Amtrak San Diegans Travelogue
by Jim Robertson
September 13, 1996
Departed San Diego yesterday morning on the San
Diegan, train 771. This is the first time I have ridden on the California
cars, and they are as nice as you have written about in your Amtrak page. I
was very impressed with the California coaches and only wish that more
coaches were like this. By the way, can you provide me with some information
on these coaches. Does the State Of California partially finance the
construction or operation of these cars?
I inquired with the Conductor on train 771 about making my connection to the
Coast Starlight in Los Angeles, and the Conductor informed me that the Coat
Starlight would be leaving from track 10 and we would be coming in to LAUPT
on track 9, but something happened and 771 came into LAUPT on track 12, so I
had to walk down the track and into the tunnel and back up the track to the
train, and I was in the last passenger coach, car 1432. The configuration of
the train has been changed since the last time I rode it, and the sleeping
cars are now in front of the train. The Chief of On Board Services is T.J.
Howard and he has his hands full with this crew!
There have been numerous freight delays and at the present time we just
departed the Eugene Station, one hour and ten minutes behind schedule. At one
point the train was more than two hours behind schedule! Late last night or
early this morning the engineer was going so fast around a curve, one of the
train crew was thrown against a window and has his eyeglasses broken and
during the same incident many dishes and glasses in the dining car were
broken. I am surprised that the Conductor did not have the engineer relieved.
The Conductor on the Southwest Chief did not like the manner in which an
engineer took a curve and he had the engineer relieved, two Santa Fe engines
came and brought the Amtrak train into the next station.
I find the service not as good on the Coast Starlight this year as when I
went southbound last year. As a matter of fact so far this trip, I have not
at all been impressed with the service. On the Southwest Chief the service
was better than it has been on the Coast Starlight. Also on the Southwest
Chief when a salad was ordered the diner had a choice of salad dressing, not
so on the Coast Starlight! The food has not been up to my expectations.
Yesterday for lunch I had the chicken sandwich and a bowl of chicken noodle
soup. Both food items were good, but not great. Last night for dinner I had
the New York Steak and it was just a regular meal, nothing to brag about.
This morning I had the omelette for breakfast and I much prefer the omelette
on the other trains. For lunch today I had the vegetable soup and it was good
and I also had the beefburger, and it too was good.
The sleeping car I am in is the Ohio, and it is well worn. I have told the
Chief of On Board Services that an exception needs to be made out on this
room. The knob on the air conditioning system is missing, and one of the seat
cushions has three holes in it.
Please select one of the following:
San Diegan Page
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