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Late Trains and Station Closing Times

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Yesterday, #97 was running very late; due to arrive at Fort Lauderdale at 8:58 P. M. The closing time for the Fort Lauderdale station is listed on Amtrak's web site as 6:05 P. M.

 

What would happen in a situation like this? Would the station close prior to the train's arrival? If so, how could customers obtain their checked luggage?

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Yesterday, #97 was running very late; due to arrive at Fort Lauderdale at 8:58 P. M. The closing time for the Fort Lauderdale station is listed on Amtrak's web site as 6:05 P. M.

 

What would happen in a situation like this? Would the station close prior to the train's arrival? If so, how could customers obtain their checked luggage?

In the case of a Regularly staffed Station with Checked Baggage, the Station would stay open and the On Duty Agent (s) would be paid Overtime.

 

Happens often here in Austin (and lots of other places) on the Texas Eagle Route.

Edited by Bob Dylan

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Yesterday, #97 was running very late; due to arrive at Fort Lauderdale at 8:58 P. M. The closing time for the Fort Lauderdale station is listed on Amtrak's web site as 6:05 P. M.

 

What would happen in a situation like this? Would the station close prior to the train's arrival? If so, how could customers obtain their checked luggage?

In the case of a Regularly staffed Station with Checked Baggage, the Station would stay open and the On Duty Agent (s) would be paid Overtime.

 

Happens often here in Austin (and lots of other places) on the Texas Eagle Route.

 

 

That's been my experience. And it's almost certainly one reason why Amtrak has been so aggressive in de-staffing stations across the LD network. I remember boarding the westbound Empire Builder one winter day in GFK almost a decade ago...it was due in around 5 a.m. and eventually showed up around 11:30 a.m.

 

I believe at that time the station was scheduled to stay open from midnight to 8 a.m., to service both the eastbound (1 AM) and westbound (5 AM) Builders, and presumably stayed open until 8 due to the frequent lateness of the trains as well as to serve the ticketing needs of locals at a somewhat reasonable time of day.

 

But as my experience showed, even staying open for three hours past the "final departure" of the day sometimes wasn't enough. With the EB having some catastrophically bad time-keeping during those years, Amtrak must surely have paid out tons in OT to their station agent(s), not to mention the fact that it screwed up the personal lives of those agents. A few years ago, Amtrak "solved" the problem by eliminating the station agent altogether.

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It sounds like I can "count on" the Fort Lauderdale station to be open when I arrive on #97 if we are running late.

 

The reason I asked the question was due to an experience after arriving in San Francisco at the downtown Amtrak location after the California Zephyr arrived very late. The transfer bus dropped me off at the station with my intention of asking the agent of calling a taxi to take me to my hotel. No agent; late at night (almost 10:00 P. M. if I recall); no taxis available. What to do? (This was before I had a cell phone.) I spotted a restaurant near where I was and went there and told the Manager of my predicament. Kindly, he called a taxi and I got to my hotel.

 

Knowing that the Fort Lauderdale station is not in the city's best neighborhood and thinking that a taxi line-up is unlikely if the train really is late, I am concerned. But, I now have a cell phone and I will have with me phone numbers of some taxi companies in Fort Lauderdale, just in case.

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Good luck! The San Francisco example is a bit different in the sense that the checked baggage can easily be retrieved from the Thruway bus without any assistance from the station agent. Generally speaking, larger stations such as Fort Lauderdale need to stay open since removing checked bags from a train is a bit more complicated, although Amtrak has toyed around with DIY checked baggage in a handful of smaller midwest stations. But in this case, you should be fine.

 

You may also want to investigate ride-hailing apps such as Uber/Lyft, as they would surely be available at the FLL station. You could summon a vehicle as your train approaches.

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You may also want to investigate ride-hailing apps such as Uber/Lyft, as they would surely be available at the FLL station. You could summon a vehicle as your train approaches.

I second this! Lyft gives great discounts if you're a new user. Secondly, please don't use Uber. They have terrible business practices.

Edited by daybeers

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I’ve seen the agents at Glenwood Springs keep the station open all night for very delayed CZs. So I think you can count on a staffed station remaining so, regardless of how late the scheduled train might be.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Amtrak Forum

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It sounds like I can "count on" the Fort Lauderdale station to be open when I arrive on #97 if we are running late.

 

The reason I asked the question was due to an experience after arriving in San Francisco at the downtown Amtrak location after the California Zephyr arrived very late. The transfer bus dropped me off at the station with my intention of asking the agent of calling a taxi to take me to my hotel. No agent; late at night (almost 10:00 P. M. if I recall); no taxis available. What to do? (This was before I had a cell phone.) I spotted a restaurant near where I was and went there and told the Manager of my predicament. Kindly, he called a taxi and I got to my hotel.

 

Knowing that the Fort Lauderdale station is not in the city's best neighborhood and thinking that a taxi line-up is unlikely if the train really is late, I am concerned. But, I now have a cell phone and I will have with me phone numbers of some taxi companies in Fort Lauderdale, just in case.

I had the opposite experience with a late LD train. The "locals" are quite familiar with Amtrak trains running late. Somehow, they seem to be able to figure out when the train actually does come in, and the taxis all head to the station at that time. I am sure it wasn't a difficult learning process; you catch far more fares when the train is in the station, than when it isn't. :)

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I had the opposite experience with a late LD train. The "locals" are quite familiar with Amtrak trains running late. Somehow, they seem to be able to figure out when the train actually does come in, and the taxis all head to the station at that time. I am sure it wasn't a difficult learning process; you catch far more fares when the train is in the station, than when it isn't. :)

Nothing really to learn. In the pre-internet era, taxi drivers used to call the Amtrak 800 number to check on arrival times. Now they simply use the Amtrak app or website. No magic involved.

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I had the opposite experience with a late LD train. The "locals" are quite familiar with Amtrak trains running late. Somehow, they seem to be able to figure out when the train actually does come in, and the taxis all head to the station at that time. I am sure it wasn't a difficult learning process; you catch far more fares when the train is in the station, than when it isn't. :)

Nothing really to learn. In the pre-internet era, taxi drivers used to call the Amtrak 800 number to check on arrival times. Now they simply use the Amtrak app or website. No magic involved.

 

And in those cities, where taxi's were operated by large companies, their dispatcher's kept tabs and informed their fleets by 2-way radio...

.

 

When I worked in Denver, we made a lot on overtime, when the Zephyr's were late....one week in particular, I worked 104 hours....that's 64 hours of overtime, and you can multiply that by sometimes 8 or more employees. Even when the SFZ's were on schedule, one of us always made a couple of hours overtime waiting to unload and deliver checked bags from the RGZ three days a week... :cool:

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