What will happen if you get left behind at a smoke stop?

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GrillePhone

Guest
I don't smoke, but I do sometimes get out of the train with the smokers to walk around on the platform. I never stray away from the train.

When my trained stopped at Cumberland, I got out as usual... after the train got going again, I overheard a couple of passengers walking down the aisle trying to find the conductor. Apparently their smoking buddy didn't make it back and got left behind because he went to the station to use the restroom or vending machine?

The train didn't stop until until the next stop, which was somewhere in West Virginia. I've often wondered what happened to that guy. :)
 

the_traveler

Conductor
Joined
Nov 14, 2007
Messages
25,991
If you get left behind, sometimes the train will stop - but don't count on it. Otherwise you have 2 choices:

1) Find your own way - at your own expense - to your destination, or

2) Wait for the next train. (In the case of the Cardinal or SL, that may be 2-3 days later!)

That's why they warn you not to leave the trainside. If the train is running late, that 15 minute scheduled stop may turn into a 3 minute stop! The train departs with or without you.
 
G

GrillePhone

Guest
If you get left behind, sometimes the train will stop - but don't count on it. Otherwise you have 2 choices:
1) Find your own way - at your own expense - to your destination, or

2) Wait for the next train. (In the case of the Cardinal or SL, that may be 2-3 days later!)

That's why they warn you not to leave the trainside. If the train is running late, that 15 minute scheduled stop may turn into a 3 minute stop! The train departs with or without you.
2-3 days later? that's enough time for some to smoke a whole carton! (or think about quitting?) :D :D :D
 
G

GrillePhone

Guest
2) Wait for the next train. (In the case of the Cardinal or SL, that may be 2-3 days later!)

does this mean Amtrak will let you ride the next available train to your original final destination for FREE?
 
S

SeeBuyFly

Guest
The technical term for this is "being duffilled". And what happens is, of course, that you are never heard from again.

Quoting from one of the Great Books reminds me that, although I am looking forward to me first long-distance trip on Amtrak next week, I'd rather be on a train in India or some such.
 

the_traveler

Conductor
Joined
Nov 14, 2007
Messages
25,991
Yes and no. It's not free, since you already bought a ticket from A to B - but only got to A and 1/2. And the reason for the 2-3 days later is that these trains only run 3 days a week. And during your "unexpected stay", you will not have your luggage with you either. And when you catch the next train, if you were in a sleeper, you may or may not get a sleeper on the next train. (It depends if one is available.)
 

calwatch

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Nov 28, 2010
Messages
428
Last year, when the Zephyr was running EARLY (a rare occurrence) and we had 45 minutes to kill in Denver I joked that it would be funny to fly to Omaha and rejoin the train there. Although it would have cost an arm and a leg to get there, the last flight out of Denver left at 9 pm or so and you could do it.
 
G

GrillePhone

Guest
Last year, when the Zephyr was running EARLY (a rare occurrence) and we had 45 minutes to kill in Denver I joked that it would be funny to fly to Omaha and rejoin the train there. Although it would have cost an arm and a leg to get there, the last flight out of Denver left at 9 pm or so and you could do it.
that sounds like a 6th grade math question. :)
 

FrensicPic

Conductor
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Jan 15, 2012
Messages
2,988
A while back on the Coast Starlight, as we departed Eugene I heard on the scanner: "We've got a runner on the platform". He made it back onto the train.
 
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G

GrillePhone

Guest
A while back on the "CoastStarlight" as we departed Eugene I heard on the scanner: "We've got a runner on the platform". He made it back onto the train.
what's the frequency that Amtrak trains use? I brought my scanner that last time, but couldn't figure out what frequency they were talking on.

Thanks! :)
 

the_traveler

Conductor
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Messages
25,991

FrensicPic

Conductor
Joined
Jan 15, 2012
Messages
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G

Guest

Guest
Yes and no. It's not free, since you already bought a ticket from A to B - but only got to A and 1/2. And the reason for the 2-3 days later is that these trains only run 3 days a week. And during your "unexpected stay", you will not have your luggage with you either. And when you catch the next train, if you were in a sleeper, you may or may not get a sleeper on the next train. (It depends if one is available.)
What good is your ticket stub (if you even happen to have it with you) for passage on the next train?

