Anderson changes: Dismantling LD, Corridor, Etc.

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Re: Anderson changes: Dismantling LD, Corridor, Etc.

Postby Jeff Smith » Wed May 16, 2018 9:21 am

Next stop, Willoughby
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Re: Anderson changes: Dismantling LD, Corridor, Etc.

Postby ExCon90 » Wed May 16, 2018 2:34 pm

Out of curiosity, was stock in the "Big Four" widely held in 1947, when BR was formed, and how were the owners compensated?
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Re: Anderson changes: Dismantling LD, Corridor, Etc.

Postby george matthews » Wed May 16, 2018 6:28 pm

After the war situation all the railways were in need of huge amounts of reconstruction as they had been worn out by the war traffic and bombing, and lack of repairs. The shares were worthless.
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Re: Anderson changes: Dismantling LD, Corridor, Etc.

Postby David Benton » Wed May 16, 2018 6:33 pm

I'll start a thread in the worldwide forum on this , as this thread has made me realise there are gaps in my knowledge of both the nationalisation, and the privatisation of British Rail.
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Re: Anderson changes: Dismantling LD, Corridor, Etc.

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Thu May 17, 2018 7:38 am



Best takeaway (emphasis added):

Into this scene, interject Richard Anderson, the retired 60-something former Delta Airlines CEO who was tapped last year to head Amtrak. Anderson isn’t very popular in the community of rail enthusiasts. For better or worse, he is trying to run Amtrak a little more like a for-profit business and a little less like a rolling theme destination for retired railfans......The larger, looming issue is long-distance trains or what the passenger community simply refers to as LDTs. These trains have names that conjure great sentiment—Empire Builder, Crescent, California Zephyr and (Southwest) Chief. Probably correctly, the passenger rail community has concluded that Richard Anderson is willing to subjugate (or even eliminate) the LDTs in favor of more heavily patronized, more economically relevant and often state-supported regional corridor services
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Re: Anderson changes: Dismantling LD, Corridor, Etc.

Postby Jeff Smith » Thu May 17, 2018 11:46 am

Institutional Resistance? : ROI-NJ.com

I'm going to put the same post in Gateway, so if you want to argue Gateway, please do it here: Gateway Tunnel Discussion

This I think shows a resistance to President Trump's opposition to Gateway, and Congress trying to rescind funding. So it also does belong in here...

Top Amtrak exec is latest to warn about need for Gateway Project: ‘There is no Plan B’
EVP Gardner: ‘There are few places you can find a single opportunity of failure for an entire region of a transport system’


There is no Plan B.

If the tunnels under the Hudson River failed tomorrow, the nation’s busiest region for rail transportation would come to a standstill.

Of the 31 million annual riders on Amtrak trains, just under half — 13 million — are on the Northeast Corridor, which runs from Washington, D.C., to Boston.

These factoids come courtesy of Stephen Gardner, executive vice president and chief commercial officer of Amtrak.

Gardner spoke to a crowd of about 30 at the Financial Executives International New Jersey chapter meeting Tuesday in Newark.

Not surprisingly, the Gateway Tunnel Project was a big talking point.

With millennials increasing the demand on rail lines, the Gateway Tunnel Project has become more important than ever, Gardner said.

“There is no more room, zero more room, for additional trains under the Hudson River,” he said. “There is no more room for trains in Penn Station.”
...
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Re: Anderson changes: Dismantling LD, Corridor, Etc.

Postby Jeff Smith » Thu May 17, 2018 11:53 am

Some salient points here, as well: RailwayAge.com

Written by someone who knows railroads...

Systemic problems are beyond Amtrak’s control
...
The shakedown of Kansas, Colorado and New Mexico: This is obviously referring to the current route of the Southwest Chief. I recently rode this train over Raton Pass. A beautiful daytime ride. What seems to have been left out of the thesis is the involvement of the railway that owns the infrastructure, BNSF, which still maintains it to Class 4 standards with a signal system in place, even though much of the route is bereft of through freight traffic. The only other viable Kansas City/Albuquerque route (the segment in question) is via less-scenic North Texas, one of the highest-density freight corridors in North America.
...
Inability to work with freight carriers: Look at the concentration of freight traffic on the legacy passenger routes; that horse has already left the barn. Restore some of those routes to their original four-track configuration? Great idea! Identify the funding source. Placing blame on Amtrak management will not fix this problem.

Commuter agencies paying their fare share: Now a book is required that needs to go back to 1983 when Amtrak became an operating railroad with infrastructure to maintain as it inherited Conrail’s obligation to provide track space for commuter service. Yes, two states have ownership and maintenance responsibility of one segment between New York City and New Haven. Compare the compatibility of that portion of the route with the high-speed corridor operation that Amtrak fields elsewhere. Not good! The Northeast Corridor traverses eight states represented by a bi-partisan mixture of 16 senators and 82 representatives. Deal with that reality before blaming the negotiating skills of Amtrak’s managers.
...
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Re: Anderson changes: Dismantling LD, Corridor, Etc.

Postby bdawe » Thu May 17, 2018 12:15 pm

I think it's important for us as railfans to step back and remember that a public passenger system simply must be shaped around the wants/needs/preferences of a public that is not us and is highly unlike us for it to be politically sustainable.
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Re: Anderson changes: Dismantling LD, Corridor, Etc.

