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


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#41 Lonestar648

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Posted 28 March 2018 - 09:41 PM

Does this have any effect on those tour groups on the western trains?  We all think they get a big discount and take over everything.



#42 Just-Thinking-51

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Posted 29 March 2018 - 02:32 AM

Does this have any effect on those tour groups on the western trains?  We all think they get a big discount and take over everything.

Big discount? That questionable, but even if they do lose there discount, it would not stop them for traveling.

Dont see anything in this memo that effect group sales.

As for take over the train, that a interesting statement. A full train of passengers have needs even if its a full of single passenger or a single group of passengers.

.

Edited by Just-Thinking-51, 29 March 2018 - 02:32 AM.


#43 Anderson

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Posted 29 March 2018 - 04:02 AM

(1) The discount decision is at least nominally defensible, even if I'm worried that he's inviting an inverse of the JC Penney screwup (I think this is a serious risk, but I obviously also lack the sort of back-end data to back it up).
 

(2) The language on the PV move front strikes me as utterly blinkered to the point that it undermines my confidence in his management skills (at least, given my understanding of Amtrak's accounting issues...something that I don't think he's considering).  Now, I can see the "distraction" issue (though I think it to be overblown, especially given how much of Amtrak's OTP issues come down to Class I misbehavior)...but I also feel as though that was very much an animal of Amtrak's making given that Amtrak would often not commit to a move until a few days out (thus meaning that in all likelihood any move was a "surprise").


Edited by Anderson, 29 March 2018 - 04:16 AM.

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...;-)


#44 GBNorman

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Posted 29 March 2018 - 07:51 AM

Amtrak's timing to announce this policy could not have been better, even if there are points that need be clarified. Hey, the $1.9B whopper of funding is now enacted, and by the time the FY 19 appropriation is in Committee and the Omnibus pulls up to its stop on the floor, all will be forgotten.

But it is hard to believe that Amtrak will not handle any further special moves such as Major League sports teams, the NJ legislators, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and others over the Corridor using Amtrak equipment.

Unfortunately for AAPRCO, Friends of 261, the Fall Excursion, and similar, the Adios drumhead could be out. Lest we forget, does Delta operate "nostalgia flights" with DC-3's?

#45 niemi24s

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Posted 29 March 2018 - 09:12 AM

Looks like the dream of fixing this up for my PV has just been scuttled:

 

Attached File  4 Wheel Bobber Caboose.jpg   31.6KB   35 downloads


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#46 Northeastern292

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Posted 29 March 2018 - 09:41 AM

It's a hard pill to swallow, and I see bigger reprocussions:

It's a move which in essence makes Amtrak more vulerable outside of it's major "hubs". For instance, I can't see Amtrak maintaining the 807/808 ("Twin Cities Builder") coach for the holidays as an excuse. Same goes for ANY special operation. Anderson's having a panic attack I think and is now realizing he's in over his head. You cannot run a railroad like you run an airline. Roger Lewis tried and look what happened: he made decisions that paralyzed Amtrak in the long-term.

Outside of major end points, Amtrak is on it's own. More of a reason to have increased train service nationally.

Everyone's concerns and comments are pretty valid. Personally, I think the backlash will grow to the point where some kind of compromise will be hashed out, Amtrak state that the move is temporary (a la Anderson with Delta charters post merger, but with Amtrak, a temporary suspension is NEVER temporary), or Amtrak will give into pressure.

There are three areas where backlash might prove to undo this ban:

-Congress: if Amtrak's ban applies to the Congressional specials, this ban will be over before the end of April
-Borden Black: As a former AAPRCO president, she still holds a bit of sway. She's fighting this, and all of us at AU should pitch in.
-AAPRCO themselves: Not counting the train wreck called Pullman Rail Journeys *cough* I mean Iowa Pacific *cough*, AAPRCO is one of Amtrak's best customers. That's $10 million Amtrak is throwing away.
-Charles W. Moorman: Wick's influence on rail can be felt in numerous places. He revived NS's steam program and is the owner of former NYC observation car Sandy Creek (RPCX 800321). I would imagine that Wick can't be happy about this.

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#47 cassrr

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Posted 29 March 2018 - 09:45 AM

Most of the time we don't delay the train adding or dropping cars because they already allow so few places in the network to us. And generally there is already a switch crew in place to cut us in or out. The issue in that case is likely mechanical.

