Consumer Complaints and Reviews
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.
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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.
Amtrak is a pretty nice way to travel, if you can arrange other transportation to fill in the gaps of areas served. Detroit to Toronto is a hoot. Detroit to Chicago bad news. Every five years I try and train it somewhere. Haven't tried the sleeper car. All from me.
Basically this company sold me a 340 USD ticket from Denver to New York (two days of trip). When I was in Chicago after 1 whole day of trip the company Amtrak in fact have showers in Chicago union station but they told me I cannot use because I need first class ticket with bed in the car. The first class ticket is more than 600 USD ticket. Basically I need pay 600 dollars to take a shower. I cannot afford that and is ridiculous... So finally I was forced by this situation to travel 2 days without shower. Also the food is two or more times expensive compared with good restaurant food.
I love riding the train every time I can. There are many cars to pick from and mostly they are comfortable and have great views. The conductor are very kind and responsible, respectful and helpful. The prices are fair.
We ride the Amtrak to Chicago almost every month. Thankful that it stops in our hometown. It is generally right on time. We use the Business Class section and are able to connect to the internet and work for several hours. However, the food choices are poor. There is nothing healthy to eat. Seems it would not be that hard to put some fruit on board. Also, security is pretty lax which should be a concern to Amtrak. We have never felt unsafe, but in this day and age, just seems there would be a scanner at least. But the employees are friendly. We will continue riding Amtrak and are thankful we don't have to drive to Chicago!
I had the unpleasant experience of riding Amtrak in January of 2017. First of all the trains go way tooo slow. There were numerous stops along the way because they had to empty the fuel out of the engine. The train was late to start about 2 1/2 hrs. The trains are way tooo old and then the air conditioning stopped working. People were bringing way too much stuff. Awful food service.
Amtrack takes me to places I can't see by air. There is quite a variety of things to see and do. Rail travel has been glamorized in old movies and new. Remember the Orient Express? Safety concerns are higher than flying. A private berth and bath are also to be desired. Driving my own vehicle is not possible.
Amtrak provides very poor service to their customers. Delays repeatedly with no apologies for such poor service. I'm so upset that such a big company providing such poor service. I'm appalled by the behavior of the employees not being a little more considerate knowing that the poor service is the reason for the unhappy consumers.
It is great traveling on Amtrak to certain destinations; it gives you the luxury to relax or work and not have to drive yourself or deal with the hassle of an airport. However, I do find some of the conductors are not people-friendly and act like they don't want to be bothered. There is definitely a lack of good customer service in some cases.
Amtrak Autotrain - Handicap sleeper unusable upper bunk. Door could not be closed unless locked from inside. Air could not be turned off. We were unable to get any sleep... When we canceled the return trip we were not given a full refund.
I love to ride the train! It would be the perfect commute vehicle for distances over 60 miles but there are few feeder vehicles that make sense to use to get to your place of work. But the benefits are no traffic, you can work while riding. Less stress, and if it is an enjoyable scenic commute one can see some beautiful areas hidden from the public at large - my commute was the Surfliner San Diego to San Clemente and back. It has stretches of beach that are lovely and private.
My 18 year old son took the train from Chico, Ca. to Eugene, Or. on Friday, Feb 10. and was scheduled to return early Monday Feb 13. After his first train trip was delayed by more than 3 hours, he is informed on Sunday that his return train has been cancelled. The next train was scheduled to leave Wednesday night Feb.15. He was told he was responsible for his own lodging and food while being stranded in Eugene because (like this makes a difference to a paying customer) it was due to mudslide on the tracks and that was unforeseeable.
If it had been a mechanical failure, they would have accommodated him and the other passengers. And how do we know that it wasn't? The agent advised my son to grab some space on the bench and sleep in the train station - FOR 3 DAYS. This is customer service??? When I called on his behalf, frustrated at the poor treatment, the rep asked me if I could send him some money for food(!). I will never allow my son to travel on an Amtrak train as long as this is the way they treat people.
