Consumer Complaints and Reviews
Poor food, both quality and limited choices. Poor train and sleeper cabin conditions (leaking shower, non-functioning sofa bed, and dead power outlets) on the Lakeshore Limited 6/14/17. Not even close to on-time service. I apologized to a group of Brits who spent 14 days on this poor excuse of a rail service, as an American and as a taxpayer subsidizing this chicanery. The pinnacle of our experience was the steward demanding our towels and linens (and for US to remove the pillowcases for him) an hour from our destination. And he expected a gratuity.
I was traveling from Newark, NJ to Philadelphia as my final destination, and wanted to store my bags with the baggage storage so I could walk around outside for a little while before my ride showed up. A man who worked there walked up and said "what" so I asked if I could store my bags and he asked me for my train ticket, which I mistakenly left on the train (my fault) so without saying a word all he does is point to the sign that says I need my ticket and says nothing else.
So I ask what do I need to do. Points to the ticket counter, tells me to go get another one printed out which unfortunately I wasn't able to do that because I had already finished my travel. So I would have had to spend money for a train ticket that I didn't need plus 10 dollars to store my bag even though I had a confirmation email about my purchased tickets. The fact that the person working at the baggage counter was so rude though is the reason I'm leaving a bad review. The worst attitude and was very unhelpful.
How does a long-distance train manage to run out of most everything at the snack bar? Why wouldn’t there be a means of provisioning a train at a major large city stop (Denver)? Why would an organization trying to make a name for itself and avoid funding cuts, hire rude conductors, loud, obnoxious, and inappropriate people to make announcements from the dining car?
These are a few of the un-pleasantries that you too can expect if you decide to take this train. Along with overpriced everything, you really do have to wonder if they are absolutely trying to fail. To be sure, I love… or rather used to love traveling by train, but if this is the sign of the times, I may pay the extra to fly. Maybe possibly reserve my love of train travel for my dream trip on VIA or CN rail. One of the other things you can’t help but notice, is the stark difference in how tracks and stations are maintained from one state to the next. With all that laid out I should probably develop a little of what I said or at least offer solutions, because after all don’t complain if you can help, or at least offer to help to fix it.
Amtrak, here is what you should probably be doing. Please hire people that WANT to be on a train for days at a time. Many of the people that I interacted with were surely, and seemed unhappy. I don’t many people that want to spend more than a few hours on a train with people like that. In keeping with the “People” thing… Please hire people that can speak and enunciate, or at least keep those people off of the intercom system.
Please ask your dining car announcers not to talk over the conductor about lunch lines, when the conductor is giving instructions for the next stop, which is only a few minutes away. Yes!! This did happen. Provided your people with standardized messages for the announcements of: Breakfast, lunch, dinner, seating arrangements, waiting list protocol. Only allow pre-screened, professional sounding, friendly, customer service oriented employees to make those announcements!!! Keep your trains provisioned!? Major city stops should be provisioning points. There is no way you can tell me that you can’t afford to upload hotdogs/buns. I wish I had taken a picture or everything they were out of.
The good news?! Yes, there are some positives to report. The cars were comfortable, but had the dirt and grime you’d expect from a long-distance train. There is plenty of leg room in coach. If you can think of it, and in order to get around the overly expensive, if limited selections of food and beverages, bring yourself on a small fabric cooler with food and drink… You will REALLY thank yourself for that one. The engineers are awesome. In my eighteen-hour ride, things were as smooth as the rails would allow, with gradual, customer walking through aisles, friendly acceleration and braking. The locomotives used on this haul can really “hoof it”, when tracks and right of way allow.
All and all it wasn’t a terrible trip, but I guess I just long for days gone by, when train travel was a customer service marvel, with genuinely friendly employees, with a sense of decorum. Amtrak just doesn’t seem to get it in this respect. Perhaps it is just a sign of the times... and as I post this, a member of the "Chicago-based" (apparently synonymous with rude), just made an announcement that the dining car is closed, don't ask for water, ice, no nothin'... Amtrak will you please hire some educated people!!!! Could be way better.
Booked Amtrak reservation. I arrived to receive ticket and was told that I would have to take a bus to my destination instead of the Amtrak. No refund and no accommodations. I attempted to board bus and the driver told me I must wait 2 more hours to board. The driver literally chatted outside of bus with employees and other bus drivers as I wait in the extremely hot Sun. The buses that arrived after my bus even allowed their passenger to board. I feel this is absurd. The worst experience ever while on my way to see mom in ICU. The driver could at least allowed me to put my bags onto the bus as a courtesy. Where is customer service skills here?
