The worst day of my life began on Sunday, July 20, 2008. The day started out beautiful.
Leaving the Affinia Hotel in New York, I felt excited and ready to continue my vacation in Atlanta, Georgia. I entered Penn Station looking forward to my first time on an Amtrak train. I waited in line at the Amtrak booth to receive my reserved ticket. The first hint that something was wrong occurred with my interaction with the Amtrak ticket agent.
This agent was very cold and abrupt to the point of disrespect. I decided that this was just an Amtrak employee having a bad day. When I got to the train, I again felt uneasy. The train attendants seemed unsure about where people were to be placed on the train.
After sometime, I was given a seat. When the train pulled out of the station, it did not take long before the train became very cold. People started complaining but were told that there was nothing they could do to change the temperature. I took clothes from my carryon bag and piled them on.
My hands were numb. It was a miracle that I found gloves in a sweater pocket. When I went to the dining car for dinner, I ordered the chicken. Over 15 minutes went by before I was told that they had sold out of chicken.
There was nothing else on the menu I could eat so I had to eat my rice cakes I had brought for a snack. Going to and from the dining car was like going through a refugee camp. Many passengers had erected tent-like coverings made of clothes and blankets to keep out the cold. I spent that night praying that there would be no deaths as a result of these inhuman conditions.
When Amtrak Train 19 finally pulled into the Atlanta station, I thanked God that I had survived. I got off this disgusting train wanting to kiss the ground.
I will never ever ride on Amtrak again.
Monetary Loss: $239.