Travelling between the east coast and the west coast, a one-way coach sleeper berth is $1,252. Note that this is coach, not 1st class, and only one-way. $1,252 is 5 times the cost of flying! The 1st reason for the outrageous price is AmTrak's overpaid executives & board members. Put these featherbedders to work on board the trains for $50K/yr, instead of the $200K+ they each make now for doing nothing. The 2nd reason for the price is that our government, who should oversee the Amtrak salaries and rates to make them fair, has been bought by the oil fat cats and told to do everything possible to kill rail service in the US. Outrageous ticket prices are a perfect way to kill it.
The 3rd reason for the sky-high sleeper berth price is that Amtrak has Americanized the sleeper car. In W. Europe there are 4 beds per compartment, and in E. Europe there are 6. This is nice and cozy and you get to meet people. Amtrak's putting only 2 beds per compartment, turns it into an isolation chamber. The 4th reason for the unaffordable coach sleeper ticket is the unnecessary, forced luxuries listed on the Amtrak site, and I comment on each:
Meals included - It used to be in all Europe, but you see it mostly in E. Europe today, that train travelers would bring their own food and eat it at the fold down table in their compartment. Boiled eggs, unsliced dark bread, dry salted fish, sausages, beer, etc. Private women would also sell homemade hot or baked items & beer from the platforms, handing the purchases thru the compartment windows.
Two comfortable seats which convert to a bed; upper berth lowered down from the ceiling - Look at the picture. These seats are too wide. How depressing and cramped it is to sit there all day staring into a sink, cabinet, and wall, instead of sitting in a normal sized compartment with 3 passengers facing 3 passengers, as the serviceable & fun Euro. & US sleeper compartments were for over 100 years.
Sink and toilet in room - Are Americans really too proud to use common sinks & toilet? One of the fun things in a train is to walk thru the jostling car to the WC with your towel and toothbrush. Now you don't have to leave your "secure" closet. Yes, a closet, not a compartment. The latter has space, windows to the aisle, and fellow travelers entering and exiting. It is not sterile and secure.
Climate control - Amtrak has sealed all the windows shut, necessitating expensive, noisy, and space-taking air conditioning units. Nor can you talk to the people who are saying goodbye to you. The reason given for locked windows is "security", but think about it. What exactly are they afraid of? Why has America become afraid of its own shadow?
Is it too much to ask of Amtrak to take more of an interest in the cleanliness of their trains, especially the bathrooms? My sister who has a medical condition was on an early train today from NY Penn to Albany and needs to be near a bathroom. When she told me of the filthy and smelly conditions including the fact that toilet did not flush, I was appalled. This is disgusting!!! Customers pay good money and this is the service, the bathrooms are cleaner at Penn Station. Management needs to go inside the bathrooms. Take pride in your trains and bathrooms Amtrak and clean them for your customers.
Due to a medical condition I was forced to take the train to Chicago. It is the last time I will ever take the train anywhere. We were late arriving at both destinations. I almost missed a wake because of how late we were. Seems to me they travel these routes enough and still can't figure out when freight trains will be there? I should not only get my money back, my family should get an apology for having to wait for me before burying my loved one. I paid $122 for this? Thanks Amtrak. You. Are. Awful.
My husband was returning to the Tacoma, WA from Portland, OR at 10 pm on Thursday 1/26/17. The train stopped to let passengers off, his car door never opened in business class. Train then proceeded to start down the tracks on the way to another station, my husband then found a conductor in another car to ask why they didn't open his car door. So the train stopped & let him out right there on the tracks for him to walk back to the Tacoma station on the tracks in the DARK! REALLY, isn't That DANGEROUS! They did eventually send a person from Tacoma station to pick him up, but he walked on the DARK TRAIN TRACKS for while. If this is not site to complain or let someone know about this dangerous situation, can you please tell me who else to let know. Thank you!
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