Don Philips recent bad experience on LD train

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by edjbox, Jun 27, 2014.

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  1. Jun 28, 2014 #26

    SanAntonioClyde

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    SanAntonioClyde

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    Maybe Don's column dealt a little too much with his experience with poor service, but overall his main point seems to be Amtrak's cuts are not help in building a better system. The lack of strong congressional support has forced them to this level. Until this changes we are going to get a second rate rail system even though the vast majority of Amtrak employees give their best every working day
     
  2. Jun 28, 2014 #27

    MikefromCrete

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    Don Phillips' article doesn't state anything different from posts on this site about Amtrak' service problems. The Capital Limited is often cited as having big problems with the dining car crew, so none of this is anything new. Phillips is a long-time, well respected journalist who has specialized in transportation coverage. I respect his opinion a lot more than some of the ranting on AU. But the point is that Amtrak is apparently going to continue to cut amenities and the size of crews as cost savings measures. It's happening and if the Republicans gain control of the Senate, it will continue on an accelerated rate.
     
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  3. Jun 29, 2014 #28

    trainaddict

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    Do you have any sources to prove this?
     
  4. Jun 29, 2014 #29

    bgiaquin

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    Or democrats could gain control of the house and the cuts may stop.
     
  5. Jun 29, 2014 #30

    Green Maned Lion

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    And if my Aunt had wheels she'd be a tea cart.
     
  6. Jun 29, 2014 #31
    Trainaddict: Do you have any sources to prove that you're not an immature troll? Sorry, but that just follows the logic of your absurd statement. Neroden was just voicing his opinion, and I believe many if not most of us on this forum would agree with his points. He does not need to "prove" them.
     
  7. Jun 29, 2014 #32

    William W.

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    I connected from the CZ to the CL back in March. The service was day and night in my opinion. The SCA I had on the CZ was one of the best (his name was Johnny, I believe), and the dining car crews were great too. On the CL, the SCA was absent most of the time, didn't stock much bottled water, had no juice, and no hot coffee. I had to search through empty rooms to find bottled water, because I couldn't find him the next morning to ask for some. The dining car crew was generally rude, and seemed to be inconvenienced by my very presence. It's funny, because the CL is one of the better equipped LD trains, but seems to have bad service. The Cardinal is the worst equipped LD train, but I've never had a bad experience on that train. In fact, since the Cardinal generally draws from the same pool of crew, I've had the same SCAs and dining crews multiple times. I know them all pretty well, and they are very friendly.
     
  8. Jun 29, 2014 #33

    neroden

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    Which: to support my opinion about the CEOs? Yes, though it's a long tedious list of individual events, speeches, announcements, historical records, and I'm not going to reproduce it here: do your own research.
    Or to support the statement that railfans don't talk about the Downs and Boyd administrations? No, that's just anecdote. Have you heard anyone other than me have any opinion about them at all? I'd love to see contrary opinions.
     
  9. Jun 29, 2014 #34

    Steve4031

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    Neroden, IMHO that was a good summary. I had forgotten about several of them. Once you mentioned them I remembered.
     
  10. Jun 29, 2014 #35

    NW cannonball

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    Concur.

    Unfortunatlely, the appointment of Amtrak's CEO is so wrapped up in partisan politics - it's a wonder that any of them have done as well as they have done.

    Hoping for better, but it's a difficult job.

    Volunteers, anyone? Didn't think so.
     
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  11. Jun 29, 2014 #36

    The Davy Crockett

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    Don Phillips may be a foamer, but I'll tell you one thing he is NOT: An Amtrak apologist.
     
  12. Jun 29, 2014 #37

    VentureForth

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    Conversely, if YOU, trainaddict, had a contrary opinion, I'm sure we would love to read it. Maybe. I think.
     
  13. Jun 29, 2014 #38

    Green Maned Lion

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    Neither am I, and I usually disagree with him. I ain't a Foamer apologist, either. I refuse to ask for forgiveness for fools.
     
  14. Jun 29, 2014 #39

    railiner

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    I agree, as well. Good capsule analysis...
     
  15. Jun 29, 2014 #40

    railiner

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    I would have thought that at this point in Amtrak's history, they would have finally improved their culture to eliminate this phenomenon. At first, they had to weed out some of the bad seeds they inherited from some heritage railroads. But that generation should be long gone from service. So what possible excuse can they have for this to occur in this day and age? Very depressing to read of this. I can speculate that it is just inherent in a quasi-government operation, where employees may think that they are in some "government entitlement" program, rather than a real business for profit, that must satisfy and please their customers......

    Rant over. Thanks for reading.....
     
  16. Jun 29, 2014 #41

    Paulus

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    For what it's worth, the most conservative and anti-union people I've worked with were all union members in government jobs, so I doubt it's that. I suspect that the problem is a lack of managerial oversight while on the road and the fact that managers are taken from the union rank and file to begin with, so there's a hesitancy to discipline (and probably very bad training in managing as well).
     
  17. Jun 29, 2014 #42

    FormerOBS

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    Railiner --

    Do you actually believe the impetus for making these changes is coming from the EMPLOYEES? It's coming from Congress and management. The fact that it's having a negative effect on employee attitudes and performance is just an effect of these higher level decisions --- not a cause. There are lower level employees who are less than they should be, but in my experience they are in the minority. You need a reality check.
     
  18. Jun 29, 2014 #43

    railiner

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    I am only commenting on the service, (or lack thereof), rendered by the employee. I have not mentioned anything about the changes and cutbacks.

    Perhaps they are justified in being bitter about those, but I am of the perhaps old-fashioned school of those that believe whatever occupation you have, you should strive to do it well, with whatever resources you may have available, and not brood over injustice's and take it out on your customer's.

    End of rant number two. Thanks for reading....
     
  19. Jun 29, 2014 #44

    saxman

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    I always cringe when I open up Trains Magazine to the passenger section. Usually they aren't too harsh, but Don ripped them pretty good. When he says they are in serious financial troubles, I just don't get that. As opposed to any other time in Amtrak's history? Record ridership, revenue, and the highest farebox recovery ever. Last I heard it was at 88% recovery. That't not something to ignore.

    Bob Johnston seems to be a knowledgeable writer and contributor. I always enjoy his columns and articles about passenger trains. Even got to meet him once or twice.
     
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  20. Jun 29, 2014 #45

    yarrow

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    fred frailey has a great pro-amtrak column in the august trains magazine. i think phillips and frailey trade. one bashing and one praising amtrak each month
     
  21. Jun 29, 2014 #46

    Ind Ben

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    I get the feeling that he has a very high dislike for Boardman.
     
  22. Jun 30, 2014 #47

    William W.

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    My general impression is that Boardman has been one of the most competent CEOs that they've had in a while. I'm sure that people will point out his faults, but at least he's been less destructive than the last few ones. He could definitely be a better Amtrak advocate to Congress though.
     
  23. Jun 30, 2014 #48

    Ryan

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    You can only do so much with the current Congress.
     
  24. Jun 30, 2014 #49

    jis

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    What would you propose that he do in order to be so?
     
  25. Jun 30, 2014 #50

    Bob Dylan

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    Excellent point jis! Our founding fathers wouldn't be able to negotiate with the current Congress that is made up of self appointed experts that try to micromanage all government operations, junk science believers,crooks and senile oldsters!Worst Congress since 1948!!!!

    Boardman needs to get out of Washington, leave Beech Grove in the yards and ride the LD Trains and interact with the customers and employees, not attend more Congressional Dog and Pony Shows and then announce more "cuts" in press releases!
     
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