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No more charters & special moves: 3/28 Memo fr Anderson


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#301 Thirdrail7

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Posted 12 May 2018 - 09:54 AM

There should be an affordable way to move private passenger cars over America's railroad infrustructure. If Amtrak was providing that, fine. But if Amtrak doesn't provide it I think someone should.

 

 

 

I've always believe Amtrak continues to exist to shield operators from liability that others can't afford.  No other private railroad REALLY wants to deal with the liability issues that arise from accidents and incidents. If you notice, the companies that typically take on passenger operations are a multi-layered consortium of companies that have deep financial reserves. These reserves are typically shielded but they exist.

 

it is no wonder that private car operators would like to latch on to Amtrak. Do you think CSX will give them the same deal? I remember NJT wanted to explore operations to Allentown or somewhere deep into NS.  I'm paraphrasing the story, but NS basically told them "We welcome the thought, however don't count on the Amtrak formula. You will pay and you will be responsible for everything and anything that happens to your train and our property."  The one quote I remember is "Don't assume our assets are readily available or come for free."

 

After that, NJT didn't even operate the inspection train! :)


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


#302 cpotisch

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Posted 12 May 2018 - 10:12 AM

The one quote I remember is "Don't assume our assets are readily available or come for free."

That's borderline ominous! The Class Is never fail to surprise me at how hard they work to be for all the passenger operators.  :angry2:


Edited by cpotisch, 12 May 2018 - 10:13 AM.

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#303 Seaboard92

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 10:32 AM

Now here's the difference between Germany and the United States for charters. And I bring this up because I'm putting together a charter in Germany this December and now have first hand knowledge of both countries.

Germany
Step 1: send the railroad the time, date, desired route, amount of passengers, and type of locomotive.
Step 2: if they can make it happen Deutsche Bahn sends out a binding contract. With penalties both for the operator and Deutsche Bahn if the train doesn't run.
Step 3: Market the trip.
Step 4: operate the trip.

United States
Step 1: send your proposal of a trip in. Include the same basic information to Amtrak. You may or may not get a response on it.
Step 2: if it's doable you receive preliminary approval. Meaning you can market it but Amtrak hasn't set up the contract yet. With a preliminary price.
Step 3:market the trip
Step 4: usually a week out sometimes even on the day of. A final quote (usually higher) and the actual contract.
Step 5: operate the train.

As you can see the German Deutsche Bahn is far better to operate a charter on because they stick to the initial price, and contract to run before a week out. It's a much less stressful situation for operators.

Also of note is the fact Deutsche Bahn operates over 24,000 passenger trains a day with over 80 percent of them being on time within five minutes. And on some days they will have up to twenty plus charter steam trains, and other trains plying their 20,000 ish miles of track.
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#304 jis

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 01:17 PM

What is the amount of German Federal and State financial support that DB gets? AFAIK the LD network has to pretty much cover its costs, but for short/medium distance the subsidy leve is something like 23% to 24%

 

What is their staffing level? How easy or difficult is it for them to find spare staff? How much equipment do they have? How much from that pool are they easily able to spare?

 

It really is an Apples to Hippopotamus comparison. :)


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#305 seat38a

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 01:28 PM

Oh Seaboard92, I really hope Amtrak changes their mind on PV's. The thought of you going into teaching high school as you stated previously you would do if your employment in the PV market ends, scares the kaka out of me.


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#306 Just-Thinking-51

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 03:05 PM

In Europe you can just hire yourself a fleet of railcars.

https://www.euro-express.eu/

No apples here. Just free market at work.

#307 Seaboard92

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 03:20 PM

I think you each missed the point I was after. The point I was getting at was Amtrak sometimes won't issue a contract till the week prior, or even day of. While Deutsche Bahn issues one immediately upon the first approval.

And mostly the charters have to price a lot higher due to an unknown raise we might get on the final contract.
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#308 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 03:34 PM

Amtrak doesn't have enough money to commit to a contract more than a week out. - AU


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.


#309 jis

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 03:49 PM

No. Amtrak is  unpredictable incompetent in many things it does. One can guess that since it does not view Charter Trains as one of its core functions it is particularly more incompetent. I suspect (and I could be wrong) that it has little to do with money overall, but a lot to do with choices made in using the money that they have, for various purposes. It still has very little to do with what DB, which operates in a completely different legal, social and financial environment, is able to do or not. Amtrak, America and its political, social and legal environment stands all by itself in its own glory. :D


Edited by jis, 14 May 2018 - 03:51 PM.

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#310 NorthShore

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 09:17 PM

When I get rich and have a PV with an open porch, I'm putting it on the front of the train open porch first.

I'll get a toy control stand and pretend I'm the engineer. :D :D :D

Just have to watch out for those grade crossings. :(

I decided a couple years ago that when I grow up, instead of buying a house, I'll just buy an old dining car and sleeper instead.
You really just need one car to make a decent little house. Three bedrooms the size of a VIA prestige room and then a open plan lounge.

