Heartland Flyer disrupted

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OlympianHiawatha

Engineer
Joined
Feb 7, 2008
Messages
4,340
Location
Norman, OK
This has been Hell Week and then some for the Heartland Flyer culminating in a Service Dispruption for at least a couple days following a major Freight derailment near Valley View Texas today, a result of historic flooding. Wednesday of this week I took a Points run to FTW and flooding rain delayed us about an hour southbound and Severe Storms in the OKC area shut us down northbound in Purcell for about 90 minutes until Dispatch reopened the line.

We did not have many folks on the return and no one groused about the delay, realizing we were safer (and drier) in Purcell rather than wandering right into Harm's Way. Although efforts to get Carol in the Lounge to break out some comp Booze and Sandwiches did not work :)
 

Triley

Real Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Dec 14, 2008
Messages
1,562
Location
Somewhere between VAC and EUG
No offense, but people joke about comping booze all the time when trains are delayed, and it's funny the first few times. Nowadays (after a whole six months on the road) I'm honest and I say it'd have to come out of my own pocket.

About the weather, scary stuff out there. That's why I'm quite happy out here in NH with snow and the occasional tropical storm or hurricane. One of my uncles lives down in Texas, and just posted pictures of a funnel cloud forming, which finally touched down about 4 miles northeast of town. Glad everyone was safe on the Heartland Flyer though, and that everyone realized it was better to be late than to have taken a chance!
 

TiBike

OBS Chief
Joined
Apr 18, 2015
Messages
709
Location
Alta California
That's a rough way to run things. I was on a train from Wellington to Auckland in NZ that was delayed -- because the engineer was a wanker according to the conductor :) -- and they declared $2 Tui beers. Result was a train full of happy Kiwis hoping it would run even later, and they still showed a positive margin on the beers.
 

fillyjonk

OBS Chief
Joined
Mar 10, 2011
Messages
513
I remember years and years ago - back when I was under 21 - I was on a plane stranded on the tarmac for an hour or two.

They gave complimentary Mai Tais to the "adults" to ease their pain, but wouldn't even offer me a soda. So that kind of colored my perception of the "free/cheap booze to make passengers happier" thing. I guess they felt like "kids" weren't stressed out or inconvenienced by being stranded.

(Frankly, if I'm stranded somewhere, I want access to water, a bathroom, and some kind of nutritious food, in that order, depending on how long the strandage is.)
 

OlympianHiawatha

Engineer
Joined
Feb 7, 2008
Messages
4,340
Location
Norman, OK
(Frankly, if I'm stranded somewhere, I want access to water, a bathroom, and some kind of nutritious food, in that order, depending on how long the strandage is.)
At least as light as our load was we didn't have to worry about the Toilets filling up, plus the Dispatcher had us back up to the Purcell Station so folks could get off, smoke or wander about the platform. And after dark in Purcell OK, there is absolutely NOTHING to do in that part of town.
 

Bob Dylan

50+ Year Amtrak Rider
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May 31, 2009
Messages
23,658
Location
Austin Texas
(Frankly, if I'm stranded somewhere, I want access to water, a bathroom, and some kind of nutritious food, in that order, depending on how long the strandage is.)
And after dark in Purcell OK, there is absolutely NOTHING to do in that part of town.
Shouldn't Purcell be deleted and the statement apply to the whole State of Oklahoma?

Hook 'em Horns! LOL
 

PaulM

Engineer
Joined
Jun 27, 2008
Messages
2,308
Location
Quincy, IL
No offense, but people joke about comping booze all the time when trains are delayed, and it's funny the first few times. Nowadays (after a whole six months on the road) I'm honest and I say it'd have to come out of my own pocket.
No offense, but isn't this begging the question. The question being why isn't someone authorized to do right by the customer when things go wrong?

A few years ago I boarded the east bound EB in MSP in coach looking forward to breakfast in the diner, or at least a cup of coffee from the cafe. The SSL had been left behind in Portland, the diner had a malfunction that prevented coach passengers from patronizing it, and it took about 3 hours to decide that they would not be able to tow a broken own engine back to Chicago. To add to the misery (not mine), the air conditioner was not working in the BR section of the Portland sleeper in July. As God is my witness, a true story.

At some point, KFC dinners were distributed to coach passengers. I doubt the cost of the chicken came out of the coach attendants' own pocket.
 

