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Passenger Trains > Trip Report Syracuse-Kansas City


Date: 02/10/19 06:26
Trip Report Syracuse-Kansas City
Author: co614

Just made a good trip Syracuse- K.C. on 49/3. About 1 hour down into Chicago on 49 and about 13 minutes down into KC on # 3. Good crews both legs. Sleeper attendant Richard on # 3 outstanding. I shall recommend to DC that they send all new hires to make at least 2 trips with Richard to see what first rate customer service should be. 

   Both trains on the light side for patronage. Leave KC Tuesday on # 4 for home via Chicago and # 48 to Syracuse. More soon, Ross Rowland 



Date: 02/10/19 06:43
Re: Trip Report Syracuse-Kansas City
Author: andersonb109

Many of the current hires should be made to ride with Richard as well. But what is the incentive for them to do a credible job? Apparently it takes a lot to get them terminated.  The only thing consistent with Amtrak is inconsistency.



Date: 02/10/19 07:07
Re: Trip Report Syracuse-Kansas City
Author: Alco251

I’m on #3 out of Chicago on Tuesday. Last trip on #4 (Dec) had an outstanding crew and a great sleeper attendant (Ryan). I tip accordingly.

Posted from iPhone



Date: 02/10/19 07:34
Re: Trip Report Syracuse-Kansas City
Author: joemvcnj

What was the LSL's sleeper and coach vacancy rates ?



Date: 02/10/19 11:40
Re: Trip Report Syracuse-Kansas City
Author: co614

LSL sleepers about 1/2 full.Lots of empty roomettes. BTW the "dining" car choices for b'fast have improved a good deal. Dining car attendant pleasant but hid in the corner of the kitchen entrance most of the time instead of watching the guests. Hard to fix stupid. 

     I guess we need to be grateful for small improvements. Ross Rowland



Date: 02/10/19 12:31
Re: Trip Report Syracuse-Kansas City
Author: dcfbalcoS1

      Not surprised at the 'hiding dining car' person. Leaving LA three years ago on the SWC the dining car head woman should have been put off the train somewhere ( anywhere ) and final pay thrown out the door to her ( all in change ) . There are plenty of foul Amtrak employees out there that need an opportunity to work in ditch digging or garbage removal services.



Date: 02/10/19 12:40
Re: Trip Report Syracuse-Kansas City
Author: Lackawanna484

dcfbalcoS1 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>       Not surprised at the 'hiding dining car'
> person. Leaving LA three years ago on the SWC the
> dining car head woman should have been put off the
> train somewhere ( anywhere ) and final pay thrown
> out the door to her ( all in change ) . There are
> plenty of foul Amtrak employees out there that
> need an opportunity to work in ditch digging or
> garbage removal services.

Offering exceptional employees bonus credits like better bidding rights and meaningful one time pay would go a long way toward better service.

Allowing people to bid for hospitality jobs based purely on seniority is an inherently bad idea.



Date: 02/10/19 12:41
Re: Trip Report Syracuse-Kansas City
Author: Duna

dcfbalcoS1 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>       Not surprised at the 'hiding dining car'
> person. Leaving LA three years ago on the SWC the
> dining car head woman should have been put off the
> train somewhere ( anywhere ) and final pay thrown
> out the door to her ( all in change ) . There are
> plenty of foul Amtrak employees out there that
> need an opportunity to work in ditch digging or
> garbage removal services.


Union strong!



Date: 02/10/19 13:04
Re: Trip Report Syracuse-Kansas City
Author: mp51w

Duna Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> dcfbalcoS1 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> >       Not surprised at the 'hiding dining
> car'
> > person. Leaving LA three years ago on the SWC
> the
> > dining car head woman should have been put off
> the
> > train somewhere ( anywhere ) and final pay
> thrown
> > out the door to her ( all in change ) . There
> are
> > plenty of foul Amtrak employees out there that
> > need an opportunity to work in ditch digging or
> > garbage removal services.
>
>
> Union strong!

Be nice now!



Date: 02/10/19 13:16
Re: Trip Report Syracuse-Kansas City
Author: PHall

Duna Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> dcfbalcoS1 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> >       Not surprised at the 'hiding dining
> car'
> > person. Leaving LA three years ago on the SWC
> the
> > dining car head woman should have been put off
> the
> > train somewhere ( anywhere ) and final pay
> thrown
> > out the door to her ( all in change ) . There
> are
> > plenty of foul Amtrak employees out there that
> > need an opportunity to work in ditch digging or
> > garbage removal services.
>
>
> Union strong!

