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    AGR Dept. "Temporarily Closed"?

    Called in at 10 Eastern and got this message (and a divert to the normal line). (1) What's going on? (2) Is there some reason Amtrak can't at least preserve priority on the lines for high-tier members?
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    Adirondack Customs Thought

    So, since thumbs are up hindquarters with respect to the Gare Central preclearance facility, I have to wonder if it wouldn't be feasible to just have the CBP folks get driven to Montreal, board the SB train, and run 99% of the customs checks en route, with the border stop only acting as a...
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    Suboptimal Seat Allocations in Acela First

    So, I've been in Acela First since Boston. We're at NYP, en route to WAS. The First car was shown as fully-occupied at some point (which I suspect will yet be the case)...but multiple seats have been empty all the way since BOS. I don't have a seating chart for what seats are occupied where...
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    Amtrak Still Advertising the Railfone on my Regional

    I'm on 125 this morning, and the display in BC is advertising that the Railfone is at that end of the car. Just wondering, but how many years out of date is that message?
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    AGR Number Hours Cut Back?

    I called in tonight to tinker with a reservation and the message on calling was "As a reminder, Amtrak Guest Rewards agents are available from 6AM to 10PM Eastern seven days a week". Uh, no, guys...that's not a reminder, that's a change in the last few weeks that I didn't see an announcement...
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    Blackout Dates Mostly Removed for Upgrade Cards?

    I was checking the dates for upgrade card usability for dates over the next few weeks to make sure I wouldn't run afoul of something over MLK Day weekend (I didn't think I would, but stranger things have happened). As far as I can tell, the only blackout dates still applicable in 2020 are over...
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    A Fun Boxing Day Surprise (Data!)

    So, a rather "interesting" side-effect of assigned seating in Acela First is that if you drop into an unexpected seat, the crew might not be ready for you. I plopped myself at one of the quad tables on the train today, and the crew had apparently planned to use it as a "working desk". I moved...
  8. A not working...while on Amtrak WiFi...

    So, I'm on the train up to DC (en route to Boston...Christmas travel junket FTW). One thing I noticed is that while I can open up on my phone, when I try to open it up on the on-board wifi (and really only kicks back an error message. Has anyone else run into...
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    Thanksgiving Brunch a la Amtrak

    I'm on my way to New York (to head to LA for most of the next week) and this was one of the lunch offerings today: -Turkey meatballs with gravy -Stuffing -Green beans and cranberry sauce And a bourbon and coke to go with. It isn't the old holiday dinners in the diner from a few years back, but...
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    Amtrak Goes Meta

    So, I was poking at Auto Train fares and I saw a link to check out the "enhanced sleeper experience". I clicked on it and got this: I think this sums up Amtrak this fall.
  11. A not working in SRWare Iron

    What it says on the tin...the site has refused to load for inexplicable reasons for the last few days. I initially blamed it on clumsy en route WiFi, but it's now malfunctioning while I'm at the WAS Club Acela, so...what's up? (Incidentally, the website is also a clumsy mess on my phone...
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    Empire Service Timetables Missing from

    What it says on the tin. There's a schedule change for November 10, but I can't get either the old timetables or the new ones to load.
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    Peachtree Station Signage Observation

    So, has Amtrak really not updated half of the signs at Peachtree Station since they took over from Southern? The staircase signs (and the restroom sign) are still in green and yellow...and based on the faded colors on the former I don't think it is a historically aware retro-design.
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    Amtrak Corridor Expansion Laundry List

    "Random" is sort of the only way to describe the list of proposals I ran into at an event a month or two back in Richmond. Some of this is down to state coordination issues, but...well, I'll just transcribe from my notes from a presentation by Joe McHugh: Ethan Allen to Burlington: FY21...
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    What happened to 95 today (1/7/19)?

    What it says on the tin.  For some reason, 95 was down two hours at departure from BOS. (I have already switched to 125 dot-dot. I really did not feel like sitting around Alexandria for two extra hours so I could grab a train that was probably going to get stabbed by CSX anyway.)
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    Regional BC Drink Issues

    These experiences aren't directly related, but I've now had two bad experiences in the Regional cafe in the space of a week, both focused on the Business Class drinks. Experience number one: Last week, I was taking the train home from DC in Business and I go to get a drink in the cafe.  Well...
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    Acela Assigned Seating Experience

    I'm booked in Acela First WAS-BAL (end-of-year Status Runs are always fun) at 1300 (so, in about 29 minutes).  Presently, I'm showing the following seats available: -3A -5C (mine) -13D -13F -16F 1A/2A (handicapped) also show. My first thought is "this can't be right".  I know today is a...
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    The Tren Maya Might Actually Happen?

    Link below.  Basically, AMLO appears to be following through on the Yucatan passenger rail project.  It probably doesn't hurt that most of the states involved went for AMLO by very wide margins (he seems to have run up around 90% of valid votes cast in Tabasco, for example)...
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    Eurostar Overnight Services

    I was poking at timetables for another trip and I stumbled across a little tidbit: Apparently, Eurostar is running a once-a-week overnight service from London (Euston) to the French Alps this winter.  I can't say as the idea thrills me (9-10 hours in a daytime seat as far as I can tell), but...
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    Viewliner Sleeper NB on 98

    Attached is one of the photos I was able to take at the Orlando station today. Something appropriate about this... The same train that was hauling the last Heritage Diner North back in May is falling the first Viewliner sleepers (62001 and 62002) north today. This should double as a HUA for any...