Craziest Drama on Amtrak you've seen?

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me_little_me

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As someone who has lived where freezing to death is a real thing, I don't find this amusing at all.
There are lots of ways people handle issues about death. As someone who has personally encountered as a volunteer firefighter deaths of infants do adults from fires, accidents, shootings, drugs, etc. and as a veteran who has lived long enough to have encountered so many deaths, as well as my own near death medical incident, I find that humor takes the edge off it.

You may not find the post amusing, and I sympathize with your feelings but I feel differently and will act accordingly. I know that I'll be VERY lucky to be around in ten years even w/o Covid so humor about my own demise is also something I will continue and hope that even in my final minutes, before kissing my wife goodbye, I will be able to crack a joke about it.
 

Bob Dylan

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There are lots of ways people handle issues about death. As someone who has personally encountered as a volunteer firefighter deaths of infants do adults from fires, accidents, shootings, drugs, etc. and as a veteran who has lived long enough to have encountered so many deaths, as well as my own near death medical incident, I find that humor takes the edge off it.

You may not find the post amusing, and I sympathize with your feelings but I feel differently and will act accordingly. I know that I'll be VERY lucky to be around in ten years even w/o Covid so humor about my own demise is also something I will continue and hope that even in my final minutes, before kissing my wife goodbye, I will be able to crack a joke about it.
"..There are many here among us who think Life is but a Joke.." ( the Real Bob Dylan )
 

Eric in East County

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Two out-of-the ordinary things occurred in 2016 while we were traveling west on the No. 3 Southwest Chief:

- East of Trinidad, the engineer informed the conductor that someone in a dark red car was driving on the road paralleling the tracks and shooting video of the train. That car kept pace with us for over 30 minutes until the tracks veered off to the north and away from the road. The driver was undoubtedly a railfan since he signaled a “goodbye” with his right turn signal. As we were making our way up to the Raton Tunnel, we saw him next to his red car, shooting video of our train from a hillside.

- On that same trip, our departure from Trinidad was delayed by an incident that we were able to follow on the scanner. It had been discovered that an unaccompanied 13-year-old minor had been put onboard the train by her mother as an adult and without the proper paperwork. We had to wait for local law enforcement to arrive to remove the girl from the train and place her into protective custody. While this delay was going on, No. 3 was blocking a major street, with a time limit on how long it could do so. We were approaching the end of that limit, and there was some discussion on the radio as to whether or not we would have to pull forward. Shortly afterwards, law enforcement arrived, the girl was removed from the train, and we were soon on our way again.

Eric & Pat
 
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jis

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Perhaps, but not one deserving to freeze to death after being deliberately left at a siding.
Has anyone ever seen anyone get thrown off an Amtrak train which did not involve handling them over to local LEO and/or EMS? Presumably the LEOs and/or EMSs have means to keep themselves and their charges from freezing, one would imagine?
 
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lordsigma

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On my travels home from LAX on the SWC in June we had a passenger collapse on board. They called EMS to the Riverside station stop but sadly the passenger passed away before the train reached the platform. I didn’t witness it first hand as I was eating dinner in the dining car and this occurred in coach. But from what I heard from a passenger in the lounge that did witness it the passenger was young and was acting oddly before this occurred walking around and asking random people if they wanted berries. Drug overdose is what was suspected.
 

AmtrakBlue

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Has anyone ever seen anyone get thrown off an Amtrak train which did not involve handling them over to local LEO and/or EMS? Presumably the LEOs and/or EMSs have means to keep themselves and their charges from freezing, one would imagine?
The comment was about the guy who said he was in one of the coach cars being disconnected in Ogden.
I suspect the conductor made arrangements to get him off after the train left.
 

pennyk

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As many here know, on the afternoon of July 12, 2018, I witnessed AlanB have a heart attack (and pass away) on the southbound Crescent. Alan's mother, Jis, Shanghai, Saxman and OTOL's Kevin were also on the train (in the dining car at the time). We were meeting others in New Orleans for the start of the summer OTOL fest. After Alan texted me that he thought he was having a heart attack, I ran to his room, and alerted my SCA, who alerted the conductor, who alerted the LSA (a former paramedic). The train was stopped at a crossing in "the middle of nowhere" Alabama (York, I think). EMTs were called but arrived too late. The EMTs removed Alan on a stretcher through the baggage car. At that time I was on the Amtrak Customer Advisory Committee and was able to contact Amtrak management. Amtrak arranged for Alan's luggage to be shipped from New Orleans to Alan's brother's house, and to issue a refund of points to Alan's mother's AGR account for the later unused portions of the trip. Every Amtrak employee that I encountered on the phone or in person was kind, understanding and helpful. I do not ever want to experience such "drama" in the future on Amtrak or anywhere else. I figure I will never forget that day.
 

