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Chicago Metropolitan Lounge

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Jim G.

Service Attendant
Joined
Mar 26, 2010
Messages
243
Location
Lincoln, Illinois
About a year ago I complained about the "nasty women" running the CML. Others had issues and made similar comments. On Feb. 25th, I had an opportunity to visit the lounge again. At the desk was a gentleman named John Lavery. Mr. Lavery was very friendly and accommodating. He made all announcements in a professional manner and apparently enjoyed his position. I hope the change is permanent.
 
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Fred Wis.

Train Attendant
Joined
Jan 21, 2016
Messages
72
Wouldn't hurt to tell Amtrak, you appreciated the good customer service. If all we do is complain, then they don't know that we see they are making progress.
 

the_traveler

Conductor
Joined
Nov 14, 2007
Messages
26,008
Location
Whatever siding I'm sitting on!
Isn't the "$20/ day" club the Legacy Club, not the ML? :huh: That is a totally different lounge than the ML - also located in the Great Hall!

I thought the LC had closed, but I see on Facebook that it is Open now. People are going to it, and my understanding is that the ML will reopen later this summer (2016).
 

chakk

Conductor
Joined
May 26, 2011
Messages
2,555
Some Amtrak conductors are promoting the LC via P.A. Announcements on trains arriving Chicago this week.
 

HenryK

Service Attendant
Joined
Jul 12, 2015
Messages
246
The Trainorders thread seems to be just rumors.

The last year or so I've taken half a dozen sleepers out of Chicago Union Station, and the Metropolitan Lounge staffers, both men and women, have been exemplary—friendly, polite and helpful. Perhaps the nasty old Cerberuses are gone forever.
 

MiRider

OBS Chief
Joined
Jun 13, 2011
Messages
834
Location
Michigan
I've been in the ML dozens of times and I've never experienced any 'nasty women' working there. Everyone that I've the pleasure of interacting with has been professional and helpful. They're not there to be 'nice women', they're there to do a job.
 

OlympianHiawatha

Conductor
Joined
Feb 7, 2008
Messages
4,304
Location
Norman, OK
In my experiences with the Chicago Metropolitan Lounge I have seen nothing but "firmly friendly" and reasonably efficient service from the Desk Attendants. Considering how many travelers lose much of their common sense when traveling, it sometimes takes a firm hand to keep them going the right direction (kind of along the lines of Cat Herding); I have never seen outright rudeness except in a few cases where a patron was rude to begin with.
 

Chaz

Service Attendant
Joined
Dec 20, 2009
Messages
129
Location
Florida
Henry K .. Rumors? Maybe so but Gene Poon's rumors are more trustworthy than most. He has a lot of haters there but I've always liked him. He does have some reliable informants it seems. We'll see eh?
 

Brian Battuello

Service Attendant
Joined
Jul 23, 2014
Messages
108
I've also been through the Metro Lounge about two dozen times, and enjoy having a place to hang out between trains. I've never had really bad service there, and sometimes they are downright friendly.

The last time I went through, a 40-something man seemed to be in charge, although wandering around the room rather than working the front desk. He said he was a "retired" Amtrak conductor who got tired of riding the rails and posted for the position. He told me all about the new lounge, although admitted that there were still a number of undecided issues. He said there would be showers and some sort of bar, either cash or "gasp" with a drink token or two. It is so rare to see something on Amtrak actually get better.

My greatest amusement is the announcement system. As anyone who has been there knows, an employee creates an announcement by speaking loudly into a phone, clearly audible through most of the lounge. Then he or she hits a button and the phone replays the announcement in all its glory through the loudspeakers. You'd think after a few days on the job an employee would be ready to just make announcements directly. I don't think I've ever heard one erase and re-record one.

Looking forward to the new lounge, but also may give the Legacy Club a try next time I'm in town.
 

tim49424

Conductor
Joined
Dec 20, 2010
Messages
4,289
Location
Holland, MI
I've never had a problem in the ML. I'm looking forward to the new ML opening, however. I'll likely not try the Legacy as I'd have no need for it and wouldn't be willing to spend the extra $20 for the same services I'd use.
 
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neroden

Conductor
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
8,008
Location
Ithaca, NY
It's Chicago. I wouldn't be surprised if someone involved was skimming money, and I'm sure if they did they'll get caught.

As long as we get the new lounge and it works right... I'm all about the results. Nobody bothers much if the graft gets the job done. Famously, the problem with the Tweed Courthouse was that the graft got so large that they didn't finish the courthouse. Until then, everyone was all "hey, the system works".
 
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Hal

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jun 5, 2015
Messages
441
About a year ago I complained about the "nasty women" running the CML. Others had issues and made similar comments. On Feb. 25th, I had an opportunity to visit the lounge again. At the desk was a gentleman named John Lavery. Mr. Lavery was very friendly and accommodating. He made all announcements in a professional manner and apparently enjoyed his position. I hope the change is permanent.
The lounge desk positions are filled by seniority.
 

SarahZ

Conductor
Joined
May 8, 2011
Messages
8,146
Location
KAL
In my experiences with the Chicago Metropolitan Lounge I have seen nothing but "firmly friendly" and reasonably efficient service from the Desk Attendants. Considering how many travelers lose much of their common sense when traveling, it sometimes takes a firm hand to keep them going the right direction (kind of along the lines of Cat Herding); I have never seen outright rudeness except in a few cases where a patron was rude to begin with.
Ditto.
 

