Amtrak addresses Cleveland checked baggage issues

Cleveland Amtrak station, April 6, 2015. (All Aboard Ohio photo)

Cleveland Amtrak station, April 6, 2015. (All Aboard Ohio photo)

Regarding recent issues involving checked baggage at Amtrak’s Cleveland station, All Aboard Ohio raised a number of concerns. We present without alteration Amtrak’s description of those issues and their response to our concerns. We appreciate Amtrak taking the time to detail these issues and to describe their corrective actions:

Thank you for allowing Amtrak the opportunity to respond to concerns expressed by All Aboard Ohio regarding recent problems with baggage service at Cleveland.

Amtrak Cleveland staff reported Friday, July 10th, that the station baggage tractor had inoperative brakes. Station management and staff arranged for a service call. The local company that normally handles routine maintenance did not have a repair person available until the following Friday, July 17th. Attempts were made to find another servicer. Amtrak did find another local company that offered to service the tractor.

The diagnosis revealed an out-of-stock part was needed to make the repair and had to be ordered. To inform customers, a nationwide, internal notice was issued that baggage and express services would not be available at Cleveland. Once the part was received, the repair as made Friday, July 17, at which time baggage and express service resumed.

Amtrak’s primary goal is to provide safe, comfortable transportation service for our customers. A key strategy to achieve that goal is to insure a safe workplace for Amtrak employees. We regret that we were unable to provide baggage service for our Cleveland-bound and originating customers and pursued options deemed the best to resume service quickest.

The Amtrak baggage tractor used at Cleveland is about six years old. As do most consumers we expect the products we purchase to perform without incident. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Amtrak baggage carts are much older, and to improve baggage handling Amtrak has ordered a fleet of new carts to replace many dating back prior to the corporation’s formation. We should take delivery of new carts for Cleveland station in early Autumn.

— Derrick James, Amtrak Government Affairs

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