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Bidding opens to outsource up to three Amtrak long distance trains


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#1 TiBike

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Posted 07 July 2017 - 10:47 AM

H/T to Train Orders, here's the link to the official notice:

 

www.federalregister.gov/d/2017-14355

 

 


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#2 AmtrakLKL

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Posted 07 July 2017 - 01:38 PM

Well this is certainly going to be exciting. I'm sure there are dozens of private companies busily preparing bids as I type!



#3 keelhauled

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Posted 07 July 2017 - 01:47 PM

Perhaps one of them will even bother to read the fine print before deciding to sign!

Go on, raise the flag, I got stars in my eyes...I'm in love with her and I won't apologize.


#4 me_little_me

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Posted 07 July 2017 - 01:49 PM

So much depends on the requirements.

 

Will winner have to keep present crews and staff? Pay them the same? Keep positions the same way Amtrak does? Will existing union rules apply? Can they change levels of service?

 

What changes can be made in routing, dealing with host RR, times, etc? Are they restricted by Arrow's limitations on reservations? Must they use Amtrak's reservation people?

 

What changes can they make in other areas like having an auto-carrying car, adding their own private cars for higher level of sleeper service (ala  the Canadian)? Will they be given enough cars to add sleepers and coaches as needed? Can they provide "their own" (i.e. leased) additional cars when they want as long as those cars are roadworthy?



#5 stappend

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Posted 07 July 2017 - 02:10 PM

I doubt that Amtrak is going to 'give' them equipement.  This is another Iowa Pacific in the making.



#6 A Voice

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Posted 07 July 2017 - 02:14 PM

So much depends on the requirements.

 

Will winner have to keep present crews and staff? Pay them the same? Keep positions the same way Amtrak does? Will existing union rules apply? Can they change levels of service?

 

What changes can be made in routing, dealing with host RR, times, etc? Are they restricted by Arrow's limitations on reservations? Must they use Amtrak's reservation people?

 

What changes can they make in other areas like having an auto-carrying car, adding their own private cars for higher level of sleeper service (ala  the Canadian)? Will they be given enough cars to add sleepers and coaches as needed? Can they provide "their own" (i.e. leased) additional cars when they want as long as those cars are roadworthy?

 

The answers to most or all of your questions are to be found in the referenced document.  

 

I've only had a chance to skim thus far, but the real deal killer (among several) is that the host (freight) railroads are under no obligation to grant anyone other than Amtrak access, and any potential bidders must have preliminary agreement with all hosts before submitting a bid.  Anything so much as hinting at "open access" sends the major freight roads running for the hills, so that is effectively a non-starter.  



#7 KmH

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Posted 07 July 2017 - 03:26 PM

https://www.federalr...e-pilot-program


1963U. S. Congress - underground trolley system • Disneyland train (1968/various other dates) • Old Tucson steam train (1969)

Amtrak: California Zephyr Coast Starlight •  Southwest ChiefSunset LimitedTexas Eagle • Illinois Zephyr

. . . . . . . Amtrak miles - 16,383, so far.

 

 

 

 

 


#8 west point

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Posted 07 July 2017 - 03:37 PM

Absolutely Amtrak will not give up any equipment.  If bid went forward then the extra equipment will help other routes meet pent up demand !



#9 Just-Thinking-51

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Posted 07 July 2017 - 03:49 PM

I've only had a chance to skim thus far, but the real deal killer (among several) is that the host (freight) railroads are under no obligation to grant anyone other than Amtrak access, and any potential bidders must have preliminary agreement with all hosts before submitting a bid.  Anything so much as hinting at "open access" sends the major freight roads running for the hills, so that is effectively a non-starter.  



Amtrak current trackage does not transfer. Yet you may not run less service or short distances. However even the most basic need for a slot for the train is not included.

The bid is designed to fail.

#10 tommylicious

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Posted 07 July 2017 - 04:06 PM

Which routes?



