• Corona virus impacts on Amtrak

  • 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 NS VIA FAN
 
Doesn't look good for the reinstatement of the Maple Leaf anytime soon. Ontario Premier Ford is adamant he does not want the Canada/US Border open. And he has the backing of the Premiers of BC (Cascades) and Quebec (Adirondack). It's certainly a Federal jurisdiction...and no matter what Trump might say.... reopening would have to be by mutual agreement. But 'Essential' travel and trade still continues uninterrupted.

https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/ontario-prem ... -1.4931156
Last edited by NS VIA FAN on Sat May 09, 2020 12:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by gokeefe
 
Acela service returning June 1.
Amtrak is restoring its higher-speed Acela service between Boston and Washington starting June 1.

The railroad announced the move Friday, citing increased demand. The Acela service is Amtrak’s flagship product in the Northeast, but it had been suspended in late March amid slumping demand related to the coronavirus pandemic.

A schedule of three weekday round-trips will commence as localities begin to lift stay-at-home orders, and more people are slowly beginning to move around the country again.
  by Jeff Smith
 
More: https://wtop.com/business-finance/2020/ ... r-service/
...
Acela service was suspended in late March. It will now resume with a modified schedule of three weekday round trips.

Northeast Regional frequencies will be increased from eight weekly round trips to 10, starting June 1.

“We are dedicated to doing everything possible to return service safely. We want everyone to feel comfortable as they navigate this new normal,” said Amtrak President and CEO Bill Flynn.

Amtrak will require passengers to wear face masks starting this coming Monday, though passengers who are seated alone or traveling with a companion in their own pair of seats will be allowed to remove them once seated.

Amtrak also no longer accepts cash, with credit card or contactless payments in stations and on trains.

It is limiting the number of passengers on the trains it is running to 50% capacity, though most are carrying fewer passengers than that. In April, Amtrak said ridership had dropped 95% since March.
  by STrRedWolf
 
Rockingham Racer wrote: Sun May 10, 2020 3:10 pm Here's the latest operating plan

https://drive.google.com/file/d/130AGqE ... X4jW1/view
So:
  • Acela: Resumption to 4 round trips (RTs).
  • DownEaster: Resumption to 1 RT July 1st
  • Keystone: Resumption to "S" schedule between Harrisburgh and Philadelphia.
  • Pennsylvanian: Resumption of service.
Most service fully resumes in September.
  by gokeefe
 
If the things described in this article come to pass we are about to see a return to passenger train service on a scale that is almost impossible to contemplate right now.
Let’s start with the entire process of checking in for flights, which some calculate that it could take up to four hours and involving social distancing, sanitation of passengers and luggage, wider spaces for various lines and waiting to board.
...
Among the steps under consideration: no cabin bags, no lounges, no automatic upgrades, face masks, surgical gloves, self-check-in, self-bag-drop-off, immunity passports, on-the-spot blood tests and sanitation disinfection tunnels.
...
The boarding process is expected also to become ‘touchless,’ with options including facial recognition, already used in some U.S. airports for international flights. On the planes, there will be blocked seats, electrostatic spraying, personnel in protective gear and, of course, masks. Major European carriers such as Air France and KLM already have made them compulsory and it’s expected that all other airlines will do the same.

As for food, the tendency is to stop serving altogether on short-haul flights, while the airlines consider ‘light refreshments’ for long-haul flights. Hong Kong Airlines has decided to stop offering food altogether.
While I understand a great deal of this article is discussing international travel implications I think it is fair to say that there clearly will be impacts on domestic air travel as well.

Amtrak will have their own challenges of course but I doubt very much they will be anything like what the airlines are going to suffer through.
Last edited by gokeefe on Tue May 12, 2020 8:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
  by gokeefe
 
For the scenario above the existing routes may give us early "signals" of changes to travel habits. For example a sudden increase in bookings, sell outs in multiple classes extending for months at a time and unusually high fares would all be indicators of increasing travel demand.

To put this in "COVID" terms that we can all understand I'm basically saying that in a few months or maybe a year a ticket on Amtrak maybe about as hard to come by as a case of Charmin at the grocery store three weeks ago.
  by gokeefe
 
Something very similar happened after 9/11 both in the immediate aftermath and the longer term. Train travel became attractive to some people for a whole host of reasons but most significant among these was time. The increase in check in times for domestic air travel made previously convenient shuttle flights annoying and far less attractive. Regional trains benefited from this trend the most. Short hop flights that were once common connectors became almost non-existent. Boston - Portland is one example. I'm sure there are others elsewhere.

Even a change of as little as an hour in additional check in time will make regional train services broadly competitive with air travel in a way they aren't right now. There will also be significant increases in costs for aviation terminals which will have to make these adjustments on the fly while still maintaining post 9/11 security standards. I fundamentally believe that aviation travel is about to change in a way that is going to make the public very leery of it. While the security improvements were reassuring the biological measures are going to be unnerving to an extent that is going to be hard to avoid.

Every single time one enters an airport there is going to be a set of very clear reminders to any traveler of these incredible new risks which have potentially lifelong implications.
  by gokeefe
 
Amtrak has their own adjustments they will have to make as well but these do not seem as significant. Some stations will need more cleaning, passengers might make a habit of wiping down their seats, face masks will be required to move about the train for now but there will almost certainly never be the kind of wholesale changes that will fundamentally alter aviation. Probably the very worst that is going to happen is visibly sick travelers will be either denied boarding or taken off the train.
  by rcthompson04
 
Some might take Amtrak more than they would have before. When I return to the office intermittently, I am going to be taking Amtrak instead of SEPTA. With a 10 trip pass, the Keystone is still more expensive, but it is easier to social distance in an Amfleet than a Silverliner or Bomber coach. It is also a quicker ride for me.
  by gokeefe
 
Yet another source of demand. And even once a vaccine becomes common I would imagine many people will still continue to use Amtrak as an alternative over commuter trains.
  by rcthompson04
 
gokeefe wrote: Tue May 12, 2020 10:31 am Yet another source of demand. And even once a vaccine becomes common I would imagine many people will still continue to use Amtrak as an alternative over commuter trains.
$84 for Amtrak or $70 for SEPTA (once new rates go through) for 10 rides between Exton and Philadelphia. If I am only going to Philadelphia a few times a month, the Amtrak 45 day 10 trip pass is going to be the way I go.
  by eolesen
 
If airlines are expected to do electrostatic cleaning, wipe downs, temperature screenings, etc. what makes anyone think that Amtrak won't be?

Things like immunity passports are going to hit numerous legal challenges. Might as well give us all arm tattoos.
  by west point
 
Not directly related to Amtrak but: Wife has a brother that is dying in Florida. A check of motels in a city near to where he is shows almost no vacancies for June 1. People already making travel plans ?
  by rcthompson04
 
eolesen wrote: Wed May 13, 2020 1:03 am If airlines are expected to do electrostatic cleaning, wipe downs, temperature screenings, etc. what makes anyone think that Amtrak won't be?

Things like immunity passports are going to hit numerous legal challenges. Might as well give us all arm tattoos.
Amtrak is going to have to ramp up its cleaning game. I would look to see what European passenger rail companies are doing.

Immunity passports are a bad idea on so many levels. Talk about encouraging people to get sick.
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