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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic: Amtrak-related Discussion

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gwolfdog

Service Attendant
Joined
Mar 27, 2020
Messages
141
Thank you and others for the input. This is a 100% pleasure trip. Selfish. But my fear is that the stars won't align in the future. Amtrak may further gut service. At some point, the classes I'm taking will shift from online to in person (giving me less flexibility with timing). And I may not have this much vacation time from my job in the future. So yeah, I may be being selfish here -- but people on this forum would understand (better than friends and colleagues) the lure of making this trip :)

I hear you regarding the multiple opinions. One minute, I read the news and I see the cases spiking and everyone being scolded to stay home (as we in NYC have done for 3+ months). Another minute, I chat with people on Instagram whom I see are riding in the coaches, and they feel everything is safe and would do it again.

I'm going to chat with a friend who is a nurse in Seattle on the front lines of everything (and he'll probably say don't do it ... but we'll see).
I wouldn't call you selfish, unless you're one of the drunks in a bar with no mask on, shown on CNN every 10 minutes. I'm down the road from you in Syracuse and luckily we share the same Governor. I wore gloves a mask and probably a Hazmat Suit if I could of found one. But I'm High risk, (except in most of the South) You sound smart enough too take care of yourself with minimal risk to others.
 

vinceg723

Train Attendant
Joined
Jun 12, 2009
Messages
23
I wouldn't call you selfish, unless you're one of the drunks in a bar with no mask on, shown on CNN every 10 minutes.
Haha no, that's not me at all. In fact, I'm coming to terms with the idea that this may not be best right now. I had two alternate plans and I'm not even sure those are wise: Plan B was to make the CZ trip with some stops for hiking/biking and fly back east from the Bay Area -- and NOT visit my parents and put them at risk, and instead maybe take a completely different week to fly and see them. Plan C is to just take three days and ride the Capitol Limited to Chicago, have a quick shower, bike ride and an Italian beef sandwich, and ride the Cardinal back. (I've done the Lake Shore Limited westbound 3x but never the other two.)

The more I look at the news, the more I think Plan B isn't wise ... still thinking about Plan C. Fortunately, it's something that wouldn't require much planning, so I can do it if numbers look better.

Unfortunately, I don't see things getting better until we have vaccine. I am low risk, 40 and in good health, but I've heard/read some rough stories about this virus from people in seemingly good health.
 

Ferroequinologist

Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 18, 2016
Messages
161
Thank you and others for the input. This is a 100% pleasure trip. Selfish. But my fear is that the stars won't align in the future. Amtrak may further gut service. At some point, the classes I'm taking will shift from online to in person (giving me less flexibility with timing). And I may not have this much vacation time from my job in the future. So yeah, I may be being selfish here -- but people on this forum would understand (better than friends and colleagues) the lure of making this trip :)

I hear you regarding the multiple opinions. One minute, I read the news and I see the cases spiking and everyone being scolded to stay home (as we in NYC have done for 3+ months). Another minute, I chat with people on Instagram whom I see are riding in the coaches, and they feel everything is safe and would do it again.

I'm going to chat with a friend who is a nurse in Seattle on the front lines of everything (and he'll probably say don't do it ... but we'll see).
I think it's safe in sleepers, especially a Bedroom that has its own toilet or a Viewliner Roomette for the same reason. Long haul coach, much less so.
 

Michigan Mom

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 28, 2012
Messages
670
Location
MI
We just cancelled our annual 4th of July excursion to the Windy City. At the time the bookings were made, infections were trending down in both MI and IL. Developments over the last few days have not been encouraging, and there are so many uncertainties regarding travel and modes of infection, that it doesn't seem like a vacation, so kind of defeats the purpose.
I know quite a few people who have to travel frequently to help care for their parents, be it by car, train, or plane. For their sake I am grateful for the precautions that are in place, and I also wouldn't fault anyone who did decide to take a pleasure trip. I just think it better for me to stay home for now.
 

daybeers

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 6, 2016
Messages
755
Location
HFD
Any booking made by September 30th of this year is now eligible for some kind of refund.
Here is the quote from the website:
Change and cancellation fees waiver extended for reservations made by September 30, 2020 and the removal of some restrictions on Multi-Ride tickets on the Northeast Corridor extended through September 30, 2020.
Before traveling on Amtrak, make sure that you have reviewed any advisories or restrictions that may be in place for travel to your destination. Learn more about state-specific travel restrictions.
 

vinceg723

Train Attendant
Joined
Jun 12, 2009
Messages
23
Jumping back on this thread with a few questions as I (re)consider a last-minute CZ trip before Amtrak guts service:

When the app says "80% full," does that really mean 80% of normal full capacity (which would seem to make distancing impossible) or does it mean 80% of the 50% cap? Can the coaches be considered safe if they're 80% full??

