As a Briton travelling from NY City to Washington, on to Chicago, then to Denver, and finally San Francisco, I find the Amtrak service wanting. we wanted to travel East to west to see the countryside in between, so bought USA Rail passes to achieve this.
Amtrak customer support were no help. On intitial on line enquiry from our home in Scotland about travel options.. no reply. Still waiting .
Arrive at Penn Station in NY for the service to Chicago. Initialy impressed by help from two staff members as we were unsure about how train travel works over there.. but went downhill from there. with 2 more exceptions Amtrak staff were grumpy, abrupt, and unhelpful.
When you ask a question they can get very impatient and annoyed. We were severely lectured by a train guard for moving our seats to the next row briefly when the carriage was empty before explaining that he places a slip of paper above the seat so he knows whos ticket he has checked.. whined on and on about it to us (in our 60's) as if we were school kids. 2 of the staff were nice and polite, maybe they have been trained.
So my observations are (1) Your passengers are your reason for being in business, treat them with respect, some (including us) spent several thousand dollars with Amtrak so stop being so *** grouchy (2) Get the toilets checked and cleaned regularly. They get very dirty quickly but just leaving them is bad.. Catering staff in the dining car- Stop treating your passenger diners as some sort of inconvenience and do not be so rude. On the California Zephyr particularly to the girl who works in the trains downstairs canteen..
.. if you hate your job so much get another, You were rude, unhelpful, you did not even greet the customers but just grunted when asked a question. CUSTOMER SERVICE TRAINING NEEDED FOLKS.. Also why do Amtrak trains roll like a ship at sea?
The track maintainence is appalling by the sound and feel of it. We were delayed 5 hours in Denver I believe to circumstances beyond Amtraks control, but nobody from their staff kept us advised at all. The company does not give outsiders like myself a good impression of how they run their business .
Maybe they dont care. Maybe staff could come to the UK to see how it should be done?
Product or Service Mentioned: Amtrak Train Service.