• Anderson possible changes: Dismantling LD, Corridor, Etc.

  • 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 Jeff Smith
 
http://railpac.org/2018/04/21/amtrak-ce ... corridors/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Report – Richard Anderson, Amtrak CEO – Remarks to California Rail Summit and Questions and Answers

19th April 2018

Richard Anderson, CEO of Amtrak, gave a keynote address to about 150 passenger rail officials and industry professionals, plus a handful of advocates. I have the feeling he had not counted on there being any advocates in the audience. To the best of my knowledge there was no audio or video recording of the meeting, which is most unfortunate. I have done my best to give a reasonably concise account from my notes and from memory and have conferred with others who were there. I am reasonably certain that I have captured both the tone and overall content of his remarks and replies. I wish I had had the presence of mind to turn on my I phone, at least to capture my own question. I have used quotation marks when I have recalled actual words used, otherwise it is my best recollection.

Anderson had some positive items to report about reforms and initiatives he has undertaken. These include:

...
  by Ridgefielder
 
blockline4180 wrote:Some people seem to believe all LDT trains as safe, and some think all will be gone.. I tend to believe half will probably continue, but probably not at the 5 days a week current ops.. We now know by the tone of Anderson that trains like Cardinal and Sunset probably won't make it.. I do hope others like the Meteor and Crescent arent on the chopping block either, but who knows what he is thinking or if they will be since there is no "diner lite" cold food proposal there ..
As long as West Virginia has a Congressional delegation, the Cardinal will keep running.
  by Mackensen
 
I just want to reiterate that there's no actual evidence Anderson plans to kill the LDs. Not expand them? Sure, but that's not news. Amtrak hasn't added an LD since Gunn ended the disastrous Network Growth Strategy. Congress ordered Amtrak to conduct the various resumption studies, such as the Pioneer and North Coast Hiawatha, but it was clear that management considered these non-starters unless the states coughed up the money. Guy stands up in a middle of a policy conference and asks about parlor cars and the Pioneer, of course he gets a dismissive answer. Might as well have asked about rehabbing the Turboliners while he was at it. State corridors are the growth areas. That's where the ridership is. That's where the funding is. Killing the LDs, as others have said, is essentially a political question. Anderson didn't say Amtrak was killing the LDs. We know Amtrak is studying what breaking some of the LDs into end-to-end corridors would look like. Under PRIIA 2008 they can't do that unless the states agree to fund the individual trains. I've seen no evidence that such discussions are taking place.
  by BandA
 
They could annul parts of a long-distance train and run it in <750 mile pieces and still pay the deficit out of federal dollars.
  by Matt Johnson
 
Mackensen wrote:I just want to reiterate that there's no actual evidence Anderson plans to kill the LDs.
There's plenty of evidence that he has made and plans to continue making them worse, to the point of taking away much of their appeal.
  by blockline4180
 
Jeff Smith wrote:http://railpac.org/2018/04/21/amtrak-ce ... corridors/
Report – Richard Anderson, Amtrak CEO – Remarks to California Rail Summit and Questions and Answers

19th April 2018

Richard Anderson, CEO of Amtrak, gave a keynote address to about 150 passenger rail officials and industry professionals, plus a handful of advocates. I have the feeling he had not counted on there being any advocates in the audience. To the best of my knowledge there was no audio or video recording of the meeting, which is most unfortunate. I have done my best to give a reasonably concise account from my notes and from memory and have conferred with others who were there. I am reasonably certain that I have captured both the tone and overall content of his remarks and replies. I wish I had had the presence of mind to turn on my I phone, at least to capture my own question. I have used quotation marks when I have recalled actual words used, otherwise it is my best recollection.

Anderson had some positive items to report about reforms and initiatives he has undertaken. These include:

...
Thanks Jeff for re-posting this and changing the title....
I jumped the gun and probably should have waited to get all the facts before i used my trigger finger..
Right now we just have opinions and beliefs from some (Paul Dyson, Railpac, etc), that Anderson has this evil master plan to stop most, if not all long distance trains.. I realize he would get a lot push pack from congress and state reps if that would occur, so i guess it's not as easy as I once thought.. It surely wont happen at overnight if it at all does!!

