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Joe Boardman questions current Amtrak's managements motives


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#141 Devil's Advocate

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Posted Today, 11:46 AM

 

doesn't meet your bizarrely narrow expectations of acceptable criticism.


I'm not sure that "based in reality" is bizarrely narrow, but maybe I'm just crazy. Ironically, you're serving as a shining example of what I do have a problem with - criticizing people for positions that they haven't taken.

You only seem to accept criticism that can link to irrefutable first person evidence. Unfortunately that's not how the real world works. Opaque executives don't generally give much forewarning about future service restrictions/reductions or cost increases or loss of protections.  In many cases you have to read between the lines to see what's coming in time to react to it. Not that long ago there was genuine concern that the current SWC route was in danger and instead of waiting to see what happened people reached out to the various stakeholders and managed to protect the status quo. If they had waited for a formal notice of abandonment there may not have been enough time to save the entire route.

 

 

What exactly are you disputing - that Amtrak is substantially restricting private charter movements or that Richard Anderson personally supports these restrictions?


Neither. I'm disputing the claim that we know what Anderson's goal is, and that the end of all charters and PVs was a reasonable concern given that goal. I do agree that the current "suspension" of the Sunset East nearly 13 years later is an embarrassing fiction that needs to be rectified. I'm not sure that a one-off example from 13 years ago really supports you point, though.

 


The earliest posts generally come from the earliest bits of information. Back then it wasn't entirely clear what Amtrak intended and it was possible to interpret what had been said to mean that all third party movements might now be disqualified. From what I've read the vast majority of third party charters are indeed affected. Even those third party charters that will continue to run in the future are apparently allowed to do so only in the form of a per-instance waiver that further limits and complicates a convoluted process that was already extremely tedious and time consuming. From a practical standpoint this is a huge change.  But I guess so long as even one single charter is allowed to run somewhere on the network you've made your point about challenging anyone who dares to overstep or oversimplify.  Regarding the Sunset East the route still existing is the fiction while route's abandonment is the reality. Trying to bring back a route that exists in name only is far harder than protecting a route that still hosts actual trains today. Better to be ahead of the curve than chasing after it.


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#142 amtrakpass

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Posted Today, 12:31 PM

without getting into a disagreement I think it should be plain that part of the current Amtrak strategy is to not release clear information to the public on purpose. If you are going to cut something or not maintain stuff, it looks bad to spell that out in writing, so they keep it vague and close to the vest.That is why Boardman went public with his knowledge of the attempt to cut the Southwest Chief to alert the public. Even with the uproar, I am concerned that Amtraks primary means of reducing or eliminating interest in long distance trains has been to raise fares on average substantially which will be difficult for legislators and even advocates to understand and counter. I took the Southwest Chief from L.A. Chicago this year in March and fares for sleepers were astronomilicaly high and there was only 2 coaches and two sleepers available. And the trains were far from full.I could only conclude that the high prices and artificially short consists were designed to discourage ridership. Do you ever see a sale on sleeper fares or a last minute upgrade available to coach passengers made available at a discount to fill up the trains? I have traveled Amtrak extensively the last few years and while you still can find a occasional good deal the price buckets go way up long before the train sells out these days.Even with that ridership has been ok, but I fear that will change if prices continue to rise out of reach for many travelers




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