Jump to content




Help Support AmtrakTrains.com by donating using the link above or becoming a Supporting Member.

Photo

Joe Boardman questions current Amtrak's managements motives


  • Please log in to reply
158 replies to this topic

#101 Ryan

Ryan

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 16,175 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:OTN
  • Interests:a fact checker combined with a ferret

Posted 13 May 2018 - 12:04 PM

Assuming they are not transferring to another crew base or staying with the company.


I’m not sure how valid that assumption is. Are you?
Posted Image

Disclaimer: Any images or links you see in my post may in fact be invasive advertising or even fraudulent phishing attacks silently injected into my post by our spam based hosting service. If anything looks suspicious or inappropriate or you have any doubt whatsoever then do not click any links (particularly those appearing in green and/or with a double underline) or interact with the spam in any way. You may also want to consider using ad-blocking plugins such as Adblock Plus and/or Ghostery)to help reduce the number and severity of advertising scams directed at you.

#102 Seaboard92

Seaboard92

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,849 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:South Carolina
  • Interests:-Amtrak
    -New York Central
    -Seaboard Airline
    -Scriptwriting

Posted 13 May 2018 - 12:11 PM

Assuming they are not transferring to another crew base or staying with the company.

I’m not sure how valid that assumption is. Are you?
That's why I said playing devils advocate. I would assume they are staying with the company because the union has made arrangements before this was approved.
View my pictures at http://trainboy1.rrpicturearchives.net
Amtrak Routes I've riden: Silver Star(NYP-ORL), Silver Meteor(KIS-NYP),Carolinian(CLT-NWK), Palmetto (FLO-NYP), Acela(WAS-NYP), NE Regional(WBG-RVR), Pacific Surfliner(SAN-OSD), Piedmont(CLT-SAL), Crescent(NYP-CLT), Cardinal (WAS-CHI), Capitol Limited (CHI-WAS), Cascade (PDX-SEA)
Steam Engines I've worked behind: Norfolk & Western No. 611; Nickel Plate Road No. 765; Southern Pacific No. 4449
 

#103 jis

jis

    Engineer

  • Gathering Team Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 21,536 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
  • Interests:Trains, Planes and Travel

Posted 13 May 2018 - 12:30 PM

It is generally not a good idea to leave a company with an unnecessary conflict just before leaving. It can easily have adverse effects on the residual benefits if one lands up leaving the company by being fired for cause. Union contracts mitigate only part of the impact of such.


  • Trogdor, AmtrakBlue, seat38a and 1 other like this

#104 OBS

OBS

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,264 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Webster NY

Posted 14 May 2018 - 06:55 AM

 

 

Assuming they are not transferring to another crew base or staying with the company.

I’m not sure how valid that assumption is. Are you?
That's why I said playing devils advocate. I would assume they are staying with the company because the union has made arrangements before this was approved.

 

I doubt anyone will be leaving the company. They will exercise  their seniority and move into a different OBS position in their or another crew base....


  • cpotisch likes this

#105 frequentflyer

frequentflyer

    OBS Chief

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 360 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 15 May 2018 - 08:04 AM

Did Mr. Boardman have a problem with Mr. Moorman as CEO of Amtrak, who was a former CEO of Norfolk Southern? I bet most of these new "ideas" originated from Mr. Moorman. He ran a lean operation at Norfolk Southern.

 

http://trn.trains.co...wick-short-time


  • LookingGlassTie likes this

#106 jis

jis

    Engineer

  • Gathering Team Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 21,536 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
  • Interests:Trains, Planes and Travel

Posted 16 May 2018 - 09:29 AM

Here is an interesting article in Railway Age in response to Boardman's article

 

https://www.railwaya...t-be-redefined/

 

The article begins with:

 

 


Despite what Boardman said, the irrefutable facts clearly indicate the first attempt ever at shaking down states for funding passenger rail infrastructure (Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico) was designed and initiated on Boardman’s watch, with the support of the same Board of Directors and executive line of management who were in place when he made these decisions, as well as the other issues identified below.

 

In practice, Amtrak withered under the leadership of Boardman, with the best managers encouraged to take buyouts during multiple reorganizations that only depleted vital institutional knowledge. An unacceptable safety culture existed, as well as questionable labor relations and lack of meaningful give-and-take negotiations, and the diminishing of a once-visible, vibrant, engaged government and public relations group built-up by Graham Claytor and nurtured by David Gunn. We saw the lack of oversight of the CAF passenger car program (note: no lounges or coaches), deterioration of menus and dining services as reduced on the Silver Star, payroll defalcations (timecards, overtime), and the inability to professionally work with the Class I’s re: on-time performance, despite further schedule padding and excessive bonus payments from Amtrak.

