RailForum.com
TrainWeb.com

RAILforum Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile | directory login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» RAILforum » Passenger Trains » Amtrak » #19 was great...#20 was terrible

   
Author Topic: #19 was great...#20 was terrible
Steve O.
Full Member
Member # 2993

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted      Profile for Steve O.     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I took the Crescent ATL-BHM roundtrip this past Saturday, and it was sort of a "tale of two Crescents".

The trip down on 19 was great....friendly crew (esp. the conductor), nice equipment...no problems at all really. Overall just a really enjoyable ride.

On the way back, it was a differet story. I ended up sending my first ever complaint letter to Amtrak, actually. Some of the issues on the trip back included:

1) No (or very minimal) air conditioniong in the coach and lounge which was unacceptable for the middle of the Summer...I was literally sweating in the cars and I had a tee shirt on.

2) Liquid from the bathroom literally flooded a portion of the rear of the train car...it stunk to high heaven throughout the car...they tried to mop it up with cardboard boxes. Disgusting.

3) Lounge car attendant was hardly ever behind the counter, rather, he was always sitting down at one of the booths chatting.

4) I had to wait 20 min before even my drink order was taken in the dining car, even though the car was less than half full at the time.

5) My seatmate had drugs on him, and when I went to report it to the coach attendant, I couldn't even get her to acknowledge me...she was talking on her phone...when we arrived in ATL, I let the conductor know (as the guy was going on to D.C) and the conductor asked me "well why didn't you tell the coach attendant?" I told her I tried to, but she was on the phone. The coach attendant then said "sir, I wasn't on the phone the whole time!" The conductor then said "you should have told her!" I decided not to argue so I left, annoyed, and I heard the attendant saying thinghttp://www.railforum.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=newtopic;f=11s about me under her breath as I walked away.

Basically nothing went well on the way back.

I guess you can't enjoy them all, right?

--------------------
Good morning America, how are ya?

44,950 Amtrak rail miles traveled since August 18, 2003.

Posts: 135 | From: Atlanta, GA / New Orleans, LA | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
smitty195
Full Member
Member # 5102

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted      Profile for smitty195     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
And this is one of the major problems, in my opinion, with Amtrak. There is no consistency, and there neve has been. Some crews are great, some crews are terrible.
Posts: 2355 | From: Pleasanton, CA | Registered: Apr 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Ocala Mike
Full Member
Member # 4657

Member Rated:
4
Icon 1 posted      Profile for Ocala Mike     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
NativeSon5859, that was a horror show of a trip all right, but I'm thinking mostly about your comment No. 5, the seatmate with "drugs on him."

Now, I don't do any drugs myself, not even nicotine, so I am curious as to how you knew he was in posession of illegal substances. Was he shooting up heroin, or smoking grass? Did he display his stash? Did he give off a foul odor or maybe just have that "crazed hippie look."

For me, if I had the misfortune of having to sit next to an "incompatible" seatmate (and I have had that misfortune several times), I would simply take myself to the lounge car and ride out the trip there. I wouldn't feel the necessity of reporting anything to the coach attendant unless the person was actually causing a disturbance. Personally, I would rather sit next to a person who "had drugs on him" than an ill-behaved child or an obnoxious wacko, all things being equal. But then, that's me.

By the way, your story reminded me of that great Arlo Guthrie song circa 40 years ago, "Coming Into Los Angeles," about another seatmate who "had drugs on him," this time on a plane in seat 36C (and D and E).

--------------------
Ocala Mike

Posts: 1496 | From: Ocala, FL | Registered: Dec 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Steve O.
Full Member
Member # 2993

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted      Profile for Steve O.     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The guy (he was like 70) said he was homeless...he was rolling weed on his lap...I couldn't believe what I was seeing. He kept on talking about about he hates Jesus and how the cops have always had it out for him and how he was glad that his son just lost his job....he was nuts! He was even making racial slurs about black people which was incredibly embarrassing since there people of all colors on the train and in that vicinity. I just didn't think he was in a condition (mentally and physically) to be riding a train...plane...bus...you name it. And the Amtrak CONDUCTOR gave me attitude when I was just trying to let her know what's going on in row #2.

--------------------
Good morning America, how are ya?

44,950 Amtrak rail miles traveled since August 18, 2003.

Posts: 135 | From: Atlanta, GA / New Orleans, LA | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Steve O.
Full Member
Member # 2993

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted      Profile for Steve O.     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
For the record, he didn't break the drugs out until we were about :30 out of ATL. About 15 min after we left BHM, I decided to retreat to the lounge car for the rest of the trip, since I could not stand sitting next to the guy. But I had to return to coach when they closed the lounge car about 30min out of ATL. Overall the guy was extremely vulgar and offensive, and it's unfortunate that they let him on the train to begin with. I guess they felt sorry for him or something.

--------------------
Good morning America, how are ya?

44,950 Amtrak rail miles traveled since August 18, 2003.

Posts: 135 | From: Atlanta, GA / New Orleans, LA | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Ocala Mike
Full Member
Member # 4657

Member Rated:
4
Icon 1 posted      Profile for Ocala Mike     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
OK; that's a real bummer and explains the situation well. I would have done the same thing with, again, the exception of bothering to tell the coach attendant about him. After all, you can't really deny passage to someone for just being a wacko, right?

