You know that feeling you get when you leave the house, like maybe you left the curling iron on, or didn’t remember to lock the back door? That’s annoying enough, so I can’t even imagine what it’d be like to leave an entire trainful of passengers behind at the station, like one Amtrak train did over the weekend.
Staff was left scrambling to appease stranded travelers on Saturday when an Amtrak Acela Experss heading to Washington D.C. from New York City’s Penn Station pulled away at about 3 p.m., with the conductor apparently unaware that there were no passengers on board, reports the New York Daily News.
It seems some kind of mixup at Amtrak had travelers waiting on another platform while their ride pulled out and left, until finally people started to realize something was amiss.
“They literally sent us to the wrong platform, and the conductor took off without any passengers,” one traveler. “The right hand didn’t know what the left hand was doing. It was just so bizarre.”
He and others met with an Amtrak manager who explained what happened, and then passed around bags of Doritos and fed them pizza in a lounge, because everyone knows someone who’s ticked off and hungry is much harder to deal with than someone who’s just ticked off at being left behind by their train.
“He said that in all the years he was working there, something like this has never happened before,” the traveler said of the manager, who put the blame on the conductor for leaving before he got the okay. “Those were his exact words.”
Despite the offerings of junk food, many passengers were still miffed at being abandoned, as most left two hours later on a local train. Many complained on Twitter, writing that it was odd that Amtrak didn’t realize it was missing 200 or so ticketed passengers before leaving.
Amtrak says it’s looking into things, but did not clarify which flavors of Doritos were made available. Because everyone knows you’re not really sorry if you’re giving away Cool Ranch.
“We’re investigating why the train left the station before all passengers could board,” a spokeswoman said.
Amtrak train leaves Penn Station for Washington, D.C., without its passengers [New York Daily News]