• First time on Acela - wow does Amtrak suck

  • Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.
Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, mtuandrew, Tadman

  by STrRedWolf
 
ExCon90 wrote: Sat Jun 18, 2022 10:44 pm My traveling days are over, but I found that the best deal for Acela First Class was a late afternoon departure from Boston, with dinner served at the time of your request (after New Haven and the scenery), in plenty of time for a Philadelphia arrival, and the waitstaff solicitously ensuring that the inside of your wine glass was never unduly exposed to the air. STrRedWolf is right: if you don't get a damned good meal out of it, you're just as well off with Acela Business Class or a Regional, and that depends more on the times than anything else.
This is essentially what I'm talking about. If you got 8 hours on a train, you might as well get a good meal out of it, so time it for that meal. Shorter than 4 and it's a waste of money -- get food at the station and time your arrival for your hunger.

Think about it this way: I'm going up to Pittsburgh again. I have enough time in Philadelphia 30th Street to grab something from Au Bon Pain or even Wendy's. Unfortunately, it's 6 hours to Pittsburgh -- I'm likely to get dinner on the train before I disembark. And that'll will be "7-11" fare.
  by eolesen
 

west point wrote:Unfortunately all freight RR locos are geared for 70 MPH max speeds.
Who said anything about using freight locomotives?

Union contracts aside for a moment, there's nothing stopping Amtrak from providing P42s or eventually Siemens power to run the services on their lines.

No different at all from how Metra uses UP and BNSF labor today.

I'd bet dispatchers would worry a whole lot more about timing out one of their own crews than they do an offline crew running Amtrak. Especially if the crew desk is riding them about it.


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  by NortheastTrainMan
 
Wow, and I say this with all due respect, I'm not sure if this is serious or an SNL style skit.

As others have mentioned, there are far more cost effective Amtrak options between Philadelphia / Philly (not Phili) and New York Penn.
At best the Acela might save you 10 minutes on that stretch when compared to a Pennsylvanian, Keystone, Regional, or any ACS-64 hauled Amtrak train. But it will be far more costly.

As for the on board experience regarding the unruly passengers, that's unfortunate.
As for delays, that too is unfortunate. It's one of those things that can happen and as a passenger you have no control over.
The food, well, you're on a train. Yes it's a premium express train, but it's a train. The prices generally don't reflect the quality of food.
It would behoove you to purchase your food outside of the station district, as food in train stations, especially busy ones can be expensive. Similar to sporting arenas.

I'm sorry to hear you had a bad experience on Amtrak's Acela. However, I think you could've at the very least avoided shelling out so much money if you thought this through.
The delay and wild passengers weren't in your control. But the spending and planning were, you didn't do a great job with that.
Plan better next time. It seems you spontaneously booked and financed this trip thinking it would be seamless because it's the Acela.
It was a rude wake up call, but hopefully you learn from this.
Maybe try booking through Amtrak's site on a laptop / desktop and look at the options (different trains), pay attention to the time differences and prices.
In my opinion I don't think the Acela is worth it for the PHL - NYP stretch, I'd push for PHL - STM or PHL - WAS instead at least. Take your time and save your money.

I felt like I was reading a disgruntled Yelp review by an out of touch customer.
  by STrRedWolf
 
NortheastTrainMan wrote: Tue Jun 28, 2022 6:21 am In my opinion I don't think the Acela is worth it for the PHL - NYP stretch, I'd push for PHL - STM or PHL - WAS instead at least. Take your time and save your money.
We can agree on PHL-NYP, but PHL-WAS? PHL-BWI is roughly 90 minutes and WAS is maybe 20 minutes more. I don't see Acela improving much on that... and even food at the top stations is better than Acela 1st class. As I mentioned before, if you're not stuck on it for over 4 hours, Acela First Class isn't worth it.
  by NortheastTrainMan
 
Wait, for first class!? Oh no, it's definitely not worth it for PHL - WAS. I rode the Acela once as a bucket list item between PHL - WAS once.
I picked that segment because it was quicker than PHL - NHV (I'm looking at you ConnDOT / Metro North), and longer than PHL - NYP, which is similar to PHL - BAL or BWI.
I was able due to low ticket prices (circa 2020) and booking it like 6 weeks in advance. I didn't sit first class though. Coach will suffice my needs 99.9% of the time.
Personally if I can save 20 - 30 minutes, I'll consider it. 10 minutes isn't worth it.

I enjoy the Acela, but it's not something I would ride regularly, I'll stick to my Regionals, Keystone, Pennsylvanians, and any other ACS-64 hauled trains.
They're more conducive to my wallet.
  by Alphaboi
 
I admit I did once take the Acela from Philadelphia to NYC. My Truway Motorcoach to Scranton was canceled and when the I asked if could go to NYC instead of waiting a day the Amtrak CSR booked me on the next train for no additional charge. That just happened to be an Acela. Also it wasn't First Class (obviously I would've accepted if she offered).

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  by BandA
 
Having never taken Amtrak myself (Metro-North was cheaper, more flexible and only 30 minutes slower!), it sounds like they need to step up communication about any delays and improve customer service in stations. As for the woman and children, there needs to be some kind of penalty for bad behavior. They could implement a system where the conductor scans the ticket, they get a "black mark" and a stern form letter. After a second black mark someone actually looks into the situation. Third black mark gets the ban hammer.
  by eolesen
 
BandA wrote: Sat Jul 02, 2022 2:33 pm there needs to be some kind of penalty for bad behavior. They could implement a system where the conductor scans the ticket, they get a "black mark" and a stern form letter. After a second black mark someone actually looks into the situation. Third black mark gets the ban hammer.
Can we implement the same for the customer facing employees on Amtrak?... That's a sure way to thin out the herd.
  by STrRedWolf
 
Before we go further, I want to make a slight point here:

There’s bad customer service where there was an active choice by the attendant to provide such bad service… and then there’s limited customer service for various reasons.

For example, 30(4) was running over an hour late, and Pittsburgh was overwhelmed as there were only two station staff total. Also, on 42(5) there’s only two conductors and one cafe staff. All of them were a bit overwhelmed for handling the Pittsburgh stop.

Does it excuse intentionally bad customer service? No. But “limited customer service” means customers have to work with the agents and conductors.