Amtrak Kicks 13 Y/O off Train in BC

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Amtrak Kicks 13 Y/O off Train in BC

Unread postby NSSD70ACe » Mon Apr 01, 2019 6:49 pm

Amtrak conductors on 365 kicked off a 13 year old girl traveling solo from Lapeer to Chicago after they discovered she was traveling alone and was not in compliance with the policies surrounding such travel.

The BCPD officer sent to pick her up was not pleased with how Amtrak handled the issue. He even went as far as accusing Amtrak of using BCPD as a “dumping ground” instead of using APD. Someone should tell the good Corporal that APD has a very limited presence in Michigan...haven’t ever seen them around.

https://www.woodtv.com/1893229442
If the Conductor is in charge of the train, then why is he promoted to Engineer?
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Re: Amtrak Kicks 13 Y/O off Train in BC

Unread postby Steve B » Mon Apr 01, 2019 8:09 pm

Looks like both the parents and Amtrak share the blame here. I can't fault the Battle Creek police for being annoyed about having to deal with it. Amtrak does have a police office in the Niles depot.

Look on the bright side. Once Battle Creek and Kalamazoo are inevitably unstaffed, the child will be able to ride all the way to Chicago as the parents intended. CHI will become the "nearest station manned by Amtrak staff members," which is required for locations to dump off minors.
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Re: Amtrak Kicks 13 Y/O off Train in BC

Unread postby ConrailDetr​oit » Mon Apr 01, 2019 8:37 pm

Not a surprise in today's world. Amtrak wants to ensure the minor is not a runaway, being trafficked, or has permission from the parents. Instead of causing an inconvenience to their paying customer and to Battle Creek Police, and for positive customer relations, Amtrak conductors could have used modern technology to get a hold of the parents, see their ID, verify the minor is traveling safely, and everyone ends up having a nice day.

Or, perhaps Amtrak could be like Greyhound and require an Unaccompanied Child Form that must be filled out at the station with ID from the parent or guardian.
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Re: Amtrak Kicks 13 Y/O off Train in BC

Unread postby PerRock » Mon Apr 01, 2019 8:41 pm

ConrailDetr​oit wrote:Or, perhaps Amtrak could be like Greyhound and require an Unaccompanied Child Form that must be filled out at the station with ID from the parent or guardian.


They have a system set up, if you follow the rules. https://www.amtrak.com/unaccompanied-minors-policy

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Re: Amtrak Kicks 13 Y/O off Train in BC

Unread postby NSSD70ACe » Mon Apr 01, 2019 9:07 pm

ConrailDetr​oit wrote:Not a surprise in today's world. Amtrak wants to ensure the minor is not a runaway, being trafficked, or has permission from the parents. Instead of causing an inconvenience to their paying customer and to Battle Creek Police, and for positive customer relations, Amtrak conductors could have used modern technology to get a hold of the parents, see their ID, verify the minor is traveling safely, and everyone ends up having a nice day.

Or, perhaps Amtrak could be like Greyhound and require an Unaccompanied Child Form that must be filled out at the station with ID from the parent or guardian.


Not really sure if that phone call would be considered an acceptable use of a RR-provided cellular device.

And yes, there is a system in place with similar procedures; however, it doesn’t appear that any of those procedures were followed by the parents. I’m not saying Amtrak handled the situation 100% correctly, but a large part of this falls on the parents too.

Also:

Doubtful that KAL and BTL will be unstaffed...at minimum KAL. Both stations saw significant ridership increases between 2016 and 2017 (which are the latest reports that Amtrak has issued on their site).
If the Conductor is in charge of the train, then why is he promoted to Engineer?
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Re: Amtrak Kicks 13 Y/O off Train in BC

Unread postby Steve B » Mon Apr 01, 2019 10:35 pm

"Not really sure if that phone call would be considered an acceptable use of a RR-provided cellular device."

Why not? It would be a phone call about company business.
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Re: Amtrak Kicks 13 Y/O off Train in BC

Unread postby justalurker66 » Tue Apr 02, 2019 1:43 am

The child was in contact with her father via text message 90 minutes before Battle Creek (an hour after boarding the train).
She told her father that she would be removed at Battle Creek. Her mother drove to pick her up.

Part of the officer's complaint was that Amtrak chose Battle Creek as the "dumping ground" instead of one of the previous stations the train stopped at after determining she was unaccompanied. The complaint that Amtrak did not call her parents is valid ... but her parents were aware that she would be removed before she was taken in to custody.
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Re: Amtrak Kicks 13 Y/O off Train in BC

Unread postby Ben Higdon » Tue Apr 02, 2019 7:46 am

NSSD70ACe wrote:
ConrailDetr​oit wrote:Not really sure if that phone call would be considered an acceptable use of a RR-provided cellular device.


I would think the crew would notify the dispatcher about this, and the dispatcher would deal with it?
Crew members have RR cell phones?
In the 90s Amtrak crews would on occasion use the radio to relay requests for cafe car supplies to the next station via the operator at BO. Somewhat lower priority than a kid without an adult!
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Re: Amtrak Kicks 13 Y/O off Train in BC

Unread postby NSSD70ACe » Tue Apr 02, 2019 9:51 am

Ben Higdon wrote:
NSSD70ACe wrote:
ConrailDetr​oit wrote:Not really sure if that phone call would be considered an acceptable use of a RR-provided cellular device.


I would think the crew would notify the dispatcher about this, and the dispatcher would deal with it?
Crew members have RR cell phones?
In the 90s Amtrak crews would on occasion use the radio to relay requests for cafe car supplies to the next station via the operator at BO. Somewhat lower priority than a kid without an adult!


