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BLOND37

OBS Chief
Joined
Nov 29, 2008
Messages
568
I hate to admit it but for all it's problems I guess amtrak does a good job all things considered.
 

greatcats

Conductor
Joined
Feb 27, 2006
Messages
2,385
Location
Flagstaff, Arizona
I hate to admit it but for all it's problems I guess amtrak does a good job all things considered.
I certainly agree this is the case a good deal of the time. I was very pleased overall with my cross country trip from Arizona to the East Coast several months ago. But there is huge room for improvement of service, but given bureaucratic inefficiency and lack of funding, which I gather may be looking better, we should be glad that we have the service we do.
 

PetalumaLoco

Conductor
Joined
Jun 27, 2008
Messages
1,980
Location
Petaluma Ca
I did a x-country CZ-CL-NEC and return NEC-LSL-CZ last month, and I really don't have anything to complain about. I was never bored, I slept ok (roomettes), I like the food, the people were great, the OBS was good (damn good in some cases), the arrivals weren't horribly late, the weather was good and most importantly my wife enjoyed herself too.

We'll do it again next year, if it's anywhere near like this trip I'll be one happy Amtrak camper. :) :p :D
 

the_traveler

Conductor
Joined
Nov 14, 2007
Messages
26,008
Location
Whatever siding I'm sitting on!
As bad as my trip from LA in October was (especially the #50 debacle :eek: ), I feel that Amtrak does a good job overall! In fact, it is not enough to stop me from taking Amtrak! I'll be on the train again Tuesday night! :p
 

Long Train Runnin'

Conductor
Joined
Jun 13, 2008
Messages
3,242
Location
Central Jersey
As bad as my trip from LA in October was (especially the #50 debacle :eek: ), I feel that Amtrak does a good job overall! In fact, it is not enough to stop me from taking Amtrak! I'll be on the train again Tuesday night! :p
Well, one thought on your trip from H3ll as you put it in your TR is on any future trips if you have a bad experince you can think gee, that was bad it was nothing compared to that on time I got there a 2:37 AM instead of 2:37 PM. lol Still bad that it happened.
 

had8ley

Conductor
Joined
Feb 27, 2006
Messages
4,090
Location
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
If you can overlook some of the tardiness and lack of professional service in some cases I feel we have a system in place that will carry us in comfort and feed us properly. I think my major suggestion would be that Amtrak management be more open minded with their decisions and listen to those, many of whom are on this list, that ride the rails for mega-miles. It's not a perfect system but I'd rather wait two hours for a late train than sit on a plane for two hours waiting to take off after arriving two hours earlier than that to be frisked down and x-rayed.
 

Konrad

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 10, 2008
Messages
258
Location
Australia
If you can overlook some of the tardiness and lack of professional service in some cases I feel we have a system in place that will carry us in comfort and feed us properly. I think my major suggestion would be that Amtrak management be more open minded with their decisions and listen to those, many of whom are on this list, that ride the rails for mega-miles. It's not a perfect system but I'd rather wait two hours for a late train than sit on a plane for two hours waiting to take off after arriving two hours earlier than that to be frisked down and x-rayed.
I travel Amtrak by preference - your transcontinental airlines are the pits (I get more service and comfort on our 1 hour Dash8 flights to Sydney). It is the best way to take in the scenery and extremely comfortable (I take bedrooms).

However, the food leaves a LOT to be desired (particularly on a three day trip) and OTP is abysmal.

Here's a weird suggestion - use airline catering to stock the dining cars! Qantas supplies the Indian-Pacific and the food is a highlight of the trip (it ain't what they serve at my end of the aircraft - but even economy class meals are better than Amtrak catering).
 

the Other Mike

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jul 14, 2008
Messages
355
Location
New Orleans / Los Guanos
If you can overlook some of the tardiness and lack of professional service in some cases I feel we have a system in place that will carry us in comfort and feed us properly. I think my major suggestion would be that Amtrak management be more open minded with their decisions and listen to those, many of whom are on this list, that ride the rails for mega-miles. It's not a perfect system but I'd rather wait two hours for a late train than sit on a plane for two hours waiting to take off after arriving two hours earlier than that to be frisked down and x-rayed.
I travel Amtrak by preference - your transcontinental airlines are the pits (I get more service and comfort on our 1 hour Dash8 flights to Sydney). It is the best way to take in the scenery and extremely comfortable (I take bedrooms).

However, the food leaves a LOT to be desired (particularly on a three day trip) and OTP is abysmal.

Here's a weird suggestion - use airline catering to stock the dining cars! Qantas supplies the Indian-Pacific and the food is a highlight of the trip (it ain't what they serve at my end of the aircraft - but even economy class meals are better than Amtrak catering).
Ummmm, "IF" I fly, it's Southwest. I'm NOT eating peanuts all the way cross country B)
 

none

Conductor
Joined
Sep 4, 2008
Messages
1,047
Sleepers WAY too expensive for a working person - and mediocre food - but a very comfortable ride and wonderful scenery on the CZ

D.
 

jis

Conductor
AU Lifetime Supporter
Gathering Team Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2003
Messages
25,988
Location
Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
So far I have ridden almost 18,000 miles on Amtrak in 2008 involving some 34 segments, consisting of a reasonable mix of LD and regional. I have been on time or ahead of schedule about 65% and been delayed more than 2 hours only once. Not too shabby.

