Amtrak Revenue and Cash Shortfall - Merged

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by printman2000, Feb 11, 2016.

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  1. Feb 12, 2016 #26

    Ryan

    Ryan

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    Yet somehow, he found his way back here. Incredible!!!

    It's also worth noting that I didn't make any comment on the wisdom (or any lack thereof) on both hiding the post and contacting him. It is possible to believe that he should have been contacted and should have contacted them in private.

    Feel free to argue about the points I've actually made, though. :)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 12, 2016
  2. Feb 12, 2016 #27

    jis

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    Frankly I cannot understand why the ensuing discussion needs to be hidden. If you want to not show the documents that the entire world has seen by now, fine, hide that away. But why throttle the discussion that was going on and hide all the comments away too? Trying to become more like railroad.net are we? ;)
     
  3. Feb 12, 2016 #28

    Palmetto

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    I'm on all three discussion groups. Of the three, this one is the most permissive [or the least censored], in my view. And thank you to the mods of all three who are trying their best, I am sure, to keep discussions sane and civilized.
     
  4. Feb 12, 2016 #29

    SANSR

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    Emulating our current presidential hopefuls as they scurry back and forth on the campaign trail, perhaps??
     
  5. Feb 12, 2016 #30

    Ryan

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    Having spent most of the day in airplanes, I'm not sure what I missed (I did see the original post in question), but I agree with the sentiment that this place is the best of the three.
     
  6. Feb 12, 2016 #31

    Bob Dylan

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    Although I cannot disclose any details, I have it from several sources I trust that there are Big Problems and Changes happening re the Auto Train, and that there are going to be more nickel and dime cuts, along with some Serious changes that will pertain to most of the LD Trains!

    Let's wait and see what develops as Amtrak does their usual poor job of Public Information and Communication with the Staff and the Customers!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 12, 2016
  7. Feb 12, 2016 #32

    jis

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    I generally agree with that sentiment, but this particular episode distressed me, and I therefore I articulated my concern, with my usual dry humor.
     
  8. Feb 13, 2016 #33

    Just-Thinking-51

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    And what changes are to occur to the NEC?

    Or should we believe again the Long Distance Train are the only ones that can or should cut there expenses.

    As for the Amtrak Public Information department, back in the day it was call spin.
     
  9. Feb 13, 2016 #34

    PRR 60

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    The original topic, including the Joseph Boardman memo, has been restored. The subsequent topic based on the Philadelphia Inquirer article has been merged into the original topic. All the various posts commenting on site moderation remain.

    Without getting into the gory details, lets just say that the staff dialog concerning this subject was lively. I'm hopeful that we can handle future issues like this more adeptly.
     
  10. Feb 13, 2016 #35

    me_little_me

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    I got a bad feeling that they'll come up with the idea to remove all the diners, eliminating not only the cars but lots of employees both on the trains and in the commissaries. Gulp! Please let it be after my August/September trip!
     
  11. Feb 13, 2016 #36

    OlympianHiawatha

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    With the new Viewliner Diners already on the build and plenty of Superliner Diners already in fleet that will not happen.
     
  12. Feb 13, 2016 #37

    blondninja

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    Would they ever do the opposite and close the cafe car, keep the lounge and have everything run through the diner with these at seat meals?
     
  13. Feb 13, 2016 #38

    blondninja

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    Also, could the PPP on the coast starlight not make a return to save on labor costs?
     
  14. Feb 13, 2016 #39

    CCC1007

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    No, they have said that the cafes are "profitable."
     
  15. Feb 13, 2016 #40

    gmushial

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    Two thoughts come to mind:

    1) How much of this shortfall has to do with Congress continuing to squeeze Amtrak, ie, if one looks at generated revenue - has that changed significantly, in percentage terms?

    2) With fuel costs down - being used as an excuse for people to drive vs let Amtrak drive for them - why haven't Amtrak's costs also come down... have to think that fuel costs are significant in running a railroad.. or is it a case that Amtrak pays the host railroads a fixed amount per mile, and they might be saving big time, but not Amtrak?
     
