Anderson possible changes: Dismantling LD, Corridor, Etc.

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east point
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Re: Anderson possible changes: Dismantling LD, Corridor, Etc

Post by east point » Mon Jul 02, 2018 8:52 pm

gokeefe wrote: It's a nearly irrelevant point for Amtrak to make because the cross continent travel demand is so low. They proposed something similar before branded as the National Limited I believe. I think that one was through sleepers on the Crescent and then all the way through to Los Angeles on the Sunset Limited.

Why do some posters keep harping on end to end travel ? Of course sleeper travel is longer but the coach travelers have a much shorter on average travel length . What Amtrak will not disclose is what the average load factors for each city pair is on the SWC.

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Re: Anderson possible changes: Dismantling LD, Corridor, Etc

Post by David Benton » Mon Jul 02, 2018 11:58 pm

Nasadowsk wrote:
Gilbert B Norman wrote:
Mr. Novosielski, the only "crippling blow" to be inflicted should all LD routes be discontinued will be to those who ride trains for "experiential" reasons. That of course means a lot of folk who participate at this and other passenger rail discussion sites.
I wonder if that's also the case in Europe. A quick look suggests that Nightjet prices are basically 'give away' prices. I suspect sooner or later OBB will toss in the towel, and I suspect that'll be 'sooner'.

Last time I went Munich to Amsterdam, the time comparison made Cityhopper a no brainer. Never mind the price. Europe is full of cheap air travel, maybe even more so than the US.
That's nothing new. Back in the late eighties, you could take a night train from London to Scotland for 20 pounds, vs up to 100 pounds during the day. Competition then was buses, with similar prices. I think its to do with fixed costs and line capacity, plenty of spare capacity at night in Europe, so the allocated costs to the night trains are low.
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ryanov
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Re: Anderson possible changes: Dismantling LD, Corridor, Etc

Post by ryanov » Tue Jul 03, 2018 2:06 am

Lots of people do go end to end, per the stats I’ve seen, and fewer will if they are made to transfer several times to do it.

Air travel has significant environmental impact that train travel does not.
|=| R. Novosielski |=|

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Tadman
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Re: Save Amtrak; Fire Anderson

Post by Tadman » Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:52 am

charlesriverbranch wrote:Whose idea was it to hire someone from the airline industry to run Amtrak? There is no place in America where customer service is as bad as in the airlines, except maybe for Comcast. Of course Anderson is going to cut customer service to the bone; that's all anyone in the airline industry knows how to do.
Disagree on both counts.

Gerald Grinstein ran Delta, then BN, and lasted for ten years at BN. He did pretty well.

As far as bad customer service, Delta has great customer service. Most airlines have better service than the Post Office and various governmental functions in the city of Chicago.

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Re: Anderson possible changes: Dismantling LD, Corridor, Etc

Post by Matt Johnson » Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:47 am

ryanov wrote:
Air travel has significant environmental impact that train travel does not.
The tragedy of the commons: it's what allows the right to push a lot of harmful long term policies based on the fallacy of profitability.

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Re: Anderson possible changes: Dismantling LD, Corridor, Etc

Post by gokeefe » Tue Jul 03, 2018 12:18 pm

Still noticing the fact that the Sunset Limited has not been proposed for discontinuance as a sign in my eyes that what is going on right now has more to do with bargaining than real change.

It is such an obvious target and it has so few supporters compared to the Southwest Chief. Just look at the station in Houston and that should tell you pretty much everything.
gokeefe

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Re: Anderson possible changes: Dismantling LD, Corridor, Etc

Post by Gilbert B Norman » Tue Jul 03, 2018 12:38 pm

Mr. O'Keefe, the Sunset does not have 475 miles of track on which it is the only train, class of service notwithstanding, on to which it's Class I host, BNSF, can ask for every penny of that line's MofW expenses to come out of Amtrak's cookie jar.

So far as the Sunset, it is clearly "The Biggest Loser". That of course considers its Tri-weekly frequency through the fastest growing region Amtrak "ostensibly serves".

If an LD train has "half a chance" of providing meaningful transportation through a region, it would have to come from an initiative this Hurculean:

viewtopic.php?f=46&t=55045&start=30#p581460" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

gokeefe
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Re: Anderson possible changes: Dismantling LD, Corridor, Etc

Post by gokeefe » Tue Jul 03, 2018 1:30 pm

Part of my thinking was that the maintenance expenses on track solely used by Amtrak would likely be far less than operating losses on the Sunset Limited. That being said I did not realize at all that the distance was so great. 475 miles is a pretty big chunk of territory even if you allocate $10,000,000 per year. This level of expenditure would stand out on a revenue per mile basis no matter what you did.

