In 2014 something magical happened. The old Rochester, New York Amtrak Station came down, and replaced with a new one.
Why Was the Station Replaced?
Customers and business people come from all over, including big cities such as New York City and Chicago. The two things they would mention, is how horrible the Station and customer service was.
And from the few times I’ve been to the old Amtrak Station, I completely agree!
The Train Station Was In Horrible Shape
Both the exterior and interior was in sad shape. The station needed new lights, roofing, and new metal where the panels were coming loose. Anybody coming off the train to Rochester, New York got smacked with a bad presentation.
Nobody Wanted To Sit In the Outdated Waiting Area
The waiting area was even worse, with a bad layout cluttered with outdated plastic chairs. And the ceiling had stains as a result of the leaky rook.
Finding Your Trains Arrival Times Or Buying Tickets Was An Unpleasant Experience
Also, there were no modern LED screens like in the new station. Instead, passengers had to look through a filthy window while buying tickets. Or try to read a smeared chalk board to find the trains arrival times.
Overall, the place was in horrible shape and shamefully filthy. One time I went to use the bathroom, and there were turds floating in the toilets.
Obviously, the staff was too lazy to clean the bathrooms, leaving the toilet seats saturated with dirt, along with the floors and sinks.
As you can imagine, I ended up walking out disgusted.
Fortunately, Rochester, New York Has A New Amtrak Station
Now, when you arrive at the Rochester, New York Amtrak Station, you see a huge difference.
As soon as you step out the front door, your family or friends can find you because of the ample sized loop.
Plus, if they have to wait for you, it’s much easier due to the parking lot being much bigger and better suited to handle traffic.
For those waiting for a taxi or shuttle, there’s a separate drop off area right in front of the entrance.
And if your train is running late, your ride won’t mind waiting for you because the exterior is very inviting with an old-fashioned look and charm that honors the Amtrak Station of the past.
The interior has also been improved dramatically. There’s plenty of modern chairs with a larger lobby, instead of the old plastic ones that look like they came out of the 1970’s.
Instead of waiting outside in all-weather conditions, there’s steps leading down to the train boarding dock. And above these steps is an old vintage clock, which I think is a nice touch.
Overall, the train station is a much nicer place to catch your train.
I’d Love To Use the Rochester, New York Amtrak Station Except There’s One Problem…..
The new station looks great but the service doesn’t match it.
Let’s Discuss How Long The Train Trip Takes
Many times I’ve dreamed of packing my Origaudio backpack with clothes. Grabbing my Xootr MG Scooter. And hopping on a train to New York City.
What prevents me from doing this is how long the ride is. A typical train ride from New York City takes about 7 hours. One from Chicago takes about 13 hours.
That’s how long a train ride takes, if it’s on time. Many passengers have complained that it’s been 6 hours late on many occasions.
Why Is Amtrak Always So Late?
Amtrak has to wait until the freight trains pass, because the freight company owns the track.
Imagine waiting on a hot train for 6 hours until it starts moving again.
There’s even the possibility that you will miss your connecting train like my sisters fiancé did in Chicago.
He had the option to either cancel his trip, resulting in being stranded in Chicago. Or stay in a hotel with a $10 food ticket that only works in the machines at the station. GreatjobwithtakingcareofyourcustomersAmtrak!!
How About Those Rickety Train Tracks?
I had the pleasure of talking to a representative that sells the trains to Amtrak. According to this knowledgeable gentleman, the train is capable of reaching speeds of 140 mph. Unfortunately, there’s only 65 miles of good track between Rochester, New York and New York City. This means that Amtrak trains can’t even reach half of their top speeds.
We’re Way Behind Compared To Other Countries When It Comes To Train Travel
Countries such as Japan and Europe have trains capable of reaching speeds over 200 mph. They have perfected the technology while making it much safer and faster.
Our politicians and leaders on the other hand, don’t see the value of investing in passenger train technology and infrastructure. According to them, trains in the United States are more than adequate. Seems to me, they find it acceptable to leave customers stranded on trains for hours waiting for freight trains to pass. Or stuck in unknown cities overnight with no way to get back home.
Politicians And Leaders Always Focus On Lack Of Funds And Low Ridership
These politicians and leaders are right, there’s a huge lack of funds and low ridership. What they don’t seem to understand is that the low ridership is due to horrible customer service, and outdated trains.
Many people who ride the train, say it’s miserable and will never ride it again. The ones who stop, realize that cheap flights such as Jetblue cost just as much, or less. And takes way less time to travel such short distances.
Fixing The Amtrak Train Service Will Bring New Customers
It’s time that Amtrak had it’s own tracks and started using newer technology such as Japan and Europe. Faster trains will motivate customers to ride the train instead of the plane, as long as there’s no extended delays.
Plus, riding the train eliminates going through long security lines, and not as restrictive with carry on luggage.
Now, if only Amtrak could improve it’s customer service with agents that talk to customers with respect, and are more empathetic when problems occur.