Training Time

"Time will say nothing but I told you so . . ." WH Auden

Two hour wait at Maricopa, Arizona, Thursday, February 9, 2012

First the rumor was that we were waiting for new engineer and conductors … then it was announced on the intercom that we are waiting for the work crews ahead to clear the track.  Since leaving San Antonio nearly 30 hours late on Wednesday, this train is no longer on the schedule and we should expect waiting for freight traffic.  Here’s how the conductor put it over the intercom upon our first delay on Wednesday, soon after starting out: 

"Going to be a lot of freight trains out here today folks, better get use to it!"

Can you imagine a pilot telling his passengers to “get use to” rough air?

On the other side of the coin, the station agent at Maricopa, Bob, was a gem of Amtrak lore based on his 35 years service.  He remembered when the Superliners were first placed in service in 1978 — state of art train travel, but now are out of date, according to Bob.  With the political picture for Amtrak funding grim, improvements are not on the horizon. And the cars are showing wear and lack of care … years of stains and crud in the corners.

Enough rail ranting — checkout Maricopal -

Feb 9, 2012