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Richard Anderson replacing Wick Moorman as Amtrak CEO

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Delta invested heavily in IT and passenger facility modernization. Delta tech ops (maintenance) has a decent reputation. They keep a very diverse fleet (including some pretty old suff) mix in decent shape.

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I have dealt with Delta (pun intended) and I have had universally rotten customer service. Bar none, the worst I have ever had in public transportation and perhaps anywhere else. That said, I hope Mr. Anderson can make a big difference with Amtrak and help Amtrak roll forward instead of the back and forth rut it seems to be in nowadays.

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To note, he was the Northwest CEO beforehand as well, which was a fine airline. The two things I think he will bring to the table are: improved rolling stock maintenance practices, and a more consistent business/first class product.

 

Sent from my SM-N920P using Tapatalk

 

 

Yes, that would be my expectation as well. Northwest was a good airline.

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I have dealt with Delta (pun intended) and I have had universally rotten customer service. Bar none, the worst I have ever had in public transportation and perhaps anywhere else. That said, I hope Mr. Anderson can make a big difference with Amtrak and help Amtrak roll forward instead of the back and forth rut it seems to be in nowadays.

 

JayPea,

 

As I previously posted, my customer service experience surely has been different from yours. From airport staff, aircraft crew, and PR people, I have been a pleased Delta customer and will fly with them this week once again.

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I can't say I'm fond of an airline exec trying to run a railroad. Suffice to say, I am NOT optimistic.

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Well, so this probably mean, many many more seats in coach. Devaluation of AGR points ala SkyPeso's. Forget new equipment, if what he did with the DC9's and MD90's are any indication, then he will buy up used railcars from around the world and refurbish with higher density seating. But good news for premium passengers since he increased food quality and choice for FC. Oh and may just buy a oil refinery so Amtrak can make their own diesel ala the Trainer Refinery for Jet A.

 

I really don't think we can draw any parallels between aircraft acquisition at Delta and rolling stock needs at Amtrak. That's a bit like expecting him to purchase turbine powered locomotives rather than diesels, or replace dining car staff with additional coach attendants.

 

Style and approach of management, customer service standards, and ability to work with the freight railroads and varied federal and state government agencies - among other factors - are far more pertinent.

 

It's all relative. It is better news than possible worse news, and Amtrak is in better shape than possible worse shapes it could have been in :P

 

Along the same lines it is worse news than possible better news that could have been and Amtrak is in worse shape than far better shape that it could have been in ;)

 

Are you running for political office and afraid to commit to a position? :)

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It's all relative. It is better news than possible worse news, and Amtrak is in better shape than possible worse shapes it could have been in :P

 

Along the same lines it is worse news than possible better news that could have been and Amtrak is in worse shape than far better shape that it could have been in ;)

Are you running for political office and afraid to commit to a position? :)

 

It is what it is. It really is not the best news. I could think of a couple of better choices, but probably not available, and it is far from the worst news. It is somewhere in the middle. ^_^

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He is definitely experienced in talking to Congress, dealing with Labor Unions, having a limited amount of money when Delta was in trouble to make major improvements, understanding the importance of customer satisfaction to bringing a company to profitability, and that spending money is necessary to make money.

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https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-06-26/amtrak-hires-delta-ex-ceo-anderson-to-oversee-passenger-railroad

Salary details are here, 3 years at zero pay with a possible 500k bonus each year from the amtrak board. So he definitely took the job because he wanted it, not because it was going to pay well. The other nice thing is the 3 year term means he won't be a super short term CEO. Lets see how the grind wears him down.

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I don't understand this move. Do you call a plumber when you need an expert electrician? Airlines and train travel have little in common except that both are transportation. I say this airlines guy invites in the TSA and drives us all away. I refuse to be degraded and lowered to the level of an animal just to board any transportation means. TSA comes in full force and we will bail.

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I don't understand this move. Do you call a plumber when you need an expert electrician? Airlines and train travel have little in common except that both are transportation. I say this airlines guy invites in the TSA and drives us all away. I refuse to be degraded and lowered to the level of an animal just to board any transportation means. TSA comes in full force and we will bail.

Yet another of your "no longer take Amtrak" posts and yet, I bet you'll be taking more trips on Amtrak.

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I find it funny how many folks on here:

 

1) Seem to think that because someone worked for the airlines, that they would have no concept of the differences between air travel and rail travel, and therefore would try to run Amtrak the same as an airline

 

2) Believe that the CEO is personally involved in a lot of the decisions related to equipment configuration, frequent traveler program benefits, pricing and fees, etc.

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I don't understand this move. Do you call a plumber when you need an expert electrician? Airlines and train travel have little in common except that both are transportation. I say this airlines guy invites in the TSA and drives us all away. I refuse to be degraded and lowered to the level of an animal just to board any transportation means. TSA comes in full force and we will bail.

All the more room for the rest of us. There is not one shred of evidence that Anderson will have anything to do with the TSA. I would be insulted about being compared to an animal because I fly but coming from you I am used to it and I know you don't care one bit about how insulting you come off sounding.

Edited by JayPea

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I don't understand this move. Do you call a plumber when you need an expert electrician? Airlines and train travel have little in common except that both are transportation. I say this airlines guy invites in the TSA and drives us all away. I refuse to be degraded and lowered to the level of an animal just to board any transportation means. TSA comes in full force and we will bail.

All the more room for the rest of us. There is not one shred of evidence that Anderson will have anything to do with the TSA. I would be insulted about being compared to an animal because I fly but coming from you I am used to it and I know you don't care one bit about how insulting you come off sounding.
Same here.

