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Amtrek Feedback: Real letters from imaginary customers

Letters - some positive, some not so
positive - that describe the laughter and
the fears of riding the rails on Amtrek.

These are gripping tales of suffering
and survival despite the odds.


Mr. Woodward P. Sanguine
Amtrek Center, 13th Floor
1 Deferred Maintenance Way
Nutley, New Jersey, United State of New Jersey

In March, I visited the States for a little walkabout. All was dandy until I boarded your train #198, the Silver Meat Eater, and made arrangements to ship my pet kangaroo in the baggage car. I was assured by your agent that there would be no problem and that everything necessary for its care would be arranged for. After lunch in what barely passed as a dinning car I went to check on me pet and found all to be quite well, but the chef and baggage handler were conferring in a corner and looking strangely at the roo. That was the last time I saw my pet. Following dinner (which was a magnificent improvement over lunch - especially the steak) I returned to the baggage car and found to my horror that me pet had disappeared. The attendant claimed it had been put off at the last stop but upon further checking no trace could be found. What does your company plan to do to locate this most valuable pet ?

Mr. John Mikesh
Borroloola, Northern Territory, Australia

P.S. the steak and eggs for breakfast was just bonzer and the roast for dinner the second night was fantastic.

  Editorial Response: Goodday, Mate. We're sorry about the loss of your pet and hope we can bring closure to this unfortunate incident. Your ticket stub indicates you traveled on a "Wild Card Friday." This is a popular feature of the Silver Meat Eater's dining car. On Wild Card Fridays, our chef whips up an exotic, surprise treat from the untamed jungles and outback of the far continents. Your pet kangaroo was that treat and, judging by the positive feedback we've received, it made many stomachs very happy. We do, however, regret the misunderstanding. Because you boarded the train on Wild Card Friday, our chef naturally assumed you wanted your pet to be included in the menu. Once he realized your confusion, he and the rest of the onboard staff were reluctant to reveal the delicious truth.

Amtrek recommends that all customers read our Policy Page before making reservations.


Pemberton Q. Cobblespot

Amtrek Center
One Deferred Maintenance Way
Nutley, New Jersey, USNJ

Dear Sir or Madam,

My wife Claudette and I just returned from a trip on Amtrek's "Pity of New Orleans." The entire experience was delightful but I especially enjoyed your new "Bourbon Street Speakeasy" lounge car. The bartender kept the liquor flowing freely and it wasn't long before I was involved in a spirited game of poker with several really nice fellows from Pennsylvania. They had been headed down to the Big Easy for an Alcoholics Anonymous convention. By the time I finished with them, those poor, dumb fools had gambled away every dime they had. I even relieved them of their return train tickets when one of them couldn't cover a bet. The last I heard, they had to pawn their watches and thumb it back home to Altoona.

Another unexpected pleasure was your innovative "All-Aboardello." The friendly prostitutes there provided a welcome respite from the rigors of married life. I'd like to offer special praise to a young attendant named Candy Sweet, who was most accommodating and reasonably priced. She really bent over backward to make me happy. My dear wife never suspected a thing. I simply told her I'd been in the restroom the entire time I was away from our bedroom. "It must have been something I ate," I said. Can you believe she bought that line?

Yes, the whole trip reminded me of my old days back in the service. Be assured, I shall travel your way again.

Warmest Regards,
P. Q. Cobblespot
Princeton, Illinois, USA

P.S.  Please withhold my name if you publish this letter. I'm a happily married man and wouldn't wish my words to be misinterpreted. As always, I greatly appreciate Amtrek's courtesy and discretion.

  Editorial Response: We're proud of features like our Bourbon Street Speakeasy. It's nice to see that Amtrek's new emphasis on customer-friendliness has not gone unnoticed by Guests like Mr. Cobblespot.

On another note, we sincerely apologize for including the writer's name in the letter above, and in the preceding paragraph. Mr. Cobblespot asked us to withhold his name, but this page went out over the wire before the mistake was caught, and it's now too late to correct. Sadly, that is the unforgiving and indelible nature of today's Internet! We trust that Mr. Cobblespot and his entire hometown of Princeton, Illinois will forgive us this mistake.

Office Of The Person In Charge
Deferred Maintenance Way
Nutley, New Jersey

To Whom It May Concern,

My husband Chesterton and I spent our wedding anniversary traveling all over the country on one of Amtrek's "Expose America Fares." We wish to commend you on your wonderful service.

Although we rode many trains, one stands out. Train 37, the "Mail and Freight Express," took us from the little-known Civil War battlefield of Leaf Springs, Idaho to visit dead relatives in Breakwind, Colorado. Its derailment in the middle of a tunnel gave us a greater appreciation for the uncertainty of life itself. And, it added a touch of romance. In 48 years of marriage, I've never felt so close to my husband as when we had to trudge through stagnant puddles of water in total darkness to escape. We'll treasure that memory for years!

We also observed that train travel provides such a different perspective. As our train rolled past mile after mile of squalid shacks and burnt-out tenement buildings, we realized just how good we have it in our modest but tidy little home here in Woonsocket. I've often chided my husband about our old appliances and furniture, but I saw many refrigerators and dinette sets strewn along the tracks that were nowhere near as nice as what we own. Many thanks for the wonderful memories.

Sincerely yours truly,
Velveeta Cheeseworth
Woonsocket, Rhode Island

  Editorial Response: Happily, we can respond that Mrs. Cheeseworth's trip was not unusual. Many of our routes offer unique scenery and experiences.
Attn: Woodward P. Sanguine, President
13th Floor - Amtrek Center
1 Deferred Maintenance Way
Nutley, New Jersey U.S.N.J.

My Dear Mr. Sanguine,

I recently returned from one of your "land cruises." One expects to arrive late when traveling by train, but arriving 3-1/2 DAYS late was a bit much, especially considering we traveled only between Jellodelphia and New York. Because of YOU, I missed the once a year sale of fur-lined feather boas at Bloomies. What are YOU going to do about this? (By the way, I no longer have my reservation number because the cocktail napkin that the ticket was written on was accidentally flushed down the toilet on train #127. I was using the restroom marked "Handicapped," if that helps you to retrieve it.)

On a positive note, the complimentary pretzels you're famous for were almost fresh, and I lost only one tooth this time. It's nice to see that some aspects of your service have improved. I also noticed fewer flies. And, although some might dispute this, I feel the vermin are a nice touch. They're delightful little furry traveling companions - very friendly - I was only bitten twice.

With cool disdain,
J. Monroe Bladder III
West Conshohocken, PA 19428 U.S.A.

  Editorial Response: In compensation for his alleged hardship, we sent Mr. Bladder a deluxe collector's tin of our famous pretzels.
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Amtrek - Practice Makes Perfict

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