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Anyone been on LD trains recently?

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Sidney

Train Attendant
Joined
Jul 12, 2020
Messages
81
I have taken three circle trips using every LD train since May. No problems. A sleeper is the safest way to travel. You have to wear a mask in the sightseer car,at your coach seat and whenever moving about. Only disappointment is the flexible dining. Other than those differences,traveling on Amtrak is still a great way to travel
 

AmtrakBlue

Conductor
Gathering Team Member
Joined
May 6, 2011
Messages
11,841
Location
Delaware
Just did WIL-DEN on the Cardinal & CZ. Will be doing the reverse starting tonight. Sleepers all the way.
On the Cardinal we ate in our rooms since the “diner” is also the cafe car.
In the CZ, I had dinner in the diner - no community seating and tables used were zigzagged so no one was across from you or in front or back of you.
 

tricia

Conductor
Joined
Aug 23, 2011
Messages
1,125
Location
Spring Creek, NC
Same table arrangement and no community seating in the diner on the Sunset Ltd earlier this week. The LSA gave us the option of getting something from the cafe car instead of the flex menu in the diner.

We spent nearly all of our time on the train in our roomette. Outside the roomette, masks were required. I was glad to have brought along a spray bottle of alcohol to sanitize handles etc in the rest room.
 

Sidney

Train Attendant
Joined
Jul 12, 2020
Messages
81
The only time we were given a choice was on the Empire Builder in June. I have been on many different trains since then and nobody mentioned you could have the choice. I didn't ask and nobody offered.
 

vinceg723

Train Attendant
Joined
Jun 12, 2009
Messages
23
I’m just wrapping up a week on the Cardinal, Zephyr, Coast Starlight and now Surfliner (one stop to go and I’m off). I was in coach all the way.

I have felt mostly safe. Masks seem to be adhered to 80-90 pct of the time. People are well spaced. Except for maybe lining up to get out of the car, I never felt in close proximity to anyone

The Starlight even had sanitizer everywhere for people to use. I am dreading it but will likely get a covid test tomorrow to be sure.
 

tricia

Conductor
Joined
Aug 23, 2011
Messages
1,125
Location
Spring Creek, NC
How was the room temp? Do you have an idea about what temperature? Also how busy were the sleepers?
On the SL this past week, it was goshawful hot in our roomette--but we were on the south-facing side of the train, going through some very hot desert.

Since we stayed mostly in our roomette, I'm unsure how full the train was. My impression was no more than half the sleeper rooms occupied. The roomette directly across from us was vacant the entire way from Lousiana to Tucson.
 

Ferroequinologist

Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 18, 2016
Messages
161
On the SL this past week, it was goshawful hot in our roomette--but we were on the south-facing side of the train, going through some very hot desert.

Since we stayed mostly in our roomette, I'm unsure how full the train was. My impression was no more than half the sleeper rooms occupied. The roomette directly across from us was vacant the entire way from Lousiana to Tucson.
What was the AC problem? Just turned up too high? They couldn't adjust it?
 

tricia

Conductor
Joined
Aug 23, 2011
Messages
1,125
Location
Spring Creek, NC
What was the AC problem? Just turned up too high? They couldn't adjust it?
Perhaps just too much sun on my side of the train.

I didn't even try to take it up with our SCA, who was actively hostile from the get-go. First words of greeting when we were boarding: "You have too much stuff." Not accompanied by any help with getting our baggage on board. Most of what we brought we left on the rack downstairs for the entire trip--station where we boarded did not have checked baggage service.
 

crescent-zephyr

Conductor
Joined
Oct 21, 2015
Messages
2,796
I didn't even try to take it up with our SCA, who was actively hostile from the get-go. First words of greeting when we were boarding: "You have too much stuff."
My favorite greeting ever was on the empire builder when boarding at St. Paul. The SCA looked at my ticket and said “huh, well now I have to go get that room ready. Just wait here.”
 

flitcraft

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 10, 2018
Messages
570
If I were running Amtrak, one change that wouldn't cost a penny: Require staff to greet passengers as they board with "Welcome aboard." How different crescent-zephyr's boarding would have felt if it started with "Welcome aboard. I'm afraid your room isn't ready, so if you could just wait here for a bit while I get it ready for you." Cost: zero, except for about three seconds of time. Benefit to Amtrak: Passenger feels welcomed and perhaps more likely to travel Amtrak again. Secondary benefit to SCA: Probability of tip increased.
 

Dakota 400

Conductor
Joined
Mar 5, 2014
Messages
2,171
If I were running Amtrak, one change that wouldn't cost a penny: Require staff to greet passengers as they board with "Welcome aboard." How different crescent-zephyr's boarding would have felt if it started with "Welcome aboard. I'm afraid your room isn't ready, so if you could just wait here for a bit while I get it ready for you." Cost: zero, except for about three seconds of time. Benefit to Amtrak: Passenger feels welcomed and perhaps more likely to travel Amtrak again. Secondary benefit to SCA: Probability of tip increased.
Some PR training for new hires and a mandatory refresher course every 6-12 months might help.
 

Charles785

Train Attendant
Joined
Nov 24, 2017
Messages
87
But those sleeping car attendents are not children. They're supposed to be adult professionals. Why the heck don't they have the basic presence of mind to extend themselves, as flitcrat said, just welcome customers aboard.

