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#41 Just-Thinking-51

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Posted 24 February 2017 - 09:01 AM

So it begins.

A) Amtrak is using the summer length trainset.
B) Amtrak may of add a lounge car.
C) The group seem to have book the full train.
D) The group did have some last minute coach seats open up. May or may not of been filled.
E) Per the tweets some are having a blast.


Still it was noted:

1) That sleeper ticket were still in demand days before it left.
2) The Train Jam as a whole sold out in 1hr 28 min.

#42 snvboy

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Posted 24 February 2017 - 11:21 AM

LOTS of great photos and tweets this morning on their Twitter:

https://twitter.com/IndieTrainJam

Great reflection of the fun and energy of the group. Like I said before, I was just a random passenger in 2015 but the vibe of this group really made for a special trip on Amtrak.

 

Also a good Easter Egg on http://asm.transitdocs.com/today.



#43 Thirdrail7

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Posted 24 February 2017 - 11:55 AM

Another lounge was indeed added.


They say laughter is the best medicine. Obviously they never posted on AU.


#44 Triley

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Posted 24 February 2017 - 02:42 PM

So it begins.

A) Amtrak is using the summer length trainset.
B) Amtrak may of add a lounge car.
C) The group seem to have book the full train.
D) The group did have some last minute coach seats open up. May or may not of been filled.
E) Per the tweets some are having a blast.


Still it was noted:

1) That sleeper ticket were still in demand days before it left.
2) The Train Jam as a whole sold out in 1hr 28 min.


Take my hint, the train is not making any station stops to pick up/discharge passengers enroute. :P

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#45 Rover

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Posted 24 February 2017 - 02:50 PM

Love this picture :cool:

 

C5cJTUsXEAAFLPo.jpg


I think it is absolute mythology that there's any national system that is profitable. And I think the naysayers just have to get over it. ~ Amtrak President Alex Kummant ~ June 2008

 

I've ridden Amtrak on:
 
~ The Empire Builder 1981 ~ The Coast Starlight 1981 ~ The Texas Eagle ~ The Sunset Limited ~

Videos: HD Moods ~ Trains * Scenic National Parks ~ Great Train Rides * All Aboard ~ Great American Railroads 

Books: Time-Life - The Old West ~ The Railroaders * Rail Ventures - 4th Edition 


#46 Rover

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Posted 24 February 2017 - 03:21 PM

The #5 that left Chicago 2/22 had several delays between Green River and Helper yesterday evening 2/23 and other delays this morning 2/24. Anyone know what the cause of the delays were, and if these delays can be expected for the Train Jan this evening???


Edited by Rover, 24 February 2017 - 03:25 PM.

I think it is absolute mythology that there's any national system that is profitable. And I think the naysayers just have to get over it. ~ Amtrak President Alex Kummant ~ June 2008

 

I've ridden Amtrak on:
 
~ The Empire Builder 1981 ~ The Coast Starlight 1981 ~ The Texas Eagle ~ The Sunset Limited ~

Videos: HD Moods ~ Trains * Scenic National Parks ~ Great Train Rides * All Aboard ~ Great American Railroads 

Books: Time-Life - The Old West ~ The Railroaders * Rail Ventures - 4th Edition 


#47 chakk

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Posted 24 February 2017 - 04:04 PM

The #5 that left Chicago 2/22 had several delays between Green River and Helper yesterday evening 2/23 and other delays this morning 2/24. Anyone know what the cause of the delays were, and if these delays can be expected for the Train Jan this evening???

 

That CZ #5 has lost an additional three hours since leaving SLC.   Now 5 hours late at Winnemucca, NV.



#48 chakk

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Posted 24 February 2017 - 04:06 PM

Trainjam is still running on time in western Colorado.



#49 Thirdrail7

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Posted 24 February 2017 - 10:55 PM

The #5 that left Chicago 2/22 had several delays between Green River and Helper yesterday evening 2/23 and other delays this morning 2/24. Anyone know what the cause of the delays were, and if these delays can be expected for the Train Jan this evening???

 

FTI/Recrews/Obstructions. The usual. It is entirely possible these issues or other issues may occur on any route at any time. All you can do is keep chugging. So far, 5(23) is 42" early approaching PRO.


They say laughter is the best medicine. Obviously they never posted on AU.


#50 Thirdrail7

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Posted 25 February 2017 - 08:28 AM

5(23) is 60" early out of WMM, which was a hot bed of delays. RNO is next.


They say laughter is the best medicine. Obviously they never posted on AU.