Will the conductor on the next train, the train from "1/2 to B", allow you on with only a ticket stub from an earlier train?

While I guess the conductor from the initial train could somehow let the conductor of the next train know about you, that's only if the conductor knows someone was left behind. If you are traveling alone, no one on-board might notice you're gone.

If you're lucky enough that is a staffed station, and its open, is the station master authorized to issue a ticket for the next train? For free?
 

D T Nelson

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
May 25, 2009
Messages
269
I can't remember all the details, but a few years ago an SCA on the Empire Builder told me about one of his passengers, a man traveling westbound with his wife and child, who got left behind somewhere in North Dakota. The man managed to rent a car and set out west on US 2 in pursuit of the train. If I remember correctly, the train was in Havre and the man was three miles outside of Havre when the Montana Highway Patrol pulled him over for speeding. Upon hearing his story, the officer let him go and got word to Amtrak to please wait for him. The SCA said the car raced up to the station, skidded to a halt in a cloud of dust, and the man got out and sprinted to the train and they got underway. I presume he told the rental car company where to find their car.

As I recall, that SCA told me you would have to buy a new ticket to ride on any train other than the one that left you. So renting a car (and not returning it) and chasing down your train still could be the cheapest option.
 
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VentureForth

Conductor
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Jan 23, 2007
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5,847
Remember that the crew's responsibility to ensure you are OFF the train when you are supposed to be - not be ON the train. I don't know the official rules. But I'm sure it is well within Amtrak's right to not allow you onboard the next train for free. They could, perhaps, be generous, but if your luck is already down...

I saw this happen in Savannah. Train was still in the station as the lady was running, but it didn't stop.

Quite frankly, I don't know if I would want to be onboard the train that had to stop to pick my sorry butt up.
 

Notelvis

Conductor
Joined
May 12, 2010
Messages
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Last year, when the Zephyr was running EARLY (a rare occurrence) and we had 45 minutes to kill in Denver I joked that it would be funny to fly to Omaha and rejoin the train there. Although it would have cost an arm and a leg to get there, the last flight out of Denver left at 9 pm or so and you could do it.
I sort of did that once 10-12 years ago.

I was in a roomette in the 422 sleeper riding from Los Angeles to Ft. Worth and then connecting to the Heartland Flyer to Oklahoma City. The Sunset Limited, however, was annulled and turned at El Paso due to a freight derailment in West Texas. We were told that buses were 'on their way' to pick us up and take us to San Antonio where we would resume the rail portion of our trip.

Not wanting a 600 mile overnight bus ride in lieu of a comfortable roomette, I made a couple of phone calls, shared a cab to the airport with a couple of other passengers, caught a Southwest Airlines flight to Dallas Love Field, and grabbed a barely acceptable hotel room. The next morning I did a little Dallas sightseeing and caught a Trinity Rail Express train to Ft. Worth where I made my connection to the Heartland Flyer.

Amtrak later issued me a travel voucher for the Los Angeles-Ft. Worth accomodation charge which was actually more than I spent on the flight and the hotel. Interestingly, I was on the platform in Ft. Worth rested and clean when the Texas Eagle arrived carrying a few exhausted folks who had ridden the bus overnight and were also connecting to the Heartland Flyer.
 
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MrFSS

Conductor
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I have seen folks get left when a cruise ship leaves without them. That gets interesting in a foreign country!
 

Texan Eagle

Conductor
Joined
Aug 25, 2011
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Last year, when the Zephyr was running EARLY (a rare occurrence) and we had 45 minutes to kill in Denver I joked that it would be funny to fly to Omaha and rejoin the train there. Although it would have cost an arm and a leg to get there, the last flight out of Denver left at 9 pm or so and you could do it.
that sounds like a 6th grade math question. :)
If an Amtrak train departs city A heading east at 60 miles/hr at 12pm and a United flight departs city B 600 miles away at 2pm heading west at 3pm, what time do they mee... just kidding they never meet because it is Amtrak and United and either or both will leave you stranded due to delays and cancellations.
 

fairviewroad

Conductor
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Jan 13, 2011
Messages
3,353
Not wanting a 600 mile overnight bus ride in lieu of a comfortable roomette, I made a couple of phone calls, shared a cab to the airport with a couple of other passengers, caught a Southwest Airlines flight to Dallas Love Field, and grabbed a barely acceptable hotel room. The next morning I did a little Dallas sightseeing and caught a Trinity Rail Express train to Ft. Worth where I made my connection to the Heartland Flyer.
That's an awesome story. And with smartphones and booking apps, that sort of thing should be even easier to pull off nowadays.