#11 Just-Thinking-51

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Posted 07 July 2017 - 05:07 PM

Which routes?


Any and all.

#12 jis

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Posted 07 July 2017 - 06:30 PM

I bet someone will pick up Hoosier State. What? Wait.....  :P



#13 Texan Eagle

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Posted 07 July 2017 - 10:33 PM

Can we all chip in and purchase one of the routes? I'll pay $20, that should be more than sufficient. Presenting Amtrak Unlimited Empire Builder



#14 Phil S

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Posted 07 July 2017 - 11:35 PM

What an enormous waste of time and money. Business as usual these days.


Phil S
 
US trains taken: Starlight, Zephyr (through both Wyo and Utah/Colorado), Lake Shore, Palmetto, SW Chief, Sunset, Southern Crescent, Cardinal, Carolinian, NEC Boston to Washington (including Night Owl though not yet on Accela), EB, NorthCoastHiawatha, Desert Wind, DRG through Colorado, Silver Star (NYP/CRN), Capital Limited, Wolverine, Seattle to Vancouver BC (before it was called the Sounder and since), probably others. 
Canada: CP (Vancouver/Calgary), CN (Calgary/Edmonton rail car. Edmonton/Pr George, Vancouver/Toronto. Toronto/Montreal, Montreal/Halifax), Prince George/Prince Rupert and BC Rail.,

Europe: All western European countries except Portugal and Ireland, Finland, Russia, Ukraine, Moldova,  Romania, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary,Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Greece

Mexico, Costa Rica, Tunisia, Algeria, and Japan.  


#15 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 08 July 2017 - 05:34 AM

Can we all chip in and purchase one of the routes? I'll pay $20, that should be more than sufficient. Presenting Amtrak Unlimited Empire Builder

 

If that will save me more than $20 on my taxes having to pay for it, count me in!


Trains Traveled:
 
Broadway Limited (CHI-Harrisburg, PA) 
Three Rivers (Harrisburg, PA-CHI, Altoona, PA-CHI, PHL-CHI)
Capitol Limited (CHI-WAS)
Lake Short 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)

 

Bring back the Broadway Limited (or Three Rivers or any Chicago-Pittsburgh-Philly train)!
 

https://www.facebook...roadwayLimited/

 


#16 Green Maned Lion

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Posted 08 July 2017 - 10:11 AM

The only bidders that are vaguely plausible are freight operators themselves.

But really this is the classic D.C. Equation:

Noise + Paper = Accomplishment.
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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#17 PVD

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Posted 08 July 2017 - 10:12 AM

If the only way to achieve savings is to attack workers, instead of working together to achieve savings, then it is a worthless endeavor.



#18 Bob Dylan

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Posted 08 July 2017 - 11:13 AM

The only bidders that are vaguely plausible are freight operators themselves.

But really this is the classic D.C. Equation:

Noise + Paper = Accomplishment.

This!
"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
 
".. I ride on a Mail Train Baby, can't buy a thrill.."--I said that!
 
"..My heart is warm with the friends I make,and better friends I'll not be knowing,
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay

#19 Thirdrail7

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Posted 08 July 2017 - 11:24 AM

It should be quite clear that freight does not want to touch this.  They shy away from state supported services which have their costs covered. Why would they take on long distance service and still have to answer to Congress? They still have to make the stops (or a comparable amount of stops), they still have to run the same distance and now their name is on display is something goes wrong. They won't be the faceless "host" railroad. Amtrak was formed so they wouldn't have to deal with this stuff.

 

There is a reason the NS (who had a first dibs on the VRE MSS contract) let it pass. There is a reason that CSX let go of MARC service even though their costs were covered and there is a reason they let the  VRE FBG contract pass without a bid.


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


#20 railiner

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Posted 08 July 2017 - 11:42 AM

What about other railroads in other parts of the country...don't the freight roads still run some of the Chicago RTA routes, and by choice?


metroblue?

okay on the blue!




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