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Boston-bound train sat in Queens for six hours

WBZ reports the Acela passengers were a bit less than pleased.

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Comments

On a global scale? This could be a new revenue stream for Amtrak?

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I can say from experience that Amtrak would not be issuing refunds to the passengers. The most they'd do is give everyone a ticket for a future trip.

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I quit Greyhound a few years ago after 5 consecutive trips to/from New York with some sort of issue; now I've read two Amtrak horror stories this week alone.

Guess I'm driving more often.

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There are several other bus options that run revenue service direct to NYC.

Probably want to stay away from Mega SUCK, but Bolt Bus and others are generally just fine.

MegaSUCK has had actual fatalities but was never sanctioned. Funny, that.

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.. Bolt Bus to be generally reliable. Yes, they're run by Greyhound, but Greyhound seems to have gone against company policy in seeing that Bolt is run competently. I've been taking it for years and have had a few times when I felt the driver wasn't the safest, and a few others where the bus was very delayed, but none of the horror stories I had regularly with Greyhound, and most trips are fine as bus trips go. Boarding in Boston is well handled in South Station; boarding in NYC is more chaotic and outside, which is the biggest downside to the return trip.

Amtrak is more comfortable and fun, but the downside (aside from the high prices if you don't book early) is that if there's a problem on the track or with any of the trains in front of you, you're stuck. I've been delayed for hours enough on Amtrak that I won't take it if I actually have to be somewhere on time.

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I work in logistics for a local company that works with Greyhound. In the past couple weeks Greyhound fired everyone at Bolt and offered them jobs with Greyhound. I'm not 100% but it looks like Bolt will be reincorporated fully into Greyhound. All operations and customer service now is handled by Greyhound and the drivers are the only employees for Bolt.

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Well thanks for the heads up. We'll see how that plays out.

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I never had good luck with Greyhound. Peter Pan is MUCH more reliable.

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Think of how many trains Amtrak runs every week. It's about 2,000.

If 2 of those 2,000 trains experience a major issue, that's not too shabby. That's only 0.1%.

Now think of 2,000 long trips in your car. Wouldn't you consider yourself pretty lucky if you only experience a major issue on 2 of those trips?

Statistically Amtrak is much safer than driving. People are just naturally terrible at understanding probability.

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What planet are you on?

Amtrak messes up massively on the regular.

Book and pay for bike car reservations to Portland Maine and see if they actually honor them or have a bike car available even when you directly scheduled to get on one.

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That's such a mess. Allowing bikes on the train should be a no-brainer (and really, they should be allowed in the cars if the disabled passenger seats aren't needed, which they generally aren't, rather than having to get them in to the baggage car). To Portland, this is a JANFU (a joint Amtrak-NNEPRA foul up) since the obvious solution is "allow bikes on board since each person riding a bike is buying a $30 ticket."

And don't get me started on the fact that it costs $20 to take a bike to P-Town on P&B while Concord Coach to Maine can manage to transport a bicycle for free.

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Does the state regulate intrastate bus fares? They need to make P&B lower that fee, if they care at all about making it convenient for people to get around without a car.

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Only two? Would that it were...

Areas where they own & control infrastructure and right-of-way, but haven't kept up with maintenance and replacements - that affects service without trains literally breaking down. Especially areas already at Max capacity - no margin for error. Also, tenant railroads get burned.

Just look at the recurring problems with track/switch failures at Penn Station NY and drawbridge failures with the Portal Bridge in NJ.
Disruptions to Amtrak service. Frequent and extensive disruptions for NJTransit commuter rail. Looming question of Hudson tunnel repairs, too.

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My mom-in-law has taken "Go Bus" back & forth from Manhattan (W 30th St, near Penn Stn) to Cambridge (Alewife stn) several dozen times without any hiccups to date -- a better track record than she had with the chinatown buses.

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They waste about half an hour on the Newton stop. Even after everyone boards, they sit around chatting for no reason.

And once I showed up without a reservation and tried to buy a ticket for a bus that had space. Not only were they unable to take cash, but they also were unable to take a credit card. The boarding helper guy futzed around on his phone trying to create an account for me for so long that the bus had to leave. That would never happen on a Chinatown bus.

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That the thing which exists because it's subsidized by government sucks? Oh, no way, unbelievable.

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you're not personally subsidized by government, and yet...

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Fallacy of the inverse. 15-luv.

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The NEC Regional breaks even/turns a small profit, and the Acela turns a nice profit (and basically floats the rest of the national system). Better luck next time, though.

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Imagine how much more money the NEC could make if they didn't have a car shortage that causes trains to sell out.

There's absolutely no reason for this to happen. Countries with a healthy rail system have all the seating capacity they need and then some. For example, in Switzerland reservations are optional, and nobody bothers with them since you can just show up and get a seat on the next train, which runs hourly or more.

Here, we're stuck with short trains, running not that often, on a very skeletal network. At peak times, the prices go way way up, and then the trains sell out and people end up driving. The Acela doesn't save much time, but it means that slot in the schedule is filled by a more expensive train with only 4 regular cars. (Prices in the First Class car are beyond ridiculous, and the cafe car has no seats unlike Regional trains.)

But Amtrak doesn't care if the Pike and I-95 have terrible traffic -- not their problem. Their job is to keep operating the trains they run now, and make as much money as they can off them.

Their goal should be to make trains the *default* choice for intercity travel. This means more seats and lower prices.

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You mean roads? Well, like trains, they vary. Drive on the roads in MA (especially in winter) and then into taxaphobic NH and tell me which are better, the more subsidized MA ones or NH.

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please stop driving, then

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Strange and somewhat unclear report.

What was the power problem?

If some circuit, some section of catenary, was offline - almost none of their trains would be moving through the area. For six hours at the end of Thanksgiving weekend? That would be probably at least six trains in each direction. Major story element if it had happened.

So, must have been a problem with that one train, and all the others going around it. End of a long holiday weekend, heavy bookings, full schedule - I can see there being no replacement train or crew left, no space on other trains to transfer them. Still doesn't explain why they were left there so long, though. That close to Sunnyside Yard, there wasn't a work locomotive that could push/pull them someplace where they could be offloaded?

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While I travel in the comfort of my car while millennials swear them off like the devil

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