Amtrak left passengers - how could you make this mistake?

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by Cole737, Feb 27, 2016.

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  1. Feb 27, 2016 #1

    Cole737

    Cole737

    Cole737

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    While Filming trains last weekend in Oregon city, Amtrak 507 made a quick evening stop to unload and pick up passengers. After only being there for about 30 seconds - there was 2 passengers standing right next to the train on the platform waiting to board. The only door that was open was for business class way up front. These passengers didn't know where to go and wanted to board their train. I heard over the scanner:

    Engineer: Amtrak 507 clear block, oregon city?

    Conductor: Clear - I think so.

    And then they were on their way.

    How often does this happen? I was a bit rediculous. I sat down with the passengers they left afterwards and they were very upset with amtrak.

    You should never "Think" you're ready to go. You have to KNOW you're ready to go.

    This angered me as well. Get it together Amtrak.
     
  2. Feb 27, 2016 #2

    MikefromCrete

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    MikefromCrete

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    Seems that if you see people getting on the train and no other doors are open, you would walk toward the boarding spot. At least start yelling and waive your hands so that the crew knows you're there.
     
  3. Feb 27, 2016 #3

    tim49424

    tim49424

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    This should be enough to make the conductor aware that you're there. I know if I were in that position, I would. If I were to miss a train, I'd be the one to blame, not Amtrak.
     
  4. Feb 27, 2016 #4

    caravanman

    caravanman

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    If you are unfamiliar with the rules, maybe a first time rider, you may reasonably expect to find the doors would open, or that someone from the train staff would make sure that no one was left behind.

    I seem to remember a similar post a few years back where a young man was left waiting 24 hours in the cold because he could not see where to board.

    Ed. :cool:
     
  5. Feb 27, 2016 #5

    KmH

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    Is this heaven? No. It's Iowa.
    Were there other people on the platform that did board the train?

    Sometimes it pays to have a herd mentality.

    Oregon City is just a platform with a shelter, no staff.

    But with only 1 door open and documentation showing how many pax to expect to board at that stop I would agree that the Conductor on that train failed to do their job.

    Whip It SONGWRITERS - MOTHERSBAUGH, MARK ALLEN/CASALE, GERALD


    "Crack that whip
    Give the past a slip
    Step on a crack
    Break your momma's back

    When a problem comes along
    You must whip it
    Before the cream sets out too long
    You must whip it
    When something's goin' wrong
    You must whip it

    Now whip it
    Into shape
    Shape it up
    Get straight
    Go forward
    Move ahead
    Try to detect it
    It's not too late
    To whip it
    Whip it good

    When a good time turns around
    You must whip it
    You will never live it down
    Unless you whip it
    No one gets away
    Until they whip it

    I say whip it
    Whip it good
    I say whip it
    Whip it good

    Crack that whip
    Give the past a slip
    Step on a crack
    Break your momma's back

    When a problem comes along
    You must whip it
    Before the cream sets out too long
    You must whip it
    When something's goin' wrong
    You must whip it

    Now whip it
    Into shape
    Shape it up
    Get straight
    Go forward
    Move ahead
    Try to detect it
    It's not too late
    To whip it
    Into shape
    Shape it up
    Get straight
    Go forward
    Move ahead
    Try to detect it
    It's not too late
    To whip it
    Well, whip it good"
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 27, 2016
  6. Feb 27, 2016 #6

    Hal

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    The crew should have been observing the platform. Did they leave on "I think so" ? It would be wrong of the engineer to leave on that. You say way up front. How many cars away? Are there any signs directing where to board? Do you know if the passengers had tickets?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 28, 2016
  7. Feb 28, 2016 #7

    HP_Lovecraft

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    HP_Lovecraft

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    For about a year, I commuted from SAO to BON. At least once a week I'd see the train pull away with some idiot running out of the station waving arms. Very rarely would the conductor stop and reverse the train.

    Usually at the WEM station. The building itself is set back 100" or so from the platform. Really too far away. What happens is that the train pulls in with no warning (no grade crossings nearby). So people wait in the station. When the train arrives, those unfamiliar with trains will then start getting there coats on, get all the bags organized, throw away any garbage, say goodbyes... then its too late. Train is already pulling away.

    I know the conductors know exactly how many should be getting on. I'll typically hear it on the radio... but I think they get really irritated when a 1 minute stop turns into a 5 minute stop because passengers are unprepared.
     
  8. Feb 28, 2016 #8

    the_traveler

    the_traveler

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    I once boarded the Ethan Allen in FED. The train stopped and the passengers did not know which door to board. Then I saw the conductor standing outside the ONLY open door on the entire 6 car train! He was at the LAST car! (FED is also unstaffed.)

    As said, if you see many passengers boarding at one door, a passenger who wants to board should go to that door. After all, at an airport with few flights, if you see passengers boarding a flight at gate 5 ("the only door open"), you would not wait for them to open the door at gate 7 so you can board - or would you? :huh:
     
  9. Feb 28, 2016 #9

    neroden

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    If the passengers are already on the platform, it is the conductor's responsibility to get the ticketed passengers on board. *Really* they ought to open all the doors, but if they don't due to understaffing, it's the conductor's job to step out, make himself visible, and yell "All Aboard", and then watch for the passengers walking towards him.