Triley

Real Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Dec 14, 2008
Messages
1,562
Location
Somewhere between VAC and EUG
No offense, but people joke about comping booze all the time when trains are delayed, and it's funny the first few times. Nowadays (after a whole six months on the road) I'm honest and I say it'd have to come out of my own pocket.
No offense, but isn't this begging the question. The question being why isn't someone authorized to do right by the customer when things go wrong?

A few years ago I boarded the east bound EB in MSP in coach looking forward to breakfast in the diner, or at least a cup of coffee from the cafe. The SSL had been left behind in Portland, the diner had a malfunction that prevented coach passengers from patronizing it, and it took about 3 hours to decide that they would not be able to tow a broken own engine back to Chicago. To add to the misery (not mine), the air conditioner was not working in the BR section of the Portland sleeper in July. As God is my witness, a true story.

At some point, KFC dinners were distributed to coach passengers. I doubt the cost of the chicken came out of the coach attendants' own pocket.
Amtrak will under no circumstances give away free alcohol, unless it is meant to be included in the ticket, so Acela First Class. And you'd be correct that the KFC order wouldn't come out out the LSA's pocket, though if he/she forgot to document the expense on their paperwork and include the receipt, then technically they would own Amtrak that money.

The only thing I can "give away" without having to document it is non-revenue sized water, juice, soda, hot cups, or the plastic cups as well of course. Anything above that we need authorization from a manager (conductor doesn't really have say), and if it's an issue I'm taking care of for one passenger, then I really should document each item separately on a form for comping items, and get the passenger's signature.

Why? I don't know. I am just following policy. Way back theft use to be prevalent on the railroad, and now there is a huge paperwork trail to cut down on employee theft. Other than that, I really don't know what else to say.
 

OlympianHiawatha

Engineer
Joined
Feb 7, 2008
Messages
4,340
Location
Norman, OK
It looks like today's northbound Flyer (822) remains trapped in FTW as a result of extreme weather along the route. A rough week indeed. And I heard yet another Freight derailed today somewhere in the DFW area as a result of weather!
 

Anderson

Engineer
Joined
Nov 16, 2010
Messages
9,725
Location
Virginia
No offense, but people joke about comping booze all the time when trains are delayed, and it's funny the first few times. Nowadays (after a whole six months on the road) I'm honest and I say it'd have to come out of my own pocket.
No offense, but isn't this begging the question. The question being why isn't someone authorized to do right by the customer when things go wrong?

A few years ago I boarded the east bound EB in MSP in coach looking forward to breakfast in the diner, or at least a cup of coffee from the cafe. The SSL had been left behind in Portland, the diner had a malfunction that prevented coach passengers from patronizing it, and it took about 3 hours to decide that they would not be able to tow a broken own engine back to Chicago. To add to the misery (not mine), the air conditioner was not working in the BR section of the Portland sleeper in July. As God is my witness, a true story.

At some point, KFC dinners were distributed to coach passengers. I doubt the cost of the chicken came out of the coach attendants' own pocket.
Amtrak will under no circumstances give away free alcohol, unless it is meant to be included in the ticket, so Acela First Class. And you'd be correct that the KFC order wouldn't come out out the LSA's pocket, though if he/she forgot to document the expense on their paperwork and include the receipt, then technically they would own Amtrak that money.

The only thing I can "give away" without having to document it is non-revenue sized water, juice, soda, hot cups, or the plastic cups as well of course. Anything above that we need authorization from a manager (conductor doesn't really have say), and if it's an issue I'm taking care of for one passenger, then I really should document each item separately on a form for comping items, and get the passenger's signature.

Why? I don't know. I am just following policy. Way back theft use to be prevalent on the railroad, and now there is a huge paperwork trail to cut down on employee theft. Other than that, I really don't know what else to say.
There's an asterisk on this in that one time when the Coast Starlight was super-late, I heard of the PPC attendant being told to basically roll out all the wine all afternoon.

That being said, there are practices for super-late trains having non-alcohol F&B comped according to circumstances (particularly on the "emergency stew" front).
 

andersone

Conductor
Joined
Dec 19, 2013
Messages
1,157
Location
Jackson. Ohio
As a former resident of the metropolis of Elmwood,Il with lodgings on the second floor above the Laundromat an evenings entertainment used to be sitting on the back porch from April to June counting the funnel clouds. One night there were seven. I had one touch down across the street in nearby Yates City and perhaps ten years ago (I am too lazy to Google the actual date) one took out the center of Elmwood (self long departed) Kansas? Dorothy and Todo don't know Jack.
 
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