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Amtrak Travelogue
by a TrainWeb Visitor

Dear Steve:

I recently returned from a trip out to the west coast and thought I would give you a brief report that perhaps you can share with some one else.

I left Pittsburgh on Wednesday, May 19th and returned on Wednesday, May 26th.

I took the Capitol to Chicago. On board, I met a fellow that works for Amtrak who was returning to Chicago from a trip to headquarters. He said the main topic of discussion was to up-grade service particularly as it relates to staff . That was good to hear. I was generally pleased over-all with MY service this trip, but heard reports from others that were not so kind. However, I also encountered some individuals who were simply too FUSSY!! There is absolutely NO WAY to please travelers like that.

I took the Texas Eagle from Chicago to Los Angeles. I was not real pleased with the segment from Chicago to San Antonio. Only 1/2 of the dining-car was used the entire trip. Evidently, there were only 2 waiters on-board. Thus only a limited number of people could be served each seating. That really slowed down meal sessions. I told the chief that an ANNOUNCEMENT should have been made to INFORM everyone of such-----then we would have known WHY there would be delays at meals. I can not understand WHY the train staff never considers this !!!

The segment from San Antonio to Los Angeles was better, and the crew seemed a little more anxious to serve. We made pretty good time. On the leg to San Antonio, we were actually ahead of schedule a little bit. We arrived in Los Angeles only about an hour late, which was not too bad. I thought we would arrive later.

That same nite, I took the Chief back to Chicago. Dinner is being served again on the Chief---east-bound. However, the menu is somewhat abbreviated. Most people did not expect a meal would be served. The staff on the Chief was very nice, and that part of the journey was especially pleasant.

The trip back to Pittsburgh on the Capitol was an hour behind schedule when we arrived.

Over-all this trip was pretty enjoyable. Perhaps what irritated me most was that some travelers are simply IMPOSSIBLE to please. Some complain it is too difficult to sleep. They always find some little thing wrong with the food or service. The rooms are too small. One lady and her husband were traveling a huge circle loop around the country. They fussed and fussed because they were TIRED of the same desserts !! That, and there were not enough CHOICES on the menu !! Certain passengers are simply ABUSIVE, and it is no wonder train staff gets irritated----I would too, when passengers fuss over minute things.

The Chief now offers route-guides in BOOKLET form. Very nice.

That's all for now.
Sincerely, John

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