California Zephyr issues in Salt Lake City

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flitcraft

Conductor
Joined
Jan 10, 2018
Messages
1,567
Perhaps a federal Passenger's Bill Of Rights should be imposed rather than leaving things up to whomever happens to be on duty at the time.

jb
I absolutely agree. And it should apply equally to airlines, that currently have next to no legal obligations to deal with delays and cancellations. Something like the EU regulations on passenger right would be a good place to start, in my opinion.
 
They did not "ditch you in the middle of the night". They left you off at an enclosed station in a large city when it was almost daylight.
Did you bother to try to call Amtrak once you were at the station - where there most likely was cell service?

Sounds like train travel is not for you.
Um.. actually that is exactly what they did. Passengers were essentially just dumped onto the ground in the middle of the night and told to fend for themselves.

I wonder if you realize what you sound like trying to defend such actions.
 
Um.. actually that is exactly what they did. Passengers were essentially just dumped onto the ground in the middle of the night and told to fend for themselves.

I wonder if you realize what you sound like trying to defend such actions.
1). 4 am is not “in the middle of the night”
2). Ditching would be where there was no station. They were detrained at a station.

Doesn’t #6 normally, if on time, detrain at SLC at 3 am? No different in my opinion though passengers who had planned to go further east were also detrained if they chose not to return to their originating station.
 
1). 4 am is not “in the middle of the night”
2). Ditching would be where there was no station. They were detrained at a station.

Doesn’t #6 normally, if on time, detrain at SLC at 3 am? No different in my opinion though passengers who had planned to go further east were also detrained if they chose not to return to their originating station.
4 am is in the middle of the night for those passengers who were not planning to detrain at Salt Lake City.

Passengers who chose to detrain unexpectedly at Salt Lake City instead of choosing the bizarre option of staying on the train to go back to Emeryville (if I understand the scenario correctly) were ditched in Salt Lake City.
 
4 am is in the middle of the night for those passengers who were not planning to detrain at Salt Lake City.

Passengers who chose to detrain unexpectedly at Salt Lake City instead of choosing the bizarre option of staying on the train to go back to Emeryville (if I understand the scenario correctly) were ditched in Salt Lake City.
I agree. In a civilized world they would provide alternative transportation to the original destination via air if necessary, specially when an airport that is as large and as well connected as SLC is right around the corner. They used to once upon a time. There should be a Rail Passenger's Bill or Rights that should force Amtrak to do so again. Amtrak needs to have standing agreements with several airlines to allow such IRROPs accommodation.
 
1). 4 am is not “in the middle of the night”
It is where I live. 4AM is nothing but dark streets, a few convenience stores, and McDonald's/Whataburger. No coffee shops, diners, or Walmarts are open. If an airline wanted to depart that early it would run afoul of noise abatement rules because it's considered to be the middle of the night here.

2). Ditching would be where there was no station. They were detrained at a station.
If I stopped my car and kicked everyone out they would absolutely say I ditched them, even if a soon-to-be-closed building happened to be nearby.

There should be a Rail Passenger's Bill or Rights that should force Amtrak to do so again. Amtrak needs to have standing agreements with several airlines to allow such IRROPs accommodation.
Agreed! 💯
 
It is where I live. 4AM is nothing but dark streets, a few convenience stores, and McDonald's/Whataburger. No coffee shops, diners, or Walmarts are open. If an airline wanted to depart that early it would run afoul of noise abatement rules because it's considered to be the middle of the night here.
Just like where you are at night, the Salt Lake City Amtrak Station with its Amshack has never been exactly an attractive place in the middle of the night. It is even worse by the Taxi/Uber/Lyft pickup place on S 600 W by the Park and Ride. Been there and done that. and that was minus the homeless stationed there these days that I hear about. It might have improved a little since I was there but my impression from talking to several people since then, it does not seem to have done so.

I wonder why Amtrak never moved into the terminal building that was built when the station moved there, and remained in what was supposed to be a temporary Shack instead.
 
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Cost money to move.
Rent cost may increase.

Most buildings built for Amtrak, the owners are expected a rent payment. This has been a source of conflict at several locations. Some times Amtrak wins, sometimes the building go vacant.
 
Thanks everyone for the support. i am not sure why some riders would think it is acceptable to be ditched in the middle of the night at a station that is surrounded by homeless people.

Just because someone uses the word “detrained” doesn’t take away the fact that we were ditched.

And the statement about the typical time the train gets to SLC at 3 am…….I don’t care what time it typically gets to SLC!! I bought a ticket to Chicago….that’s where I want to get off……not SLC……..

If there are riders whose ticket ends in SLC, then they are well aware that the train gets there in the middle of the night.

For those riders whose tickets ends in Chicago, we did not expect to be ditched in SLC….no matter what time of the day or night.

Please, don’t defend bad behavior and non existent customer service!
 
