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Fire Richard Anderson Campaign?

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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.

 

Why is it that you feel that West Virginia does not deserve a station agent, or even a train at all?

 

You know how many departures each station in West Virginia gets in a week? Six. You know how many Amtrak departures Philadelphia gets each day? 108. But still you complain that your hometown doesn't have daily non-stop service to Chicago, and that the thrice-weekly train which does offer you non-stop service, should get the ax.

 

As Tricia said, West Virginia is part of the United States, so how can you say that you're not benefiting the nation by giving it a station agent? Under your logic that by Amtrak spending money on something that benefits locals, they are wasting funds and failing to benefit the country as a whole, then any money spent on any local service must be a waste, be it Charleston or New York City.

 

Tell me this: If you lived in WV, and had to put up with train service from one train that serves your town three days a week in each direction, what would be your opinion of someone whose town gets more than 750 Amtrak departures a week (not even including SEPTA or NJT), but wants you to lose train service altogether, just so that they can get a faster one seat ride to Chicago? I think I'll leave it at that.

Edited by cpotisch

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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. . . 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.

These days sleeper passengers only account for some 16% of LD train riders, and the average age of a sleeper pax is 61. The other 84% are in coach or business.

With some 5x as many coach riders it seems the math works out that Amtrak makes as much revenue, if not a little more, from coach passengers and what they spend in the SSL café and dining car.

 

A superliner sleeper car has 21 sleeper rooms. Since the sleeper cost is not connected to how many people occupy a sleeper berth, Amtrak makes out somewhat dollar wise if just 1 person occupies a sleeper because they then provide just meals for 1, not 2 per roomette/H-room, 3 per Bedroom or 4 per Family room.

It's been noted before that even sold out sleeper cars in the consist of a LD train cost more to operate than the revenue they generate.

 

Other than eggs and steak you haven't been getting "fresh" food in a lot of years.

 

No doubt some passengers will feel the same way, but Amtrak has been reducing amenities and services for quite a few years. Some passengers have stopped riding Amtrak because of those changes, but ridership continues to increase (25% since 2006) making it hard to suggest that Amtrak is on the wrong track (pun intended) regards fine tuning the Amtrak sleeper experience so it is more contemporary and maybe more appealing to a younger demographic.

 

Source of Amtrak LD train numbers: https://www.amtrak.com/content/dam/projects/dotcom/english/public/documents/corporate/businessplanning/Amtrak-Five-Year-Service-Plans-FY18-FY23.pdf

Edited by KmH

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No doubt some passengers will feel the same way, but Amtrak has been reducing amenities and services for quite a few years. Some passengers have stopped riding Amtrak because of those changes, but ridership continues to increase (25% since 2006) making it hard to suggest that Amtrak is on the wrong track (pun intended) regards fine tuning the Amtrak sleeper experience so it is more contemporary and maybe more appealing to a younger demographic.

 

And some keep threatening to stop riding...but they're still riding and threatening.... :P

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No doubt some passengers will feel the same way, but Amtrak has been reducing amenities and services for quite a few years. Some passengers have stopped riding Amtrak because of those changes, but ridership continues to increase (25% since 2006) making it hard to suggest that Amtrak is on the wrong track (pun intended) regards fine tuning the Amtrak sleeper experience so it is more contemporary and maybe more appealing to a younger demographic.

So by reducing services, cutting amenities, and raising prices Amtrak is making the sleeper experience more appealing to a generation that has less disposable income, higher debt burdens, and fewer opportunities for luxury travel? Please tell me more.

 

 

And some keep threatening to stop riding...but they're still riding and threatening.

While others repeatedly claim they support every price increase and service cutback...even though they never seem to have any actual long distance sleeper trips to talk about.

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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.

Has Cindy shown any interest in the job? Last I checked, taking unwilling people and throwing them in a job that they don't want is a NO NO.

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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.

Has Cindy shown any interest in the job? Last I checked, taking unwilling people and throwing them in a job that they don't want is a NO NO.

 

 

 

Cindy was one of the people that expressed zero interest in the job. It is hard to find a railroader with interest and maybe that is the real problem that needs to be addressed.

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Well the other person I want as CEO is Thirdrail7 but I doubt he has the interest in doing it.

 

But I would accept Brian Ghallanger Boardmans right hand man. At least he's come from the crafts and understands how a railroad works. And being Boardmans right hand man probably understands how the CEO job works as well.

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Well the other person I want as CEO is Thirdrail7 but I doubt he has the interest in doing it.

 

But I would accept Brian Ghallanger Boardmans right hand man. At least he's come from the crafts and understands how a railroad works. And being Boardmans right hand man probably understands how the CEO job works as well.

 

That's debatable.

