Monday, October 30, 2006

Dear Amtrak:

You F-ing suck!!!!! After spending a delightful, but long weekend in Rhinebeck, I really didn't have any desire to spend the next weekend in Connecticut - I really just wanted to cuddle up with my new yarn. But, my married friend, a former New Yorker, trapped in the suburbs, begged me, begged me, to make the trip - and, I had made the commitment months ago, and the truth is, I usually love a train trip - listening to my iPod, knitting in peace. So, I reserved my ticket for the 4:00 train to Stamford.

4:00 - not 6:00 p.m. - yes, that's what time we left 30th Street Station, after standing in line at the gate for 2 hours. Ok, I'm 2 hours late, not the end of the world. But then, you broke down outside of Trenton. The rain was coming down, the electricity in the car went off. We sat, and sat, and sat . . . until the conductor finally shared the fact that the engine was shot, and they were sending a rescue train to pick us up. We waited, and waited, until we were finally rescued by New Jersey Transit. As we transferred trains, in the middle of the rain, in the middle of the woods, the conductor cautioned us, "don't touch both trains at the same time." Great, we're all going to be electrocuted. We hobbled into New York City, now 4 hours late - and to add injury to insult, as we deboarded the train to get on our new train to take us the rest of the journey, our conductor thanked us - "Thank you for riding New Jersey Transit." Of all the humiliating things in the world - to be rescued by New Jersey Transit!

So, we board our new train, and take off, speed along, past New Rochelle, off to my stop, Stamford. But, what's this! We're stopped again - and now we're going backwards! Backwards to New Rochelle, to drop off a navigator who should have been left at the station in the first place. Unbelieveable.

I arrived in Stamford at 10:00, and at my friend's house in Redding at 11:00 - just in time for bed. Thanks Amtrak.

So, what could possibly go wrong when I returned to Philly on Sunday? My friends dropped me off at Stamford, my reserved ticket popped out of the Amtrak Quiktrip box just as planned, and then the board changed - my train was 2 hours late!!!! 2 hours turned into 3 hours before my train finally arrived. And how does a train get 3 hours behind - well, that's what happens if you hit a truck that's sitting on the track.

3 hours late, I boarded the train, and off we went. Speeding along, the conductor apologizing at every stop for the delay, and then HALT - again! Right outside of New York. We sat, and sat, for at least 45 minutes before we limped into Penn Station. I finally got home at 9:00 p.m.

So, between Friday, which took 7 hours, and Sunday, which took 6 hours, I could have made 2 round trips to California.

Thanks Amtrak, for totally sabotoging my weekend - the only good thing was that I finished Maude and knit half a Wallabee - but I'm not even going to show you pictures, because you don't deserve it!



Midnight2sticks said...

That totally sucks! Please tell me they didn't charge you for the tickets. Please. Or I'll vomit. I have often been the victim of NJ Transit nightmares-its always best when it is completely packed, you are standing and the train is stuck on the bridge and the conductors have the balls to take your ticket.

Anonymous said...

Amtrak does effing suck. They once stranded me in Colorado for 18 hours. No rescue train or bus, no accomodations or meals, no nuthin'. Just sitting on the damned train. And that was before I started knitting.

Wendy said...

Whoa. Bad f-ing luck with the Amtrack. I hope you're off today to rest up (though the wheel may be exacerbating the angst...)

I'm dying to see the Wallaby ... thinking about knitting one for the Yarn Sniffer...

AmyDe said...

Yeah Amtrak - sometimes you do suck!

Marlisa said...

I know I'm just one of many whiny Americans saying this, but is there a reason we can't have a rail system like Europe? I loved taking the train there. It wasn't perfect, but it was sooo much better. I'd love to easily take the train on major journeys and not know with certainty that something will go very wrong during the trip.

Gerg Manoco said...

Amtrak is wonderful for people with bitch wives.

It extends our travel time while the wife flies so we can spend upwards of a week without out bitch wives and plus it emulates a world war II nazi concentration camp train so it's like a theme train vacation.