If I pay for 2 tickets for my husband and I, we expect to be sitting next to each other. I'm sitting next to a stranger, he's sitting next to a stranger for 15 hours... This is ridiculous. The guy boarding the train says "sorry we're completely full, you'll have to sit community", yet there are SEVERAL single riders sitting alone. THEY SHOULD BE SEATED TOGETHER!!! Then there would be two seats available for those traveling together. So ** disappointed... Will probably just drive next time because this is not worth it. We may as well have just taken separate trips... So upset.
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Poor choice of hotel in Denver and poor bus services. My husband booked a package from Amtrak. We took a flight to Denver last May 22 since our tour starts the following day. Amtrak arranged for our hotel which was quite far from downtown and the hotel was a piece of crap. Quality Inn.. The front desk clerk gave us an occupied room. The room we had had a very noisy air conditioner and when I turned on the water at the shower, it was red-orange. The hotel is old and the floor we stayed at smelled like **. Counter people were not really very helpful. There was no pickup or drop off services included in the package.The city tour of Denver was okay.
The following day, we took a train to Salt Lake City. The trip was pleasant and comfortable. We checked in at Sheraton Hotel and this hotel is perfect, location wise and accommodation wise. Service was great and the staff were all accommodating and very courteous. Transfers were provided free. The following day, we had the city tour. It was okay. The Denver tour was better. The next morning, Sheraton provided us with a free shuttle to our pickup point at Temple St where the Salt Lake Express bus was supposed to bring us to Yellowstone. It was like 6 hours drive including delays and guess what, the bus bathroom was not working. We were traveling with a few seniors and one was even on oxygen. They will file their own complaints.
There seems to be no coordination between Amtrak and their subcontractors. There was a change to a smaller vehicle at Rexburg. The additional trip to Yellowstone from Rexburg is 1 1/2 hours. The ride was okay. When we got to the hotel we were supposed to be booked, our names were not registered. The front desk clerk was kind enough to fix it. He found out that Amtrak booked us to their sister hotel. The Yellowstone Park Hotel is a nice and decent hotel so we were very satisfied with it. The next day, we were picked up by this Yellowstone tour shuttle bus. The bus came late. Tour was like 9 hours. The tour was okay but long. So this morning we were picked up by the same Salt Lake Express. He was on time. Again change to a bigger shuttle at Rexburg.
When we got in the bigger shuttle, the other group with special request for his wife with oxygen was very irritated and frustrated with the bus company. His request was not met again. Like what I mentioned earlier, they will include this in their list of complaints. We were on our way back to Salt Lake City. About 40 mins from the city the a/c broke down and it was 75 degrees warm and warmer inside the shuttle. This Salt Lake Express bus sucks. Not the fault of the drivers but the company.
Right now we are at the lobby of Sheraton Here at SLC. We had an agreement with Amtrak that we can leave our luggages at their office upon arrival from Yellowstone since our train will still depart at 11 pm to SFO. We arrived from Yellowstone at around 4:30 pm. We took the Uber to the train station and guess what. The Amtrak office was closed. We were not going to stand there and wait for our departure at 11 pm.
My husband called up Sheraton and asked for assistance and since we checked in with them 2 nights ago, they picked us up and stored our luggages for us until we depart tonight. I commend Sheraton for the extended assistance even if we have already checked out. The last leg of our tour will be in Yosemite. I hope that there will be no more undesirable surprises. Amtrak tour people, you need to coordinate well with your subcontractors and choose them very well. I suggest never deal with Quality Inn. Please make sure that when you commit to your passengers, do it!!
I was really excited for our Chicago-Austin trip on the Texas Eagle but I'm sad to report that I left the train just frustrated. First, I will say that the staff onboard, in the sleeping and dining cars are fantastic. Super friendly and welcoming. We were really grateful for them. But despite them, I can't recommend this trip. The service quality of Amtrak and timeliness is awful. They changed our entire route midway through the trip without telling us, we only knew where we were by looking at Google maps. The train stops constantly with no explanation and you can be 3 hours delayed with no concern of any kind from the staff. It's really nothing to them. It's a fun idea for a trip if you literally have zero concern with where you end up or when but otherwise, I would say it's not worth it.
I am currently on train 283, traveling from Penn Station, NYC to Buffalo, NY. Except for the restroom, which is beyond filthy, this train is pleasant, comfortable, and clean. Four days ago, however, train 284 was entirely filthy. It looked as though it had not been cleaned in YEARS, with slimy seats and sticky door handles. The curtains had fallen off the windows. The staff appeared totally oblivious to any of these problems. I had to wipe up a flood in the restroom.
Obviously, passengers are expected to come prepared with bleach and prodigious quantities of Lysol. The train was totally nauseating. The person who is responsible for the food counter sits down in the dining car and is visibly annoyed when asked for anything. And my whole trip was in BUSINESS CLASS! I shudder to think of how much coach must be. How can one company have one way to NYC be a filthy nightmare, and the other be clean and pleasant (except for the filthy restrooms)??
