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Joe Boardman questions current Amtrak's managements motives


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#1 Lonestar648

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 06:40 PM

We are all wondering what is happening to Amtrak based on recent management decisions, well I saw that Boardman feels the same.  See text quote below:

 

 

Based on the Communication I've seen being submitted to Hill Staff, I think that Amtrak has begun to do surgical communications in a way that does not provide a transparent discussion of what they are doing, instead the plan seems to be to keep the recommendations and briefings small and isolated from each other, just the opposite of transparent.

....

 

Worse yet its being done without a "Public Policy" process. Amtrak is not really a "private business", it is a "State Owned Enterprise" and it needs an open and transparent process that only Congress seems to be able to give State and National rail stakeholders under this new " Hedgehog" strategy. 

For me its: The Raton Pass vs. The Gateway Tunnel you can't have one without the other.

Joe Boardman
Amtrak President and CEO 2008 - 2016

 MODERATOR NOTE:  Edited for copyright issues
 
http://trn.trains.co...rent-management


Edited by pennyk, 08 May 2018 - 07:04 PM.

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#2 Lonestar648

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 07:12 PM

So is Anderson signaling the end of LD trains coming this year and next?  Definitely looks like the SWC is doomed quickly.



#3 chrsjrcj

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 07:30 PM

Im sure Anderson will signal the end to a lot of things, in a hope that a state or states (jeez isnt this why we have a Federal government) will pony up the cash. Whether they do or dont has the same desired effect I assume.
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#4 crescent2

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 07:36 PM

From reading the entire article from the link, Boardman is certainly critical of the way things are currently being handled under Anderson.  Is it usual for a former to be so critical of the current management?  Regardless, his concerns lend credence to the concerns being expressed in several threads in this forum.  Not encouraging news imo. 



#5 lordsigma

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 08:26 PM

The part where he said that Amtrak is not really a private business and is a state owned Enterprise says it all about the difference between him and Anderson. Anderson believes its a private business - Boardman thought of it as a state owned Enterprise that provides a public service.  


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#6 looshi

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 08:28 PM

I would speculate that Boardman's fire could be fueled by some of his former direct reports that still work for the company. He's also probably personally offended at the disregard for some of the PTC exceptions developed by the FRA. This letter seems like a very uncommon thing to do. I'm not sure how productive it will be.

#7 MikeM

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 08:35 PM

Not sure how many of you read the letter from the private car owners organization, but it was a real page turner also. They also challenge Amtrak's commitment to a national railroad,  vs operating as a couple of isolated railroad islands.  I'll let the letter speak for itself.  I'm just too damn peeved to even think much more about this.  Let's just hope that there will be enough of an outcry that Anderson's term will come to an end sooner rather than later.

 

http://www.aaprco.co...onse-to-amtrak/

 

http://www.aaprco.co...onse-to-amtrak/


Edited by MikeM, 08 May 2018 - 08:37 PM.

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#8 Thirdrail7

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 10:00 PM

Remember, Mr. Boardman spent a lot of time talking up the network as a whole. He did not believe in dismantling the system. Mr. Moorman felt the need to protect the system to the point he took a job he didn't want in an attempt to preserve passenger service. I'm not sure how he feels about his choice, but he didn't invest as much time and capital as Mr. Boardman.

 

Now, that money is FINALLY flowing and the fruits of his labor are realized, you have someone who may not match the TIGER grant for the Chief and seem to be taking steps that may set Amtrak back years. 

 

I'd be upset too.


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


#9 Lonestar648

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 10:54 PM

Anderson is really talking the chief down. Rapid decrease in ridership, increasing costs, and this agreement to match the $3M. Really sounds like he is posturing for an official end date to be announced very soon. I think Boardman knows this and is trying to stop it. Once you kill one I fear the rest come tumbling down after it. Reason why Boardman said all the trains were necessary for the network, one was not better than another.

#10 neroden

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 11:01 PM

I can confirm that everything Boardman says is correct.  The first thing Anderson started doing was to conceal information by removing it from the monthly performance reports.  Then he started to lie about the costs of the so-called long-distance trains.  Then he made moves which cost revenue and reduce service, with absolutely no regard for financial sense.

 

What are his motives?  I don't care.  Get rid of him; he's wrecking the system through incompetence.

