Alton, IL

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Joined
Jan 7, 2016
Messages
3
If you park at Amtrak in Alton, be aware of a scam that will rip you off for $35. Here's how it works. You arrive to pick up a passenger and pull into the parking lot entry ramp. The gate appears to be stuck in the "up/open" position. When you press the "issue ticket" button, the machine replies "unable to issue a ticket at this time." Assuming the ticket machine is broken, you proceed to park your vehicle thinking you'll be able to exit through the open entry gate. Twenty minutes later when you're ready to leave, the broken ticket machine has magically started to work again. The entry gate is now closed. Pressing the "issue ticket" button does nothing since you're not in a vehicle. Your only option at this point is to pay the $35 "lost ticket" fee. And don't waste your time trying to get a refund from the City of Alton.
 

joelkfla

OBS Chief
Joined
Oct 16, 2018
Messages
918
Location
12 miles from Walt Disney World
If you park at Amtrak in Alton, be aware of a scam that will rip you off for $35. Here's how it works. You arrive to pick up a passenger and pull into the parking lot entry ramp. The gate appears to be stuck in the "up/open" position. When you press the "issue ticket" button, the machine replies "unable to issue a ticket at this time." Assuming the ticket machine is broken, you proceed to park your vehicle thinking you'll be able to exit through the open entry gate. Twenty minutes later when you're ready to leave, the broken ticket machine has magically started to work again. The entry gate is now closed. Pressing the "issue ticket" button does nothing since you're not in a vehicle. Your only option at this point is to pay the $35 "lost ticket" fee. And don't waste your time trying to get a refund from the City of Alton.
Probably not a scam; just a malfunction.
 

Everydaymatters

Engineer
Joined
May 15, 2006
Messages
3,281
Location
Just North of Normal, Illinois
On the plus side, Alton is a fun place to visit. A few years ago my cousin and I hired a history professor to take us around Alton. He showed us places you wouldn't otherwise know about. There was an apartment building, which was, at one time, part of the underground railroad. The site of the 7th Lincoln-Douglas Debate is in Alton. Another interesting place was a huge sinkhole.
Although the town is known as "ghostly", we didn't encounter any.
 

PaTrainFan

OBS Chief
Joined
May 1, 2017
Messages
524
Location
Pittsburgh, Pa.
On the plus side, Alton is a fun place to visit. A few years ago my cousin and I hired a history professor to take us around Alton. He showed us places you wouldn't otherwise know about. There was an apartment building, which was, at one time, part of the underground railroad. The site of the 7th Lincoln-Douglas Debate is in Alton. Another interesting place was a huge sinkhole.
Although the town is known as "ghostly", we didn't encounter any.
You hired a history professor? What a grand idea! How did you land this opportunity? This would seem a very under the radar experience. I am sure Alton lacks in professional tours (LOL) but this is such a personal way to see new areas. It goes to show EVERY community has stories to tell.
 

daybeers

Conductor
Joined
Jan 6, 2016
Messages
1,118
Location
HFD/POU
If you park at Amtrak in Alton, be aware of a scam that will rip you off for $35. Here's how it works. You arrive to pick up a passenger and pull into the parking lot entry ramp. The gate appears to be stuck in the "up/open" position. When you press the "issue ticket" button, the machine replies "unable to issue a ticket at this time." Assuming the ticket machine is broken, you proceed to park your vehicle thinking you'll be able to exit through the open entry gate. Twenty minutes later when you're ready to leave, the broken ticket machine has magically started to work again. The entry gate is now closed. Pressing the "issue ticket" button does nothing since you're not in a vehicle. Your only option at this point is to pay the $35 "lost ticket" fee. And don't waste your time trying to get a refund from the City of Alton.
This is wild! You should definitely reach out and see if you can get the money back because that's clearly on the City. It looks like maybe the Public Works department would be your best bet.
 

ja5151

Train Attendant
Joined
Jan 17, 2021
Messages
15
Location
Millstadt, Illinois
Does the Alton lot still have a max fee of $35 or so? I'll be going ALN-ROC and staying a couple weeks so thought about leaving my vehicle there as long as I don't rack up a huge fee.
 
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