#51 Rover

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Posted 25 February 2017 - 01:08 PM

Watching the Truckee web cam, the Train Jam was 10 minutes late. The train did not stop at the station. I counted 2 engines and 10 other cars.

 

About 15 minutes before the Train Jam came through Truckee, 2 engines and a caboose came through, headed West. I could not tell if this was a snow plowing operation though.


Edited by Rover, 25 February 2017 - 01:17 PM.

I think it is absolute mythology that there's any national system that is profitable. And I think the naysayers just have to get over it. ~ Amtrak President Alex Kummant ~ June 2008

 

I've ridden Amtrak on:
 
~ The Empire Builder 1981 ~ The Coast Starlight 1981 ~ The Texas Eagle ~ The Sunset Limited ~

Videos: HD Moods ~ Trains * Scenic National Parks ~ Great Train Rides * All Aboard ~ Great American Railroads 

Books: Time-Life - The Old West ~ The Railroaders * Rail Ventures - 4th Edition 


#52 neroden

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Posted 25 February 2017 - 03:38 PM

So now we have a second train which has degenerated into a charter service where regular passengers are excluded.  But hey, it's been cancelled without notice for weeks due to weather disruptions anyway, so it's not like it was usable for regular passengers.

 

This is... not exactly what you want to advertise to Congress when saying that Amtrak provides vital mobility needs.  I mean the money is great and all, but it's just screaming "We are not real scheduled transportation".   It makes it difficult to advocate to preserve said train service.  It's not quite as bad as three a week, but it's the same sort of problem.

 

The problem is not, of course, having a large group charter a bunch of cars.  The problem is eliminating scheduled service for everyone else.  Without so much as an alert, even.  "No alternative transportation will be provided."  In other words, if you want to travel, take a car or an airplane.  It's not a message Amtrak should be sending.

 

I realize a lot of the problem is due to a car shortage.  So fix that.  But more of it seems to be an attitude problem.

 

I hope the charter paid a premium over the costs of buying out all the seats individually, to reflect the cost of the extra lounge and the cost of the dimunition of goodwill.  If they paid $11 million, that's great, it was probably worth it for Amtrak.  I Have My Doubts; the Safety Patrol students pay about $540K and not all of that goes to Amtrak.

 

The Silver Meteor is profitable before overhead, so I guess Amtrak can do what it likes with it.  But frankly this makes me want to remove the federal subsidy for the CZ (on a non-allocated direct-costs-only basis, it's about $10.4 million).  Why am I subsidizing charter operations?

 

It's enough to make me want to micromanage Amtrak.  Remember there's that stupid "no discounts larger than 50% of peak fare" rider?  I'd like to add a rider saying "Amtrak shall not suspend sales of tickets or transportation between any pair of stations for the benefit of private charter services".  You know, I suspect Congress would be sympathetic.

 

There are starting to be a growing collection of these services: services which Amtrak treats as hobby services and not as transportation.  So much so that they sometimes don't even bother to mention when they're cancelled.  I don't like this trend.  Maybe Wick can turn it around.


Edited by neroden, 25 February 2017 - 03:43 PM.

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#53 MikefromCrete

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Posted 25 February 2017 - 03:57 PM

What, Neorden wants to micromanage!  What a surprise! (That's sarcasm, folks) 



#54 Thirdrail7

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Posted 25 February 2017 - 04:55 PM

So now we have a second train which has degenerated into a charter service where regular passengers are excluded.  But hey, it's been cancelled without notice for weeks due to weather disruptions anyway, so it's not like it was usable for regular passengers.

 

They are regular passengers. They just are part of a group.  Groups ride Amtrak all year around and on a lot of routes. This group just happened to be larger than others.

 

 


This is... not exactly what you want to advertise to Congress when saying that Amtrak provides vital mobility needs.  I mean the money is great and all, but it's just screaming "We are not real scheduled transportation".   It makes it difficult to advocate to preserve said train service.  It's not quite as bad as three a week, but it's the same sort of problem.

 

 

Yes. Congress would hate the idea of a sold out train that traversed 2400 miles . I'm sure they prefer paying to run a train that is half empty along the route.

 

 


The problem is not, of course, having a large group charter a bunch of cars.  The problem is eliminating scheduled service for everyone else.  Without so much as an alert, even.  "No alternative transportation will be provided."  In other words, if you want to travel, take a car or an airplane.  It's not a message Amtrak should be sending.

