jhdeasy wrote:At this time, I must say there is much uncertainty about the future of private car operations on Amtrak under Mr. Anderson.
And the private car operation is definitely a profitable line item for Amtrak, so this is concerning.
The M&E delays were awful, but I don't see those delays being parallel to the private car operation.
It should be a rather simple hookup or drop off - and owners have to go to a great expense to ensure compatability to allow for such. Nonetheless, I do remember being delayed at Denver Union Station when the conductors were trying to tack on a private car to the rear of the train. But I also saw a bunch of mistakes being made by crew that led to the delay, none of which were the private rail car owners' fault. Most private rail cars also seem to go endpoint to endpoint, which brings no effect to the timetable as the car is hooked up before it loads passengers at originating station, and then heads off with the consist at terminating terminal. Yes, some of the trans cons "drop" private cars at various places, and then they also pickup as well. But they charge handsomely for it and Amtrak does this with their own equipment be it business cars, the exhibit train, or other equipment. Not sure of how San Diego and LA private car operations are affecting on-time performance.
"......[Amtrak is] considering other changes to ensure [private car] operations don’t interfere with its core business and service to its passengers."
Not liking that statement as it is similar to a statement that was said about M&E operations, but M&E was a completely different animal. Private car operations have been a profitable line item for Amtrak since the company's inception in 1971.......... Hopefully Mr. Anderson's wide knowledge of the airline industry, and particularly how private planes get along with commercial airlines, will help bring about a very positive resolution for all parties.
PS - even though VIA largely does not carry private rail cars anymore (and it is also a LOT more expensive), they have made exceptions. A private rail car did make a trip on the Ocean fairly recently. I don't think there is anything barring private rail car operations to northern Quebec. And when in doubt, money always talks better. But more importantly, a trip on VIA or at least the Canadian is a "private rail car" experience.