• 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 gokeefe
 
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?
Different ventilation systems, ability to ventilate in fresh air in bulk, ability to move about the cabin, more space between rows ... Shorter trips ... The list goes on but it's pretty significant. There will definitely be more cleaning everywhere but I doubt very much that Amtrak will be setting up spray tunnels and having people and their luggage go through all kinds of disinfection and testing.

The problem that the airlines have is the seats are too close together, the air supply recirculates with minimal outside air, people can't get up and move around, trips are fairly long (at least an hour or more in most cases) and even the ratio of passengers per bathroom is high (more people for fewer restrooms).

Everything about aviation is higher density and maximized use. These are exactly the criteria which make infection more likely on a plane than on a lower density Amtrak train.
  by Arborwayfan
 
To gokeefe's list I will add three more:

outdoor waiting at many stations
no x-ray/scanner lines or complex check-in procedures, meaning a lot less time for people to be together in crowds before they get on the vehicle (even if health precautions slow things down, metal detectors are unlikely to show up)
possibility of requiring pax to stay in one car, which takes the maximum number of people in the same space down to the 80s.
  by gokeefe
 
Alternately ... Possibility of requiring passengers to spread out ... Who would have ever imagined that Amtrak's excess space at the least traveled parts of their route segments could possibly work so well in their favor. Even a bus can't pull that trick off.
  by Arborwayfan
 
Or both: assign seats beforehand so as to spread passengers out as much as possible through all the cars of the train. Use all cars, each passenger must stay in assigned car.
  by eolesen
 
gokeefe wrote: Wed May 13, 2020 5:54 pm the air supply recirculates with minimal outside air
W R O N G.

Every 4-6 minutes, 100% of the cabin air is replaced on modern aircraft, and most use HEPA filters.

That's far more often than you see in hospitals and medical offices, and possible higher filtration.
  by rcthompson04
 
eolesen wrote: Thu May 14, 2020 1:06 am
gokeefe wrote: Wed May 13, 2020 5:54 pm the air supply recirculates with minimal outside air
W R O N G.

Every 4-6 minutes, 100% of the cabin air is replaced on modern aircraft, and most use HEPA filters.

That's far more often than you see in hospitals and medical offices, and possible higher filtration.
The recirculation of air isn't an issue on planes for the reasons you noted. There are several problems noted previously in this thread that are unique to airlines that Amtrak doesn't have to worry about except some would apply for its most crowded stations, but are easily mitigated.
  by Greg Moore
 
eolesen wrote: Thu May 14, 2020 1:06 am
gokeefe wrote: Wed May 13, 2020 5:54 pm the air supply recirculates with minimal outside air
W R O N G.

Every 4-6 minutes, 100% of the cabin air is replaced on modern aircraft, and most use HEPA filters.

That's far more often than you see in hospitals and medical offices, and possible higher filtration.
Agreed. The bigger issue with aircraft, and why often people get crud while flying, and probably of particular concern with COVID-19 is the drier air tends to dry out mucus membranes.
  by gokeefe
 
Glad to stand corrected. Thank you eolesen.
  by STrRedWolf
 
Greg Moore wrote: Thu May 14, 2020 9:31 am Agreed. The bigger issue with aircraft, and why often people get crud while flying, and probably of particular concern with COVID-19 is the drier air tends to dry out mucus membranes.
I saw on NBC's Today show this morning that one of their medical correspondents landed in the hospital with COVID-19 like symptoms. He had flew earlier.

The thing is, the airline wasn't practicing social distancing. The flight was packed!
  by Jeff Smith
 
Amtrak email received this a.m.:

Dear Jeffrey,

I want to start by saying that it is my honor to assume the role of President and CEO at Amtrak®. I can't imagine a more important time to be joining the Amtrak team. The coronavirus pandemic has touched every part of our nation and has rapidly changed how we go about our daily lives. And while it has been devastating, it has also put on full display the greatness of the human spirit.

I am writing you today to let you know how the team at Amtrak is responding and what we are doing to support our communities and protect our customers and employees.

