I can't speak for the German operation but let's expand and help you out with the United States operation:
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 1(A): Wait as Amtrak contacts EVERY HOST railroad and EVERY DIVISION and facility your special little train will touch and wait to see if they will support the move
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 2(A):Wait for every host railroad to draw up THEIR contracts, waivers and operating plans and send them to Amtrak. Sometimes, they don't get back to Amtrak in a timely fashion either. Additionally, wait for the facilities and manpower reports from the impacted facilities
Step 3:market the trip
Step 3(A): While that is going on, the very small Special Movements, Groups and Charters desk is still working on follow up with the host railroads for you special trip and the 50 other groups, private car operators and special movements, including our own freight services and equipment moves...which they are also in charge of.
Step 4: usually a week out sometimes even on the day of. A final quote (usually higher) and the actual contract.
Step 4(A) Receive the final costs for the expense since things have changed since this was proposed. To support your move to the middle of nowhere, we have to bring in an extra crew. That is because there was a service disruption in the middle of the week and now crews and back up forces have to be brought on overtime. In some cases, we have to bring in support, including equipment from other crew bases, driving up costs and depleting work forces from other locations.
Step 5: operate the train.
Step 5(A): People complain about the last minute operations and manipulations and even want penalties for last minute changes.
Step 5(B) A high ranking official seethes for years but Mr. Boardman thinks it is important part of the railroad.
Step 5© Mr Boardman retires yet this seething high ranking official still works here.
Step 5(D) Mr. Anderson arrives, hears about this operation, says something like "this is ridiculous" and says "Don't operate the trains unless manpower is normally available and there is no impact to our trains, equipment or power. We'll find other ways to make up for the missing revenue."
Step 5(E) Don't operate the train unless there is a long standing agreement in place
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.
This is probably the song involved while the Germans draft their operating plan, which probably doesn't involve multiple railroads with multiple operating rules and procedures:
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.
Sounds like they have an extensive passenger network that has the backing of the various entities and interests. Does Amtrak??
You're welcome, Seaboard. You're welcome!
Edited by Thirdrail7, 20 May 2018 - 11:13 AM.