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On to Simi Valley-In Reverse

Dear Rudy,

I thought you might be interested in the following experience my daughter and I had last summer while riding Amtrak from San Diego to Simi Valley.

Our train was running a few minutes late, and occasionally had to be sidetracked while southbound trains went past. Emily and I were enjoying the comforts of a business class car -- including the boxed meal and small bottles of California wines provided as part of the service. The train's stops no longer matched the timetable, but we anticipated Simi Valley, our stop, was coming up soon. We readied our luggage to get off the train.

As the train started up again after a sidetrack stop, the conductor came through our car. I asked if Simi Valley was next. "Simi Valley was the last stop," he said. You didn't announce it," I replied. "Yes I did," he said. "Not in this car," piped up the other passengers.

The conductor looked at his watch as the train gained speed. Then he took his walkie-talkie and stepped between our car and the next. Momentarily the train stopped and began backing up to Simi Valley.

Friends were waiting for us at the station. They had been dumbfounded when we didn't arrive with the coach passengers, and equally astonished when we got off the train after it backed up.

Chuck Washington, DC



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