:..because their sevice absolutley stinks!!!! Just got back from my trip to California(to climb Mt Whitney) and Las Vegas. Me and my bud decided to try something different for out adventure travels: the train. What a HUGE mistake! If anyone might wonder how Amtrak could be in so much trouble, I can tell you that repeat business is probably non-existent. For starters, my Friday 9:30pm departure turned into a Saturday 4:45am departure. Reason, no one seemed to know. We did discover why the last 30-45 minutes of delay came from. The conductors 12 hour shift ended about 5 miles from our station, so he stopped the train. The replacement crew had to hop in a cab and look for the train so they could change out crews. The delays grew and grew as we went down the line, again with no real explanation. Originally due to arrive early morning Sunday in L.A., it was closer to 5pm with 2 stops to go befor L.A. We had to hop of in Ontario, CA to pick up our rental since the Hertz counter at LA Union Station had already closed So rather that already having our camp set up at the Whitney Portal, we were standing around at the rental counter at Ontario Airport waiting for a car. We arrived at the Portal around 10pm and had to set up our camp by headlamp. Although we now only had 1 day top acclimate to the altitude the rest of the trip went fine, we climbed, packed went to Vegas had fun, lost money etc.. On the way back, we were a mere 3 hours behind. What really got me on the way back was when we hit San Antonio. We were already over an hour behind when we rolled in. A 15-20 minute stop for fuel and baggage loading/unloading was announced by the conductor. I call Amtrak(train staff seems to dissapear during the delays)to see if any problem has been reported. The operator tell me that the train is behind schedule but it had left San Antonio at 8:35am. Imagine here surprise when I told her(at 10:51am) that I was actually on that train and that we hadn't budged!! An hour and a half later we pull out. So, anyone who called for train status to pick up someone in Houston was being given a train status that was off by almost 2 hours!! This doesn't even begin to adress the failure of the toilets on our car on the way to L.A., the lack of any updates on any of the many delays(either form crew. conductor or Amtrak phone operators)or that the crew could care less about people that sneak liquor(not allowed in coach)on to get tanked abd be obnoxious, sneak into cabin cars to take showers, steal the videotapes of movies that are shown in the lounge cars or people who don't wan't to pay for their food, so they pilfer all the crackers off of the tables while strolling through the dining car!(these were all adults 30+, not kids). Anyway, this was the worst single travel experience I have ever had. I'll be calling Amtrak customer service today(since you are not allowed to talk to them until after your trip is concluded). Whew!! I feel better now!!