Why trains instead of planes for long distance?

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by dande, Oct 13, 2019.

Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

  1. Nov 8, 2019 #201

    crescent-zephyr

    c

    crescent-zephyr

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2015
    Messages:
    1,903
    Yup. One time at the Nashville airport this summer a tsa agent goes “whoa whoa whoa don’t take your shoes off” I said “why not” and she goes “cause we have a dog out”

    Can’t make it up.
     
  2. Nov 8, 2019 #202

    drdumont

    drdumont

    drdumont

    Service Attendant AU Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2017
    Messages:
    137
    Location:
    The Great (and may I add) SOVEREIGN State of TEXAS
    ISTR for while that a table would be set up at the top of the stairs in 30th St. Station in Philadelphia, and two or three "agents" asked to look into briefcase and whatnot, but other than checking for a valid ticket, there were no other ID requirements. Didn't seem to delay things much.
    Since then, in all my Amtrak travels, I've never been through any form of security check other than to present a valid ticket or bar code on my phone.
    I'd like to see a real legal opinion on just who has the authority to detain me and why, and who has the authority to demand a search of my person or impedimenta, including an actual commissioned peace officer, armed or not.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2019
  3. Nov 8, 2019 #203

    crescent-zephyr

    c

    crescent-zephyr

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2015
    Messages:
    1,903
    I’ve been asked for my ID on Amtrak trains and at stations when picking up tickets. One conductor years ago was unhappy that my state id had expired two days prior (it expired during the trip and my replacement had not arrived in the mail before I left) and insisted i show a valid ID. She was good with an employee ID card that I had.
     
  4. Nov 8, 2019 #204

    drdumont

    drdumont

    drdumont

    Service Attendant AU Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2017
    Messages:
    137
    Location:
    The Great (and may I add) SOVEREIGN State of TEXAS
    This doesn't have all that much to do with Amtrak, but I've always wondered why an expired ID is not accepted. I haven't expired, I haven't changed, the ID was OK until a certain date...

    But I guess the term "Valid ID" means one which has not expired, since for example, an expired driver's license is not "valid" for the purpose of allowing one to drive.

    Maybe the items should self destruct on the expiration date, Mr. Phelps style...
     
  5. Nov 8, 2019 #205

    Way2Kewl

    Way2Kewl

    Way2Kewl

    Train Attendant

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2019
    Messages:
    41
    Location:
    Dallas
    Amtrak Passenger Identification
    https://www.amtrak.com/planning-booking/tickets-id-safety-security/passenger-identification.html
    Amtrak customers 18 years of age and older must produce valid photo identification when:
    • Exchanging, refunding or reprinting Amtrak travel documents
    • Purchasing documents with a stored eVoucher or Transportation Credit
    • Traveling as a Pass Rider (active or retired)
    • Storing baggage at stations
    • Checking baggage (including firearms)
    • Sending Amtrak Express shipments
    • Asked onboard trains by train crew members, other Amtrak or operating railroad employees
    • Asked any time by Amtrak police or any law enforcement officer
    • Traveling into Canada
    • Guardian purchasing an unaccompanied minor travel documents or signing the release form
    So basicaly Amtrak says it's officialy required...
    However, in practice if you've printed your ticket (with barcode) or use the Amtrak App, the chances you'll be asked by the conductor on the train is slim.
    In all my trips I've never been asked for ID on the train and only been asked at the ticket counter when picking up a ticket or storing bags.
     
  6. Nov 8, 2019 #206

    drdumont

    drdumont

    drdumont

    Service Attendant AU Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2017
    Messages:
    137
    Location:
    The Great (and may I add) SOVEREIGN State of TEXAS
    So these are AMTRAK's rules, specifically posted and I presume failure to comply can result in your not being able to travel. A Company's rules for clients or those using their service. Sounds good to me.
    I don't see a legal basis for an AMTRAK employee to detain or demand to search your possessions.
    Are AMTRAK "police" sworn/deputized/commissioned peace officers empowered with the legal right to search or detain? On AMTRAK controlled/owned property? Elsewhere?
    I don't remember - do they carry firearms? On the other hand, I'm not sure when was the last time I noticed an AMTRAK police.
     
  7. Nov 8, 2019 #207

    Way2Kewl

    Way2Kewl

    Way2Kewl

    Train Attendant

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2019
    Messages:
    41
    Location:
    Dallas
    http://media.amtrak.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Security_Fact_Sheet_5-5-16.pdf
    Dated 2016
    RANDOM PASSENGER AND BAGGAGE SCREENING
    With due respect to passengers' privacy, the random and unannounced screening and inspection of passengers and
    their personal items is completed as quickly as possible - usually in less than a minute. Passengers failing to consent
    to security procedures will be denied access to trains and refused carriage, and a refund will be offered.