Cal

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On my travels home from LAX on the SWC in June we had a passenger collapse on board. They called EMS to the Riverside station stop but sadly the passenger passed away before the train reached the platform. I didn’t witness it first hand as I was eating dinner in the dining car and this occurred in coach. But from what I heard from a passenger in the lounge that did witness it the passenger was young and was acting oddly before this occurred walking around and asking random people if they wanted berries. Drug overdose is what was suspected.
I remember seeing that your train was stopped and saw a medical emergency had happened from Amtrak Alerts. I was nervous that the medical emergency involved you since you didn't post until the following morning.
 

jis

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The comment was about the guy who said he was in one of the coach cars being disconnected in Ogden.
I suspect the conductor made arrangements to get him off after the train left.
Yes. The whole thing stretches credulity to a point of no return I suppose. :D
 

CTANut

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Just before boarding the CZ at Emeryville I noticed someone who appeared drunk or mentally incapacitated... he was running on and off the tracks until an agent told him to stand on the platform. Then after boarding and the train started moving, he appeared to be running up and down the sleeping cars banging on all the doors.

He remained on the train all the way to Reno... and again and again he'd bang on the doors. Finally saw him ushered off the train by two conductors... brought him into the station there where apparently the police were waiting.

Point is that there seem to be a lot of folks who are either tipsy or on some kind of drugs... on the train.

Whoa's be! What's the world coming to???
He is now banging on these doors.
 

Attachments

MARC Rider

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Has anyone ever seen anyone get thrown off an Amtrak train which did not involve handling them over to local LEO and/or EMS? Presumably the LEOs and/or EMSs have means to keep themselves and their charges from freezing, one would imagine?
Well, I got tossed off a Northeast Regional for having an unreserved ticket for a train that, unknown to me, had become reserved only. That was when they were transitioning the Northeast Regionals from unreserved to all-reserved. There was no law enforcement involved, but they did kick me off at a station (New Carrolton) and the weather wasn't freezing. I had to end up taking a MARC train home, but I did get to keep my unreserved ticket and was able to use it a few days later.
 

George K

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The craziest thing I ever saw was not on Amtrak, but in the Chicago Metropolitan Lounge.

The Mrs. and I arrived at 6:30 for a departure on CONO. We got settled in, and there was an older woman seated about 20 feet in front of and to the right of us. She spent about 15 minutes rummaging through her purse, and then she decided she would take off her shirt and bra. She got up, and walked around the lounge, unseen by the attendants, arms crossed in front of her chest.

I told the attendant at the desk, and he laughed and said, "That's funny, man."

"I kid you not,"I told him, and he was beyond surprised when he saw her.

The police came to talk to her, and they were still talking to her when we boarded. I never found out what happened.


IMG_0638.jpeg
 

PaTrainFan

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The craziest thing I ever saw was not on Amtrak, but in the Chicago Metropolitan Lounge.

The Mrs. and I arrived at 6:30 for a departure on CONO. We got settled in, and there was an older woman seated about 20 feet in front of and to the right of us. She spent about 15 minutes rummaging through her purse, and then she decided she would take off her shirt and bra. She got up, and walked around the lounge, unseen by the attendants, arms crossed in front of her chest.

I told the attendant at the desk, and he laughed and said, "That's funny, man."

"I kid you not,"I told him, and he was beyond surprised when he saw her.

The police came to talk to her, and they were still talking to her when we boarded. I never found out what happened.


View attachment 23824
Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner!
 

Rambling Robert

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Here are two stories - the first is about my parent first LD trip and my own first LD.

The train from NYC to Bakersfield Calif was my parents first trip. My Dad had returned from piloting 70 mission China/Burma/India; his first date with my Mom was Feb 1945 just when he returned. The went to The Cafe Rouge across from Penn Station. They Married five weeks later and after a brief honeymoon we’re headed out by train headed to Bakersfield Calif.

My dad was a first lieutenant in the USAAF and his next assignment was flight instructor for pilots of the T-6 Texan aircraft. Well one night the conductor woke up my dad because there was another officer getting to hanky panky, obviously drunk. The conductor informed my dad he had to accompany the officer off the train. The officer was a Major - two ranks higher than my dad but my dad was the next highest ranking officer on the entire train.

So they finally arrived at the next station - which was closed at that hour - prolly mid April 1945. The Major’s offense was reaching through the curtain where women were sleeping, patting them and saying goodnight. But by the time he was led off - he realized what he did.

As my dad walked to re-board the train and recalled “he had never seen a more sad image of a man”
 

Rambling Robert

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Okay, the last post was 1945, now this is 2017. The good news first:
THE FOOD !!! My trip on the Texas Eagle was my first LD. Tucson’s French Restaurant at night and French Bakery in the morning for the train. It’s a wonderful station with pics and a steam locomotive. ALSO THE LSL dining car was also open. Bothj trains had communal dining for Coach if available.

