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Date: 02/11/20 13:42
Recent Brightline and Amtrak Florida Trip
Author: andersonb109

I just completed a brief four days in Florida. The trip down was 3 hours courtesy of Delta. One reason for the trip was to check out Brightline....now Virgin's service between West Palm Beach and Miami.  I rode round trip. Brightline is a great example of what private investment can accomplish. Clean new trains. Beautiful new stations. And friendly staff. I rode their standard class down. And Select....their first class on return. The difference is Select offers: A beautiful lounge with free snacks and drinks, pre-boarding, free snacks and drinks on the train, and 2-1 seating. Both trains appeared to be well patronized...I'd say about 2/3 full. Southbound was 10 minutes late due to freight interference. Northbound was OT. My only complaint was minor. The southbound train had an advertising wrap. So visibility through the otherwise clean windows was hindered if you were in a window seat. Looking out the other side wasn't as much of an issue. But most people were on their phones anyway so probably didn't notice.

Return was on Amtrak's Silver Meteor and Capitol Limited. I originally was suppose to be on the last north bound Meteor in October when real food and service was still offered but a family emergency got in the way.  I drove to Jacksonville so as to have time for a decent meal before boarding. The new diners are really nice. Such a shame they aren't properly utilized. Not many seemed to be using the "enhanced" dining options. And the coach passengers are stuck with take out from the cafe. The one crew member made the best of it and no one I talked to...crew and passengers alike thought this was a good idea. We arrived DC on time. That afternoon's meal  was at the relatively new "Legal Seafood" at Union Station. A great meal. On the Capitol, they did things a bit different. Amtrak inconsistency. The un-friendly, non smiling  attendant said nothing other than asking me what I wanted. No greeting. No "can I help you?" Nothing other than non smiling silence. When I thanked her for the OJ with ice not so much as a "your welcome." Just more silence. She must really love her job.  Amtrak needs more people such as those working for Brightline. Again not many appeared to be eating. The food looked gross...but I admit I am picky. I had really good sleeping car attendants on both trains. The Cap was OT into Toledo over some really rough CSX or NS track with lots of lateral motion (I was trying to sleep so don't know where exactly it was). Poster Streamliner would be horrified. Far worse than anything I have ever experienced on that unsafe Canadian.  The regular and transition sleepers were positioned directly behind the TWO Amtrak units. No one hit wonder on this day. In fact it was the same power that brought the Meteor north. And no  baggage car to mute the noise. Why can't the sleepers be on the rear as with no baggage car, the ability to access a low level car from the transition sleeper isn't an issue. Sleepers on the Meteor were on the rear as was the baggage car.  One more interesting thing in the diner. On some of the tables on the Capitol had little signs saying things like ""Craving a chat...priority seating for those wishing to dine with fellow travelers."  Good grief. You have to be told where to sit if you want to socialize? What if you sit at alone at one of the other tables. Then others can't sit there? Unbelievable.  Some photos follow. 

First: Waiting to depart West Palm Beach.  Second: West Palm Beach's new station. Third: Miami Central Station. Note the Virgin signage. 








Date: 02/11/20 13:48
Re: Recent Brightline and Amtrak Florida Trip
Author: andersonb109

A few more.  Brightline Miami lounge. On the way to Jacksonville,I drove part of the original brick Dixie Highway.








Date: 02/11/20 13:54
Re: Recent Brightline and Amtrak Florida Trip
Author: andersonb109

Now some Amtrak. The little dining car signs are sideways but you get the idea.  Thanks for looking. 








Date: 02/11/20 14:03
Re: Recent Brightline and Amtrak Florida Trip
Author: viatrainrider

Thanks for your good report!



Date: 02/11/20 14:36
Re: Recent Brightline and Amtrak Florida Trip
Author: amtrakbill

Nice report!  Brightline is surely a world class operation.  Ironically it's non-union so that might have something to do with the excellent service you get while on the train.  I'm not trashing the many great unionized Amtrak employees but there is a culture in a non-union operation that rewards good behavior and a culture in a union enviroment that sometimes protects below average workers.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/11/20 14:56 by amtrakbill.



