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Thirdrail7

Fire Richard Anderson Campaign?

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I wouldnt give Anderson THAT much credit at Delta. Sure he wasnt bad by any stretch but he was so so at NW post 9/11 before following the money to United Heatlhcare. At Delta he had record low fuel prices and a consolidated competitive enviroment when he left that allowed Delta to thrive not to mention realitively good labor relations. Delta was by default the industry leader when he arrived and he keep it going.

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The people who would make this type of decision are the very people who hired him. Are people so naive as to believe that they did not know what they were getting, and that he isn't doing exactly what was expected of him (and desired by the board). Many of the changes, and in some case the way in which those changes have been implemented may have upset some people, but I'm not so sure the people in charge are actually bothered by that one bit.

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The dining car issue is Congress’ fault not Anderson’s.

 

I don’t like a fair amount of what he’s doing. But I couldn’t agree with him more that the trains need to be safer, the cars need to be cleaner, the equipment needs to be better, and Amtrak needs to be relevant to the next generation, not just the previous generation.

 

And I’m closer in age to the previous generation than I am the next generation, by the way.

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Few of the problems Anderson's had to address were created by him. Am I happy with all his solutions? No; he's been there how long? I'm going to give him more time.

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Isn't the Juniata property on the right of the Amtrak ROW when one is heading towards Philly? Or am I remembering wrong?

If one is headed to NYP it’s on the right hand side.

 

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One of parts of PRIIA tells Amtrak to generate extra revenue from running special trains. I wonder why Anderson gets to ignore that one?

 

There are plenty of charters operating.

 

The people who would make this type of decision are the very people who hired him. Are people so naive as to believe that they did not know what they were getting, and that he isn't doing exactly what was expected of him (and desired by the board). Many of the changes, and in some case the way in which those changes have been implemented may have upset some people, but I'm not so sure the people in charge are actually bothered by that one bit.

 

I'm willing to bet board members are going to be bothered when legislators start discussing your antics and taking matters into their own hands.

Edited by Thirdrail7

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The fact that Anderson used to be the CEO of Delta is proving to be an albatross around his neck. Even if he were to return Amtrak to its glory days, people would still see that big scarlet "D" on his forehead.

Edited by LookingGlassTie

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What I want to see is what trains was Amtrak losing money on. It's been asked for by multiple people on my side of the industry and not answered. Of course there is a senator asking now. Maybe they can provide him a better answer this time than their last one that was "I don't know."

 

 

"A Senator". All that proves is some selfish West Virginia Senator who only cares about West Virginians. Same thing about the ticket agent.

 

I'd like my AAA discount back but I guess no one in West Virginia has AAA so Manchin or the other Senator in WV doesn't care to fight to get it back. I'm sure the Cincinnati ticket agent and others aren't important enough for Manchin either. If I'm one of Ohio's Senators, I'm voting no on this Manchin bill unless that portion gets taken out.

 

I have nothing against the charter industry personally but realize that this is strictly a West Virginia/New River Train issue and I highly doubt he will help your business in any way (unless you're affiliated with the New River Train).

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"A Senator". All that proves is some selfish West Virginia Senator who only cares about West Virginians. Same thing about the ticket agent.

 

I'd like my AAA discount back but I guess no one in West Virginia has AAA so Manchin or the other Senator in WV doesn't care to fight to get it back. I'm sure the Cincinnati ticket agent and others aren't important enough for Manchin either. If I'm one of Ohio's Senators, I'm voting no on this Manchin bill unless that portion gets taken out.

 

I have nothing against the charter industry personally but realize that this is strictly a West Virginia/New River Train issue and I highly doubt he will help your business in any way (unless you're affiliated with the New River Train).

 

 

Actually, it is more than West Virginia at this point. Texas, North Dakota and Montana have fired off letters (FWIW) and once again, you've missed the point. The Senators are looking out for the interests of their constituents.....which is exactly what they are supposed to do. If the legislators along the route of your favorite canceled train would have gotten involved, perhaps it would still operate. This is not to be taken lightly since this has the potential to represent four votes against things like Gateway, Portal, new engines and new equipment.

