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Texas Eagle - Austin to Dallas - Follow up with questions

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#1 dclassical


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Posted 20 November 2017 - 06:43 PM

First, a big thank you to everyone who helped me in the thread I posted earlier:




The trip took place and to be honest I am not sure what to think, so I turn to the wisdom of people with more experience. Maybe I expected too much, maybe I was wrong in my expectations, or maybe the service provided should have been better.


To sum it up I traveled on the Texas Eagle between Austin and Dallas. I was in car 2230 in a bedroom (B). The SCA was nice when she greeted me at the car and I asked about having lunch in my room and she said she would come talk to me once the train leaves Austin. She also tells me to go directly to the dining car if I want breakfast (I did not, I met coworkers for an early breakfast meeting).


I get to the bedroom to find a coffee cup, an empty bottle of water, a messy floor and sink. I am surprised but the SCA appears and immediately apologizes and tells me to step out for a minute for her to clean it. Someone from the next car must have come in that room because they were supposed to be empty. I can understand. I guess she could have checked the room for readiness before arriving in Austin but honestly, I don't mind. She fixed it and this is what matters to me.


She then tells me that when the dining car opens for lunch she will come to me to get my order and bring it. Great.


I settle down, get to work and all is well. 12:30 and they announce the dining car is now open. At 1 pm I try to find the SCA without luck. I am also in the middle of IMing with coworkers, so I cannot really leave for a long time. At 1:20 pm I try to locate her again, no luck. I did not think of using the attendant call button. That was stupid of me.


But someone else did ring her and I jumped on the opportunity to say can I have my lunch please? To which she replied I thought you wanted dinner in your room, not lunch. Hmmm... no I am only going to Dallas, so no dinner for me. 


This is when it becomes weird. She asks "Do you want the burger ...?" while holding a menu but not offering it. I say no, I would like the mussels to which she makes a face like they are disgusting. She can have personal opinions, but it seemed really out of place. I asked for the salad (complimentary for sleeping car passengers according to the menu) to which she says the salad is only if you dine in the dining car. What about dessert? No dessert at lunch (nothing that I can see about that on the menu).


I am surprised but feel like I cannot argue with a wall and I also have to return to my co-workers waiting for me. So she brought the mussels (which were delicious but missing the bread) with a fork and knife but no spoon for the brooth. I tried to look for her to get the bread and a spoon but I cannot find her anywhere in the car.


So looking back I have no idea what I could have done or said differently. The dining car was not an option for me, I continued

IMing with my coworkers all through lunch.


I bring this here not to complain but to ask for advice. What could I have said or done differently? What could I say or do differently if it happens again (seems like I will take it 6 times before 02/2018), short of going to the dining car if it is an option or bringing my own food just in case?


Also, I loved the travel by train and I got a lot of work done, so don't think I am unhappy or complaining about the whole thing. Just that weird feeling about lunch.


Thank you again for all the help provided!

#2 Bob Dylan

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 08:47 PM

Sounds like you got one of the "Lesser" SCAs that works this Route.

There's no excuse for her less than stellar performance, hopefully you'll contact Amtrak Customer Relations and let them know about your trip. ( Call 1800-USA-RAIL, when "Julie the Automated Voice" answers, say AGENT, you may have to do it several times, when connected with a Live Amtrak Agent ask for Customer Relations and give them your info ( Date/Train#/Room etc.) about your less than professional service.

For future trips, Austin is Last Call for Breakfast in the Diner for Sleeper Pax.

Lunch begins after the stop in Temple or around Noon, its first come,first served.

The trip reports,I've read that mentioned the Mussels all said that tgere,was nothing else except bread served with them. The fact that you were told you couldn't have a Salad sounds like another episode of an OBS employee making up their own rules.

I hope you adjusted any tip you gave the attendant to the level of service received. ( theres lots of threads on here about tipping on Amtrak).

On future trips please plan on making time to visit the Diner and expierence what usually is a pleasant expierence, there's some excellent Diner Crews on the Eagle Route.

Edited by Bob Dylan, 20 November 2017 - 08:48 PM.

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#3 dclassical


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Posted 20 November 2017 - 10:28 PM

Thank you, I do plan on calling them and I kept all my information. The mussels were just that mussels in good broth, sadly for me no bread.


I am looking forward to having a trip one day when I can relax and I am looking forward to visiting the dining room. I really do love the train and it had been years since I had been on one and I am really looking forward to doing it again!


Thank you again for all the help!

#4 Lonestar648



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Posted 21 November 2017 - 12:15 AM

I have been on most route for business and I agree, you can get so much work completed.  Eventually, my team also traveled by train, so we would meet and plan as we rode.  We also celebrated our victories together as well.  Sorry you had a less than acceptable SCA, I find most are great.  A side note - I do find the SCA harder to find during meal time since they are often in the DC car bagging up and/or order meals for passengers, so I am more patient.  Suggestion for Amtrak - have a pager that goes off on the SCA even if not in the car when the Call Button is pressed.

#5 ehbowen



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Posted 21 November 2017 - 06:33 AM

Suggestion for Amtrak - have a pager that goes off on the SCA even if not in the car when the Call Button is pressed.


Good idea for the diligent ones, but I suspect that several would "forget" it and leave it in their rooms...if not on the platform at the last smoke stop!

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