Pere Marquette business class ending May 25

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TSS
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Pere Marquette business class ending May 25

Unread post by TSS »

I had tickets in June for Business Class on the Pere Marquette. This morning, I noticed that they had been arbitrarily changed to coach and the Amtrak app said “service cancelled.” I called Amtrak and the rep said the car was removed and “it doesn’t say why.” She offered to refund the BC portion of the fare.

I did a little sleuthing and it appears that BC disappears on May 25. I sent a Facebook message to MARP to see if they knew anything. Whoever answers the Facebook messages emailed MDOT, who replied that the train was switching to single level equipment for the summer and that Business Class would be back in the fall.

This doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. In the past, it was normal for the PM to switch to single level equipment in the summer. When it did, they assigned a cafe car with business class at one end.

Business class costs next to nothing on the train (given that a cafe car is already on the run), so it has to boost revenue. The coffee and newspapers cost little. It takes little time to turn half a car of seats. The biggest cost is the use of the Metropolitan Lounge, and a lot of the westbound passengers don’t even use it. So why cancel it?

Are there none of the cafe/business class cars available, resulting in the substitution of a cafe-only car?

Is it possible they are eliminating food service altogether? That could be a big cost savings in the short term, but damaging to ridership in the long term.

Is a single level train with cafe car too long to fit in the GR station?

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. I hope it is nothing, but in the current environment I am concerned about amenities and the future of the train.

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Saturnalia
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Re: Pere Marquette business class ending May 25

Unread post by Saturnalia »

My hunch is that they need the Superliners for the long distance trains, and they need the Cafes on other corridor trains. The Pere Marquette is a small fish in an overpopulated pond, in terms of current equipment.

Soon enough the new single-level equipment will arrive and that should hopefully terminate these issues.

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TSS
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Re: Pere Marquette business class ending May 25

Unread post by TSS »

Saturnalia wrote:My hunch is that they need the Superliners for the long distance trains, and they need the Cafes on other corridor trains. The Pere Marquette is a small fish in an overpopulated pond, in terms of current equipment.

Soon enough the new single-level equipment will arrive and that should hopefully terminate these issues.
I suspect you are right on all counts. I hope nothing worse is afoot.

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Re: Pere Marquette business class ending May 25

Unread post by Ypsi »

Amtrak has 2 cafe cars on 350-355 right now for axel count.. not sure if one is a full on cafe or both are business/ cafe's. Does 370/371 normally carry a cafe?
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SD80MAC
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Re: Pere Marquette business class ending May 25

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Ypsi wrote:Amtrak has 2 cafe cars on 350-355 right now for axel count.. not sure if one is a full on cafe or both are business/ cafe's. Does 370/371 normally carry a cafe?
The PM has a Superliner snack Coach with the cafe taking up the lower level. It is basically the same equipment and level of service as a single level Amfleet Cafe, just with no tables.
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Re: Pere Marquette business class ending May 25

Unread post by DaveO »

Ypsi wrote:Amtrak has 2 cafe cars on 350-355 right now for axel count.. not sure if one is a full on cafe or both are business/ cafe's. Does 370/371 normally carry a cafe?
All scheduled Michigan service is supposed to have cafe service.
There are 2 Heritage Fleet Diners running out of Chicago in axle count service. Those cars would not be open for passenger use/food service.

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Re: Pere Marquette business class ending May 25

Unread post by coasterrider »

Cafe cars used for axle count on trains 350/355 are split table cafe cars. Tables on both sides.No business class seats installed

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Re: Pere Marquette business class ending May 25

Unread post by Buster Manning »

coasterrider wrote:Cafe cars used for axle count on trains 350/355 are split table cafe cars.
Not always....

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Re: Pere Marquette business class ending May 25

Unread post by NSSD70ACe »

Buster Manning wrote:
coasterrider wrote:Cafe cars used for axle count on trains 350/355 are split table cafe cars.
Not always....
There was a period when the Viewliner II bags were used for the axle count.
Amtrak's here to stay. Deal with it.

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TSS
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Re: Pere Marquette business class ending May 25

Unread post by TSS »

Amtrak Michigan Services replied to my Facebook message and said, “The business class car will not be running this summer from Memorial Day weekend starting 5/24/19 through 9/2/19, however food service will be available.”

So It seems we’re getting a cafe car with tables at both ends. They must be out of single level cafe/business combo cars.

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