What Does Amtrak Have Against The People Of Lancaster?

Regular Consumerist readers may remember the story from last November of Amtrak commuters in Lancaster, PA, who had to break down the station door in order to catch their train. At the time, the rail service shrugged it off as a “scheduling error,” but why were train passengers locked out again this morning?

People who arrived at the Lancaster station in the pre-dawn hours on Monday were once again greeted by a locked station.

“We had to cross the tracks to get to the station,” one commuter tells Lancaster Online. “There was no way to get into the building.”

There were about a dozen people who had to slog across the tracks to reach their platform.

One person says that once on the train, a conductor admitted this was the third time since October that people have been locked out of this particular station.

“Apparently no one’s learning their lesson at Amtrak,” she said.

In the November incident, commuters were able to get a construction crew to let them cross through the work zone to the platform, where they pushed open the barred door from the other side.

Commuters again find Amtrak station doors locked


Edit Your Comment

  1. Ouze says:

    Don’t those fools know that a Lancaster always pays their debts?

    • Princess Beech loves a warm cup of treason every morning says:

      In this case, it’s Amtrak who owes the Lancasters. Now your Grace’s army has to take the lords of Amtrak down by force.

      Time to consider an alliance with the lords of Greyhound.

  2. Costner says:

    What Does Amtrak Have Against The People Of Lancaster? Nothing…. they just figured out if they don’t let anyone on board, they could improve their customer satisfaction score. If there is nobody on the train to complain… that means 100% success right??

    • BlueHighlighterNextToACoozie says:

      Riiiight. Since you only become a passenger once you actually step on the train. Its still early but certainyl one of the stupider things I’ve seen today.

      • Agent Hooter Enjoys Enhanced Patdowns says:

        That’s because your sarcasm detector is broken.

      • Costner says:

        Well aside from the obvious joke, I really don’t see how someone is a passenger before actually boarding a train. They might be a ticketed customer, but the word “passenger” suggests they are actually on board does it not?

        Can you be a passenger of a train station? How about a passenger of the loading platform? I didn’t think so, but maybe I’m out of touch.

    • Emperor Norton I says:

      Maybe 20-25 years ago, there was a small bus company in rural England that just couldn’t keep a schedule between two small towns.
      The statement from the company was, that they wouldn’t have problems meeting the schedule if they didn’t have to stop & pick up & let off passengers.
      Yes, the company made this statement without any sarcasm!

    • Starrion says:

      Congratulations. You have the correct mindset to have a successful career in government.

      Remember the phrase “We haven’t seen any complaints on that issue.”

      Also: Not letting anyone into the station and having to board the train improves the likelyhood of an on-time departure.

  3. Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

    Surprisingly, this scenario syncs up well with Johnathan Coulton songs. Watch:

    All we wanna do is ride your trains…
    We’re not unreasonable…

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      I love him. I’d love to see him write a song about this. “Creepy Doll” is one of my favorite tunes.

  4. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    This made it easier for me to visualize…

    Google Satellite View: http://goo.gl/maps/Mnc9

    • kc2idf says:

      You know, that actually looks like a potentially nice setup they have there.

      This fix would never work in the Schenectady station, where the platform is on the roof of the station.

  5. bhr says:

    Depending on the size of the station this is probably less a matter of systemic incompetence and the fault of one employee who has trouble showing up on time. It may well be that only one person is scheduled to open the station in the morning (or two, but they havent staffed both positions).

    This isn’t a union attack, but since Amtrak employees are unionized there may have been issues in replacing/removing/demoting the employee at fault, resulting in the repeated errors.

  6. Quake 'n' Shake says:

    The lack of access to the platforms without requiring access to the station building is absurd and should be addressed. When the Pennsylvania railroad built the station, it was staffed 24/7, so this type of scenario was not an issue. But since that’s no longer the case, something ought to be done to allow platform access when the building is closed.

  7. hexx says:

    There’s probably one person who opens that station and he/she overslept. :P

  8. soj4life says:

    They allow trains in lancaster?

  9. adent1066 says:

    ‘Tis a fine barn, but sure ’tis no train station, English …

  10. sixsevenco says:

    What did the smoking-man have against the city of Cleveland?

  11. dangermike says:

    Before I RTFA’ed I was thinking of the Lancaster in California, and was completely ready to side with Amtrak.

  12. scoosdad says:

    I liked the comment with the original article from the person who showed up on time for an 11:30 AM train, only to be told the train came and left early on them. Amtrak said they weren’t liable because they had posted a very small sign but only in the station itself.