Friday, February 1, 2008

Derailed in Seattle

A small postscript to my prospective train adventure and a warning to all who buy tickets online from Amtrak: a week before my departure for San Francisco and two weeks after I bought my ticket online, I went to the train station to pick it up. Only after I signed the receipt for it, did the clerk tell me that mudslides had halted the Coast Starlight until February 15.
Since I need to be there by February 8, this was not news that I wanted to hear. Nor was I thrilled that nobody from Amtrak had notified me that my ticket was now unusable. The clerk limped his way through refunding the purchase to my bank card which I can only hope was done with more efficiency than hitherto shown by Amtrak, and I went home to buy a plane ticket, which would have been far less expensive had I done it a week ago.
So take fair warning--we do not have a civilized train system in this country, and those who run it do not give a damn.

3 comments:

Eugene Latt said...

Same here.Cancelled or stopped for several hours on the way for no reason,spoiling the beauty of travel.

Janet Brown said...

Yes, Amtrak is one of our best reasons to not come to the U.S.

Tokyo Ern said...

Thank God for the train systems of Japan. Even though I did enjoy a train ride from Seattle to Portland once.