Jump to content

Help Support AmtrakTrains.com by donating using the link above or becoming a Supporting Member.

Most Liked Content

#743315 "Like" System Enabled

Posted by PRR 60 on 01 March 2018 - 01:11 PM

We have enabled the often requested "Like" system of the board software.  At the bottom of each post is a button that says "Like This."  Click it, and your "Like" will be recorded. For each post, you will see a list of those who have liked that post, either as a direct list or a click to show the full list in a popup.


With this change, it is now possible to show your agreement with a post without have to make a post that only says that.  Of course, if you have something to add to the discussion, please do.


Let us know if things do not seem to be working correctly.  The controls for the board software can be a bit challenging.  We think we have everything configured correctly, but we'll see.

  • City of Miami, JayPea, Railroad Bill and 23 others like this

#758128 Richard Anderson replacing Wick Moorman as Amtrak CEO

Posted by Thirdrail7 on 09 June 2018 - 10:59 AM

At this point, I'd like to tip my hat to Mr. Anderson.


While Mr. Boardman was the first CEO during my tenure to make sure that various departments realized they worked for a passenger railroad, which means we should work together to support customer services, Mr. Anderson is the first CEO during my tenure to notify the mechanical department that they are FRONT LINE EMPLOYEES!  :)


That's right and all though it will take time, this is more than words...I've seen the action.


He informed mechanical that the customer experience begins with them. If the train is dirty, looks neglected and has burnt out light bulbs, the rest of the employees are already on the defense.  While he is aware that some of the equipment is just old, rundown and neglected, he wants the things that can be controlled...controlled...and is not taking no for an answer...regardless of the consequences (and there are definitely going to be consequences particularly when it comes to washing the trains.)


To that end, he is investing in the mechanical departments. He is investing in training and upgrades in facilities. Granted, he could do a lot more, but we'll have to cut loose some more chefs to make it happen.....(too soon?)


Additionally, there is a contractor that was hired to check the conditions of the trains prior to departure. In other words, the group is traveling around the various terminals, inspecting the work of the mechanical facilities. We've been told to assist when we seen them (give them access to the trains , escort them across tracks ,etc).  They are also on the look out for items that haven't been repaired in a timely fashion. It has been made clear that facilities with too many exceptions will experience "changes" :ph34r:


It is a start.



  • jis, Ryan, bretton88 and 9 others like this

#750171 Amtrak's New "Fresh Choices" Dining on CL & LSL

Posted by John Bredin on 20 April 2018 - 09:35 AM

If every experiment is going to be slapped down and chicken-littled to death before it even begins, the message sent to Amtrak is that anything other than preserving the exact status quo in a specimen jar or amber is unacceptable.

The message announcing this makes it clear that this plan is not set in stone. We all know of experiments that Amtrak has tried and then withdrawn when they didn't work. Feeding back that an experiment once tried is a failure for particular reasons is right and proper. Feeding back that experiments should never be tried and have failed before they even begin is easily and rightly discounted as unhelpful.

IMHO, Amtrak leadership is not sitting Simon Legree-like cackling at the prospect of making the passenger experience as uncomfortable as possible, as if that's their goal. They are trying to balance what attracts passengers to ride and keep riding against very real financial and political constraints. Exploring where that balance lies by putting an ounce weight on one side, always able to pick it up again OR add another depending on what happens, is good management. But some people seem to equate it with blunderingly and maliciously tipping over the scale altogether.

  • jis, Ryan, bretton88 and 8 others like this

#749950 Amtrak's New "Fresh Choices" Dining on CL & LSL

Posted by Ryan on 19 April 2018 - 03:31 PM

Nor does it excuse the fact that I can get better out of Delta on a three-hour flight on a regular basis.

Hades take whomever designed this.

No one has tried the food yet. It has the potential to be quite good.

Don't confuse the issue with facts and logic. It's the end of the world as we know it.
  • AmtrakBlue, SarahZ, jebr and 8 others like this

#759432 Fire Richard Anderson Campaign?

Posted by tricia on 16 June 2018 - 12:40 PM


Either way what has senator Casey or Senator Tooney done for Your pet train? Point of the matter in this new environment all trains matter be it private cars, be it charters, be it the cardinal, and to some extent the Acela. And if we as advocates can't fight for all aspects of the trains we love. Then we won't have any train to love. Hence New River fought hard to save the Charleston Station agent, and they are fighting hard on other national network issues. We're in this fight with you but are you in it with us?