 

I have to respect AARPCO and RPCA for launching a serious broadside against him and sending it to most of the relevant members of Congress -- particularly because they didn't just include the private car issues, but also Anderson's other inexcusable and stupid attacks on service.


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#11 Seaboard92

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 12:27 AM

Honestly I think RPCA and AAPRCO have been a lot more active and vocal then RPA/NARP on the national network issue. It seams like NARP/RPA is very reactive and also in Amtrak's pocket.

While the PV and charter people have been using all methods at their disposal. Some of the biggest supporters of the national network are the PV owners because that's where we run the most often.

NARP/RPA does claim to be for the national network and I believe that. I just get the vibe that they aren't as well connected as they try to say they are. I also feel they kinda suck up to Amtrak at any chance.

Disclosure: I am a PV person and a charter person who has lost money and some of my reputation because of a change of position by NARP. So am I a bit biased probably. But even the people I talk to in my industry lack a lot of respect for NARP. And I know it's not because of what happened to me.
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#12 seat38a

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 01:57 AM

Hmmmmm. So it wasn't that long ago ya'll were ready to lynch Boardman for every decision he made regarding Amtrak. And now this post is full of praises for him from the same people who were calling for Boardman's head to roll.  :giggle:  :giggle:  :giggle:


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#13 Thirdrail7

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 03:33 AM

Hmmmmm. So it wasn't that long ago ya'll were ready to lynch Boardman for every decision he made regarding Amtrak. And now this post is full of praises for him from the same people who were calling for Boardman's head to roll.  :giggle:  :giggle:  :giggle:

 

Just because some have criticized some of his past decisions doesn't mean that he can't be right regarding his position now. Additionally, just because some may support his statements doesn't mean that he made the right the decisions when he was in charge and doesn't mean that he was the best person for the job.


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


#14 Lonestar648

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 09:16 AM

May not have like some of Boardman's decisions, but he was for keeping the network intact.  Anderson is talking about the start of dismantling the network.  First the SWC, then may the CL, not enough riders maybe after the meal change, and the list goes on.  Once you take down the first route/train, the second is more doable, then the third, fourth, and fifth becomes even easier to make happen.



#15 Mystic River Dragon

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 09:35 AM

I never disliked Joe Boardman--just disagreed with some of his decisions. I much preferred him (well-meaning but sometimes muddle-headed) to the current person, who seems arrogant and sneaky.

 

Arrogance sometimes does get its comeuppance, though (see, for example, Harvey, Matt, dfa'd by Mets and traded to a team at the bottom of the standings). So we will see what happens to Anderson. Things cannot go on this way forever.

 

(Somehow I don't think Anderson will ever get an Amtrak locomotive named after him :P)



#16 jis

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 09:46 AM

Did he ever manage to get a Delta plane named after him? :D

 

No matter what happens to Anderson, big changes at Amtrak are inevitable. I just wish they are more constructive than destructive. At present the indications are bleak.

 

BTW, Board Chairman Coscia went on record last week saying that the Board stands behind the national network. We are now waiting to see what it intends to do about it.


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#17 MikefromCrete

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 09:56 AM

It is strange how Boardman's every decision was nit-picked, yet he now comes back as someone who's opposing Anderson's antics. I would say it is unprecedented for a former Amtrak president to criticize the current chief. 

 

I guess the devil you  know is better than the devil you don't know. 


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#18 frequentflyer

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 10:08 AM

Anderson is really talking the chief down. Rapid decrease in ridership, increasing costs, and this agreement to match the $3M. Really sounds like he is posturing for an official end date to be announced very soon. I think Boardman knows this and is trying to stop it. Once you kill one I fear the rest come tumbling down after it. Reason why Boardman said all the trains were necessary for the network, one was not better than another.

 

How is Anderson doing this?



#19 Lonestar648

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 10:44 AM

He is the CEO with the power to make the decisions. Only the BofD can over rule by removing him, or threatening to do so.

#20 chrsjrcj

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 11:18 AM

The rapid decrease in ridership claim is total BS. One simply has to look at ridership numbers for the train over its history to know that the exact opposite is true. Ridership continues to increase, though has plateaued some likely as a result of capacity constraints.
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