    Same as ID, I've never been asked to have my bags searched. But that doesn't mean it won't happen sometime.
     
  8. Nov 8, 2019 #208

    Qapla

    Qapla

    Qapla

    Lead Service Attendant

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2019
    Messages:
    422
    Location:
    Gator Country Florida
    I have not personally been asked to show any ID for Amtrak ... but, I have seen the conductor ask to see the ID for some boarding with a "senior" ticket that did not "look like a senior".

    I usually travel with a senior ticket when alone or with my brother (he is older than me) - although I will travel as "disabled" when I have a companion so we can both get the discount ... I have not been asked to produce a placard (although I do carry it with me) - I guess the cane has sufficed.
     
    oregon pioneer likes this.
  9. Nov 9, 2019 #209

    Woodcut60

    W

    Woodcut60

    Service Attendant

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2015
    Messages:
    242
    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    ”Journeys have value in themselves, and are not just a device for saving time.” – E.B. White

    My train trip itself IS my vacation. And - there are of course very nice destinations...
     
    JRR likes this.
  10. Nov 9, 2019 #210

    AmtrakBlue

    AmtrakBlue

    AmtrakBlue

    Conductor Gathering Team Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2011
    Messages:
    11,205
    Location:
    Delaware
    Missouri
    IMG_9409.JPG

    Virginia
    IMG_0107.JPG
     
    oregon pioneer likes this.
  11. Nov 9, 2019 #211

    crescent-zephyr

    c

    crescent-zephyr

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2015
    Messages:
    1,903
    And...
     

    Attached Files:

  12. Nov 9, 2019 #212

    RichieRich

    R

    RichieRich

    Service Attendant

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2016
    Messages:
    151
    I see them at LOR and SFA with dogs a lot.
     
    crescent-zephyr likes this.
  13. Nov 9, 2019 #213

    adamj023

    a

    adamj023

    Train Attendant

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2015
    Messages:
    67
    Lake Shore Limited 19 hours 10 minutes without accounting for delays.
    New York City to Chicago

    La Guardia Airport NYC to Chicago, Ohare. 2 hours 35 minutes flight time not accounting for delays and TSA Security.

    I mention this cause its their main hub for going cross country.

    With Acela, the time differential is shorter and you don’t need to get to the station as early.

    The airlines are profitable while Amtrak still faces losses even as losses are being reduced.

    I will not take the train on long routes like this. I have no problem with connection flights to save money and/or get more flight availability and additional routes as LGA is distance limited but closer for many.
     
  14. Nov 9, 2019 #214

    MARC Rider

    M

    MARC Rider

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2011
    Messages:
    1,352
    Location:
    Baltimore. MD
  15. Nov 9, 2019 #215

    crescent-zephyr

    c

    crescent-zephyr

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2015
    Messages:
    1,903
    Very debatable.
     
    jiml likes this.
  16. Nov 9, 2019 #216

    MARC Rider

    M

    MARC Rider

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2011
    Messages:
    1,352
    Location:
    Baltimore. MD
    Although it's true that flying is definitely faster for long distance trips of greater than 500 miles, that's only true most of the time.

    About 20 years ago, my brother took three days to fly from Chicago to Washington DC. Well, what actually happened was three days of thunderstorms in the Chicago area that caused mass flight cancellations. My brother was instructed to go home twice to spend the night and come back to the airport the next day. Fortunately, he didn't have those delays on the trip home.

    I myself once took two days to fly from BWI to Reno. What happened was that the first leg of our trip was cancelled due to mechanical reasons after we had taken off and were in the air for about 20 minutes. Took another 20-30 minutes to burn off enough fuel to allow us to return to BWI, where we were booked for a flight the next day and sent home.

    When I was in college, my girlfriend booked a flight from Newark to Auburn, Maine where I was going to meet her. When I got to the Auburn airport, I found it was closed because they were rebuilding the runway. Eventually they got her on a DC-3 that flew her to Augusta. She was really ticked off when she got to the Air New England counter at Logan and they said, "Auburn? There's no flight to Auburn?" She probably would have gotten there faster if she had taken Amtrak to Boston and a bus into Maine.
     
  17. Nov 9, 2019 #217

    crescent-zephyr

    c

    crescent-zephyr

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2015
    Messages:
    1,903
    I’m also not sure why people use the “in the air” time as any measure of transit time. In large terminals you can add 1 hour to that just for the taxi to and from the gate, plus 30 minutes early to the gate for boarding plus an hour to get through security.
     
