Amtrak Branding NEC: Acela, Metroliner, Regional

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Greg Moore
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Re: Amtrak Branding NEC: Acela, Metroliner, Regional

Post by Greg Moore » Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:05 am

How about marketing it as Supertrain!

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Backshophoss
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Re: Amtrak Branding NEC: Acela, Metroliner, Regional

Post by Backshophoss » Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:59 am

That was a DUD! :P
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Re: Amtrak Branding NEC: Acela, Metroliner, Regional

Post by ziggyzack1234 » Fri Aug 09, 2019 1:03 am

mtuandrew wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 6:11 pm

Bingo. This isn’t the 1940s. Most people know what Local and Express mean (I maintain that Limited now refers to contracts first, transport much later) but they don’t associate Express with luxury necessarily. Besides, Amtrak already marketed their high speed service as Acela Express - they can’t very well call it Express Acela Express!

Acela Super-Express maybe.

I'd call it the "Super Acela".

Super has been used by many railroads (Japanese in particular) when new equipment enabled a faster route time on an existing service. For example when the Akita Shinkansen was receiving the E6 Series, the "Komachi" with the new trains were called "Super Komachi" to reflect the decreased journey times until the whole service was E6 Series equipped, at which time the Super was dropped as it was no longer needed. Other trains keep the Super if the stop patterns are different from the original named train.

The Santa Fe had a similar application of the Super moniker with the Chief and legendary Super Chief trains, with the Super being a faster, more luxurious version of the original.

Acela Express has a nice ring to it, but you can't tweak it without losing Express in the name. Just doesn't sound good if you keep it.

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Re: Amtrak Branding NEC: Acela, Metroliner, Regional

Post by nkloudon » Fri Aug 09, 2019 11:45 am

Does Amtrak's ticketing system provide them with data regarding the heaviest point-to-point travel? If so, it seems a simple matter to schedule new service to serve the heaviest points utilized.

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STrRedWolf
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Re: Amtrak Branding NEC: Acela, Metroliner, Regional

Post by STrRedWolf » Sat Aug 10, 2019 1:38 pm

Lets first do some common-sense terminology:
  • Local hits almost all stops (you can count the one skipped on one hand) if not do all stops.
  • Limited skips a lot more stops.
  • Express hits major stops only.
  • Non-stop is obvious... but I would contend on making this Direct
Looking at the schedule, the Regional is local and the Acela Express is more limited service. This new service is non-stop, unless they extend it to become BOS-NYC-WAS, in which it turns express.

As you can see, there's a difference in branding and actual service level.

We can agree, you can't call it an Acela Express. I wouldn't even call it Acela anything. I would say Metropolitan Direct.
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Re: Amtrak Branding NEC: Acela, Metroliner, Regional

Post by west point » Sat Aug 10, 2019 5:09 pm

direct in the airline industry has morphed into meaning both non stop and a 1 or more stop to the named city. Unfortunately would now be a bad choice.

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Re: Amtrak Branding NEC: Acela, Metroliner, Regional

Post by David Benton » Sat Aug 10, 2019 7:42 pm

Too complicated , especially since Amtrak doesn't have that many kinds of service level anyway.
Differentiate Acela and non stop , everything else is normal service to most people .
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Re: Amtrak Branding NEC: Acela, Metroliner, Regional

Post by Ridgefielder » Thu Aug 15, 2019 11:27 am

penncenter wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 12:33 am
For the new non-stop BOS/NYP, why not call it The Senator.
I'm sorry, but there are only two possible names for a NY-Boston nonstop: The Merchants Limited and The Yankee Clipper. :wink:

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Tadman
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Re: Amtrak Branding NEC: Acela, Metroliner, Regional

Post by Tadman » Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:25 pm

That raises an interesting question: Should certain Acela timeslots have special names like Merchants or Congressional? In Europe they have mostly done away with named trains when shifting to HST/HSR, but a few British HST still have names like the Highland Chieftan.