Do they really need management to remind they that they are there to serve the customer? And even if they don't care about the customer has it occurred to them that their tips might be higher if their customers leave feeling grateful for the service and friendliness provided?

If they're not willing to do that, why on earth do they work in the customer service business? Is it possible they feel their labor union will protect them even if they're surly to customers?
 

Barb Stout

OBS Chief
Joined
Mar 13, 2019
Messages
523
But those sleeping car attendents are not children. They're supposed to be adult professionals. Why the heck don't they have the basic presence of mind to extend themselves, as flitcrat said, just welcome customers aboard.

Do they really need management to remind they that they are there to serve the customer? And even if they don't care about the customer has it occurred to them that their tips might be higher if their customers leave feeling grateful for the service and friendliness provided?

If they're not willing to do that, why on earth do they work in the customer service business? Is it possible they feel their labor union will protect them even if they're surly to customers?
Some people were raised in blunt, frank, unmannerly, and/or rough households and did not develop manners or the common sense that comes along with manners. Such people do need to be trained to be polite and friendly, crazy as it sounds, as they did not grow up with those habits. I know a lot of people from that background. Also, some of my very polite, kind Asian friends thought that saying "Please" and "thank you" were a waste of breath because the sentiment is often not really behind the phrase.
 

anumberone

Conductor
AU Supporter
Joined
Aug 8, 2015
Messages
1,841
Location
Los Angeles
Some people were raised in blunt, frank, unmannerly, and/or rough households and did not develop manners or the common sense that comes along with manners. Such people do need to be trained to be polite and friendly, crazy as it sounds, as they did not grow up with those habits. I know a lot of people from that background. Also, some of my very polite, kind Asian friends thought that saying "Please" and "thank you" were a waste of breath because the sentiment is often not really behind the phrase.
Please, It's not where you come from that creates good or bad habits.
 

jiml

Conductor
Joined
Feb 27, 2019
Messages
1,720
Location
Toronto area
If I were running Amtrak, one change that wouldn't cost a penny: Require staff to greet passengers as they board with "Welcome aboard." How different crescent-zephyr's boarding would have felt if it started with "Welcome aboard. I'm afraid your room isn't ready, so if you could just wait here for a bit while I get it ready for you." Cost: zero, except for about three seconds of time. Benefit to Amtrak: Passenger feels welcomed and perhaps more likely to travel Amtrak again. Secondary benefit to SCA: Probability of tip increased.
Actually our last trip on the LSL started just like that. Very pleasant SCA greeted us by name at the boarding door in Buffalo-Depew, apologized that our room had been occupied until then and would need to be made up. She suggested we could leave our bags in the room across the hall, followed by "I think they're still serving breakfast in the dining car." (2016 - real dining car, real bacon and eggs) When we returned our bags were neatly placed on the floor in front of the seats, the room was spotless and even smelled nice. Although an all-daytime trip, the cost of a roomette was only slightly more than coach and included 2 meals, which were actually worth having.
 

Dakota 400

Conductor
Joined
Mar 5, 2014
Messages
2,171
I didn't say it was, but I did suggest that family has an influence and I'm sticking with that.
I have worked with enough different families during my career so that I can support your statement. A dysfunctional family often produces dysfunctional children who lack the social graces that many of us learned. Those dysfunctional children sometimes are able to overcome that problem as they mature. Sometimes not.
 

MilwaukeeRoadLover

Train Attendant
Joined
Sep 21, 2020
Messages
17
Location
Milwaukee
If I were running Amtrak, one change that wouldn't cost a penny: Require staff to greet passengers as they board with "Welcome aboard." How different crescent-zephyr's boarding would have felt if it started with "Welcome aboard. I'm afraid your room isn't ready, so if you could just wait here for a bit while I get it ready for you." Cost: zero, except for about three seconds of time. Benefit to Amtrak: Passenger feels welcomed and perhaps more likely to travel Amtrak again. Secondary benefit to SCA: Probability of tip increased.
We had something like this on the last segment of an eastbound return of the EB last week: from the CONDUCTOR. she greeted people at every stop, explained where things were on train, explained in detail when we ran into issues, and had the dining car and cafe car attendants indicate dining options. She was a far cry from the previous conductor who basically told began the journey with threats and warnings.
 

dlagrua

Conductor
Joined
Nov 24, 2009
Messages
3,141
Location
Hillsborough, NJ
Our last trip was Cardinal PHL to CHI - EB CHI to WFH 8/9-8/11 then return same routes on 9/17-9/19. PHL lounge did have snacks and drinks. The CHI lounge was maybe 25% full and there were no snacks or drinks, not even water. We went for lunch during our layover at the Greek Island in Greektown and enjoyed indoor seating. Trains were about half full. No cafe car seating on the Card. On the EB they seated you in the dining car. On the EB it seemed that 50% of the passengers both ways were Amish or Hutterite who were unconcerned about Covid 19. We moved about the train freely just as usual. . The contemporary dining may be tolerable for one meal but for six it was sickening. All in all it was nice going to a part of the country where we enjoyed indoor dining and limited infringements on our movements. Glacier National Park was outstanding.
 
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