That and land....or a track to keep it on.

#311 NorthShore

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 09:19 PM

Go for broke. Get one of the HiLiners (ex-Santa Fe El Cap) cars, and rearrange the furnishing in it - Kitchen, laundry etc, downstairs, and Bedroom, Drawing Room, Dining Room upstairs :D


I once considered buying a Metra Bi-Level and retrofitting it as a home, complete with look over balcony into the living room.
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#312 NorthShore

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 09:20 PM

No. Amtrak is  unpredictable incompetent in many things it does. One can guess that since it does not view Charter Trains as one of its core functions it is particularly more incompetent. I suspect (and I could be wrong) that it has little to do with money overall, but a lot to do with choices made in using the money that they have, for various purposes. It still has very little to do with what DB, which operates in a completely different legal, social and financial environment, is able to do or not. Amtrak, America and its political, social and legal environment stands all by itself in its own glory. :D


I nominate Seaboard to hold a position at Amtrak overseeing charter trips.
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#313 CHvision

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 09:57 PM

If this is suitable for this thread: Cedar Rapids and the Super Dome will be on the Empire Builder on the 20th.


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#314 cirdan

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 03:09 AM

Now here's the difference between Germany and the United States for charters. And I bring this up because I'm putting together a charter in Germany this December and now have first hand knowledge of both countries.

Germany
Step 1: send the railroad the time, date, desired route, amount of passengers, and type of locomotive.
Step 2: if they can make it happen Deutsche Bahn sends out a binding contract. With penalties both for the operator and Deutsche Bahn if the train doesn't run.
Step 3: Market the trip.
Step 4: operate the trip.

United States
Step 1: send your proposal of a trip in. Include the same basic information to Amtrak. You may or may not get a response on it.
Step 2: if it's doable you receive preliminary approval. Meaning you can market it but Amtrak hasn't set up the contract yet. With a preliminary price.
Step 3:market the trip
Step 4: usually a week out sometimes even on the day of. A final quote (usually higher) and the actual contract.
Step 5: operate the train.

As you can see the German Deutsche Bahn is far better to operate a charter on because they stick to the initial price, and contract to run before a week out. It's a much less stressful situation for operators.

Also of note is the fact Deutsche Bahn operates over 24,000 passenger trains a day with over 80 percent of them being on time within five minutes. And on some days they will have up to twenty plus charter steam trains, and other trains plying their 20,000 ish miles of track.

 

I think it also helps that in Germany there is a legal distinction between DB as operator of trains and DB Netz as owner and operator of the infrastructure. DB Netz is by its own charter required to deal with all operators equally. So even if they may actually think a charter is a bunch of foamers playing trains, they cannot discriminate against them on those grounds, provided the charter operator acts professionally and files all the paperwork correctly.

 

In the USA on the other hand, there is nothing to stop freight railroads from discriminating, and even on its own tracks Amtrak discriminates against third parties..


Edited by cirdan, 15 May 2018 - 03:10 AM.

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#315 cirdan

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 03:26 AM

What is the amount of German Federal and State financial support that DB gets? AFAIK the LD network has to pretty much cover its costs, but for short/medium distance the subsidy leve is something like 23% to 24%

 

What is their staffing level? How easy or difficult is it for them to find spare staff? How much equipment do they have? How much from that pool are they easily able to spare?

 

It really is an Apples to Hippopotamus comparison. :)

 

No.

 

DB is split into different entities.

 

DB Netz owns and maintains the land, tracks and buildings, and dispatches the operations. DB netz does not receive a direct subsidy for normal operations (but things such as high speed lines or major upgrades may be supported by government loans at favotable rates, or even nominal loans that don't actually need to be repaid).

 

DB (Bahn) operates the inter city services. These pay their own way. I guess there is some cross subsidy with the stronger lines transferring money to the weaker ones. However, some under-performing lines have been eliminated.

 

DB Cargo / DB Schencker operates freight trains. These are not subsidized. They are in direct competition to a plethora of foreign and independent operators also operating freight trains. On the other hand, DB Scencker also operates in other countries, in some cases competing with local railroads, in some cases having taken them over.

 

DB Regio operates all local and regional passenger services. Schedules, fares and levels of service are defined by local and regional authorities, who pay (subsidize) DB Regio to operate the service. This is the only direcvtly subsidized part of DB.. DB Regio needs to compete with a plethora of foreign and local operators every time the contracts come up for renewal. On the other hand, through its internationl arm, Arriva, DB Regio also competes for contracts in other countries. 


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#316 Just-Thinking-51

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 07:35 AM

I think you each missed the point I was after. The point I was getting at was Amtrak sometimes won't issue a contract till the week prior, or even day of. While Deutsche Bahn issues one immediately upon the first approval.

And mostly the charters have to price a lot higher due to an unknown raise we might get on the final contract.