There are some (smaller) RRs that do provide crews with cell phones which can only be used for on-duty work-related communication. I believe Amtrak primarily uses them for scanning tickets with a customized case and interface. The store I work at uses something similar.
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Re: Amtrak Kicks 13 Y/O off Train in BC

Unread postby PatAzo » Tue Apr 02, 2019 11:54 am

So mom and dad send their 13 year old girl off to Chicago without even saying to the conductor "Hey my daughter is traveling alone, can you make sure she gets where she needs to go in Chicago?". Maybe she's a super mature 13 year old but come on.

What was the conductor supposed to do? Put his job at risk for not following policy? Find out later "mom and dad" that he called on the phone were really internet perverts who lured the girl from her home.

Sorry BCPD. Quit crying and do your job.
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Re: Amtrak Kicks 13 Y/O off Train in BC

Unread postby ConrailDetr​oit » Tue Apr 02, 2019 12:22 pm

Unfortunately, the internet perverts, terrorists, bombers, sensationalists, propagandists, litigiousists, (in other words thoses looking for gain or fame at someone else's expense) have been subdued by society. So it is now normal to let them have their way so they continue to feed off of the world's general fear of them.
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Re: Amtrak Kicks 13 Y/O off Train in BC

Unread postby GreatLakesRailfan » Tue Apr 02, 2019 7:28 pm

I'd be interested in bctrainfan's perspective on this subject...
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Re: Amtrak Kicks 13 Y/O off Train in BC

Unread postby chapmaja » Tue Apr 02, 2019 11:52 pm

My mom saw this and simply stated " Wow how things have changed." She used to ride from Erie to Cleveland almost weekly unaccompanied. She lived in Erie, but would spend weekends with her grandmother in Cleveland. She would walk to the station in Erie, hop on the train and get off the train at CUT where she would meet her grandmother who worked at Higbee's in Terminal Tower.

Wow have times changed.
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Re: Amtrak Kicks 13 Y/O off Train in BC

Unread postby bctrainfan » Wed Apr 03, 2019 4:51 am

GreatLakesRailfan wrote:I'd be interested in bctrainfan's perspective on this subject...

I actually just saw the post and hadn't heard about from my "other sources" lol.... I'll just say it seems like strange people/situations often find there way into Battle Creek!
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Re: Amtrak Kicks 13 Y/O off Train in BC

Unread postby ConrailDetr​oit » Wed Apr 03, 2019 5:21 am

PatAzo wrote:What was the conductor supposed to do? Put his job at risk for not following policy? Find out later "mom and dad" that he called on the phone were really internet perverts who lured the girl from her home.

Sorry BCPD. Quit crying and do your job.


Or the conductor could have been more proactive to addressing the problem and dealt with it in Flint or Durand. (whichever was the next stop after the age issue was discovered). Never should have made it to East Lansing, let alone Battle Creek.
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Re: Amtrak Kicks 13 Y/O off Train in BC

Unread postby NSSD70ACe » Wed Apr 03, 2019 6:42 am

ConrailDetr​oit wrote:
PatAzo wrote:What was the conductor supposed to do? Put his job at risk for not following policy? Find out later "mom and dad" that he called on the phone were really internet perverts who lured the girl from her home.

Sorry BCPD. Quit crying and do your job.


Or the conductor could have been more proactive to addressing the problem and dealt with it in Flint or Durand. (whichever was the next stop after the age issue was discovered). Never should have made it to East Lansing, let alone Battle Creek.


Had to be taken care of at a staffed Amtrak station. BC is the first staffed station between Lapeer and BC.
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Re: Amtrak Kicks 13 Y/O off Train in BC

Unread postby PatAzo » Wed Apr 03, 2019 8:51 am

What could the conductor have done to be more "proactive"?

I went to Amtrak.com and looked at booking a youth ticket. The website stops you from booking a youth ticket with no accompanying adult from all of the stations I checked staffed or unstaffed. It tells you to call 800-USA-RAIL. Mom and dad say they looked on-line and thought it was o.k. But to book a ticket on-line it would had to have been an adult ticket.
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Re: Amtrak Kicks 13 Y/O off Train in BC

Unread postby Saturnalia » Wed Apr 03, 2019 10:53 am

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Re: Amtrak Kicks 13 Y/O off Train in BC

Unread postby ConrailDetr​oit » Wed Apr 03, 2019 11:17 am

NSSD70ACe wrote:
ConrailDetr​oit wrote:
PatAzo wrote:What was the conductor supposed to do? Put his job at risk for not following policy? Find out later "mom and dad" that he called on the phone were really internet perverts who lured the girl from her home.

Sorry BCPD. Quit crying and do your job.


Or the conductor could have been more proactive to addressing the problem and dealt with it in Flint or Durand. (whichever was the next stop after the age issue was discovered). Never should have made it to East Lansing, let alone Battle Creek.


Had to be taken care of at a staffed Amtrak station. BC is the first staffed station between Lapeer and BC.


If it was Amtraks policy that a minor that must be put off has to be done so at a staffed station, then Ok, Battle Creek makes sense.

If not, the conductor could have called police and told to meet the train at the next stop; Flint, Durand, Lansing.
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Re: Amtrak Kicks 13 Y/O off Train in BC

Unread postby justalurker66 » Wed Apr 03, 2019 11:23 am

ConrailDetr​oit wrote:If it was Amtraks policy that a minor that must be put off has to be done so at a staffed station, then Ok, Battle Creek makes sense.

No if. It is Amtrak's policy as stated on their website. One could argue that staffing didn't make a difference since she was turned over to the police. It wasn't a situation where the station staff took custody of the child. But Amtrak's policy is clear.
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