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-   -   Amtrak (Washington) vs Virgin Trains (London) (https://www.londonbanter.co.uk/london-transport/1557-amtrak-washington-vs-virgin-trains.html)

Henry Littleton April 1st 04 09:56 PM

Amtrak (Washington) vs Virgin Trains (London)
 
A few weeks ago, I did a day return trip on the flagship Amtrak 'Acela
Express' down the Northeast corridor between New York Penn station and
Washington. The journey took 2h45m at 150mph, and the train consisted
of 4 Business (Standard here) coaches, 1 First coach and 1 very
pleasant Cafe (buffet) coach. The service provided by the attendant
in the First coach was fantastic with a range of complimentary snacks
and beverages throughout.

The return fares were as follows:-

Peak Business rtn fa 160
Peak First rtn fa 250

Now, compare this with Virgin West Coast from here in Euston to
Manchester. The journey time is very similar at 2h40m but obviously
the distance covered is far less than above.

Peak return fares with Virgin a-

Std Open rtn: 182
1st Open rtn: 280

Make your own conclusions, but who is better value for money? Before
anyone says Virgin have great Value fares, so do Amtrak on the Acela!

I discussed the crazy fares in the UK with some fellow passengers on
board and it was clear who offered better value for money (oh, and
better trains). Clearly, us residents of London have to put up with
ridiculous over-priced fares compared to the residents of another
capital (Washington). It's a mockery and just showed me how better
value other rail connections to capital cities overseas were compared
to London.

Dan Gravell April 2nd 04 09:02 AM

Amtrak (Washington) vs Virgin Trains (London)
 
Henry Littleton wrote:

A few weeks ago, I did a day return trip on the flagship Amtrak 'Acela
Express' down the Northeast corridor between New York Penn station and
Washington. The journey took 2h45m at 150mph, and the train consisted
of 4 Business (Standard here) coaches, 1 First coach and 1 very
pleasant Cafe (buffet) coach. The service provided by the attendant
in the First coach was fantastic with a range of complimentary snacks
and beverages throughout.

The return fares were as follows:-

Peak Business rtn fa 160
Peak First rtn fa 250

Now, compare this with Virgin West Coast from here in Euston to
Manchester. The journey time is very similar at 2h40m but obviously
the distance covered is far less than above.

Peak return fares with Virgin a-

Std Open rtn: 182
1st Open rtn: 280

Make your own conclusions, but who is better value for money? Before
anyone says Virgin have great Value fares, so do Amtrak on the Acela!

I discussed the crazy fares in the UK with some fellow passengers on
board and it was clear who offered better value for money (oh, and
better trains). Clearly, us residents of London have to put up with
ridiculous over-priced fares compared to the residents of another
capital (Washington). It's a mockery and just showed me how better
value other rail connections to capital cities overseas were compared
to London.


It has to be said though, if you pay full whack for first class trains
in the UK you need your head examined.

Virgin no longer seem to offer the giveaway Virgin Value First deals so
much (they were fantastic) but you can still get better deals than the
above.

I know your point is a valid one though, because a lot of people pay
that (business people for instance) and they get away with it.

Dan

Proctor46 April 2nd 04 09:21 AM

Amtrak (Washington) vs Virgin Trains (London)
 

It has to be said though, if you pay full whack for first class trains
in the UK you need your head examined.


True...but most pople traving at full rate do not pay there own fair...there
companys do. p46




Annabel Smyth April 2nd 04 12:35 PM

Amtrak (Washington) vs Virgin Trains (London)
 
On Thu, 1 Apr 2004 at 13:56:56, Henry Littleton
wrote:

Make your own conclusions, but who is better value for money? Before
anyone says Virgin have great Value fares, so do Amtrak on the Acela!

A couple of years ago we travelled on that line from Philadelphia to
Boston, on the ordinary - non-Acela - train. It was a lot cheaper,
although slower, than the Acela would have been, but even still the
train was extraordinarily comfortable by UK standards, and probably far
cheaper in terms of pence per mile!
--
Annabel Smyth
http://www.amsmyth.demon.co.uk/index.html
Website updated 8 March 2004

Mark Brader April 3rd 04 03:08 PM

Amtrak (Washington) vs Virgin Trains (London)
 
Henry Littleton writes:
A few weeks ago, I did a day return trip on the flagship Amtrak 'Acela
Express' down the Northeast corridor between New York Penn station and
Washington. The journey took 2h45m at 150mph...


The top speed permitted on that trip is 135 mph, and that's only on a
short section. The Acela Express does run at 150 mph on a short section
of the New York to Boston run, but 125 mph is a more typical speed. The
higher top speeds mostly give publicity value, until and unless a good
deal more of the route is further upgraded to support them.

(Can you say "Intercity 225"?)

