Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

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

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Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Postby markhb » Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:17 pm

Trinnau wrote:So the whole logistics package would need to be handled either prior to final departure from BRU/POR for the next day, it has to be setup at BON or they run it out of Southampton and come across the Grand Junction non-revenue.

What would need to be set up to do it at BON? I'm just wondering what's actually required to handle getting the train ready if they don't do it at BRU/POR (I'm writing off the Southampton/GJ possibility as too onerous for now).
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Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Postby Cowford » Fri Dec 29, 2017 2:33 pm

Here's an illustration of the "East vs West" issue. Ridership is still short of all-time highs 2013/2014, but has recovered much of the ground lost a few years back. But look at those passenger-miles! Passenger-miles in FY17 were the second lowest in the last nine years, besting only the abysmal FY15. And FY17 offered 15% more train-miles than FY09-12. Note the yawn highlighted by the red arrow, which shows the divergence of ridership from pax-miles beginning in FY15 after following in lockstep for six years. Another statistic of note: Ave miles/pax is down 10% YOY in FY17, and down 18% from FY13. (Or compare FY13 and FY17 pax-miles... two years that had nearly identical ridership.) Now, if growth by station had been more evenly distributed, this wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing. But growth on the western half has predominated. That means fuller trains on the west end, and emptier trains on the east end.

DE ridership.JPG


PS: I adjusted pre-FY14 ridership numbers down as best I could estimate to reflect the change in monthly pass passenger counts beginning in FY14.
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Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Postby bubbytrains » Fri Dec 29, 2017 5:28 pm

We're on 688 waiting to depart Brunswick, on time, for Boston. It's so good to have this travel option, especially with the winter weather. Driving would be lousy, Maine Turnpike is down to 45. It was slippery just driving over from Lisbon on 196.

Starting January 8, the parking lot at Brunswick Station will charge $2/ day. This is a good idea, hopefully keep non-Amtrak abusers away (Bowdoin College is a primary offender from what I've heard). This afternoon there were only two spots available.

AS
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Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Postby Dick H » Fri Dec 29, 2017 7:46 pm

#685 was sold out tonight (12/29) leaving both Boston and Haverhill.
So the number of seats taken by Boston to Haverhill commuters was
equal to the number of passengers boarding at Haverhill for NH and
ME points. Happy New Year to all posters on this thread,
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Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Postby FatNoah » Sat Dec 30, 2017 6:50 pm

My family just boarded 698, heading back to Boston after a day trip to Freeport. An all around good experience. Freeport does it right, with a warm waiting room and a guide to get people to the platform when the train approaches. About 20+ people boarded with us.
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Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Postby gokeefe » Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:57 am

Nice count. Thank you! The Freeport Train and Information Center is a proud partner of TrainRiders Northeast. Glad you enjoyed the visit.
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Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Postby Dick H » Thu Jan 04, 2018 12:40 pm

Thursday 1/4 DE #683 will leave Boston as scheduled at 1:10PM.
All other Downeasters are cancelled for the rest of the day
account of the Northeaster storm.
http://amtrakdowneaster.com/service-alerts
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Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Postby Cowford » Sat Jan 06, 2018 8:36 pm

Anyone want to speculate on why there is such a disparity between NNEPRA and Amtrak reporting on the DE's economic impact in Maine? Attached is a collage from NNEPRA and ATK reports. As info, the 70K tourists in ATK's number represents 140K rides. This indicates 45% of Maine riders are inbound tourists, which sounds much too high. I am assuming that they are overstating the tourist number by extrapolating from survey data, marking every "tourist trip" as a passenger originating outside of Maine, rather than distinguishing between flatlanders coming to Maine and Mainiac tourists headed to Boston. Nevertheless, Amtrak's is a much smaller number than NNEPRA's claim. How NNEPRA's purported economic impact can be different by a factor of 29 should give even the most casual observer pause.

"Two men say they're Jesus. One of them must be wrong." - Dire Straits

DE Econ Impact.JPG
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Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Postby Cowford » Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:48 pm

All, with apologies I have to post a corrector to my Dec 29 graph. In some past docs I used as sources, there was some incomplete reporting (which was subsequently corrected) that I did not pick up on, so the 2017 pax-miles were understated. The divergence is not as drastic as my original graph communicated. One may draw the same conclusions, however. Pax-miles remain below pre-extension levels.
Attachments
DE ridership.JPG
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Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Postby gokeefe » Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:12 pm

Cowford wrote:Anyone want to speculate on why there is such a disparity between NNEPRA and Amtrak reporting on the DE's economic impact in Maine? Attached is a collage from NNEPRA and ATK reports.


Just for clarification ... above the dotted red line is FY 14 ... below the dotted red line is FY 16?

The NNEPRA number appears to be from 2014 however the Amtrak number is from 2016?
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Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Postby artman » Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:47 pm

Cowford wrote:Anyone want to speculate on why there is such a disparity between NNEPRA and Amtrak reporting on the DE's economic impact in Maine? Attached is a collage from NNEPRA and ATK reports. As info, the 70K tourists in ATK's number represents 140K rides. This indicates 45% of Maine riders are inbound tourists, which sounds much too high. I am assuming that they are overstating the tourist number by extrapolating from survey data, marking every "tourist trip" as a passenger originating outside of Maine, rather than distinguishing between flatlanders coming to Maine and Mainiac tourists headed to Boston. Nevertheless, Amtrak's is a much smaller number than NNEPRA's claim. How NNEPRA's purported economic impact can be different by a factor of 29 should give even the most casual observer pause.

"Two men say they're Jesus. One of them must be wrong." - Dire Straits

DE Econ Impact.JPG


Tourist Spending and Economic Impact are two different things
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Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Postby Cowford » Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:58 pm

I realize that. You will note that Amtrak includes a multiplier that would imply economic impact.

And ridership, i.e., NNEPRA reported tourist level being 43% above Amtraks is apples to apples with the exception of different FY periods.
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Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Postby gokeefe » Mon Jan 08, 2018 7:57 pm

Cowford wrote:And ridership, i.e., NNEPRA reported tourist level being 43% above Amtraks is apples to apples with the exception of different FY periods.


I agree that it certainly appeared they were talking about the same statistical category but to me the difference in FY reporting period nullifies any difference in the numbers.

As a state agency NNEPRA may have been using a tourist multiplier provided by the Maine Office of Tourism or the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development.

This could be particularly significant if Amtrak's tourist multiplier is some kind of national average. In Maine tourist spending can have a disproportionate economic impact. I'm not necessarily supporting the idea that it would be double just that it might be significantly more than "average".
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Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Postby Cowford » Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:37 pm

Nullify? While the difference in pax counts is a fair comment, ATK FY14 ridership is only 25K lower than NNEPRA FY14... given that only about 6K of that number would be related to Maine riders classified as "leisure", that wouldn't budge the needle too much... and NNEPRA has continued to use the same statistics (within the last year), even as ridership in Maine has declined.

Using different multipliers? Maybe, but we're not talking "double", ATK is quoting $1.1 million; NNEPRA is quoting $29 million.
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Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Postby gokeefe » Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:48 pm

By nullify I don't mean 0. Just that the comparison cannot be validated due to different periods.

Worth remembering that Amtrak and NNEPRA don't even operate on the same FY which further confuses exactly which "year" is to be compared.

I agree that the tourism multiple is not even remotely similar. Why that is I don't know.
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