last trips was because the clowns in the dining car had no clue as to what they were doing. I've worked passenger trains as conductor for ten years and never saw worse service or attitudes. That experiance certainly wasn't worth the fare.
"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."
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Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2004 2:14 pm

RE: Upcoming Amtrak Trip

Tue Feb 22, 2005 11:11 pm

20 years ago, my parents, grandmother, and I paid $269 each for a 6000 mile Amtrak vacation of the central and western USA. It was a four week trip: MSP-SPK-PDX-OAK-LAX-LAS-SLC-DEN-CHI-MSP . It was Superliner service and we reserved two "roomettes" (sleepers) for the whole way. We stopped off for tourist layovers in Glacier Natl Park, Portland, LA, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, and Chicago.

The Coast Starlight was the best leg of the trip. Actually, anytime we got to ride along a shoreline, whether it was ocean, river, or lake, was great. The views were magnificent. I still remember the details vividly.

Upgrading to business would be worth it. I'm not sure if Amtrak's Viewliner service has a lounge car. If they do, then you can spend a lot of your time there without upgrading. The seating in a lounge car is better than first class. I know there's a BOB cafe in the Superliner lounge car. There's probably a BOB area somewhere on a Viewliner. There's also a dining car for sit-down menu service.

The nice thing about a train is that you can go on walkabout.

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