Capitol Limited Gains Another Sleeper

After getting an earful of complaints from passengers, Amtrak has backtracked on its plans to run the Capitol Limited with an abbreviated consist by adding another sleeper and restoring the Sightseer Lounge.

Trains magazine reported that the second full sleeper was added after passengers who had booked sleeper accommodations were notified that they had been downgraded to a lower service level.

Some passengers who had reserved a bedroom were reassigned to a roomette and some who had paid for a roomette were downgraded to coach class.

Normally, the Capitol Limited operates with three sleepers, one of which is used for onboard crew accommodations, but Amtrak reduced the consists last month in an effort to create a fourth equipment set to protect against late arrivals in Chicago from trains delays by congestion on the Norfolk Southern Chicago Line.

Until the fourth equipment set was created, the Capitol made a one-day equipment turn in Chicago. Excessively late arrivals resulted in late departures as workers scrambled to service and restock the equipment before No. 30’s 6:40 p.m. scheduled departure from Union Station.

The abbreviated consists, which are expected to continue through late November, had been five cars and one locomotive.

The consist included a sleeper for the crew (in which some rooms were sold to the public), one full sleeper, a diner-lounge and two coaches.

But some Capitol Limited trips are now operating with seven cars pulled by one locomotive.

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