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    a fact checker combined with a ferret

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  1. Ryan

    RFP issued for Amfleet I replacement

    The press release writer correctly stated “Amfleet I cars are used primarily on the Northeast Corridor (NEC) and adjacent State Corridor routes” (emphasis mine). The only people smoking anything seem to be the people reading and misunderstanding.
  2. That and the fact that the Amtrak locomotives are right here.
  3. False. The one time we took the Auto Train to FL, we were able to bring all sorts of stuff that would have been impossible on any other train, including my kid’s bike (fit in the back of my Tahoe). There is a massive difference between “pack whatever you think you may want in the car, packed however you want” and “pack only what you can carry in suitcases”, not to mention completely eliminating the “take bags from car into train station, and then from train station into rental car” steps. Significantly easier. As Penny mentioned, I rented a car at the Orlando Hertz counter. Worked great, picked up there, dropped off there. That was a long time ago!!!
  4. What the previous two posters said. There is a “right” way to do it that doesn’t involve asking crew members to break the rules, and it’s either the same price or cheaper. Absolutely worth the slight inconvenience of having to call and actually find an agent that knows how to do their job properly.
  5. Ryan

    Writers' Residencies

    Under discussion here:
  6. That's not what the contract says. With emphasis added: "Amtrak shall endeavor to provide additional rail passenger serivce [sic] equipment from its available resources commensurate with the funding requirements of the Agreed 209 Methodology". They have to try. They don't actually have to provide anything. They can look at their available equipment and say "sorry, we don't have it". If they do provide it, then CT has to pay for them (which again, get your hands on the MARC cars already).
  7. I’m not sure how you can start a post disagreeing with me, and then go on to make the exact same points that I did, but whatever works for you. It’s clear that the complaints of people that actually experienced the service was addressed. It’s equally clear that feedback from those actual riders was mixed, and some thought the meals to be good, and even an improvement over what came before them. It’s equally clear that the complaints related to traditional dining by the Internet Complainers (which is what I meant by the “angry mob”), were not addressed. You also stated that “nobody cared about the lack of on-board cooking or of tablecloths or of waiters, as far as I can tell.” Seems like we’re in full agreement.
  8. Ryan

    Why do they call them "motors?"

    Because it's a motor?
  9. Eh, there really is no "best" part, it's all pretty boring, scenery-wise.
  10. In the context of evaluating the overall "success" of this, you're absolutely correct. In the context of the comment I was replying to... ... they're not giving the attendants an earful if they're not on the train.
  11. You are correct to pick up on "actual customer" - if you pay attention here to people that have actually consumed the meals, you get a much more even handed assessment. I also run a 17,xxx member Facebook Group that provided a decent number of reviews of the meals after they actually began being served. Again, the feedback was mixed, and not the torches and pitchforks of the AU forum mob. It's also interesting that the complaints of actual customers (mostly centering around more hot choices and something other than sugar and carbs for breakfast) have been addressed, while the loud fringe's complaints ("real" dining car meals prepared by a chef or bust!) have gone ignored.
  12. Customers were notified of the change, and the feedback from people that have actually experienced his has been mixed. While some probably did give an earful, the whining and complaining of Internet Railroaders is not representative of actual customer feedback. We've also known all along that this was something of a trial, and that Amtrak would be further tweaking things. Adding hot meals as equipment modifications required to do so are completed makes more sense than the angry mob theory.
  13. I think you put far too much stock in how much Amtrak pays attention to complaining on Internet forums.