Livingston, New Jersey
Not resolved
7 comments

Took the Empire Builder from WI to Seattle & back. Paid a premium price for a bedroom.

I am not a complainer by nature & I have travelled extensively here in US & abroad. These are my observations:

1- The train in general was worse than dirty. It was filthy! The windows had not been washed for quite some time. There was so much dirt on the glass the camera had a hard time auto- focusing! On the trip out I was in a newer car, a shade better. On the return trip I was in an older version and it was bad news! The carpets, walls, & doors were in terrible shape.

2- the bedroom was in complete disrepair. The door would not close completely & could not be locked. The door curtain along with it's aluminum rod fell off & barely missed my head. They had to duct tape it into place. I noticed that the brackets holding the railing were loose & worn out. The toilet would not flush properly. The armchair was loose at it's connection to the floor and wobbly. The fabric on the bunk was torn & frayed. The carpet was filthy. All surfaces showed excessive wear & tear or were rusty. In summary, the whole place was not only " first class" as advertised, it was third class or worse.

3- The conductors & attendants were accommodating & not rude as some others that were mentioned in other reviews. The attendant on the trip out, Rolando, was especially helpful.

4- Food on the trains is not good. I brought my own snacks and completely avoided the dining car which I found to have harried service and mundane food. People are herded in & out before the dining car closes. It is hardly a great " dining" experience.

In summary, trains are a great way to travel but unfortunately the maintenance & service on American trains leave a lot to be desired. My wife, whose late dad worked for passenger rail in the old glorious days did not go on this trip with me. She was afraid she would be greatly disappointed. She was right!

Product or Service Mentioned: Amtrak Train Service.

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Anonymous
#399416

My family and I traveled to Chicago from Boston on amtraks lakeshore limited. I was excited and looking forward to the trip.

That excitement didnt last too long. The website states that you will be able to make dinner reservations...definitely not the case. When we asked about dinner in the dining car, our attendant jessica(only helpful person out of about 30 that we dealt with) told us to go down and speak to the dining car attendant. We trudged through 11 cars to get there and we're told to come back in 30 minutes.

Since it took just about that much time to walk back and fourth that's what I did. I went back to the dining car alone and told my family I would call them when they were ready. There was a HUGE line. The car was full of people and stuffed in like sardines.

Talk about a safety hazard. One we did get a table the waitstaff(if you can even call them that) threw down some salads and bread. We sat and waited...waited...15 min, 20 min...we asked if we had been forgotten and were told very rudely, to "wait a second" . Well waiting a second turned into over an hour...

Not even a drink order taken. We got up and walked away.

On our return trip we board the train to find the back half of the car we were shepherded to with signs saying do not sit ....well that's fine, but the front of the car was already full and there was no attendant to help. We finally got our seats and slept for the night.

7:40 am we walk to the cafe car for a coffee....there's a sign saying "Closed till 9:35 for meal break". I'm not sure about amtrak, but I'm pretty sure you don't need 2 hours to eat, oh wait, unless you are traveling on Amtrak.

What a joke. Never again...bad service, disorganized, dirty, erratic heating, rude people....

Anonymous
#383159

Trust me, I can understand your complains, and I truly wish I could do something to help bring this passenger railroad back to the first rate service it once was, and should be again, but the reason, and solution is both simple, yet complicated. You see, Amtrak was the subject of a federal lawsuit, plaintiffs being several organizations such as the NAACP demanding much larger numbers of hirees from that particuliar 'group'.

Thus in recent years our HR dept. has had to accept much lower quality candidates for positions throughout the company. It is a cause and effect kind of issue. With those types of employees, comes the attitudes.

I can no longer candy-coat this fact.

It continues to get worse by the month. Those in management positions are deathly afraid to do or say anything to change this.

Anonymous
#376209

Yes, just came back from Seattle to Ohio and I really wanted to enjoy this trip b/c I hate planes so much and decided to take the 60 hr trip. I had a sleeping car and my door would NOT lock properly either. I thought, well what are the chances someone is going to break in with more than 20 people around me in other cars?? Then at 12:30 am some guy was at my door trying to jiggle it open and he did!! Luckily all the jiggling woke me up and when he opened the door I said "EXCUUUSE ME!" he promptly left. Do you know how scarey that is when you are a girl traveling alone??!!

I complained in the morning to the attendant and he said that never happened before...and he is sorry. Oh really, that never happened before??? Look at these complaints of course it happened before!! What would have happened to me had I not woke up??? If he was brave enough to jiggle that open, what was his intentions.

oh and the food, Ok I was not expecting Spagos but it was not good for the prices. Do NOT get the turkey chilli on baked potato..it looks like barf and tastes like barf.

Anonymous
#358125

I wrote a complaint letter to their customer relations office in DC over a month ago. So far it has been completely ignored!

Anonymous
#348200

I agree completely. We took this train last week and it could have been so much better.

On the return trip, they ran out of food. For first class passengers in the sleeper cars, the meals are included in the fare. We were not given dinner then very limited menu selection the next day for breakfast and lunch. No compensation was offered.

Customer service offered a $100 voucher after we got home.

Our credit card company is disputed the charges for us. The fare was over $3,000 for me and my child.

Anonymous
#342865

Bigant,

Although I agree with you I see what happened to the airlines after deregulation and I wonder. So I don't know what the solution is except for customers rejecting shoddy service even if it causes some degree of inconvenience.

I took the train because I object to the way airlines treat their customers.

Next time, may be I just drive. If most people did that, these *** will eventually get the message.

Anonymous
#342659

Of course it is dirty and poorly run. Like the Post Office, Amtrak is run by our clueless Goverment. Both should be dissolved.