This train station is run completely by volunteers

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by CHamilton, Nov 18, 2017.

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  1. Nov 18, 2017 #1

    CHamilton

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  2. Nov 18, 2017 #2

    railiner

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    I have mixed feelings about this...

    As a former (union member) station employee, I think it a shame that Amtrak doesn't staff a station as busy as this, and provide decent jobs to the local community.

    On the other hand, I understand the financial position Amtrak is in, and think it is wonderful that they can be supported by such dedicated volunteer's.....
     
  3. Nov 19, 2017 #3

    bretton88

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    Amtrak has moved to this model for a lot of stations. As much as I dislike the disappearance of good paying jobs, it is often too expensive to staff many of these stations.
     
  4. Nov 19, 2017 #4

    railiner

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    Agreed....there is little chance that a paid station staff can be self-supporting by revenue generation any longer, since the advent of self-ticketing....and not even any package express service...
     
  5. Nov 19, 2017 #5

    Bob Dylan

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    This.
     
  6. Nov 20, 2017 #6

    SP&S

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    I agree it's a shame they can't have paid staff, particularly for what appears to be a busy station. But I salute [​IMG] those volunteers, and it looks as if they are having a good time working there. I know we'll never have either paid or volunteer staff at my closest station (ORC) as there are two trains and a bus in each direction each day, that can't be enough to support paid people.
     
  7. Nov 20, 2017 #7

    jis

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    It looks like most station with infrequent train service are destined to become unstaffed as time goes on. This will happen more rapidly, once Amtrak figures out how to do train side checked baggage handling.

    Some such stations will be taken over by volunteer staff or local township provided staff. others won't.
     
  8. Nov 21, 2017 #8

    cirdan

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    Other options might be to integrate station staff functions with those of a suitable local business. Maybe something like a post office.

    I think especially for first time travellers, it is of huge help to actually have a human explain to you how the whole thing works.
     
  9. Nov 21, 2017 #9

    Bob Dylan

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    Excellent idea.
    This was ( and Still is in some locations) a model followed by bus companies in rural areas.

    I still remember stopping @ filling stations,diners,stores etc. during my youth while riding Long Distance buses.
     
  10. Nov 21, 2017 #10

    Pere Flyer

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    I agree. Who knows if Marty McFly would have gotten in that DeLorean had Doc not explained it to him first. [​IMG]

    Sent from my iPhone using Amtrak Forum
     
  11. Nov 21, 2017 #11

    jebr

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    It's more "once Amtrak is willing to roll it out systemwide." There's trainside baggage checking in at least a few locations (Winona, MN and Mount Pleasant, IA come to mind as two that have it) so it seems to be implemented on a small scale. Not sure what's holding Amtrak up from implementing it systemwide.
     
  12. Nov 21, 2017 #12

    jis

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    At Kissimmee the Greyhound stop is the Coffee Shop across the parking lot from the Amtrak/SunRail train station.

    I am not sure exactly what role the Coffee Shop plays these days.

    Amtrak Kissimmee is a staffed station and I have not heard any plans to change that. A huge new parking lot (compared to the previous one) is about to be put in service on the same side as the Amtrak Station Building there. In addition a multi-storied parking structuer has been built for SunRail riders on the other side of the tracks from the Amtrak Station Building.
     
  13. Nov 22, 2017 #13

    John Bobinyec

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    What happens when someone shows up for trainside baggage checking and they'd like to check an oversized bag? Or one that's too heavy?

    jb
     
  14. Nov 22, 2017 #14

    railiner

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    In its early years, Amtrak carried over the practice of having a Train Baggage Man position over certain segments...this job was covered under the Trainman's union, and he usually rode the same segment as the other trainmen. It made baggage handling more efficient at short station stops...the agent would pass the bags from the baggage cart to the TBM in the baggage car, and after leaving the station, he would sort it into the appropriate piles or shelves in the baggage car....sort of like a baggage equivalent of a railway post office car....

    IIRC, the SFZ had one between Denver and Green River, Wy. among other segments.....
     
  15. Nov 23, 2017 #15

    jis

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    Additional revenue opportunity?

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  16. Nov 26, 2017 #16

    dlagrua

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    The use of volunteers at a station is not unique. We've also run into volunteer security people at the Lewistown PA train station. This effort may have been organized by the local police department. From our travels, we have noticed that smaller towns and cities seem to have a closer sense of community. The train station volunteer is a manifestation of this. If Amtrak is unable to provide it, people in the community shoud. . IMO, rail passengers should also be observers.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 28, 2017
  17. Nov 26, 2017 #17

    railiner

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    Amtrak is fortunate in the respect that it has so many 'fans', that anytime they need them, they can find a ready supply of qualified volunteers, whether it is to 'staff' an unstaffed station, or provide historic commentary on board various trains....

    Even their own employees are willing to provide unpaid service on special trains like the Autumn Express, although those are mainly from management ranks.....I don't think the various union's would allow their members to work unpaid, even if the member wanted to....
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 26, 2017

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