Railway Age - Another PTJ?

Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, Amtrak67 of America, Tadman, gprimr1

Railway Age - Another PTJ?

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Tue Jan 15, 2019 7:58 am

For the industry's "house organ", Railway Age has become quite the advocacy platform of late. Here is the latest "95 Theses" submitted by an author and representing a "coalition" of which I had no previous knowledge:

https://www.railwayage.com/passenger/am ... d-anderson

Fair Use:

...Today there appears to be another revolution finding its genesis in the Garden State, far less bloody but sweeping in its own way. It is just beginning, but Amtrak’s riders in New Jersey and elsewhere are expressing their frustration with Amtrak under its President, Richard Anderson, and the way we who ride Amtrak trains have been treated since he assumed the top job at “America’s Railroad” slightly more than one year ago.

The word “we” is appropriate here, because this writer has played a central role in this drama, which pits Amtrak and its political allies against riders who are fed up with service reductions, loss of travel amenities and plans by Anderson and his minions that could make conditions even worse for Amtrak’s beleaguered riders (and New Jersey Transit’s, too). Over the past two decades, this writer has authored roughly 1,000 commentaries, news stories, statements and other works about the state of trains and transit in New Jersey and elsewhere in the nation. This piece will not be like any of them. It is not a news story, because this writer is precluded by circumstances from displaying the journalistic detachment required for fully objective news coverage. It is not an essay either, because the subject is far broader than merely personal issues that concern our rail service. Maybe it is a valedictory in a sense, even though this writer plans to keep writing, both here in Railway Age and elsewhere.

The surprise is that NJ is not looking at any service cuts - only enhancements of the only passenger train market where Amtrak provides meaningful transportation.
Gilbert B Norman
Posts: 13800
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 6:52 am
Location: Clarendon Hills, IL (BNSF Chicago Sub; MP 18.71)

Re: Railway Age - Another PTJ?

Postby eolesen » Tue Jan 15, 2019 9:35 am

Agree they seem to be taking a more activist approach, and that's what drove me away from PTJ and NationalCorridors.org's "Destination: Freedom" newsletter (defunct since July 2017).

Stick to the facts, and you won't alienate up to half your reading audience...
Posts: 394
Joined: Sat Apr 17, 2010 12:01 am

Re: Railway Age - Another PTJ?

Postby Tadman » Tue Jan 15, 2019 9:47 am

I'm confused. Although New Jersey sees quite a few long distance trains, it's really a corridor state. To my knowledge, the northeast corridor has not seen service reductions other than temporary cancellations due to bridge or signal problems. What is the author on about?

New Jersey is uniquely positioned to ignite the spark that could start the struggle for a better Amtrak, perhaps along with a better NJ Transit, too.

What is a "better Amtrak"? There is an ongoing debate about that, which requires solving that perennial question "is it a public good or a business"? To New Jersey residents, it would seem that the "better Amtrak" would mean less bridge and signal failures and better maintenance on the corridor, not better long distance service. Anderson hasn't been perfect on these issues, but corridor maintenance is not the hill he's chosen to make a stand on.

On the other hand, New Jersey Transit seems to be in a record low for morale, timeliness, and service, and this article barely addresses that.

I'm confused.
User avatar
Posts: 9235
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 10:21 am

Re: Railway Age - Another PTJ?

Postby Backshophoss » Wed Jan 16, 2019 2:07 am

The article is more or less a condonation of Anderson's ideas and policies over his brief time at 1 Mass.
This echo's from across the entire country, and should include the Sunset Ltd cutback to 2 trains a week in each direction,
the "Panera Bread" food service model, and attempting to force the "Airline operations model" over the entire system.
Throw in the threat of "No PTC,No Service" on routes not PTC equipped, along with threats to not allow tenant roads
without on board ACSES gear to run on the NEC (NJT,MARC,MBTA, and SEPTA)
He failed to realize that some routes DO NOT meet the minimum threshold to install PTC!!
Some of the smaller commuter operations went thru the PTC exemption process, then wound up late after being told to install PTC!

AS for NJT,NJ had a governor that stripped Capital Funding from NJT to build roads, appointed political Hacks at rail ops,
played games with the feds over Gateway and ARC, and slowed down the process to get NJT Compliant on the ACSES gear installs across the system.
The final straw was he found a way to tick off the Unions that are part of the rail ops!
The Damage done will take time to repair,upgrade and make whole again.
Posts: 5957
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:58 pm

Re: Railway Age - Another PTJ?

Postby MACTRAXX » Wed Jan 16, 2019 1:24 pm

GBN and Everyone:

The Lackawanna Coalition is an active rail passenger organization from North Jersey that gets its
name from the predecessor railroad that served the area that they are located in.


The Lackawanna Coalition meets monthly - the next one is scheduled on Monday January 28th at
the Millburn, NJ Town Hall (second floor conference room) at 7:00 PM EST.

This topic should be linked into the NJT Forum for more added discussion...MACTRAXX
Posts: 4000
Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 11:55 am
Location: Islandia,Long Island,NY

Return to Amtrak

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: David Benton, Google Feedfetcher, MattW and 6 guests