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ainamkartma

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About ainamkartma

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    Lead Service Attendant
  1. ainamkartma

    Unsold sleepers

    I echo Jis's gratitude for the clarification. Ainamkartma
  2. ainamkartma

    Unsold sleepers

    Excuse me? Are you saying that airlines are in the habit of sending out planes with empty seats when people are waiting on standby, or with empty first class seats when people are waitlisted for an upgrade? I have flown about 100K miles per year for the last 15 years, and I have never, not once, seen this happen*. I have heard of it happening on other airlines, but it was very much a "man bites dog" level story. I would be astonished to learn that it is standard practice for airlines to turn away revenue and send out an empty seat "pour encourager les autres". Ainamkartma * Now, of course empty seats do happen for weight and balance issues and other causes, but to drive up future revenue by influencing customer behavior? That seems quite far fetched, to say the least.
  3. ainamkartma

    Comparing Historical Passenger Train Ridership

    Unlike most years, you might not find a unanimous hope that Amtrak increased across the board this year! I, for one, kind of hope that LSL, CL, and Silver Star ridership are down, while the long distance trains with real dining car service maintain their very high utilization rate. Ainamkartma
  4. ainamkartma

    Comparing Historical Passenger Train Ridership

    You didn't specify long distance or intercity rail as a criterion for your question, so perhaps it is important to remember that US passenger rail travel (by trip numbers, excluding subways and LRT) is totally dominated by commuter rail, which is in turn dominated by the three New York City commuter rail services. About half of all rail trips in the US in 2017 were on the NY commuter systems; the Chicago, Philadelphia, and Boston commuter systems together accounted for about half the remaining trips. Everything else, including Amtrak, all corridor services, and all other commuter systems accounted for in the neighborhood of one quarter of the total ridership in 2017. For what it is worth, the NYC commuter ridership roughly doubled between the creation of Metro North in 1983 and 2017. In the same period, the US population increased by a factor of 1.4. Sources: various wikipedia pages. Ainamkartma
  5. ainamkartma

    What would you add?

    Wow...there was some "serious" padding between Dallas and Houston on that schedule....I doubt they would have attracted much local traffic with those running times... Really? It looks like it took about seven and a half hours to get from Dallas to Houston. Is that not a reasonably running time? (I'm not familiar with Texas geography) Well over double the driving time, FWIW. You can drive and get there by lunch, or take the train and get there by dinner... Ainamkartma
  6. I know. I'm just curious as to what he meant by that hypothetical and sarcastic thought. In the event of a bus bridge, Amtrak will obviously have to somehow transport the buses to each end of the bridge, duh. So since ridership and baggage checking will be way down, there will be plenty of room to transport the buses in the new baggage car capacity coming on line. I envision one bus parked in each of those "bays" visible in Seaboard's photo, or maybe even two buses stacked up to the ceiling. I hope Amtrak restores the vital amenity of cleaning the windows of PV cars riding on Amtrak trains at every stop, though (this was standard practice for _exactly_ 11 months from A-day, 1971), so that we can get better pictures next time around. I hope this makes the situation crystal clear, Ainamkartma
  7. ainamkartma

    Southwest Chief News & Future Operations

    Those numbers are the same.Like 1.9 million is very similar to 2 million. Now YOU can't understand statistics? Yeah they are 100,000 apart. Since you did not mention what error parameter was acceptable to you for this discussion, your accusations are neither here nor there. The point that keelhauled made was that raw fatality numbers are useless unless they are looked at in the context of the size of the universe in which they are being measured. So his point was that unless you are talking of fatality rates it is a useless statistic, and I and at least one or two others agreed with that. So merely saying that you were not talking about fatality rates and that ridership is at an all time high (presumably in the Amtrak era?) does not address the issue raised by keelhauled. If there is rock solid verified information that bustitution will cost more than capital upgrade and maintenance of tracks then that argument can be used too, but I am skeptical about its validity without seeing concrete numbers. I share your skepticism. Without having easy access to any facts, it seems beyond the bounds of credibility that a bus would be more expensive than train over the Raton route: 1) The right of way cost is 100% externalized for the bus, 100% internal for the train. 2) The vehicle capital and maintenance cost is much much less per passenger for a mass produced bus than an ancient custom built train. 3) The labor costs are to first order determined by the ratio of employees to customers, which is about the same for bus and train. So some costs are competitive between the modes, but most are skewed in the bus's favor. This imbalance has been true since the construction of the national highway system by the public sector. Ainamkartma
  8. ainamkartma

