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Passenger Trains > Scouts on the Southwest Chief Part 2


Date: 07/08/19 06:09
Scouts on the Southwest Chief Part 2
Author: kevink

An update to my earlier post: https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?4,4816869,4816869#msg-4816869

After hiking 130 miles over 11 days, the two crews of scouts from my son's troop boarded the Southwest Chief for their ride home. They were due back to Naperville ~3:30 pm Saturday, July 6 where they would board Metra for the rest of the trip to Clarendon Hills. However, as the scoutmaster relates below, the adventure was not over:

We had a busy night on the Amtrak rails.  After dinner, we were notified that due to some of the railroad tracks being underwater we were not going to continue on our train.

They woke us at 2:30am (Mountain Time) and we got off the train in Newton, KS.  After unloading all our backpacks and loading them onto a motor coach bus, we drove almost three hours to Kansas City, MO, boarded a new train and promptly departed at 10:30 Central Time.
Because of this shuffle, our arrival time this afternoon is in flux.  Currently, we are to arrive in Naperville at 4:30pm and our Metra train departs Naperville at 4:33pm.  The conductor is well aware of our dilemma and will try working on a contingency plan because the next Metra departing Naperville is 6:33pm.

We should have a better idea after 2pm once we get through Galesburg, IL.


As we all know, late trains get later and #4 did not make Naperville until just after 5 pm. Amtrak kindly arranged for #4 to make a quick stop at Clarendon Hills where the scouts left the train.

For those of you who are familiar with Philmont, the 130 miles hiked may see high. Apparently, there were a few detours and backtracks due to portions of the area being closed due to last year's wildfires. On the plus side, the scoutmaster said with all the rain they had this spring, it was greener than the last two trips he has made.



Date: 07/08/19 09:05
Re: Scouts on the Southwest Chief Part 2
Author: thebluecomet

Sounds like Amtrak made the extra effort to get passengers to their destination.  Although the nightime bus bridge may have been an inconvenience, it got the job done.  The special stop for your group again may have been a minor inconvenience to some, but it was a good decision all around considering the circumstances. 



Date: 07/08/19 09:22
Re: Scouts on the Southwest Chief Part 2
Author: mp51w

There has been some confusion about where the Boy Scouts are supposed to store their backpacks.
As most know, there is no Summer only ticket agent at Raton anymore.  It wasn't an issue last year due to the fire.
That agent was an important part of safely using the baggage car for backpacks.
Some conductors are okay with having the scouts put their backpacks in the baggage car, but some aren't!
Compounding the issue, is the lack of a coach baggage car on every consist.  That used to be the norm.
Generally, the scouts and leaders are fit, and are more than willing to load and unload packs themselves.
There is a potential liability issue with this, so in the meantime, inconsistency prevails!
 



Date: 07/08/19 09:27
Re: Scouts on the Southwest Chief Part 2
Author: joemvcnj

Amtrak found another way to discourage revenue. Write it up for Senator Moran. He is seeking tangible evidence on Anderson's schemes.

Posted from Android



Date: 07/08/19 11:23
Re: Scouts on the Southwest Chief Part 2
Author: YardLimit

How did Amtrak find another way to discourage revenue on the Southwest Chief?  It sounded to me like they went out of their way to accommodate the scouts.



Date: 07/08/19 14:20
Re: Scouts on the Southwest Chief Part 2
Author: joemvcnj

Yanking checked baggage at Raton, depending on the crew's mood, and hit or miss on the presence of a 31xxx series Superliner coach-baggage does not fit my definition of Amtrak going out of their way to accomodate.

Posted from Android



Date: 07/08/19 14:20
Re: Scouts on the Southwest Chief Part 2
Author: Typhoon

joemvcnj Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Amtrak found another way to discourage revenue.
> Write it up for Senator Moran. He is seeking
> tangible evidence on Anderson's schemes.
>
> Posted from Android

Yes, please write this up.  From setting up a bus bridge because of a weather issue, as opposed to just cancelling the train, and adding an extra stop to help out the passengers, Amtrak did well with issues outside of its control.  Moran needs to see this.  It will counteract the stuff that the "train buffs", as the WSJ terms them, are feeding him.



