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Getting Amtrak to report avoidable costs!

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They're supposed to report them. They don't.


The reason I think it's a very good idea is that all my models (I just reran them...) are showing nearly the entire East Coast long distance network profitable before overhead.

The Cardinal would be if it were daily.

The Capitol Limited would be if it had a through sleeper from the Pennsylvanian.

The Coast Starlight seems likely to break even in 2017.

The Empire Builder seems likely to break even in 2018.

The CONO is only behind by about $4 milion / year.

If recent trends (2012-2016) hold up, the CZ and SWC may break even by 2018.


But the "fully allocated" nonsense, dumping $510 million in overhead on this small group of trains, utterly obscures this.


If anyone is in touch with Wick Moorman, I think this is probably the single most valuable thing he could do for the long-distance division. Make it very clear to everyone that it would actually cost money to cancel the trains, because they're profitable.

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Could you point me in the direction of where I can find the most recent info you're going off of? I haven't taken any deep dives into Amtrak's accounting before, but would like to look at what numbers are available (for example, where does that $510 million come from?).

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This was dug out rather painfully. The $510 million comes from the 2014 (!!!) annual report. The 2015 report failed to break things out clearly enough to extract an update to that number, but it'll be pretty similar; it was pretty similar in 2012 and 2013.



Trying to work out the direct costs is significantly more painful since the last time they were even remotely reported was 2012, and only in a bar graph. I've explained my rather complicated methodology before; I'm making assumptions that the allocation of the $510 million among the individual trains has remained roughly the same.


Amtrak is supposed to be reporting short-term avoidable costs to the FRA, by law, since IIRC 2008. They're not doing so, and there are big blank spaces in the reports for the last six years. :eyeroll:

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