The LDs involved were Silver Star and Meteor, Capitol Ltd., Southwest Chief, Sunset Limited, Crescent.

Medium distance included Carolinian, Pennsylvanian, Adirondack, San Joaquin, Maple Leaf, Vermonter.

Short distance included Northeast Regional, Acela Express, Empire Service, Cascades, Capitol Corridor, Surfliner.

So you can see that a pretty eclectic mix of services across the country is covered.

In my experience OTP has improved dramatically through 2008.
 

RailFanLNK

Conductor
Joined
Mar 24, 2006
Messages
1,928
Location
Lincoln, Nebraska (LNK)
I just finished a trip on the SWC in October for the Get Together in LA. Couldn't have had a better trip. I didn't have a trip from hell this summer, but I really had to deal with some snafu's due to weather and the trip was booked through AGR and also during a holiday. (4th of July) So I had some real curveballs but all of them were met with an understanding Amtrak employee(s) that took care of us. Yes, I have had some bad experiences on Amtrak, but the good out weigh the bad by 10-1. I too, always harken back to the time I was 10 hours late on the CZ into LNK and remember the jerks in the dining car on the trip from GSC, won't forget them at all but I have also encountered some excellent employees and experiences that outweigh the few bad times I have had. I'm thinking of going to the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville FL in about 3 weeks, last night I looked at taking trains to Columbia SC to meet up with a friend, but due to the shortage of equipment, alot of stuff is either sold out or priced real high. Amtrak was the FIRST mode of transportation I looked in to.
 

Montanan

OBS Chief
Joined
Jun 12, 2007
Messages
544
Location
Bozeman, Montana
I hate to admit it but for all it's problems I guess amtrak does a good job all things considered.
Agreed. I would do a whole lot of things differently if I were President of Amtrak AND had a blank check from Congress ... but given the near-impossible constraints they're forced to work under, I think most of the time they do a pretty amazing job.
 

wayman

Conductor
Joined
Sep 5, 2007
Messages
2,312
Location
Northampton MA
So far I have ridden almost 18,000 miles on Amtrak in 2008 involving some 34 segments, consisting of a reasonable mix of LD and regional. I have been on time or ahead of schedule about 65% and been delayed more than 2 hours only once. Not too shabby.
I've got somewhere between 20k and 25k of miles from about 1990 to present (but probably half of that in the last three years), and the two times of all that riding I can remember being delayed more than about an hour on a single-seat trip of 500-2000 miles were

(1) when the Crescent hit a flatbed truck with a bulldozer on it at a grade crossing, which led to the lead engine being towed off by a wrecking train (but we were told the cab crew were thrown about but uninjured as was the truck driver! the truck cab was well beyond the tracks; the bulldozer on the flatbed was hit square-on)--that was at least a six-hour delay between the engine being removed, Norfolk Southern providing new power, the train being inspected, and paramedics talking to every passenger (no injuries beyond sore necks)

and

(2) when the Mississippi flooded this summer and the Empire Builder had to take the lengthy detour--almost flooded itself--between Minneapolis/St Paul and Chicago.

I can't fault Amtrak or the freight railroads for either of those. Amtrak could have handled each much better than they did--no food was brought on-board the Crescent in all that time, and of course we were without HEP or food service from just north of Lynchburg to New York once underway again; and no advance preparations were made for missed connections in Chicago for the several dozen passengers connecting to the Capitol or Cardinal despite ample time for Amtrak to have made arrangements before the train eventually reached Chicago. But the delays themselves were entirely forgivable in my book.

And other than those, I think the Zephyr (WB to Grand Junction), Chief (EB to Chicago), Builder (both ways end-to-end), Crescent (both ways end-to-end), Cardinal (EB to Philadelphia), Capitol (both ways end-to-end), Lake Shore (both ways end-to-end), and Three Rivers (RIP, both ways end-to-end) have all run less than an hour late to my destination (the final terminus except for the Zephyr-to-Grand Junction and the eastbounds-to-Philadelphia instead of New York). Good luck, perhaps, and I hope I haven't just jinxed myself! :eek:
 

TVRM610

Conductor
Joined
Apr 30, 2007
Messages
1,664
Location
Chattanooga TN
Over the last two years I have made a decent amount of trips on the Crescent, the Lake Shore Limited, the Capitol, and NEC area service. I have found service, food, and OTP to be acceptable on all of these routes very consistently. Naturally a few less then stellar attendants/conductors, but overall I see huge improvements. Also the newer refurbished cars (from superliner sleepers to single level coaches, CCC cars etc.) are just plain Lovely!
 
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