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lordsigma

FY18 End of Year Report

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End of FY18 performance report with the route level results is finally out on website.  As expected there is a decrease for LD from last year, however Amtrak also admitted in the earlier public end of year report that some of the decline in LD ridership this year can be attributed to cancelled and truncated trains due to a large amount of natural/weather events. Enough of these for a once a day train won't take long to depress ridership over the previous year. And not all LD trains declined - ridership was higher this year than last on the California Zephyr, and amazingly the Crescent as well despite its abysmal OTP. The report for this year annoyingly doesn't have seat and passenger miles listed which makes it harder to make a direct comparison to last year.

The Capitol Limited has a decent drop. Can one make an argument that could be attributed to "contemporary food?" Lake shore dropped a decent amount too, but it is harder to make a fair comparison there as it also didn't serve Penn for the summer. Will need to wait until next year to do a fair comparison for Lake Shore.

 

URL: https://www.amtrak.com/content/dam/projects/dotcom/english/public/documents/corporate/monthlyperformancereports/2018/Amtrak-Monthly-Performance-Report-September-2018.pdf

Edited by lordsigma

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The consist on my recent CZ trip only had three coaches, one sleeper, and the dorm (I was in the far-end of the dorm next to the crew section). 

Coach was pretty full between Chicago and Denver, but emptied out after that, especially once we reached Reno. Sleepers sold all but a couple roomettes, the family, and H room.

FWIW I think this train was the "right size" considering the winter demand. I liked this trip more because of the large amounts of snow on the ground, but most people aren't vacationing this time of year on a train. 

Edited by William W.

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They never mention “right sizing” the trains and the impact on ridership. That is self inflicted. 

Undoubtedly why they removed seat miles and passenger miles from these reports otherwise it would be easier to figure out where that’s going on.

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Looks like they're still using the fraudulent cost-allocation accounting.  I'm not sure how best to get the message in RPA's white paper across to the right Congresspeople so that Amtrak can be hammered for this.

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23 hours ago, William W. said:

The consist on my recent CZ trip only had three coaches, one sleeper, and the dorm (I was in the far-end of the dorm next to the crew section). 

Coach was pretty full between Chicago and Denver, but emptied out after that, especially once we reached Reno. Sleepers sold all but a couple roomettes, the family, and H room.

FWIW I think this train was the "right size" considering the winter demand. I liked this trip more because of the large amounts of snow on the ground, but most people aren't vacationing this time of year on a train. 

My problem is good marketing could put more people on the seats. If there were more seats, you could accomodate more people on the busy stretches. You are reducing opportunities when you reduce your consists.

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8 hours ago, Thirdrail7 said:

My problem is good marketing could put more people on the seats. If there were more seats, you could accomodate more people on the busy stretches. You are reducing opportunities when you reduce your consists.

When I talk to folks about my train trips, such as our "Railfan Madness Part II" circle trip HOS-NOL-CHI-PDX-VAC-VBC-VIF-SVF-SEA-SAC-GBB-SPI-LVW-HOS (whew!), the most common response I get is, "Wow, I didn't even know they were still running passenger trains!" Then, half the time, I get asked, "How could I take a train from here to XXX?" But, since "here" is Houston, most of the time I have to tell them, "You can't get there from here." Then they lose interest.

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My problem is good marketing could put more people on the seats. If there were more seats, you could accomodate more people on the busy stretches. You are reducing opportunities when you reduce your consists.

Absolutely agree 100%. There is a demand for “experiences” in the younger generations. So many people aren’t aware that a train trip is an option to get to many places. A train trip is a way to experience something different than the usual flight or drive. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve told about my travels by train that say something like “wow that sounds so cool I have to take the train somewhere sometime” or “I didn’t even know you could take a train there.” Sadly Amtrak is stuck between being government and a “for profit company” which makes it harder for them to justify a good ad campaign due to the fact they don’t make a profit. A well executed campaign across all mediums including a well done TV commercial would make more people aware.

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