Staffed to Unstaffed Stations Master Thread

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by AmtrakLKL, May 2, 2018.

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  1. May 12, 2018 #26

    PaulM

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    Would this be in addition to eliminating existing baggage lite service? Fort Madison (FMD) has had track side baggage service for several years on weekends when it is not staffed. When I went to book FMD to LMY May 19 (a Saturday), it said no baggage.

    So why didn't they do this review before eliminating the service?
     
  2. May 12, 2018 #27

    cpotisch

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    'Cause they didn't think it would make sense for that station?
     
  3. May 12, 2018 #28

    Thirdrail7

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    In FMD's case, maybe they did do the review prior to eliminating the service. Maybe they looked at the current operation and decided it was no longer worth it and targeted it for elimination. The same goes for GRV. After watching baggage lite in action for a few months, they cancelled it.

    As for the rest of the stations under consideration, I personally(please note the use of the word "personally") believe it won't occur. The problem is there is little "hard" revenue appearing from the checked bags and there are quite a few top people that question the wisdom of even having an operational baggage car fleet, wondering aloud if it would be better to treat them like the HHP-8s (if you catch my drift.) I don't think that will happen, but the reality of the situation is it largely irrelevant if baggage lite is available or will become available. Staffing costs and costs (particularly on the LD service line network) must be cut...and that means now. So, goodbye staff and you guys can figure if baggage lite will work on your own time.

    Revenue trumps ridership!!!!!!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 12, 2018
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  4. May 12, 2018 #29

    Philly Amtrak Fan

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  5. May 15, 2018 #30

    AmtrakLKL

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    Texarkana, TX will begin limited train-side checked baggage and bike service today.
     
  6. May 15, 2018 #31

    Bob Dylan

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    Who is gonna do it since the Station is becoming unstaffed, the Conductors???
     
  7. May 15, 2018 #32

    cpotisch

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    Maybe they'll start hiring baggage car attendants. I'm kind of joking but kind of not. [​IMG]
     
  8. May 16, 2018 #33

    Thirdrail7

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    [​IMG]
     
  9. May 16, 2018 #34

    TiBike

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    I take it as a positive development. Once it's established that passengers are as capable of handing up bikes and baggage as Amtrak employees, there's no reason not to take bikes and baggage at every station.

    Want to avoid double spotting? Accept the bags and bikes into the lower level of a coach – where they put "carry on" bags anyway – and transfer to a baggage car later, at a station where there's an employee, likely with a motorised cart.

    Too much work or too much dwell time required? Start charging $20 per bag per segment, as with bikes.
     
  10. May 16, 2018 #35

    Thirdrail7

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    Please don't give them any ideas or you'll have to pay for air conditioning on the train!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 17, 2018
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  11. May 16, 2018 #36

    cpotisch

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    You shouldn't have said that! They're now charging $1 per degree per minute!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 16, 2018
  12. Jun 13, 2018 #37

    Thirdrail7

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    Even though the website has a weird way of showing it, Charlestown, WV (CHW) and Cincinnati, OH (CIN) will offer baggage lite service. Bikes are included.

    The thing is, the website doesn't really reflect it unless you search. If you go to CIN's page, you'll get this:

    Amtrak Express shipping not available

    Checked baggage service available

    No checked baggage storage

    Bike boxes not available

    The number of bike boxes available in the station is limited. For further assistance, please call 1-800-USA-RAIL.

    No baggage carts

    Ski bags not available

    No bag storage

    Baggage storage is an area where passengers may store their bags, equivalent to "left luggage" in Europe. A storage fee may apply.

    Shipping boxes not available

    No baggage assistance

    Free passenger assistance, including baggage-handling and courtesy wheelchairs where available, is provided by station staff.

    However, when you click on the the advisory regarding the window closing you'll get this:

    Checked Baggage

    Train side checked baggage and bike service will be in effect seven days a week. Passengers will obtain baggage checking supplies in the station, attach them to their baggage or bike and bring them to the baggage car on the train.

    Caretakers will be available to answer questions, if needed.

    CHW's page is even worse. Behold:

    Amtrak Express shipping not available

    No checked baggage service

    No checked baggage storage

    Bike boxes not available

    The number of bike boxes available in the station is limited. For further assistance, please call 1-800-USA-RAIL.

    No baggage carts

    Ski bags not available

    No bag storage

    Baggage storage is an area where passengers may store their bags, equivalent to "left luggage" in Europe. A storage fee may apply.

    Shipping boxes not available

    No baggage assistance

    Free passenger assistance, including baggage-handling and courtesy wheelchairs where available, is provided by station staff.

