I recently traveled on an Amtrak train from Los Angeles to Lancaster, Pa. The train made extended stops in Albuquerque, N.M.; Chicago, and Pittsburgh. Although I am by no measure a world traveler, I also have spent time in Amtrak stations in New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.
I was really looking forward to a cup of coffee and perhaps a breakfast sandwich when we arrived in Pittsburgh at 4:20 a.m. to await the 7:20 a.m. train that would take me to Lancaster. What a disappointment! I consider Pittsburgh a major city. The stations I cited above are "castles" compared to what my fellow travelers and I found in Pittsburgh.
What an embarrassment your Amtrak station is: two snack machines, one coffee machine, one soda machine. I had a five-dollar and 10-dollar bill on me and there was no change machine! The station is so isolated that you could not walk to a street to find a place to buy a cup of coffee. I am thinking, is there no young go-getter in Pittsburgh who would not love the opportunity to sell a bagel, coffee and a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette to weary travelers?
Not to mention that they have one "down" escalator that they never reversed to go up for the 100-plus commuters who trudged up the stairs to the platform or took the elevator that held four people at a time.
I would be embarrassed if I lived in Pittsburgh and friends told me they were taking the Amtrak train to visit me.
GERALD P. McKENDRY