Amtrak Cancels Albany-area Toys for Tots Train

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Re: Amtrak Cancels Albany-area Toys for Tots Train

Postby Railjunkie » Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:50 am

It was Amtrak crews and equipment, the train was a product of D&H CP and NS. The train made two trips first was Bingo to Albany a two day trip. The second was a round trip Albany to Rouses Point. The Albany shops were used as a staging reception area for the toys and donations. We have quite a few plaques hanging in the offices thanking us for our help.

Too bad Amtrak is no longer going to staff it. Was always a big hit with the kids. I have heard stories of children walking up to the train crew and trying to give them pocket change just for stopping and handing them a winter hat. Most everyone who made those trips ended up crying at least once.
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Re: Amtrak Cancels Albany-area Toys for Tots Train

Postby lvrr325 » Mon Aug 06, 2018 2:41 am

I was about to say, I would imagine if couched properly to Schumer he will likely raise enough of a stink to get this back.
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Re: Amtrak Cancels Albany-area Toys for Tots Train

Postby Dick H » Mon Aug 06, 2018 8:27 pm

Before Amtrak equipment ran on the TfT train, there was VTR passenger equipment with an HEP car
and two D&H GP38s, one on each end. Depending on CP, they might allow a train with VTR equipment
and freight locos. However, it must be noted that CP refused to allow the AARPCO convention train to
run between Whitehall and Albany last year or the year before, even though it was hauled by Amtrak
locos. CP can be a B---h on special moves and other issues.
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Re: Amtrak Cancels Albany-area Toys for Tots Train

Postby R36 Combine Coach » Wed Aug 08, 2018 2:48 pm

Tadman wrote:They're still collecting toys at stations.End of the day, the toys are still collecting and the railroad saves money. This is getting ridiculous.

R&DB wrote:Toys being collected at the stations still need to get to the kids. That's what the train was for that has been cancelled due to the 'no charters' policy. Negative PR when they could have used some positive PR.

Even with the train, the collected items need to be transloaded to truck to reach the final destination. The North Jersey Toys For Tots train at the end of its run at Kuiken Lumber has its load transloaded to a truck to the USMC base at Picatinny. The NYSW train is also transloaded to truck, with UPS doing the honors as part of community service (M&E boxcar 1775 being transloaded to UPS at Butler seen here).
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Re: Amtrak Cancels Albany-area Toys for Tots Train

Postby electricron » Wed Aug 08, 2018 5:56 pm

R36 Combine Coach wrote:
Tadman wrote:They're still collecting toys at stations.End of the day, the toys are still collecting and the railroad saves money. This is getting ridiculous.

R&DB wrote:Toys being collected at the stations still need to get to the kids. That's what the train was for that has been cancelled due to the 'no charters' policy. Negative PR when they could have used some positive PR.

Even with the train, the collected items need to be transloaded to truck to reach the final destination. The North Jersey Toys For Tots train at the end of its run at Kuiken Lumber has its load transloaded to a truck to the USMC base at Picatinny. The NYSW train is also transloaded to truck, with UPS doing the honors as part of community service (M&E boxcar 1775 being transloaded to UPS at Butler seen here).

Toys For Tots should be about the act of giving, not on how the toys are delivered. But it is important that they are collected and delivered. Trains do not deliver the toys to the homes by Christmas, they never have. There are far more efficient ways to transport the toys than a special train.
It has always been a publicity stunt, something taxpayers should never have to pay the bills for. Volunteers may operate the trains, but the fuel to run them is not donated. Amtrak should concentrate more on getting Christmas travelers to their destinations on time, something they fail to do most of the time.
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Re: Amtrak Cancels Albany-area Toys for Tots Train

Postby artman » Thu Aug 09, 2018 1:08 pm

electricron wrote:
R36 Combine Coach wrote:
Tadman wrote:They're still collecting toys at stations.End of the day, the toys are still collecting and the railroad saves money. This is getting ridiculous.

R&DB wrote:Toys being collected at the stations still need to get to the kids. That's what the train was for that has been cancelled due to the 'no charters' policy. Negative PR when they could have used some positive PR.

Even with the train, the collected items need to be transloaded to truck to reach the final destination. The North Jersey Toys For Tots train at the end of its run at Kuiken Lumber has its load transloaded to a truck to the USMC base at Picatinny. The NYSW train is also transloaded to truck, with UPS doing the honors as part of community service (M&E boxcar 1775 being transloaded to UPS at Butler seen here).

Toys For Tots should be about the act of giving, not on how the toys are delivered. But it is important that they are collected and delivered. Trains do not deliver the toys to the homes by Christmas, they never have. There are far more efficient ways to transport the toys than a special train.
It has always been a publicity stunt, something taxpayers should never have to pay the bills for. Volunteers may operate the trains, but the fuel to run them is not donated. Amtrak should concentrate more on getting Christmas travelers to their destinations on time, something they fail to do most of the time.


Bah, Humbug!
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Re: Amtrak Cancels Albany-area Toys for Tots Train

Postby BandA » Thu Aug 09, 2018 4:09 pm

But it's for The Children!
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Re: Amtrak Cancels Albany-area Toys for Tots Train

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Fri Aug 10, 2018 6:16 am

R36 Combine Coach wrote:...USMC base at Picatinny.

While there are other sites at which interservice rivalries are fought, let it be noted that Picatinny Arsenal is a U S Army facility.

While at Dover AFB, DE and in AF Communications, I handled enough misrouted traffic to have that "factoid" ingrained (surely there was an Operator up there who held same thought whenever a "ZOV" came our way).
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Re: Amtrak Cancels Albany-area Toys for Tots Train

Postby mmi16 » Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:37 am

Amtrak has laid a PR turd.
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Re: Amtrak Cancels Albany-area Toys for Tots Train

Postby gokeefe » Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:05 pm

It took a few days but this story now officially has legs ... I thought it was going to just quietly go away ... apparently not.

Three upstate members of Congress are asking Amtrak to reconsider a policy change that prompted the company's decision to stop operating the Toys for Tots train, which distributes winter clothes, toys and other items to upstate families every year.


The fact that this has turned into a coordinated bipartisan action between three Congressional offices (2 R, 1 D) should be a major warning sign to Amtrak of trouble.

Even worse it's only August which means this story will stretch out until December ...
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Re: Amtrak Cancels Albany-area Toys for Tots Train

Postby R36 Combine Coach » Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:09 pm

Gilbert B Norman wrote:
R36 Combine Coach wrote:...USMC base at Picatinny.

While there are other sites at which interservice rivalries are fought, let it be noted that Picatinny Arsenal is a U S Army facility.
The North Jersey Toys For Toys program is sponsored by Marine Company G, 2nd Battalion, 25th Marines based at Picatinny Arsenal, Dover, NJ.

More info at www.operationtoytrain.org/sponsors
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Re: Amtrak Cancels Albany-area Toys for Tots Train

Postby jhdeasy » Wed Nov 14, 2018 5:21 pm

11/14/2018 update: I'm told that a 2018 "Toys 4 Tots" special train will operate in New York, thanks to the leadership of a generous individual not in the employ of Amtrak, and other people of goodwill who wish to support a worthy cause.

Maybe someone onboard the special train can wear a Grinch costume with a Richard Anderson nametag.
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