Or could be a track space issue if you are referring to the Bay Area. Honestly a lot of delays are attributed to us that aren't our direct fault. When we switch in at HUN on 50/51 we can generally switch in rapidly. Less then five minutes. We cut in last year twenty odd cars, and two engines. Lost ten minutes total.

I'm DC again it's a fairly easy move as long as there is track space to accommodate it and a switch crew on duty. We bring four million a year to amtraks bottom line, and cost them no money. Every service we get we pay a pretty penny for.

 

Baloney!  Twice in the past month 50 was delayed out of Huntington for 25 and 30 minutes respectively for coupling up CPH's private varnish.  Last year I missed a connection in Chicago due to a two hour delay on the CZ in Denver hooking up PV.   PV connections can and DO cause delays.



#48 Blackwolf

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Posted 29 March 2018 - 10:36 AM

 

Most of the time we don't delay the train adding or dropping cars because they already allow so few places in the network to us. And generally there is already a switch crew in place to cut us in or out. The issue in that case is likely mechanical.

Or could be a track space issue if you are referring to the Bay Area. Honestly a lot of delays are attributed to us that aren't our direct fault. When we switch in at HUN on 50/51 we can generally switch in rapidly. Less then five minutes. We cut in last year twenty odd cars, and two engines. Lost ten minutes total.

I'm DC again it's a fairly easy move as long as there is track space to accommodate it and a switch crew on duty. We bring four million a year to amtraks bottom line, and cost them no money. Every service we get we pay a pretty penny for.

 

Baloney!  Twice in the past month 50 was delayed out of Huntington for 25 and 30 minutes respectively for coupling up CPH's private varnish.  Last year I missed a connection in Chicago due to a two hour delay on the CZ in Denver hooking up PV.   PV connections can and DO cause delays.

 

Affirmative.

 

This last September, our trip on the Lake Shore Limited from Chicago to New York suffered multiple delays and mechanical troubles due to 12 antique PV's bringing up the markers.  Late leaving CHI, plus HEP issues meaning the elimination of lights/HVAC/toilets (and the eventual need to completely cut electrical power to the PV's,) and even more delays due to servicing and yard moves in ALB.  Granted, this was a huge AAPRCO event, but it almost should have been its own move due to the size.


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#49 Northeastern292

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Posted 29 March 2018 - 10:43 AM

 

Most of the time we don't delay the train adding or dropping cars because they already allow so few places in the network to us. And generally there is already a switch crew in place to cut us in or out. The issue in that case is likely mechanical.

Or could be a track space issue if you are referring to the Bay Area. Honestly a lot of delays are attributed to us that aren't our direct fault. When we switch in at HUN on 50/51 we can generally switch in rapidly. Less then five minutes. We cut in last year twenty odd cars, and two engines. Lost ten minutes total.

I'm DC again it's a fairly easy move as long as there is track space to accommodate it and a switch crew on duty. We bring four million a year to amtraks bottom line, and cost them no money. Every service we get we pay a pretty penny for.

 
Baloney!  Twice in the past month 50 was delayed out of Huntington for 25 and 30 minutes respectively for coupling up CPH's private varnish.  Last year I missed a connection in Chicago due to a two hour delay on the CZ in Denver hooking up PV.   PV connections can and DO cause delays.
 
Affirmative.
 
This last September, our trip on the Lake Shore Limited from Chicago to New York suffered multiple delays and mechanical troubles due to 12 antique PV's bringing up the markers.  Late leaving CHI, plus HEP issues meaning the elimination of lights/HVAC/toilets (and the eventual need to completely cut electrical power to the PV's,) and even more delays due to servicing and yard moves in ALB.  Granted, this was a huge AAPRCO event, but it almost should have been its own move due to the size.
If it was the AAPRCO special then yes, that should have been a special move. Too much stress on the HEP, and if you ask me, the P42's are getting long in the tooth.

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#50 jis

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Posted 29 March 2018 - 10:49 AM

Affirmative.
 
This last September, our trip on the Lake Shore Limited from Chicago to New York suffered multiple delays and mechanical troubles due to 12 antique PV's bringing up the markers.  Late leaving CHI, plus HEP issues meaning the elimination of lights/HVAC/toilets (and the eventual need to completely cut electrical power to the PV's,) and even more delays due to servicing and yard moves in ALB.  Granted, this was a huge AAPRCO event, but it almost should have been its own move due to the size.

That is quite true. I have been delayed more than a few times due to fiddling around with PVs.

