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    Empire Builder accident (9/25/21)

    Great idea. Even better if the handles are recessed, so we’re not flung into them. As a first responder, I eye other passengers’ overhead luggage warily if it sticks out past the metal retaining bars and I don’t sit near the loose pile of luggage near handicapped seats, because I’ve seen what a...
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    Empire Builder accident (9/25/21)

    What an awful tragedy. It’s really nice to see several members mention that if you’re ever involved in something like this, you hope to be helpful. I’ve learned a lot from the rest of you over the years, so here’s my two cents on specific ways to lessen the chances of fatalities in any type of...
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    Empire Builder accident (9/25/21)

    Emergency crews can view floor plans from diagrams and photos and are used to dealing with a jumbled mess in many types of disasters and working their way through to every nook and cranny; layouts aren’t a huge consideration. Once they’re in a compartment they’ll either be right beside a...
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    First time on Acela NYP-BOS round trip

    Thanks for the info on what to expect right now. I’m surprised that passengers aren’t discouraged from wandering the train or switching seats, as that increases the risk of exposure to others, but it must have been a nice treat to see inside the power engine! You have a great way with words; I...
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    Amtrak Credit Card

    I’ve been burned by that marketing trick before with a different company. “Instant review” isn’t the same as “instant decision.” As “me” mentioned though, often a call will give you the reason for a delay and avoid a rejection letter that’s based on a frozen credit score, typo, or other...
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    Self-defense (on train)?

    A tactical pen. Very discreet and very effective. I also carry a centerpunch in case I need to help someone escape through a window that is submerged or in case the latch is obstructed with wreckage, and centerpunches can double as weapons. That probably seems extreme, but as a retired first...
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    Self-defense (on train)?

    While we’re on the subject of self-defense: know how to open the emertency windows on Amtrak, and know where they are in relation to your seat, on both sides of the car. If the train is stopped and you need to evacuate due to any onboard threat (which, I agree with others, is extremely...
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    Self-defense (on train)?

    I have COPD and asthma. Please keep in mind thst if your illegal pepper spray, mace or bear spray were to unintentionally or intentionally be discharged on the train or near me in the station, I will probably die. Literally. No inhaler will be able to counteract it. Rules are there for a reason...
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    New dining options (flex dining) effective October 1, 2019

    Two of the common sources of poor customer experiences mentioned in this thread are the frequency of the food items being sold out early, and the ability of an Amtrak employee with a "difficult" personality to put a damper on a trip. Both of these often result in vouchers being given to...
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    #7(28) hits sprayer tractor

    The article that Siegmund posted mentions a fire resulting from the crash, and describes passengers who couldn't exit through their windows because of fire, and one who stomped out flames on the floor before she exited. It also mentions that all 64 passengers had minor injuries. I hadn't...
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    #7(28) hits sprayer tractor

    That's understandable. How sad for everyone involved.
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    Filling the MARC-SEPTA gap

    Interesting to know. Last fall, I looked into ways to take a train from somewhere in the Westminster or Manchester, MD areas to a Caps game in D.C., and the only option was taking lightrail to Balt Penn and then Amtrak or MARC to the game, and then reversing the process afterwards. It added a...
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    CSX Derailment at Harpers Ferry/Maryland Heights

    I thought anyone who’s walked or bicycled across the freight bridge at Harpers Ferry would be interested in this derailment from last night. No one was injured, but seven cars derailed and two empty cars ended up in the Potomac. The walkway, which I’ve always been a little wary of as it’s only...
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    Palmetto NB, Less Crowded on Friday or Saturday?

    Is there a noticeable difference in how crowded the northbound Palmetto is on Friday or Saturday during the summer? Are seats in Business Class assigned or can we choose our own? I'll be travelling from Charleston to D.C.. My travel dates are flexible, so I want to choose the day when my friend...