Supporting Our Communities
Fewer trains in operation has resulted in a surplus of food supplies. In addition to serving essential workers on the front lines, we are donating excess food to help those in need during this unprecedented time. Amtrak has teamed up with food banks across the country, like St. Jude's Community Center in New Orleans and Northwest Harvest in Seattle, to reduce waste and provide essentials to those who need them.

We have also partnered with Delivering Good to donate blankets to patients impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. With over 35 years of crisis experience, Delivering Good works to help those most in need. Learn more at delivering-good.org.

Ready for You
We know that as you begin to travel again, your number-one concern will be your personal health and safety. You have our commitment that we are doing everything we possibly can to provide a clean and safe travel experience. You can be confident in knowing that when you're ready to travel again, we'll be ready for you.
Video
We want to keep you informed about the measures we are taking to help protect our customers and employees, including:
• New Facial Covering Policy. For your safety and the safety of our employees, Amtrak is now requiring all customers to wear a facial covering over their nose and mouth. Amtrak customer-facing employees are also required to wear facial coverings. The CDC recommends the use of facial coverings to slow the spread of the virus and prevent transmission.
• Physical Distancing. To maintain CDC recommendations for physical distancing on board our trains, we are limiting bookings to 50% capacity. In addition, signage has been added in our stations to help travelers maintain safe distances in highly trafficked areas. We have also installed transparent protective barriers at many station ticket counters across our network.
• Enhanced Cleaning Protocols. We have increased the frequency of cleaning services on board trains and at our stations. In addition to steam cleaning the carpets, the trains are sanitized with misting machines daily before entering service.
• Cashless Service. For the safety of our customers and employees, we are temporarily accepting cashless payments only, in stations and on trains.
• Travel Flexibility. We are waiving change fees on all existing or new reservations made through August 31, 2020, so you can go ahead and book a trip with confidence. This includes reservations booked with points.
Amtrak continues to evaluate current practices and launch new initiatives to support personal safety. The most up-to-date information on our response can be found on our website.

Thank you for your continued support. I'm confident that, together, we will get through this and come out stronger. Stay safe, and we look forward to seeing you on board when you're ready to travel again.
Sincerely,
Bill Flynn
Chief Executive Officer
  by Tadman
 
Hey maybe he'll join the forum and take some of our abuse!
  by west point
 
Airliners usually have at 2 sources for HVAC. Some larger aircraft have 3 and a few 4. Past practice was to operate with just 1 air-conditioning pack. It would be easy for all airplanes to just operate all packs to cause more air to be dumped overboard. Another way to increase air turnover is to fly at a lower altitude and run the cabin up to the max 8500 feet cabin altitude. That also increases cabin air turn over.
  by Ken W2KB
 
To significantly increase outside air intake in Amtrak cars would require substantial replacement/upgrades to the heating and cooling systems. For example, if the outside air percentage were to double, the heating and cooling systems would have to double in BTU capacity. Not trivial. Especially for longer consists, that may require additional HEP capability as well.
  by STrRedWolf
 
Pennsylvanian services to resume June 1st:

https://triblive.com/local/regional/amt ... ce-june-1/
Amtrak will resume its service from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia and New York City on June 1, the first time the passenger trains will have run the route since March 18 because of the state’s covid-19 shutdowns.
Amtrak will resume its service from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia and New York City on June 1, the first time the passenger trains will have run the route since March 18 because of the state’s covid-19 shutdowns.

The twice daily service service on the Pennsylvanian route from Pittsburgh to New York, with stops in Greensburg and Latrobe, will resume with the morning eastbound train and afternoon westbound train, Amtrak said. But, Keystone service connecting Harrisburg with Philadelphia and New York, will run on a modified schedule in response to the demand, Amtrak said. The announcement was made in conjunction with PennDOT, which provides Amtrak with subsidies on both passenger routes.
In short, the Pennsy resumes service on June 1st, while the Keystone will run 9 round trips daily (6 on weekends) between Philadelphia and Harrisburg. Trains will be limited to 50% capacity on reserved services. Conductors will announce stops only on arrival.

*sigh* Too late for me. My yearly Pittsburgh convention's canceled this year.
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