While riding from Newport News VA to NYC in the quiet car, several passengers were smoking in the restrooms! Conductors really should patrol this car more frequently! Conductors only seemed to show up to collect fares. One male passenger acted really suspicious walking back and forth through the aisles as if to steal overhead baggage! This was a horrible ride for my husband and I. We didn't dare try to sleep! Also passengers who did sleep had their feet in the aisles damn near on others laps across the aisle!! This ride was nothing short of a typical ride on the NYC subway system! After many trips roundtrips to NC from NYC and this will be my last! Amtrak has really changed for the worse!
Booked a sleeper room on Coast Starlight from Oakland California to LA which is a 12 hour ride. Booked months in advance. On our way to the train station got a recorded message on cell phone that we would not be in a sleeper, but instead a coach seat. They had some sleepers but we didn't get one. Found out from a young girl that did get a sleeper a couple of hours into 12 hour trip that they still had some sleepers. Tried to ask attendant who appeared to be a moron. My husband & I are 63 and 59 years old. The same moron mentioned that there might be some sleepers when there was 1 hour left until we pulled into the station. Was told they would adjust our bill, but I get the feeling if I don't call them they will never call us. Ruined our vacation.
I have never written a review in my life. Felt it was definitely needed in my experience traveling on Amtrak! I was traveling with my 18-month-old & daughter who is 10. Decided to take the train instead of flying for the experience. Oh what an experience it was! Never ever again! Staff was so rude and unhelpful. During booking I expressed that I would need help with my luggage and have a baby who needed milk. They told me that they would write a side note letting staff know what I needed. I received no help and attitude for wanting ice to keep my baby's milk cold.
Went down to the diner for dinner and lunch but traveling with a toddler is never easy. I was trying to be respectful to the other guest and order my food to go but got attitude for that as well. Felt like I was a total nuisance. The train was running over 3 hours late and never let any of the passengers know. I was suppose to get off in Austin but couldn't deal with the rudeness of the staff and them not being accommodating to me or my family anymore! I decided to have my husband drive 3 hours to Dallas and pick us up. I rather spend 3 hours in the car than spend one more minute on the train! I will never ride Amtrak again!
Amtrak vacation tour Salt Lake City, Yellowstone, San Francisco - Last year we took three of our grandchildren on a "family" tour. We have been happily traveling on Amtrak since 1977 and expected our trip to be of the same quality. Unfortunately, we would have done better on our own. At every stop on the way we were unceremoniously dumped in cities we did not know and expected to find our own way to the hotel, to the location where a bus would take us to the specific park, and so on. On two occasions the people who were supposed to pick us up never showed. On another the taxi driver left us at the wrong place.
We kept the kids happy by telling them we were on adventure (but did not explain that "adventure" meant goofs by the so-called tour operators). We'll continue riding Amtrak, but hope we NEVER, EVER again have to deal with one of the sub-contracted tours. A year later we still wake up with bad dreams from that trip. (One of them prompted this review.)
If you are considering traveling Amtrak make sure you schedule extra time!!! I traveled from Wenatchee Washington to Portland Oregon. Train was 2 hours late arriving in Wenatchee. Conductor traveled as fast as he could to try and make up the time (?). Left King Street Station in Seattle, got about 1/3 of the way to Portland and the train broke down. Sat on tracks approx 2 hours. We were told brake problems!!! Coming back same trains. We missed the next connection at Seattle. They BUSSED us to Everett. That took another couple hours. Finally got on the correct train and headed back to Wenatchee. I was told this is not unusual for Amtrak. I will try one more time, if it isn't better I will drive.
I spent one hour trying to book trip. I have been riding Amtrak since 1983. Over the years; I have taken at least 6/7 rides; Maybe more than that and never again period. Since my youth, the entire structure of the US FROM A TO Z has went to hell in hand basket. I wish the younger people could have had or experienced the sixties growing up. I thank GOD that the earlier times in this great country was truly blessed and I owe younger people of today a big fat SORRY FOR MY GENERATION not standing taller.
After 4 trips on the Coast Starlight and shrugs at my complaints and questions to Amtrak, I am writing this review. The train is FILTHY. It looks as if it's never been cleaned since it started service. Sticky floors, dripping walls, stained upholstery. The predominant issue and this is a serious health hazard to many (like our family who have serious allergies to cigarette residue) is the train is filled with cigarette smoke residue. Not only do some of the train attendants smoke (they then spray noxious perfume on themselves to try and cover it up), but Amtrak encourages smoking. Over the loudspeaker before stops, an Attendant would come on and say, "Have that cigarette at our next stop in _________." Smokers lined up outside the door to my room so they can step off and suck down as many cigarettes as possible then get back on the train covered in poisonous residue to fill every nook and cranny of the train with toxic cigarette fumes.