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Re: Amtrak Branding NEC: Acela, Metroliner, Regional

Post by gokeefe » Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:43 pm

No. The brand has tremendous strength. Separate train names would only confuse things. People associate [i]Acela[/i] with the equipment and vice versa.

Amtrak's current practice of naming most trains running to points beyond the NEC serves them very well. The exceptions to this rule are the [i]Northeast Regionals[/i] that run to Springfield (through train not shuttle), Lynchburg, Roanoke, Newport News (including 66/67), Norfolk and Richmond.

OT: Frankly, it's nothing short of astounding to have such a long list of destinations in Virginia with Amtrak service.
gokeefe

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Re: Amtrak Branding NEC: Acela, Metroliner, Regional

Post by TomNelligan » Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:54 pm

Tadman wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:25 pm
That raises an interesting question: Should certain Acela timeslots have special names like Merchants or Congressional?
As an old guy who was fortunate enough to ride both the New Haven's Merchants Limited and the Pennsy's Afternoon Congressional (that one under PC) back in ancient times, I would love to see the tradition of named trains restored to the NEC, but it would make sense only if those runs had something to distinguish them (like running Boston-New York nonstop). Unfortunately I suspect that these days the idea of a 5 PM departure from Boston (the Merchants traditional slot) being specifically marketed as a businessperson's train wouldn't resonate with today's NEC demographic for whom a train is a train, not a distinctive way to get home while relaxing with drinks in the lounge and then dinner in the diner. I have to admit that those of us who remember the days of named corridor trains are an insignificant portion of the current market.

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Re: Amtrak Branding NEC: Acela, Metroliner, Regional

Post by frequentflyer » Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:55 pm

Greg Moore wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:05 am
How about marketing it as Supertrain!

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OT, wow thanks for the trip down memory lane

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Re: Amtrak Branding NEC: Acela, Metroliner, Regional

Post by penncenter » Thu Aug 15, 2019 11:32 pm

gokeefe wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:43 pm
No. The brand has tremendous strength. Separate train names would only confuse things. People associate Acela with the equipment and vice versa.
Yes, Acela has some legs. Amtrak has done a good job linking Acela with the equipment.

Don't we currently have Acela and Acela Express?

Why not Acela Congressional for the NYP/WAS run?

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Re: Amtrak Branding NEC: Acela, Metroliner, Regional

Post by MACTRAXX » Fri Aug 16, 2019 1:55 am

GM: Hard to believe that the short-lived NBC TV series "Supertrain" was 40 years ago this year - 1979.
The show only ran 9 episodes between February 7 to May 5, 1979.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supertrain

PC: Yes-Amtrak has done a good job linking the name Acela with the Bombardier-built high speed NEC trains.

The mistake made was trying to name everything running in the Northeast region with the Acela name back
in the early 2000s. A name like "Acela Congressional" should only be used with the appropriate equipment
provided that Amtrak plans to add actual train names to Acela Express runs.

If the Congressional name is brought back for a train using conventional equipment it should not have the
Acela title...MACTRAXX
EXPRESS TRAIN TO NEW YORK PENN STATION-NO JAMAICA ON THIS TRAIN-PLEASE STAND CLEAR OF THE CLOSING TRAIN DOORS

Greg Moore
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Re: Amtrak Branding NEC: Acela, Metroliner, Regional

Post by Greg Moore » Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:01 am

Personally, I LIKE named trains, but I think they should be rare and the usage clear.

Acela Express - great, brand, everyone knows, "every hour I can catch the Acela Express". If you want a super Express, sure, maybe something like "Acela Super" or "Acela Rocket" but it's got to include the Acela name.

Naming regional trains on the NEC might be fun, but again, unless there's something distinguishing about them, pointless.
For example, I'd bring back the Twilight Shoreliner/Night Owl name, once that train has sleepers again.

If I'm going to make use of a few extra ViewDiners as upscale lounge cars, maybe put those on some NEC trains and give them names.

But that's about it.
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