Today Helene and I took the train up to see our daughter Jessie, in Westchester County, New York.
We left Charlottesville on Amtrak Train 176, the Northeast Regional, at 8:52 am right on time. It was scheduled to stop in New Rochelle at 3:47 with no changes — a short cab ride from where Jessie lives in a house with friends on the border of Mt. Vernon and Bronxville — on its way to Boston, but it was two hours late because of an overall power outage at Union Station in D.C.
But that’s not the most interesting thing about the trip, or why I’ve told you more than you thought you wanted to know about train number, etc. Nearly seven hours after we left Charlottesville, somewhere after Philadelphia but just before Trenton, Helene received the following email from Amtak (Helene, not I, even though I was the ticket purchaser and listed her email as secondary!):
Date: February 10, 2015 at 3:28:07 PM EST
Subject: Important Amtrak Alert (Reservation number 5DF5C8 / JOHN ROSENBERG)
Our records indicate that you are scheduled to depart on Amtrak train number 176 from Charlottesville-Virginia at 8:52AM on Tuesday February 10 and arriving in New-Rochelle-New-York.
That schedule has been cancelled due to a-service-disruption. However, we do offer alternative schedules for that day. To speak to an Amtrak representative about travel options, call us at 8772319448 at your earliest convenience.
We apologize for any inconvenience and want to thank you for being a valued Amtrak customer
This message was brought to you by the same government that wants to control your health care.