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70 Reviews


Amtrak 1

I live in NYC & my boyfriend recently moved to Hartford, CT for work. I take Amtrak twice a week (round trip) usually costing me $75 average. It can sometimes be higher. So I give them $300+ a month! I had no issues with them besides the Tardiness of the train which happens OFTEN until today. I had booked a ticket in advance & something came up with work so I called and rescheduled & take note I paid the difference in fair! I have PROOF on my credit card statement. Today I go online to print the barcode and I couldn't find my reservation! Finally I found it! They never rescheduled my train! They took $20 from me but never changed my reservation..... NICE.... So I called and the agent transfered me to Guest Relations... I was on hold for NO LIE - 1 HOUR. Seriously? Everyone must be complaining cause of the LACK OF SERVICE. So I explain to the Rep my issue. She tells me my fare is gonna cost me $150 to reschedule... No way in hell did I agree to it. I pay enough every month and it was not my fault... Everyone makes MISTAKES but I shouldn't be at fault for it. She said I "never called". Why would I book a train & not show up for it? She would not honor my original rate. She just kept apologizing - not good enough... She then brings up my $20 charge. Apparently I called & I just gave Amtrak $20 more for my health... I have nothing better to do than keep dumping my money into a scamming company like Amtrak. Top it off she was NASTY to me and basically hung up the phone on me mid conversation. I had asked to speak to a Supervisor but she wouldn't transfer me. Instead told me to write a letter. Such a disappointment. I guess this is how you treat your regular customers... SUCH a lack of service. Don't worry. I am done traveling with Amtrak.. Its THEIR loss not mine.. By the time my boyfriend was going to move back to NYC I woulda given them $5,000. Nope. Taking the bus from now on unless I get compensated for this INCONVENIENCE.

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Amtrak 1

We need to defund Amtrak and turn it over to a private vendor. Amtrak service is terrible, their systems are outdated, their employees are incompetent, management is corrupt and their customer service is non-existent.

We pay good tax money for a terrible train system. Let's get rid of it. Call or write your lawmakers today!

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Amtrak 4

I've done 4 long distance trips on Amtrak on 5 different trains, and so far the experience has been a relatively good one. The ride was comfortable, exciting, and a great way to see America's back-country. However there are a few things that you need to know before you go. The routes I've traveled on are the:

-Auto Train
-Capitol Limited
-California Zephyr
-Palmetto (x2)

The Auto Train, The Capitol Limited, and the California Zephyr all use the double-decker Superliners cars. They're fairly easy to identify because they're FREAKING HUGE. These cars as a result seem to be a little top heavy so expect a little more rocking. Both the sleeper cars and the coach cars have seating on both levels.

The Cardinal and the Palmetto use a mix of single level cars. For the coach and dinning cars they use the Amfleet II cars. These can be identified by the fact that they look like beer cans on wheels. They use the boxier Veiwliners for sleepers (on the Cardinal only. Palmetto is not an overnight train). These only show up primarily along the East coast due to height restrictions in the tunnels.


Amtrak offers a whole slew of different class's of services and what you get changes with every train. Here's some info on what I've experienced

Generally lowest class available. Even though your ticket says "Reserved" all that means is you get a seat on the train. Where you sit is first come first served. So if you're traveling in a group do what you can to stay together. Some trains like the Palmetto will have seats set aside for people traveling in groups. Ask the attendant or conductor when you get onboard and they'll direct you to where they are.
What you get is a surprisingly spacious seat. I'm over 6 feet tall and there is over a foot of space between me and the seat back in front of me. On the arm rest there are two seat controls. The button reclines the seat, the lever operates the fold out leg rest under your seat. Between the two of these (and if you're short, the fold out foot rest on the seat in front of you) you can recline the seat to almost flat positions. It's not as comfortable as a bed, but it's better then any bus (and some airplanes) I've been on. There is also a reading light for each seat and a fairly effective curtain for each window.
If you're traveling in the Amfleet II cars there is a standard 120volt outlet for every pair of seats, but you'll be hard pressed to find one in the Superliner coaches (if you do find one bring a power strip, you'll be the most popular person in the car). On the Superliners you can request to be put in the coach seats on the lower level when you book your tickets. Amtrak tries to book the upper level first so if you would like a quieter ride go for the lower level. Finally if your traveling in coach on the Auto Train all of your meals are complimentary and you will be offered a pillow at night (at least they did when I took it).

(TIP: I hear there is at least one power outlet in every Superliner Coach. It's located roughly around the center of the car on the second floor. But whether you can get to it depends on which way the seats are facing. Rather then turn the entire car around for the return trip they simply unbolt the seats and flip them. Doing so exposes the outlet they use to plug in the vacuum used to the clean the floors. Remember the Superliners where built around the 1970's and 80's, a time when there wasn't that much demand for personal electronics. However I also hear there some Superliners that are outfitted with outlets for every seat like the Amfleet cars. But so far they only show up on the Empire Builder.)

(UPDATE: I recently had another trip on the Palmetto from DC to Savannah GA and back. Going down the experience was about the same as before. Coming back things were a bit different. It would seem that Amtrak has brought some the older Amfleet I cars back into service (judging by the American Reinvestment Act logo painted on the side) I guess to keep up with the growing ridership demands. The cars have been refurbished and appear identical to the Amfleet II cars from the outside. The difference is on the inside, where the seats are closer together, there is no leg rest (the seats only recline), and the windows are curtain free. You still get a big seat with a reading light and AC power, and it looks like it would be a good way to travel for a 2-3 hour trip. However if you're like me and have to be onboard for 12 hours or more it gets annoying and is a bit of let down (especially since the rest of the train were Amfleet II's). What's more is that Amtrak crews have begun to assign seats as you board (again to deal with the increasing ridership), so they knew they were cramming everyone going to Washington into smaller more cramped car. Hopefully they'll become more strategic with they're consist setup and passenger placement as time goes by.)

Business Class:
A bit of a waste in my opinion. (On the Palmetto) You get a slightly cushier seat, a newspaper, free drinks (juice and coffee), a personal attendant, priority boarding (meaning you get to go first), and you are cafe car adjacent....woo!
Not worth the extra 40 bucks to me, but you do get an all around quieter car and a more pleasurable experience.

First Class Sleepers:
This includes both Roomettes and Full Bedrooms. Definitely the way to go if you plan on going overnight or on a multi-day trip. Whether you go in a Roomette or a Bedroom should be determined by how much you want to spend. Onboard all your meals are included, so feel free to get anything on the menu in the dinning car. There's free juice and coffee in the sleeper car and personal attendant for all sleeper passengers.
At major stops like Washington DC, or Chicago this gives you access to the first class lounge. Only first class passengers are allowed in here so feel free leave your bags with the staff and explore the city (I'll tell you more on this later). Inside the one in DC there are free drinks (juice, soda, coffee), snacks/breakfast items, TV's, and comfortable chairs. There are electronic boards to monitor your train's departure time but they aren't really necessary because when the time comes an attendant will come and take you to your train.

Not going to lie, these things are tiny! They are not for the claustrophobic. But they do fall under the title of "First Class," so you get all the perks mentioned above. Plus remember you're on a train, so get up walk around and make some friends. Despite their size they will sleep two people. The two seats fold down to form the lower bunk and the upper bunk drops down from the top. There are also AC power outlets, reading lights, fold out table, adjustable air controls, and coat rack/closet. If you must you can call the attendant to your room via the "push to call" button and have your meals delivered to your room.
The amenities differ between Superliners and Veiwliners. In some ways roomettes on a Viewliner are nicer then their Superliner counter part. For one there is a smaller set of windows up above the big picture window. This gives the person on the top bunk something to look at. Viewliner roomettes also seem a little bigger but the reason for this is also one of the drawbacks. That's because they needed room for the fold out sink and toilet. The sink is all right, but do I really need to explain what's wrong with having a throne in such a small space? Hopefully you like the person you're traveling with otherwise I'd do my business in the bathroom in the lounge car. Thankfully they didn't try to cram a shower in here too. There's a communal shower down the hall at the end of the car. On a Superliner there's a full shower and multiple bathrooms on the lower floor and a small bathroom on the upper floor by the stairs. Finally in a Viewliner roomette you are required to keep your luggage in an over head compartment in your room. This wouldn't be a problem if it wasn't such a small space. Superliners you stow your bags on a luggage rack on the lower floor. This might seem like a bad idea but its surprisingly convenient, safer too.

Come with everything I said above except bigger and then some. If traveling in a group of four or more ask your attendant when you get onboard if you can "suite" your rooms. They'll remove the wall separating the two rooms and really open up the space. Again the sofa folds down to form the lower bunk and upper bunk drops down from the top. The lower bunk is a little wider then upper. Arguably two people could share the lower bunk. As for sleeping in the upper bunk, sleep with your head towards the door and feet towards the window. With the way these beds are setup the end near the window shakes considerably and will keep you up.
Again the sink with a vanity is nice, but I question the logic of having an in room bathroom. The bathroom doubles as your shower and with how much the train moves using one can be a little challenging. If you do use the shower, use it in short bursts and point it away from the door. The rubber striping around the door will only keep out so much of the water. Also if you make a smell in the toilet you live with the smell in the room. Just like at home, except in a much smaller space. Which is why unless you're going number one I would strongly recommend you use the much roomier communal showers and toilets down the hall.


Here's what I plan to cover
Filming and Photography:
Motion Sickness
Timetables and Delays
Smoke Breaks
Cell Phones and Internet
Auto Train

Get this out of the way now. This and this alone is Amtrak's biggest problem. Especially when it comes to the staff. At times the people you deal with are beyond amazing, others will make you wonder why they have a job. This seems to be a bit more of problem in the Northeast. Things improve greatly as you move west (I can't comment on the west coast though). The inconsistency of the staff effects everything from how much you like your personal attendant to food service. Tip the ones who do a good job (preferably with money) and don't bother with the ones who don't. This lack of consistency also applies to their rolling stock. There are at least 3 generations of cars currently in use, and the older ones are really starting to show their age. Amtrak has ordered new cars and begun to refurbish old ones. but it'll take a few years to overhaul everything.

With everything bad I just said about the staff here's some info that will help you out immensely on a trip. A single coach car can hold a hundred people. Between the people running the dinning car, the sleepers, the coaches, and the engine the total staff equates to maybe TEN!! A number of the staff more or less live with you. On long distance trains like The California Zephyr your personal attendant is with you the entire two day trip from Chicago. That is a long time to spend in a small space with someone you don't like. What I'm saying is take it easy on the staff, they got a lot of people to deal with they don't need your personal issues on top of that. When you get onboard, get to know them so that when a real problem comes up you might find them a whole lot more helpful. When the guy at the snack bar needs a break, HE NEEDS A BREAK, he's the only back there. And again when someone does a good job let them know with a tip.

When I got on the Palmetto at the Southern end of the line in Savannah GA, the bathrooms were neat and clean. By the time we got to my stop in DC the same day, they were trashed! This is not Amtrak's fault, it's YOURS. When you use it, clean up after yourself. Make sure your garbage makes it into the trash can. Gentlemen don't be a hero, the train is in motion, you WILL miss the target, FOR GODSAKES JUST SIT DOWN!! This goes for both your communal and in room bathrooms. You could get someone very mad at you in your Viewliner roomette.