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I met Brian Gallagher a couple of years ago, aboard the Autumn Express...he impressed me as a great, down-to-earth kind of guy, but I can't say if he would fit all the requirements of being the CEO.

One thing for sure...special trains would continue on.... :)

Anyone know what he is doing now?

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I think we should all run it. I could oversee coffee and breakfast in the sleepers. Coffee pot (1) working, and (2) on all day. South Jersey diner-style breakfast for all, with lots of eggs and potatoes, starting with a full dining car in the precious little Cardinal.... :)

 

The rest (like actually moving the trains) will be up to the rest of you :).

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I've just got to wonder about some of those numbers, such as these from Page 66 of that linked document:

 

post-9586-0-20271800-1529253663_thumb.jpg

 

Average sleeper pax income is $102,000? Uh. . . . I've a hunch some bean counter pulled that one and some others out of his BVD's!

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The numbers are all pulled out of no where or at best skewed. Income, birthdate, reason for travel arent asked to the masses. Id be interested to know how many people get or fill out the emailed trip review surveys. The 84 percent coach riders stat make it sound like no one rides in the sleepers and is hugely skewed. Gives Anderson misleading ammunition to break up the LD trains. Of course if your only riding 2-8 hours most people will ride in coach. A better stat would be coach brings in _%revenue and sleepers bring in _% revenue. Or trips over 12 hours coach %vs sleepers %.

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If they truly think that 92 percent of both coach and sleeper passengers are not traveling on business, and that most of us are over 50, then say goodbye to the trains for sure, except for the northeast. My impression is that Amtrak does not care about older passengers or leisure passengers--it just wants young and rich, traveling for business.

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If they truly think that 92 percent of both coach and sleeper passengers are not traveling on business, and that most of us are over 50, then say goodbye to the trains for sure, except for the northeast. My impression is that Amtrak does not care about older passengers or leisure passengers--it just wants young and rich, traveling for business.

 

 

 

I don't know if that's what Amtrak wants, but they're certainly not going to get it without much more reliable schedules, better connectivity, additional frequencies, and perhaps additional routes as well.

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I met Brian Gallagher a couple of years ago, aboard the Autumn Express...he impressed me as a great, down-to-earth kind of guy, but I can't say if he would fit all the requirements of being the CEO.

One thing for sure...special trains would continue on.... :)

Anyone know what he is doing now?

He's currently an engineer again out of Albany. And I might add one of the ones with better train handling skills.

 

I think we should all run it. I could oversee coffee and breakfast in the sleepers. Coffee pot (1) working, and (2) on all day. South Jersey diner-style breakfast for all, with lots of eggs and potatoes, starting with a full dining car in the precious little Cardinal.... :)

 

The rest (like actually moving the trains) will be up to the rest of you :).

I'm more than happy to take over charters, and special operations. Then were guaranteed charter trains will return and likely be more numerous then before.

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The numbers are all pulled out of no where or at best skewed. Income, birthdate, reason for travel arent asked to the masses. Id be interested to know how many people get or fill out the emailed trip review surveys. The 84 percent coach riders stat make it sound like no one rides in the sleepers and is hugely skewed. Gives Anderson misleading ammunition to break up the LD trains. Of course if your only riding 2-8 hours most people will ride in coach. A better stat would be coach brings in _%revenue and sleepers bring in _% revenue. Or trips over 12 hours coach %vs sleepers %.

 

Silver Meteor: https://www.railpassengers.org/site/assets/files/3459/19.pdf

 

Revenue from Coach: 300,151 * $ 83.00 = $24,912,533

Revenue from Sleeper: 41,255 * $291.00 = $12,005,205

 

They make twice as much revenue from coach fares (not counting the food that coach passengers have to buy vs. the sleeper fares that include food).

 

The top city pair on the SM is NYP-ORL. MIA-NYP and ORL-WAS are 3rd and 4th, respectively. All three are overnight. (NYP-Richmond is #2). Still, almost 88% of the passengers on the SM are coach. If you look at trips over 1000 miles (which include NYP-ORL and MIA-NYP), a large majority of those trips are in coach as are a large majority of trips 900-999 miles (which include ORL-WAS).

 

 

It's a slightly different story on the California Zephyr (https://www.railpassengers.org/site/assets/files/3440/27.pdf ). For trips between 1000-1499 miles (including CHI-DEN), more passengers ride coach. But for trips over 2000 miles (including CHI-EMY), more passengers ride sleeper (from my eyes it looks like 1/3 ride coach). Overall, about 79% of CZ passengers ride coach and revenue still is about 2 to 1 in favor of coach. For the SWC (https://www.railpassengers.org/site/assets/files/3439/28.pdf ), it looks about 50-50 coach to sleeper for trips 2000+ miles and a little more in favor of coach.