 

This is the track record produced under Boardman’s regime, with the same Board of Directors providing the same level of questionable oversight under their stewardship. Indeed, they did actually work behind closed doors in secrecy to promote those agendas that were anathema to the public.

 

Reading this one could walk away with the impression that Boardman may be trying to use this unfortunate opportunity to try to walk away from his own record and blame it all on the next guy. There may be a bit of truth to that, but as usual in an epic mess like this the truth probably lies somewhere in between.

 

It is though definitely true that the destruction of the national network started in the Boardman years with the forced exit of the like of Brian Rosenwald and unceremonious burial of the PIPs, including forced departure of the entire PIP team. Diner service reduction also started in that era. Remember the firestorm about removal of flower vases? ;)

 

But it is also true that the absolute minimum that needed to be done as far as equipment goes, for the survival of the LD network was handled with the CAF order, though it was managed pretty miserably.

 

So there is stuff on both sides of the ledger and only history will tell how it balanced out. Similar will be the case with Anderson. That is why I await the equipment plan with bated breath to see the LD aspect of it.


  • Trogdor, Rail Freak, seat38a and 2 others like this

#107 frequentflyer

frequentflyer

    OBS Chief

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 360 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 16 May 2018 - 10:02 AM

^^^ Thanks Jis, I was going to post that same article. After reading comments on railroad forums praising Boardman for his editorial, I was beginning to doubt my memory on how Amtrak fared under Boardman. After reading this, I remembered correctly.


  • jis, LookingGlassTie and cpotisch like this

#108 LookingGlassTie

LookingGlassTie

    OBS Chief

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 321 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Portsmouth, VA

Posted 16 May 2018 - 10:16 AM

@jis

 

I'm not sold on Anderson, but I'm not exactly sold on Boardman's assessment of him, either.   :P


  • jis and cpotisch like this

"And you know that notion just crossed my mind............"


#109 Thirdrail7

Thirdrail7

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,868 posts

Posted 16 May 2018 - 04:33 PM

That article leaves out that Mr. Boardman did not cut any long distance service and also worked to preserve the actual routes by working with the states. This is because funding was not forthcoming. He also used worked with the FRA to try obtain funding from them to preserve routes.  A classic example example is the three way split between the FRA, AMtrak and the BNSF to upgrade the Devils Lake Subdivision, which BNSF said they would abandon since it was only used by Amtrak.  Naturally, once the route was upgraded, BNSF flooded it with freight traffic, but the route was preserved because an investment was made.  Amtrak has committed funds to plenty of improvements that benefited the LD network as well as state supported services.

 

AS for the PIP, I can certainly see why he got rid of the group. Sure, they had good ideas (which are largely still on file) but if no one is going to put up the money to fund them, why keep them around to produce reports year after year?

 

 

The bottom line is he may not be above reproach but I agree with the premise of taking the investment money when it is available...while it is available. Provided, you're actually interested in the service. :ph34r:


  • jis, Mystic River Dragon, Seaboard92 and 1 other like this

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


#110 amtrakpass

amtrakpass

    Service Attendant

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 71 posts

Posted 16 May 2018 - 06:57 PM

I posted this here because Boardman brought up the threat to the Chief.
One thing I find frustrating is that their is a simple solution to the Southwest Chief issue that no one seems to talk about. The BNSF could just run a handful of intermodal trains or other freight over the pass again which would relive pressure on their other line and make it a secure long term asset for the company and the general public. I don't know who has pulled the wool over peoples eyes that the BNSF and private industry are too good for any social responsibilty, or it is somehow impossible for them to operate the Raton Pass route profitably or very close to even. I am sure I will have armchair economic professors and armchair railroad barons say that the almighty BNSF knows better than me but I think they are just being shortsighted and arrogant to abandon this route. If you know anything about BNSF intermodal trains, the company already overpowers them with like 5 engines for a light tonnage train. And they could care less about lack of online industry or about fuel savings! Buffets got plenty of money and talks a good game about being socially conscious. How about some public-private partnership instead of the government bearing all the burden? Why let private industry dictate the fate of the public interest with impunity?

#111 DSS&A

DSS&A

    Lead Service Attendant

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 219 posts

Posted 16 May 2018 - 08:29 PM

I know in the late 1990s, the railroad wa sa running a few hot shot intermodals over Raton Pass one day a week to take pressure on the Transcon on the day they performed MOW work on the Transcon. BNSF now has a lot more double track on the Transcon, so that need may be reduced now. There was also a coal mine on the line that closed over 10 hears ago.