Smokers also smoked ON the train. In the public bathrooms, in sleeper units, everywhere. Why wouldn't they? With Amtrak's "Pro-Smoking" culture, they feel embolden to smoke wherever they want. I could not eat any meals in the dining car and since my Attendant was a Smoker, I could not even have him bring me my meals. I was so ill after leaving the train that I was unable to attend my grandmother's 90th birthday party, which is why I took the train to begin with. Amtrak MUST change the culture on such a cramped enclosure where passengers have nowhere to go and not even a window to open (A/C was absent and only brought in more contaminated recycled train air).
None of Amtrak's employees should be Smokers. Also, the train should be scent-free. The last thing Amtrak should do is encourage smoking during the train trip and anyone who smokes on the train should be kicked off immediately. The Coast Starlight 11 and 14 trains must be completely cleaned. I am not kidding when I say it was disgusting and filthy like the sleeper had not been cleaned in 10 years. Many people have developed serious allergies due to environmental pollutants, and it is becoming more and more prevalent. Amtrak should be proactive so taking the train can be a pleasant and not deadly toxic experience.
Amtrak is a traveling horror show. On Friday, March 24, my sister and I boarded Train 97 from Philadelphia to Orlando. We were supposed to arrive in Orlando at 12:49 on Saturday, March 25. We had four-day passes to Disney, and we were supposed to meet family at the Magic Kingdom. My one brother passed away last month and my other brother was going to be in Disney at the same time as us, with our visits overlapping. He was supposed to pick us up at the train station, and we were going to visit with him and his family before their flight left.
On the way down, we had one delay after another - changing to diesel fuel in Washington, sitting on the bridge over the Potomac for about an hour, hooking up a train to ours, and others. At no time was an announcement made informing us of the problem. ** worked on our train and was excellent - however, he did not have any answers for us.
After about the third or fourth delay (we were getting anxious because we knew we may miss connecting with our family), I went down to the snack car to try to get some answers. I spoke to a man in an Amtrak uniform sitting reading a paper and asked if he had any idea when we would get to Orlando, and he said no. I asked who he was, and he said he was **, the conductor. I tried politely to explain our concerns to him, and he was incredibly rude, basically saying that he had no control over when we'd get there. I told him that the least he could do was to keep the passengers informed of the reasons for the delays, and he didn't answer, he just went back to reading his newspaper.
We finally got to Orlando around 5:30 or so, five hours late, and my brother and his family couldn't meet us, as they had to leave for the airport. My sister and I had to pay a driver $45 to get us to the hotel, and we missed a day in Disney, for which we had paid. That day, I called Amtrak and spoke to **, who said the office was closed, and to call back on Monday, March 27.
On Monday, March 27, I called and spoke to **, who connected me to **. I told her why we were dissatisfied, and she assigned me a Case # - **. She said she could not give us a refund for the trip to Orlando, but upgraded us to sleeper car #9 (View Miner Room) on the way home on Train 92, and she said my sister and I would each get two free meals a day while we were on the train. She specifically offered this, I did not ask. She said that the meals could not be brought to us, but that we would get free cold sandwiches in the snack car. She said they only had one sleeper car left, and it was small. She said the others were totally booked.
The train was due to leave on Wednesday, March 31 at 7:32 pm, arriving in Philadelphia on Thursday, April 1 at 5:05. As it was too late and expensive to make flight arrangements, and because she would not refund us our train fare, I accepted this, assuming that the problems on the way to Orlando were just a fluke.
On Wednesday, March 29, we arrived at the Orlando station at 6:30 pm. Shortly after we got there, the board said that the train was delayed, but had no other information. Because we were given no information, I called Amtrak again and spoke to ***. She said it was expected at 8:09, but that that could change. I then called and spoke to **, who said that it would be later than that, possibly 9:30. During this time, I was getting constant texts, telling me to make sure I was at the station 30 minutes ahead of time, and the times were wrong, i.e., at 9:00, it would say that the train was leaving at 8:30, etc. Interestingly, none of these texts were to inform us of what caused the delay and when we could actually expect to get started. Eventually, as you know, we were told that the south-bound train thought they hit someone.
We finally left the station around midnight. We got to our sleeper car, #9, and the porter pulled down the top bunk and told me to climb up. I'm almost 63 and my sister is almost 70. Since she has had knee replacements, I did not want her endangering herself going up there, so I went up (I also need knee replacements but have not had it done yet). I had to climb first on the toilet, then the sink, then the ledge above the sink and pull myself up. We were not first asked if we had any physical problems that would make climbing difficult, which we both do. We had both assumed that the sleepers would be side by side.
