Empire builder timetable reliability

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by Cole737, Jun 2, 2014.

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  1. Jun 5, 2014 #26

    neroden

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    neroden

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    It's excellent. If you have any real criticism of the USPS, I suggest you say it, because there really isn't anything to criticize. Apart from being starved of funds, short on staff, while being required to serve unprofitable tiny communities -- the same treatment Amtrak gets.

    Amazon is now contracting with the US Postal Service to do Saturday deliveries, because UPS and FedEx simply aren't competent enough.

    As for the IRS, they are rarely accused of being *inefficient* -- criticism generally comes from them being *too aggressive* at their jobs. And you aren't their customer, Congress is.

    Are there problems with some branches of the federal government? Certainly, and the military is among the most messed-up.

    But for health care, I'd rather have VA healthcare than deal with a private insurance company with a paid-out-of-pocket policy *any day*. I've encountered both for different family members. They both try to cheat you, but the private insurance companies are more likely to actually deny coverage in ways which will seriously injure or kill you. Even with the latest scandal. I have never met a veteran who would prefer the hell of open-market private health insurance to the VA. The entire health care situation in this country is a complete disaster, and it seems the best way to get health care as a US citizen is to go to another country, but within this country the VA is one of the better things you could deal with.

    Back to the subject of railroads: I think there is no denying that passenger trains are substantially more likely to run on time, and to get improvements in service, when the tracks are owned by the state governments. The major improvements in passenger service in recent years have nearly all been on track owned by state or local governments -- every urban rail system, nearly every commuter rail system, Pacific Surfliner, Piedmont, Keystone, Springfield, Vermonter, and now Empire Corridor and Michigan. Cascades is a notable exception, but even there the plan is to incrementally move to government-owned track. There are also a few exceptions with shortlines, but these shortlines are desperate for government cash to maintain their tracks and would probably prefer it if the state owned the track.

    The only way to get contracts with teeth in them is to have some leverage, and the best way to have leverage is to own the tracks.
     
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  2. Jun 5, 2014 #27

    montana mike

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    montana mike

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    Sorry, but you live in a dream world. I won't get pulled into arguing the facts here and will stay on message with the issues of the Amtrak woes, but anyone who thinks the VA healthcare system is good has not spent time in the system as we have and our friends have.
     
  3. Jun 5, 2014 #28

    jebr

    jebr

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    Minor correction: Amazon is contracting with the Post Office for Sunday service specifically. (They do also use Priority Mail from time to time to get a Saturday delivery, but the new contract with them is specifically for Sunday delivery.)
     
  4. Jun 5, 2014 #29

    Bob Dylan

    Bob Dylan

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    In re VA Healthcare: As one who uses it and has a Disabled Marine Brother I have to say it depends on where you live! Some Hospitals ( ie San Francisco) and Clinics ( Austin) give Excellent Care, others are terribly run! Its the Politicians fault,(Congress and Presidents) they all give lip service to " taking care of our vets' and then treat it like Amtrak, ie underfunded and putting hacks and crooks in top management!
     
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  5. Jun 5, 2014 #30

    Green Maned Lion

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    He didn't say it was good, in fact he implied the opposite. He said it was better, which does not mean that it's good.
     
  6. Jun 5, 2014 #31

    montana mike

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    As a vet and one who has used the VA around the country and many of my veteran friends who have done likewise, I can say without reservation that while there are certainly good individuals in the VA who try very hard to help, the system as a whole is in a shambles and incredibly inefficient. It takes months (often longer) for just routine procedures and sometimes you just can't wait. I personally know vets who have used their own funds to see a regular doctor/hospital, in order to get treatment.

    Nuff said.

    Now if we could only help the Empire Builders on their treks across our nation's Hi-Line!! I see #7 is about 7 1/2 hours late today. Arrrrgh.
     
  7. Jun 5, 2014 #32

    Green Maned Lion

    Green Maned Lion

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    It may well be a terrible shambles. I can believe that it is a terrible shambles, but a slightly less terrible shambles than the private insurance healthcare terrible shambles. Neither system is even close to acceptable, believe me.
     
  8. Jun 5, 2014 #33

    PRR 60

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    Please take any further discussion of the VA, healthcare, or other issues not related to Empire Builder timekeeping to the Random Discussion forum.
     
