I've taken the Chief to California many times always boarding in Kansas City. Our Christmas this year was to be spent in Las Vegas, NV. The closest I could get there by train was to get off
in Kingman, AZ. My "ride" had to drive in from Las Vegas to pick me up.
Train arriving in Kingman was only about 30 minutes late (not bad at all!). It's in the middle of the night, but it's a well lit area and we were fine. Our attendant in the sleeper car was MIA most
of the travel time. I think he said his name was Patricio. Only saw him when we were getting on. I couldn't find him to let us out in the middle of the night, and he never came by our sleeper to let us know our stop was approaching. Some other man who was dressed like a conductor just happened to be coming by and I asked him if he could let us out at our stop (and he did). Two of the three dining car servers were just NOT good. Orders delivered wrong, lecturing us on the speaker system, grumpy....etc... One of the dining car servers was fantastic! He was in the spirit of Christmas, wore fun Christmas garb, sang carols, cheery, polite, etc. Wish I could have had him for all the meals. You could tell the other two hated their jobs (and all the passengers).
Return was almost two hours late (I've had worse). Didn't pick us up until about 4 a.m. We went to the little waiting room provided. There were three homeless people sleeping in the chairs and on the floors.
No sign of an attendant when we arrived, so my husband would not leave us. After about 30 minutes, an attendant showed up and questioned the homeless folks and then realizing they were not ticketed
passengers, sent them on their way. It was a cold night, so my husband followed them out and gave all three of them some $$$$ so they could go get some food somewhere. Attendant on site was very
informative and accommodating. Kept an eye on us while we waited.
My sleeping car attendant on the return trip was "Brian". Very nice fellow. Very kind and accommodating. Unfortunately, all the dining car staff disappointed again. I kept trying to tell myself that they were
just exhausted and needed some rest....but, I'm not sure that was it. They just seemed miserable in their jobs.
Food coming and going was good for the train. They ran out of "meat" dishes for dinner on the return, so we had salad, green beans, baked potatoes, and kids mac and cheese.
Met some fascinating folks who I truly enjoyed.