The next morning, Thursday, March 30, my sister saw I had blood on my chin and my chest. I had two bites on my chin and several on my chest. I could not say for sure it was bed bugs, plus we were told that all of the other sleeper cars were full, so I didn't bother to report it. I also knew nothing would be done anyway. So we spent as much time as possible in the dining area at the tables.
After I cleaned up the blood on myself, we went to get something to eat. We were told we each had two free meals per day. Of course, when we got there, that wasn't true either. The conductor, **, with whom I spoke, could not have been nicer or more apologetic. He had someone call Amtrak and look into it, and he said that ** made a mistake, that she thought we were riding on a silver meteor. However, this "mistake" was not honored, and we had to pay for our meals. They told me to call the 800 # and report it.
On the way back from eating breakfast, we noticed that almost all of the other sleeper cars were empty, including several larger ones. To make older adults with physical problems climb up the wall to the top bunk when other, better alternatives were available, is unforgivable. We didn't bother asking to be switched because we knew they would say no, as we had been lied to all along. To make matters worse, the bathrooms on this trip were filthy, not just one of them but every one we tried. At that point, we would have jumped off the moving train just to get away from the situation.
Later that day, Thursday, March 30, while en route home, I called Amtrak again, as ** instructed, and spoke to **, who transferred me to ** in Customer Relations. I informed him of the meal situation, along with the numerous other problems, and he said that he would escalate the issue to corporate. He gave me your e-mail address and the case # of **. My daughter was supposed to pick us up at 30th Street in Philadelphia and, because were late (again), she had to go to work and we had to take a Lyft which, of course, was an added expense. We got to the station around 11 pm that night, 6 hours after we were supposed to.
On Friday, March 31, I called Amtrak again trying to straighten this out before e-mailing corporate, and I spoke to Donna. She offered me a $150 voucher, $75 for each of us, and said she couldn't do anything else. We paid a total of $450 for our tickets, and in this situation, $150 just doesn't cut it. She e-mailed me a transportation voucher, with a number of **. We do not plan to use it, as we do not want to ever ride Amtrak again.
To summarize: 1. The train from Philadelphia to Orlando was almost 5 hours late arriving because of numerous delays, causing us to miss meeting our relatives after a recent family death and miss a full day of Disney which we paid for. We also had to pay $45 for a shuttle to the hotel. 2. ** upgraded us for the trip home to Philadelphia (we did not have enough time or money to get a flight instead) to a sleeper car, with two free meals per day. The problems with the sleeper car are noted above. Making a senior citizen climb up the wall, as well as the probability that the car had bedbugs, is not an upgrade. We were told that all other sleeper cars were booked, and actually about 90% of them were empty. 3. Train #92 from Orlando to Philadelphia was 6 hours late. Because of this, we did not have a ride from the station and had to pay (again) for a Lyft.
We are requesting: 1. Refund for 2 for our Disney tickets for the day, which we had to forfeit, not to mention the stress of not being able to meet my family after my brother's death 2. Refund for shuttle from Orlando station and Lyft from 30th Street - I have receipts for both 3. Full refund for train tickets - approximately $450.
If you do not take our concerns seriously and if we do not receive a full refund for the train tickets to and from Orlando, two one-day Disney tickets which we had to forfeit and what we had to pay for the shuttle and Lyft rides, we will be posting this entire incident online, as well as reporting the sleeper car incident to both the Bed Bug Registry online and organizations which advocate for the rights of the disabled, such as the American Association of People with Disabilities and the National Disability Rights Network, as well as others.
BUYER BEWARE: AMTRAK CONDUCTORS SEEMINGLY HAVE THE ABILITY TO FRAUDULENTLY MAKE YOUR TICKET APPEAR SCANNED IF YOU'RE NOT EVEN ON THE TRAIN! We arrived two hours early for our Amtrak train from Chatsworth Station to Grover Beach, California. My wife checked the Amtrak app to find that the train would arrive late (8:30 instead of 7:30). No big deal. But when the train arrives, it arrives (not on the usual north-bound side, but) on the opposite of the tracks. The late-running train stops, blocking the pedestrian access to the other side instead of pulling beyond it like they're supposed to. There were no usual attendants or conductors near the back of the train as we banged on the window adjacent to one of the doors. We could see a few passengers exiting the other side of the vehicle.
We called out and banged on the door for assistance, but to no avail because the train leaves the station. BUT THAT'S NOT THE BEST PART. I call Amtrak to inform them of what happened. The woman on the phone tells me that she can swap our tickets for the next day, but she will have to charge me an extra $40 because our tickets appear to be scanned by the conductor. I don't know how THAT is possible if my ticket is in my possession and I am not even on the train to begin with!!! I don't know if there are any cameras on the train to prove that we didn't get on just now, but this is ridiculously fraudulent! I was told by some person in ticket sales that their job is to collect money and that I should contact customer service over this other issue on Monday! I LOVE TRAINS, BUT THIS IS THE LAST TIME I WILL EVER RIDE AMTRAK AGAIN!