In the end, I still have my opinion that a few very poor performing LDT will be eliminated in favor of short corridors, but who knows when and where.
  by Matt Johnson
 
If you're not trying to grow and improve, you're dying. I think the current trajectory for long distance services = death spiral, and I believe that's by design.
  by Jeff Smith
 
It's going to be interesting... but, like "Trump wants to kill Amtrak", of course, there's going to be pushback. And there's a statutory process they have to go through before discontinuing a route (unless there's a hurricane: see Sunset East).
  by CNJGeep
 
adamj023 wrote:We have the roads for that which can take over along with airplanes.
And that's dandy, until you don't drive and can't afford or don't want to subject yourself to the tortue of flying.
  by 35dtmrs92
 
Matt Johnson wrote:If you're not trying to grow and improve, you're dying. I think the current trajectory for long distance services = death spiral, and I believe that's by design.
Death spiral of what? Amtrak got almost $2 billion from this appropriations bill, much of which is for the long distance network. And to the extent that Anderson is trying to deemphasize the LD network, bring it on! Grow what? The LD network on the Gulf Coast and the West which are some of the sparsest places of the nation? If there is anywhere Amtrak should grow, it would be the Northeast Corridor, the Hiawatha, the San Joaquin, just about everywhere else besides that. Now, if we vote in a Congress that puts $10 billion a year to Amtrak, then the picture changes in favor of more LDs. But right now, Amtrak needs to prioritize developing capacity where lots of people live and is probably going to keep most of the LD routes it has since the law says it has to spend a certain amount of cash on them. If that means the weakest LDs get the axe, so be it. I challenge anyone on this forum to find an analogous rail company anywhere in the world that puts as high a share of its resources to such sparsely trafficked routes as does Amtrak. That is the death spiral if anything is a death spiral. Anderson clearly gets that, a welcome contrast to NARP and too many other rail advocacy organizations. Please (not just you) spare me the hyperbole.
  by Matt Johnson
 
35dtmrs92 wrote:
Matt Johnson wrote:If you're not trying to grow and improve, you're dying. I think the current trajectory for long distance services = death spiral, and I believe that's by design.
Grow what? The LD network on the Gulf Coast and the West which are some of the sparsest places of the nation? If there is anywhere Amtrak should grow, it would be the Northeast Corridor, the Hiawatha, the San Joaquin, just about everywhere else besides that.
I would like to see restoration of the Gulf Coast Sunset, the Pioneer, and the Desert Wind. But at the very least, I'd like to draw a line in the sand and say no more cuts, while improving on the services that remain. Long term, on this planet of 7.5 billion people of which 300 million or so reside in the States, population growth trends will likely continue to require more sustainable transportation models which include rail, unless we desire a complete social and environmental disaster.
  by mtuandrew
 
If Anderson cuts the Amtrak deficit to essentially zero, he has the ability to Corridor-chop service like the Cardinal without Congress needing to be involved. WV gets daily service NYP-CHW, Ohio gets daily service CHI-CIN, and he cuts some losses. Arizona, NM and Texas keep a Texas Eagle CHI-FTW and a Sunset Limited LAX-FTW, Houston gets a daily Regional train from either San Antonio or Ft. Worth, and again, he cuts a few more losses. BOS-ALB gets a Regional, etc. So on, and so on, and so on.

I don’t like it, but I see the business sense.
  by Nasadowsk
 
CNJGeep wrote: or don't want to subject yourself to the tortue of flying.
Biggest torture of flying is dealing with idiot passengers, something Amtrak doesn't fix by any means. 90% of the problem with flying is people turn off their brains the second they step foot into an airport, and don't turn them back on until they're home from seeing Mr Mouse, or whatever.
  by blockline4180
 
CNJGeep wrote:
adamj023 wrote:We have the roads for that which can take over along with airplanes.
And that's dandy, until you don't drive and can't afford or don't want to subject yourself to the tortue of flying.