I know revenue numbers between $4 million and $10 million have been mentioned. Does anyone know what the corresponding cost numbers are, as in say passengers that had to be taken care of due to missed connections caused by PVs etc.? Without such full accounting we would never know for sure what the real numbers are. And I am not talking about "Allocation Accounting" after the fact, but actual "Incremental Revenue/Cost Accounting". Should the cost of Amtrak self-insuring its operations also be proportionately allocated? I don't know the answer, but those are issues to consider. Revenue is not the only thing in the equation.

 

Meanwhile, I have no doubt that things that have been running every year will probably continue to run, as well as things for which the real cost is fully paid. And things like the Ski Train or the Congressional Specials will continue to run for perhaps an increased Charter price. If they don't, that will be something that will indeed break the camel's back. But we don't know for sure how the evaluation of individual cases will be carried out.


Edited by jis, 29 March 2018 - 10:56 AM.


#51 dlagrua

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Posted 29 March 2018 - 11:28 AM

 

 

BTW, not to drive this too far off topic but since Tbike posted, what do you think of the reasoning for ending AAA discounts, etc?


My take on the AAA is that it makes sense to get rid of it. After all, AAA is the American AUTOMOBILE Association, not the American TRAIN Association. What does AAA have to do with Amtrak, except to promote driving instead of taking the train.

 

 

AAA promotes travel. That's why hotels, theme parks, tourist attractions etc. give a AAA discount. It was advertising... AAA members get a list of discounts. I'm not saying it makes sense to continue that arrangement...but I'm saying the arrangement made perfect sense. 

 

That's my opinion as well.   On every Amtrak trip that we have taken a rental car is always part of  the trip. I see no conflict here at all



#52 FrensicPic

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Posted 29 March 2018 - 01:01 PM

From Trainorders ... 

Amtrak shutting down all PVs on LOSSAN corridor

https://www.trainord...d.php?4,4518953

 

The original poster, John Caestecker, is owner of PV "Silver Splendor" in Los Angeles.

This will possibly also have an impact on Conductor Bill Hatrick's popular "Vino Train".


Edited by FrensicPic, 29 March 2018 - 01:01 PM.

John...

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5540 miles booked for this fall on the Sunset Limited, City of New Orleans, Illini/Saluki, Southwest Chief.

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#53 jmlaboda

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Posted 29 March 2018 - 04:09 PM

All this chatter and no one has considered the proximity to April 1st???  Year after year there are some really well executed hoaxes that are perpetrated misleading many people... but all just in jest...

 

I will bet that this is one of the best hoaxes ever... not a laughing matter but probably one that will go down in the record books as being the best...


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#54 jis

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Posted 29 March 2018 - 04:11 PM

All this chatter and no one has considered the proximity to April 1st???  Year after year there are some really well executed hoaxes that are perpetrated misleading many people... but all just in jest...

 

I will bet that this is one of the best hoaxes ever... not a laughing matter but probably one that will go down in the record books as being the best...

Actually it is not a hoax.



#55 Anderson

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Posted 29 March 2018 - 05:37 PM

I do wonder if CA (either in the form of Caltrans or in the form of LOSSAN) was part of the decision-making process on this?  Since they don't seem to have been part of the "discount affair", I have to wonder...especially on the presumption that there is incremental revenue here.  Were I in CA's shoes, I'd be asking lawyers if there's a way to force Amtrak to make them whole for any net lost revenue from such moves.


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...;-)


#56 jis

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Posted 29 March 2018 - 09:45 PM

It all depends on what is written in the contract regarding non-farebox revenue. I haven’t a clue.


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#57 Mystic River Dragon

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Posted 30 March 2018 - 01:54 PM

I looked up the Dover Harbor website, and they don't have any news about this. In fact, they are still advertising their trips for the spring. Not sure what's going on there? Maybe they weren't told yet? Anyone know?


Edited by Mystic River Dragon, 30 March 2018 - 01:57 PM.


#58 jis

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Posted 30 March 2018 - 01:58 PM

Dearing is also advertising all its trips into August/Sept, and its owner is one of the very visible agitators on the issue of PVs.

 

I suspect everybody in the know may know something that we outsiders don't.



#59 Mystic River Dragon

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Posted 30 March 2018 - 02:03 PM

I hope you're right, jis! :)



#60 Lonestar648

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Posted 30 March 2018 - 02:07 PM

Could it be that signed contracts are being honored, but any new contracts are not being accepted?






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