Anyone who is thinking about spending money on Amtrak should do a lot of research before embarking on the train journey. I was so excited to be able to purchase a "roomette" and to take the 24 hour trip to El Paso. I had taken the Eagle, once before, in the opposite direction, from Dallas to Chicago. I found it somewhat dirty, tired looking and in need of a refurbishment. But since that trip was mainly overnight, I slept most of the trip.
This time was different. It was mainly an all day event. When I got in my compartment, I noticed that nothing had changed since 2010. It looked nice enough on first glance but once you settle in, you begin to noticed things. For instance, the windows had not been washed on the outside. There were a lot of spots, making it difficult to view through. I immediately asked the steward about it and he said they could try and have them cleaned in Ft Worth. (I had hopes). I had car 2103.
We were told the bathrooms in our car were inoperative and would be fixed in Ft. Worth. You could tell by the smell that "inoperative" meant "full" because the stench was noticeable. The coffee bar was not stocked. The steward came by and introduced himself, but he looked tired and over it. I came to find out that their schedules are quite long, He had started in Chicago, worked all night, and was going to end his day in San Antonio. So with that kind of work schedule I could understand why he was tired and seemingly disinterested. Of course no windows were washed in Ft. Worth. Now let's move to the topic of cabin air conditioning. Nil to none. The best purchase I made was a small portable fan for 12 bucks that I had to keep on for most of the trip to San Antonio.
Of course, at meal time, Amtrak demands that you sit with people you don't know. I dislike this policy intensely. If I want to eat alone, yet even if there were only 3 other people who wanted the meal at the same time I did, they would make all 4 of us sit together. To avoid that, I decided to see what the downstairs bar had to offer. I walked down, after walking through the middle of the kitchen (I don't see how the waitresses get anything done). At the bottom of the stairs were 3 screaming unattended babies. The woman who ran the snack bar had left them there while she worked. I decided to come back later. When I did come back, I ordered 2 hot dogs, a bag of trail mix and 2 drinks for $36. Oh well, at least I could eat them in the privacy of my room.
There was a family in the next compartment, and the kids, naturally being excited, were running all over the place. It was a stressful experience, so much so, that several times I decided to get off in San Antonio and just end the trip. Everything in the train was filthy. The steps, the ceilings in the compartments, the bathrooms. The floors were sticky. Who knows what was hidden in that dark blue upholstery in my cabin. The observation car was dirty, with finished drinks and trash left on tables.
When we got to San Antonio, there was a crew change and things got immediately better. A very nice steward named Steve was very accommodating. The air was turn way up, and I actually slept during the 5 hour wait at the station. When I woke up, he had the coffee bar completely stocked and fresh coffee was brewing and he had cleaned the bathroom. He took up my bedding whenever it was convenient for me. As we left San Antonio for El Paso, the train seemed to be going much slower than normal. It continued this way for miles. The conductor finally came on and said that there was track construction going on and that was the reason. I was fine with that explanation, as long as someone does take time to explain.
The trip on to El Paso was uneventful. So here are some main thoughts: 1) Just like an airline, when you are reserving a roomette or a bedroom, you should be able to select, from a map, the compartment that you want. Amtrak just assigns them. 2) The windows, on both sides, should be cleaned anytime the train makes a 20 minute stop. After all, I took the trip to look out the window, and if my view is diminished due to water spots, I'm not a happy person. 3) Let people sit by themselves if they want in the dining car! It's not like it's a huge place. I would be willing to go when the fewest people had signed up if I could sit alone. What if you aren't in a sociable mood. The last 2 times I did it, the couples just tried to force conversation. It was awful and I hated it. 4) Perhaps consider shortening the on duty time of some of your employees. I noticed a distinct difference once we got the new crew in San Antonio.
Overall I had hoped, so much, that there had been improvements made to the interiors of the cabin, but alas, there were none. Zero. And that's in a 7 year period. I must say that all of the employees were very nice. I lucked out. They are friendly and accommodating, even if the one steward probably knew there was no way to get the windows washed but acted like he could do something about it.
Since the current administration wants to cut Amtrak funding, then I doubt it will ever get better. I'm just very glad that I had the chance, as a kid, to experience what a train trip should be. Those days of romance and excitement are gone. So bring the following: ear plugs, a portable fan, a can of Lysol, sanitary hand lotion and food, if you want to just eat in your car alone. I'm not anti-social, I was just working on a project and needed alone time. I won't take the train again, and I'm sure that, perhaps, some routes have better equipped and newer trains on them, but not the Texas Eagle. I was not impressed.
