Trains For America

More choices for better transportation

Amtrak’s poor first impression

This is going to hurt, but a confession is in order. I have not ridden Amtrak in at least 8 years. Until the congestion, chronic lateness, and employee indifference is corrected, I’ll be a no show down at the station.

So you are wondering why I am writing this blog. The reason is just this simple, passenger trains are too important to the social fabric and transportation system to quietly surrender to giant corporate interests that seem to run just about everything.

Die hard rail fans need a good dose of reality sometimes and it is best delivered by a dispassionate “guest.” Most folks ride Amtrak to get from “A” to “B,” and the experience can be horrifying to the uninitiated.

Here, for those with a clear mind and a strong stomach, are the travel notes of a recent Amtrak passenger aboard the once proud, but ill-fated California Zephyr. Stan Dyer’s experience was nothing but miserable.

What Mr. Dyer endured is the natural result of inadequate track capacity and rail infrastructure. The good news is that, with a little political will and leadership, Amtrak can do better.

Someday, and it may be soon, I will again ride the California Zephyr.

Filed under: Amtrak

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