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Richard Anderson replacing Wick Moorman as Amtrak CEO


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#161 TiBike

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 10:14 PM

I'd suggest taking a closer look at the overnight schedules. DC to Chicago on the Capitol Limited works well -- it's a late afternoon, central, major city departure and an early enough central, major city arrival. Going the other way, it doesn't work so well -- you arrive DC in the afternoon, with most of a day gone.

 

It's the same with the Coast Starlight. Leaving from Seattle you'll lose a whole day getting to the Bay Area (half a day from Portland), and you'll likely still need time to connect to your final destination -- it doesn't go to San Francisco, and Silicon Valley is spread out all over the place. Not so much is within walking distance of the Oakland or San Jose stations. Coming north, it's the same problem in reverse, except even getting to Portland burns a whole day.

 

If he's thinking about optimising overnight city pairs for business travel, then it would make sense to break up the Starlight into two trains, one that would connect Portland and the Bay Area overnight, and a day train between the Bay Area and LA. Or maybe just move up the departure times from LA and Seattle -- a 6am departure out of LA would make the Bay Area to Portland run a little more workable, and arguably improve business service between LA and the Bay Area, or at least between the Central Coast and LA.

 

Then there's the on-time problem. You're absolutely right that it's critical. One way to address it is to make the runs shorter, i.e. break up or truncate the long haul routes.


Coast Starlight • California Zephyr • Crescent • Lake Shore Limited • San Joaquin • Capitol Corridor • Pacific Surfliner

Shinkansen • TranzAlpine (NZ) • Northern Explorer (NZ) • Coastal Pacific (NZ) • Great Southern Rail Overland (Oz) • Tze-Chiang Limited (ROC) • Thello Venice-Paris

#162 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 11:05 PM

I wrote a post inside a thread about my desire about the overnight train where you go to bed and wake up your destination city. This is ideal for a trip approximately 8 hours in length. The two trips I most often mention are PHL-PGH and LAX-Bay Area (Sleep Bus offers that service now and there is a thread somewhere on AU?). Certainly an overnight CS running between LAX and SAC (a Spirit of California?) would be ideal. 


Trains Traveled: Broadway Limited (CHI-Harrisburg, PA), Three Rivers (Harrisburg, PA-CHI, Altoona, PA-CHI, PHL-CHI), Capitol Limited (CHI-WAS), Lake Shore Limited (NYP-CHI), , Silver Meteor (PHL-ORL), Southwest Chief (CHI-LAX), California Zephyr (CHI-SLC, SLC-EMY), City of New Orleans and/or Illini (CHI-Champaign, IL), Texas Eagle (CHI-DAL)
Bring back the Broadway Limited (or Three Rivers or any Chicago-Pittsburgh-Philly train)!
 
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#163 Anderson

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Posted 14 December 2017 - 05:37 AM

This is part of why I've wished for a second Capitol Limited: The current schedule is good WB and a complete wreck EB, but changing it to something decent EB hoses the LD connections at Chicago; both schedules also don't do much, if anything for anywhere in the middle (such as PGH).  I've also suspected that an extra r/t could be done with a single additional set if you massaged the timing right...


Amtrak mileage to date: Somewhere between 120,000 and 150,000 miles...I /really/ need to run all of my trips through a calculator sometime.

...and no, I am not /that/ Anderson...;-)


#164 west point

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Posted 14 December 2017 - 03:50 PM

The only way for either PHL <> CHI or WASH <> CHI can meet your time constrains is to get the South of the Lake route becomes the rerouted 125 MPH run for all the trains.



#165 ainamkartma

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Posted 14 December 2017 - 09:15 PM

 

 

I think, from this, that he is certainly not going to neglect the single-overnight markets, at any rate.  The viable business travel model for an *on-time* Capitol Limited applies just as well to the Lake Shore Limited, Crescent, Silver Star, Silver Meteor, City of New Orleans, (for certain city pairs) the Cardinal, (for Denver to Chicago) the Calfornia Zephyr, and the Coast Starlight, at the very least.  That's most of the so-called long-distance trains.

 

 

 

And the SWC between ABQ and LA!  (Not so much east of ABQ...)