    When you click on the advisory regarding the window closing, you get this:

    Checked Baggage

    Train side checked baggage and bike service will be in effect seven days a week. Passengers will obtain baggage checking supplies in the station, attach them to their baggage or bike and bring them to the baggage car on the train.

    Caretakers will be available to answer questions, if needed.

    Both stations offer baggage lite but one station says they offer checked baggage while the other one does not. Perhaps they haven't finished the updates.
     
  13. Jun 14, 2018 #38

    TiBike

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    So you can and can't store luggage. And you can and can't get bike boxes. But you probably don't need a bike box anyway, because you can roll it up, unless someone reads it differently. I think the "not quite done yet" hypothesis is the valid one [​IMG]
     
  14. Jun 14, 2018 #39

    the_traveler

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    “Available 7 days a week”?

    [​IMG]

    The Cardinal only operates 3 days a week![​IMG]
     
  15. Jun 15, 2018 #40

    bmjhagen9426

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    My guess is that Amtrak does a lot of copy-and-paste when it comes to writing up destaffing notice.

    In other news, despite Amtrak's recent station employee layoffs, people have been very vocal about the loss of station staff.
     
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  16. Jun 16, 2018 #41

    Thirdrail7

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    If you want to get technical, The Eastbound Cardinal passes through CHW on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday while the Westbound Cardinal passes through on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday.

    It should read 6 days a week. [​IMG]
     
  17. Jun 16, 2018 #42

    brianpmcdonnell17

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    I think you mean Cincinnati, which has one train on the days you listed. Charleston (CHW) has two trains (one in each direction) on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, but none on the other four days of the week. Also, since the times are after midnight at Cincinnati the eastbound Cardinal passes through on Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday, while the westbound comes through on Monday, Thursday, and Saturday.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 16, 2018
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  18. Jun 16, 2018 #43

    Thirdrail7

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    Thank you. That is what I should have typed.
     
  19. Jul 1, 2018 #44

    AmtrakLKL

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    Effective July 8, La Junta will be staffed five days a week, Monday to Friday, with a caretaker on weekends. Ticket sales will continue to be available when the agent is on site, currently scheduled as Mon-Wed 7am - 12:30pm and Thur-Fri 7am-10am and 6pm-8:30pm. When the agent is not available during the scheduled hours a caretaker will open the station. Checked baggage and unaccompanied minor services will not be available.
     
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  20. Jul 3, 2018 #45

    Burns651

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    Yesterday was the last day for Flint, MI's agent. The remaining staffed Michigan Amtrak stations are Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, Ann Arbor, Dearborn, Detroit and East Lansing.
     
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  21. Jul 11, 2018 #46

    Thirdrail7

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    CIN and CHW will offer train side baggage and bike service.
     
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  22. Jul 12, 2018 #47

    dogbert617

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    I didn't realize Niles, MI no longer had an agent. That is too bad, but I guess the way all these unstaffing decisions are coming to(sigh). And as for Charleston, WV, I recall reading US Senator Manchin(of WV) was trying to add language to the Amtrak funding bill for this year to require Amtrak to have at least 1 station agent, in each state where Amtrak operates trains through. Clever idea he's doing that, since it'll save at least Charleston, WV's agent. Too bad it won't save the one in Cincy....

    And that's too bad La Junta's agent will only be there on weekdays. Probably a sign that soon it'll lose its agent entirely, one of these future months/years....

    I didn't realize Niles, MI no longer had an agent. And from reading page 1, apparently Jackson, MI recently lost its agent too. That is too bad, but I guess the way all these unstaffing decisions are coming to(sigh).
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 12, 2018
  23. Jul 19, 2018 #48

    jis

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    I suspect if Michigan wanted to have agents at stations served primarily by their trains, they could make it happen.
     
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  24. Jul 19, 2018 #49

    Palmland

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    In light of the reduction in staffed stations and the resulting reduction in checked baggage, I wonder if Amtrak didn’t make the wrong decision about the baggage and baggage-dorm cars. Wouldn’t it have been better to have more bag-dorms and reduce or eliminate baggage cars on single level trains? This would at least generate more revenue.

    Do trains like the Carolinian, Palmetto, Star, Cardinal and Crescent really need that much baggage space. Even though it’s a bigger train, the LSL certainly doesn’t need two baggage cars. Would it be possible to reconfigure full baggage cars to bag-dorms?
     
  25. Jul 19, 2018 #50

    JRR

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    By cutting baggage service at stations, they assure that even less space is needed.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 19, 2018
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