Edited by Philly Amtrak Fan

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The numbers are all pulled out of no where or at best skewed. Income, birthdate, reason for travel arent asked to the masses. Id be interested to know how many people get or fill out the emailed trip review surveys. The 84 percent coach riders stat make it sound like no one rides in the sleepers and is hugely skewed. Gives Anderson misleading ammunition to break up the LD trains. Of course if your only riding 2-8 hours most people will ride in coach. A better stat would be coach brings in _%revenue and sleepers bring in _% revenue. Or trips over 12 hours coach %vs sleepers %.

Silver Meteor:

https://www.railpassengers.org/site/assets/files/3459/19.pdf

 

Revenue from Coach: 300,151 * $ 83.00 = $24,912,533

Revenue from Sleeper: 41,255 * $291.00 = $12,005,205

 

They make twice as much revenue from coach fares (not counting the food that coach passengers have to buy vs. the sleeper fares that include food).

 

The top city pair on the SM is NYP-ORL. MIA-NYP and ORL-WAS are 3rd and 4th, respectively. All three are overnight. (NYP-Richmond is #2). Still, almost 88% of the passengers on the SM are coach. If you look at trips over 1000 miles (which include NYP-ORL and MIA-NYP), a large majority of those trips are in coach as are a large majority of trips 900-999 miles (which include ORL-WAS).

 

 

It's a slightly different story on the California Zephyr (https://www.railpassengers.org/site/assets/files/3440/27.pdf ). For trips between 1000-1499 miles (including CHI-DEN), more passengers ride coach. But for trips over 2000 miles (including CHI-EMY), more passengers ride sleeper (from my eyes it looks like 1/3 ride coach). Overall, about 79% of CZ passengers ride coach and revenue still is about 2 to 1 in favor of coach. For the SWC (https://www.railpassengers.org/site/assets/files/3439/28.pdf ), it looks about 50-50 coach to sleeper for trips 2000+ miles and a little more in favor of coach.

And your point would be? It sounds to me like you are in favor of eliminating sleepers and having all coach trains. In which we will have to disagree on that. I only travel sleeper when it's an option.

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The numbers are all pulled out of no where or at best skewed. Income, birthdate, reason for travel arent asked to the masses. Id be interested to know how many people get or fill out the emailed trip review surveys. The 84 percent coach riders stat make it sound like no one rides in the sleepers and is hugely skewed. Gives Anderson misleading ammunition to break up the LD trains. Of course if your only riding 2-8 hours most people will ride in coach. A better stat would be coach brings in _%revenue and sleepers bring in _% revenue. Or trips over 12 hours coach %vs sleepers %.

Silver Meteor:

https://www.railpassengers.org/site/assets/files/3459/19.pdf

 

Revenue from Coach: 300,151 * $ 83.00 = $24,912,533

Revenue from Sleeper: 41,255 * $291.00 = $12,005,205

 

They make twice as much revenue from coach fares (not counting the food that coach passengers have to buy vs. the sleeper fares that include food).

 

The top city pair on the SM is NYP-ORL. MIA-NYP and ORL-WAS are 3rd and 4th, respectively. All three are overnight. (NYP-Richmond is #2). Still, almost 88% of the passengers on the SM are coach. If you look at trips over 1000 miles (which include NYP-ORL and MIA-NYP), a large majority of those trips are in coach as are a large majority of trips 900-999 miles (which include ORL-WAS).

 

 

It's a slightly different story on the California Zephyr (https://www.railpassengers.org/site/assets/files/3440/27.pdf ). For trips between 1000-1499 miles (including CHI-DEN), more passengers ride coach. But for trips over 2000 miles (including CHI-EMY), more passengers ride sleeper (from my eyes it looks like 1/3 ride coach). Overall, about 79% of CZ passengers ride coach and revenue still is about 2 to 1 in favor of coach. For the SWC (https://www.railpassengers.org/site/assets/files/3439/28.pdf ), it looks about 50-50 coach to sleeper for trips 2000+ miles and a little more in favor of coach.

And your point would be? It sounds to me like you are in favor of eliminating sleepers and having all coach trains. In which we will have to disagree on that. I only travel sleeper when it's an option.

 

 

I wouldn't go that far but I was disproving the notion that true overnight LD travel is sleeper only. I have taken a lot of overnight LD travel and I have never taken a sleeper before. For a single passenger, unless you are part of AGR or some other plan, you are paying 2-3X as much for a "bed" and "meals".

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The numbers are all pulled out of no where or at best skewed. Income, birthdate, reason for travel arent asked to the masses. Id be interested to know how many people get or fill out the emailed trip review surveys. The 84 percent coach riders stat make it sound like no one rides in the sleepers and is hugely skewed. Gives Anderson misleading ammunition to break up the LD trains. Of course if your only riding 2-8 hours most people will ride in coach. A better stat would be coach brings in _%revenue and sleepers bring in _% revenue. Or trips over 12 hours coach %vs sleepers %.

