I take Amtrak quite a bit between Los Angeles and San Diego. And it’s never boring. Ever.
About a week ago I had the singing cafe car attendant, who at first drove me bonkers, but after thinking about it for a few minutes, I really appreciated him. He clearly loves what he does, and that’s sort of endearing. I find that’s generally true of those working on the Amtrak trains up and down the coast — they’re simply huge train nerds. As a fellow transportation enthusiast, I’m not in a position to judge. 😉
Today there was a bit of a delay pulling out of Union Station in Los Angeles. One minute past the scheduled departure time the conductor came on the PA and made the following announcement:
Sorry for the delay, folks. Just like an airplane, we have data recorders, and this train was involved in an, um… um… incident last night. So we just need that data recorder. We’re working on recording over the data, and should be underway shortly. Thanks for your patience.
Not surprisingly, a bunch of passengers looked around confused and concerned and said “wait, what was the ‘incident?'”
I’m much more used to flying than “training,” though truth be told I really can’t fault pilots who are intentionally vague about the reasons for delays. It’s one thing if you have a rolling mechanical delay which could take hours to fix (in which case passengers may make decisions based on that information). But in instances where you know a delay will just be a few minutes, sometimes less is more. 😉