Amtrak Crescent Discussion

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Crescent Trip Report in the News

Postby Jeff Smith » Wed Nov 30, 2016 9:33 am

I'll probably create a Crescent topic later (if I haven't already): http://www.ibtimes.com/strangers-train- ... nt-1504654
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Re: Crescent Trip Report in the News

Postby Arborwayfan » Thu Dec 01, 2016 2:05 pm

It's kind of a grouchy story, but it rings true. (the regulars, the first-timer who had a leaky roof, argued with the conductor, and said he'd never ride again, the class and race of the people in the diner, the scenery, the train as a safe mode of travel for people unable to drive, etc.).

I wonder if the writer would say that the national and state road systems bleeds money? Hardly any user fees there, and plenty of tax money spent that isn't gas tax money.
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Re: Crescent Trip Report in the News

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Thu Dec 01, 2016 6:52 pm

The "porthole" door strongly suggests that the Diner pictured is ex-SP "Sunset". Car was Budd built during 1950.
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Re: Crescent Trip Report in the News

Postby SouthernRailway » Fri Dec 02, 2016 5:41 pm

Mr. Norman, I agree. That story was depressing.

I like the Crescent. It's a nice train. I wouldn't do that long of a trip in coach, though.
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Re: Crescent Questions/Comments

Postby gokeefe » Tue Dec 20, 2016 10:43 pm

Anniston has been awarded funds to extend their platform by 400'

Anniston is among 11 local governments in Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana that will receive grants to improve railway stations along Amtrak’s Crescent Line, the Southern Rail Commission announced Monday.

The city will receive $138,000, a slice of the $2.4 million in Federal Railway Administration money awarded by the commission on Monday. The money is to be used for passenger rail station upgrades or construction, and some of it will go to Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, and Mobile, as well as to cities in Louisiana and Mississippi.

In Anniston, city officials say the money will be spent extending the city’s Amtrak station platform by 400 feet.

The extension will allow trains that stop at the station to load and unload baggage and bicycles, according to a July letter from Amtrak to the city expressing support for the project.
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Re: Crescent Questions/Comments

Postby SouthernRailway » Wed Dec 21, 2016 1:26 pm

From a dollars-and-cents perspective, is spending $138,000 for Anniston to lengthen its platform by 400' really the best use of scarce transportation dollars: is the net present value of the additional revenues that Amtrak will get due to the project greater than the cost? Somehow I doubt it.
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Re: Crescent Questions/Comments

Postby gokeefe » Wed Dec 21, 2016 1:42 pm

If this produces labor efficiencies for Amtrak I think on balance the return on investment is quite positive. It doesn't take very much saved time for crew hours on a full service long distance train to rapidly add up.
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Re: Crescent Questions/Comments

Postby east point » Wed Dec 21, 2016 2:48 pm

After experiencing stops at Anniston having the trains just stop once instead of 2 - 3 times might save 10 minutes. Especially getting to Atlanta during the slot time thru Howell interlocking might end up saving 30 minutes. The other way ? unknown at Birmingham ?
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Re: Crescent Questions/Comments

Postby Jeff Smith » Wed Dec 21, 2016 3:18 pm

Anniston, April 25, 1979. After riding the recently assumed (2/1/1979) by Amtrak Southern Crescent in Heritage Equipment with Southern RR staff, a young "CEO", who only weeks before dropped out of HS to join the Army, steps off the train at Anniston to begin a career in the military by reporting to basic at nearby Fort McClellan.

Departed from Newark the day before, after reporting to the induction center.

I've been back, once, in 2001. I've got to find that picture.

I also ordered a 3D print of the Amtrak station sign; it's still being held hostage by a psychotic foamer who refused to ship it. /bygones
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Re: Crescent Questions/Comments

Postby Arlington » Thu Dec 29, 2016 10:53 am

From the V-II thread:
SouthernRailway wrote:Is there any hope whatsoever of the Crescent getting an additional sleeping car AND (arising from additional capacity to sell) lower sleeping-car prices in 2017 or 2018?