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Just another bogus conclusion based factually challenged ideas of how someone thinks the world works.

 

The "people on airplanes are unthinking bootlickers" but gets old too. Bonus points for being consistent, I guess.

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I'll take a wait and see attitude.

 

If I understand correctly the most effective leaders at Amtrak were Gunn and Claytor, both railroad guys. Iirc some effective early leaders were also railroad guys.

 

Are there any non railroad leaders who were considered effective?

 

I do like the customer service emphasis. Anderson might have ways of improving it.

Edited by Steve4031

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When Boardman came aboard it was good news. When Boardman announced he was stepping down it was good news. When Moorman came aboard it was good news. Anderson replacing Moorman is good news. Anthony leaving was good news. Anthony coming back in the future would also be good news. With all this endless good news Amtrak must be in excellent shape by now.

Well, compared to Hughes/Kummant/Crosbie in 2005-2008... yes. Amtrak is doing spectactularly well compared to its state in 2008. That's a pretty low bar though.

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I find it funny how many folks on here:

 

1) Seem to think that because someone worked for the airlines, that they would have no concept of the differences between air travel and rail travel, and therefore would try to run Amtrak the same as an airline

 

2) Believe that the CEO is personally involved in a lot of the decisions related to equipment configuration, frequent traveler program benefits, pricing and fees, etc.

 

I was thinking the exact same thing. Social media is going nuts over this news because somehow they think because he was an airline CEO he'll do the exact same things at Amtrak, such as more seats, charging for checked luggage, etc. Or the same crazy conspiracy theories that Trump appointed him to shut it down.

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Delta is operationally the best out of the major airlines in the US, but it took a long road to get there. http://www.ajc.com/business/delta-cuts-delays-boosts-revenue/6Xl7sSeKttbAskTWTQI53M/

 

If he can make the trains leave the gate on time, I don't care if AGR is gutted. The operational issues and delays need to stop.

I'd be surprised, if the Amtrak Guest Rewards program(assuming you meant that by AGR) was ever discontinued. But that's just me.

 

Little odd of a choice for someone to replace Moorman, but hopefully he does a good job. I'm intrigued seeing that AJC article, that showed while he was CEO that Delta had much improved on time performance. Maybe he'll do some good for Amtrak, who knows?

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Remember, in the wonderful Gunn times, NEC Regional trains were down to five and four cars, which of course was not really Gunn's fault. But either way, it naturally played havoc with revenues.

 

It was Kummant that hired Fremeaux who took it upon himself to push for restoring the Regionals to eight cars by getting the Kummant management team to reallocate funds to repair the cars that were parked at Wilmington and Bear.

 

Boardman started with things that were not falling apart and were already headed in the right direction. To his credit he built upon that base instead of destroying it one more time. To his debit he proceeded to neglect the PIPs completely and essentially saw to it that anything to do with improving LD service was nipped in the bud over and over again, and anyone involved in such nefarious activities left Amtrak - basically pushed out or laid off (remember Brian Rosenwald?). Which makes the fact that he also went and ordered the Viewliners a bit of an oddity, but perhaps fits the mold if keeping the system running as is, which was becoming impossible with the aging Heritage cars.

 

As for how Anderson will work out, only time will tell. Basically it is possible for non railroader to manage a railroad if he or she is a good manager. There have been many cases of excellent management of railroads in the world by someone who came in from the outside. Then again there have been many cases of a railroader who proved to be not so good as a manager too.

 

Amtrak is way more than just a railroad and its basic problem has been that it has been run too often as if all that mattered was running choo choo trains all over the place with relatively little concern for the experience of the customer riding them. Maybe Amtrak does need a customer service oriented person. My greatest concern is whether Andreson is really going to be able to address the Customer Service issues and inconsistencies which has dogged Amtrak. I am sure he can delegate the basic operation to a fine NS man that Moorman appointed to the Exec VP Operation post after removing Stadler from it - off to Finance or some such.

Edited by jis

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David Gunn was not really a railroad guy. He was a transit guy. At the time he came to Amtrak, he was 25 years removed from having worked for a railroad. Which brings me to my point: I would much rather have a person at the top of Amtrak who has actually run a for-profit, competitive passenger transportation business than yet another person who's résumé only has transit or government regulatory work - work in areas that have very little incentive to please customers.

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I don't believe the selection of Richard Anderson is the end of the world as some poster have said. Yes railroads and airlines are different, but they have some similarities as well. I think Anderson's experience will enhance the customer experience on Amtrak, which if we're honest, is inconsistent.

 

As a person who has traveled in sleeper cars on long distance and business class on regional services for many years I can tell you, there are great people out there and there are SCAs who you never see between boarding and detraining a day or two later. You also occasionally get the guy who wanted you to detrain in Williston, ND (WTN) rather than Winona, MN (WIN) because he couldn't read the faint print on his manifest, but was sure it was correct and the paper copy of my e-ticket was wrong...

 

Will we see not only a continuation of services, but growth under Anderson's leadership? I hope so. Will we see new equipment orders? I hope so. Will we see at least twice daily service on the long distance routes? I doubt it, but there is little to harm in dreaming...

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I don't understand this move. Do you call a plumber when you need an expert electrician? Airlines and train travel have little in common except that both are transportation. I say this airlines guy invites in the TSA and drives us all away. I refuse to be degraded and lowered to the level of an animal just to board any transportation means. TSA comes in full force and we will bail.

 

Who does "we" refer to?

 

And why would you assume that someone from the airline industry would be thrilled with the way TSA operates?

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