You know, that Union Contract does have provisions for diciplining employees who fail to meet the standards of the job.
Amtrak management just needs to follow that contract. After all they signed off on it when it was approved...



Date: 02/10/19 15:34
Re: Trip Report Syracuse-Kansas City
Author: DavidP

PHall Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>
> You know, that Union Contract does have provisions
> for diciplining employees who fail to meet the
> standards of the job.
> Amtrak management just needs to follow that
> contract. After all they signed off on it when it
> was approved...

Standards - that’s the key.  They probably exist somewhere, but enforcement seems very lax.  LD trains are a rubberless ship when it comes to standards.  Fortunately most Amtrak employees seem to want to do a good job, but it’s largely up to them to define what that means in terms of customers service.  With no one in charge of service delivery on an LD train, the passenger experience is left to chance.  If an employee is rude or polite, attentive or absent, how does Amtrak management know?  Unless a customer makes an effort to document and report a good or bad experience, I don’t see how managers have any idea of who is providing good service and who is not.

Dave



Date: 02/10/19 16:13
Re: Trip Report Syracuse-Kansas City
Author: Lackawanna484

One TrainOrders member has mentioned an OBS staff member with a several inches thick complaint folder. With reports for ten years.

He may still be on the job...

Posted from Android



Date: 02/10/19 17:53
Re: Trip Report Syracuse-Kansas City
Author: co614

When I served on the Amtrak BOD I encountered a VERY rude OBS woman serving as a lounge car attendant on the Cardinal. I wrote her up and followed through with a formal hearing. Turns out she had a history of customer complaints. As she was a minority female she played both those cards to the max. ( gender & racial discrimination) and she fought her dismissal with appeals etc. IIRC it took 3 hearings and 2/3 appeals before her termination finally stuck. She carried a chip on her shoulder the size of a boulder !!!

    Without the Train Manager riding every LDT there's no one aboard monitoring the OBS crew to help insure good customer service. It is true that the vast majority try to do a good job. It's the one bad apple in each barrel that makes each trip a crap shoot.

   Sad but true. Ross Rowland 



Date: 02/10/19 19:11
Re: Trip Report Syracuse-Kansas City
Author: wa4umr

co614 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> . It's the
> one bad apple in each barrel that makes each trip
> a crap shoot.
>
>    Sad but true. Ross Rowland 

There are a bunch of really great employees out there and they make a trip a grand experience but it only takes that "one bad apple" to wipe out the good that all of the other employees provided.  About 10 years ago I was on a VERY late Empire Builder.  We were about 10 hours late leaving Seattle.  Bad experience but everyone involved was great.  The agent in the station kept us somewhat informed.  I talked to him and he said he was reluctant to announce too much because if he gave a two-hour estimate on when the train would leave and it was two hours and two minutes, people would be mad.  He did make arrangements to bring food and drinks in for everyone.  Once on the train, our car attendant was great.  Not only as she exceptionally nice, but I also caught her cleaning the restrooms twice on the trip and she ran a sweeper through the coach two or three times each day.  At the Twin Cities, Amtrak boarded two agents that worked with every passenger to give them vouchers for accommodations once we reached Chicago.  The staff in the dining car were just as great, smiling and friendly all the time.  They gave everyone a free meal and they were so appreciated that just about everyone left them a good tip.  

ON the other hand, I was on the westbound Builder several years before that and I remember that the attendant in the snack bar was only there about half the time.  Seemed he was gone when you needed him, especially at the longer stops.  He was out there smoking with the rest of the smokers.

BTW, I wrote a letter (the kind with an envelope and a stamp on it)  to Amtrak about the late train and I named people that needed a big "Thank You."  I hope the letter made it to the right people.   I did get an acknowledgment from the president's office.

John



Date: 02/11/19 07:57
Re: Trip Report Syracuse-Kansas City
Author: aehouse

In 1985, I was hassled by a lounge car attendant on No. 3 about ordering a Coors Beer. "This is a union train, you shouldn't be drinking a non-union beer." 

While fully supportive of unions, I was incensed by his confronting me with this and I wrote him up. 

I got a personal letter from Graham Claytor about a month later telling me that the man had been given two weeks off without pay as a result of my complaint.

Art House



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