Oh I got your point of view. Thank you for sharing insider information on the PV scene. My point was free market where you can run a train with out the need to buy the railroad tracks. In your case DB Rail is getting agreement out several months in advance, where Amtrak signs the contract as your leaving the station. No other reason than a monopoly. Customer vs Inconvenience. Sorry but Amtrak is just been short sighted with the charters and PV moves, and the money to be made. You have to know your cost of doing business in order to make money at your business. Just dont think Amtrak has internal accounting reports. So many decisions made with out good accounting to back them up.


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#317 railiner

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 09:06 AM

 

What is the amount of German Federal and State financial support that DB gets? AFAIK the LD network has to pretty much cover its costs, but for short/medium distance the subsidy leve is something like 23% to 24%

 

What is their staffing level? How easy or difficult is it for them to find spare staff? How much equipment do they have? How much from that pool are they easily able to spare?

 

It really is an Apples to Hippopotamus comparison. :)

 

No.

 

DB is split into different entities.

 

DB Netz owns and maintains the land, tracks and buildings, and dispatches the operations. DB netz does not receive a direct subsidy for normal operations (but things such as high speed lines or major upgrades may be supported by government loans at favotable rates, or even nominal loans that don't actually need to be repaid).

 

DB (Bahn) operates the inter city services. These pay their own way. I guess there is some cross subsidy with the stronger lines transferring money to the weaker ones. However, some under-performing lines have been eliminated.

 

DB Cargo / DB Schencker operates freight trains. These are not subsidized. They are in direct competition to a plethora of foreign and independent operators also operating freight trains. On the other hand, DB Scencker also operates in other countries, in some cases competing with local railroads, in some cases having taken them over.

 

DB Regio operates all local and regional passenger services. Schedules, fares and levels of service are defined by local and regional authorities, who pay (subsidize) DB Regio to operate the service. This is the only direcvtly subsidized part of DB.. DB Regio needs to compete with a plethora of foreign and local operators every time the contracts come up for renewal. On the other hand, through its internationl arm, Arriva, DB Regio also competes for contracts in other countries. 

 

That is very interesting...after reading your comments, I couldn't help thinking of 'what if' in the future, the US rail system evolved into that sort of scenario?

Just imagine what passenger service would exist (or not)....... :unsure:


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metroblue?

okay on the blue!

#318 bretton88

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 01:03 PM

 

What is the amount of German Federal and State financial support that DB gets? AFAIK the LD network has to pretty much cover its costs, but for short/medium distance the subsidy leve is something like 23% to 24%
 
What is their staffing level? How easy or difficult is it for them to find spare staff? How much equipment do they have? How much from that pool are they easily able to spare?
 
It really is an Apples to Hippopotamus comparison. :)

 
No.
 
DB is split into different entities.
 
DB Netz owns and maintains the land, tracks and buildings, and dispatches the operations. DB netz does not receive a direct subsidy for normal operations (but things such as high speed lines or major upgrades may be supported by government loans at favotable rates, or even nominal loans that don't actually need to be repaid).
 
DB (Bahn) operates the inter city services. These pay their own way. I guess there is some cross subsidy with the stronger lines transferring money to the weaker ones. However, some under-performing lines have been eliminated.
 
DB Cargo / DB Schencker operates freight trains. These are not subsidized. They are in direct competition to a plethora of foreign and independent operators also operating freight trains. On the other hand, DB Scencker also operates in other countries, in some cases competing with local railroads, in some cases having taken them over.
 
DB Regio operates all local and regional passenger services. Schedules, fares and levels of service are defined by local and regional authorities, who pay (subsidize) DB Regio to operate the service. This is the only direcvtly subsidized part of DB.. DB Regio needs to compete with a plethora of foreign and local operators every time the contracts come up for renewal. On the other hand, through its internationl arm, Arriva, DB Regio also competes for contracts in other countries. 
 
That is very interesting...after reading your comments, I couldn't help thinking of 'what if' in the future, the US rail system evolved into that sort of scenario?
Just imagine what passenger service would exist (or not)....... :unsure:
Under such a scenario, this would probably eliminate or significantly alter the LD network (just like DB got rid of it's sleeper trains). You'd have the NEC/other Amtrak holdings being run by Amtrak, but owned by a subsidiary (Amtrak holdings?). Then you'd have whatever corridors the states want to run up for bid, so some might be run by Amtrak, some might be run by private entities.

If I won the lottery, I'd probably build a passenger from nowhere to nowhere.


#319 CHvision

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 10:13 PM

Previously, on the 17th, the Empire Builder to Chicago was over an 1 hr. However, reaching to St. Paul, the cars took less than 15 minutes to couple to the Builder. Later, the lateness dropped to to 20 mins to Chicago. 



#320 seat38a

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 11:40 PM

Previously, on the 17th, the Empire Builder to Chicago was over an 1 hr. However, reaching to St. Paul, the cars took less than 15 minutes to couple to the Builder. Later, the lateness dropped to to 20 mins to Chicago. 

Just imagine if they didn't spend the 15 minutes coupling. That could have been only 5 minutes late into Chicago.  ;)


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