  18. Nov 9, 2019 #218

    jis

    jis

    jis

    Conductor AU Lifetime Supporter Gathering Team Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2003
    Messages:
    24,959
    Location:
    Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
    By normal legal definition of "profitable" (stuff that they must report to Wall Street or be sent off to luxury jails :D ) they are indeed quite profitable these days. Of course if you cook up your own other definition then all bets are off.
     
  19. Nov 9, 2019 #219

    adamj023

    a

    adamj023

    Train Attendant

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2015
    Messages:
    67
    Not debatable. Amtrak provides revenue figures as do the airlines. Profits are way up even after taking into account the 737 Max issues for the airlines which are affected. Also the number of airline passengers are disclosed as are the number of Amtrak passengers. Airlines have way more routes available and much greater passenger counts. Airlines have replaced long haul rail for most people but there are still a group of people willing to use long haul trains. Don’t get me wrong, I like competition but I don’t like government subsidies. If Amtrak can get long haul routes revenues enough to cover expenses then it should just keep doing that but it needs to get to that point.
     
  20. Nov 9, 2019 #220

    crescent-zephyr

    c

    crescent-zephyr

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2015
    Messages:
    1,903
    Without government subsidies virtually all Amtrak routes would go away. Don’t state subsidies help cover NEC?
     
  21. Nov 10, 2019 #221

    SarahZ

    SarahZ

    SarahZ

    Conductor

    Joined:
    May 9, 2011
    Messages:
    7,898
    Location:
    KAL
    I don't think they are? When I say it takes just shy of five hours to fly from Chicago to Seattle, that's the actual flight time from my ticket. The flight time includes taxiing from the gate to the runway and vice versa.

    Anyone who uses the actual time in the air isn't doing it correctly. The plane doesn't magically teleport to 30,000 feet. ;)
     
    jebr likes this.
  22. Nov 10, 2019 #222

    Qapla

    Qapla

    Qapla

    Lead Service Attendant

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2019
    Messages:
    422
    Location:
    Gator Country Florida
    I think what was meant is counting the time
    • navigating the road into the parking area and then into the terminal
    • dealing with TSA security issues
    • making your way to the gate
    • getting out of the airport at your destination since most airports are considerably larger than train stations
    in other words, the "entire trip" - not just the flight time
     
  23. Nov 10, 2019 #223

    jis

    jis

    jis

    Conductor AU Lifetime Supporter Gathering Team Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2003
    Messages:
    24,959
    Location:
    Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
    That is the sort of stuff that makes comparisons hard sometimes. For example for me to get to an Amtrak train in Orlando coming from home, I have to plan at least an extra tension filled 45 mins from when I park my car at a long term lot to getting to the Orlando Amtrak station. For Orlando Airport it is 5 mins. Getting through TSA at Orlando usually takes me 10 mins or so, so I can almost predictably be at the boarding gate within less than 30 mins from when I park my car. OTOH, for getting to an Amtrak train I have to schedule an hour from parking the car to be on the safe side.

    These end to end numbers can be highly variable if one starts counting parking time etc. I know that rail aficionados like to add all that hoping it is to their advantage, but depending on where one is coming from locally and where one is actually going to at the other end, and relative locations of the airport or train station, sometimes it is advantageous and sometimes not.
     
    SarahZ likes this.
  24. Nov 10, 2019 #224

    SarahZ

    SarahZ

    SarahZ

    Conductor

    Joined:
    May 9, 2011
    Messages:
    7,898
    Location:
    KAL
    I believe you misread my statement. I was responding to his point that you can't just use "in the air" time. You have to use the time it takes to taxi to/from the gate (which he mentioned).

    Here's his quote: "In large terminals you can add 1 hour to that just for the taxi to and from the gate, plus 30 minutes early to the gate for boarding plus an hour to get through security."

    Some people use only the time spent in the air, which is wildly incorrect.
     
    crescent-zephyr likes this.
  25. Nov 10, 2019 #225

    jiml

    jiml

    jiml

    Lead Service Attendant

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2019
    Messages:
    420
    Location:
    Toronto area
    Trips around 400 miles or one hour time in the air is basically the break-even point. Case in point: my company used to fly us in coach between Toronto and Montreal, but would pay business class on VIA Rail and CN before them. The two routings take basically the same time. You are supposed to be at the airport at least 90 minutes before your flight (yes, I know plenty of people will claim this is unnecessary, but it is an enforceable requirement), the flight takes just over an hour - more if de-icing and extended taxiing are required at either end, and the airports are both at least 30 minutes from downtown. Taking the train was a 5-minute walk from my office in Toronto and a 5-minute cab ride from our building in Montreal. Unless you lived near either airport the train was the popular choice.

    There are several examples of exactly the same situation in the US, including a few outside the NEC.
     
    crescent-zephyr likes this.

Share This Page



arrow_white