Date: 02/11/20 15:01
Re: Recent Brightline and Amtrak Florida Trip
Author: JohnM

Thank you for the photos!  Well the table tents are a nice touch in case you packed your historic timetable collection and want to share with your fellow passengers.



Date: 02/11/20 16:59
Re: Recent Brightline and Amtrak Florida Trip
Author: KansasCityChief

Sad need to move the mica law on first class

Posted from Android



Date: 02/11/20 17:47
Re: Recent Brightline and Amtrak Florida Trip
Author: ts1457

KansasCityChief Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Sad need to move the mica law on first class

???



Date: 02/11/20 18:31
Re: Recent Brightline and Amtrak Florida Trip
Author: alan2955

I hope you express your dissatisfaction over the meal service to Amtrak. And be sure to mention Miss Personality. There’s no excuse for that kind of behavior. Fortunately I’ve not encountered one of those in numerous years. They used to be quite common.

Posted from iPhone



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/11/20 18:31 by alan2955.



Date: 02/11/20 19:06
Re: Recent Brightline and Amtrak Florida Trip
Author: Duna

andersonb109 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The
> un-friendly, non smiling  attendant said nothing
> other than asking me what I wanted. No greeting.
> No "can I help you?" Nothing other than non
> smiling silence. When I thanked her for the OJ
> with ice not so much as a "your welcome." Just
> more silence. She must really love her job. 
> Amtrak needs more people such as those working for
> Brightline...


Let me guess...

 



Date: 02/12/20 07:16
Re: Recent Brightline and Amtrak Florida Trip
Author: co614

I too had one of those attendants on a recent trip on 49. What a sour puss attitude and so unfriendly. Sadly as a female and minority she knows she's nearly bullet proof and getting rid of her is next to impossible. When I was an Amtrak BOD member I encountered one of these and it took 9 months and 3 seperate hearings to finally get her terminated despite her file containing numerous customer complaints. 

   Inconsistency is sadly one of Amtrak's hallmarks. Every trip is a crap shoot as you never know what kind of crew you'll encounter. Most are acceptable, a few are outstanding and a few should have been long gone but won't be.

   Sad but true. Ross Rowland 



Date: 02/12/20 07:48
Re: Recent Brightline and Amtrak Florida Trip
Author: rbenko

Good report - Brightline is head and shoulders above anything Amtrak offers - let's hope they can maintain that level of service as they expand.

One correction:  The first picture is in Miami Central, not West Palm Beach



Date: 02/12/20 15:56
Re: Recent Brightline and Amtrak Florida Trip
Author: ATSF3751

co614 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I too had one of those attendants on a recent trip
> on 49. What a sour puss attitude and so
> unfriendly. Sadly as a female and minority she
> knows she's nearly bullet proof and getting rid of
> her is next to impossible.

IF this was not a person of color or female, would you point out to us all that "sadly, the white guy knows he is nearly bullet proof and getting rid of him is next to impossible"?
You know, kinda of like the cranky white guy I had on the SW Chief a few years back. He probably still terrorizes passengers somewhere on Amtrak. 
I worked for Amtrak as well.......and I can tell you.....cranky, nasty OBS staff came in all colors and genders. This was true even before Amtrak. 


When I was an Amtrak
> BOD member I encountered one of these and it took
> 9 months and 3 seperate hearings to finally get
> her terminated despite her file containing
> numerous customer complaints. 
>
>    Inconsistency is sadly one of Amtrak's
> hallmarks. Every trip is a crap shoot as you never
> know what kind of crew you'll encounter. Most are
> acceptable, a few are outstanding and a few should
> have been long gone but won't be.
>
>    Sad but true. Ross Rowland 



Date: 02/12/20 16:56
Re: Recent Brightline and Amtrak Florida Trip
Author: co614

Maybe its just my bad luck but from my 49 years riding Amtrak 95% of the really bad OBS staff I have encountered have been minority females. Just a fact. And again, the vast majority ( 95% ?) do a good to acceptable job, a precious few ( 4 % ?) are truly exceptional and a very few ( 1% ?) are awful. Problem is that 1% spoil it for all the rest as they create the "never agains" who go and tell all their friends what a horrible experience riding on Amtrak is. 