#112 railiner

railiner

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,791 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Queens, NY
  • Interests:All public transportation....land, sea, and air

Posted 16 May 2018 - 11:07 PM

I recall that back in the late '60's-early '70's, the Santa Fe ran their hottest container train, named the "Super C", over Raton, on a schedule that rivaled their Super Chief over the same route.

https://en.wikipedia...(freight_train)


  • cirdan likes this
metroblue?

okay on the blue!

#113 RPC

RPC

    Lead Service Attendant

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 159 posts

Posted 17 May 2018 - 08:04 AM

There may also be property tax issues - if BNSF is running zero trains over the Raton line, it may be considered dormant or railbanked for tax purposes.


  • Devil's Advocate likes this

#114 Devil's Advocate

Devil's Advocate

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,670 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 17 May 2018 - 08:52 AM

There may also be property tax issues - if BNSF is running zero trains over the Raton line, it may be considered dormant or railbanked for tax purposes.


Lack of granularity in tax policy likely explains a substantial portion of our previously abandoned rail infrastructure.
  • jis likes this

.


#115 amtrakpass

amtrakpass

    Service Attendant

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 71 posts

Posted 17 May 2018 - 09:47 AM

there definitely is a tax issue. I know in the past the railroads would give bonuses to the track supervisors for taking tracks like spurs and sidings out of service in order to reduce tax burden. Which is one factor why railroad management has worked tirelessly to reduce online industry and convert all traffic to intermodal or unit trains. I don't necessarily think the BNSF should bear the whole cost of the Raton pass route either. But I believe if their was accountability and shared responsibilty both on the private side and public side, the public would be much better served on this and other secondary routes.

#116 fredmcain

fredmcain

    Train Attendant

  • Training
  • Pip
  • 30 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Northeastern Indiana
  • Interests:Trains, Gardening, older U.S. Numbered Highways (Like Route 66) & Piano Ragtime

Posted 17 May 2018 - 10:35 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.

Well, one encouraging development is that there appears to be some local, state and even U.S. politicians who are beginning to push back against Anderson's ideas.  Which will happen first?  Will Anderson bring Amtrak down or will passenger train supporters bring Anderson down?  I guess we'll just have to wait it out and hope for the best.


​Regards,

Fred M. Cain


#117 frequentflyer

frequentflyer

    OBS Chief

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 360 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 17 May 2018 - 10:47 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.

Well, one encouraging development is that there appears to be some local, state and even U.S. politicians who are beginning to push back against Anderson's ideas.  Which will happen first?  Will Anderson bring Amtrak down or will passenger train supporters bring Anderson down?  I guess we'll just have to wait it out and hope for the best.

 

 And what are Anderson's ideas? Please tell me, because I can only go by what he has stated publicly. 


  • Ryan, seat38a, Chey and 1 other like this

#118 jis

jis

    Engineer

  • Gathering Team Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 21,536 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
  • Interests:Trains, Planes and Travel

Posted 17 May 2018 - 12:10 PM

Also, I don't think all passenger train supporters want to bring Anderson down either. Of course those that do find some comfort in believing that their views are universally shared by all.


  • Ryan, Chey and Pere Flyer like this

#119 jis

jis

    Engineer

  • Gathering Team Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 21,536 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
  • Interests:Trains, Planes and Travel

Posted 20 May 2018 - 11:29 AM

The to and fro continues in Railway Age...

 

https://www.railwaya...assenger/29404/



#120 Thirdrail7

Thirdrail7

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,868 posts

Posted 20 May 2018 - 11:38 AM



The to and fro continues in Railway Age...

 

https://www.railwaya...assenger/29404/

 

Give that man a cigar. This is the bottom line:

 


 

Commuter agencies paying their fare share: Now a book is required that needs to go back to 1983 when Amtrak became an operating railroad with infrastructure to maintain as it inherited Conrail’s obligation to provide track space for commuter service. Yes, two states have ownership and maintenance responsibility of one segment between New York City and New Haven. Compare the compatibility of that portion of the route with the high-speed corridor operation that Amtrak fields elsewhere. Not good! The Northeast Corridor traverses eight states represented by a bi-partisan mixture of 16 senators and 82 representatives. Deal with that reality before blaming the negotiating skills of Amtrak’s managers.

No single leader can fix systemic problems that lay far beyond Amtrak’s control. More nuanced and better-researched commentary is needed.

 

Now, add the rest of the system and how many Senators and Representatives are you talking about? That is why I stated Amtrak needs a BUILDER that can bridge the gaps between the various entities that hold the system together.


  • jis and Rail Freak like this

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





1 user(s) are reading this topic

1 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


    Agent