 

Ainamkartma



#166 Rover

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Posted 15 December 2017 - 06:32 PM

The bad news is that we'll have to change trains in Atlanta every time we need to get anywhere.  :P

 

[though in all seriousness, more service to Atlanta would be a good thing...]

 

The new Slogan is:

 

"Amtrak is Ready When You Are"  :)


Edited by Rover, 15 December 2017 - 06:32 PM.

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#167 Carolina Special

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Posted 15 December 2017 - 06:39 PM

And for the dining cars “We love to fry and it shows”.


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#168 Chey

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Posted 15 December 2017 - 08:41 PM

Anybody have an address where I could write to Anderson?

#169 districtRich

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Posted 15 December 2017 - 08:49 PM

Anybody have an address where I could write to Anderson?


Amtrak Headquarters
1 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC 20001

Acela (10)  California Zephyr (1)  Capitol Limited (8)  Cardinal (2)  Coast Starlight (1)  Crescent (1) • Empire Builder (1) • Northeast Regional (tons)  Pacific Surfliner (2) • Silver Meteor (2) Sunset Limited (1) Texas Eagle (2)  Wolverine (2)

 


#170 Chey

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 01:03 PM

Anybody have an address where I could write to Anderson?


Amtrak Headquarters
1 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC 20001


Thanks! For some reason I thought their HQ was in Chicago...

#171 Green Maned Lion

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 08:40 PM

Aint it 60 Mass?
Travelled: Broadway Limited (1), Lake Shore Limited (6), Capitol Limited (7), Empire Builder (1), Southwest Chief (2), Sunset Limited (1), California Zephyr (3), Coast Starlight (2), Silver Meteor (5), Silver Star (5), Silver Palm (2), Crescent (1), Cardinal (4), Auto Train (4), Pennsylvanian (2), Palmetto (1), Acela Express (1), Empire Service (1), Northeast Regional (11), Keystone Service (1) --- Total Miles: 50,144 --- Total Trains: 61
Most important: Keep it Simple, Stupid!
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#172 Ryan

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 08:54 PM

Union Station is at 60 Mass, but apparently they receive mail at #1.
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#173 Hotblack Desiato

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 09:06 PM

Some Amtrak offices in DC moved recently.  I don't know if all the Union Station offices moved, or just some of them.



#174 districtRich

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 09:31 AM

Amtrak corporate offices moved out of Union Station during the past few months to an office building a block away

Acela (10)  California Zephyr (1)  Capitol Limited (8)  Cardinal (2)  Coast Starlight (1)  Crescent (1) • Empire Builder (1) • Northeast Regional (tons)  Pacific Surfliner (2) • Silver Meteor (2) Sunset Limited (1) Texas Eagle (2)  Wolverine (2)

 


#175 Thirdrail7

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 03:24 PM

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:

 

 

This opinion was posted on another board, but I though it should be viewed.
 
aemoreira1981:
I suspect that the real reason for this appointment might be his stance with unions. Under Richard Anderson at Northwest and Delta, the non-pilot and flight dispatcher employees were all successfully de-unionized following the merger of the highly-unionized Northwest with the mostly non-union Delta (Delta needed Northwest's Asia network, but for Delta's culture to predominate). Knowing that federal worker strikes are illegal under Taft-Hartley, I suspect that Anderson has a mandate to be a hard-liner with the unions.

 

Well, he seems to be taking on the contracts head-on. Please allow a brief "fair use" quote from this Progressive Railroading article: Amtrak, TCU reach tentative pact

 

 

Amtrak last week reached a tentative contract agreement with the Transportation Communications Union (TCU) representing carmen, clerks, on-board service workers and supervisors.

The agreement calls for "significant" percentage wage increases and protects health care benefits, according to a press release issued by the union.

Percentage increases were preferred by the union. Amtrak had proposed one-time lump sum increases.

The tentative agreement follows three years of negotiations, TCU officials said.