 

The charter industry impacts nationwide operations and brought in additional revenue to the company. While I agree that some of them were out in left field, what will fill the gap? The canceled Coast Starlight? The second Pennsylvanian that isn't operating? The numerous diverted trains that no longer operate into NYP, your busiest station? The Acela sets that are being overhauled and can't be used? The private cars that paid premium for being hauled, stored and repaired?

Edited by Thirdrail7

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Well the thing too about Senator Manchin he understands how a far off charter in Seattle directly affects his state. For instance the Leavenworth train this year was supposed to have both of our cars from Thanksgiving (when they would leave) to a week past New Years. Our cars rent for 2,000 dollars a day per car. So somewhat over 160,000 dollars will not be made by a West Virginia non profit if that train doesn't run. And that's not counting the paid staff fees for the riders (my position) to go out there and live for an entire month and a week.

 

Then you have trains like New River which bring in cars annually from Illinois, California, North Carolina, Ohio(now based in Chicago), New Jersey, Minnesota, and another state I forget (Missouri maybe). So something like new River actually does effect the nation.

 

Let's say hypothetically that 261 in Minnesota which maintains an immaculate fleet of cars can no longer run their train. Why should they keep maintaining the size of a fleet they have. Which would then cut down on cars available for new River and reduce capacity.

 

Next example let's say New River can't get their cars out which still remains true. We would no longer have to maintain those cars to Amtrak standard, and could cut our two paid managers who oversee the cars, and do most of the mechanical when I don't pitch in. So there goes a complete business from West Virginia and two west Virginians lose their jobs.

 

Manchin has demonstrated when he called Gardner to save the one position at CHW that he cares for each and every job. And he is willing to fight for the job. Which is why when you read the language that New River was instrumental in getting in the T-HUD bill that it mandates any station that had an agent in FY 2018 must have at least one agent.

 

Not only does that save CHW, but also CIN, Montana, and quite a few others. So Manchin has demonstrated he cares about not just his state by his language but about the national network as a whole. And he's been fighting one hell of a fight to keep New River open because if things don't change South Yard will close down permanently And New River Train will cease to exist.

 

Manchin doesn't want to lose the money CP Huntington contributes to his state via passengers traveling far and wide to ride the train contributing millions to local economies, West Virginia businesses lose out on repairs to the cars, and servicing New River, and he loses institutional knowledge if and when South Yard closes because both individuals there will bounce back and likely won't return to West Virginia.

 

Now maybe if Senator Casey and Toomey understood how much money the Broadway Limited contributed they would try and bring it back. But the difference between West Virginia and Pennsylvania is stark. West Virginia doesn't have a lot so every dollar counts. Whereas in Pennsylvania a rich industrial economy it really doesn't matter a whole lot.

 

I can also say that if South Yard shuts down both employees will land on their feet because I already know their plans. And honestly it's far better than what they've been doing in my honest opinion. But then again they gave me a decent position in the new organization.

 

The thing to remember is PV passengers and charter passengers are equally as much rail passengers because they are traveling on the rails. And don't think that charter people don't care about the rest of us. We've been the ones fighting for station agents to remain. And I can speak for New River were about to put a major fight for the national network as a whole.

 

But what can I say we're just elitists who want to ride away from the schmucks so why should we waste our time fighting to save station agents, dining car crews, and other things. Yet we do it anyway because PV people are not necessarily Coastal Elites.

 

Yes some are but a lot are nice normal people like you and me. And it's a stigma we need to break. Me personally I can't wait for Manchin's next announcement. That will be fun.....

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What I want to see is what trains was Amtrak losing money on. It's been asked for by multiple people on my side of the industry and not answered. Of course there is a senator asking now. Maybe they can provide him a better answer this time than their last one that was "I don't know."

 

 

"A Senator". All that proves is some selfish West Virginia Senator who only cares about West Virginians. Same thing about the ticket agent.

 

I'd like my AAA discount back but I guess no one in West Virginia has AAA so Manchin or the other Senator in WV doesn't care to fight to get it back. I'm sure the Cincinnati ticket agent and others aren't important enough for Manchin either. If I'm one of Ohio's Senators, I'm voting no on this Manchin bill unless that portion gets taken out.

