News & Reviews News Wire News Wire ‘Worthwhile Reads’ for April 14

News Wire ‘Worthwhile Reads’ for April 14

By Trains Staff | April 14, 2024

Links to articles on a retiring conductor, Amtrak food, New York subway shops, and more

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Amtrak conductor with head down over paperwork at table on board train
Amtrak Conductor Brad Swartzwelter works in the lower level of the Sightseer Lounge on the eastbound California Zephyr on October 23, 2019. Bob Johnston

Occasionally, the News Wire staff comes across items that don’t lend themselves to Trains News Wire coverage, but are still worth sharing with readers. To that end, today we introduce an occasional offering, “Worthwhile Reads,” to help you find those items elsewhere on the internet.

Rocky Mountain PBS profiled Amtrak conductor Brad Swartzelter, celebrated during the final Winter Park Express trip of the season last month. While Kyle Cooke’s article notes the trip was a retirement party for Swartzelter, Trains passenger writer Bob Johnston — who also featured Swartzelter in his recent article on the California Zephyr [“The California Zephyr at 75,” Trains Magazine, April 2024] notes that Swartzelter doesn’t actually retire until Oct. 31. He’ll be working the Zephyr until then.

— Thrillist, the travel and culture site with a focus on experiences and the offbeat, used a Freedom of Information request to obtain nearly 10,000 complaints filed by Amtrak customers in 2023. Almost 3,000 dealt with food, which author Opheli Garcia Lawler digests here.

— This is a bit old, but still worth sharing: in March, the New York Times offered a photo essay on the New York City Transit subway shops, featuring marvelous images by photographer Christopher Payne and text by David Waldenstein. Times articles are generally paywalled, but the News Wire editor has used one of his “gift an article” links, so this should be available to everyone.

— Not a read, but a listen (although there is an accompanying article): The CBC’s “Good Question, P.E.I.” podcast considers the possibility of train service returning to Prince Edward Island, 55 years after the last passenger train to operate in Canada’s smallest but most densely populated province.

5 thoughts on “News Wire ‘Worthwhile Reads’ for April 14

  1. A thought on food. Amtrak used to have wonderful food service. Part of which makes train travel better than airplanes was the great meals.
    Nothing compares to being paired with amicable strangers at your table while eating delicious food.
    Too bad the filthy rich congresspersons keep cutting Amtrak’s budget.

    1. Earlier budget cuts may have made decisions difficult for a time for AMTRAK’s senior leaders, but AMTRAK leadership is the real culprit for reducing choice and service and not restoring it when budgets were increased and the break-even dictum was removed from law.

  2. Great if PEI would have passenger service return. It would be fun to ride the train and stop somewhere on the isle for their terrific oysters.

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