  16. Feb 13, 2016 #41

    WoodyinNYC

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    Amtrak rarely shares the budget details to be found in the link below, from 2010.

    https://www.amtrak.com/ccurl/536/878/PRIIA-210-Cardinal-PIP.pdf

    In that report on the Cardinal, on page 24, Appendix C, the costs (for Cardinal and Hoosier State combined) are given as

    $5.5 million -- T&E (Labor & Support)

    $5.1 million -- Maintenance of Equipment

    $3.0 million -- General & Administrative

    $1.8 million -- Stations

    $1.8 million -- Sales & Marketing

    $1.6 million -- OBS (Labor & Support)

    $1.4 million -- Host Railroad

    $1.2 million -- Operations Management

    $1.2 million -- Amtrak Maintenance of Way

    $1.1 million -- Fuel

    $0.2 million -- Electric traction

    etc.

    -----------------

    $26.8 million -- Total Direct & Shared Costs

    vs

    $7.3 million -- Total Revenue (Tickets + Food & Beverage)

    Say fuel prices drop here by 50%, or $550,000 while revenue declines by only 10%, or $730,000. The smaller percentage decline in revenue hurts more than can be offset by dramatically lower fuel costs.
     
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  17. Feb 13, 2016 #42

    gmushial

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    Many thanks for posting such... having real numbers makes the situation more clear/understandable... :) :-(
     
  18. Feb 13, 2016 #43

    neroden

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    So, it performs much better than it had for years, and has higher loads than before, and is longer and carrying more passengers, all with higher ticket yields, breaking even before overhead is added -- punish it?
    I mean, if there's a plan for a more efficient turnaround of the train, that would be great, but that would probably cost more money, not less.

    Idiocy. Pure idiocy. Throwing away dollars to pick up pennies.
    Or if we're lucky -- maybe they're getting rid of the plastic bottled water in favor of providing cups and encouraging people to use the potable water supply which every single car is required to have. That would actually make sense, save money, *and* be "green". Heck, maybe the savings would allow them to run the coffeepot all day. But somehow I suspect that's way too sensible for Amtrak....

    Couldn't possibly be anything intelligent like consistent service standards or mid-route restocking or LCPM.
    Gonna be revenue-cutting moron moves, I presume? "Our revenue and ridership is down, let's make it lower so we can lose more money"?

    Sounds all too likely to be the usual shambolic scam of attacking and damaging ridership & revenue on the trains which are doing well in the so-called "long-distance" division, which are pretty much unaffected by gas prices. But of course no changes on the trains which *actually saw the ridership drops*, which is the Midwest corridor trains and the Acela.
     
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  19. Feb 13, 2016 #44

    Carolina Special

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    There is a sad irony when the CEO of a travel company calls for a reduction in business travel by his employees.
     
  20. Feb 13, 2016 #45

    west point

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    Is it possible that Amtrak's cash shortage comes from funds set aside for the 188 derailment ? Insurance will only pay how much ? + Plus the accident will increase their insurance rates ?
     
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  21. Feb 13, 2016 #46

    Bob Dylan

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    Ditto! Perhaps the next round of cuts need to come from Amtrak's Executive Ranks that are responsible for the poor results, not out of the hide of the Employees that do the work and from further downgrading service on the LD Trains!
     
  22. Feb 13, 2016 #47

    GG-1

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    You have hit then nail on the head of Corporate America, blame the workers, not the people that plan the work.

    Aloha
     
  23. Feb 14, 2016 #48

    Alexandria Nick

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    Those people are the ones that are traveling for business the most and the most expensively. Virtually every government agency has already had the travel reductions come through in the last two or three years. Surprised it took Amtrak this long.
     
  24. Feb 14, 2016 #49

    Chaz

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    Interesting 1 page (so far) thread on TO about Coast Starlight's passenger totals, sleepers vs coaches '78-present

    http://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?4,3961169
     
  25. Feb 14, 2016 #50

    WoodyinNYC

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    Wow. Using consist and ridership figures posted there by abyler:

    1978 Consist: (Heritage) 3 sleepers, 2 diners, 1 lounge, 8 coaches, 1 big dome lounge, 1 dome coach

    1975 Ridership: 26,000 in sleeper and 349,000 in coach

    1995 Revenue was 38.5% of Attributed Costs (my calculation)

    2012 Consist: 1 dorm (4 rooms for revenue sale), 3 sleepers, 1 diner, 2 lounges, 4 coaches

    2015 Ridership: 77,000 in sleeper and 385,000 in coach

    2015 Revenue was 45.5% of Attributed Costs (my calculation)

    Apparently much short trip coach traffic was drained off by Cascades, Capitol Corridors, Surfliners, Sounders, Metrolink, etc. But meanwhile the LD sleeper business has boomed! Might be nice to have enuff equipment to have three sleepers on other trains.
     
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