Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

Spare Change

I got a telephone call from Amtrak this morning telling me that one of the legs of my big train trip to Montreal for Worldcon had changed and that I'd need to have the ticket reissued. Concerned that this would break a connection, I asked for the details. Turns out that the first leg, Montreal-Schenectady, had changed train number from 68 to... 68? What? The agent seemed confused, too, but said that the train number had changed from 68 to 70 and then back to 68. Train 68 is what is printed on my ticket. The train times have not changed, so I should still be able to make the connection at SDY. The next time I happen to be near a staffed station -- which isn't likely to be soon, the nearest ones being San Jose and Oakland Jack London Square -- I will take the ticket and the reservation number and see if they actually have to print the ticket again.

Amtrak doesn't do ticketless travel the way the airlines do. You need the physical ticket to ride the train. If they change a train number or your compartment/car number for sleeping car travel, they have to re-issue the paper ticket, because that is all that the train crews have to work with.

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