I have been using Amtrak for quite a while now. I have been procrastinating from writing a review here but now is the time to do it. I am a student and travel from Portland to Tacoma every week. I don't have any other suitable means to travel (time-constraints) and therefore, I can't avoid Amtrak. This company really needs to do something for their consumers. There are many issues like train is almost always late, too many stops, expensive food, untidy seats to name a few. Well, let me tell you that this is not the worst. I am describing my experience below which made me write this review.
I was to travel back to Portland from Tacoma by an evening train. The train left the station on time and after half an hour, we are notified that we are going back to Tacoma because of a mudslide. After coming back to Tacoma, they told us to wait as they were arranging for alternate transport which did not happen until 9:30 (we were informed of the mudslide by 7:40). Finally at 9:30, we were told to board the same train again and the train was to take us to Seattle which is a big city and there we would have more alternatives as per the representative at the counter. We even asked them to ask for the bus to come to Tacoma instead and we were all happy to wait for it at Tacoma but they denied and said this is the only option you all have now. So, close to 150 passengers board the train to Seattle now.
We reached Seattle at 10:45 and upon reaching we were told that there is no alternate transport at this hour and you all can take your refund after which you are on your own. Seriously?? So, basically they took us almost 50 miles in the opposite direction of travel just to tell that now you should arrange your travel yourself and voila, pay more money and waste more time to reach your destination. Trust me, because of increased demand an Uber costed me 180 bucks from Seattle to Centralia - this is what I could afford and had to ask somebody to pick me from Centralia at 2:00 am. I reached my home at 3:30 am.
Every damn person at the Seattle station was annoyed and they did not even have the balls to apologize. There were only 2 guys at the station and when we questioned them, all they had to say is that "we don't have a say in this as we are in some other department". Wow... then why were they even there. If my MacBook goes bad, do I have to call the CEO or any of representatives present at the store! But they won't understand. They never take accountability of their action. Even now I am on this stupid train on my way to Tacoma and I was supposed to reach by 2:34 pm but I am nowhere close. I have never seen any business worse than Amtrak! PS: It doesn't deserve even that 1 star.
My wife and children are currently en route back to Missouri from L.A. on the Amtrak train Southwest Chief. Currently 5 hours behind and only half way through the trip. That was how late they were getting to Fullerton a week ago, in part, due to a 2 hour delay in La Junta, CO. This delay happened because amtrak’s crew wasn't there to board (I can only speculate, but that is the exact info my wife was told on board Amtrak). Now a week later, I'm supposed to pick them up in KC around 7 a.m. but that keeps getting pushed back as they had lots of trouble in CA and are now stuck behind freight trains apparently all the way back. It's now looking like around noon to pick them up and who knows how much later that will be by morning.
If I would have went with them onboard Amtrak I think I would have gotten the lot of us off and found a different means of travel, that or risk pulling the remaining hairs out of my head. My wife is handling it well, children too, but who needs this kind of stress during a vacation just getting to and from your destination. The prices for sleeper cars were out of our reach financially but to travel by way of Amtrak you most certainly need one as you will be stopped just as much as you're moving. Thank You for your time and tell your friends 'not by rail' unless the trip IS your vacation.
I got online with my wife early, walked quickly to a car and found a potential side by side seat but my knees hit the table. Got up to find another pair of seats and none were available. Smashed my head trying to race up and down the train. Assigned seats or reasonable leg room for business class would make this an option.
Took the California Zephyr from Denver Colorado to Glenwood Springs Colorado with my family (The Rockies Mountain Glenwood Canyon experience). Upon arrival at the Denver Station I notice the exterior windows of the train car being cleaned, but only the train station platform side of the cars. (That's like going to a car wash and only having the side of the car washed that the driver is sitting in. What a waste of time and monies, getting paid to do the job, but pretending to work.)
Upon entering the train car and locating seats for my family and myself we noted the extremely messy floors. (Pretzel cums, food, and trash.) Upon getting ready to seat our-self, I notice the benches armrests are very dirty, sticky and smear marks. I gathered multiple brown paper towels made them wet and proceeded to wipe down benches, armrest and window perches. I was shocked all towels came out black! My wife gave me some Clorox towels and after scrubbing all the locations that we would be in contact with for the next five plus hours, I managed to make the area a reasonable habitat for us. They were all black with dirt and grime. These train carts haven't been cleaned in a long time. Observation revealed that all the overhead lighting fixtures and controls were in no better condition then the floors/seating areas. The seating area car windows where all smeary and dirty both from the inside and outside.
Upon using the toilet facilities for the first time, again what a mess. The entire area looked like someone took a big long large mop and just smeared the contaminants around. Didn't look/feel clean at all. Toilet paper and toilet seat cover though were present and abundant. Every time my family used the facilities we cleaned before using them. (Again getting paid to do the job, but pretending to work.) No hotel, car rental agency or restaurant would stay in business very long with this type of environment for the public.
