Instead of using a Capitol train. The scene below is the Davis, CA train station this morning, March 2, 2007. The train is the eastbound California Zephyr, #6, which arrived only a few minutes late enroute eventually to Chicago. A PHOTO report by Russ Jackson, RailPAC.
This group of children and parents wanted to take the train to Sacramento. When they called they found out that the Capitols don’t take reservations, so they were referred to Amtrak. Amtrak does not sell group rates on the Capitols either, only on the Surfliner and San Joaquin corridor trains, and so booked them on the Zephyr. Think about that. The group boarded the last car on the train, a Coach, (pictured below, departing Davis 15 minutes late) and rode 14 miles on a long distance train. That tied up at least 50 seats that could not be sold to travelers going longer distances from the Bay Area. Kind of a waste, isn’t it? The kids no doubt enjoyed the ride, but there was no time for them to visit the Snack bar, so Amtrak lost that revenue, too. Had the group boarded a Capitol, they would have been spread out over all the available seats and not able to sit as a group.
A comment from a reader of this item: “I read with great interest your story on railpac.org about the group that rode the CZ one stop because they couldn’t secure a group rate on the Capitols. Capitol Corridor maintains an active group ticketing program — see http://www.capitolcorridor.org/fares_and_tickets/group_travel.php complete with its own dedicated e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org .”