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Richard Anderson replacing Wick Moorman as Amtrak CEO


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#341 Thirdrail7

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Posted 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.

 

 


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#342 railiner

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Posted 09 June 2018 - 12:59 PM

I have mixed feelings learning of this contract for an outside 'auditor' to do what inside quality control should be doing...

 

While the outside audit may be more objective, I am wondering what the cost of this might be, and where those funds could be better utilized.... :unsure:


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#343 jis

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Posted 09 June 2018 - 01:03 PM

I have mixed feelings learning of this contract for an outside 'auditor' to do what inside quality control should be doing...

 

While the outside audit may be more objective, I am wondering what the cost of this might be, and where those funds could be better utilized.... :unsure:

It would actually be interesting to know whether there is any hope at all of getting anything objective from an inside audit too, and what the cost of that would be. I suspect that there is not a bunch of people on regular payroll with all attached benefits costs etc. with nothing to do and with expertise in auditing just sitting around waiting to be called on to audit. but who knows? :unsure:


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#344 TiBike

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Posted 09 June 2018 - 01:11 PM

Adult supervision and "internal" accountability have never been Amtrak's strong suit.


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#345 bretton88

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Posted 09 June 2018 - 10:44 PM

 

I have mixed feelings learning of this contract for an outside 'auditor' to do what inside quality control should be doing...

 

While the outside audit may be more objective, I am wondering what the cost of this might be, and where those funds could be better utilized.... :unsure:

It would actually be interesting to know whether there is any hope at all of getting anything objective from an inside audit too, and what the cost of that would be. I suspect that there is not a bunch of people on regular payroll with all attached benefits costs etc. with nothing to do and with expertise in auditing just sitting around waiting to be called on to audit. but who knows? :unsure:

 

Usually a CEO brings in "his people" to do an audit like this. So I highly doubt anyone internal was even considered.


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#346 Thirdrail7

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Posted 10 June 2018 - 01:00 AM

I have mixed feelings learning of this contract for an outside 'auditor' to do what inside quality control should be doing...

 

While the outside audit may be more objective, I am wondering what the cost of this might be, and where those funds could be better utilized.... :unsure:

 

If it gets you a cleaner, mechanically sound train, it will be worth it.

 

Besides, they will look at the "pure" results.  It is likely an internal audit wouldn't hold the same weight, particularly if tasks aren't accomplished. They know the time limitations and considerations. If an outside agency comes in, sees certain things aren't being addressed and they note a great deal of it is because of late arriving equipment and staffing shortage, it will verify what mechanical has been screaming about since the Gunn layoffs.

 

In the end, this may give the facilities what they need.


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#347 Palmetto

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Posted 10 June 2018 - 06:12 AM

I would imagine the audit company is having a field day in Chicago, given all the negative posts in various places about their sloppy work.



#348 neroden

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Posted 10 June 2018 - 04:13 PM

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.

 

 

It is.  I have to respect that.  Maybe the longtime chronic disaster which is Chicago Mechanical will finally be taken to task.


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#349 Thirdrail7

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Posted 04 August 2018 - 12:34 PM

I'm ready for a mid year evaluation. While I like a lot of the initiatives that have continued and a return to the basics, the public handling of his messages are abysmal...and possibly destructive. I find it hard to believe that he is allowing ill timed, ill advised and poorly communicated messages to be the focal point of his tenure.

 

 

It goes back to the thoughts I had at the beginning of his tenure.

 

 



 



A point to consider is that Richard Anderson was the CEO of a for profit corporation. Amtrak is a totally different animal.  When he discovers that Amtrak salaries account for about 75% of total revenue, jobs may be cut or lost. 



 

And until someone manages to update 49 CFR 700.2 (requires an act of the Congress) to take out the phrase "for profit corporation", Amtrak by its charter continues to be a "for profit corporation". That it does not or cannot make a profit for various possibly legitimate reasons is a matter that is not included in its charter at present. Granted that Mr. Anderson will have a bit of a challenge, but then he has been there and done that in the airline industry. So that experience should be nothing new. Unfortunately the straitjacket environment in which Amtrak operates does not give him as many flexible options as he had in the airline industry to address the issue as swiftly as he could at Delta.

