• Amtrak accounting

  • Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.
Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, mtuandrew, Tadman

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  by JoeG
 
The timeliness of Amtrak trains does not apply only to LD trains. Many times I've been sitting in NYP watching the boards and listening to announcements, and noted Acelas often being delayed or canceled. I have sometimes missed connections riding Acela where there was a 30 minute time to make the connection. I found Amtrak wouldn't sell me a ticket with a mere 30 minute window so I would make 2 reservations. Back when I did this, I made the connection about half the time.
If they can't run Acelas on time, is there any hope that they can run anything on time? And it appears that to them "on time" is within 15 minutes. Japan and Switzerland, for two, post sub-minute times in their schedules--that is, the granularity of their timekeeping is smaller than 1 minute. Amtrak allegedly runs to the minute but considers 15 minutes late as on time. And of course they include lots of padding in their schedules.

It has been said, in the past, that NJT schedules were padded so management, whose bonuses were partly determined by on-time percentage, would get bigger bonuses. Does this also apply to Amtrak managers? Inquiring minds want to know.
  by east point
 
Pardon my confusion but aren't Acelas just 10 minutes late on time ? What about Regionals ?
  by Tadman
 
30 minutes for intercity travel is not bad. That’s a normal delay driving across chicago or New York, let alone between two cities 100 miles apart.
  by rcthompson04
 
Tadman wrote: Wed Oct 16, 2019 10:31 am 30 minutes for intercity travel is not bad. That’s a normal delay driving across chicago or New York, let alone between two cities 100 miles apart.
Yea the delay is not the problem. It is how long it takes in general. I can drive to Pittsburgh in 4 1/2 hours from my house most hours of the day. The Pennsylvanian takes 7.
  by WashingtonPark
 
Tadman wrote: Wed Oct 16, 2019 10:31 am 30 minutes for intercity travel is not bad. That’s a normal delay driving across chicago or New York, let alone between two cities 100 miles apart.
When I travel to L. A. or Chicago I'm pleased if the train arrives within 2 hours of it's scheduled time. I have literally never been on an LD to or from Chicago that has not been at least an hour late at some point during the trip, even though the terminal arrival may be "on time" or even a little bit early. Amtrak won't guarantee an LD connection of less than 3 hours which shows you how confident they are. This is why so many on the board recommend a hotel in Chicago, then making your connection the next day. Fine if you're a retiree with plenty of time and money. Not so good for everyone else.
  by JoeG
 
I just looked on Amtrak's website. Trains are considered on time if they arrive within 15 minutes of the scheduled time. This might be acceptable for a long distance train; it isn't for Acela. Amtrak tries to blame host railroads for its delays, but any delays to Acela do not involve freight railroads.
  by Suburban Station
 
JoeG wrote: Wed Oct 16, 2019 1:08 pm I just looked on Amtrak's website. Trains are considered on time if they arrive within 15 minutes of the scheduled time. This might be acceptable for a long distance train; it isn't for Acela. Amtrak tries to blame host railroads for its delays, but any delays to Acela do not involve freight railroads.
there is one Host Railroad with an outsized impact on the Acela, Metro North. (disclosure, I do not have any OTP data on south end only trains versus through trains but in my personal experience, the north end is even more prone to delays) which has an affect on all through service.
  by Suburban Station
 
rcthompson04 wrote: Wed Oct 16, 2019 11:54 am
Tadman wrote: Wed Oct 16, 2019 10:31 am 30 minutes for intercity travel is not bad. That’s a normal delay driving across chicago or New York, let alone between two cities 100 miles apart.
Yea the delay is not the problem. It is how long it takes in general. I can drive to Pittsburgh in 4 1/2 hours from my house most hours of the day. The Pennsylvanian takes 7.
30 minutes is not an acceptable delay on a 100 mile route. few would be happy with half hour delays on the Harrisburg line, even 15 minutes is too much for such a short trip.
regarding pittsburgh, from philly to Pittsburgh is about 5 hours with some variability for weather and time of day. setting aside improvements such as tilting equipment, it would seem to make sense to have the train leave or arrive each city during rush hour when the relative drive is at its worst but greyhound does the opposite (scheduling express runs outside of rush hour). that would mean moving the Pennsylvanian to the 725 AM slot out of NYP. fwiw, back in 2008 I was on several trips where the train was 30+ minutes early which is roughly the 34+ minutes that were added when the passenger tracks were ripped out.
  by rcthompson04
 
