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Old Posted Aug 26, 2019, 12:08 AM
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electricron electricron is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Granbury, Texas
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Originally Posted by Aylmer View Post
For a weekend trip, there are the following options:

- CAD 100 in gas return
- CAD 100 for parking for a weekend
- CAD 180 for two nights at a hostel dorm (and double for a hotel room)
- 6h of daylight hours per way
TOTAL: CAD 400 - 500

- CAD 300 for a return (via YYZ) or CAD 370 (direct)
- CAD 180 for two nights at a hostel dorm (and double for a hotel room)
- 4h-6h30 daylight hours per way (2h to get to the gate, 4h via YYZ/1h30 direct, 0h30 to get from the airport)
TOTAL: CAD 500 - 750

Overnight train
- CAD 400 round
- CAD 90 for one night at a hostel, double for a room
- No daylight hour travel
TOTAL: CAD 500 - 600

To be honest, looking at it this way, I might actually be tempted to use the overnight train for a weekend trip. It's financially competitive, and I'd definitely pay a little more to have a full weekend in the city and to not have to have it bookended by exhausting daytime travel. Just showing up, falling asleep, and waking up at my destination sounds great.

That said, it becomes harder to justify when you're travelling with two people;
Driving: $600 - 900
Flying : $1000 - 1500
Train : $100 - 1200
I might still do it then just to avoid the drive and to have a more pleasant weekend without those rough quarter-day drives and midnight arrivals. But once you get to three people or a family, it's just hard to justify it. This is a problem for transit options more generally.

If they could get down to Thello prices ($100-200 for a basic bunk in a shared room), then it'd be a no-brainer. But as it is, it still makes sense for a single traveller and for driving-averse couples. And it would always be a better option than flying.

One more point; as LRT's friend mentioned, the current train arrival time means that you can't catch connections to Ottawa or Quebec City. An 8pm departure would mean that I could leave Ottawa after work and make the connection to NYC, and catch a morning train on my way back. It's the same on the NYC end, where you could connect to Boston, Philadelphia or DC. It increases the usefulness of the service, making significantly more arrival/departure options possible.
I really appreciate monetary costs for the various options available to you, but where did you get or how did you arrive at those numbers? I hope it is more than just your opinion!

Again, as I seem to have to repost every one of my responses lately, who is going to pay the subsidy for your sleeper train? Canada will not, Amtrak will not, and New York will not.

Looking at the data I posted in an earlier thread, just check out three of them again:
New York 97,350 passengers
Montreal 73,872 passengers
and Albany 4,802 passengers
Assuming the worse case, that every Albany passenger started or finished their trip in Montreal, and all the remaining Montreal passengers are associated with New York, that still leaves the remaining 28,280 New York passengers going to the remaining cities on the route.
Some math 73872 - 4802 = 69070
97,350 - 69,070 = 28,280
Remember, that is the worse possible case. For each and every passenger not going to either of these two locations from Montreal, doubles those going to the other cities along the route.
Whether it is just 28,280 or more than that, they are passengers that will not get on this train at midnight, 1, 2, 3, or 4 am at the same numbers as they will at noon, 1, 2, 3, or 4 pm.

The shortest train length in miles and hours Amtrak uses sleeper cars on from New York City is the Lake Sore Limited, at 959 miles and 19-20 hours.
The longest train length for an Amtrak train from New York City without a sleeper car is the Palmetto at 829 miles and 15-16 hours
The Adirondack train length between New York City and Montreal in 381 miles and 10-11 hours.
FYI, all the data I used on this thread can be found on Amtrak’s web site.
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