In my daily railroad news digest this morning, I read that Amtrak is changing the schedule of the Sunset Limited, shortening travel times. The direct effect on me is that I'm coming back from Chicon 7 on the Texas Eagle, which travels Chicago-San Antonio and then transfers a sleeping car to the Sunset Limited for onward conveyance to Los Angeles. The news story says that the layover at San Antonio for westbound passengers (previously about seven hours overnight, which isn't so bad since we'll just be asleep) will be reduced by three hours.
Lisa tells me that other people who have taken this trip suggest that the thing to do when the Eagle arrives at San Antonio and our sleeping car is spotted at the layover platform (so we know where it will be) is to get off and walk to a nearby Denny's for a late dinner. That will give the Amtrak station crew time to get the layover cars hooked up to groundside power, which is critical because the ventilation system won't work without it and you can't open the windows. You don't want to be inside a sleeping car with no air conditioning in San Antonio in the summer, even at night.