Reminds me of the time I was at CUS waiting to board #5 for Mt. Pleasant, IA. A guy sits next to me in the pre-boarding area WEARING BLOOD-STAINED pajamas and slippers trying to panhandle the passengers (yes, he was a passenger!). Seems he had just been let out of one of the windy city hospitals after being operated on for a lacerated liver (this was his panhandling story anyway). I understand he was actually allowed to board in that condition, and his trip the rest of the way was under the care of a coach attendant (not my coach).

You see lots of strange stuff on Amtrak, reflecting the strange diversity of America in the 21st century, I guess.

--------------------
Ocala Mike

Posts: 1496 | From: Ocala, FL | Registered: Dec 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
sojourner
Full Member
Member # 3134

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted      Profile for sojourner         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I would ask the coach attendant if I could change my seat if someone were acting that weird. And if the coach attendant were unavailable, I'd seek out the conductor. I'd be polite and smiley, but I'd be firm about wanting my seat changed! Maybe being female makes me more leery of sitting next to a whacko, but I sure wouldn't do it. Next thing you know, he'll puke on your shoes!

BTW, what is wrong with the listserv? When I click Amtrak, I don't get all the posts; I had to click the link to the latest post and could only get this strand! And I may not be able to get back to this one either if the board stays so screwy!

Posts: 2630 | From: upstate New York | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Steve O.
Full Member
Member # 2993

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted      Profile for Steve O.     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I couldn't really move because they completely closed off the coach which was reaking of the liquid from the bathroom sometime while I was in the lounge car, and moved all of those 50 passengers to the other three coaches, thus making the train (with the exception of maybe a handful of seats) completely full. I feel for the poor people boarding in ATL that obviously had to endure the foul smelling car.

As for the guy...if he would not have not been so loud and obscene, I likely wouldn't have said much...but seeing how there were kids all around, I thought it'd be appropriate to say something in that instance.

--------------------
Good morning America, how are ya?

44,950 Amtrak rail miles traveled since August 18, 2003.

Posts: 135 | From: Atlanta, GA / New Orleans, LA | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
whistler
Full Member
Member # 2620

Rate Member
Icon 1 posted      Profile for whistler     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
From the description I wonder if the OP was punked by the guy!

By the way what IS the acceptable appearance of an Amtrak rider?

--------------------
Paul E Larson

Posts: 34 | From: Camillus NY USA | Registered: Jul 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Steve O.
Full Member
Member # 2993

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted      Profile for Steve O.     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
No, I really wasn't punked at all. This guy was just one of those rare special people that you meet in life where you say to yourself "I hope I don't end up that way."

--------------------
Good morning America, how are ya?

44,950 Amtrak rail miles traveled since August 18, 2003.

Posts: 135 | From: Atlanta, GA / New Orleans, LA | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TwinStarRocket
Full Member
Member # 2142

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted      Profile for TwinStarRocket     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
In this situation, you would think they could leave the lounge open to compensate for the nearly unbearable coach. The overnight superliner lounges stay open 24 hours in most cases without being staffed.
Posts: 1564 | From: St. Paul, MN | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
CoastStarlight99
Full Member
Member # 2734

Rate Member
Icon 1 posted      Profile for CoastStarlight99   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
On my last Coast Starlight trip I was in the lounge car around 1AM and I was shocked to see 2 men (30, and 50+) smoking Marijuana in front of all the other passengers.

The whole train was sleeping ,and no crew members were anywhere to be found so there was nothing anyone could do.

Posts: 1082 | From: Los Angeles, CA. USA | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Ocala Mike
Full Member
Member # 4657

Member Rated:
4
Icon 1 posted      Profile for Ocala Mike     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, I can assure you, CoastStarlight99, that there was a conductor on that trip that needed to know about that situation right then and there. We had a similar situation on a recent S/B Silver Meteor run involving a rowdy group of passengers smoking grass and carrying on in the lounge car in the middle of the night somewhere in the Tarheel State. The conductor coolly and calmly radioed ahead to Rocky Mount where, as far as I know, that group may still be languishing in jail as guests of the state of North Carolina. Of course, the South is not as laid back as the left coast when it comes to illegal substances.

--------------------
Ocala Mike

Posts: 1496 | From: Ocala, FL | Registered: Dec 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
4021North
Full Member
Member # 4081

Rate Member
Icon 1 posted      Profile for 4021North     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
At www.amtrak.com, see Terms of Transportation:

"Amtrak may refuse to carry passengers...Whose conduct is objectionable (such as, but not limited to, being under the influence of alcohol or narcotics)..."

Posts: 144 | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
gp35
Full Member
Member # 3971

Rate Member
Icon 1 posted      Profile for gp35     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Native are you a snitch? lol, just kidding.

Amtrak could buy those small plug-in AC units for back up.

Posts: 562 | From: Beaumont Texas | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.

Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Home Page

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2




Copyright © 2007-2016 TrainWeb, Inc. Top of Page|TrainWeb|About Us|Advertise With Us|Contact Us