(TIP: The trash cans in the bathrooms have a design flaw. The lids are spring-loaded to keep the top shut and the garbage in. The problem is that the springs are a little too strong and if you don't pay attention will spit the trash back out.)

Filming and Photography:
This is the biggest reason I can't say too much bad about Amtrak. That's because some friends of mine and I shot an entire student film on a week long trip onboard an Amtrak train. But don't think for a moment that just because we were able to do it you will too. For one we spent months in advance prepping the equipment and figuring out what we could and couldn't do (both physically and legally). We kept the operation small, 2 actors, 3 crew members, 1 camera, and 1 boom mic. Lastly "we got permission from the conductor," the crew has the final say on everything that goes on onboard.
Even if you're not going for your masters don't assume you can shoot video or take pictures when ever you want. The most common reason you'll ever be told you can't is because you're disturbing the other passengers or disrupting the staffs duties.
WHEN YOU CAN: Sleeping car passengers pretty much have free reign in their rooms (which is where we shot most of the film). Coach passengers can shoot at their seats (preferably out the window). Filming/photography is allowed in the lounge car, it's the OBSERVATION LOUNGE its what its there for. And you can film on the platform at extended stops.
WHEN YOU CAN'T: When someone tells you CAN'T. If your little dip into the film world is making someone else feel uncomfortable or is hindering the staff and they ask you to stop you stop! The place this is most likely to happen are the aisles and the corridors. They're are tight and narrow and already hard enough to get through without you fumbling with a camera. Particularly in the dinning car, the last thing anyone wants is for you to lose your balance and fall all over their food. (even we got yelled at just for carrying our equipment through the dinning car to setup in the lounge). The best time to do a car to car shoot is during the off peak hours when people are going back to their rooms/seats and the dinning car is no longer being actively used.

Motion Sickness:
This is more of an individual problem, but I know I don't get motion sick as easily on a train as I would say a car or bus. My guess the reason for this is while the side to side rocking motion is roughly the same as a car or bus the train's acceleration is much smoother. At the same time if you're on a train for a long time, when you get off you may experience "Stationary Sickness" for a few hours until your body gets use to not moving so much. Either way take some Dramamine with you just in case.

The food on Amtrak represents the best and worst of Amtrak. On Superliners and single level trains with Heritage Dinners (Older cars with a boxier design like the Viewliner) The food is on par with any family restaurant thanks to the presence of a full kitchen. The pricing is a little high but I'll get into that a little later. On trains like the Cardinal however the term "microwavable" can be attached to everything on the menu. This is because the Cardinal doesn't have a full dinner car as part of it's consist. Instead what they have is an Amfleet II Cafe Car (snack car) that has been converted into what Amtrak calls a "Dinner Lite Car" in order to save money. The food is about the same quality as airline food or a high end gas station. As the new cars I told about earlier come into service we'll see if this changes. This especially goes for the Capitol Limited which has the new Cross Country Cafe dinning car as part of it's consist. Long story short, it's nice.

Lets face it sometimes three square meals a day isn't enough. Which is why we have a snack car. On Superliners the snack car is located on the lower level of the Observation Lounge (except for the Auto Train). There is a small wet bar on the upper level but that is only activated during the peak seasons. On single level trains it's either the 2nd or 2nd to last car on the train. The selection is pretty good, chips, candy, cold/hot sandwiches, alcohol. But one of the things you'll notice right away is that all of the prices are a tad....high. There are two reasons for this. First and most obvious is that while you're on the train they have a little monopoly and can charge you whatever they want. Second is that in reality THEY DON'T WANT YOU TO BUY THE FOOD. The snack car can, has, and will run out of things and it can happen surprisingly quick. Supplies onboard are limited and they can only restock at major stops. Nothing wrong with bringing your own supplies onboard, its cheaper too. This goes for meals as well. Large stations like Union Station in DC have large food courts with a wide variety of food that can be wrapped up to go and taken onboard with you. Bringing alcohol with you is a little tricky. If your in a sleeper bring a cooler, get a party going, and have fun. Coach passengers not so much, technically you can't bring your own alcohol with you and the alcohol you get from the snack car you can't drink at your seat. If you break this rule the conductor has the right to throw you off the train. But for the most part as long as you are discreet and polite about it, no one really cares. Nobody likes a drunkard.

(Tip: If you brought your own supplies and you like your drinks cold and don't have a cooler, ask the guy in the snack car for a cup of ice. They'll give you one for free but they usually like you to buy something to go with it.)

Timetables and Delays:
With the exceptions of breakdowns and mechanical failures, delays for the most part are not Amtrak's fault. The majority of delays are caused by the freight lines. Amtrak owns very, very little of its own tracks, instead they're more or less forced to rent track space from the freight companies. Supposedly (can't confirm this) the freight lines are supposed to give priority and right of way to passenger trains. However when push comes to shove the freight companies will take the fine from the government rather then delay the on-time delivery of cargo. Delays for track maintenance are also caused by the freight companies. For me so far I've managed to get to my destinations no more then about 15 mins late. In some cases I've even gotten there early.
Trains are as close to an all-weather-go-anywhere form of transportation as you can get. I've seen trains go through massive blizzards and nasty ice storms. It was slow-go but we managed to get where we were going on time. If a train is delayed due to weather chances are it's THAT BAD.
Delays can also be caused by passengers. People fussing with their luggage, people losing track of time in the lounge car and having to race back to their seats, or confusion over where to sit all can hold a train up and force it to run late. Delays at one end of the line can cascade and compound as you move down the route. I'm going to say this as simply as I can, BE READY. If you are within a half hour of when you are suppose to board/disembark don't go anywhere. Meaning that you need to remain in the station's boarding area or at your seat if you're getting off. Trains CAN run early, I've seen it happen. They may remain in the station for a time to get back on schedule but don't count on it. Also if you get onboard and the seat you were told to sit in by the crew is occupied by another person, don't stand there and argue with them and definitely don't stand there with a confused look on your face. Find an open seat, sit down and worry about it after everyone is onboard and the train is moving. Seating is still technically "unassigned," not that big a deal if you have to sit somewhere else.
The brochures they have at the station and online give you a good idea of what the timetable is like. But train schedules change on a daily basis. You really need to go by the time printed on your ticket and what the staff tells you onboard.

You can have your tickets mailed to your home address. But why would you when you could just pick them up at the station. Amtrak's Quiktrak system is great. When you book online you'll receive an email with you ticket number and a bar-code. Print it out. When you get to the station scan the bar-code and the machine will print your tickets for you. If there is a problem with the scanner talk to the staff at the station and they'll print one for you. If the station is unmanned/closed and the machines are down take you print out with you and talk to the conductor as soon as you get onboard. They can print the tickets for you on the train. Chances are you won't be the only one with a problem. Make sure you have ID to verify it's your tickets in question.

Perhaps one of the most hated things about air travel, but one of the greatest things about rail travel. The reason being is that most stations are built at or near the city center. Because you're not bound to the station by security gates you're free to explore and sight-see while you wait for your next train to come in. There seems to be some padding built into the system so you should have plenty of time to do this. Once when changing trains in Chicago (from the Cardinal to the Zephyr) I had enough time to eat at a famous restaurant and see the top of the Sears Tower (now called Willis Tower). With a bit more coordination I could a have met up with a friend of mine who lives in Chicago and hung out while we waited.

Straight up PAY ATTENTION TO THESE. In addition to telling you when the next station stop is going to be and relaying emergency information, the staff will tell you other important things you need to know. Like how at the next stop not all of the doors will open because the platform isn't long enough to support the entire train, so if you want to get off you need to proceed to a certain car. Or that travel between cars will be restricted while the train goes through a six mile tunnel in order to keep the diesel fumes down. Or when the next smoke break is. All of this can and should be heard over the PA system. If it isn't, talk to the staff they've got no reason to hide it from you (this also falls under getting to know the crew, make some friends while you're stuck with each other).

Smoke Breaks:
There is no smoking on Amtrak trains, instead you have smoke breaks. Even if you don't smoke, these are a great way to decompress after spending several hours onboard. They usually occur at stations with extended stops, and crew changes. Smoke breaks tend to occur most often at stations with baggage service. You can tell which stations these are by the "bag" icon that appears next to the station name on the train schedule. But be forewarned just because the train has come to a stop at a station for a long time doesn't mean you can get off and stretch. Don't go through any door that wasn't opened/manned by a staff member, and definitely don't try to open it yourself. Doing so is a huge liability for Amtrak. In DC for example there is often an extended stop. This is so they can switch engines from diesel to an electric locomotive (or the other way around if you're heading South). Needless to say Amtrak probably doesn't want passengers walking around outside when this happens. On one of my trips somebody opened the door at a night stop on the Zephyr and either didn't know how to close it or didn't bother to. As a result the door was left open all through the night. When it was discovered the conductor (understandably) freaked out trying to find out who opened the door and make sure everyone and everything was still onboard. If you do need a break and no official smoke break is coming up soon, talk to the staff they'll let you know when it'll be okay to step out.

I love Amtrak's baggage policy. Each person is allowed two bags measuring up to 28" x 22" x 14." If you measure this out this is roughly the size of your average large suitcase and you're allowed this as your carry-on! In case you're wondering laptop bags and purses don't count toward your 2 piece limit. There's normally a lot of space available in the luggage racks and the attendants will help you with the heavier pieces. So in reality in most cases there's no need to check your bags. If you do end up checking bags you're allowed to bring 3 pieces up to 36" x 36" x 36" in size for 10 bucks a bag regardless of weight (try to keep it under 50lbs). Special items like bikes, ski equipment, and musical instruments usually need to be checked and there is an extra 5 dollar handling fee. You also need to check your bags at least 30min before departure and make sure where you're getting on/off at has baggage service. Smaller stops are usually stop and go, the train isn't in the station long enough to access the baggage car.
When it comes to stowing your carry-ons here's what I suggest. If your traveling on a Superliner (coach or sleeper) leave your largest bags on the luggage racks on the lower level and take a smaller bag packed with the essentials (toiletries, clothes, etc..) to your room or seat. If you can pack this bag inside your larger bag, then it doesn't count as a third carry on. If you forget something in your little bag don't worry you can access the luggage racks at anytime during the trip. Don't leave anything terribly valuable down here though, bags get moved around a lot down here as people get on and off or come down to grab that thing they forgot. Amtrak already advises against bringing valuable things onboard and can't be held liable for damages. If your traveling on a single level train you pretty much keep your bags with you. In coach you can place your bags either in the overhead racks or in the luggage racks located near the back of the car. If you're in a Viewliner (bedroom or roomette) you have large overhead storage bins in your room you can place your bags in. You'll still want the smaller bag, the overhead bins can be a little hard to reach once the train is in motion. No matter what train you're traveling on mark your stuff with luggage tags. Amtrak requires this for all bags, if you don't have one or forgot to put one on you can grab a paper one at the station.