What is CZ scenery like west of Glenwood Springs? I don't have time to make the full trip to the west coast -- and I was looking for a good turnaround point. Would, say, Green River, make sense, arriving westbound in the leaving and leaving eastbound the next morning? (followed by an overnight in Glenwood Springs!)
 

brianpmcdonnell17

Conductor
Joined
Mar 5, 2016
Messages
1,409
Location
Chicago, Illinois
Jumping back on this thread with a few questions as I (re)consider a last-minute CZ trip before Amtrak guts service:

When the app says "80% full," does that really mean 80% of normal full capacity (which would seem to make distancing impossible) or does it mean 80% of the 50% cap? Can the coaches be considered safe if they're 80% full??

What is CZ scenery like west of Glenwood Springs? I don't have time to make the full trip to the west coast -- and I was looking for a good turnaround point. Would, say, Green River, make sense, arriving westbound in the leaving and leaving eastbound the next morning? (followed by an overnight in Glenwood Springs!)
80% is relative to the cap so really means 40% of seats are occupied. The scenery from Glenwood Springs to Green River isn't as good as Denver to Glenwood Springs, but it's still very interesting and includes Ruby Canyon near the state line.
 

FrensicPic

Conductor
Joined
Jan 15, 2012
Messages
3,040
Location
LAX
Any booking made by September 30th of this year is now eligible for some kind of refund.
"Trip flexibility: Amtrak is waiving all change and cancellation fees for reservations made by September 30, 2020. This includes reservations booked with points."
 

gwolfdog

Service Attendant
Joined
Mar 27, 2020
Messages
141
40% is Much Better than 80%, of course. But what if the 40% are College kids whose school closed because of the Virus. How about the attitude of the Attendant? It's mind boggling. When we flew back to NY in April from Florida, I checked seat charts, made calls etc. Looked 'Safe' after we boarded, then a Pilot sat right in front of us who was catching a Hop to Syracuse. I put on my Headphones and just rode the Turbulence. 🍺 😷
 

Sidney

Train Attendant
Joined
Jul 12, 2020
Messages
82
On the Texas Eagle headed to LA in a roomette. i boarded in DC yesterday on the Capitol Limited in Coach. I just couldn't justify paying $220 more for a roomette considering the food offerings and the short length. I booked Coach with the guarantee I would have the seat next to me vacant. At my age,it's tough to sleep in a coach seat by myself. Having a seatmate would have been horrendous. After this pedemic ends and Amtrak fills every Coach seat again I wish there was a way to keep that seat empty. In the past I've tried to buy a second seat but Amtrak wouldn't let me. Having two seats to yourself overnight makes all the difference in the world. I just wish the prices on roomettes on the Eastern trains would come down to earth
 

gwolfdog

Service Attendant
Joined
Mar 27, 2020
Messages
141
What is safe and at what cost, all around
? NY seems safer than Florida now but if I don't go I'll not see my new Grandchild and suffer through 5-7 months of snow and cold. The Anxiety of trying too make Safe Plans, avoid the Virus, and have some life, at times, feels deadlier than the virus. It's worst if you're older, more Vulnerable, and see the clock ticking. I'll get a Sleeper and drink cheaper beer. 🍺 😷😷
I find my private jet to be the safest but my private railcar to be almost as safe but more scenic. Then, again, my yacht might do for overseas travel. :)
Sounds like there are a lot of over fed bulls sharing that rail car! 🤣
 

FrensicPic

Conductor
Joined
Jan 15, 2012
Messages
3,040
Location
LAX
What is safe and at what cost, all around?
NY seems safer than Florida now but if I don't go I'll not see my new Grandchild and suffer through 5-7 months of snow and cold. The Anxiety of trying too make Safe Plans, avoid the Virus, and have some life, at times, feels deadlier than the virus. It's worst if you're older, more Vulnerable, and see the clock ticking. I'll get a Sleeper and drink cheaper beer. 🍺 😷😷
Ah, I know the feeling!
 

desertflyer

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jul 29, 2013
Messages
263
Location
San Francisco
So I just took the CZ EMY-SLC in a roomette. While there were lots of announcements about masks, actual safety is questionable. In the sleeper I was in, I could not believe how many people would go in their rooms and take their masks off while leaving the doors wide open. Around our room there were 3 rooms immediately adjacent to us that did this. The sleeping car attendant, who did always wear his mask, would pop into their rooms and chat with them. I think the requirement should be to keep the door closed if you don't want to wear your face covering.

