Dear Amtrak, I Hate You, No Love, Thomas

So, this afternoon after purchasing an ipod nano (whee) I get a voice mail message on my cell phone. It's someone from Amtrak, telling me that the train I'm scheduled to leave on tomorrow, from Osceola to Chicago, is already 10 hours late. This would put me in Chicago (assuming it didn't lose any more time) a couple hours after the train to Buffalo leaves.

So I chat with Lou a bit, basically planning to take the late train tomorrow, kick it at the Castle Juloulie, and take the remainder of my trains one day later. Satisfied with that plan, I call Amtrak.

The nice person who I talked to at Amtrak tells me that because of the 4th of July weekend the trains to Buffalo are booked solid for the next several days. There isn't even a sleeper berth available.

So, I'm now flying out of Des Moines on the 1st, and flying back the 11th. Additional cost after the Amtrak refund, about $500. Sigh. But I will be in Canada on Canada Day, come Hell or High Water.

To add insult to injury, when I called to get a refund, since I already have my tickets I have to mail them back to a very specific address (they gave it to me, line by line) and in six to eight weeks I get my money back, minus ten percent.

I guess if I ever take Amtrak again, I'll do a stay a day at whatever city I change trains at.

Who wants to move to a country with real train service?