In El Paso we had an hour layover and I decided to stay seated. I notice a couple Doggos outside and thought it was cool to have them on board.

Then commotion - two agents stormed the car and approached each passenger asking about a kiddy back pack in the overhead. Some described the guy who put it there. A guy with a ZZtop beard showed one doggo the bag and the doggo sat down. Whooops he then cut open the pack and pulled out.

Fortunately the arrest went smooth and I saw no weapons out

1627976472528.jpeg
 
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Rambling Robert

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Wait there’s MORE !

LATER on the Texas Eagle trip of 2017 we arrived in San Antonio at 2AM for a four hour layover. I decided find a place for a snack or breakfast. I was startled to see the other half of the car filled with EMTs in such way you couldn’t see. It was very hot and humid outside and two other passengers and I went in different direction and would by three drinks. Nothing.

oh and the stations vending machine didn’t work. The guy behind the counter sad too call the 800# to get it fixed. Brilliant for 2017 stupidest statements. A tall women said there are no cokes... no nothin

Now the entre train had to de-board. It was surreal seeing people slowly getting word about the death on board. It seemed no one was feeling inconvenienced. It was communal respect. They carried the body through the train and out the end or something. The coroner’s vehicle was a large mint green station wagon and slowly drove past us and there was a woman in the back next to the body. Evidently she volunteered, merely as unrelated passenger to help him who otherwise would have been helpless.

We departed on time at 6AM.
 

AmtrakBlue

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oh and the stations vending machine didn’t work. The guy behind the counter sad too call the 800# to get it fixed. Brilliant for 2017 stupidest statements.
Why do you say that was a stupid statement. Did you expect the guy behind the counter to fix it? Vending machines are usually owned by some small vending business and only that business can fix/fill the machines.
 

Rambling Robert

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It was about 3AM no one was going to fix the machines right then. The 800# is usually used by the patrons for money lost while vending. People were complaining not of loosing money but that none of the vending machines worked - THAT’s the station’s responsibility to call for repair.

it was about 5AM when the Amtrak employee asked if I’d like a soda (I had already asked her twice). She brought me an ice cold sprite - I gave her a couple bucks.

When the decision was made to have everyone off the train a protocol should have offered passengers bottled water or something. ALL passengers had NO access to ANYTHING to drink in my case from 2AM until about five in the morning. Again it was very hot and humid.
 

Devil's Advocate

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Why do you say that was a stupid statement. Did you expect the guy behind the counter to fix it? Vending machines are usually owned by some small vending business and only that business can fix/fill the machines.
In my view telling customers to essentially "call someone who cares" is poor service. Calling a third party vendor as a passenger won't actually solve anything before it's time to depart anyway. In fact that call is unlikely to reach anyone when the station is only open in the middle of the night. I tried calling when the orange juice I purchased smelled putrid but never reached anyone. I know this station pretty well and even if you walk in as the first customer of the day the restroom may have a disgusting present from the previous day in a stall that never gets cleaned. Or maybe it gets cleaned when the clerks tell customers where the supplies are and wait for them to do it. I don't expect the staff behind the counter to fix the vending machine but a simple statement of commiseration and posting a warning note until the staff can get the vending company out seems perfectly reasonable to me.
 

PVD

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I believe this is one of those cases where Amtrak is a tenant in the station, they don't own it, and it is very likely they have nothing to do with the machines. This probably happens pretty often, vending machines out in public are often troublesome. Probably worth having a little sign letting people know they (Amtrak) is not responsible for anything to do with them.
 

Bob Dylan

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I believe this is one of those cases where Amtrak is a tenant in the station, they don't own it, and it is very likely they have nothing to do with the machines. This probably happens pretty often, vending machines out in public are often troublesome. Probably worth having a little sign letting people know they (Amtrak) is not responsible for anything to do with them.
This is common where services are contracted out.

The old " It's not my job!"

Unfortunately it comes into play whenever situations like this arise.
 

Devil's Advocate

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I believe this is one of those cases where Amtrak is a tenant in the station, they don't own it, and it is very likely they have nothing to do with the machines. This probably happens pretty often, vending machines out in public are often troublesome. Probably worth having a little sign letting people know they (Amtrak) is not responsible for anything to do with them.
I believe this is one of those cases where a little bit of customer service training could go a long way but we choose to focus on bureaucracy instead. Nobody expects Amtrak staff to get a toolbox and start repairing the vending machine but maybe they can express a bit of no-cost compassion and offer to make a call when they're done with their other tasks. If they cannot handle basic expectations like this then maybe they should avoid front line service work.

What are doggos precisely?
So far as I am aware it's nothing more than an alternative cutesy term similar to doggie.
 
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