I hardly believe the Charleston Station agent nor other station agents in most stations in places I've never heard of are "national network issues". I forget the actual statistic but most tickets are handled online these days and a lot of stops don't have agents already. Cutting agents is a cost cutting move just like the AAA discount. I don't like it but I get it.  Spending money on a ticket agent takes money away which could be used elsewhere. Amtrak is only given a certain amount of money a year. I want it used to better benefit the country, not just West Virginia. Does it have to be Philadelphia? Not necessarily. But I think it should be proportionally based on population and right now it does seem to be IMO disproportionally given to benefit rural population more and Amtrak were to truly benefit that needs to change. 


I'm not sure if Anderson's delivery is the best but he might get the idea of Amtrak being a taxpayer burden and is trying to reduce the burden on the American taxpayer.



US citizens are citizens of the entire United States, not just their local municipality. Why shouldn't our national government maintain infrastructure that enables us to travel throughout our entire country? Likewise, all of us have an interest in maintaining infrastructure that supports a functioning economy across the entire nation. Amtrak routes through sparsely populated areas benefit ALL of us, just as the national highway system does. 

  • Ryan, railiner, Devil's Advocate and 7 others like this

#758247 Amtrak's New "Fresh Choices" Dining on CL & LSL

Posted by pennyk on 09 June 2018 - 07:03 PM

Gentle Reminder:  Please try to stay on topic (New menu options on CL and LSL) and be respectful.  Also try to remember that we are all different and we all have different likes and dislikes regarding food.  Thank you.  

  • Steve4031, the_traveler, tricia and 7 others like this

#758222 Amtrak Blacklist?

Posted by SarahZ on 09 June 2018 - 04:17 PM

I bet I can guess why...but don't wanna open THAT can! lol LOL

So why even say something like this?

If you truly don’t want to stir the pot, leave the spoon in the drawer.
  • caravanman, Ryan, Triley and 7 others like this

#757819 Senator Manchin vs Richard Anderson/Steve Gardner

Posted by Thirdrail7 on 07 June 2018 - 07:02 PM



(waits for Philly Amtrak Fan to show up at the mere mention of West Virginia)

  • jis, Ryan, AmtrakBlue and 7 others like this

#756921 Amtrak trips I'm not taking

Posted by Thirdrail7 on 02 June 2018 - 03:53 PM

So let's assume these boycotts are actually successful and LD ridership goes down. What's Anderson's thoughts?


a) They don't like the meal changes, let's go back to the old menus/way things were.


b) LD ridership is tanking, let's get rid of the trains.


If you really believe a), then boycott the trains. But I'm more likely to believe b) so I'd suggest any plans of boycotting is going to have the opposite effect and ruin LD travel for the rest of us (unless you just don't care).


I don't really believe the boycotts are going to be successful (they weren't on the Silver Star) but I refuse to go along with them or support them. 



You forgot c)


Richanrd Anderson can  take the findings and figures to Congress and back up what every other CEO has mentioned:


Passengers want this service. Ridership and revenue climbed when we provided passengers with supportable services and food services. When we got rid of these services, ridership and revenue dropped.  Additionally, people flooded your inbox.  While there is room for financial controls, getting rid of these items has hindered our performance....not helped it. If you're serious about Amtrak, I urge you to fund these services as they are one of the reasons that our passengers seek Amtrak as their means of transportation.  I urge you to fund the new equipment that will allow me to bring in additional rider and fund the amenities that keep them riding. After all, we haven't moved a muscle on eliminating delays, which racks up a large number of our avoidable costs. Work with us to keep our ridership at record levels while still working to keep our avoidable costs down.

  • jis, Ryan, chrsjrcj and 7 others like this

#750140 Amtrak's New "Fresh Choices" Dining on CL & LSL

Posted by Ryan on 20 April 2018 - 08:05 AM

This may be a trade I can deal with if all of the whiners that eternally claim that they are going to stop riding actually do so, and stop posting here in the process.

Might as well support dismantling the whole national system and shut this side down, then youd never have to read any whining again.


We literally have no idea what this food is like, and we have chicken little running around like the world is ending.

God forbid we wait and see how this plays out before passing judgement. The litany is things that turn out better than the torches and pitchforks crowd makes them out to be is nearly endless.
  • PRR 60, AmtrakBlue, SarahZ and 7 others like this

#750133 Amtrak's New "Fresh Choices" Dining on CL & LSL

Posted by Ryan on 20 April 2018 - 07:44 AM

This may be a trade I can deal with if all of the whiners that eternally claim that they are going to stop riding actually do so, and stop posting here in the process.
  • tim49424, AmtrakBlue, SarahZ and 7 others like this

#748507 Amtrak is not an airline. ..

Posted by caravanman on 10 April 2018 - 09:44 AM

The point is that the ticket agent had no right to mouth off to a customer about his or her feelings about the job.


Undermining the company that pays your salary is a particularly bad thing, in my view.