Now, compare this with Virgin West Coast from here in Euston to
Manchester. The journey time is very similar at 2h40m but obviously
the distance covered is far less than above.


Well, it's about 18% less.

* New York Penn station to Washington - 225 miles - 82 mph average
* Manchester Piccadilly to London Euston - 184 miles - 69 mph average

(The average speeds shown are based on the times given by Henry;
I haven't done a detailed search of both routes' timetables to check
the exact fastest or typical times, but a quick look shows that his
numbers are about right.)
--
Mark Brader, Toronto Rocket, 1829: The first 30 mph train.
TGV-A, 1989: The first 300 mph train.

My text in this article is in the public domain.

Steve April 3rd 04 03:52 PM

Amtrak (Washington) vs Virgin Trains (London)
 
On Thu, 01 Apr 2004 13:56:56 -0800, Henry Littleton wrote:

A few weeks ago, I did a day return trip on the flagship Amtrak 'Acela
Express' down the Northeast corridor between New York Penn station and
Washington. The journey took 2h45m at 150mph, and the train consisted
of 4 Business (Standard here) coaches, 1 First coach and 1 very
pleasant Cafe (buffet) coach. The service provided by the attendant
in the First coach was fantastic with a range of complimentary snacks
and beverages throughout.

The return fares were as follows:-

Peak Business rtn fa 160
Peak First rtn fa 250

Now, compare this with Virgin West Coast from here in Euston to
Manchester. The journey time is very similar at 2h40m but obviously
the distance covered is far less than above.

Peak return fares with Virgin a-

Std Open rtn: 182
1st Open rtn: 280

Make your own conclusions, but who is better value for money? Before
anyone says Virgin have great Value fares, so do Amtrak on the Acela!


Yes, but ask anyone coming from the US at the moment and everything is
poor value because the dollar is so weak at the moment. At at rate of 1.6
the prices are similar.

Joe April 3rd 04 07:54 PM

Amtrak (Washington) vs Virgin Trains (London)
 
A couple of years ago we travelled on that line from Philadelphia to
Boston, on the ordinary - non-Acela - train. It was a lot cheaper,
although slower, than the Acela would have been, but even still the
train was extraordinarily comfortable by UK standards, and probably far
cheaper in terms of pence per mile!


My Journey on the same train as you was from New York to Boston, it was
awful and one of the worst journeys in my life. I went to Penn station the
night before and queued for 25mins to buy a ticket from a foreign person who
I couldn't understand. I got there the next day and waited for my train.
Because the Acela Express wasn't running I had to queue again to get a
refund on my ticket and queue again to buy one for the normal train. I then
was waiting for the train to come up on the departure board and thought I'd
sit down, but they dont have a customer lounge (or even a bench) for
Non-Acela Express customers, I went over to the lounge though and found it
locked shut, I asked station staff why it was and it was because: "There is
No Acela Express." Which I found very bad. The train finally turned up and
you had to form a queue by a gate (what next, go though metal detectors?) to
go down an escalator. I spent ages trying to find my coach (it was a fully
reserved train) and someone on board told me that you can sit anywhere.
(what does Fully reserved actually mean. It certantly doesn't match what It
sounds like.) The train was packed and I didnt get to sit near who I was
travelling with and then we finally arrived at Boston. That was probably one
of the worst train Journeys that I'd ever made.
--
To reply direct, remove NOSPAM and replace with railwaysonline
For Railway Information, News & Photos check out the Award Winning Railways
Online at http://www.railwaysonline.co.uk
"Loving First Great Western Link since 2004"



James April 10th 04 09:24 AM

Amtrak (Washington) vs Virgin Trains (London)
 
Now, compare this with Virgin West Coast from here in Euston to
Manchester. The journey time is very similar at 2h40m but obviously
the distance covered is far less than above.


Well, it's about 18% less.

* New York Penn station to Washington - 225 miles - 82 mph average
* Manchester Piccadilly to London Euston - 184 miles - 69 mph average


Anyone have the mileage for London King's X - York? That is one quick
ride - the 1500 does it in 1 hour 45.

Richard J. April 10th 04 10:37 AM

Amtrak (Washington) vs Virgin Trains (London)
 
James wrote:
Now, compare this with Virgin West Coast from here in Euston to
Manchester. The journey time is very similar at 2h40m but
obviously the distance covered is far less than above.


Well, it's about 18% less.

* New York Penn station to Washington - 225 miles - 82 mph
average
* Manchester Piccadilly to London Euston - 184 miles - 69 mph
average


Anyone have the mileage for London King's X - York? That is one
quick ride - the 1500 does it in 1 hour 45.


188.4 miles, which gives an average speed of more than 107 mph.

--
Richard J.
(to e-mail me, swap uk and yon in address)


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