Amtrak Crescent Discussion

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Re: Amtrak Crescent Discussion

Postby east point » Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:00 pm

Just a small problem. The OBS crew at present is NOL based. If that is removed from NOL then either layoff pay, bumping rights, relocation costs. That will be a problem if the diner is ever stopped at ATL.
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Re: Amtrak Crescent Discussion

Postby Arlington » Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:44 pm

How many might find roles on the CoNO or Sunset Ltd? Or even in the Crescent cafe? Or relocate to ATL?

Closing the Diner ATL-NOL probably saves $3m to $6m, and allows the sale of cheaper day roomettes , which could boost ridership.
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Re: Amtrak Crescent Discussion

Postby east point » Thu Jan 12, 2017 12:50 am

Believe CNO and Sunset NOL <> SAS is already NOL OBS.
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Re: Amtrak Crescent Discussion

Postby Bob Roberts » Thu Jan 12, 2017 5:14 am

east point wrote:Just a small problem. The OBS crew at present is NOL based. If that is removed from NOL then either layoff pay, bumping rights, relocation costs. That will be a problem if the diner is ever stopped at ATL.


I have chatted with several OBS folks on the Crescent who are based in NOL It sounded like it was common for them to work NOL-NYP (they hate the NYP hotel), NYP (or WAS)-CUS and then CUS-NOL. I was under the impression that the big loop was a feature and not a bug of the NOL crew base (for the crew).

Having said that, I thought this was an inefficient way to staff trains but it certainly worked for these folks.
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Re: Amtrak Crescent Discussion

Postby ebtmikado » Fri Jan 13, 2017 9:49 am

"NYP (or WAS)-CUS and then CUS-NOL."

By "CUS", do you mean "CHI"?

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Re: Amtrak Crescent Discussion

Postby Bob Roberts » Fri Jan 13, 2017 5:09 pm

yes, sorry. My mind was focused on Chicago Union Station
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Re: Amtrak Crescent Discussion

Postby Arlington » Tue Jan 24, 2017 1:16 pm

to quote myself from the Diner thread:
In FY2016, TOTAL Crescent sleeper class revenues were $7.7m (in FY15, they were $8.0m).
In FY2016, Crescent's estimated H-diner costs were $10m (the Star's old $11m/yr costs, scaled by Crescent's ~90% trip length-duration)

Therefore, the Crescent could afford to remove the diner at the risk of alienating every single sleeper class customer and all of their $8m in revs, and still come out ahead by $2m.

A more likely scenario comes out $8m ahead (100% reduction of $10m in diner costs and a 25% reduction in sleeper revenues (for a $2m loss), nets out to an $8m/yr upside for removing the Crescent's diner).

We've estimated that this isn't just a staff-wage problem but also that the food's supply chain is very expensive.

Even if the V-II could save half on labor (very optimistic) and 20% on food spoilage (optimistic), you might only be looking at cutting the diner's costs from $10m to $7m...and still basically 88% of Sleeper revenues would be literally eaten in the diner, leaving a measly $1m to cover the actual train parts of the train.

Remove the diner, and the train parts of the train would be covered by $6m in sleeper revs, essentially guaranteed.
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Re: Amtrak Crescent Discussion

Postby gokeefe » Tue Jan 24, 2017 1:37 pm

It's crazy that the diners cost that much money for so little revenue production. Amazing stuff. In my mind this really points to the idea that if Amtrak is going to run sleeper service they need sufficient rolling stock to run much longer trains. They have been trying to claw their way to this improved position since their inception and have never really been able to get there.
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Re: Amtrak Crescent Discussion

Postby Greg Moore » Thu Feb 02, 2017 9:17 pm

Ok, I'm splurging (well it's points so it doesn't matter too much) and going with business class.

But can someone remind me what sort of seating is on the Crescent for business class these days?
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Re: Amtrak Crescent Discussion

Postby SouthernRailway » Fri Feb 03, 2017 7:55 am

When I took the Crescent a few weeks ago, the business class car was just a regular Amfleet II coach between the sleeping cars and the baggage car.

There was 1 passenger in it.

I believe that business class is advertised as a seat "in a car reserved for Business Class", meaning just a regular coach--not a seat "in a Business Class car" with a specific type of seating.
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Re: Amtrak Crescent Discussion

Postby Greg Moore » Fri Feb 03, 2017 8:38 am

That's what I feared (no special seating) but also sort of hope a quieter, more spread out roominess.
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Re: Amtrak Crescent Discussion

Postby Morning Zephyr » Sat Feb 04, 2017 9:43 am

Remarkable that Amtrak gets away with selling something as "business class" when it is really just a coach. Maybe they think they are clever, but in the long run they are extremely foolish, because most likely passengers get on expecting business class and then are furious when they find out they have paid more for a coach. It's terrible marketing to use a term like "business class" so inconsistently. Empire Service and NW Cascades are real business class (maybe Vermonter too) but most other trains including Acela "business class" equals coach. Amtrak shouldn't jeopardize its customers' goodwill that way. Imagine buying a Lufthansa business class ticket and boarding the plane and being directed to coach.
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Re: Amtrak Crescent Discussion

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Sat Feb 04, 2017 10:07 am

From Holiday Inn Express Boca Raton--

While it certainly appears that Mr. Moore will have a pair of A-II seats to himself, the term Business Class is perceived to be as the airlines market it - a product with a lie flat seat and in-flight amenities at a level of Domestic First Class. In fact airlines are phasing out their "Real First" product; by grace of "someone knowing someone", I got to try it out (United, are you going to purge your 30,000 employees to find out who he knows? Uh "don't think so"). The seat module was so big and canted towards the asile that flightseeing was difficult, but it did have one plus - that was a shoulder sear belt such as in your auto. The menu was same as Business Class (I paid for that) as we're the wines. The only addition was a cheese course and an after dinner cordial.

To close back on the rails, on the routes where 2-1 "Amclub" cars are assigned, that's one thing. But elsewhere, terms such as "Premium Coach" or "Coach +" are more descriptive.
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Re: Amtrak Crescent Discussion

Postby Rockingham Racer » Sat Feb 04, 2017 10:27 am

Morning Zephyr wrote:Remarkable that Amtrak gets away with selling something as "business class" when it is really just a coach. Maybe they think they are clever, but in the long run they are extremely foolish, because most likely passengers get on expecting business class and then are furious when they find out they have paid more for a coach. It's terrible marketing to use a term like "business class" so inconsistently. Empire Service and NW Cascades are real business class (maybe Vermonter too) but most other trains including Acela "business class" equals coach. Amtrak shouldn't jeopardize its customers' goodwill that way. Imagine buying a Lufthansa business class ticket and boarding the plane and being directed to coach.


Call it Enhanced Coach and we're all done with the issue.
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Re: Amtrak Crescent Discussion

Postby Jehochman » Sat Feb 04, 2017 11:09 am

On short haul European flights you can buy business class, and you will get seated in a standard coach seat. The only difference is that you're at the front of the cabin and maybe get a free drink. This info may be slightly outdated because it's been years since I took such a flight from Frankfurt to Prague on Lufthansa. You can get the same deal today on Southwest. They will sell business class. Board in position 1-15, free drink, and extra miles. Same seat as coach.

Experienced travelers, especially business travelers, know to check what amenities are provided at each level.

Generally I go coach on Amtrak, or take a sleeper. Once in a while on a longer trip (such as Richmond to New York), I may take business class to get a more peaceful travel experience, and free soft drinks, if not a bigger seat.
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