Yes, be unhappy with your job, but confine that to friends, workmates, the company, the union, don't bad mouth to the public!



  • Chatter163, jis, City of Miami and 7 others like this

#744633 Long Time Member Joe Hess Has Taken His Final Ride

Posted by jebr on 12 March 2018 - 12:53 PM

I'm saddened to hear the news. :( He was a very nice guy and he will be missed.


The admin team has moved his user (hessjm) to the Honored Members group as a token of gratitude for his contributions to the Amtrak Unlimited community.

  • Alice, the_traveler, Ryan and 7 others like this

#759288 Fire Richard Anderson Campaign?

Posted by VentureForth on 15 June 2018 - 12:52 PM

Anderson is doing what's right for Amtrak and what he's mandated to do under the law. Yes, it'll piss most of us off. No one likes paying more for less. No one.

Most all of his station staffing cuts make sense.

His dining cuts make sense - but was poorly executed. I would like to have seen a new IG report to see if the waste addressed in the 2004(5?) report was fixed and what revenue was recovered. I'd like to see the 24-hour diner concept revitalized.

AGR sucks now, but it's closer to what the airlines do.

The Private Rail Car movement was also poorly executed but the right thing to do. Stop slowing down hundreds of passengers for the benefit of an elite few. Biggest problem here is that people don't all have their private varnish parked in a 30-minute dwell station.

Don't forget, many of the cuts that we're complaining about started before Anderson - the loss of flowers, linen table clothes, 2nd chef in the diner happened long ago.
  • jis, City of Miami, Ryan and 6 others like this

#759221 Fire Richard Anderson Campaign?

Posted by AmtrakBlue on 15 June 2018 - 04:37 AM

I'm wondering why people haven't turned their attention and wrath on the Board Of Directors.

Because most of the rants are from people wearing “I hate airlines” blinders. They can only see the guy from the airlines.
  • jis, the_traveler, Ryan and 6 others like this

#756887 Amtrak trips I'm not taking

Posted by Thirdrail7 on 02 June 2018 - 01:41 PM

I don't understand you people .

You call yours selves  passenger train fans !!! ???

You get into snit over some things. 

I'm not happy with some of Amtrak's meal changes, hope fully these will be reversed .

Go fly on your jets! I will drive or take the train.

The only way I fly is if I'm going across the "pond". 

All I see on these chat groups is "bitching and whining and putting  people down"

That is why I usually can't be bothered to join in the chats anymore !!! :angry:  :angry:  :angry:



Personally, I'd like to see you remain and join in the chats. Differing are needed. After all, not everyone here is a passenger train fan. Hell, not everyone here is a passenger.


What you call bitching and whining" may be a useful catalyst for change. Ideas and thoughts are exchanged. I can honestly say that I have taken quite a few things from this board and pushed the information into the minds of the people that may influence the actual people that can talk to the people that may be able to implement policies and changes.


Yes, there are that many layers.....and more. ^_^


While you may be content to patronize Amtrak regardless of the costs or convenience, there are others who may travel because of a particular amenity, schedule, cost or some other type of constraint. When that particular reason no longer exists, the reason for travel may go with it.


The bottom line is I think people see the diminishing services and rising fares/fees as the typical corporate indifference to the product. While some say "it is what it is, we're used to it" and/or " since this is the same way other modes of transportation have treated us for years so resistance is futile," others are probably sick of the process...and it has crept into one more area.


From an Amtrak perspective, they are likely hoping you are already used to it....less for more.  It isn't much different from anyplace else at this point, and they are grooming future travelers to not expect hot meals or services.


After all ,you can't miss what you never had.

  • jis, Everydaymatters, Triley and 6 others like this

#755278 Joe Boardman questions current Amtrak's managements motives

Posted by Thirdrail7 on 22 May 2018 - 07:32 PM



doesn't meet your bizarrely narrow expectations of acceptable criticism.

I'm not sure that "based in reality" is bizarrely narrow, but maybe I'm just crazy. Ironically, you're serving as a shining example of what I do have a problem with - criticizing people for positions that they haven't taken.

You only seem to accept criticism that can link to irrefutable first person evidence. Unfortunately that's not how the real world works. Opaque executives don't generally give much forewarning about future service restrictions/reductions or cost increases or loss of protections.  In many cases you have to read between the lines to see what's coming in time to react to it. Not that long ago there was genuine concern that the current SWC route was in danger and instead of waiting to see what happened people reached out to the various stakeholders and managed to protect the status quo. If they had waited for a formal notice of abandonment there may not have been enough time to save the entire route.



What exactly are you disputing - that Amtrak is substantially restricting private charter movements or that Richard Anderson personally supports these restrictions?

