Overnight to San Francisco

A real failure for Amtrak

These travels occurred in late September/early October 2021. The posts are gathered under the ‘Travel’ category (top right of page) and numbered to indicate the order in which they should be read.

Post 10

Our trip continues with an 11 PM boarding of an Amtrak train in Salt Lake City bound for Emeryville, near San Francisco. The trip is catching up to us and we are very tired, but YAY!, we have a bedroom on the train not a roomette. That means a bit more room and shower and toilet stall in the bedroom. No more traipsing down the hall in the middle of the night or lugging a shower kit in the morning.

As we board our sleeping car (fitfully dozing car?) our attendant advises that all the toilets in our car are out of service. So now we have to walk through another car for a bathroom. But he assures us our conductor is working on it. I envision him taking off his official Conductor’s Hat, lowering the back of his trousers a bit to show his plumber’s crack and dutifully carrying his plumbers tools as he maneuvers outside our car and climbs under the train to investigate the issue while we are whizzing westward through Utah. Those Amtrak Conductor/Plumbers are very dedicated.

In the morning our car attendant advises the septic tanks on our car are full. 😳 I guess our Conductor/Plumber forgot to check the tank gauge. OK, stuff happens (see how I cleaned that up for the PG crowd?) and I assume we will rectify the situation in a nearby station. Or they will call a Stool Bus to meet us somewhere. But NOOO, we travel over 16 hours with no relief, so to speak. Did Amtrak not empty the tanks before this train left Chicago? Were the passengers on the earlier portion of this trip before we boarded more, umm, productive than usual? OK, enough with the sixth grade scatological semantics. We went to the next car when necessary and got to Emeryville. Unfortunately the train was 3 hours late getting into Emeryville due to endless maneuvering around freight trains on the same tracks. We then boarded a bus to San Francisco, arriving 3 hours late there denying us our tourist time in that beautiful city. We were tired and hungry, it was 8:30 PM on a Sunday evening in the Fisherman’s Wharf area and almost everything was closed. We found a Supreme Seafood ready to close, but they agreed to prepare a take out order and we brought fish and chips back to our hotel room, ate and collapsed. Since this was a travel day (at night), there are no pictures. Post trip update: after returning home we did receive a small refund from Amtrak for our troubles.

Published by barnberry

Well over aged 60 (well, OK, a lot more than that...) father of one outstanding young woman, unworthy husband of the most patient and talented woman in the world, retired small business owner, lover of all the wrong foods, political junkie and resident of NH. A conservative with a libertarian streak, and a thoughtful, impish, dedicated curmudgeon.

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