That's really quite jaw dropping ... Really had no idea the segment was so long ...
gokeefe

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Re: Anderson possible changes: Dismantling LD, Corridor, Etc

Post by mtuandrew » Tue Jul 03, 2018 1:50 pm

That's hideous.

What can Amtrak and New Mexico do to make BNSF interested in operating *anything* over the line? As a corporate host, BNSF is generally okay with passenger service, but most other lines have healthy freight traffic - even the Devils Lake Sub had enough freight value for BNSF to raise the line when the lake overflowed. Would UP be interested in running overhead freight over Raton as a BNSF tenant? What about Ferromex or KCSdeM? No joke, would the BSA be willing to pick up a share of the line, or UNM be interested in having its very own (very long) Railroad Engineering test segment?

Amtrak really did mess up when it passed on the Southern Transcon offer (did we ever hear how serious the offer was?), and I hope Anderson does what it takes to reroute the Chief and keep it relevant as a CHI-LAX train.

gokeefe
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Re: Anderson possible changes: Dismantling LD, Corridor, Etc

Post by gokeefe » Tue Jul 03, 2018 2:47 pm

I don't think there is any interest in freight due to the grades at Raton Pass. That's the real problem that makes this line uneconomic (compared to others) far higher operating expenses due to the climb (and descent).

That being said, 475 miles of "bridge" line status starts to sound like MILW "Lines West" ... and MILW probably had online customers (GBN?) ...

My impression from the previous discussion here and my read of the news at the time is that the offer was serious and that BNSF really wanted them to move.
gokeefe

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Re: Anderson possible changes: Dismantling LD, Corridor, Etc

Post by Gilbert B Norman » Tue Jul 03, 2018 3:31 pm

gokeefe wrote:That being said, 475 miles of "bridge" line status starts to sound like MILW "Lines West" ... and MILW probably had online customers (GBN?).
Not really; the NP was there first, and was not about to open industries on their line to MILW line hauls.

Now as a condition to the BN merger, some industries in Butte and Missoula were opened, but the switch charge meant it was hard to make a buck on the line haul. Eastward, the first interchange was Twin Cities. Westward, none.

Also as part of the merger, MILW could make rates through Billings even if deep in NP country. They could also make rates through Portland, after BN "grudgingly" extended trackage Longview-Portland.

But alas, nothing was enough to save a line that should never been built in the first place:

viewtopic.php?f=81&t=9541" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

dgvrengineer
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Re: Anderson possible changes: Dismantling LD, Corridor, Etc

Post by dgvrengineer » Wed Jul 04, 2018 2:16 pm

gokeefe wrote:Part of my thinking was that the maintenance expenses on track solely used by Amtrak would likely be far less than operating losses on the Sunset Limited. That being said I did not realize at all that the distance was so great. 475 miles is a pretty big chunk of territory even if you allocate $10,000,000 per year. This level of expenditure would stand out on a revenue per mile basis no matter what you did.

That's really quite jaw dropping ... Really had no idea the segment was so long ...
One way to reduce the mileage that would have to have PTC installed would be to reroute the SWC from LaJunta to Pueblo then south to Trinidad. This would eliminate about 79 miles of the current route that Amtrak currently uses and would add service to Pueblo. The downside of course is that route is about 150 miles so it would add about 70 additional miles to the route. LaJunta to Pueblo is pretty fast route. Not sure about the speed from Pueblo to Trinidad. It also still leaves Trinidad to Lamy to be upgraded.

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Re: Anderson possible changes: Dismantling LD, Corridor, Etc

Post by Dick H » Sun Jul 29, 2018 9:06 am

Amtrak.com has been down for at least three hours this Sunday AM (7/29)
Maybe Anderson eliminated the weekend internet tech's position.

WesternNation
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Re: Anderson possible changes: Dismantling LD, Corridor, Etc

Post by WesternNation » Sun Jul 29, 2018 9:37 am

Dick H wrote:Amtrak.com has been down for at least three hours this Sunday AM (7/29)
Maybe Anderson eliminated the weekend internet tech's position.
I have no problems accessing the site right now. Looks like it’s back.

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STrRedWolf
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Re: Anderson possible changes: Dismantling LD, Corridor, Etc

Post by STrRedWolf » Sun Jul 29, 2018 10:30 am

WesternNation wrote:
Dick H wrote:Amtrak.com has been down for at least three hours this Sunday AM (7/29)
Maybe Anderson eliminated the weekend internet tech's position.
I have no problems accessing the site right now. Looks like it’s back.
It's probably a site update. Maintenance does that.
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