    Southwest Chief News & Future Operations

    This is something that should be applauded, how Amtrak (albeit slowly) has helped reverse the trend in declining train travel which began after World War II and continued through the 1980s. Modern US train travel is totally dominated, both in terms of ridership and passenger-miles, by commuter rail. For example, New York's Metro North alone has over twenty times as many annual boardings as Amtrak. It may well be true that Amtrak has "helped reverse the trend...", but that help has been a drop in the bucket compared to new, rebuilt, and revitalized commuter rail in the US. Ainamkartma
  9. Of course, but from day one of its existence its traffic was dominated by commuter passengers. According to "Grand Central Terminal" (Schlichting, 2001), "Commuter traffic... came to exceed [long distance] passengers by a considerable margin" between 1900 and 1913, when GCT opened, and commuter traffic "grew exponentially" after the opening of the new terminal. GCT was designed as a combined long distance and commuter terminal from its first inception. The commuter business greatly surpassed the expected levels. Ainamkartma
  10. But Grand Central was never designed as a place to sit and wait for trains, or at least it wasn't famous for that aspect of its design. It was praised largely for the innovations in its design that allowed it to efficiently serve thousands of commuters during the rush hours. Ainamkartma
  11. ainamkartma

    SWC Trip Report

    Can confirm, I saw the burrito lady meet the east bound Sunset Limited in El Paso a couple of weeks ago. She was doing pretty good business. Ainamkartma
  12. Hi all, A couple of weeks ago I made a nice trip from El Paso to New York on the Sunset Limited and Crescent, stopping for two nights in New Orleans. I had a roomette for both legs, upstairs on the Superliner. It was my first opportunity to ride both sections, so i was very pleased by the beautiful scenery in Texas and the southeast. Both trains arrived "Amtrak-on-time", so that was nice. As always on trains where it is available, the dining car experience was a highlight of the trip: I met an archeologist employed by Monticello, a fellow who spends his retirement delivering motor homes and taking the train back to home base, and some retired schoolteachers touring the country. The food was fine, but, as noted on other recent threads, many listed menu items were not available (even on the Crescent), having not been stocked in the first place according to the server. My choice was available for every meal, though, so the understocking did not cause a particular problem for me. The VL dining car on the Crescent was number 68008, Columbus, and was pleasingly shiny and new. This was my first experience in one of the VL diners. The extra height of a Viewliner is quite obviously wasted on a diner, of course. Interestingly, the dining car attendant told my dining table seat mates (before I arrived at the table) that it was an old car recently refurbished. "Amtrak hasn't bought any new equipment in many years." Also, one of the tables and its associated seats was missing entirely. A passenger fell into the resulting substantial gap when the train hit a bump as he was passing by. Luckily, he was unhurt, as he took quite a purler. After the trip, I received an survey from Amtrak to fill out for the El Paso to New Orleans segment. I stressed strongly the value of the dining car as part of the total trip package. There is no scenario where I would have made this trip if "contemporary dining" had replaced the traditional dining car on either leg. All in all, an example of Amtrak doing what it does and doing it well. I will be happy if they can just maintain this level of service going forward, but it sure looks like management wants to make that a challenge. Happy trails, Ainamkartma
  13. These menus sound very decent. I noted with interest that Crown Royal Canadian Whisky is availed on Acela. Being a Canadian Whisky drinker, it irks me that Canadian Whisky is not available on the LD trains. Anyone have an idea as to why? Low sales. OK, I'm confused... how does one compare sales of Crown Royal between LD trains, on which it is not offered for sale, and Acela first class, on which it is offered for free? Seems like sales would be zero by definition in both cases... Ainamkartma
  14. ainamkartma

    What would you add?

    Front Range Flyer is desperately needed, but should go Cheyenne-Fo Co-Longmont-Boulder-Denver-C Springs-Pueblo-Trinidad, not Denver to Albuquerque. Just look at the highways: from Pueblo to Cheyenne, I-25 and all secondary roads are chronically backed up; from Trinidad to ABQ, very underutilized. I don't think a mountain division train can compete when cars on the parallel highway are going 85 mph. Ainamkartma Thing is, the railroads are backed up around CO Springs, too. I would suggest that the most practical way to implement a Front Range Flyer is on new right of way... because a passenger service which is busy competing with slow (and effectively unscheduled) freight drags can't compete effectively with the automobile. Colorado has proven it is willing to build highways (E470, etc. etc.) and trains (Denver LRT and commuter rail) on new right of way in the modern era. There is no absolute reason that model couldn't be extended to the Front Range Flyer. The thing about the (Fo Co to Pueblo) Front Range Flyer is not that it would be easy to implement: it's that if it _were_ implemented properly, it would immediately be very heavily used. Ainamkartma
  15. ainamkartma

    What would you add?

    Front Range Flyer is desperately needed, but should go Cheyenne-Fo Co-Longmont-Boulder-Denver-C Springs-Pueblo-Trinidad, not Denver to Albuquerque. Just look at the highways: from Pueblo to Cheyenne, I-25 and all secondary roads are chronically backed up; from Trinidad to ABQ, very underutilized. I don't think a mountain division train can compete when cars on the parallel highway are going 85 mph. Ainamkartma
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