The one time I have used SLC...I remember the arrival was fine, but the departure, we were waiting there in the middle of the night--the exact hour escapes me at this point but I remember it being "quite late." This street person who was on the, ummm, "with psychiatric problems" end of the homeless population--he had no pants on--enters the station and starts yelling at the desk and kicking the sliding door where you pass your baggage to the staff (if I remember right--there was definitely kicking involved.) It took an uncomfortably long period of time for the cops to show up. The other comments in this thread make me think that station needs a full on security detail during the arrivals and departures.

Regarding the specific episode that let to the creation of this thread: it should absolutely be on Amtrak to do something with passengers who are being stranded in SLC. Find accommodations, get a bus there to get people to a hotel...and yet I know these small stations have so little staff to begin with it is hard to get something like that organized. Hard to know what the solution is in a country that refuses to take train travel seriously.
 
Totally different route, but when I used to ride the Empire Builder to/from Fargo, ND in the 1970s when I was in college, I routinely boarded/detrained there in the middle of the night (1 AM). Kinda creepy being outdoors anywhere at that time, but no homeless hanging out at the Fargo station then (maybe it was too cold at night that far north in the fall and winter?), and I could easily either walk back to campus (in Moorhead, MN across the river) or take a cab back to the dorm (the EB was always expected at that time, so no problems finding a cab).
 
Did this get split from another topic? It starts with a reply to a post I cannot find.
It might have been split from the more general California Zephyr thread, when a disgruntled passenger complained about the eastbound CZ terminating at Salt Lake City at 4AM, with no provision made by Amtrak to provide alternate transportation for those passengers who had been ticketed for destinations further east along the route.
 
Or another way of stating it is:

This is a split from a prior Zephyr thread regarding the lack of customer service that Amtrak provided to approximately 100 people when the 6 train on 8/18/23 had to terminate in SLC.

This situation led to several upset passengers and one of those passengers was kind enough to share their story in hopes that other passengers could learn from it and also with the far reaching hope that Amtrak would start to provide customer service in situations like this.

Thank You.
 
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I'm a little confused. Is Amtrak still using the Intermodal Hub, at 300 South-600 West, for the Zephyr? I thought that they would be moving to the old Rio Grande depot.

https://is.gd/3eMLg7
There is no railway line anywhere near the Rio Grande Depot, the building with the red roof in the Google Map pointed to below, anymore. So no, Amtrak will not ever be using that building again. It will continue to use the so called Salt Lake City Central station. The question is which terminal building it will use eventually. Right now it uses its own, what was originally meant to be, temporary facility.

https://www.google.com/maps/@40.762392,-111.9067584,428m/data=!3m1!1e3?hl=en&entry=ttu
 
I've never gotten off there but I remember looking out the window. It looks pretty well lit to me. Too bad they don't have a Lounge like they have in places like CHI and NYC.

Of course if a person were forced off the train in this kind of environment it might not seem so friendly.

I think they load up the CZ with foodstuffs in EMY. I wonder if they were able to replenish their supplies in SLC?
 
1). 4 am is not “in the middle of the night”
2). Ditching would be where there was no station. They were detrained at a station.

Doesn’t #6 normally, if on time, detrain at SLC at 3 am? No different in my opinion though passengers who had planned to go further east were also detrained if they chose not to return to their originating station.
Why do you feel the need to hold water for Amtrak? Most people can rationalize stuff happening but they can’t rationalize poor customer service. It’s easy to be flippant on this board but most people don’t have the in-depth knowledge or experience with Amtrak that is found here.
 
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No need to speculate what it looks like at night -- I posted a link to a night 360 panoramic a few posts above.
Right. It is a well lit Amshack, is the best way to describe it.

But the Taxi/Uber pickup place where they send you off to, across the street, was not exactly lit when I went there last. Maybe it is better now.
 
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From a customer standpoint, the first Amtrak station in SLC, the UP station, was the best. The Rio Grande + Western Pacific station was second best. The worst is what they have now, following the St. Louis precedent of "temporary" facilities. When we conducted the 2008 ColoRail Pioneer station expedition, Salt Lake City was already temporary.

On a later occasion when Greyhound's PDX<>DEN two-night/one-day run was annulled in SLC due to weather delays, I switched to the CZ. While several of us tried to sleep in the Amtrak waiting room, a guy came in off the street, switched on the tv, channel surfed, found nothing, and walked out, with the tv still on.

On another occasion in the street near the "temporary" station, I had a nice conversation with a fellow who was homeless in SLC as a break from being homeless in DEN. We knew a lot of the same places in my home city of Denver, for different reasons.
 
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At the end of the day, it all comes down to what folk can reasonably expect to happen in any given situation. All of us are different, so one persons mild inconvenience, is the next persons total disaster.

If Amtrak underlined clearly: "If the train gets stuck and you have to detrain, you are on your own, except we can refund unused portion", then there can be no "false expectation" of better service.

They probably already state that somewhere in their "conditions", but maybe, given the almost mandatory delays, make that more prominent?

I would be interested to know what response or compensation, if any, the original poster received?
 
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