Cell Phones and Internet:
Bring a charger or turn your phone off. one of the things you'll notice right away is how quickly the battery on your mobile device drains away. My phone for example normally can go 4 days without a charge, onboard a train its close to death in less then a day. The reason is that as you move cross country the phone boosts power to the antenna in order to find the next tower to latch onto. At the rate trains travel at it has to keep doing this to maintain the signal. The result being significantly lower battery life.
As for the internet if you have something that can connect wirelessly use it. Although you may experience the same battery draining signal problems as your phone. Amtrak is currently experimenting with free WiFi on the Accela and Coast Starlight, but maintaining the signal strength at 80+ miles an hour through the middle of nowhere is proving difficult.

(UPDATE: Amtrak is expanding WiFi services. WiFi is now available on Amtrak Cascades and will soon be expanded to other trains along the West Coast and the Northeast Corridor. No idea when it will come to the Midwest and the country's interior, little bit harder to get a signal out there.)

Auto Train:
It's the exception to so many rules. I've already told you that coach passengers on the auto train get their meals complimentary with their ticket. It's also the only train that allows smoking onboard. Why? because the Auto Train only makes two stops, one in Virgina and one in Florida. If you do need to light up there's a smokers lounge in the lower level of the observation car. You can also exceed the two piece limit on baggage. You do it by packing your extra bags in your car.
If you do take the Auto Train get there early and don't be in a rush to leave. The auto racks take FOREVER to load and unload. Which can be annoying especially at the southern station which (at least when I went) doesn't have AC, just giant fans. It's central Florida why wouldn't you have AC!?


I hope this helps anyone who is going or thinking of using Amtrak. It really can be a enjoyable way to travel but confusing if you don't pay attention. For more info, schedules, and menus check Amtrak's website (
If you want to get a lay of the land before you go here is a site I found with a 360 degree view of your typical Superliner train.,1.80,75.0

(click on the map tab on the left side to explore more of the train)

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Amtrak 1


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Amtrak 1

The first train stopped but did not open its doors and then it left. The second train opened its doors and a conductor said that it was not going to our destination. After the fact, we were told by customer service that he made a mistake. The next train was not until the following morning. Despite missing 2 trains, causing my son and his friends to arrive 1 day late on a holiday weekend, customer service told me that the complaint was not important enough for them to deal with it. I suppose there must be much worse problems at Amtrak. It is run like a state agency in a communist regime. I will never ever take Amtrak again.

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Votes on this review: 9 Helpful / 1 Funny / 6 Agree / 1 Disagree

William Bo

Amtrak 3

0 stars (put your rating here! 1-5

Always late. Never on time. Does not own their own tracks and must rent from other suppliers. Trains are dirty, unkept and smell. Bathrooms never have toilet paper or soap. Drink cart is overpriced and understudied.

Amazing a train can have more problems with an airplane.

Use only when mandatory. Better off walking.

Sent from iPhone 4.

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Amtrak 1

The fare from New York City to Boston is nearly doubled the cost of taking a regular train so what do you get?

(1) A savings of 30 minutes

(2) Oversold trains which leave people standing and passengers forced to use the cafe car making it unusable for anyone who want to take a break and have bite in the care car.

(3) An unassigned seat which means, if you did not department from the originating station, your family and friends will be separated. The conductors do not help to manage people -- they just want you on the train so the train can move.

(4) The commuter train from CT was actually traveling faster than the Aleca!

(5) When speeds are high you will experience the same turbulence on an airplane in a thunderstorm.

(6) After 3 hours of a nearly 4 hour ride, the toilets stunk and not cleaned.

(7) The WiFi is not reliable and hit's dead spots frequently.

(8) There is no place to plug your PC!

I admit I wanted the experience of Aleca but looking at back at today's experience, I will never travel. For the same price I could fly Jet Blue -- or I can travel and take the CT commuter to have a much better experience -- something I will be doing the next time.

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Votes on this review: 3 Helpful / 1 Funny / 7 Agree / 7 Disagree


Amtrak 1

The ride from HELL!!

A friend and I were faced with a long car ride from florida to michigan after a 7 day cruise. My friend discovered that Amtrak has an auto train that will carry your car from florida to virginia cutting out about 17 hrs of our drive. First off, the cost was high for a roomette, 500 dollars, twice what we would have paid if we would have drove it. But the website said that you can travel in comfort and let them do the driving. So Saturday, Oct 31st, 2010, we arrived at amtrak with our tickets in hand.

We were treated well by the staff, quick to load our car and direct us to a ticket counter. While at the ticket window, we were asked if we would like to upgrade to a family bedroom for 100 dollars more, or for 160 dollars, could upgrade to a large room with its own bathroom. we decided not to pay the upgrade, that amtraks website said that the roomette was a comfortable room for two.

So off we were onto the train. The car attendant greeted us and directed us to our roomette. We arrived to a closet with two chairs facing eash other plus a bunk overhead. We knew about this since we seen a diagram on the website, but its not the same until you actually are in one. Oh well, so what, we are in for the night. We were planning on a good nights rest for our 10 hour drive from virginia to michigan tommorrow.

Then the train pulled out and the nightmare started. We were just on a 7 day cruise and not once did I get sick, yet within 1 hour of being on that rocking train, that I had to take motion sickness pills. Then night fell and we asked the car attendant to please make up our closet, which he promptly did. My friend climbed into the bottom bunk, and I precided to climb into my upper "coffin" bunk. The train was rocking so violently, that climbing up was a chore. When I finally got into bed, I reallized that the "bed padding" was no thicker than a YOGA MAT. Plus, its so small that your arm is up against the cold metal wall all night with a webbing on the other side to keep you from falling out of the bunk, which I realized was needed. So here I am in my bunk, the train rocking back and forth violently, lurching up and down, back and forth, slower then faster while you hold on for dear life!! Plus the loud noises that is happening all night. A loud metal on metal screeching noise, plus a deafening loud crashing noise as the train went over bridges, overpasses, intersections, etc. I WAS PRAYING TO GOD ALL NIGHT TO PLEASE LET THIS HELLISH NIGHT TO PLEASE BE OVER!!
When we arrived in virginia, we were about 1 1/2 hours early. I was walking around outside the train, but still felt the world rocking violently!! I realized that the train must have been traveling so fast to arrive so early, it probably contributed to the violent ride we just had!! Neither one of us got any sleep on the train and wound up sleeping in the car before our drive home.




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Votes on this review: 4 Helpful / 11 Funny / 19 Agree / 12 Disagree

Martin Ste

Amtrak 1

one star

I'm adding my review 30 years late. We were about to book a trip from San Jose CA to Portland OR, but after seeing that over 95% of Amtrac reviews are "terrible," we opted to fly instead of taking what we thought might be an enjoyable scenic train ride.

In about 1980 my family of two adults and two small children took a two-day train ride in hell traveling San Francisco to Chicago. The hot mid-summer trip included a roomette in a car that lost its air
conditioning 2 hours after departure, toilets that didn't work and vented hot steam into the room (from God-knows where) when flushed, and nowhere to take refuge except a tobacco-smoke-filled standing-room- only club car. Repeated promises to repair or add another car to accommodate the victims never materialized.

In the end we sued Amtrac in small claims court for a fare refund and won. I can see we assumed erroneously that after all this time and government support Amtrac had gotten its act together! Apparently the regs don't allow suing Amtrac anymore, so we'll skip the opportunity.
Marty S..

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Amtrak 1

Amtrak has done what I thought was impossible: driven me back to airplanes for my business travel.

I took the Acela express between Boston and New York for 4 months before Amtrak's disregard for customers and shoddy service made me vow never to get on an Amtrak train again. After ruining my labor day weekend plans with a suspension of all service to Boston on the Friday before a long weekend, I have continually been put off by their actions. Every teller window is staffed with a person who hates their customers and makes changing any travel a depressing experience. Tellers take breaks 10 minutes before trains are scheduled to depart, even when the line is full of people waiting anxiously to get on those trains. Amtrak employees cut the lines to bring wealthy people to the window ahead of people who were there long before they were.

In addition, a general complaint: the overhead compartments make the sound of gun shots when closed, as do the tray tables and foot rests. The quiet car is a joke because of this.

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Amtrak 1

My wife and I took the Crescent from Anniston, AL to New Orleans, LA in October 2010. We reserved a sleeper with handicapped facilties because my wife suffers from Parkinson's Disease. Boarding was very easy because of a portable wheelchair ramp at the station that raised my wife's wheelchair to the level of the entry door. Our room was clean, well furnished, and more than adequate even though it needed more assist bars.  We had a wonderful assistant who provided great service.  However, the trip was horrible!  When the train was traveling at speed, it lurched and swayed so badly that it was impossible for me to stand much less move around the compartment. My wife held on for dear life almost the entire trip.  We arrived in NO completely exhausted and vowing to never take Amtrac again.  We cancelled our return reservations and returned home by car - a far faster and more pleasant experience.

I don't know if our experiences are typical for all Amtrac routes.  Was our miserable ride just because of track conditions in this area or do all routes suffer from such a rough ride? We have traveled extensively by BritRail in the United Kingdom and Scotland and even with speeds of 100 mph, the ride is smooth.  Whatever the case, we won't be traveling by Amtrac again!

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Amtrak 1

Very bad trip Fullerton Ca to Boston via Chicago and return using the most expensive bedrooms. Shower Leaked and got carpet wet. Food mostly very Bad. Toilet plugged up and not fixed. Tracks so bad (rocking and rolling) could not use bath most of the time - to dangerous. Filthy luggage cars got luggage so dirty they had to be vacuumed before return to home and so did the car trunk. Linens and mattresses in bedroom dirty. Windows so dirty that even the scenery was blurred and taking pictures impossible. I will never travel Amtrak overnight again.

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Amtrak 1

1 stars)

Very bad trip Fullerton Ca to Boston via Chicago and return using the most expensive bedrooms. Shower Leaked and got carpet wet. Food mostly very Bad. Toilet plugged up and not fixed. Tracks so bad (rocking and rolling) could not use bath most of the time - to dangerous. Filthy luggage cars got luggage so dirty they had to be vacuumed before return to home and so did the
car trunk. Linens and mattresses in bedroom dirty. Windows so dirty that even the scenery was blurred and taking pictures impossible. I will never travel Amtrak overnight again.

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Amtrak 1

On September 3rd, I experienced a horrible trip on Acela train #2158. Apparently a couple was allowed to board without tickets. They were very loud throughout the trip. Towards the end of the trip it was discovered by Amtrak employees that they did not pay for tickets.

How were they able to board without a ticket? Why did it take so long for someone to notice they did not have a ticket? Why were they allowed to talk so loudly on a train? I would have moved my seat but my son and I had luggage in the overhead compartment that was difficult to move from one location to another. We never thought Amtrak would be so careless in allowing these things to occur. This brings up a bigger issue for me regarding Amtrak’s safety procedures if Amtrak is not capable of making sure everyone on the train has a ticket how can I be assured of other safety procedures?

