Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Amtrak's Slow Food Diet

Already Four Hours Late - Amtrak Makes Passengers Sit on Train Extra 20 Minutes before De-Boarding

A friend rode Amtrak from Dallas to St. Louis, arriving Saturday just before noon. The scheduled arrival time was about 7:30 am. No big deal, Amtrak trains are known to often run behind schedule. Not having their own tracks makes it hard for them to avoid delays. Amtrak updated the schedule, letting everyone know the train was due in St. Louis around 11:30.

Right around 11:35, the train approached the station. Then, about 100 yards before its destination, the train stopped. Those of us gathered to pick up passengers couldn't why. Was this the train we were waiting for? Why did the train stop? Were they going to let the passengers off? We waited. And waited. And the train just sat there.

Then my friend texted me. They were servicing the train. The place they had stopped was a little auxilliary building right next to the main station. The service was taking over 20 minutes. I'm thinking, "You've got to be kidding".

Why not let the St. Louis bound passengers off the train, then back the train up a couple hundred feet for servicing? I can understand delays that are beyond Amtrak's control, but this delay was avoidable. Why further inconvenience the public?


Daniel Ryan said...

Good point, my friend. After a 4 hour delay, waiting 100 yards from the station for another 20 minutes so Amtrak could service this train was a bit frustrating. Riding the train can be fun and relaxing, but it can also be annoying and trying due to a variety of Amtrak shortcomings and communication challenges.

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