Yes, and you can take uber or lyft to the nearest bus station and endure that type of torture!! ;-)
  by AC4619
 
Jeff Smith wrote:http://railpac.org/2018/04/21/amtrak-ce ... corridors/
Report – Richard Anderson, Amtrak CEO – Remarks to California Rail Summit and Questions and Answers

19th April 2018

Richard Anderson, CEO of Amtrak, gave a keynote address to about 150 passenger rail officials and industry professionals, plus a handful of advocates. I have the feeling he had not counted on there being any advocates in the audience. To the best of my knowledge there was no audio or video recording of the meeting, which is most unfortunate. I have done my best to give a reasonably concise account from my notes and from memory and have conferred with others who were there. I am reasonably certain that I have captured both the tone and overall content of his remarks and replies. I wish I had had the presence of mind to turn on my I phone, at least to capture my own question. I have used quotation marks when I have recalled actual words used, otherwise it is my best recollection.

Anderson had some positive items to report about reforms and initiatives he has undertaken. These include:

...
Oops. Welp, serves me right for writing a diatribe without doing actual research first. Still, agree with others...and my un-educated last-night self...this would be a political problem, though.
Matt Johnson wrote:
35dtmrs92 wrote:
Matt Johnson wrote:If you're not trying to grow and improve, you're dying. I think the current trajectory for long distance services = death spiral, and I believe that's by design.

Grow what? The LD network on the Gulf Coast and the West which are some of the sparsest places of the nation? If there is anywhere Amtrak should grow, it would be the Northeast Corridor, the Hiawatha, the San Joaquin, just about everywhere else besides that.
I would like to see restoration of the Gulf Coast Sunset, the Pioneer, and the Desert Wind. But at the very least, I'd like to draw a line in the sand and say no more cuts, while improving on the services that remain. Long term, on this planet of 7.5 billion people of which 300 million or so reside in the States, population growth trends will likely continue to require more sustainable transportation models which include rail, unless we desire a complete social and environmental disaster.
.
As an environmental scientist....I can say that while rail is certainly part of a sustainable future for our climate in the face of a rising population and climate change, LD rail is not necessarily. LD rail in the US is not significantly cutting GHG emissions, because 250 people is not significant on the routes in question. What IS needed, is a strong network of frequent, mid-distance high-speed rail service (that is as fast as possible--> maglev, partial vac train, etc), that is as thoroughly connected as the current interstate highway system is. That happening is not something I'm holding my breath over. Also, research indicates that environmentally, things are already and will continue to be a "disaster"... socially and environmentally...it's really just a question of "how bad" it's going to get, at this point. The continuation or discontinuation of contemporary Amtrak LDs is a political and economics question. How much does Amtrak save by cutting them, vs how much do they lose by cutting? It certainly helps "bridge the gap" though, as far as future corridor and eventual HSR service is concerned. No LDs--> Even less thought about trains as valid mode of travel--> less likely to see good service.
mtuandrew wrote:If Anderson cuts the Amtrak deficit to essentially zero, he has the ability to Corridor-chop service like the Cardinal without Congress needing to be involved. WV gets daily service NYP-CHW, Ohio gets daily service CHI-CIN, and he cuts some losses. Arizona, NM and Texas keep a Texas Eagle CHI-FTW and a Sunset Limited LAX-FTW, Houston gets a daily Regional train from either San Antonio or Ft. Worth, and again, he cuts a few more losses. BOS-ALB gets a Regional, etc. So on, and so on, and so on.

I don’t like it, but I see the business sense.
Corridor service enhancements could be a boon for Amtrak if they can get more than daily service. CA, WA, PA, NY, Midwest, etc have all shown that when you increase frequency and speed, ridership increases exponentially. They've also shown how hard it is to get that type of service, especially when Amtk doesn't own the trackage.
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