Postby dowlingm » Thu May 17, 2018 3:15 pm

Jeff Smith wrote:Some salient points here, as well: RailwayAge.com

Written by someone who knows railroads...

(snip)The shakedown of Kansas, Colorado and New Mexico: This is obviously referring to the current route of the Southwest Chief. I recently rode this train over Raton Pass. A beautiful daytime ride. What seems to have been left out of the thesis is the involvement of the railway that owns the infrastructure, BNSF, which still maintains it to Class 4 standards with a signal system in place, even though much of the route is bereft of through freight traffic. The only other viable Kansas City/Albuquerque route (the segment in question) is via less-scenic North Texas, one of the highest-density freight corridors in North America.(snip)
Not much scenery but a damn sight more punters in Wichita. They saved the Chief's Raton Pass route and yet the pressure is still on.
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Re: Anderson changes: Dismantling LD, Corridor, Etc.

Postby ryanov » Fri May 18, 2018 1:48 am

bdawe wrote:I think it's important for us as railfans to step back and remember that a public passenger system simply must be shaped around the wants/needs/preferences of a public that is not us and is highly unlike us for it to be politically sustainable.

I don't believe that the public who uses Amtrak has a ton in common with the users of this message board. There is some overlap, however, there is definitely some difference of opinion between the kind of "just get rid of it" stuff I see on here vs. what I've heard on actual trains recently. I'm currently in an unusually dense period of long-distance travel, so I'm a little closer to this than I normally would be. I've gone Newark to DC to Chicago to St. Louis last week, am leaving tomorrow for Orlando on the Silver Meteor (putting my money where my mouth is) and from there to Tampa on the Starvation a few days later, and then will be traveling to both Pittsburgh and Milwaukee in July. People on board the train last week seemed to know that this was about to happen and were pretty unhappy about it.

I think what is easily true is that most Americans don't use Amtrak. Even my partner, who was a frequent user of NEC services before she met me, really didn't have an awareness that you could a) go long distance on Amtrak or b) get a room in a sleeper. There's also a bit of a barrier to entry. My first trip in a sleeper was in 2006, and the reason I did it was because I needed to go to St. Louis but couldn't afford the flight. I assumed it would be tolerable at best, but it was a great experience and I'm now someone who often uses Amtrak for this type of trip. I wonder if Amtrak knows why the people who aren't riding its trains are absent. I think at least some portion thinks it's going to be a lot worse than it is. 19 hours sounds like a long time on the train, until you really look at how you'll spend your time -- multiple hours of which, for a little while longer, is having pleasant meals in the diners.
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Re: Anderson changes: Dismantling LD, Corridor, Etc.

Postby Philly Amtrak Fan » Fri May 18, 2018 5:40 am

We've been fearing that if Anderson has his way LD trains will be canceled in favor of more corridor trains. Well according to this Trains.com article, it's happened for the last 50 years already. Think about how many LD routes we've lost and how many "corridor" trains we've gained.

http://cs.trains.com/trn/b/observation- ... uture.aspx
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Re: Anderson changes: Dismantling LD, Corridor, Etc.

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Fri May 18, 2018 8:06 am

I think the TRAINS blog Opinion piece Mr. Philly Fan located should be required reading before participating at any LD topic around here.

The LD developments of late, which so far as I'm concerned are simply "we'll fund you without 'em", are hardly as the "TRAINSjinx" during October 1967. In that issue, there was a feature article on KCS passenger trains ("ones that got away" for me) in which their CEO proclaimed "We have no intention of getting out of the.passenger train business".

I was serving in Vietnam at the time; funny how the day my copy of that TRAINS showed up, I went to the Base Library and picked up the (two day old) Journal. And there it was: KCS wanted "out".
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Re: Anderson changes: Dismantling LD, Corridor, Etc.

Postby bostontrainguy » Fri May 18, 2018 8:48 am

As ryanov mentions above, most people do not know about Amtrak and do not know you can still take a sleeper car in America.

Living in Boston, many know and see the corridor trains running through the area, but my first hand experience shows me that most people have no idea you can take a train to Florida or wherever.

I think Amtrak needs to let people know they offer these services. I bet most younger people don't know about Amtrak and have never been on a LD train in their life.
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Re: Anderson changes: Dismantling LD, Corridor, Etc.

Postby electricron » Sat May 19, 2018 12:24 am

bostontrainguy wrote:As ryanov mentions above, most people do not know about Amtrak and do not know you can still take a sleeper car in America.

Living in Boston, many know and see the corridor trains running through the area, but my first hand experience shows me that most people have no idea you can take a train to Florida or wherever.

I think Amtrak needs to let people know they offer these services. I bet most younger people don't know about Amtrak and have never been on a LD train in their life.


Which suggests that Amtrak's past advertising was aimed at the wrong market.
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Re: Anderson changes: Dismantling LD, Corridor, Etc.

Postby ConstanceR46 » Sat May 19, 2018 12:48 am

In NYC, most people passingly know Amtrak as a lot of their trains go alongside the LIRR, but there are very, very few ads for it.

I say this with space and i'll say it with trains; if you advertise it, the public will come. Pull off a publicity stunt or something-or-other. Maybe hype up the chargers?
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