    It's not acceptable to drive off when you've only opened one door at the far end of the train and not let anyone know about it. On the Empire Service at Utica, I've barely been able to see the far end of the train.

    It's worth filing a complaint. The conductor who did this should get a reprimand on his record.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 28, 2016
  10. Feb 28, 2016 #10

    lo2e

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    Here - http://discuss.amtraktrains.com/index.php?/topic/57403-doors-didnt-open/

    The last time I left from WEM (4-5 years ago), I think someone made an announcement that the train was due to arrive soon and folks should make their way to the platform. Maybe this doesn't happen any more? Regardless, they should also be watching the clock and unless there is some indication that the train is dramatically late, head out to the platform before it's due to arrive.
     
  11. Feb 28, 2016 #11

    jebr

    jebr

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    Airports usually only have one gate per flight, whereas almost all rail lines have multiple, if not all, doors open.

    If the conductor didn't make it well known that it was the only door opening, the fault lies almost exclusively on the conductor, with very little to none on the passengers.
     
  12. Feb 28, 2016 #12

    City of Miami

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    And how exactly would he make it known to the passengers waiting on the ground at an unstaffed station? Texting?
     
  13. Feb 28, 2016 #13

    jebr

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    Walking down the platform if people are on it (and haven't just gotten off the train) to ensure no one else is boarding seems like an option. Opening all doors is another option.
     
  14. Feb 28, 2016 #14

    Phil S

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    Not all doors need to be opened but maybe at least two? Not just one at one end?
     
  15. Feb 28, 2016 #15

    OlympianHiawatha

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    The Conductor may have thought they were part of your video group or just folks watching the train since it seems they were not making effort to raise attention or scurry about.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 28, 2016
  16. Feb 28, 2016 #16

    Seaboard92

    Seaboard92

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    One thing I see a lot when I'm at stations is poor spotting by conductors. The worst is in Clemson. They only open one door sometimes a second when there is sleeper work that is all the way at the end of the dark platform that has lights that don't work 50 precent of the time. And the conductor gets annoyed the stop takes five minutes for five people but it's a three car walk from the gate at the building to the nearest trap. It happens very regularly. Now there is another crew that can spot it right on the gate and they can do it in under thirty seconds. It's possibly a conductor issue. And maybe a training issue
     
  17. Feb 28, 2016 #17

    tim49424

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    Easy mistake to make.

    I've experienced that a lot too, especially at the station I used to board at. The engineer would overshoot by a car or two and the passengers would have to compensate. I've had to use a walker at times and when the spot was bad, I'd been forced to walk across stones in the ROW to get to the car I needed to board. Not a problem now, however, as where I board now, the platform is long enough to even accommodate a bad spot.
     
  18. Feb 28, 2016 #18

    City of Miami

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    Hahahahahahaha. You're lucky to get a "'Board!"
     
  19. Feb 28, 2016 #19

    Thirdrail7

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    The passengers may not have been on the manifest which means the crew wouldn't necessarily look for them. Additionally, if they are looking for a particular number of passengers, they would think they have who they are looking for regardless of where in the consist they are boarding.

    So,it has happened. Trains have left stations without all of their passengers in the past and it would be foolish to say it can't happen in the future.
     
  20. Feb 28, 2016 #20

    neroden

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    With the current live, up-to-date manifests, which were implemented along with e-ticketing on the request of DHS, it is very unlikely that the passengers would not be on the manifest.
     
  21. Feb 28, 2016 #21

    Triley

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    Plenty of passengers show up and pay cash for a ticket on-board. Especially at an unstaffed stop, with no QuikTrak machine. There's a reason why we still have to come to a complete stop at a station with 0 on 0 off, even if we're behind schedule. Then there's monthly passes, 10 rides, etc. There are also certain trains that cross-honor certain MARC or VRE tickets. This may be exclusive to the NEC for all I know. That's a bit outside of my scope I'm afraid.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 28, 2016
  22. Feb 28, 2016 #22

    neroden

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    neroden

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    Well, OK, if they were cash-on-board passengers, I could see them being missed. I thought that wasn't even allowed on most ("all-reserved") trains though.
     
  23. Feb 28, 2016 #23

    the_traveler

    the_traveler

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    How about a 10-ticket rider as Triliy said? :huh: I believe you can get them ROC-SYR, PDX-ABY and EMY-BFD - all of which only have reserved trains but 10-ticket riders do not need reservations.
     
  24. Feb 28, 2016 #24

    Devil's Advocate

    Devil's Advocate

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    Herd mentality can also result in a bunch of useless blame-the-customer ranting as witnessed in this thread.

    As already mentioned he could ask or motion for confirmation of intention or shout "All Aboard!" or have the engineer blow the horn and visually confirm the reaction.

    Nobody is saying that. People are saying that Amtrak is shooting themselves in the foot by being sloppy about making sure people on the platform can board their train in a timely fashion. Which they are.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 28, 2016
  25. Feb 28, 2016 #25

    OBS

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    You obviously have no idea how many people still show up in small towns with limited train service and no ticket agent, to travel w/o a reservation...
     

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