Silver Meteor:

https://www.railpassengers.org/site/assets/files/3459/19.pdf

 

Revenue from Coach: 300,151 * $ 83.00 = $24,912,533

Revenue from Sleeper: 41,255 * $291.00 = $12,005,205

 

They make twice as much revenue from coach fares (not counting the food that coach passengers have to buy vs. the sleeper fares that include food).

 

The top city pair on the SM is NYP-ORL. MIA-NYP and ORL-WAS are 3rd and 4th, respectively. All three are overnight. (NYP-Richmond is #2). Still, almost 88% of the passengers on the SM are coach. If you look at trips over 1000 miles (which include NYP-ORL and MIA-NYP), a large majority of those trips are in coach as are a large majority of trips 900-999 miles (which include ORL-WAS).

 

 

It's a slightly different story on the California Zephyr (https://www.railpassengers.org/site/assets/files/3440/27.pdf ). For trips between 1000-1499 miles (including CHI-DEN), more passengers ride coach. But for trips over 2000 miles (including CHI-EMY), more passengers ride sleeper (from my eyes it looks like 1/3 ride coach). Overall, about 79% of CZ passengers ride coach and revenue still is about 2 to 1 in favor of coach. For the SWC (https://www.railpassengers.org/site/assets/files/3439/28.pdf ), it looks about 50-50 coach to sleeper for trips 2000+ miles and a little more in favor of coach.

And your point would be? It sounds to me like you are in favor of eliminating sleepers and having all coach trains. In which we will have to disagree on that. I only travel sleeper when it's an option.

 

 

you are paying 2-3X as much for a "bed" and "meals".

 

You're not paying 2-3X as much for just a bed and meals (also I don't know why you put those words in quotes). You get privacy, the ability to shower, complimentary coffee and refreshments, your own thermostat, etc. You're pretty much dead on about the, but you definitely get a lot more than just a bed and some food.

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The numbers are all pulled out of no where or at best skewed. Income, birthdate, reason for travel arent asked to the masses. Id be interested to know how many people get or fill out the emailed trip review surveys. The 84 percent coach riders stat make it sound like no one rides in the sleepers and is hugely skewed. Gives Anderson misleading ammunition to break up the LD trains. Of course if your only riding 2-8 hours most people will ride in coach. A better stat would be coach brings in _%revenue and sleepers bring in _% revenue. Or trips over 12 hours coach %vs sleepers %.

 

Silver Meteor: https://www.railpassengers.org/site/assets/files/3459/19.pdf

 

Revenue from Coach: 300,151 * $ 83.00 = $24,912,533

Revenue from Sleeper: 41,255 * $291.00 = $12,005,205

 

 

 

 

 

Another way of looking at this is each sleeper passenger generates 3.5 times as much revenue as a coach passenger.

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A basic reason for a sleeper for me is that I am traveling alone. I do not want to sit (or sleep) next to a total stranger all night. At best, I would feel uncomfortable; at worst, afraid if the person acted odd. The other reason is that the bathrooms in coach after a few hours are disgusting.

 

Looking again at the chart, I don't know where they think that sleeper passengers make an average of $102,000 a year. For many of us, taking a sleeper is something we have saved up for. I can travel by train because I do not spend money on a car, smartphone, TV, designer clothes, or much else, and I save up for my trips.

 

Someone making that much money probably would not be taking Amtrak LD. They would be in Prestige Class on the Canadian, or they would take a repositioning cruise from one coast to the other, or they would fly first-class wherever they wanted to.

 

Back to the Fire Anderson signs--I did see them as we came toward North Philadelphia (my SEPTA train was crawling along because of Amtrak signal problems, so I had plenty of time to take them in). I know nothing about the person who put them up, but I'm not sure where they are is the best place for them to be taken seriously. The building doesn't look all that fancy, and it is in an unattractive area. But the worst part is that there were four really sad-looking train cars that had graffiti all over them and looked like they had been abandoned. I do give the person credit for trying, but don't think they are any threat to Anderson--it is certainly silly if he gets his legal team to fight them--it's not like it's running every few minutes on the new electronic billboards on Market Street where a lot of people would notice.

Edited by Mystic River Dragon

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Looking again at the chart, I don't know where they think that sleeper passengers make an average of $102,000 a year. For many of us, taking a sleeper is something we have saved up for.

Yeah, that part really did surprise me. We can't afford to take a sleeper more than two or three times a year - it's something you save for and splurge on. Whatever. People can derive pretty much whatever numbers they want to see from surveys and studies.

Edited by cpotisch

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