   IMHO-Ross Rowland 



Date: 02/12/20 17:59
Re: Recent Brightline and Amtrak Florida Trip
Author: PCCRNSEngr

Nice write up Bruce. Friday will be on #97 so it will be our first try at the enhanced dining service. Of course have Bedroom B.



Date: 02/13/20 08:22
Re: Recent Brightline and Amtrak Florida Trip
Author: Duna

ATSF3751 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> IF this was not a person of color or female, would
> you point out to us all that "sadly, the white guy
> knows he is nearly bullet proof and getting rid of
> him is next to impossible"?
> You know, kinda of like the cranky white guy I had
> on the SW Chief a few years back. He probably
> still terrorizes passengers somewhere on
> Amtrak. 
> I worked for Amtrak as well.......and I can tell
> you.....cranky, nasty OBS staff came in all colors
> and genders. This was true even before Amtrak. 
>
>


Day by day, fewer people are falling for this kind of lie.

Not even you could really believe that poor service (and violent crime) is equally distributed by race.

Crappy Amtrak OBS service? Far more likely the result of a black person.

These true statements are likely to be deleted soon.
 



Date: 02/13/20 08:23
Re: Recent Brightline and Amtrak Florida Trip
Author: Duna

co614 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Maybe its just my bad luck but from my 49 years
> riding Amtrak 95% of the really bad OBS staff I
> have encountered have been minority females. Just
> a fact. And again, the vast majority ( 95% ?) do a
> good to acceptable job, a precious few ( 4 % ?)
> are truly exceptional and a very few ( 1% ?) are
> awful. Problem is that 1% spoil it for all the
> rest as they create the "never agains" who go and
> tell all their friends what a horrible experience
> riding on Amtrak is. 
>
>    IMHO-Ross Rowland 



Not bad luck. And you are not alone.

But in my experience, the "bad ones" (attitude, lazy, etc) are at least 20 percent.

It's just most people are cowards and/or liars and are afraid to speak the truth.

But people are becoming aware, regardless.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/13/20 08:30 by Duna.



Date: 02/13/20 11:19
Re: Recent Brightline and Amtrak Florida Trip
Author: portlander

Old wealthy white men complaining that minorities are the problem.

I am shocked. SHOCKED, I tell you. . .



Date: 02/13/20 14:36
Re: Recent Brightline and Amtrak Florida Trip
Author: ATSF3751

Duna Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> ATSF3751 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
>
> > IF this was not a person of color or female,
> would
> > you point out to us all that "sadly, the white
> guy
> > knows he is nearly bullet proof and getting rid
> of
> > him is next to impossible"?
> > You know, kinda of like the cranky white guy I
> had
> > on the SW Chief a few years back. He probably
> > still terrorizes passengers somewhere on
> > Amtrak. 
> > I worked for Amtrak as well.......and I can
> tell
> > you.....cranky, nasty OBS staff came in all
> colors
> > and genders. This was true even before
> Amtrak. 
> >
> >
>
>
> Day by day, fewer people are falling for this kind
> of lie.
>
> Not even you could really believe that poor
> service (and violent crime) is equally distributed
> by race.
>
> Crappy Amtrak OBS service? Far more likely the
> result of a black person.
>
> These true statements are likely to be deleted
> soon.
>

Well now. Showing who you truly are. Will be sure to ask for you advice when facts don't matter.  

Of course, as they say....to a hammer, everything is a nail. I imagine you see people of color as responsible for just about everything that goes wrong. Sad for you.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/13/20 14:40 by ATSF3751.



Date: 02/13/20 15:55
Re: Recent Brightline and Amtrak Florida Trip
Author: Duna

portlander Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Old wealthy white men complaining that minorities
> are the problem.
>
> I am shocked. SHOCKED, I tell you. . .



Some other posters and myself make factual comments about 1st-hand experiences we've had- about people we've actually met.

But you, without ever meeting us, are somehow able to tell our race, age, and amazingly, our bank balances.

How does that work?



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