View Full Version : Indy to Chicago...Amtrak

10-09-2005, 07:30 AM
Hello all, yes I am new to the forum, but a long time railfan.Just wanted to make a comment about Amtrak.My wife and I took Amtrak on a round trip from Indianapolis to Chicago back in May of this year (2005).I went on a trip with my Mom along time ago(F40 units).Anyway I noticed a VERY big difference in the service as one would expect in times of money whoas.
On my most recent trip we did not have a snack car nor could we pass from car to car.Only one rest room, a broken P.A. system, bright lights on while on the night ride back home.First come,first serve seating, and not even a conductor to say"All Aboard!!" Not to mention the VERY adult site :shock: I saw while leaving the Windy City along the tracks.Don't get me wrong we(I) had a great time,I know the "romance of the rails" is gone but I mean come on...I am a big supporter of railroads but I felt I was on a bus on rails.
We have always wanted to go out west on a train...should I expect the same???
If Amtrak offered a bit more to its passagers I think more people would want to ride the rails.
All in all it was a good trip, passed the grade crossing by my house and saw things from a different view.Has anyone else experienced this type of travel??
Should I plan a trip "out west"??????

10-09-2005, 02:19 PM
Indy to Chicago is pretty much like a bus trip. Remember, on certain days a week, that run only exists to transfer equipment from Beech Grove to Chicago. They throw a revenue car on there as an afterthought. That's no excuse for actual poor service from attendants, but that's why you don't have a snack car, lounge, etc.

A trip out west on the Empire Builder would be a totally different animal. You could have your own room, scheduled meals, lounge, National Park Service guides in spots; the complete long-distance experience.

bnsf sammy
10-09-2005, 02:39 PM
you need to go on the Southwest Chief, thats a good train ride.

10-09-2005, 03:48 PM
Me, my parents and a friend of mine are taking the Amtrak from Joliet to Bloomington for my birthday on November 15th. This will be my first time ever on Amtrak. :) I can't wait.

bnsf sammy
10-09-2005, 04:59 PM
happy birthday nick!
i'm going on the Pacific Surfliner on oct. 16 for my birthday!

10-10-2005, 01:14 AM
It's all about what train you take I guess. I've taken the train from Chicago to Michigan several times, never with any of the kind of things you're describing. We were several hours late into Pontiac one time because a CSX train derailed east of Battle Creek, and threw out the equipment sensors for that area -which meant not only did we have to wait for the derailment to be cleared, but then had to go really slow for the next twenty so the train could be inspected by eye. But this wasnít Amtrakís fault.

On the other hand, Iíve heard some weird stories about wannabe-evangelist conductors using the PA system to bare witness on some of the north west services. Donít know what thatís about, or even if itís true, it might just be an urban legend.

In any case, the kind of service you experienced is not really typical of Amtrak as a whole, but rather of some of the under-used routs that exist primarily for a reason other then moving passengers.