 

 

Why do you need an alert? The train is running and why would there be an alert for a sold out train?  Why would they schedule alternative transportation for a sold out train. the Adirondack sells out most Friday's and Sunday's in the summer. The Ethan Allen sells out on a lot of Fridays. Do passengers get an alert and alternate transportation for their sold out train? No, because that is all this is: A train that normally has room, but on this trip it doesn't and since the riders are end to end, they are treating it just like other trains that have no work and are discharging passengers. The premise is not that uncommon but you're not used to seeing it, particularly for such a long distance.

 


I realize a lot of the problem is due to a car shortage.  So fix that.  But more of it seems to be an attitude problem.

 

 

We've covered this kind of thing before. Assuming they put together a special, the hosts are not required to run extra service. With the meltdown that was occurring out west, they would have canceled this move just as easily as they canceled the Reno Fun train. The passengers expecting that service had it pulled and there are no repercussions since it is not a scheduled train. It is extra service. At least this way, there was good chance the train could get through and there are penalties if it canceled for certain reasons.

 

 


I hope the charter paid a premium over the costs of buying out all the seats individually, to reflect the cost of the extra lounge and the cost of the dimunition of goodwill.  If they paid $11 million, that's great, it was probably worth it for Amtrak.  I Have My Doubts; the Safety Patrol students pay about $540K and not all of that goes to Amtrak.

 

 

 

You're good at math and figures. Why don't you break down the average revenue per trip on this train and I'm sure that the people that can see how much revenue came from this train will say "higher or lower."

 

I'm willing to bet they made more money on this trip because the numbers on this train dwarf the numbers of riders on any single train along this route for months (and months) to come.

 

But, if it makes you feel better, they paid the extra staff and catering.

 

 

 


The Silver Meteor is profitable before overhead, so I guess Amtrak can do what it likes with it.  But frankly this makes me want to remove the federal subsidy for the CZ (on a non-allocated direct-costs-only basis, it's about $10.4 million).  Why am I subsidizing charter operations?

 

 

 

Well, that is the ultimate question. Why does PhillyAmtrakFan have to subsidize riders in West Virginia? Why does Tennessee Traveler have to subsidize the costs of upgrading catenary in NJ that he'll likely not use? Why do I have to subsidize snowbirds moving their vehicles up and down the east coast to avoid the cold of winters in the NE and the heat of summer in the SE? Why is SarahZ subsidizing the Autumn Express?

 

This goes back to what is Amtrak? What can it do for people? What role does it serve for people? Is it essential travel or a joyride for gamers? it depends on your perspective but the gamers pay for the subsidy as well. So, if they decided to cash in once a year, I don't begrudge them. Who knows how much of that will become spill revenue? How many will ride again? How many will ride other routes, with their families? How much exposure is Amtrak getting from their twitter feed?

 

 

 

 


It's enough to make me want to micromanage Amtrak.  Remember there's that stupid "no discounts larger than 50% of peak fare" rider?  I'd like to add a rider saying "Amtrak shall not suspend sales of tickets or transportation between any pair of stations for the benefit of private charter services".  You know, I suspect Congress would be sympathetic.

 

 

I would suspect you'd be laughed at. What does that even mean? So, if the Au Pairs that used to show up monthly on the Vermonter reserve their space from EWR to STM results in sold out conditions at intermediate spots, that would meet the criteria you just stated. You're actually advocating turning done what has become repeat business with guaranteed revenue, hoping that every day passengers fill the void?

 

Congress would laugh at you because they are the ones  that want Amtrak to explore new ways of making money and expanding opportunities..and this is one way.  What started as a smaller group has emerged into a large group and if they start the tradition of showing up once a year, that is indeed good thing. Another example is the Autumn Express, which may cover its direct costs, but also wreaks havoc on other trains bu eliminating stops (ABE and NRK take a both) and causing sold out conditions on other trains since the equipment is diverted elsewhere. Same goes for the Denver Ski train, the Reno fun train, the Spencer train, the NJ Chamber Of Commerce, etc. They all impact other trains, but they all can lead to spill revenue and are (usually) guaranteed revenue.

 

 


There are starting to be a growing collection of these services: services which Amtrak treats as hobby services and not as transportation.  So much so that they sometimes don't even bother to mention when they're cancelled.  I don't like this trend.  Maybe Wick can turn it around.

 

I'm sure Wick, (for how ever long he hangs around) would like the numbers on this train. This is especially true as the leader of railroad, who no doubts sees the opportunity for repeat business and sold out conditions on a long distance train. This aren't rail buffs that are boarding this train. These people are at work and are using the train to work on their product. It is about the transportation and is consistent with the theme of being able to relax and work on the train. This group could have taken a plane but they chose to make a 2400 mile trip on a train...so they can work.  It is nice to have that option and that is something you can take to people.