The one-way sleeping car fare from NYC to the Carolinas is $450-$600+. As much as I like taking the Crescent, I can fly first-class for a lot less than that, so my choice is the plane, not the train, for pretty much every trip.

What are the prices at which the Crescent becomes preferred?
- What level of meals-inclusive price would have you prefer the Crescent?
- What level of room-only (Silver Starvation) price would have you prefer the Crescent?
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Re: Crescent Questions/Comments

Postby SouthernRailway » Thu Dec 29, 2016 11:18 am

Amtrak Guest Reward elite status is (from what I can tell) worthless unless you take trains frequently in the Northeast, so in general I will stick with American Airlines due to elite-status frequent flier benefits. That aside, the train would need to be the same price as flying for me to prefer the Crescent. For my next trip, the train is $606 and flying is $320. That's a pretty big difference.
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Re: Crescent Questions/Comments

Postby Greg Moore » Thu Dec 29, 2016 1:25 pm

Interesting. For my annual trip to Georgia, I thought I'd fly back this year.
That's going to be more expensive than taking a sleeper.

All depends on timing and locations I guess.
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Re: Amtrak Crescent Discussion

Postby Arlington » Mon Jan 09, 2017 6:58 pm

Here's a thought: In a world of V-II diner abundance, it may be legit to send a diner out onto the road but not actually staff it.

For example, what if the Diner was in the consist the whole trip but the Crescent's Diner crew only operated
BHM -ATL - CLT
LYH - WAS- NYP

IN such a world, the high-$ ATL-NYP overnight customers see no effective change.

Southbound,
the diner crew would get off at LYH at 10pm
a new crew would board at CLT at 2:45am and prepare breakfast & brunch
the last diner meal served would be "brunch", served 8am to 11am from ATL to BHM, and
Sleeper passengers would get a Cafe lunch and an "Afternoon snack" from the Cafe.
Dinner would be by voucher at NOL (or not at all)
8-hour shift from 3am to 11am with a bit of overtime during delays


Northbound,
Sleeper class would receive a breakfast prepared by local NOL catering
Lunch would be provided from the Cafe
Diner crew boards at BHM at 2:30p
Dinner would be served from 4pm to 9:30p
Shift end at 10:30, but they don't get off until 1:30a at CLT
Diner crew boards at LYH at 6am
Breakfast & Lunch provided 7am to 2pm as usual.

Too much overtime?

The alternative is to only staff the diner NYP - ATL *as if* the diner had turned back to NYP at ATL, but, to save switching/storage hassles at ATL, the diner actually rolls ATL-NOL unstaffed (but seating available ?)
When I hear the iron horse make the hills echo with his snort like thunder, shaking the earth with his feet, and breathing fire and smoke from his nostrils, it seems as if the earth had got a race now worthy to inhabit it. --H.D. Thoreau, Walden, 1854
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Re: Amtrak Crescent Discussion

Postby east point » Mon Jan 09, 2017 8:06 pm

Arlington wrote:The alternative is to only staff the diner NYP - ATL *as if* the diner had turned back to NYP at ATL, but, to save switching/storage hassles at ATL, the diner actually rolls ATL-NOL unstaffed (but seating available ?)

The PRIIA study actually had the diner being dropped at ATL. But also all but 1 sleeper Drop all but 2 coaches except if demand needs more. Drop a loco. Food in the lounge car ATL <> NOL
None of the above until ATL station problem solved.
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Re: Amtrak Crescent Discussion

Postby Greg Moore » Mon Jan 09, 2017 8:43 pm

Not really sure what the idea of so much crew swapping really is.
You now have to put them up for some time at CLT and BHM if I'm reading right.

With the Baggage-Dorms you can already free up revenue space and give the crew a "private car".

(and part of my usual rant, ATL needs huge improvements).

Heck if you're doing this much, split a couch, diner, and baggage-dorm off at ATL and head up the say Chattanooga or south.
Basically create a 419 and 420.
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