Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee
kevin_standlee

Martinez

I'm one of the lucky ones, having a seat and all that, but I'd like to be able to go use the bathroom; unfortunately, doing so might lose me my seat, and besides, the stairwells and aisles are jammed with people. It was difficult enough just standing up to get into my backpack and pull out the auxilliary battery for the laptop. (There was still a fair bit of power in the main battery, but as I had the auxilliary and am not using the CD drive (they both use the same slot), I figured I should go ahead and drop it in.)

Passing through Crockett and the C&H Sugar refinery, I got another look at the triple bridges there that will eventually only be double, as the oldest of the three will soon be dismantled.

At Martinez, we do actually have some folks getting off, but I expect there will be even more people waiting to get on, which is going to make for unhappy passengers again. And I'm not sure waiting for the next train will be that good a bargain for them, as the next one is apt to be just as jammed.

In the old days, the railroads would put together "extra sections" of additional equipment, pressing into service anything that rolled. That meant you might have to ride in a clapped-out coach, but at least you got to make the trip and weren't left waiting on the platform. Nowadays, there just isn't any spare equipment to comandeer this way. I reckon the Oakland Amtrak Operations people are looking at whatever equipment they might have on hand and trying to see if there is anything they can tack onto the later trains today.

Heard on the radio as we approached the platform: Conductor 1: "Did you need the Amtrak police here for any reason?"

Conductor 2: "No, but I'm glad they're here!"

Dispatcher: "They just decided to show up in case you happened to need them."

Now they've brought up some road buses and are telling people they can ride buses to Sacramento. Yuck. I think that if I were a standee, I'd still stay on the train standing rather than ride a bus sitting down, as the bus is just going to get stuck in wall-to-wall traffic. It's a shame that the railroads have to use buses this way. It sends completely the wrong message to prospective passengers, particularly those who have never rode the train before. Next time, I bet they won't take the train.


Scheduled Departure: 2:34
Actual Departure: 3:38
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