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Votes on this review: 3 Helpful / 1 Funny / 6 Agree / 3 Disagree


Amtrak 4

Wow. Interesting reviews. I am in the middle of an Amtrak trip and so far I would have to say my experience has been pretty good. You can have a bad travel experience any where, any time, no matter who the carrier is...So far, I have traveled from Seattle to Chicago, Chicago to Washington, Washington to New York and I am now in Montreal...I would have to say all good travel experiences. This trip will take me from Montreal back to Chicago via Albany, NY, and Chicago to Los Angeles. I regret the last leg to Seattle will have to be on an airplane. So far the trains have been on time, comfortable, with reasonably good food and interesting people. I tend to avoid negative people or at least find them pretty pathetic. If contrasted with my recent air travel experiences, if I have the time, I would prefer the train in all cases. Reading these reviews, and the hyper critical nature of some of them I understand why you might have encountered a hostile crew member. I'm sure the other passengers sitting around you were probably laughing at you as well.

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Amtrak 1

The Amtrak Website is great, I wish I could say the same for Amtrak it's self.
We were depending on and looking forward to a Amtrak Trip.
As we were traveling from Salem, Or. to Vancouver, BC. to take a Alaskan Cruise.
Amtrak canceled all service in the region for 3 days due to neglected maintenance.
Telling us at 3AM that our 5AM trip was canceled and it was up to us to get there.
Our opinion of Amtrak is very low.

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Votes on this review: 4 Helpful / 0 Funny / 4 Agree / 5 Disagree


Amtrak 1

If there was a way to apply negative stars, this would have sealed the deal. I sent my daughter and her father on a train from Syracuse, NY to Chicago and to begin with the train eneded being 4 hrs and 40 mins. late, which cost us and additional 240 to change our plane tickets around because the train was late and they couldn't make it on time. The station was filthy, toilets looked like they had not been cleaned in weeks, trash cans over flowing, and tables covered in sticky soda and trash. My daughter is 6 and the train was suppose to leave at about 9:30p.m., we ended up holding her in our arms as she fell asleep because the train didn't get there until just after 1 a.m. Absolutely horrible......I will never be riding a train or sending anyone on a train ever again. This was all of our first experience with a train....and now because of Amtrak, our last.

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Amtrak 1

If there was a minus 5 star rating, Amtrak would deserve it!

Like typical post office mentality and lazy malfunctioning government workers, Amtrak staff are lazy, incompetent, and rude.

Our first time experience with Amtrak has left us with a very bad taste in the mouth. Here's why:

1. Amtrak lost our luggage on our trip from Sacramento to Los Angeles Union station.
2. Amtrak made an "error" in our tickets that caused us a long delay at the station.
3. On-board food service was unprofessional, rude, and ineffective.
4. The conductor was more interested in satisfying her ego than the customers.
5. The bus ride from Bakersfield to LA (no train service available) was interrupted by "mechanical failures". Our bus was idling in the heat near Gorman waiting for some technicians coming from Bakersfield. The delay was about an hour!

It's a real shame that Amtrak is subsided by taxpayers but the image of Amtrak is a disgrace to American pride compared to European train systems. Perhaps Amtrak is only a step up from India train service.

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Votes on this review: 4 Helpful / 1 Funny / 6 Agree / 8 Disagree


Amtrak 1

This review is about Amtrak service on the Pacific Surliner, Coast Starlight, and Sunset Limited/Texas Eagle from L.A. Union Station.

FIRST, UNION STATION. This place should be a tourist's dream. The L.A. Redvelopment Agency & others have refreshed its Mission-Art Deco style, and most of the station areas are open at least to see. Don't forget to look up and check out the refurbished ceiling! The same old, massive chairs that were there in the 1930's (so I hear) invite waiting passengers.

There is one good restaurtant at the station, named "Traxx." They serve really good food at really good food prices. There is also a bar apparently operated by the same folks. The service at both restaurant and bar is usually very freindly, and the bar tender will remember you if you come back! (WOW!!) There is also a bagel place and a newstand, which are just ordinary and often crowded.

I use this station for my daily commutes, and I never cease to be just a little excited by walking along the long, wide tunnel underneath the tracks leading to the station waiting area. The rumble of trains overhead, the sound of engine bells and the droves of people, all make this a fun place to be.

The people-watching is, I think, the best in the West. On one day, there will be a commercial photo shoot near the information booth. On another, a tight-knit group of older women will be taking their monthly trip to somewhere, all sporting some rediculous head gear. Business people are as frequent as leather-clad, chain dangling tatood youths. And there are many variations in between.

Across the street and up a short hill from the Station is Olvera Street, original home of the Ciry's government, and now filled with quasi-Mexican stores and booths. It's short on history but long on colorful, plaster cats with gem-like eyes, and similar stuff.

There are some drawbacks to this "must-see" place. So much of the Station is closed to public access that there is virtually no place to relax and take a breath. The comfy looking chairs are not quite as relaxing as they look, and they do take up a heck of a lot of space. The bar is the only "alcove," and it's still open on two sides. Finally, the 1929 architects had no idea how much noise a 21st Century crowd makes.

So, as an attraction, the Station probably rates 3 1/2 stars.

The coaches on the Surfliner are newer than the so-called Superliner coaches that you often read about. The bathrooms are bigger. The stairs are wider. And except for occasionally feeling like you're on a big bus, they make you comfortable. The chairs are smaller and closer together than the Superliner chairs, but they make up for it by being newer and more comfortable. Also, the ride on these newer cars is smoother than on the Superliners.

There are no attendants on this train. And carrying alot of luggage should be avoided. But the conductors are pretty good about helping. The snack bar is adequate if totally expensive, and food and drink can be carried to your seat.

There is a business class on this train. Limited snacks and coffee are free, and the atmosphere is quieter. If you want to enjoy a relaxing train ride along the coast, this is the place to be.

Because the Surfliner's run is shorter, (from San Diego to San Luis Obispo) these trains are most often on time. And the facilites are usually clean.

The trains "turn around" in L.A., so if you're going through that station, be prepared to pick up your stuff and change seats if you want to keep facing forward. Unlike the good ol' days, the seats are not turned around when the train changes direction. They accomodate this by making half the seats face in the oppsoite direction from the others.

Overall comment for the Pacific Surliner: A good train for a day trip along the Southern California Coast. Maybe three stars.

On both the Coast Starliner and the Sunset Limited/Texas Eagle, the cars are old, often crummy and usually serviced by incredibly rude, unhelpful staff people. The comments I have read about the bathrooms on these trains match my family's experience. Often, they stink up the entire car. And once they get started, it seems that service ends and the demeaning behavior begins.

And woe betide you if your train is running late. It's like a grown-up version of Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. I'd prefer the Disneyland version if I had a choice. And our experience has been that these trains are substantially late at least 1/3 of the time.

AND if you're train STARTS significantly late, they have been known to seal up the cars, turn off a/c and practice their rude behavior on thier now-captive, sweating audience. It's like a rehearsal for U.S. Airways.

An informal poll of our family shows that 58% of the participants believe that Amtrak attendants leave as soon as the passengers are loaded and have cage fighting bouts just ot keep their tempers up. Five percent of those polled believe that they use cattle prods, too. It's the only way to explain their absence on the one hand and their rudeness when finally do appear again. There are only a few exceptions.

You can blame other operators for rough track. You can blame budget problems for poor equipment. But there is only one group to blame for rotten service - MANAGEMENT.

And because many of its problems can be cured, and the effect of others softened, by attitude changes - I GIVE THESE TWO LINES ZERO STARS.


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Votes on this review: 7 Helpful / 2 Funny / 10 Agree / 8 Disagree


Amtrak 1

Amtrak has been having terrible service for me now in California. On the East Coast it is a bit better but still. There are other people there that would complain.
In San Francisco when the bridge was out they wouldn't check my baggage so I had to bring it with me by the BART. They said I could check it along the way but when I got there they tried to refuse. I had a disagreement with the clerks. He had been looking at his cell phone and didn't want to do anything. They had assured me I would have time. I would have if they had done it. I finally got the manager who barely did anything but had it checked. Then I missed it. She acted as if it was my fault and I wanted to stay there. You are taken advantage of. When I got to LA there was another baggage issue of overpricing. He tried to charge an extra fee. I showed him it was not on the information printed. The other clerk let me take the bag without the extra. When I went to customer service there was a clerk though bilingual of course who said in a nasty way to me that he was going to "check the time I was in and not just believe me." It didn't sound very customer service friendly. They have done that before. The clerks take advantage when they think they can.
I had another one be rude to all of us in the group I was in. They had jeans on and I had likewise and he made some crack about how much money we had. I am sure they had more than him being from the Carmel area. He had wanted to get a tip I think in the lunch room. I had other ones bother too and being unprofessional trying to go cross country. We had also gotten stuck which people love. Then I noticed on sleeping in seat all crowded another whole car with no one in it. That is what they do.
The passing out seat numbers for where you have to sit is very annoying too that they use sometimes.
It is why people fly instead.

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Votes on this review: 3 Helpful / 0 Funny / 8 Agree / 3 Disagree


Amtrak 4

Amtrak is very punctual now, at least on the Coast Starlight route!

Food is of good quality and portions are generous.

The scenery (mountains, trees, rivers, rocky out-croppings) afford riders lots to look
at, especially in the areas furthest from the major cities.

One thing they really need to change is the time-frame when meals are served.
The spread over 2 1/2 hours is far too long. They should have seatings
for breakfast, no earlier than 6:30 and lunch and dinner should be spread
over (for lunch) 11:15 - 1PM; dinner from 5:30 - 7PM. When I boarded
the train in Portland on the south-bound direction they were still announcing
lunch as late as 2PM!

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Votes on this review: 7 Helpful / 0 Funny / 4 Agree / 8 Disagree


Amtrak 1

My wife & I recently purchased a sleeping car from Chicago to Atlantic City for May, 2010. The following day we tried to return them as our plans had changed. The agent charged us one hundred dollars to return them. We told him the agent that we had bought them from instructed us that we would be charged this fee if we had returned the tickets one prior to departure. Well, not even 24 hours later did we try this, yet was told by another agent something else. We tried calling customer service without any success. Amtrak sucks!

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Amtrak 5

February 15th 2010, My wife and I just returned on our first train ride on Amtrak from Denver to Grand Junction Colorado. If you have the time this is simply the way to travel. Beautiful views that you would never see from the interstate or air. The staff was rather polite and helpful. Would recommend to do it atleast once if not more.

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Amtrak 1

I will just post the letter I wrote to Amtrak on their website, they said they would respond within 24 hours and its been about that and no suprise here, no response. This is pretty much in a nutshell how HORRIBLE the Amtrak is.