 

I'm willing to bet a true business person would like the idea of their product selling out for a change.


Edited by Thirdrail7, 25 February 2017 - 05:03 PM.

They say laughter is the best medicine. Obviously they never posted on AU.


#55 Rover

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Posted 25 February 2017 - 06:13 PM

Years ago, when I rode the city bus to work, one dark rainy winter morning, it was raining, and the scheduled bus that I would have liked to have boarded, just passed me by. You see, although it was scheduled, it was full that morning, without nary a seat, or even a standing space available. Sometime scheduled transportation gets sold out.

 

During Texas-OU weekend, good luck on trying to board the light rail at certain stops. The trains are likely full to capacity on their way to the Fairgrounds. 

 

Sometimes regularly scheduled transportation gets sold out, for whatever reason.

 

As to Amtrak, until the US Govt. gets serious about long distance double-tracked rail, what do you expect??

 

Look at the European model, where there the passenger rail runs smoothly.

 

The political hold that the railway freight lines hold, will never be altered, and passenger rail, except in a few NE corridors, will just be on the back bench, forever, imo.


I think it is absolute mythology that there's any national system that is profitable. And I think the naysayers just have to get over it. ~ Amtrak President Alex Kummant ~ June 2008

 

I've ridden Amtrak on:
 
~ The Empire Builder 1981 ~ The Coast Starlight 1981 ~ The Texas Eagle ~ The Sunset Limited ~

Videos: HD Moods ~ Trains * Scenic National Parks ~ Great Train Rides * All Aboard ~ Great American Railroads 

Books: Time-Life - The Old West ~ The Railroaders * Rail Ventures - 4th Edition 


#56 Just-Thinking-51

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Posted 25 February 2017 - 08:33 PM

Train Jam arrive early.

#57 KnightRail

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Posted 25 February 2017 - 08:37 PM


So now we have a second train which has degenerated into a charter service where regular passengers are excluded.  But hey, it's been cancelled without notice for weeks due to weather disruptions anyway, so it's not like it was usable for regular passengers.

 
They are regular passengers. They just are part of a group.  Groups ride Amtrak all year around and on a lot of routes. This group just happened to be larger than others.
 
 


This is... not exactly what you want to advertise to Congress when saying that Amtrak provides vital mobility needs.  I mean the money is great and all, but it's just screaming "We are not real scheduled transportation".   It makes it difficult to advocate to preserve said train service.  It's not quite as bad as three a week, but it's the same sort of problem.

 
 
Yes. Congress would hate the idea of a sold out train that traversed 2400 miles . I'm sure they prefer paying to run a train that is half empty along the route.
 
 


The problem is not, of course, having a large group charter a bunch of cars.  The problem is eliminating scheduled service for everyone else.  Without so much as an alert, even.  "No alternative transportation will be provided."  In other words, if you want to travel, take a car or an airplane.  It's not a message Amtrak should be sending.

 
 
Why do you need an alert? The train is running and why would there be an alert for a sold out train?  Why would they schedule alternative transportation for a sold out train. the Adirondack sells out most Friday's and Sunday's in the summer. The Ethan Allen sells out on a lot of Fridays. Do passengers get an alert and alternate transportation for their sold out train? No, because that is all this is: A train that normally has room, but on this trip it doesn't and since the riders are end to end, they are treating it just like other trains that have no work and are discharging passengers. The premise is not that uncommon but you're not used to seeing it, particularly for such a long distance.
 


I realize a lot of the problem is due to a car shortage.  So fix that.  But more of it seems to be an attitude problem.
 

 
We've covered this kind of thing before. Assuming they put together a special, the hosts are not required to run extra service. With the meltdown that was occurring out west, they would have canceled this move just as easily as they canceled the Reno Fun train. The passengers expecting that service had it pulled and there are no repercussions since it is not a scheduled train. It is extra service. At least this way, there was good chance the train could get through and there are penalties if it canceled for certain reasons.
 
 


I hope the charter paid a premium over the costs of buying out all the seats individually, to reflect the cost of the extra lounge and the cost of the dimunition of goodwill.  If they paid $11 million, that's great, it was probably worth it for Amtrak.  I Have My Doubts; the Safety Patrol students pay about $540K and not all of that goes to Amtrak.
 

