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Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2001 7:19 am


Wed Mar 06, 2002 5:42 am

I understand that mainly everyone here flies as there choice of transportation. Believe me, it's mine too. But to trains. Has anyone ever traveled on Amtrak? If so, what are they like? Is economy class comfortable? What about business? I would only be on them for a few hours, just from Rochester, NY to New York Penn Station. I may just fly Jetblue, but most likely Amtrak. So please, just tell me what you think of them! If you want to know, the trains are Empire Service, Maple Leaf, and ______ shore limited. Looking forward to your responses.

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Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2000 9:44 pm

RE: Amtrak

Wed Mar 06, 2002 5:52 am

Unless the fare is really low on Amtrak, take jetBlue. You'll get there faster and you'll have a better time. In my experience, except for the Northeast Corridor, Amtrak trains are often run-down and crowded. I took Amtrak twice between Charlottesville and Washington, DC (on regular travel days), and the trains were so oversold, I couldn't get my regular seat. Despite the fact that I made reservations two months in advance. The first time, I had to sit in the smoky, run-down 70sish cafe car; the other, I was given an unused handicapped seat.

Rail in this country has a long way to go before it's on a par with airlines.
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Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2001 9:24 am

RE: Amtrak

Wed Mar 06, 2002 8:10 am

I rode on them once and it sucked! I went to Union Station an hour earlier to wait for my train and when I got to the waiting room I found out that the train left a little bit earlier than expected so I mised it. When I told her that I called before I left and they said that the train was leaving the same time I told her that and she didn't say a word and I went to get my ticket changed. When I left the next day I got there earlier and I went to the same waiting room I was at yesterday. When they called my train number down I went to wait on them to call us. then they said that the train will be a hour late and we waited until they told us we could come. When I got on I waited until the conductor took our ticket. After that it was a nice ride to longview where I transfered to a bus ride from there to Houston. After that I actually got a ride with someone I met and she took me to the hotel I was staying at. The ride was nice and I rather ride a plane instead of Amtrak.
"He was right, it is a screaming metal deathtrap!"-Cosmo (from the Fairly Oddparents)
Posts: 636
Joined: Sat Aug 19, 2000 11:02 pm

"Acela" Blowz

Wed Mar 06, 2002 11:51 am

I support passenger rail in general, but I'm fed up with Amtrak's [mis]management. One of Amtrak's problems is that at the same time that they cry poverty they have been preoccupied with wasting money on marketing gimmicks. For example, Amtrak has adopted
a most insipid name for its new Northeast service.
"Acela" is a meaningless string of letters concocted
by an overrated "branding consultancy".

Perhaps the experience of UAL Inc., United Airlines?holding company, in the late 1980s would be
illustrative. UAL acquired Hertz Rent-A-Car and
Western International hotels and attempted to
reposition itself as a "total travel conglomerate".
The name selected by UAL, "Allegis" was universally
ridiculed and ultimately dropped. Donald Trump was
widely quoted in the press as saying "Allegis" sounded
like the next world class disease. "Acela" sounds like
the HMO that treats cases of "Allegis". Wags on the
Internet are commenting that it’s an acronym for
"Amtrak Customers Experience Late Arrivals".

To add insult to injury, Amtrak then saw fit to waste
more money on a brainless advertising campaign to sell
us on the wonderful new "Acela" service. However,
delays in getting the new trains into service resulted
in the ads running months before the trains were
actually running. While we can't blame Amtrak for the
equipment delays, it's obvious that the timing of the
questionable marketing campaign was poor. Finally,
Amtrak wasted more money introducing a new logo to
replace its "Pointless Arrow" motif. The only problem
is the new, generic-looking logo resembled that of
Bank of America. Once again we see Amtrak spending
money with no tangible benefits to either the
customer or the bottom line.

Amtrak could make a better case for its survival if it
was running an efficient railroad and not wasting
money on trendy "branding consultants". I believe that
Amtrak has wasted more than $26 million on this

Posts: 2955
Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2000 5:56 am

RE: Amtrak

Wed Mar 06, 2002 12:57 pm

I've taken Amtrak from Iowa to Chicago a couple times. It's ok. You get a lot more room than you do on an airplane in coach (at least on the CA Zepher you do). You can also visit an observation car and a dining car.
Posts: 451
Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2001 9:06 pm

RE: Amtrak

Wed Mar 06, 2002 9:22 pm

Compared to British trains, they were fine. Have travelled on the NE corridor, DC-NYC which was fine, train in good condition, not crowded. NYC to Chicago again was fine, plenty of room. One hour late on arrival, but for a 12hr journey, nothing to moan about! Chicago to San Fransisco was an outstanding experience, stunning views, loads of room. I also treated myself & ate in the dining car where the food was superb.

San Fransico to LA is a bit of a joke, but only because it's really Emeryville to Bakersfield! But the train was clean and smart. I understand probably got it lucky, but as a means of really seeing the US, it was great.

If you think Amtrak is bad, don't come over here and try ours! Or maybe you should, then YOU'LL think Amtrak is not so bad!!

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