To Whom It May Concern:

I traveled from Grand Rapids MI to McCook NE on the 3rd to the 4th of February. It was the WORST travel experience I have EVER had. The employees were rude, not helpful at all. I was traveling with my mother who suffers from brain aneurysms, I had about 6 bags of luggage, and when we transferred in Chicago, your employees 1) were rude to my mother, acting as if she was taking too long to get off the train (she can barely walk by herself),2) were NO help whatsoever with my luggage, there was an employee standing at the train door not doing anything, but watching me struggle to get my mom off the train and get my luggage off. Then I put one suitcase on the luggage carrier, and the guy just took off. So I had to load my luggage on to another one, and I was going to get my mother on it, and the driver just tried to take off again!!! Before I had even gotten my mother on. So I finally got my luggage in order, with the help of the customer service desk, the only helpful person my entire trip. Then when we’re getting onto the train in Chicago (California zephyr) I had to get my mom on one of the luggage carriers for a ride to the train, and one of your employees didn't want me to ride with her! He said I could walk to the train with my luggage cart, and kept insisting I do so, I tried to tell him, She gets confused and I may need to hold her arm so she doesn't get dizzy and fall off. Finally I convince him I do need to be on it with her, and when he takes off very rude and condescending he says "aren't you going to hold on to her". As if I was lying about her head injury. Also TWO times I pushed the call for help button and the first train no one at all responded, I had to go find someone (which was no easy task), and the second time about 6 hours later someone came and asked if I had hit the button, by then I had already figured out on my own what I needed. Finally, while we were getting off in McCook the employee was literally tapping his foot, and gesturing in a "hurry up" motion for my mom to get off the train, she was clearly not all with us at this point, and NO way could she step down without help and he was too busy rushing her to help her. So I had to ask him if he could be anymore rude, she is head injured, and needs help down, at which he instantly changed his attitude to 'try' and be helpful. We got her off the train, then I got back on to grab the last of my luggage to find one of the bags were missing, and the employee was rushing me so I couldn't even look for the bag without feeling like I was holding everyone up. I ride Greyhound a lot, and have NEVER had anything bad to say about them. I chose to ride the train because my mom wanted to and she hasn't rode in years and thought it would be fun. This was not the case at all, your employees should be ashamed of how they treat their customers and I will NEVER ride Amtrak again. It was easily the worst travel experience I have ever had.

Thank You,

Mary T-----

It disgusted me that this how they treat their customers, especially disabled customers. I recommend that NO ONE ride Amtrak unless you like to feel like less than trash for long periods of time.

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Votes on this review: 8 Helpful / 5 Funny / 11 Agree / 14 Disagree


Amtrak 2

I received unnecessarily rude and aggressive treatment from the train operators aboard the train from Boston to New York on January 12th 2010 leaving South Station at 6:45pm. I was settled in sitting on the left of the train and was using my laptop computer. When I tried to plug my power adapter into the sockets next to my seat, I discovered that none of the outlets on the left hand side in my car were functioning correctly. I therefore carefully ran a wire across the car to the outlets on the right hand side. I was careful to ensure that the wire was flat with the ground, and not a hazard.

The train attendant soon stopped over and told me that this was a safety hazard and that I would have to move to the other side of the train. I had no problem with this, and began to gather my belongings to shift sides. However, I was treated in a rude and abrasive manner by the attendant and his colleague. They told me no fewer than 6 times in quick succession that I should cross to the other side, even though they could clearly see that I was already making preparations to move across. After about 10 seconds he yelled at me that he would "unplug my power adapter in 2 seconds" if I did not immediately comply with his request. This was unnecessary given that I had already started moving.

I did not expect to be treated so rudely aboard an Amtrak train, especially given the high cost of the tickets and the expectations of high quality service that I therefore expect to receive aboard the train. Neither attendant expressed any interest in finding out why the outlets were not working, or fixing them.

I do not look forward to travelling on this Amtrak service again in future, and will be taking the bus, which not only has more pleasant staff but also offers working power outlets and WiFi.

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Votes on this review: 7 Helpful / 0 Funny / 7 Agree / 21 Disagree


Amtrak 1

Don't ever, ever do it unless you are prepared to pay exhorbitant rates for a sleeper car room. Coach seats are hard and uncomfortable, people who made the mistake of believing Amtrak that you can sleep in those torture racks can be found all over the train looking for a place to curl up and sleep, the whole train looks and smells like the underside of a highway overpass for the homeless, the toilets are dirty and fill up in coach after about 24 hours leaving you with nothing, and the whole thing gives you the impression that you are riding on a rural bus in a third world country except for the lack of chickens and pigs in the passenger compartment, even though after about a day it smells like they are there.

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Amtrak 1

I rode Amtrak from Kansas City to Houston a few years ago. On my return trip I arrived at the Oklahoma City train station at closing time (9-10pm). The Amtrak official kicked me out of the building, telling me I would have to wait on the curb outside for a bus that would come and take me the rest of the way. She then proceeded to unlock her car door and get in to go home. I asked her if she could wait until the bus arrived as I was traveling alone and was unfamiliar with Oklahoma City. She said no. I asked her what I was supposed to do if the bus did not show up, and told her I was uncomfortable being abandoned in downtown Oklahoma City late at night outside a deserted Amtrak station. She said "We have yet to come back in the morning and find the bones of a dead Amtrak customer on our steps. You'll be fine". She then got in her car and left.

The street I was deserted on was dark as several of the lights in front of the train station were burned out and there was no one around except for a rare person walking by on foot and one other passenger that had been abandoned with me. She had been dropped off by family and was trying to catch the bus that was supposedly coming to pick us up in front of the Amtrak station. Fortunately, her family did not drive off and leave us like the rude Amtrak employees. They called Amtrak to find out what we were supposed to do when our bus still hadn't arrived an hour after our scheduled departure. Amtrak, of course, was not able to give us any information over the phone. We then called information and got the phone number of the nearest bus station and were told that our bus was actually at that station (several blocks away from the Amtrak station) and that we were expected to board the bus there since they were not driving by the Amtrak station to pick us up. The bus driver told me that she had had this problem with other Amtrak customers and that the Amtrak employees were wrongly telling them that the bus stopped at the Amtrak station to pick them up.

I will never, ever travel with Amtrak again. Their employees are rude and have no problem abandoning a woman alone on a dark, deserted street so that they can get home a little quicker. They are not clear about the amount of bus riding that is involved with their train trips (and I assure you up to half of your trip will be by bus), and their stations are located in the nastiest, dirtiest part of every city I visited while I was on this hellish trip with them.

I attempted to file a complaint with Amtrak after this happened, and I specifically wanted to mention the rude and completely inappropriate Amtrak employee in Oklahoma City but found their website to be lacking a customer comment area. I'm not surprised. Given the poor service I was shown on my trip, I'm certain they are not in any rush to allow other customers to post their Amtrak experiences as they will most likely be negative.

If you value your time and safety at all, never ever ride with Amtrak.

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Votes on this review: 10 Helpful / 2 Funny / 9 Agree / 10 Disagree


Amtrak 1

Always seems to be late. I take it between NYC and Wilmington. It's really expensive and it's slow. Chinatown bus costs 1/5 the cost and only takes 30 min more. The only plus is it's farely comfortable if you get a seat. Sometimes during rush hour it's hard to find a seat

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Amtrak 1

We boarded in Tucson (Oct 3, 2009), with a roomette. For the 38 hour trip to New Orleans, the communal bathroom was NEVER cleaned. It quickly became DISCUSTING!

The roomette seemed filthy at best. The dining room was well run but rather regimented. You will be seated with strangers. The food was better than expected, and included with the roomette. Traveling in a seat it is not, and it is very pricey. The portions were huge and mosty wasted. I'd prefer a normal serving size with a lower price.

After a layover in New Orleans, we boarded again to Memphis. Just a coach this time. Plenty of leg room, quite comfortable. However this crew was TOTALLY incompetent. The dining car was in chaos and it took more than an hour to be served, additional time to snag some silverware.

Overall, I would sum our experience as dismal and FILTHY.

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Amtrak 4


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Amtrak 1

My rating - zero stars, even less than what is allowed through this review system.

My family and I rode the Coast Starlight from Seattle to Portland round trip. We were in a family room both ways.

The room had been unattended both ways, evidenced by pet odors, white substance in the seat cushions, and shorts and t-shirt found on the floor of the in-room closet.

The halls of the train smelled horribly of unattended lavoratory.

The meals options were very limited, and what was available was mediocre at best.

I felt imposed upon by the waitstaff when two of my family members had elected to take dinner in the room, and the two of us whom had elected to eat in the dinning car were required to eat at a booth with two strangers (because our party consisted of fewer than four individuals). There were plenty of open booths, but we weren't allowed to use one. I refused to eat with the strangers and turned on my heel after requesting in room dining service.

The family car attendants are agressive in their expectation of tips, and are ready with the stink eye if you don't comply.

Nothing about our Amtrak experience was pleasing. I would not recommend it.

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Votes on this review: 8 Helpful / 4 Funny / 7 Agree / 12 Disagree


Amtrak 5

We Loved It.

In August of ‘09, my wife and I took a cross country trip on Amtrak and loved every minute. I know that on this site, there are countless whiners about Amtrak, but I look forward to another round trip on the rails. I do need to point out that we took a sleeper, not coach which is where the majority of the complaints seem to originate. You might as well take a bus trip as ride coach class on the train ... but the sleepers are extraordinary. The first short leg of our trip was in coach, so I can compare the two.

Our trip began in Rochester, NY, had a change in Chicago and then on to San Francisco. There was a bit of a layover in Chicago, but their lounge for sleeper customers is more than comfortable and offers complementary beverages, snacks, newspapers and Wi-Fi. Depending upon the length of your layover, you can venture up to the street level of Union Station to shop or enjoy a great meal in any of several restaurants. There are plenty of station and lounge attendants to assist anyone with special needs and direct the rest of us first timers to our next train.

Once we were aboard the California Zephyr, we felt like two kids (and that era is 50 years in our rear view mirrors). Each sleeper car has an attendant; our man on the westbound was “Johnny” and he was one of the friendliest and most energetic people I ever met. (I wish I could remember the name of the guy on the return trip, but it’s now lost in time. He was as good as Johnny, but Johnny was our first real contact with Amtrak, so his impression tends to stick in my mind).

Ours was not a luxury compartment, but a Roomette. I won’t say that it was spacious, but it was adequate. We’re not big people, but even above average size folks would be comfortable in a Roomette. It included two comfortable facing seats with a small table in between. At night, the attendant magically converts your little room into a sleeper and I wish my bed at home was as comfortable. Admittedly, the motion of the train does help rock you to sleep at night. Within the compartment, there are built-in reading lights, an enormous window, an electric outlet to recharge your cell phone, laptop and whatever else you might carry. There’s also a modest amount of storage space in the compartment and open storage is available in the hallway for your non-valuables or items not needed aboard the train. The larger compartments offer even more. The main reason we took the train were our luggage needs. The airlines have made a meticulous study of ways to inconvenience or anger their passengers - specifically with luggage needs. Amtrak has limits, but they are fairly generous. Ours was a two week trip, so we were packed to the max; I carried a large wheeled suitcase, a fairly large (and heavy) camera bag which was loaded with about ten grand worth of lenses, camera bodies and more, plus a fairly expensive laptop in a shoulder bag. My wife had a similar volume, although hers were lighter in weight, she did have a knitting project which included several knitting needles. Try boarding an airplane with any of that. With Amtrak there were no extra luggage fees or unrealistic rules. They do provide you with a list of what is not acceptable: firearms, dangerous chemicals, etc., but your shampoo is still okay aboard the trains. They even allow bicycles and golf clubs, but those items will ride in the baggage car. You can, however, expect to meet a K-9 unit with dog or two on various stops along the way. That keeps everyone honest and gave us a pretty good feeling of security, too. The police are from local or state jurisdictions and are friendly, but businesslike and the dogs are “strictly business” but in complete control of their handlers. It was a pleasure to watch these teams work together.

