John_Perkowski wrote: ↑Wed Dec 11, 2019 3:02 pm
jhdeasy wrote: ↑Wed Dec 11, 2019 1:04 pm
During the AAPRCO - Amtrak liaison conference call in November 2019, Amtrak officials noted private car mileage was down more than 50% and private car revenue was down by an unspecified amount. The comparison was to a period 2 years ago, before the Anderson era increases in the private car tariff.
Anyone who is surprised at this is on drugs…But I will bet you somebody at Amtrak was…
Thank you, Mr. Deasy.
I don't think anybody is surprised at this and they shouldn't be. Here we have a very good example of the difference between what an MBA teaches you and what a few years on the railroad will teach you.
MBA: Take your revenues, subtract your costs, add up your profit. If it's a loss, raise your prices accordingly. If the market won't bear that, stop the services.
Railroad reality: We've got a price that shows a paper profit to haul an extra 80 tons of steel on the back of the Builder or LSL, but then the car shows up and it needs turned, has bad brake pads, someone on board is drunk, their radios aren't charged, flat spots, minor fire, water leak, the connection from the other train is late or bustituted... long term we lost money in a small way on each one and have to have a couple extra head count in each terminal to deal with the BS.
Keep going back to Mr. Anderson being an airline guy. This means he's an operations guy, but has no soft spot for streamliners or whatever. I have firsthand accounts from RFE's telling me that half the time a PV shows up, it needs some babying. That has a cost. Not only is it a cost, it's an irregular and unpredictable cost. It's easy to predict the cost of setting out cars in Albany or Spokane, it's done every day by the same guy. The same task in Ann Arbor for a few PV's 2x/year requires lots of special coordination, and it's much harder to predict and track with any statistical certainty.
Look, I love PV cars. I'm going to track down the Crescent when it gets here tomorrow with one. But I totally understand why they are cracking down. It's not really the moneymaker we all think it is. If it were, the guy who is trying to boost operational profits would probably keep them around.