The other thing is the way the diner works. I'm sorry but in an enclosed space like that, even with people at every other table, there is a major risk of COVID transmission. Combine this with groups talking loudly and laughing, that is unacceptable in my opinion. It's unsafe for even a masked crew, it's unsafe to walk through, and it's unsafe for other passengers. This would a be prime asymptomatic transmission situation.

Finally, the SLA let an unmasked man onto the train in Reno to help his friends get situated. He asked the SLA if he could before his friends boarded, and there was never any discussion about the fact he was entering the train without a face covering. The people he was helping were able bodied and he was just checking out their room, not helping with luggage. This behavior being tolerated was unacceptable in my opinion. Even masked I think it was inappropriate for him to board the train if he wasn't traveling.

We're taking the CZ back SLC-EMY on Saturday night, so wish me luck. I'm not going to leave San Francisco again until 2021 based on this experience. I've arranged a COVID test for three days after our return (luckily very easy to get in SF) and am already required by health order to quarantine for 14 days upon return anyways. Still, after seeing what COVID has done to a couple of my healthy friends, I am shocked to see such relaxed behavior on Amtrak.
 

Sauve850

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 9, 2014
Messages
551
Location
West Palm Beach, Florida
So I just took the CZ EMY-SLC in a roomette. While there were lots of announcements about masks, actual safety is questionable. In the sleeper I was in, I could not believe how many people would go in their rooms and take their masks off while leaving the doors wide open. Around our room there were 3 rooms immediately adjacent to us that did this. The sleeping car attendant, who did always wear his mask, would pop into their rooms and chat with them. I think the requirement should be to keep the door closed if you don't want to wear your face covering.

The other thing is the way the diner works. I'm sorry but in an enclosed space like that, even with people at every other table, there is a major risk of COVID transmission. Combine this with groups talking loudly and laughing, that is unacceptable in my opinion. It's unsafe for even a masked crew, it's unsafe to walk through, and it's unsafe for other passengers. This would a be prime asymptomatic transmission situation.

Finally, the SLA let an unmasked man onto the train in Reno to help his friends get situated. He asked the SLA if he could before his friends boarded, and there was never any discussion about the fact he was entering the train without a face covering. The people he was helping were able bodied and he was just checking out their room, not helping with luggage. This behavior being tolerated was unacceptable in my opinion. Even masked I think it was inappropriate for him to board the train if he wasn't traveling.

We're taking the CZ back SLC-EMY on Saturday night, so wish me luck. I'm not going to leave San Francisco again until 2021 based on this experience. I've arranged a COVID test for three days after our return (luckily very easy to get in SF) and am already required by health order to quarantine for 14 days upon return anyways. Still, after seeing what COVID has done to a couple of my healthy friends, I am shocked to see such relaxed behavior on Amtrak.
Did you discuss the open door no mask situation with your attendant? Or anyone?
 

Bob Dylan

Conductor
Joined
May 31, 2009
Messages
20,497
Location
Austin Texas
So I just took the CZ EMY-SLC in a roomette. While there were lots of announcements about masks, actual safety is questionable. In the sleeper I was in, I could not believe how many people would go in their rooms and take their masks off while leaving the doors wide open. Around our room there were 3 rooms immediately adjacent to us that did this. The sleeping car attendant, who did always wear his mask, would pop into their rooms and chat with them. I think the requirement should be to keep the door closed if you don't want to wear your face covering.

The other thing is the way the diner works. I'm sorry but in an enclosed space like that, even with people at every other table, there is a major risk of COVID transmission. Combine this with groups talking loudly and laughing, that is unacceptable in my opinion. It's unsafe for even a masked crew, it's unsafe to walk through, and it's unsafe for other passengers. This would a be prime asymptomatic transmission situation.

Finally, the SLA let an unmasked man onto the train in Reno to help his friends get situated. He asked the SLA if he could before his friends boarded, and there was never any discussion about the fact he was entering the train without a face covering. The people he was helping were able bodied and he was just checking out their room, not helping with luggage. This behavior being tolerated was unacceptable in my opinion. Even masked I think it was inappropriate for him to board the train if he wasn't traveling.

We're taking the CZ back SLC-EMY on Saturday night, so wish me luck. I'm not going to leave San Francisco again until 2021 based on this experience. I've arranged a COVID test for three days after our return (luckily very easy to get in SF) and am already required by health order to quarantine for 14 days upon return anyways. Still, after seeing what COVID has done to a couple of my healthy friends, I am shocked to see such relaxed behavior on Amtrak.
Please report these Safety Violations to Amtrak Customer Relations.

These are Serious Violations by the Crew!!!:( 😷
 
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