To the original point, I can't really see that Amtrak would want to make it a matter of routine policy to carry the person for free on the

next train. What would then prevent people from "accidentally" forgetting to get back on the train and as such helping themselves to a free

stopover?
 

leemell

Conductor
Joined
Oct 5, 2009
Messages
1,529
I've seen people left behind twice by cruise ships. In one case the ship was backing away from the pier and a woman comes running down the pier yelling and screaming. She was yelling for them to turn the ship back and pick her up. When she reached the end of the pier, she stopped and started stamping her feet like a little kid. :p I've seen trains leaving behind people at the station three times. Heard the conductor getting a call about one, but he said no stop, we were well beyond the station.
 
G

Guest

Guest
I have seen folks get left when a cruise ship leaves without them. That gets interesting in a foreign country!
I was on one cruise when the Captain delayed our departure from a port-of-call because one family had not returned yet. We could see a couple of crew members at the far (street) end of the dock, looking up and down the street, for any sign of the family. Finally, they had to give up after an hour, and yes, we departed without out them.

Just to note, on a cruise ship, you run your ID card thru a scanner whenever you leave or re-board. So, the Captain has an exact list of who left, and who returned.
 

the Other Mike

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jul 14, 2008
Messages
355
I though someone recently shared a story about the EB leaving people who had walked away from the platform and walked to a shop to buy souviners ?

My problem has never been being left behind at a stop, my problem has been getting to the train for departure time and running down the platform as the train creeping out of UPT. both times were cabs getting me there late. One time as the cab pulled up at like 6:56 am for a 7 am departure of the Crescent, all the other cabs lined up at UPT stared shouting " I'll get you to Slidell to catch the train for $40. I picked up my ticket and ran down the platform as the train was leaving with the conductor hanging out the last door waving me on. I'm just glas video cameras wern't around like today, I'd hate to see that on youtube.

Of course my 1st time riding was with heritage equipment on the CONO when I boarded the sleeper, put my stuff in the room and went to the dome car to get a seat without anyone checking me in. after it got dark I went back to my room where I was greeted by the conductor with a glare and " I presume you're Mr. so and so" ?....."ummm where have you been, I 've looked all over the train for you and hoped we didn't leave you in New Orleans". I was TAUGHT, in a very nice manner that you don't go to the dome car until AFTER you're checked into your seat or sleeper. Well, dang, no wonder I got a good seat in the dome

Those experiences have made always stay close to the train at stops. I just wish AU had been around back then so I would have not done so many stupid things.........................
 

Bob Dylan

Conductor
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May 31, 2009
Messages
19,776
Ive always remembered the Conductor on the Sunset Ltd. out of New orleans who would make an Announcement to the effect of: If you get off to Smoke/get some Fresh Air Don't wonder away from Trainside, Next Sunset's in Three Days! ^_^

Closest I've come to being Left behind was in St. Louis when I went in to the Station to change a Ticket and the Eagle was Running Late and they had already Closed All the Doors except in the Transdorm up @ the Front of the Train! I think I could have beat the Current 100 Meter Dash Champion down the Platform running for the Train! (made it!!! :blush: ) I also once saw the_ traveler almost left behind on the Platform in Dallas when he stepped off to say hello to another AU Member and the Train shut the Doors and was ready to Roll Out with him still on the Platform! (he made it too! ;) )
 
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calwatch

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Nov 28, 2010
Messages
428
On the other hand, the train won't leave early. So when the train is early (yes, big joke, but it does happen) I will use it as an opportunity to wander around the area. I rarely buy anything, certainly nothing that requires preparation, and I mark the halfway point of the break so I can walk or sprint back to the train as appropriate. The conductor and attendants will make announcements as to what time to return and they are usually accurate. Even a 30 minute break can be enough time to go to a convenience store a quarter mile away and buy food and drinks that are cheaper than the lounge car price.
 
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