 

 

This is the key. Can a person that has a "for profit" mantra understand that passenger railroads typically don't run at a profit and even if you attempt to cut your costs by eliminating things that don't necessarily make money but can add to the base, sometimes that actually drives away your customers?

I guess we'll find out soon enough. :ph34r:

 

 



 



 



Would someone please explain to me why Anderson took this job?

He's a disruptor: a manager who comes into an organization and questions everything and accepts nothing from the past unless it is proven to his or her satisfaction - and that's not easy. His intent is to make a comfortable organization uncomfortable, and change the way things are done.  People can either play ball or get out.  I've been through that kind of management, and while it was very unsettling when it happened, we came out much, much better in the end.

 

 

 

There's a difference in where this can work. Amtrak has had enough disruptors over the years. What it needs is a BUILDER that serves as LEADER.  It needs a LEADER with a vision and a BUILDER that can work to BRIDGE the gaps between the various stakeholders and achieve a common goal of providing service where desired.

 

Why "disrupt" the long term bridges that are needed to provide service and what makes you think that a corporation that is routinely starved of capital funds, operations funds and must beg for its existence every year is "comfortable?

 

Additionally, if you believe Amtrak, it covered  almost 95% of its operational expenses from ticket sales and other revenues in FY 17. It has climbed every year, along with ridership. hat has increased year after year after by working together with stakeholders (states, feds, Congress, employees etc), not "disrupting" the network and alienating your potential partners (private car owners, states, host railroads, etc) . All that does it make the NEXT CEO, waste valuable time and capital on mending fences, restoring bridges and reestablishing the network.

 

 

 

We are finding out that he may not understand that eliminating things that don't necessarily make money but can add to the base may increase bad publicity and draw negative attention.

 

  Canceling the Toys-For-Tots train immediately after a train derails in a major terminal operated and maintained by your company may seems like a good idea. Your excuse may be "we need to concentrate on the basics and that includes a state of good repair"

 

However, the timing and poor press will take a long time to correct. Even if there is an about face(and there have been a few 'ramp downs in rhetoric), the message has been mangled. It also shows you are unreliable and you have broken the spirit of cooperation with your partners.....partners that can help. How long until Chuck Schumer shows up in front on the podium? How many riders will get attached to funding bills?  These attachments may last long after Mr Anderson and his regime are gone. There is damage to relationships being done.

 

Some of the passengers and future riders? Check!

Congress? Check!

States? Check!

Other Railroads? Check!

Private Car groups? Check!

Charities? Check! (Seriously!! Charities???)

Now, the Marines!! Check!

 

 

At this point, he and his regime are teetering on a shaky C-.


Edited by Thirdrail7, 04 August 2018 - 12:39 PM.

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#350 DSS&A

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Posted 04 August 2018 - 04:33 PM

Thirdrail7 makes many good points. Anderson could use some advice from a re entry retired public transit or commuter rail CEO or senior goverment affairs staff person to help communicate with riders and elected officials for funding.

#351 Seaboard92

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Posted 04 August 2018 - 05:35 PM

His Vice President is someone who spent time on Capitol Hill. And knows how congress works. Honestly I think the Vice President is far worse than Anderson. Which is why both need to go.
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#352 Amtrakfflyer

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Posted 04 August 2018 - 06:05 PM

Is Moorman still involved in Amtrak at all in any capacity?

#353 Thirdrail7

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Posted 04 August 2018 - 06:10 PM

He's a consultant for infrastructure.


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#354 Thirdrail7

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Posted 04 August 2018 - 08:27 PM

His Vice President is someone who spent time on Capitol Hill. And knows how congress works. Honestly I think the Vice President is far worse than Anderson. Which is why both need to go.

 

He also had a hand in crafting PRIIA.


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#355 west point

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Posted 04 August 2018 - 08:55 PM

Speaking of Wick.  Is it possible that the derailment of Crescent #20 at the south throat of WASH Union station is another NYPS repeat ?



#356 Acela150

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Posted 04 August 2018 - 09:37 PM

I doubt that as of now. If it happens again then I’ll buy into it.
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#357 Seaboard92

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Posted 05 August 2018 - 02:14 AM

His Vice President is someone who spent time on Capitol Hill. And knows how congress works. Honestly I think the Vice President is far worse than Anderson. Which is why both need to go.

 
He also had a hand in crafting PRIIA.

Do you really want to give me more reasons to not like him?
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