No more charter trains

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Re: No more charter trains

Postby John_Perkowski » Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:49 pm

Mr Bennett Levin is a member here.

Mr Levin spoke with Trains Magazine on the decision. AAPRCO and RPSA responded.

Having read the article, my experience with recent railfans is not courteous folks who understand safety. I've seen folks near trackside taking photographs best done with with telephoto lenses. There are anecdotes of passengers on PV not staying in their cars. In short, I think Mr Levin is right, and the community has to recognize the needs for safety Amtrak has.
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Re: No more charter trains

Postby John_Perkowski » Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:12 pm

Here is the joint response from AAPRCO/RPCA

They address the safety records of the car operators, not the passengers on the charter, and not the railfans on the ground.

My gut tells me:

- Cost.

- Switching.

- Passenger conduct.

- Railfan conduct.

Are the meat of the decision.
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Re: No more charter trains

Postby mtuandrew » Tue Apr 17, 2018 9:49 pm

Do chartered trains require an insurance rider to cover their own passengers, spectators, or rail crew that could be hurt or killed, and property that might be damaged or destroyed as a result of said charter? That’s a good place to start, above and beyond the insurance required by Amtrak and provided by the car owners’ organizations (AAPRCO and RPCA.) Another step would be to have an APD member or assistant conductor assigned to ride with larger parties.

I’d be interested to see the relevant comparisons with air charter insurance, while knowing that it also isn’t comparable - Delta isn’t out there flying DC-3s at the request of enthusiast organizations.
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Re: No more charter trains

Postby David Benton » Wed Apr 18, 2018 2:59 am

Maybe Amtrak could look at trying to reduce the costs of switching cars, wether their own, or private.
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Re: No more charter trains

Postby John_Perkowski » Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:49 am

David Benton wrote:Maybe Amtrak could look at trying to reduce the costs of switching cars, wether their own, or private.


They have. There are no switchers at most of Amtraks stations. The road units do the work. That's a change frompre Amtrak years gone by, when the railroads had locomotives working the towns, and the switching was part of the fare basis.
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Re: No more charter trains

Postby Train2009 » Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:12 pm

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Re: No more charter trains

Postby mtuandrew » Thu Apr 19, 2018 7:00 pm

So, Amtrak’s Fall Color Train is still potentially on, as are governmentally-extracted trains like the New River Train. This means the AAPRCO train has to be a multi-day event over the same trackage, as do the big steam excursions.

Not ideal, but perhaps workable.
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Re: No more charter trains

Postby 4behind2 » Fri Apr 20, 2018 9:01 am

John_Perkowski wrote:Mr Bennett Levin is a member here.

Mr Levin spoke with Trains Magazine on the decision. AAPRCO and RPSA responded.

Having read the article, my experience with recent railfans is not courteous folks who understand safety. I've seen folks near trackside taking photographs best done with with telephoto lenses. There are anecdotes of passengers on PV not staying in their cars. In short, I think Mr Levin is right, and the community has to recognize the needs for safety Amtrak has.



It would have bolstered Bennett Levin's position had he given some examples to quantify the bad behavior he credits in Anderson's hasty decision to modify the PV and charter paradigm. The only boorish behavior I have witnessed on charter trips are the folks who glom the dutch doors for hours on end with their professional video recorders in the hopes of selling the footage to production companies or magazines for infamy.

The attention seeking PV owner who was in the Wall Street Journal article is not indicative of the bulk of PV owners who wish to keep rolling history alive (was the timing of the article coincidence or part of the decision published the next week?).

Methinks Mr. Anderson is trying to soften his position a bit on the issue after pointed inquiries from politicians affected by this decision (Sen. Joe Manchin of WVA comes to mind). Perhaps the Rail Passenger Association week on Capitol Hill will produce further fruitful benefits on the PV/charter issue.
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Re: No more charter trains

Postby ryanov » Sat Apr 21, 2018 12:59 am

What part do you figure allows for the Autumn Excursion train, the part that says "this excludes trains Amtrak may operate for its own purposes?" There is a mention of trains needing to operate over existing Amtrak routes, which would be a drag for the Autumn Excursion.
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Re: No more charter trains

Postby mtuandrew » Sat Apr 21, 2018 11:56 am

ryanov wrote:What part do you figure allows for the Autumn Excursion train, the part that says "this excludes trains Amtrak may operate for its own purposes?" There is a mention of trains needing to operate over existing Amtrak routes, which would be a drag for the Autumn Excursion.

Yes, exactly that part. The guidelines don’t apply for Amtrak’s own trains or those requested by a government entity, which I take to mean as allowing for Amtrak’s own excursions off current routes if it so chooses.
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Re: No more charter trains

Postby ExCon90 » Sat Apr 21, 2018 2:22 pm

The PRRT&HS website, http://www.prrths.com/conventions/Cance ... letter.pdf, announces that Amtrak has canceled the scheduled Bennett Levin trip to the Annual Meeting taking place May 9-13. A letter to members from Steve Staffieri, president, is quoted.
(That's supposed to read Cancelled_trip_letter, but it keeps coming up Cancel ...)n

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Re: No more charter trains

Postby ryanov » Sat Apr 21, 2018 3:16 pm

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Re: No more charter trains

Postby hs3730 » Sat Apr 21, 2018 6:39 pm

There's also the "toys for tots" train which is not a passenger train per-se, but also not an out of service equipment move. Presumably that is also what they mean by "this excludes trains Amtrak may operate for its own purposes".

Since the Autumn express has its own "station" code in the system, that might be enough of a loophole to keep interesting routings (or perhaps it would need to be one of the previous routes, versus figuring out / negotiating a new one).
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Re: No more charter trains

Postby ExCon90 » Sun Apr 22, 2018 2:31 pm

ryanov wrote:Wrong URL. Correct here: http://www.prrths.com/conventions/Cance ... letter.pdf

Thanks--that's what comes of relying on memory.
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Re: No more charter trains

Postby 4behind2 » Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:58 am

That Trains article sure helped Bennett alot with his charter!

And he threw a bunch of PV owners under the bus with broad brush comments.

Still think political and news media action won't help?
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