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Government shutdown possible


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#21 ALC Rail Writer

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Posted 18 February 2011 - 08:03 PM

Now, granted, that stock is considered to be worthless, but technically Amtrak is privately owned.



Privately owned... Exclusively owned.... By the US Congress. The stock isn't just worthless, it is an annual bill to it's sole investor. Since it will always be a loss, it can never be privately owned unless a bunch of rich people wanted to have the worlds largest model railroad.

Amtrak Routes Travelled: Capitol Limited (x12s), Northeast Regional (x10), Pennsylvanian (x10), Empire Builder (x6), Cascades (x4), Empire Service (2), Acela Express (3), New Haven Shuttle (2), Vermonter (1), Lake Shore Limited (x3), Lincoln Service (3), Coast Starlight (x2), California Zephyr(1), Capitol Corridor(1), Southwest Chief (1), Missouri River Runner (1), Downeaster (2), Crescent (2)
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#22 Eric S

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Posted 18 February 2011 - 09:18 PM

It is a private company who's sole owner is the US Congress, it is operated as both an independent company and political football. It isn't wholly one way or the other. They operate in the grey area that Greyhound, NPR, Planned Parenthood, PBS, and all other "public owned businesses".

I don't think Greyhound belongs in that category, though. It is a private company, owned by a UK-based company.

#23 GlobalistPotato

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Posted 18 February 2011 - 10:40 PM

Is it odd if I say that I look forward to the idea of the government shutting down for a long period of time (oh, lets say, until August)?
It's not like our society would decay any faster without a shutdown.

Although I'm not %100 sure what a long term shutdown would mean.

But I don't think the sky would fall, or whatever some statist says...

#24 amtrakwolverine

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Posted 18 February 2011 - 10:59 PM

Amtrak continued to run during the last shut down right? Why should this be any different. To bad airlines won't shut down though :giggle:

Edited by amtrakwolverine, 18 February 2011 - 11:00 PM.


#25 daveyb99

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Posted 18 February 2011 - 11:56 PM

My wife (who works at the Capitol Visitor Center) was told that if the government shut down the CVC would be closed and they would not receive a paycheck for the duration of the shutdown ...


Yep. All Non-Essentials stay home without pay. Essential Personnel, like I, do go to work and get paid.

(Now here is the bad part: the non-essentials will get paid. essential get nothing extra. so it is like getting extra days off with pay for all the non-essentials. what a joke)

#26 RyanS

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 06:20 AM

The government won't shut down. The two moronic parties will sit and yell at each other and scream and posture. And then around 11:30 PM March 3rd, they'll pass a resolution.

I'd make a friendly wager with you on that one, I don't think that either side is going to blink on this one.


The FRA would close for business, no?


Yes.

I would presume that the functions that are considered "essential" would continue on so that the railroads could keep moving.


My wife (who works at the Capitol Visitor Center) was told that if the government shut down the CVC would be closed and they would not receive a paycheck for the duration of the shutdown ...


Yep. All Non-Essentials stay home without pay. Essential Personnel, like I, do go to work and get paid.

(Now here is the bad part: the non-essentials will get paid. essential get nothing extra. so it is like getting extra days off with pay for all the non-essentials. what a joke)

Bad for you, good for us! :P She said that they were told that they "may" get paid for the lost time after the fact, but no guarantees that it would happen or when they would get around to processing it if it did.
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#27 afigg

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 08:04 AM

Amtrak continued to run during the last shut down right? Why should this be any different. To bad airlines won't shut down though

Amtrak operates on either tracks they own, owned by the state / local transit agency for the NEC and some other corridors or tracks owned by private freight companies. Same for all for the dispatch and control operations. Amtrak provides it's own security operation with the Amtrak police, although at a few major stations such as NYP, there is additional security presence provided by local police or TSA. No reason for Amtrak to stop running for a short term federal shutdown.