 
 
You're good at math and figures. Why don't you break down the average revenue per trip on this train and I'm sure that the people that can see how much revenue came from this train will say "higher or lower."
 
I'm willing to bet they made more money on this trip because the numbers on this train dwarf the numbers of riders on any single train along this route for months (and months) to come.
 
But, if it makes you feel better, they paid the extra staff and catering.
 
 
 


The Silver Meteor is profitable before overhead, so I guess Amtrak can do what it likes with it.  But frankly this makes me want to remove the federal subsidy for the CZ (on a non-allocated direct-costs-only basis, it's about $10.4 million).  Why am I subsidizing charter operations?
 

 
 
Well, that is the ultimate question. Why does PhillyAmtrakFan have to subsidize riders in West Virginia? Why does Tennessee Traveler have to subsidize the costs of upgrading catenary in NJ that he'll likely not use? Why do I have to subsidize snowbirds moving their vehicles up and down the east coast to avoid the cold of winters in the NE and the heat of summer in the SE? Why is SarahZ subsidizing the Autumn Express?
 
This goes back to what is Amtrak? What can it do for people? What role does it serve for people? Is it essential travel or a joyride for gamers? it depends on your perspective but the gamers pay for the subsidy as well. So, if they decided to cash in once a year, I don't begrudge them. Who knows how much of that will become spill revenue? How many will ride again? How many will ride other routes, with their families? How much exposure is Amtrak getting from their twitter feed?
 
 
 
 


It's enough to make me want to micromanage Amtrak.  Remember there's that stupid "no discounts larger than 50% of peak fare" rider?  I'd like to add a rider saying "Amtrak shall not suspend sales of tickets or transportation between any pair of stations for the benefit of private charter services".  You know, I suspect Congress would be sympathetic.

 
 
I would suspect you'd be laughed at. What does that even mean? So, if the Au Pairs that used to show up monthly on the Vermonter reserve their space from EWR to STM results in sold out conditions at intermediate spots, that would meet the criteria you just stated. You're actually advocating turning done what has become repeat business with guaranteed revenue, hoping that every day passengers fill the void?
 
Congress would laugh at you because they are the ones  that want Amtrak to explore new ways of making money and expanding opportunities..and this is one way.  What started as a smaller group has emerged into a large group and if they start the tradition of showing up once a year, that is indeed good thing. Another example is the Autumn Express, which may cover its direct costs, but also wreaks havoc on other trains bu eliminating stops (ABE and NRK take a both) and causing sold out conditions on other trains since the equipment is diverted elsewhere. Same goes for the Denver Ski train, the Reno fun train, the Spencer train, the NJ Chamber Of Commerce, etc. They all impact other trains, but they all can lead to spill revenue and are (usually) guaranteed revenue.
 
 


There are starting to be a growing collection of these services: services which Amtrak treats as hobby services and not as transportation.  So much so that they sometimes don't even bother to mention when they're cancelled.  I don't like this trend.  Maybe Wick can turn it around.

 
I'm sure Wick, (for how ever long he hangs around) would like the numbers on this train. This is especially true as the leader of railroad, who no doubts sees the opportunity for repeat business and sold out conditions on a long distance train. This aren't rail buffs that are boarding this train. These people are at work and are using the train to work on their product. It is about the transportation and is consistent with the theme of being able to relax and work on the train. This group could have taken a plane but they chose to make a 2400 mile trip on a train...so they can work.  It is nice to have that option and that is something you can take to people.
 
I'm willing to bet a true business person would like the idea of their product selling out for a change.

Bravo! It's amazing that such a grand-slam success has to even be justified. The operation of this train was a big win.

#58 Seaboard92

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Posted 25 February 2017 - 08:50 PM

The only other working plan would be to run it as a special train with either Amtrak equipment or PVs. But like Third Rail said BNSF and UP are not required to handle the train. But it would be guaranteed revenue as well.

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#59 Just-Thinking-51

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Posted 25 February 2017 - 09:37 PM

Trains can and do sell out.

This group is now big enough to book a full length peak summer time trainset. There was a question of if any seats were available this year, and unlike early Train Jams, this year is No. They booked the full trainset.

So unlike the safety patrol which can't book early due to school board issues. This group can book 11 month and one day early before the tickets are even seen by the public.

Train sold out. It happens.

#60 Just-Thinking-51

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Posted 25 February 2017 - 09:55 PM

Going thur the Tweets.

Common issues were food service short coming.
Lack of showers.
Lack of flat sleeping.


Hopefully the organization will share feed back with Amtrak. A simple post trip survey would be sweet.




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