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Passenger Trains > Longtime Lynchburg station agent retires


Date: 07/28/20 05:49
Longtime Lynchburg station agent retires
Author: Dcmcrider

Garland Harper retires after 45 years of service with Amtrak.

On a personal note, I have known Mr. Harper since my student days in Charlottesville.

https://newsadvance.com/news/local/lynchburgs-longtime-amtrak-station-agent-retires-after-45-years/article_3750ac10-0674-5fdb-ba0b-8edcf311c22a.html

Richard Chumney

For 45 years, Garland Harper worked his dream job.

Harper, a longtime Amtrak station agent, was at home at the Hill City’s Kemper Street Station. Enthralled by rail since childhood, he found endless joy watching trains pass by for a living.

But after a nearly half-century career assisting passengers, Harper is retiring from the business he loves. His last day on the job was Friday.

“I’ll miss it,” Harper, 67, said in a recent interview. “Once railroad gets into your blood it’s hard to get out.”

Since 1975, he has been a familiar face for Amtrak riders traveling to or from Lynchburg. He worked the evening shifts at the city’s red brick station, greeting passengers after what was often a long day on the train.

He was known for being helpful. Harper made sure passengers had all their luggage before leaving the station and he efficiently directed people to the nearby bus station and waiting taxis.

As though he were duty bound, he would often go beyond his official responsibilities to share travel trips with visitors and help unhoused individuals find safe shelter for the night.

“A lot of customer service, in my opinion, is just the golden rule,” he said. “Treat people like you want to be treated. No question is too dumb.”

...snip...

Paul Wilson
Arlington, VA



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/28/20 10:54 by Dcmcrider.



Date: 07/28/20 06:50
Re: Longtime Lynchburg station agent retires
Author: ClubCar

The best of wishes to him in his retirement.  We need more people like him in this world.
John in White Marsh, Maryland



Date: 07/28/20 10:17
Re: Longtime Lynchburg station agent retires
Author: Jimbo

Yes, Garland Harper has been a great asset for Amtrak and the community.  I believe he started with Amtrak in Williamson, West Virginia, when the Mountaineer started.



Date: 07/28/20 10:28
Re: Longtime Lynchburg station agent retires
Author: joemvcnj

Will Amtrak hire a replacement or will this become an excuse to de-staff another station ?



Date: 07/28/20 10:44
Re: Longtime Lynchburg station agent retires
Author: Jimbo

joemvcnj Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Will Amtrak hire a replacement or will this become
> an excuse to de-staff another station ?

Good question.  It has been a two-shift station, in the morning for 20 and the northbound Roanoke Regional and in the evening for 19 and the southbound Roanoke Regional.  Checked baggage was handled for the Crescent.



Date: 07/28/20 13:20
Re: Longtime Lynchburg station agent retires
Author: Appalachianrails

Jimbo Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Yes, Garland Harper has been a great asset for
> Amtrak and the community.  I believe he started
> with Amtrak in Williamson, West Virginia, when the
> Mountaineer started.

Yes. He was the only Amtrak station agent that ever worked in Williamson.



Date: 07/28/20 13:21
Re: Longtime Lynchburg station agent retires
Author: dwatry

Garp and I went to William and Mary together! 

Here's a shot of the W&M railfan alumni community in 2018 at a reunion in Ashland VA!  Garp is second from right. 




Date: 07/28/20 13:25
Re: Longtime Lynchburg station agent retires
Author: dwatry

And here we are in Williamsburg in 1975 - amazingly in the same order as in 2018!




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