My wife and I don’t smoke, so we enjoyed the 100 percent smoke-free atmosphere of the train, but periodic short stops do allow the smokers time to jump off and puff away. These are announced well in advance. Occasionally, we also took advantage of the stops and stretched our legs. It was not uncommon for window washing crews to appear and give all of the windows a good cleaning. Nice for those of us with cameras in our laps.

How’s the food - We thought it was great. Admittedly, the food aboard the train is not going to equal your favorite little hometown restaurant, but we thought that it was as good as any of the national casual dining chains, better than many and far better than any of the fast food joints. The price of meals are included with sleeper accommodations, so you order from the menu and simply sign your name on the bill. The menu offers a reasonably wide selection, so it’s unlikely that you’ll need to repeat meal, but there are a few that you’ll choose a second or third time. Love the Flat Iron Steak. The salads are basic, but always fresh; there are countless restaurants sitting on permanent foundations that can’t get the salads right. Soft drinks, juice, coffee and tea are also included with all three meals and desserts come with with lunch and dinner, too.

The experience of eating in a dining car has its own rewards, too. Couples are seated side by side and other travelers are seated across the table from you. This was a great way to meet new people. We met travelers from Europe, college professors and ranchers, photographers and vacationers from throughout the States, even folks on golf excursions who jump off every few hundred miles, play a round and catch another train the next day. It was during our dining experiences that we came to learn that we might have been the only couple riding the train for the first time. All were repeat customers, which is quite a positive statement for Amtrak. Everyone aboard had their own reasons for being there, but all of them love rail travel.

Bathrooms - No problems to speak of. Our roomette didn’t have a self-contained bathroom, but the larger luxury compartments do have a private bathroom included. Nevertheless, we had no problems - there were two or three bathrooms including showers at each end of the car and Johnny, the attendant, was in them on an hourly basis keeping them sparkling clean and well supplied with towels and soap.

As a footnote (and before I forget), Johnny was also a big help with our luggage on and off the train, preparing the beds at night, keeping a supply of juice, coffee and snacks nearby and a variety of other services. A nice tip of $20.00 or so, near the end of the trip was certainly in order. And why not - if we had flown, the airline would have stuck us for at least that much in “extra fees”.

The Observation Car and Club Car were also nice for occasional breaks from the roomette and great places to meet some fellow travelers. Although the comfort and huge clean window of our compartment kept us “home” for most of the trip, we did enjoy spending some time in the “more social” part of the train. Just like the staff throughout the train, it’s clear that those folks enjoy their jobs, too. Snacks and beverages, both alcohol and “non”, are available and the prices are fair.

In conclusion, we’re planning another rail trip in the near future - and are very much looking forward to it. Hope to see Johnny again, as well.


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Votes on this review: 33 Helpful / 1 Funny / 14 Agree / 9 Disagree

overitallamtra k

Amtrak 1


JUST IMAGINE YOU CAN"T TRAVEL AND COURTEOUSLY CALL TO CANCEL THE RESERVATION: THE customer service rep says: no problem thanks for calling to cancel yoru reservation. Just drop the tickets to us in the mail and within ten days you'll get a refund onto your card. If not give us a call.

One call to check in turned into 15 calls: all with different answers to when I'd get a refund. from Any day now to 3-4 months no rep was able to read anything from either the webiste or their "training mmaterials to qualify a policy. "We can't transfer you to a supervisor they are for administrative purposes only." Having worked in phone centers I know what that means" avoidance and scamming!

I sent multiple e-mails, made multiple phone calls and out of all of them only two reps admitted they had no policy and it was very unfair. Only after I posted warnings on consumerboard and other websites did one rep with the name "pat" tell me she'd check in. You can't just e-mail amtrak, you have to go to their webiste where there is no "refunds" button and if you call refunds just get ready for some incoherent and avoidant "reps."

This is really bad news. There is an Amtrak Act that forbids anyone from suing Amtrak. For Any Reason, it guess put in place to keep the trains moving.

PASS THE WORD. BOYCOTT AMTRAK> Do NOT EVER MAIL IN TICKETS FoR A REFUND ESP> if you think you'll get it "in a few weeks." It's sad, but if you need to travel bite the bullet and buy the tickets on the spot and pray you'll not go through what the others on this post have endured.

AMTRAK is another reflection of America. A 10 percent "restocking" FEE ON ANY TICKETS. Yeah.. right... for what? To keep your money for as long as they want?



Oh.. I forgot to be amusing like the review tips suggest: I heard oh any day now.. then, a few weeksk, the next callhung up on me, then I couldn't understand the accent of the rep, another one in Refunds said she didn't know becuause they were in another building, yet another claimed that she wasn't able to give out information (refunds and customer servide) then a guy named Chris claimed to be reading from themanual but he kept changing the information, another woman was in tears when I explained my situatino and admitted how screwed up it was and that she was afraid of losing her job if she didn't make up an answer, there are no supervisors to answer calls, write washington Dc, I don'tz got no informationa I just take calls... if you wnat witty just call AMTRAK!

Search the Internet for Amtrak Ticket Refunds to find out more! And Your input may not help the overall situation but go ahead and let us know!

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capt tom

Amtrak 1

So I have always heard of great things from my wife about her trips on the train. So we have a family vacation planned and it begins with taking the train up to Disneyland. So plans change and we decided to have my sister in law pick us up by her house in Irvine and go to Disneyland the following day. No big deal right just need to change the destination of the city we are arriving in. So i go down the the Amtrak station and explain to the lady what I need to do. Shes says no problem there will be an increase in the ticket price. The total increase......a big woppin 9 bucks ! No problem I pay it and go on my merry way. So a couple days later Im balancing my check book and I noticed a charge of $165.00 bucks. Well it seems that Amtrak charges the full amount of the tickets and then sends you a credit later to your account. Now this seems a bit odd to me that a simple credit cannot be done in there system and then a balance be charge. So now Im stuck with no credit and $350.00 in overdraft fees. Not good at all, so much for starting out good on our vacation this weekend.

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Amtrak 1

I have just had one of my most unpleased travel experiences and I have traveled all over the world. I always thought a wonderful way to see the country would be from an Amtrak cross country sleeper car. On Friday afternoon I set out on a cross country trek from Washington DC to San Diego California, by Amtrak train. The trip from Washington DC to Los Angeles was by Amtrak sleeper car. I was going to spend 3 nights in an Amtrak sleeper car. One night from DC to Chicago, change trains in Chicago for a two night trip to Los Angeles. Change train in Los Angeles for a 2.5 hour train ride to San Diego.

The trip from DC to Chicago was uneventful. The bulk of the traveling was done at night so I was a little disappointed about not seeing lots of scenery. The upper bunk did NOT have a window so my images of falling asleep while the landscape passed were thwarted. We arrived in Chicago Saturday morning with a 6 hour layover before boarding the Southwest Chief for Los Angeles. After sightseeing in Chicago, we boarded the Southwest Chief sleeper car. Before we left the station in Chicago a fowl smell overtook the sleeper cabin. It smelled like sewage. It lingered then passed after a few minutes. Soon the train took off and the adventure was underway. Soon after leaving the station the smell of sewage appeared again, lingered a few minutes then passed. I assumed it had something to do with the area the train was travelling. Unfortunately it soon became a pattern every 15 minutes or so the entire sleeper car would be overcome with the smell of sewage. The smell would linger and then pass. The smell was coming from the vents. Yes, the vents were emitting the smell of sewage again and again. It soon became unbearable. We entered the lounge car to get away from the smell. We had paid for an expensive sleeper car, but were unable to use it because the smell of sewage was being vented into the room on a regular basis. Four hours out of Chicago, I saw the conductor passing thought the lounge car and mentioned this problem to him. He said he would get back to me since he had to attend to boarding passengers. One hour passed and I had not heard from the conductor. However I could see him having a conversation with staff in the dinning car. I asked him about the smell. Again he told me he would get back to me. Finally someone told me that no other sleeper or coach seats were available, and the lounge car closed at 10:00 PM. The problem was that when the sleeper car in front of my sleeper car flushed their toilets the smell was vented into my sleeper car. For 2 nights and 3 days the customers on my sleeper car were bathed in toilet smells coming through the vents. You can imagine the horror of the experience. We passed through many large train stations between Chicago & Los Angeles……….nothing was done. We were told they would take care of it in Los Angeles. How would that benefit passengers on the train? The train trip ended in Los Angeles. We were told to complain to 1 800 USA Rail. The problem started Saturday and did not end until the train arrived in Los Angeles Monday morning. Customer relations for Amtrak is closed on the weekend. When you called 1 800 USA Rail you are told to call back on Monday. Monday morning 9:00 AM I began calling 1 800 USA RAIL. While I could get through to make a reservation, I could NOT get through to customer relations, I was just forwarded to music. I attempted to find someone to complain to in the Los Angeles & San Diego train stations. In both places I was told to call 1 800 USA RAIL. I was told that typically there are so many calls on Monday to customer relations that you can not get through. I have now spent 6 days while on vacation in San Diego attempting to get thought to customer relations on the 1 800 USA RAIL number. I have literally spent hours listening to the music on hold and have yet to be able to speak to anyone at Amtrak’s customer relations about my experience. Not being able to get through to complain about Amtrak on the 1 800 USA Rail is either an insidious plan by Amtrak or a grand omission. Neither is acceptable. However I was able to get through to the Department of Transportation who forwarded me to the Federal Railroad Administration. They told me that while they do not regulate the toilet problem on Amtrak (they get involved in things like derailments) it is the number one Amtrak complaint. Seems my experience is far from unusual. Unless you are a fan of sewage smells, stay far away from Amtrak especially on long haul trips. During my week in San Diego every time I heard a train whistle it brought back smells of the sewer. Fortunately, I am flying back to DC.

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Amtrak 5

Amtrak is the best! A 3 day rolling party/live music festival that I wished would never end. I'm always so thrilled when I hear that there is going to be a delay! The best and most relaxing and FUN way to get across the country....Thanks Miss Kennedy, for your excellent cocktail wizardry! The journey is the destination!

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Amtrak 2

Amtrak: too expensive for what it offers. I wonder why it isn't bankrupt by now.

I paid 100 $ for 3/4 of the distance from Boston to NYC.
THe train arrived late 30' and there was track work on the way.
On Friday night! Why isn't the work done at noon on a weekday when there's no one traveling?
The train staff are nice, though.

The Fung Wah bus is $15 and MUCH better.
I took that bus at least 10 times and it's on time, they stop for food etc.
I am Eastern European.

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Amtrak 1

we recently took an amtrak train from cleveland to chicago. Seven hours of hell on earth. I would have rather been on the Titanic. at least then i would have been comfortable before i died. I swear i died on the freaking train. my soul left my body because it couldn't stand it any longer. Amtrak is the worst means of transportation ever. the guy sitting next to me was on the run from the law i think. he stunk like a trash can. and the noise, jeez-o-man. I learned my lesson the hard way. from now on it is airline for me. a little extra dough up front makes the trip a lot more enjoyable on the back end.

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Amtrak 1

I was charged a horrendous $15 so-called refund fee when I had to return a ticket because of Amtrak's own fault: the first Amtrak train I took was an hour late so I missed the connection train. An Amtrak employee said, "I understand your situation, but I still have to charge you for the refund." He tried to convince me that I should just keep that ticket and travel with Amtrak again because I could only get $4.50 back after he deducted the fee from the refund. Not a chance. I would not take Amtrak again.