I took a walk through the train and all train cars looked very poorly maintained/cleaned and the equipment is just plain old and worn out. My guess would be these cars are early 1990 equipment. Didn't use the dining car but the menu was very pricey, choices where limited and airplane food seemed more appealing. I brought my own snacks.
Three days later on the return trip the train suppose to leave Glenwood station at 12:10 pm. It was late and didn't leave till 18:12 pm. Six hours late and so much for the scenic return ride. It got dark before 19:00 hrs and so you got to stare at the black exterior outside. The train and cars interior where exactly in the same dirty messy, wore-out, lack of maintenance and cleanliness condition as the destination with the exact same results. I wonder if the cars where the same ones on the way into Glenwood, I didn't note the car SN#s.
The Amtrak train station folks at Glenwood where very helpful by allowing us to store our baggage at the station and kept us informed of the trains progress and arrival times. Initial late arrival supposed to be 16:29 but it morphed into 18:10. We arrived in Denver at 23:55 and I lost my connection in Denver to the RTD light rail (last ride is 22:21) which would have taken me to the parking lot where my transportation was located. This caused additional expense and time delay.
Called Amtrak consumers AFFAIRS and the lady was very nice but could not offer any type of monetary refunds/compensation. I was offered a Amtrak voucher for me and my family equivalent of $200 in value good for 1 year and non transferable. This is not compensation. It's like get food poison in a restaurant and then ask to come back for free meal, or like bringing back your car for a no charge car wash after the car-wash just damaged and ruined your paint job.
This is the first time I have ever taken a train ride in the USA and I can't say that I absolutely will never take a train ride again but the odds are like winning the Power-Ball Jackpot that I will spend my monies going on a train ride in the USA again. Could have completed the round road trip in my Diesel transportation for about $70 bucks in about 4-5 hours. The trip cost over 4X. The twtsb.
I hate Amtrak. I've taken their trains several times and this is the last time. I'm not even that picky about customer service, all I want to do is get on a train when I need to, get where I need to go, and get off. I sleep the whole time anyway. It's consistently late which is annoying, but I've never experienced a delay over 4 hours until today. Today the train was 8 hours late. 8 hours!!! No apologies or anything. I arrived at my train station at 2:15 for a 2:45 train, and I didn't get to sleep because I was trying to make sure not to miss it. My train didn't leave until almost 11 a.m. And instead of warning me when I got there, they kept pretending like it was almost on the way. So I sat there. In the filthy drug addict infested train station with no sleep for 8 extra hours. When we finally board the train, there is still not even a slight apology for the delay.
Now the conductor stops the train and says he has run out of hours so he cannot continue driving the train. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Now we're waiting for another conductor to come so they can resume the ride. We're again not given an apology and are told it could be 35-45 minutes or more until we start moving again but they really don't know. Bottom line, they don't care about their customers. They waste so much of your time and don't care. The food isn't good and it's so overpriced. Horrible experience all in all, I'm not going to keep wasting my money on this company and you shouldn't either.
I purchased a ticket on Amtrak. I got almost to the station and realized I left my bag at motel with my phone and personal things. Couldn't afford to pay for ride back to Motel so it took me 3 hrs to walk. No way of contacting anyone till I had my phone. I asked for a refund and have been rudely told no. No way, no how unless I had documents stating a medical emergency. I was ROBBED!!!
The AMT commuter train service is terrible. There are not enough cars and they need more trains at different times. We are stuck together like cattle in each train car. There are people who are forced to stand between cars because there is not enough space in each car which is overflowing with people. It's an accident waiting to happen. We need double-decker cars on the Two Mountains like on the Mascouche line.
I LOVE taking the train!! No fighting long lines of traffic, or dealing with rage drivers. You can use the train wifi and listen to your iPod, work on your laptop, etc. I love taking a good book or puzzle books. I can get up and stretch my legs, and get something to eat usually. The biggest "problem" is having to transfer to buses for part of trip, but they usually make the buses those big, clean, comfy seats kind of buses, so that helps.
The Amtrak train from Portland, OR to Seattle, WA is convenient and a relaxing, comfortable ride. It takes a little longer than it does to drive. The cars need to be updated. We were told some time ago that this would be an Acela train "soon". "Soon" has come and gone. What's up with this?
The ride is very comfortable. You can get things done: read, work on computer, or rest. If you have the time it is the best way to go. If you consider a trip from Boston to NYC it is less time and trouble than taking a plane.
The experience was fairly clean and comfortable for the ride. Starting direction were a bit unclear but once underway it was great with no problem at the end. The return trip was about the same with the same quirk at the end this time. Will do it again.
I ride Amtrak train #s 58 & 59 on an average of 2 times alike. The sleeper cars are generally clean but sometimes I notice a lot of areas that need dusting.
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