• Return To Tri-Weekly; Any Foundation?

  • 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

  by jp1822
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Sat Dec 04, 2021 10:03 am This paywalled Washington Post (courtesy of Seattle Times) material certainly suggests "they mean business":

Fair Use:
The railroad is expected to publish a revised service schedule by mid-December to reflect possible cuts, according to Amtrak. In a memo to workers last month, chief executive William J. Flynn said the railroad is preparing “for the possibility that some number of employees will choose not to get vaccinated and will therefore be leaving the company, which could necessitate some temporary reductions of Amtrak service.”

The company said in the memo that 88.2% of its roughly 17,000 workers had been vaccinated late last month, and projected an additional 6% were on track to comply this month. Amtrak said Friday it expects the number “to be slightly higher” by the January deadline.
If the six car 3-4 I noted immediately is representative of the present demand, who away from the advocacy community really cares?
If Amtrak has to go down to tri-weekly service for the LD trains (and reduction in corridor or even state based trains) - it was also noted in the same article that this could ERODE both patron and Congressional support/confidence from Amtrak, especially in the wake of it receiving $66B for infrastructure. To me - that was the most important observation made.

Amtrak estimates that at Jan 4, 2022 it will have 94% of its workforce vaccinated......They’ll never publish it, but it would be interesting to see a graph as to what crafts or areas unvaccinated people are in. Is it pre-dominately rail operations? Moreover, this statement about reduction in service certainly opens another door that Amtrak could say - sorry, this LD train is coach only, with no dining service because we are short on staff. And if Amtrak is short on staff - how will this exactly work at the bigger picture....... Some crews may be short a conductor or LSA or coach attendant, and then this is going to lead to reduced labor levels again........When will the Merry Go Round end???? This has deeper ramifications than if you support corridor or LD trains or both. Amtrak is going to get a Congressional stamp of irrelevancy.......

I’m all for the vaccine and a believer in the vaccine. Scheduled for my booster this week. Not sure what exactly the answer is, but I think any service reductions will have greater ramifications, for better or worse, not sure. I do want people to stay safe and healthy. Is a less than 6% unvaccinated employees going to cause tri-weekly service again etc etc.????
  by eolesen
There might be some funny business in the numbers being reported on vaccination percentages.

How many people have retired or quit and have yet to be replaced? Where do those fit into the equation?

94% vaxd at 95% of expected staffing is in reality going to be less than 90% of the staff needed to run the railroad.... that's enough to halt operations in places.

Sent from my SM-G981U using Tapatalk

  by lordsigma12345
I watched Mr. Gardner today at the congressional committee. They are analyzing the crew bases now it sounds like the most likely ones to go tri weekly are the longer LD trains because of the small crew bases along the way are most vulnerable to any amount of staff loss as these are not large crew bases and even a few terminations could disrupt service. I would agree that the percentages could be misleading as it sounds like the T&E personnel is where there is the most resistance to the mandate. It sounds like the plan is going to be to keep daily service thru the holidays then go down to tri weekly on the vax mandate date in january where required with a scheduled return to daily service sometime in March (reservations after that date probably won’t be affected). The reduced schedule will avoid unexpected cancellations due to staffing shortages. Some routes may go back to daily sooner if the situation is resolved quicker.
  by HammerJack
Alright, I have trip on the Empire Builder on 1/12 from SEA to CHI, which is a Wednesday, and NOT one of the days on the tri-weekly schedule (when they did it last year). What do we think, am I safe or am I risking a cancellation?
  by eolesen
You might want to make sure you've got flexibility a day either side of your Wednesday trip......
  by lordsigma12345
They won’t cancel you. They’ll make the consist longer on the days they run and they’ll attempt to re-accommodate you on one of the surrounding days if your plans allow for altering the date. That’s assuming the builder is one of the trains that goes tri-weekly.
  by Gilbert B Norman
Although both the Times and Journal are silent, Bloomberg has reported on this development.

Fair Use:
.... Amtrak expects it won’t have enough employees to operate all its trains next month when it plans to enforce Covid-19 vaccine requirements. As Amtrak prepares to comply with the federal vaccine mandate, it will likely need to temporarily reduce frequency, particularly on its long-distance services, Stephen J. Gardner, president of Amtrak, said in written testimony for a House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee
  by eolesen
Moot point, as Amtrak has suspended enforcing their mandate, citing the court ruling last week halting the Federal contractors mandate.