Airline operations, however, are dependent on the federally operated Air Traffic Control, TSA and probably other parts of the Home Security Department and Customs for international flights. These presumably all would be covered as Essential Personnel, even though all essential personnel are also unfunded if Congress doesn't pass an authorization bill or continuing resolution.

I think odds are good that we will have a short term government shutdown. The Republican House leadership has not shown that it can effectively control the newly elected block of 50 or 60 idealogical Tea partiers who are new to the political process. The House Democrats are not going to be inclined to help the Republican leadership out, if that means draconian budgets cuts out of a relatively small slice of the federal budget. Short term gridlock is likely.

#28 daveyb99

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 12:29 PM

Bad for you, good for us! :P She said that they were told that they "may" get paid for the lost time after the fact, but no guarantees that it would happen or when they would get around to processing it if it did.


Really? Why lump all that hate on the Federal Employee because of a partisan Legislative disagreement. The ones staying home without pay are not at fault.

(And it is just because they are not at fault that they will get back-pay for those days. Always have, always will).

#29 saxman

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 02:01 PM

Amtrak continued to run during the last shut down right? Why should this be any different. To bad airlines won't shut down though :giggle:


I'd rather not the airlines shut down. Some of us rely on them, a lot. :)

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#30 RyanS

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 10:23 PM


Bad for you, good for us! :P She said that they were told that they "may" get paid for the lost time after the fact, but no guarantees that it would happen or when they would get around to processing it if it did.


Really? Why lump all that hate on the Federal Employee because of a partisan Legislative disagreement.

I don't even know what "hate" you're talking about.
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#31 jis

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 11:26 PM


Amtrak continued to run during the last shut down right? Why should this be any different. To bad airlines won't shut down though :giggle:


I'd rather not the airlines shut down. Some of us rely on them, a lot. :)

Some of us even way more than we rely on Amtrak actually, not that we would want Amtrak to shut down either.

#32 The Davy Crockett

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 06:38 PM

I'm booked on the Silver Star on March 7, so out of curiosity I called customer service to see what they said about Amtrak not running if the Fed Gov shuts down on or around March 4. The woman I spoke to had no idea, so she put me on hold to ask her supervisor. When she came back she told me to call back next week for an answer. :blink:

Now I do think (and hope) my train will be running, but I thought it was a curious way for customer service to handle the question. It could be that the prospect of shutting down has been a non-issue for Amtrak employees. But it also made me wonder if they are afraid folks are going to cancel with Amtrak and fly instead. In any case, their answer did not exactly inspire confidence that I'll get to my destination either.
I wish I was a headlight on a northbound train.

#33 RyanS

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 06:43 PM

Clueless CSR. Amtrak will run.
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#34 fairviewroad

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 08:01 PM

Will border crossings be affected? After all, those customs agents are federal employees. It's hard to imagine
our borders being closed but it's much easier to imagine the Amtrak-related crossing points to be shut down.

#35 ALC Rail Writer

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 08:09 PM

I would guess customs are considered 'required' but I'm not sure, it would mean closing our borders.

Amtrak Routes Travelled: Capitol Limited (x12s), Northeast Regional (x10), Pennsylvanian (x10), Empire Builder (x6), Cascades (x4), Empire Service (2), Acela Express (3), New Haven Shuttle (2), Vermonter (1), Lake Shore Limited (x3), Lincoln Service (3), Coast Starlight (x2), California Zephyr(1), Capitol Corridor(1), Southwest Chief (1), Missouri River Runner (1), Downeaster (2), Crescent (2)
Amtrak Rail Miles: 34,568

My most recent Amtrak trip report!

 

All Aboard Ohio - Advocacy group for intercity travel in Ohio


#36 The Davy Crockett

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 08:17 PM

I would guess customs are considered 'required' but I'm not sure, it would mean closing our borders.


I heard that a lot of Borders are closing. :mellow:

Oh wait, I'm thinking of Borders Books! :ohboy:

In all seriousness, I'm sure INS and Customs agents are considered essential personnel and will be working throughout any shutdown.
I wish I was a headlight on a northbound train.