Suburban Station wrote: Wed Oct 16, 2019 1:38 pm
rcthompson04 wrote: Wed Oct 16, 2019 11:54 am
Tadman wrote: Wed Oct 16, 2019 10:31 am 30 minutes for intercity travel is not bad. That’s a normal delay driving across chicago or New York, let alone between two cities 100 miles apart.
Yea the delay is not the problem. It is how long it takes in general. I can drive to Pittsburgh in 4 1/2 hours from my house most hours of the day. The Pennsylvanian takes 7.
30 minutes is not an acceptable delay on a 100 mile route. few would be happy with half hour delays on the Harrisburg line, even 15 minutes is too much for such a short trip.
regarding pittsburgh, from philly to Pittsburgh is about 5 hours with some variability for weather and time of day. setting aside improvements such as tilting equipment, it would seem to make sense to have the train leave or arrive each city during rush hour when the relative drive is at its worst but greyhound does the opposite (scheduling express runs outside of rush hour). that would mean moving the Pennsylvanian to the 725 AM slot out of NYP. fwiw, back in 2008 I was on several trips where the train was 30+ minutes early which is roughly the 34+ minutes that were added when the passenger tracks were ripped out.
I have wondered what would the ideal times be for a second daily run. I am guess departing Philadelphia at rush hour replacing the 620 or 725 Keystones, which would put you in Pittsburgh early afternoon. The trip from Pittsburgh would depart mid afternoon and replace one of the last two Keystones terminating at Philly.
  by JoeG
 
I wonder what the definition of "on time" is on other industrialized countries' railroads. For LD trains, I have to admit that Canada is worse than us. I don't know about their corridor trains.
I don't know how much MN delays Amtrak; maybe Dutch will speak up.
  by Tadman
 
Suburban Station wrote: Wed Oct 16, 2019 1:38 pm
rcthompson04 wrote: Wed Oct 16, 2019 11:54 am
Tadman wrote: Wed Oct 16, 2019 10:31 am 30 minutes for intercity travel is not bad. That’s a normal delay driving across chicago or New York, let alone between two cities 100 miles apart.
Yea the delay is not the problem. It is how long it takes in general. I can drive to Pittsburgh in 4 1/2 hours from my house most hours of the day. The Pennsylvanian takes 7.
30 minutes is not an acceptable delay on a 100 mile route. few would be happy with half hour delays on the Harrisburg line, even 15 minutes is too much for such a short trip.


I don’t see how you can get past the reality of a 30 minute delay. If you’re planning on being in New York, a 30 minute delay window is just life. If you fly in on the shuttle, the cab ride downtown can vary from 30-90 minutes alone.
  by Jeff Smith
 
https://www.trains.com/trn/news-reviews ... y-mystery/

Dated April 14, 2021, a reissue of an article written in 2019
When the Southwest Chief rumbles across New Mexico’s Raton Pass, with sleeping-car passengers paying as much as $1,058 to ride in a roomette, what is the train’s revenue-versus-cost effect on Amtrak’s bottom line?

According to the “route level results” of the fiscal 2017 performance report, the Chicago-Los Angeles train generated $49.9 million in revenue but racked up $104 million of so-called “operating” expenses.

So, the train “lost” more than $54 million? Really?
...
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Come on Mr. Smith, you're an accountant yourself.

Did $54M vanish because The Chief ran over those "solely Amtrak" tracks? No, the train itself did not, but when you consider the full cost of maintaining those 300 or so miles (LAJ-ABQ) at FRA Class 4 solely for a "one a day", that $54 is very believable.
  by Jeff Smith
 
Hey, I didn't write the article!
  by David Benton
 
The 3 Chicago - west coast trains all have similar around 50 m revenue,100 m costs ratio, so it's not disappearing into the raton gap .
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