Date: 07/08/19 16:33
Re: Scouts on the Southwest Chief Part 2
Author: joemvcnj

I was NOT refering to the short term track outage, but the long term affects on handling baggage of large BSA groups.

Posted from Android



Date: 07/08/19 17:14
Re: Scouts on the Southwest Chief Part 2
Author: SR_Krause

My son was on trek 615-P (June 15), and they rode the Chief GBB to RAT and return.

Going out they had a bag/coach, and the conductor simply boarded them through the baggage door on the coach, they stowed their packs and everything was hunky-dory.

Returning the crew evidently made some comments about scout checked bags, all their packs were loaded in the baggage car up front, then unloaded at Galesburg. One of the conductors was cheerfully slinging packs while the scouts formed a normal crew-line and passed them along and out once she (the conductor) slung them out.

It all seemed to work! I can understand needing crew in the baggage car itself, but the coach/bag was the ideal solution.

SRK

mp51w Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> There has been some confusion about where the Boy
> Scouts are supposed to store their backpacks.
> As most know, there is no Summer only ticket agent
> at Raton anymore.  It wasn't an issue last year
> due to the fire.
> That agent was an important part of safely using
> the baggage car for backpacks.
> Some conductors are okay with having the scouts
> put their backpacks in the baggage car, but some
> aren't!
> Compounding the issue, is the lack of a coach
> baggage car on every consist.  That used to be
> the norm.
> Generally, the scouts and leaders are fit, and are
> more than willing to load and unload packs
> themselves.
> There is a potential liability issue with this, so
> in the meantime, inconsistency prevails!
>  

Steve Krause
Chillicothe, IL



Date: 07/08/19 18:24
Re: Scouts on the Southwest Chief Part 2
Author: irhoghead

Prime example of the hit or miss with Amtrak's crews. It's not just OBS that can be good/bad/ugly, the same applies to train service. There are a lot of great ones, but there are some that belong strictly in freight service.



Date: 07/08/19 19:13
Re: Scouts on the Southwest Chief Part 2
Author: JohnM

Rather than hiring a full time station agent (plus backfill) maybe Amtrak and the BSA can work out some sort of a creative solution for the Raton Station.    



Date: 07/08/19 19:16
Re: Scouts on the Southwest Chief Part 2
Author: ProAmtrak

This situation shows how good customer service should be, what's the letter, saying why the Chief should stay or an assumption on something beyond their control!



Date: 07/08/19 20:52
Re: Scouts on the Southwest Chief Part 2
Author: mundo

Simple, have a Bag-coach in each consist.  They have the cars..



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/10/19 06:08 by mundo.



Date: 07/08/19 20:52
Re: Scouts on the Southwest Chief Part 2
Author: CPRR

Any senator or congressman you write to should know that hundreds, if not thousands take the SWC to and from Philmont every year, all summer long. It is one of the best ways to move the scouts. Perhaps some of those senators and congressmen actually went there. Just because a moron is running Amtrak, doesn't mean we can't fight back. 



Date: 07/09/19 04:24
Re: Scouts on the Southwest Chief Part 2
Author: Red

joemvcnj Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Amtrak found another way to discourage revenue.
> Write it up for Senator Moran. He is seeking
> tangible evidence on Anderson's schemes.
>
> Posted from Android

Excellent idea, there! The squeaky wheel gets the grease! And Delta Dick is really angered that his Bus Bridge Scheme for this train was an Epic Political FAIL! Only now is he learning what it's like to run the National Rail Passenger Corporation!



Date: 07/09/19 04:32
Re: Scouts on the Southwest Chief Part 2
Author: Red

mundo Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Simple, have a Bag-coach in each consist.  Tjeu
> jave tje cars.

Anderson is trying to make it so that they will NOT have the CARS, however,by not repairing Superliners at Beech Grove! Unfortunetly. So he can holler We don't have the equipment! Sorry!
Meanwhile, VIA Rail happily goes on about its way, it's passengers in comfort, many not knowing or caring the age of those beautiful Buddy they are riding in.

Posted from Android



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