 

I have nothing against the charter industry personally but realize that this is strictly a West Virginia/New River Train issue and I highly doubt he will help your business in any way (unless you're affiliated with the New River Train).

 

If your're one of Ohio's senators you should be making noise to get the Cincinnati agent back on the job. After all, that's the senator's job, to look after their constituents' interests.

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What I want to see is what trains was Amtrak losing money on. It's been asked for by multiple people on my side of the industry and not answered. Of course there is a senator asking now. Maybe they can provide him a better answer this time than their last one that was "I don't know."

 

"A Senator". All that proves is some selfish West Virginia Senator who only cares about West Virginians. Same thing about the ticket agent.

 

I'd like my AAA discount back but I guess no one in West Virginia has AAA so Manchin or the other Senator in WV doesn't care to fight to get it back. I'm sure the Cincinnati ticket agent and others aren't important enough for Manchin

either. If I'm one of Ohio's Senators, I'm voting no on this Manchin bill unless that portion gets taken out.

 

I have nothing against the charter industry personally but realize that this is strictly a West Virginia/New River Train issue and I highly doubt he will help your business in any way (unless you're affiliated with the New River Train).

If your're one of Ohio's senators you should be making noise to get the Cincinnati agent back on the job. After all, that's the senator's job, to look after their constituents' interests.

The city of Cincinnati offered to pay for the salary of all station employees and Amtrak turned it down. The local government was and still is very involved in what's going on at Cincinnati. Even though Senator Manchin in his rider in T-HUD is going to get the CIN agent back.

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The dining car issue is Congress’ fault not Anderson’s.

 

 

That is a true statement but true railroad people understand that dining cars are put there to attract passengers into buying the highest priced accommodations. AFAIK, this point has not been made to congress. We can only hope that LD business plunges so that the message is loud and clear. We will no longer ride to CHI on a 20-28 hr trip without fresh hot food. There must be other passengers who feel the same way. Remember if this effort is successful you can kiss goodbye to the dining service on the trains West from CHI as well..

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I certainly have expressed around here that if I had occasion to go to the Coast, I'd be ringing up United Airlines. My last "transcon" was on the Chief during May 1991.

 

My Northward Auto-Train journeys are simply to save a net of 450 miles of driving and the possibility to see a long time friend who works at Quantico. I see friends along the Southward drive. Last two journeys I went to my Bedroom, chilled down in the sink a nice bottle of Viognier, asked for my "mystery meat" Dinner in my room, had both a Times and Journal with me, and otherwise never left my room until arrival at Lorton.

 

All of that speaks for how much a railfan I am nowadays; I "rode 'em all" during the '60's when they were worth riding.

 

All told, with maybe 2% of the population setting foot on any Amtrak train (my Sister, living in Greenwich CT, has never once set foot on such - my Nephews living in Brooklyn, have - in the Corridor and in Coach. We're they ever near the Snack Bar, who knows?), who cares away from sites like this, about on board amenities.

 

What the traveling public who would consider Amtrak largely reside along Corridors and all they want is a safe ride that arrives and departs "more or less" on time. While possibly the West Coast corridor trains meet that standard, the LD's and the Midwest Corridors certainly do not.

 

So, at such time I choose, or have it be chosen for me, to "keep the buggy in the barn" and make it to O'Hare for "a little sun", that will be the Adios for me and Auto Train.

 

All told, for the first time in its existence, Congress appears ready to fund Amtrak so that the matters of aging equipment and infrastructure are properly addressed. Mr. Anderson's primary task is to develop, direct and manage a team to ensure these Congressional objectives are met. Apparently they are willing to do so without maintaining and let alone expanding the LD system. Those who expect taxpayer funded Super Chief dining service (and who would be expected to dress accordingly), will be looking at a "sorry 'bout that".

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The dining car issue is Congress’ fault not Anderson’s.

 

 

That is a true statement but true railroad people understand that dining cars are put there to attract passengers into buying the highest priced accommodations. AFAIK, this point has not been made to congress. We can only hope that LD business plunges so that the message is loud and clear. We will no longer ride to CHI on a 20-28 hr trip without fresh hot food. There must be other passengers who feel the same way. Remember if this effort is successful you can kiss goodbye to the dining service on the trains West from CHI as well..