Neither. I'm disputing the claim that we know what Anderson's goal is, and that the end of all charters and PVs was a reasonable concern given that goal. I do agree that the current "suspension" of the Sunset East nearly 13 years later is an embarrassing fiction that needs to be rectified. I'm not sure that a one-off example from 13 years ago really supports you point, though.


The earliest posts generally come from the earliest bits of information. Back then it wasn't entirely clear what Amtrak intended and it was possible to interpret what had been said to mean that all third party movements might now be disqualified. From what I've read the vast majority of third party charters are indeed affected. Even those third party charters that will continue to run in the future are apparently allowed to do so only in the form of a per-instance waiver that further limits and complicates a convoluted process that was already extremely tedious and time consuming. From a practical standpoint this is a huge change.  But I guess so long as even one single charter is allowed to run somewhere on the network you've made your point about challenging anyone who dares to overstep or oversimplify.  Regarding the Sunset East the route still existing is the fiction while route's abandonment is the reality. Trying to bring back a route that exists in name only is far harder than protecting a route that still hosts actual trains today. Better to be ahead of the curve than chasing after it.



Devil's Advocate,


I love your spirit and I totally agree with your bottom line: Better to be ahead of the curve than chasing after it.  I also completely agree that you often have to read between the lines to see what is coming so you have time to act. it is better to be proactive than reactive. However, I would caution you to not play into the hysteria that some people are painting.


Not everything is a plot. What can YOU honestly say about the private car or charter car plans? I suspect that you wouldn't since it is not your operation. Some people would love to say that there was a rallying call to action to attempt to force Amtrak to reassess its position and it worked.


The reality of the situation is most people didn't have a LICK of understanding of the plans for private cars or charters/special movements.. However, that didn't stop the posts or whining. What I find entertaining is the plan that was initially authorized and explained to the employees is pretty much EXACTLY what occurred. The problem is you're mostly hearing about the issue from disgruntled people who feel they are getting the short end of the stick instead hearing about it from a detailed, business point of view.


That being said, private cars are still operating. Charters, specials and extras are still operating. There have been restrictions but the per instance waivers were always be there and will be required to be there, particularly if you're operating over a host railroad. The main thing that has been eliminated is the "tripping over your feet, scorched earth policy of placating the whims of the private car owners that ultimately impact your main base."  If it is not out of the way and won't impact significantly impact your base operation, they're still running.



As I keep saying, a lot of the plans you are seeing PREDATE Richard Anderson. Assigned seating, the Acela overhaul, the coach overhaul (which was actually downgraded due to budget issues), the boxed lunches,  the restrictions on charters/private cars and and YES eliminating certain trains were all in various stages of planning and implementation by the time Mr. Anderson came around.  As the PTC mandate loomed,  I mentioned trains were in jeopardy quite some time ago since the hosts want the passenger operators to foot the bill for the upgrades. It is possible that some trains may be sacrificed for the greater good.


Can Mr. Anderson stop some of this stuff? Probably. Mr. Boardman did. However,the leadership has changed and Mr. Anderson has said he plans to follow PRIIA. Despite all of the talk, most people would be hard pressed to spell out exactly how  Mr. Anderson plans to achieve this goal.


We should remain cautious while remembering the story about the boy who cried wolf.

  • jis, Trogdor, AmtrakBlue and 6 others like this

#753424 Joe Boardman questions current Amtrak's managements motives

Posted by PRR 60 on 10 May 2018 - 08:37 AM

There are those of us who do not think that Richard Anderson is trying to kill the LD. That simply means we have a different opinion. it does not mean we are "sand eaters" or "dumb."  There are even some of us that think that some LD advocates are distorting and misleading with some of what they are saying, intentionally or not. The last gasp of someone who has a failing argument is name calling and insults.  There is a lot of name and insults being thrown around right now on this subject.

  • jis, Trogdor, Ryan and 6 others like this

#751813 Anderson Speaks on Long Distance Trains

Posted by JRR on 29 April 2018 - 08:28 PM

If I didn’t consider rail travel as part of my vacation, I would never go by Amtrak. It is cheaper and faster to either fly or drive.

That being said, we really enjoy train travel and will continue to “vacation” on Amtrak as long as we can.
  • jis, Rail Freak, railiner and 6 others like this

#750581 Anderson Speaks on Long Distance Trains

Posted by mlanoue on 22 April 2018 - 08:03 AM

I think people do need to speak up, but our focus should be on Congress. Anderson's not going to get rich working at Amtrak, whether it's corridor or LD trains. It's up to Congress to stress the importance of the national network to him.
  • Rail Freak, Ryan, Devil's Advocate and 6 others like this