  9. Jun 5, 2014 #34

    Green Maned Lion

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    Tell me, where can I publically comment on the gross Amtrak style mismanagement of this forum without it being deleted?
     
  10. Jun 5, 2014 #35

    PRR 60

    PRR 60

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    Since you have decided to make a public issue of it, I'll respond publicly this once. After a considerable number of requests, a forum was opened at AU to permit discussion of issues that would be off-topic in any of the rail and travel-related forums. This was done to provide a home for what may be interesting discussions while not cluttering topics relating to trains with page after page of unrelated posts. The topic - Random Discussions - is open and you are welcome to post there. However, with that topic open, we are going to be more vigilant in keeping rail and travel topics on-topic. So, yes, once a topic goes as far off-topic is this one, something will be done.

    To be clear, not one post was removed from this topic (until you decided to trash the staff here). All I said was that further posts concerning the VA, healthcare and other issues not related to the Empire Builder should go to the Random Discussions forum. That's it. If you feel that is "gross Amtrak-style mismanagement", then there is not too much I can do to make you feel otherwise.
     
  11. Jun 8, 2014 #36

    andersone

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    if the various carriers are using the Hi Line is that why the USPS will no longer deliver Amazon packages to my house? I have to look at Amazon, see that they mark it as "delivery attempted" then drive into town the post office to get the package..... Lincoln is turning over in his grave,, so much for Rural Free Delivery,,,,
     
  12. Jun 8, 2014 #37

    neroden

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    neroden

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    I get frustrated by people who automatically assume that if something is government-operated it must automatically, as if by magic, be worse than the private-industry system. This is pure ideology. The government option is actually usually (not always) slightly better. In general this sort of stuff comes from people who have never compared the two. Often enough, both are terrible (and yes, GML understood me correctly).

    But when we're watching the High Line melt down because *corporate suits decided to underinvest*... well, bluntly, if the line were owned by the Montana government, the grain shipment problems would be fixed by the end of the year (at astounding expense) because the politicians would be worried about re-election.

    Warren Buffett is not worried about re-election and can therefore take his sweet time. The federal government is much less responsive to public opinion than the Montana state government (for reasons I could go into in great detail some other time) but it's still more responsive than Berkshire Hathaway. And Berkshire Hathaway is one of the *better* large corporations.
     
  13. Jun 8, 2014 #38

    JayPea

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    My sincere apologies for not adding to the political discussion and actually discussing the EB ;) but today's #8 into Chicago was "only" an hour and 58 minutes late. That's the earliest it's been late in a long time! :lol: And Friday's #7 left Whitefish "only" 48 minutes late. Of course there's no reason to believe this is a sign of things to come, but at least for one day or so the timekeeping improved markedly.
     
  14. Jun 8, 2014 #39

    CCC

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    CCC

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    So TRAINS is reporting that there WILL be another revision to the EB schedule, and I was wondering if anyone had any idea what it would be like, specifically at Whitefish, as I will be up there to visit in august.
     
  15. Jun 8, 2014 #40

    Green Maned Lion

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    I assume it will be quite a bit longer.
     
  16. Jun 8, 2014 #41

    Dog Rancher

    Dog Rancher

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    It doesn't happen by magic, it happens through accountability and competition—neither of which the govt is subject to.
    Moderators: Is this one innocuous enough to pass the test?

    Sent from my iPad Air using Amtrak Forum
     
  17. Jun 8, 2014 #42

    Bob Dylan

    Bob Dylan

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    Question Captain: Isn't the Air Traffic Control System ,the FAA and the Airports you fly to Government Agencies and aren't the Areo- Space Companies that supply the Planes you fly subsidized by the Government?

    Same thing with our Road and Highway System, Infrastructure etc etc

    And the Union you belong too, would it exist without the Government since breaking Unions has. Become SOP for Corporations! I don't think you'd want to be an Airline Pilot for $7,25 an hour and no benefits!

    .

    Just asking, something to think about!
     
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  18. Jun 8, 2014 #43

    Ryan

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    The government isn't accountable? I'll remember that the next time I'm at the ballot box.

    I seem to remember something about "government by the people, for the people", but maybe I'm just imagining things.
     
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