 

Looks like you took their bait.

 

I ride in sleepers for the flat bed, not for the meals included, though they are a bonus. I'm fine with taking my own food or buying it from the cafe car.

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Manchin has demonstrated when he called Gardner to save the one position at CHW that he cares for each and every job. And he is willing to fight for the job. Which is why when you read the language that New River was instrumental in getting in the T-HUD bill that it mandates any station that had an agent in FY 2018 must have at least one agent.

 

Not only does that save CHW, but also CIN, Montana, and quite a few others. So Manchin has demonstrated he cares about not just his state by his language but about the national network as a whole. And he's been fighting one hell of a fight to keep New River open because if things don't change South Yard will close down permanently And New River Train will cease to exist.

 

 

You might want to read the fine print again...

 

https://www.manchin.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/manchin-secures-language-to-ensure-amtrak-ticket-agent-in-west-Virginia

 

"The Committee directs Amtrak to provide at least one station agent in every state where it operates that had at least one station agent in FY 2018, and reiterates its encouragement to improve public outreach prior to making customer service changes."

 

I underlined state for clarity.

 

Cincinnati would not qualify since Cleveland and Toledo still have ticket offices open.

 

Manchin can't flat out say he's only trying to save Charleston only but he had to figure out that there aren't that many other stations that this applies to so placing this language in makes it sound like he's being more unselfish than he actually is. In the future, it will certainly help smaller states than bigger states. It guarantees states like Montana and North Dakota will always have an agent no matter how few people they serve per day. You think California and Florida are worried about a ticket agent? They will always have the business to have multiple agents.

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Either way what has senator Casey or Senator Tooney done for Your pet train? Point of the matter in this new environment all trains matter be it private cars, be it charters, be it the cardinal, and to some extent the Acela. And if we as advocates can't fight for all aspects of the trains we love. Then we won't have any train to love. Hence New River fought hard to save the Charleston Station agent, and they are fighting hard on other national network issues. We're in this fight with you but are you in it with us?

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The dining car issue is Congress’ fault not Anderson’s.

 

 

That is a true statement but true railroad people understand that dining cars are put there to attract passengers into buying the highest priced accommodations. AFAIK, this point has not been made to congress. We can only hope that LD business plunges so that the message is loud and clear. We will no longer ride to CHI on a 20-28 hr trip without fresh hot food. There must be other passengers who feel the same way. Remember if this effort is successful you can kiss goodbye to the dining service on the trains West from CHI as well..

 

Looks like you took their bait.

 

I ride in sleepers for the flat bed, not for the meals included, though they are a bonus. I'm fine with taking my own food or buying it from the cafe car.

 

Everyone's idea of comfort is different. If people like eating an unhealthy high salt box lunch with loads of chemical additives they are certainly entitled to do so. We will spend our money elsewhere and enjoy a full dinner on the road. As for bait. IMO the bait is to see if ridership still stays strong on the CL and LSL. If it does then the Western trains are next. The issue of laying off good people is also a concern but certain people don't care about that. .

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The dining car issue is Congress’ fault not Anderson’s.

 

 

That is a true statement but true railroad people understand that dining cars are put there to attract passengers into buying the highest priced accommodations. AFAIK, this point has not been made to congress. We can only hope that LD business plunges so that the message is loud and clear. We will no longer ride to CHI on a 20-28 hr trip without fresh hot food. There must be other passengers who feel the same way. Remember if this effort is successful you can kiss goodbye to the dining service on the trains West from CHI as well..

 

Looks like you took their bait.

 

I ride in sleepers for the flat bed, not for the meals included, though they are a bonus. I'm fine with taking my own food or buying it from the cafe car.

 

Everyone's idea of comfort is different. If people like eating an unhealthy high salt box lunch with loads of chemical additives they are certainly entitled to do so. We will spend our money elsewhere and enjoy a full dinner on the road. As for bait. IMO the bait is to see if ridership still stays strong on the CL and LSL. If it does then the Western trains are next. The issue of laying off good people is also a concern but certain people don't care about that. .