Although the train was an hour late, the crew members didn't even try to pretend that they were willing to help the passengers who had missed their connection trains due to the delay. In fact, they pretended nothing had happened. There was no announcements, no advices, no hints regarding what to do if one missed the next train. If you are not an experienced traveler and do not know how to survive Amtrak's poor, almost non-existant service, you are on your own.

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Amtrak 1

Amtrak could be used as an effective alternative to Water-boarding by the CIA
My wife and I took the Lake Shore Limited from Pennsylvania to New York City in late June 2009. Limited is a much to positive term to use in describing this mess. Our trip took almost 14 hours to reach the city. During that time all but one restroom on the train failed, an airhose broke and needed to be replaced and almost all the train staff remained as stoic and unhelpful as your average DMV worker. The restroom problem was blamed on paper towels that were put in the commodes. The towel dispensers coughed up hands full of tri-fold towels when only one or two were needed and the waste recpticles were soon full. The toilets were the only logical place to dispose of the towels. The crew made no attempt to fix the problems they just locked the doors. The last remaining restroom was a real mess by the end of the trip.
Amtrak could improve their financial situation by simply selling Immodium in the caf'e car for some outrageous price.

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Amtrak 1

Avoid at all costs. Take regional
Trains, drive, fly, inconvience yourself to avoid taking amtrak.
Truley the worst I have been treated by anyone in a customer service role.
We were stopped for two hours with no communication and when I asked if they could let us know
How long it would take the man swore at me, mocked me, and got so close to my face yelling at me I was terrified. He was 200 lbs and I am a small 100 lb female!
Amtrak didn't seem to concerned about the delay or the harrasmenet even when myself and multiple witnesses disucssued it with them.
If you want to get from point a to b ontime, or atleast know what time you'll arrive, don't take amtrak. You'll overpay to be verbally abused by an incomptent staff and a
Company that could care less about their customers

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Amtrak 2

Awful in many ways though it still beats driving, especially if you're going into a major city where a car would be a nuisance. The service, though, is terrible, at least on the Crescent between New Orleans and DC. We rarely saw the attendant in our "1st class" car after we were shown our room. He never mentioned the fact that there is a shower on the car, a feature my son later discovered later on his own. The attendant was not around to help us with our beds, though we managed to figure this out. The door was broken, and the thermostat was not functional, but the attendant was nowhere to be found so we just lived with these things. On the way back the door of our compartment worked but the toilet would not flush. Again, no attendant, so we just managed.

Service in the dining car was somewhat better since I guess there's no place for the staff there to hide. They worked hard, though I would have been unhappy if I had been served this meal in a restaurant; undoubtedly it was all prepared in a microwave, and since our plates never seemed to match our orders we joked that they served us what they had - rice instead of potato, bacon instead of sausage, etc.

All in all it was pretty disappointing, especially given the cost. We were looking for a relaxing ride with maybe a little pampering. It would have been relaxing if not for the annoyance of so many things being broken - I mean it really felt like Amtrak just isn't maintaining their equipment - and there certainly wasn't any pampering.

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Azar Attura

Amtrak 3

AMTRAK is a (usually) quick and fast way to get from point A to point B -- well.. it's faster than the bus and runs even when there is snow on the ground (unlike planes, who usually get grounded). It's usually quiet (and I like the idea of the Quiet Car too) and efficient. But after riding it for more than 38 years, I have a few gripes -- and this stuff I mention constantly happens, so here goes:

OK-- first of all, AMTRAK-- WHY does it cost MUCH less to book a trip a few weeks in advance and SO MUCH MORE to book a few days in advance? This is highway robbery! Fares should remain the same, no matter what the time of year or how far in advance you book.

Second- CLEAN YOUR RESTROOMS!! Man do they stink!! I usually rush to use the restroom in the train when I get on at the originating station, so the bathroom is usually pretty clean then -- but it sure stinks after a while -- as bad as some of those Greyhound bathrooms. I try to hold it in until we reach the destination -- if I don't drink anything -- but why should I have to go through this??? AMTRAK -- You can do MUCH better than this!! (PS -- The bathrooms on the NY to Florida trip are even more horrendous. Are we cattle in a cattle train? Put on the train and then left to fend for ourselves?)

The Florida trips have too many "quiet" delays-- we sit there at a station or in the middle of nowhere for a LONG time, and NO ONE tells us what's happening. Or if they do-- you can't always hear it becuz the intercom system is lousy. No conductors walk thru the Florida train after 11 pm -- so if you are trying to sleep and the yakkity yak person in the seat near you is gossiping with a friend, or talking loudly on a cell phone at 3 AM while you are trying to sleep -- it's up to YOU to shut that person up.

Then- I took a long trip from DC to Ohio -- I went to the dining car to eat.... and the attendant, a biig woman of mighty stature -- didn't even bother to TALK to me-- she pointed to my seat at the table -- a seat facing backwards-- I told her "I can't eat when I'm traveling backwards! I'd like a forward-facing seat" She gave me a dirty look and pointed again to the backward-facing seat-- SO.. I walked out and had to skip my meal (there was nothing in the cardboard food menu of the snack bar that appealed to me)

As for attendants, they range from super great (and I applaud them for doing a great job!) to super rotten -- once I overheard a male and female conductor talking about going to an empty car and getting cozy together. Another time I overheard two male attendants joking and laughing about wife-beating -- one of those same attendants had already yelled at me to move my lugagge -- well---duh.. I was getting off at the very next stop and had taken it from the overhead....

Ticket sellers at the terminal have laughed at me for buying a one-way ticket, and once during a phone transaction, one of them coughed loudly into the receiver. I hung up on him for that.

AMTRAK-- 1) teach your conductors to communicate better with the passengers, 2) fix your on-again, off-again PA system, 3) sell better quality food at your Cafe Car, 4) send your personnel to charm school and 5) hire a bathroom attendant for each train.

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Amtrak 4

Well, I have had a number of experiences on Amtrak, and all have been quite enjoyable. I am going to share with you a few stories about not-s-enjoyable, but in hindsight funny, experiences with Amtrak. Bear in mind that this has been on 6 separate trips on Amtrak, so i would say its pretty good.
The first happened on my second trip with Amtrak, something like 6 years ago on the California Zephyr. At about 7:30 AM, as the train was passing through Lincoln, NE, eastbound toward Chicago, we were eating breakfast. Suddenly, the train just stopped. We remained that way for several hours, with no explanation. Turns out, a driver had been looking through a file box and trying to drive at the same time. He did not see the train and his pickup truck struck the side of the second engine at a level crossing (he ended up surviving. The file box in his lap actually saved his life; it lessened the impact against the steering column [no airbags]). The reason we did not hear any announcements was that the conductor and engine crews were outside, speaking to local police. we ended up arriving in Chicago about 5 hours late, in the middle of the night. Actually,the crew was very good in this particular situation. Even though the dining car was not stocked to do another dinner (The train was supposed to arrive before dinner time), they managed to put together a pretty good stew for us. This is a perfect example of my point that your schedule needs to be relaxed on a train trip.
More recently,this next story happened last Summer on the eastbound Empire Builder. We were riding from Seattle to Minneapolis. My dad and I had a bedroom in the sleeper cars- the one with a bathroom in the room. We had the last bedroom in the car, room A, which is always a little smaller due to, you know, the car, well, ending. Well anyway, this posed a problem for my dad, because he's big. He's 6'3" and 280 lbs. The room was fine for me, but he was griping about it the whole trip. Another problem was the bathroom. All the bathrooms in the car stunk. bad. What the problem was turned out to be that if you put a little weight (say, the weight of a turd)on the flap in the bottom of the toilet (that leads to the waste tank), the flap would open and all those great waste-tank smells would come out! great, huh? The problem turned out to be unique to our car, and they said they'd fix it. On the flip side, it was on this trip that we had the best car attendant I have ever had. His name was Tashi. He was always around and easy to find. He was very helpful.
And the last story is also about a car attendant. This happened on the Westbound Cal.Zephyr, on the Denver -> Reno leg, just last week. Our attendant (can't remember her name) was a real jerk. First, she came in and wanted to put down our beds at 8:00, too early for me and just about everybody else on the train. then, she said she would be available to put down beds for another 2 hours. 10:00, OK, I can live with that. Well then at 9:00, we decide to have the beds put down. We press the attendant call button, and then we wait. And wait. And wait some more. Bet you can't guess what we did next! Thats right, we.......waited! We waited for about 15 minutes, figuring she might be making somebody else's bed. Then we figure she'll get there eventually, and, with the attendant call light still on, we went to the lounge car to read and wait for our beds to be put down. About a half our later, my dad sends me back to see if our beds are down. No such luck, and still no sign of the attendant. Then, as I'm leaving the car to go back to the lounge, I see one of the dining car employees. I ask her if she's seen the 531 car attendant. nope. But she does press our button again, and then I go back to the lounge car. Another half hour passed, and still the beds were not made. This time, on my way back to the lounge, I see the conductor. I ask him, and he eventually finds that the attendant dozed off in a chair in the crew car. He sends her to make our beds, and she never said anything to us about the incident.

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Amtrak 4

My husband and I just returned from a trip to Arizona on the Sunset Limited. We boarded in New Orleans and had a roomette. They are small, but adequate for two people. An obese person might have difficulty. Our trip out was fine, other than arriving a couple of hours late in Lordsburg, NM. There is no station there, so you get off and wait to board at the side of the tracks--it's night and dark. On our return, the train status toll free number gave us completely false information, over and over, stating the train was delayed by nearly 2 hours into Lordsburg. I finally talked with a human who verified that. My husband didn't believe it, so we went on down to the tracks about 10 minutes after the scheduled arrival and waited two hours. After numerous phone calls, one in which we were assured we hadn't missed the train and it was on the way to us--we finally got someone who admitted that we had indeed missed the train. It was on time. We were booked on the next train, two days later. My sister was not able to take us back to Lordsburg, due to a doctor's appointment in Tucson, AZ on Monday, so I called Amtrak again and got a very helpful lady named Sandy. She arranged for us to get on the train in Tucson, AZ (two stops before Lordsburg) with a very reasonable rail charge between Tucson and Lordsburg. A roomette was available and other than having to board the train in the wee hours of the morning (there is a station with a waiting room in Tucson, which was a relief) the rest of the trip was very enjoyable. Our bunks were made up when we boarded and we went to bed right away. The train pulled out on time at 2:20 a.m. All the employees on the trip were very helpful and friendly and except for the delays and bad information at the train status phone number, we had a very good trip. We arrived in New Orleans about three and one half hours late, due to a bridge fire in TX which meant we had to take a detour and at one time, crews were working on the tracks and we were parked for 2 hours. I would recommend Amtrack if one is not on a tight schedule. I felt we got good value for the money. The dining car had to serve a few extra meals because of the delays, but they coped quite nicely, although the menu was a bit limited. The meals were not five star quality, but were good and included in the roomette price. NEVER depend on the "train status" phone number is another lesson we learned. Be there when the train is scheduled to arrive, you may have a long wait, but you won't miss it. We will definitely travel with Amtrak again and are looking at other routes.