#37 ALC Rail Writer

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 09:13 PM

Wait, is it borders or boarders?

Amtrak Routes Travelled: Capitol Limited (x12s), Northeast Regional (x10), Pennsylvanian (x10), Empire Builder (x6), Cascades (x4), Empire Service (2), Acela Express (3), New Haven Shuttle (2), Vermonter (1), Lake Shore Limited (x3), Lincoln Service (3), Coast Starlight (x2), California Zephyr(1), Capitol Corridor(1), Southwest Chief (1), Missouri River Runner (1), Downeaster (2), Crescent (2)
Amtrak Rail Miles: 34,568

My most recent Amtrak trip report!

 

All Aboard Ohio - Advocacy group for intercity travel in Ohio


#38 PerRock

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 09:55 PM


It is a private company who's sole owner is the US Congress, it is operated as both an independent company and political football. It isn't wholly one way or the other. They operate in the grey area that Greyhound, NPR, Planned Parenthood, PBS, and all other "public owned businesses".

I don't think Greyhound belongs in that category, though. It is a private company, owned by a UK-based company.


Greyhound is owned by the British (ok Scottish) FirstGroup who primarily operate various public transportation systems across the globe. It is (and has been) a fully private corporation. FG 'merged' all the regional Greyhound services into just Greyhound, and started up two Discount Services under the Greyhound name. Greyhound Canada is also owned by FG, as well as the new Greyhound UK. Greyhound Australia is owned by Chapman Group and ANZ.

It would be interesting to see what would happen to Amtrak if FirstGroup got their hands on it (or one other the other big passenger train corporations from across the seas).

peter

Edited by PerRock, 24 February 2011 - 10:01 PM.

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#39 NorthCoastHiawatha

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 10:44 PM

Will border crossings be affected? After all, those customs agents are federal employees. It's hard to imagine
our borders being closed but it's much easier to imagine the Amtrak-related crossing points to be shut down.

God I hope not, I have trip up to Canada to ride the Canadian in March.

Amtrak trains ridden: Adirondack (2) Cascades (35), California Zephyr (1) Capitol Limited (1), Coast Starlight (11), Downeaster (2) Empire Builder (6), Lake Shore Limited (2), Maple Leaf (1) Mount Rainer (1), NorthEast Regional (2) Pacific Surfliner (1), Silver Star (1), Southwest Chief (1) Sunset Limited (1)
Total Mileage: 29,177

Specials with Amtrak equipment: Seattle-Ellensburg, Seattle-Tacoma,Seattle-Leavenworth
Total Mileage: 587
VIA Rail Canadian (2) Malahat (2)
Total Mileage: 5,830
Mainline Steam Excursion: Southern Pacific 4449 (Portland-Pasco-Yakima-Auburn-Tacoma-Portland)

                                        Milwaukee Road 261   (Minneapolis - Duluth - Minneapolis)
Total Mileage: 854


#40 George Harris

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 11:32 PM

If Obamba has any functional brain cells, he will do just what Clinton did. Shut down / close selection government offices and functions for the purpose of achieving maximum public aggravation and inconvenience. Anyone in or out of government that does not think the choice is Obamba's needs a lesson in the basic separation of powers.

The Congress may pass or not pass laws, but the Executive Branch, meaning that part run by the president does the spending. If the choice is a congressional mandated shutdown, if the Congress does not specifically list which agencies are funded and defunded, they are sinking their own boat.

A classic example: (don't remember the exact date) Theodore Rooseveldt decided to send a US Navy fleet around the world. When Congress told him they would not fund it, he told them, I already have enough to get it half way around the world. You figure out how to get it back. Congress caved. At that time and place they felt the national embarrassment of leaving a fleet stranded was more important than making a power play.

Unless those in congress are totally ignorant of history, they will not let the threat of a shut down go through. It will backfire on them.



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