 

You keep bringing up the laying off of people. You do realize that employees get laid off everyday, don't you? I've been laid off quite a few times in my life time and I've survived. It's a fact of life, not something that only happens to Amtrak employees.

 

And did I say I was happy with the box lunch/dinner? No, I did not. Did I say I like eating high salt foods with chemical additives. No, I did not. I said I'm ok with bringing my own food or buying food in the cafe.

 

I do not speak for everyone, so you should not assume EVERYONE does what I do.

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Either way what has senator Casey or Senator Tooney done for Your pet train? Point of the matter in this new environment all trains matter be it private cars, be it charters, be it the cardinal, and to some extent the Acela. And if we as advocates can't fight for all aspects of the trains we love. Then we won't have any train to love. Hence New River fought hard to save the Charleston Station agent, and they are fighting hard on other national network issues. We're in this fight with you but are you in it with us?

 

I hardly believe the Charleston Station agent nor other station agents in most stations in places I've never heard of are "national network issues". I forget the actual statistic but most tickets are handled online these days and a lot of stops don't have agents already. Cutting agents is a cost cutting move just like the AAA discount. I don't like it but I get it. Spending money on a ticket agent takes money away which could be used elsewhere. Amtrak is only given a certain amount of money a year. I want it used to better benefit the country, not just West Virginia. Does it have to be Philadelphia? Not necessarily. But I think it should be proportionally based on population and right now it does seem to be IMO disproportionally given to benefit rural population more and Amtrak were to truly benefit that needs to change.

 

I'm not sure if Anderson's delivery is the best but he might get the idea of Amtrak being a taxpayer burden and is trying to reduce the burden on the American taxpayer.

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Either way what has senator Casey or Senator Tooney done for Your pet train? Point of the matter in this new environment all trains matter be it private cars, be it charters, be it the cardinal, and to some extent the Acela. And if we as advocates can't fight for all aspects of the trains we love. Then we won't have any train to love. Hence New River fought hard to save the Charleston Station agent, and they are fighting hard on other national network issues. We're in this fight with you but are you in it with us?

 

I hardly believe the Charleston Station agent nor other station agents in most stations in places I've never heard of are "national network issues". I forget the actual statistic but most tickets are handled online these days and a lot of stops don't have agents already. Cutting agents is a cost cutting move just like the AAA discount. I don't like it but I get it. Spending money on a ticket agent takes money away which could be used elsewhere. Amtrak is only given a certain amount of money a year. I want it used to better benefit the country, not just West Virginia. Does it have to be Philadelphia? Not necessarily. But I think it should be proportionally based on population and right now it does seem to be IMO disproportionally given to benefit rural population more and Amtrak were to truly benefit that needs to change.

 

I'm not sure if Anderson's delivery is the best but he might get the idea of Amtrak being a taxpayer burden and is trying to reduce the burden on the American taxpayer.

 

 

US citizens are citizens of the entire United States, not just their local municipality. Why shouldn't our national government maintain infrastructure that enables us to travel throughout our entire country? Likewise, all of us have an interest in maintaining infrastructure that supports a functioning economy across the entire nation. Amtrak routes through sparsely populated areas benefit ALL of us, just as the national highway system does.

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Philly,

 

I truly don't understand how you and I can live in a similar area and have such different perceptions/reactions to the same situation. I perceive everything as being given to the rich, crowded, and often rude Northeast Corridor, with the rural areas getting scraps and having to beg for those. And West Virginia seems to me to be one of the eastern states that is a true treasure, with its incredible scenery, and should be promoted, not scorned. I love Philadelphia, too--it is my favorite local getaway city--but don't see why, for example, the east coast gets a bunch of trains, including Acelas, and still wants to starve the rest of the country of LD trains.

Edited by Mystic River Dragon

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Fire Mr Anderson and replace him with who? Another yes man bureaucrat not wanting to rock the boat?

 

This is about wanting Amtrak to be the way it has always been or moving it in a new direction. One can be for either and that's fine, its your prerogative and change can be unsettling, but at least admit it .

Edited by frequentflyer

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Personally I want to replace him with Cindy Sandborn formerly of CSX now Union Pacific. She's grown up in railroading, she understands railroading, and she understands amtraks unique needs.

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