• The big ax just fell. Long distance to 3x/week.

  • 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 SouthernRailway
 
I see the Rail Passengers Association's statement that mentions cuts of trains to be triweekly, in the context of a paragraph describing long-distance trains (just do a word search for "3x"):

https://railpassengers.org/happening-no ... eductions/

However, I don't see any long-distance trains listed on Amtrak's website as being cut now (the Silver Star/Meteor are listed as "returning June 3"), and I don't see any trains that are clearly to be triweekly:

https://media.amtrak.com/2020/06/amtrak ... o-service/

Is Amtrak's guide just botched: are long-distance trains being cut to be triweekly? I hope not.

Thanks.
  by lordsigma12345
 
An Amtrak employee memo from management has been floating around the internet which I believe is what RPA is referring to here. The cuts would be: 32% Northeast Corridor service cut, 24% state supported cut (surely varies by corridor), and reduction of all Long Distance trains to thrice weekly service except the Florida services (The cardinal and Sunset Limited would have no changes.) Auto Train would remain daily and the Silver Service would operate staggered with the Meteor operating four days a week and the Star on the other three days so that the common stations receive daily service. They are claiming the hope would be to restore daily long distance service at at time driven by demand (possibly by Summer 2021 if demand returns according to the memo.) I would guess (this is just a guess) is that they will go to thrice weekly in Arrow until Summer 2021 (and accept daily bookings for the summer) and then decide on whether to extend it based on what they get for reservations for Summer 2021.
  by gokeefe
 
Sounds like they are projecting out based on cash needs and expectations of aid.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

  by Gilbert B Norman
 
lordsigma12345 wrote: Mon Jun 15, 2020 6:15 pm An Amtrak employee memo from management has been floating around the internet
Here is the actual memo Mr. Lord notes, along with an advocacy group's "we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills" rhetoric:

http://texasrailadvocates.org/2020/06/1 ... k-service/

Finally, I have reviewed the paywall protected material at TRAINS Newswire and cannot find anything further to add.
  by Tadman
 
https://trn.trains.com/news/news-wire/2 ... s-of-oct-1

“ Amtrak plans to reduce most long-distance trains to three-day-a-week service as of Oct. 1, according to an internal message obtained by Trains News Wire.

Auto Train, which carries passengers and their cars between Lorton, Va., and Sanford, Fla., is the lone long-distance train which will continue to operate daily”
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
As I noted at the Coronavirus topic, here is an advocacy group's "we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills" rhetoric regarding this development:

http://texasrailadvocates.org/2020/06/1 ... k-service/

All told, I have to accept the Groups position that less than Daily operation does not save as much as proponents woukd like to have it believed, but it is the "optics" that are presented to your Benefactors is what it's all about.
  by David Benton
 
My first reaction , why wait to October 1st ? Seems to me the low patronage is now , and things may be recovering by then . The only factors are the end of summer , the start of a new $ year .
  by RRspatch
 
The problem is that trains that go to tri-weekly tend to stay that way. An example of this is The Cardinal which has been tri-weekly ever since the "Mercer" cuts. If this is indeed just during the Covid-19 drop off in travel then Amtrak's feet must be held to the fire on a return date for daily service. I view this as nothing more than a renewed attempt to get rid of the long distance trains. We should never forget what the letter "N" in NRPC stands for.

BTW - I would not be surprised to see congressional and state push back in regards to the Empire Builder and the Southwest Chief.
  by eolesen
 
I'm guessing the reason the change is coming on 10/1 is due to two factors:

1) the booking curve -- fewer people to reaccommodate for October onward than there are for July/Aug/Sept
2) Labor notifications for possible reductions in hours/staffing --- 90 days notice would puts them at around 9/16
  by Rockingham Racer
 
The letter to employees, quoted on another site, states that Amtrak is quite worried about another wave of the virus during the fall and winter. Further, the Silver Meteor and the Auto Train will operate 4X weekly, and that gives stations between Petersburg, VA and Miami, FL daily service.
  by lordsigma12345
 
I can't imagine that by now only the long distance trains are generating the loss. With the tremendous overhead related to the NEC (and the ridership there being affected more than anywhere else) and the essentially empty trains they have to be bleeding money there too. In April, there was a statistic in the ridership reports we may never see again, the Northeast Corridor carried less passengers in the month than the long distance trains.
  by SouthernRailway
 
I'd rather have 3x trains per day per LD route, but 3x per week is better than 0x per week.

When I've taken the Crescent recently, there have been very few passengers and I'd guess that fares don't even cover employee wages.

Amtrak is broke. The US is broke. What choice does Amtrak have?
  by Matt Johnson
 
Historical precedent, including the "temporary" post-Katrina 2005 suspension of the Sunset east of New Orleans, does not give me a warm fuzzy feeling.
  by Traingeek3629
 
Do you know if this will apply to the Vermonter?
  by Tadman
 
Frankly I'm ok with it. It's a long time coming. What this tells us is that Amtrak's long distance network is less and less relevant by the day.

Imagine if under Amtrak Joe's eight years in office he had made it a priority to come up with a regional system of day trains and corridors that looked like this. There are only four states left out. It reduces the effects on the freight carriers and provides a truly useful regional rail system that people would fight for, because they use it.

Outside of our circles, very few people will notice the long distance trains dropping to 3x/week.

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