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


#176 MARC Rider

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 01:32 PM

 

 

You will lose that bet. When the TSA was installed to violate peoples rights with the X-Ray machines, the removal of shoes and the whole none yards that was the time that we began boycotting the airports and started taking train trips.. If they gave us the flights for free we would not take them.  What makes you believe that if the ONLY reason that we take Amtrak is changed, we won't do the same?  Yes we enjoy train travel but when government ignores the Bill of Rights we just say no. Read the 4th amendment.  Driving is perfectly fine and will get us to our destination in about the same time..

 
"Checkpoint - 2 miles ahead. All Traffic Must Stop."
 
Think it can't happen here? Think again. After all, what ever happened to, "Shall not be infringed?"

 

It's already happened...ever see the classic film, "The Grapes of Wrath"....the one where the migrant "Okies" are either harassed or turned back at western agricultural inspection station's on Route 66?

 

 

 

Still happens, we were driving into California on US97 and had to stop and an inspection station in beautiful downtown Dorris.  They didn't seem too concerned about the few pieces of fruit we has purchased that morning in a supermarket in Grant's Pass, though.

 

The funny thing was that we had already spent most of the day in California, as we had visited Lava Beds National Monument, and there didn't seem to be any ag inspection stations on the back roads we took.  In fact, we could have kept going on the back roads south from the monument and eventually ended up where we were going, thus potentially bringing who knows what kind of Oregon fruit flies into the Golden State.



#177 Thirdrail7

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 08:55 PM

I'm really not sensing a commitment to long distance travel. I've barely even see it mentioned and that safety message about changing operations during a signal suspension seems like it is designed to get under the hosts skin. I don't think it will spur the hosts to action. I think it will give them an excuse to delay the trains.


Edited by Thirdrail7, 15 February 2018 - 08:55 PM.

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


#178 OBS

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Posted 16 February 2018 - 06:35 AM

I'm really not sensing a commitment to long distance travel. I've barely even see it mentioned and that safety message about changing operations during a signal suspension seems like it is designed to get under the hosts skin. I don't think it will spur the hosts to action. I think it will give them an excuse to delay the trains.

This is what I was afraid of....



#179 neroden

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Posted 17 February 2018 - 08:03 PM

I'd suggest taking a closer look at the overnight schedules. DC to Chicago on the Capitol Limited works well -- it's a late afternoon, central, major city departure and an early enough central, major city arrival. Going the other way, it doesn't work so well -- you arrive DC in the afternoon, with most of a day gone.

 

It's the same with the Coast Starlight. Leaving from Seattle you'll lose a whole day getting to the Bay Area (half a day from Portland), and you'll likely still need time to connect to your final destination -- it doesn't go to San Francisco, and Silicon Valley is spread out all over the place. Not so much is within walking distance of the Oakland or San Jose stations. Coming north, it's the same problem in reverse, except even getting to Portland burns a whole day.

 

If he's thinking about optimising overnight city pairs for business travel, then it would make sense to break up the Starlight into two trains, one that would connect Portland and the Bay Area overnight, and a day train between the Bay Area and LA. Or maybe just move up the departure times from LA and Seattle -- a 6am departure out of LA would make the Bay Area to Portland run a little more workable, and arguably improve business service between LA and the Bay Area, or at least between the Central Coast and LA.

 

Then there's the on-time problem. You're absolutely right that it's critical. One way to address it is to make the runs shorter, i.e. break up or truncate the long haul routes.

 

So, making the runs shorter doesn't fix the on-time problem... AT ALL.

 

The irresponsible Class Is are quite capable of delaying a Michigan Service or Empire Service train by hours, and even Amtrak can do so.


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#180 TiBike

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Posted 17 February 2018 - 09:54 PM

Shortening runs won't prevent delays, but it will keep them from cascading. If the Coast Starlight is split, say, at Oakland, a delay in Oregon won't affect LA service and vice versa.


Coast Starlight • California Zephyr • Crescent • Lake Shore Limited • San Joaquin • Capitol Corridor • Pacific Surfliner

Shinkansen • TranzAlpine (NZ) • Northern Explorer (NZ) • Coastal Pacific (NZ) • Great Southern Rail Overland (Oz) • Tze-Chiang Limited (ROC) • Thello Venice-Paris




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