Acela150

Conductor
Joined
Jan 11, 2008
Messages
8,847
Location
In a Sea of Foam
Henry K .. Rumors? Maybe so but Gene Poon's rumors are more trustworthy than most. He has a lot of haters there but I've always liked him. He does have some reliable informants it seems. We'll see eh?
Gene is often full of himself and often spreads bad info. Matter of fact Amtrak can't stand the guy cause he is always posting information that isn't for the public. I'm somewhat surprised that they have fired off a few cease and desist notices to him. I rarely listen to the guys posts. TO is also a bad site to read cause when people with the correct information post the correct information their mods delete it. I don't understand how people haven't left cause of that. When I post true and valid info that gets deleted here I almost lose my mind.
 

tim49424

Conductor
Joined
Dec 20, 2010
Messages
4,289
Location
Holland, MI
Henry K .. Rumors? Maybe so but Gene Poon's rumors are more trustworthy than most. He has a lot of haters there but I've always liked him. He does have some reliable informants it seems. We'll see eh?
Gene is often full of himself and often spreads bad info. Matter of fact Amtrak can't stand the guy cause he is always posting information that isn't for the public. I'm somewhat surprised that they have fired off a few cease and desist notices to him. I rarely listen to the guys posts. TO is also a bad site to read cause when people with the correct information post the correct information their mods delete it. I don't understand how people haven't left cause of that. When I post true and valid info that gets deleted here I almost lose my mind.
TO is a dumpster fire of a message board.....inaccurate information and in the few informative threads on the site, you can only read the first page of posts if you are not a member. Thanks but no thanks, I'll stick with AU for my Amtrak information!
 

Acela150

Conductor
Joined
Jan 11, 2008
Messages
8,847
Location
In a Sea of Foam
That is for sure. A member of TO posted that Eddystone Rail would start receiving Crude oil trains soon. Eddystone was having some work done. But the main reason that they aren't getting any more oil trains is that Delta Airlines started buying foreign Crude again. And those trains to Eddystone were for Delta's jet fuel.

Some railfans think they know everything about the industry. ThirdRail and myself agree on this. Then there are the Railroad Employees like myself that get furloughed due to a lack of work. Those Eddystone oil trains used 2 or 3 crews a night depending on situation. An empty would go On Duty at 7pm and take the trains out of Eddystone to pretty much a siding. Get back in their jitney to the end of the other siding and take a loaded train to the plant. While a crew would be On Duty at 6pm and take the loads out of Pottstown or pick up the train at Abrams and take it to the siding. If there were not a train on the siding the process would be as follows. 9pm On Duty time take the train out. A crew would take a loaded train from Pottstown or Cleona to the plant or siding. While a third crew would pick up a train at Abrams and take it to the plant or siding.
 

PVD

Conductor
AU Supporter
Joined
Jul 8, 2015
Messages
5,212
Location
NYC/Queens
The overhead announcement delay is to prevent feedback. It is amusing to see it in action, but it does work. It prevents the announcement from being picked up by an open mic, with the resultant "squeal".
 

tim49424

Conductor
Joined
Dec 20, 2010
Messages
4,289
Location
Holland, MI
The overhead announcement delay is to prevent feedback. It is amusing to see it in action, but it does work. It prevents the announcement from being picked up by an open mic, with the resultant "squeal".
I noticed that for the first time when I was in the ML last month. I too was amused by it and actually found it somewhat helpful as I was close enough to hear the original announcement and was able to head to the front to board my train and got in line before anyone else. I'll remember that when I'm there next month.
 

Lonestar648

Conductor
AU Supporter
Joined
May 17, 2015
Messages
2,789
That is the original PA system installed when the Lounge was opened many years ago.
 

OlympianHiawatha

Conductor
Joined
Feb 7, 2008
Messages
4,304
Location
Norman, OK
At least they use live announcements. Back before the DFW Airport opened and everything went in and out of Love Field, that airport had a Jukebox with prerecorded flight announcements on record discs. At each Gate was a keyboard the agent used to activate the box when it was time to make the announcement for whatever flight was up. A friend of mine was in the right place at the right time to salvage many of the records and they make for very interesting listening.
 

wwchi

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Apr 14, 2009
Messages
278
any updates on the new ML at CUS? I haven't noticed any signs saying opening soon or anything - anyone in the know here?
 

Ziv

OBS Chief
Joined
Oct 25, 2011
Messages
726
I am going to be there in one week, I hope it is open. I had no idea that it was closed.

any updates on the new ML at CUS? I haven't noticed any signs saying opening soon or anything - anyone in the know here?
 

PRR 60

Conductor
Staff member
Administator
Moderator
Joined
Feb 18, 2003
Messages
8,362
I am going to be there in one week, I hope it is open. I had no idea that it was closed.

any updates on the new ML at CUS? I haven't noticed any signs saying opening soon or anything - anyone in the know here?
There is a new Metropolitan Lounge being built at Chicago Union Station. However, if the new lounge is not ready, the old one will be open. One way or another, a lounge will be available.
 
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