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Amtrak 3

was wondering if anyone has taken amtrak from Raleigh nc to orlando fl lately and how was the trip?


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Amtrak 1

I gave 1 star because of my horrible experiences with abusive and rude conductor who insulted me. No matter how clean or nice the train is, as long as there is no procedure to protect customers from getting insulted from the conductors, I will try to avoid using Amtrak at all cost.

On September 13,2008 , I took the train no. 169 - From Boston Bak Bay 6.45 pm to New York Penn Station. My seat was in the second car after the cafe car. I had one 12 x 19 inches luggage. I'm a woman and the luggage was too heavy for me to lift and put in the compartment above my head. However, it fits the space underneath my seat perfectly. Every time I travelled by Amtrak ,I usually put it underneath my seat and never had any problem. I made sure my luggage didn't take the space underneath the seat of the seat next to me too. I had 2 shopping bags, and put them on the floor in front of my feet ( they don't take the space of the seat next to me at all ). There was nobody sitting next to me, and i didn't have any of my stuff on that available seat. When the conductor came in, he told me I needed to put the bags in the compartment. I told him my luggage was too heavy but it fit the space underneath the seat and I always do this every time I used Amtrak without any problem. Then he said" The reason you need to do this because I SAID SO". I moved the 2 shopping bags to the compartment but I could not have my luggage moved to compartment because it was too heavy. Especially I am a woman and travelled alone and when I need to get off the train, there is usually nobody offering help and the conductor is usually not around to offer any help. The conductor left and while I was focused on reading a book, he came back and put his face so close to me and said " Thank you". It scared me because his face didn't need to be that close. I didn't want to have a problem with him so I didn't respond. I just wanted him to leave me alone.
Then I took a nap. And all in the sudden this conductor woke me up and raised his voice saying" This is the last time I'm going to tell you. You need to move your luggage ". I was confused because 10 mins ago, he came to thank me and this minute he yelled at me. I think he was upset that I didnt respond anything when he thank me. Then I told him it was too heavy to be lifted", then he raised his voice and got angry . He said " DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM ? He pointed his finger to his ID while saying that and continued saying " DO YOU WANT TO GET OUT AT THE NEXT STATION ? " I said " No, because I purchased a ticket and i had a full right to my destination " Then, he grabbed my luggage ( with out asking me) to the space next to the bathroom. I had a concern because I had a laptop , money and valued properties in that luggage . By moving my luggage away to the spot that I could not have my eyes on , who is going to be responsible if someone took my luggage? So, I told the conductor that I wanted to move to another car ( so that I can find a spot that I keep my eyes on my luggage). The conductor told me that " NO YOU CAN NOT MOVE ANYWHERE ELSE . I'M TELLING YOU THAT ALL THE SEATS ARE FULL ". I didn't want to believe but because he raised his voice and it already frightened me enough , I didn't argue. I waited until he left then I carried my luggage and bags with me to find a better spot to sit. I walked toward a cafe car. Then, I bumped into him again. He used his body to block my way. And he said " Where are you going ? " I said " I'm moving to a new seat " . Then he said " You can not because I have all the seats of the next car reserved for a big group of customers ". I replied "I'm going to find a seat in the car prior to the next car then " . While I walked away from him. He said" go wherever you want but you can not put your luggage underneath the seat" So, I walked passing the cafe car. The whole car prior to the cafe was empty. I went to the next car and there were only 4-5 customers in the whole car. So, why the conductor stopped me from moving at the beginning and even told me " all the seats are full " ? He lied and just wanted to play the game and showed off his power. Also, what is such a big deal of me putting a luggage that fits the space underneath my seat ( no one was sitting next to me too) ? This conductor definitely has an attitude problem or he hates asian girl .Whatever it is,he has no right to raise his voice at me and said " DO you want to get off next station " just because he is a conductor . While I walked passing by other cars, I saw some people having their bags underneath the seats. Some have their belonging on the seat next to them. Some even slept on 2 seats. I'm not saying that just because other people can go against the rule, then I can. THe point is I didn't do anything wrong. The luggage fits the space under my seat but the conductor wanted to give me a hard time. If the luggage is not allowed to put underneath the seat, why he let other

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Votes on this review: 1 Helpful / 1 Funny / 5 Agree / 7 Disagree


Amtrak 1

I'm giving Amtak 1 star only because of the fare price. Otherwise they would get no stars! To start with there is no service in ID. I had to travel by Greyhound to Salt Lake City. And of course they couldn't schedule a bus to arrive close to the departure time. I had to reserve a motel room for the 10 hrs I would have to wait for my connection. I arrived at the station by 3:30 am for my 4:30 departure time. That went rather smoothly, at that hr the station master was relatively friendly. I didn't know it then but that would be the last friendly employee I would meet. The conductors and other personnel on the Ca Zephyr were rude and curt. The only passengers that were treated with anything resembling courtesy were the handicapped. And I wouldn't rate that as really friendly. My grandson & I were assigned seats and then ignored. I had traveled by train as a child (remember the Wabash Cannonball? Wonderful memories). This trip was nothing like that. While there was lots of leg room and overhead storage they did not provide blankets (the coach was cold)and the pillows were a joke! Maybe for a doll bed but not for humans. Restrooms were extremely dirty and smelly. Ours broke down and we had to go to the car ahead. This lasted for over 8 hrs. The train rocked, rolled and bounced so hard it was impossible to sleep. I remember the soothing motion of trains long past. This was more like a roller coaster ride. While the view was fantastic from SLC to Denver it was impossible to get a seat in the observation car. Certain passengers would get there early and stake out a seat. Train personnel could have done something about this but apparently had other more important jobs to do than take care of passengers. Train staff were discourteous and surly at times. Food was ok but overpriced and portions were very small. Impossible to enjoy a meal due to the rocking, bouncing and jerking of the train. Meals were always late. Some passengers were still being called to dinner at 9:30 pm. I don't know why they bothered with reservations since you were never called at your reserved time. Our train was 3 hrs late getting in to Chicago and we missed our connection. We had to be bussed to Indianapolis where we caught our train (the Cardinal) which was also late. The Cardinal was freezing and smelly. They did have newer, cleaner restrooms however, and the staff was relatively friendly. Arrived in Cincinnati 4 hrs late. By this time my grandson had been traveling for 50 hrs + and were dirty, tired and disgusted. Oh yeah, the website states there are showers on the train. Yes, maybe, if you are first class or have a roomette or bedroom. I guess common passengers don't need to bathe. They probably think we are used to bathing only once a week. As horrendous as the trip to Cincinnati was, the trip back was even worse. Every train was late but fortunately the layovers were long enough that no connections were missed. We were supposed to have a 3 1/2 layover in Chicago but barely had time to detrain, grab a bite to eat and get to the next gate. There we were herded to our train. I am 62 so I got to board first. We were not assigned seating so my grandson and I found seats together but moved when a family with 3 children sat across from us. We should have stayed there because in our new seats we were surrounded by 2 families all with small unruly children. One mother traveling with her mother had 4 children under the age of 7, one was a baby. The children were loud and the baby cried most of the trip. Another mother with 2 small boys sat in front of us. She was traveling with another family member. This mother believed if she repeated a command often enough eventually her small son would obey. Not only did he not obey, he repeated continuous demands of his own. This child would throw himself down in the middle of the aisle and refuse to move. His mother continually requested he get up but did not physically remove him. Staff and passengers had to climb over him. For the entire 34 + hrs of the trip I had to listen to crying, whining, loud children. Once I went to the observation car to get away from them but they followed me. Why didn't I change seats? I tried but was told to return to my original seat. I asked for a change and was refused. I was so sleep deprived and upset I cried for over an hour. Several staff went by but no one stopped to ask if I was ok. We finally arrived in SLC and I was actually looking forward to the bus ride to Boise. The attendant in the SLC station was rude. I called several hotels and finally got one that had a room. They neglected to tell me they were 25 miles from SLC. I had the station attendant call for a taxi and the taxi driver informed me of the distance. He was pissed when I told him never mind. Went back to the station, found a room in town and asked for another taxi to be called. The attendant actually chastised me for dismissing the first taxi!! He reluctantly called a second taxi for me and I gladly

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Amtrak 1

One word to sum up my trip on Amtrak: NIGHTMARE!
I was interested in saving money to travel from Iowa to Colorado. I found a great deal, or so I thought, by purchasing a ticket for a train ride with Amtrak.

On July 13, 2008, I boarded the train in Osceola, Iowa--which was 1.5 hours late. They had to wait for 2 freight trains to pass by. You see, Amtrak doesn't own their any rail lines--they are at the mercy of the freight trains and have to move over when needed--thus slowing up the Amtrak lines.
I had a great time in Denver, but when it was time to head home, it was a mess!! My train was supposed to depart Friday evening, July 18, 2008 at 8:10 pm. I was notified by an Amtrak Rep. that it was over 4 hours late, so our new departure time was 12:30 am--Saturday. I checked the internet around 11 pm that night and it had been even further delayed until 1:30 am. My friend dropped me off at Union Station in Denver around 1 am. At 1:15 we were notified that it wouldn't be until 2:15 that we would depart. Groans echoed the walls of the station. After boarding--which by the way--you have to find your own seat--that's not much fun when people have been on the train since California and they are taking up both seats.
Anyhow, we pulled out of Denver around 3 am!! My trip was supposed be about 12 hours. I didn't arrive in Osceola, Iowa until 6 pm that day-July 19th-15 hours on the train. I felt especially sorry for the guy sitting next to me who had been on the train since noon Thursday--July 17th!! He hadn't showered in 52 hours PLUS!!! He still had his wits about him, but others were getting extremely irritated and rightfully so!! Amtrak was supposed to put up all of the people on the train in hotels and provide food coupons because the rest of the people on the train were headed to Chicago and wouldn't get in until midnight or later. They had all missed their connections. It was ridiculous. We were constantly stopping and starting. It was my first and last time on the Amtrak. My time is worth more to me and I will pay the high price of flying instead of wasting my time waiting around. My advice: do not travel with Amtrak--until they get their own lines.
I gave them one star because of the price....that's the only good thing and it's not good enough.

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Votes on this review: 2 Helpful / 0 Funny / 3 Agree / 3 Disagree


Amtrak 4

My wife and I took the Empire Builder from Chicago to Seattle and back. Although we ran into some major delays on the return trip due to the flooding in Wisconsin, the entire trip was very enjoyable. The staff was very friendly and helpful. They apologized for being 5 minutes late getting to Seattle because normally they get there early! Try getting that service on the airlines! We did not have to shove our luggage through a scanner, take off our shoes or otherwise be treated like an inmate in a prison like you are treated at the airport. Although the sleeper cars are a bit pricey, I figured that driving with motels would be more expensive (and tiring). For the sleeper (first class passengers) there was a wine and cheese testing session on part of the trip. The scenery was spectacular from the train windows and there were National Park volunteers explaining some the sights we passed through. I hope AMTRAK service can be expanded and improved and I hope Congress is listening. We need more train service in this country.

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Votes on this review: 4 Helpful / 0 Funny / 8 Agree / 2 Disagree

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