Anderson possible changes: Dismantling LD, Corridor, Etc.

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jbvb
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Re: The dismantling of LDT are near.

Post by jbvb » Sun Apr 22, 2018 11:36 am

Entirely consistent with what much of the GOP (Issa, Walker, Ryan etc.) have stated as goals for decades. I will miss them, particularly lines I haven't ridden like Spokane - Seattle, the City of New Orleans and most of the current Cardinal route.

Unless something changes this Nov. 6.

4behind2
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Re: The dismantling of LDT are near.

Post by 4behind2 » Sun Apr 22, 2018 12:04 pm

This has been Anderson's stated goal for quite some time, along with fixed consists. Amtrak forgot the original French and Rhor Turboliner fiasco of the 1970's. But Anderson is playing the fixed cost game to operate a train.Add a coach or two, and the fixed costs go up.

Expect to see a trial balloon for tri-weekly services on the Empire Builder, Southwest Chief, and SF Zephyr, then elimination of them all, if he can persuade Congress and the Senate to do so.

Perhaps less lamenting and more action is required by the pundits here. Many US Senate seats are up for reelection this year that stand losing long distance service in their States. Amtrak is not a private entity as CEO Anderson believes, but rather a Governmental entity and is accountable to us, the people.

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Re: The dismantling of LDT are near.

Post by Mackensen » Sun Apr 22, 2018 12:47 pm

blockline4180 wrote:I'm very surprised this was not posted here as a new topic.
AMTRAK CEO: PHASING OUT LONG DISTANCE TRAINS IN FAVOR OF “CORRIDORS”.
Report – Richard Anderson, Amtrak CEO – Remarks to California Rail Summit and Questions and Answers
http://railpac.org/
The linked source doesn't support that claim. It did say this:
Amtrak’s market opportunity is in corridors of 100 to 400 miles (he wavered a couple of times on that and said 300 miles) and would be operated by DMUs. DMUs are lighter weight, more environmentally friendly. His concept is something like an Acela with diesel power. This would need investment by the States and cooperation by the freight railroads. I noted that he did not specifically say that the long-distance trains would go, only that corridors are the future.
Emphasis added. That's not news to anyone, and the DMU concept has been discussed here. There's a vast distance between this summary and the end of the long-distance network.

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Re: The dismantling of LDT are near.

Post by blockline4180 » Sun Apr 22, 2018 12:56 pm

Matt Johnson wrote:All I can suggest is vote the GOP out of Congress in 2018 and hope there's something left to salvage.
Perhaps, but I'm not holding my breath on the new Incoming DEMS doing much for Amtrak in the red states regardless... My only hope is that someone unlike Anderson with some vision of a better LDT network comes in after he is ousted or resigns.... I think its more of an internal mgmt problem at Amtrak now rather then Congress... After all they did get almost 2 billion, in which most should have gone towards the LDT network.. Sadly, at this point its probably a lose lose situation at Amtrak until a Claytor type comes around.
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Re: The dismantling of LDT are near.

Post by bretton88 » Sun Apr 22, 2018 1:39 pm

That 2 billion is clearly divided up into where it needs to go. Not all into LD trains. 1.24 billion is allocated for the national network, which is an increase of about 80 million. The rest is specifically marked for the NEC. So no, Amtrak can't magically plow all the new funding into the LD network. However, I do think they should at least provide hot meal options to sleepers.

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Re: The dismantling of LDT are near.

Post by blockline4180 » Sun Apr 22, 2018 2:11 pm

Still you would think 1.24 billion can keep all the new diners on all the long distance trains in the east.. Who knows.
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Re: The dismantling of LDT are near.

Post by CHTT1 » Sun Apr 22, 2018 5:55 pm

Anderson is just following congressional mandates to make food and beverage service profitable. If you don't like it, vote out the senatorial and congressional people responsible for those mandates. Mica is already gone. Just get rid of the rest.

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Re: The dismantling of LDT are near.

Post by ryanov » Sun Apr 22, 2018 11:32 pm

Fortunately or unfortunately, I live somewhere where there’s no one to vote out. I’ve already contacted all of y representatives, however. But they already support Amtrak. How they voted on the relevant legislation, I’ll have to check. “Food and beverage service must make a profit” sounds OK on paper if you don’t know any better.
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Re: The dismantling of LDT are near.

Post by David Benton » Mon Apr 23, 2018 3:21 am

Have to wonder if these "rumors coming out of 60 mass"(don't they know amtrak HQ has moved ?), have any substance. Going to 3 days a week has been shown to increase costs per train , not save much overall. I find it hard to believe an airline guy would contemplate this move.
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Re: The dismantling of LDT are near.

Post by Tadman » Mon Apr 23, 2018 9:06 am

I think there's a better question to ask - what is a three day/week train? What we're not considering are the two different models.

In the US, a 3x/week train is the Cardinal or Sunset. It's the same length as a regular train, or shorter in Cardinal's case. Essentially, the potential revenue of a weekly train is cut in half and you have the financial model of a 3x/week train.

In other places, the big train only operates a few times/week but it's much longer and better equipped. Trains like the Canadian are 24 cars long, priced at 2x Amtrak prices, and represent both a financial windfall compared to the Cardinal or Sunset and make the host railroad happier as well.

If a train like the Builder goes 3x or less, it's my hope they can double consist sizes and/or manage them according to demand, while shifting emphasis to 3x/day on the more populated ends of the route like MSP-MKE-Chicago.
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Re: The dismantling of LDT are near.

Post by mtuandrew » Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:38 am

Tad: it’s my hope that when Anderson says DMUs and generally lighter-weight equipment, he means in addition to the current heavier-weight LD equipment. For instance, a diesel-powered Avelia Liberty running 10x(?) daily CHI-MKE including 2x daily CHI-MSP, along with the Empire Builder running conventional equipment 1x daily/direction. He doesn’t sound like he wants to outright retire the Geneses or the Superliners, just build corridors to reduce fixed costs per train.

But maybe everyone here is reading him correctly that he does want 3x/week LDs. Only Amtrak management knows that.

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Re: The dismantling of LDT are near.

Post by frequentflyer » Mon Apr 23, 2018 12:47 pm

IMO-

1. State Supported Corridors is Amtrak's future. Which include DMU and EMUs.

2. Most of the present LD trains will stick around to connect said corridors and keeping a "national" network.

3. Not all LD trains will survive though. SL, and Cardinal be gone, replaced with "corridors" somewhere along their routing.

4. For those of us that grew up riding on Amfleets and Superliners and now have families of our own riding on the same cars its a big change for us. Sometimes change is necessary.


In the end there will be less LD trains, but Amtrak's pax and revenues will increase and require less subsidies. LD trains are not going anywhere, but sadly there will be less of the

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Re: The dismantling of LDT are near.

Post by YamaOfParadise » Mon Apr 23, 2018 3:51 pm

There's also greater political considerations that impact each line independently, which are actually small-scale politics; LD Senators and Representatives tend to be very defensive of the routes that go through their constituencies, because said constituencies actually make noise. That's a better example of how our political system does work as a representative democracy. That doesn't necessarily work well with keeping Amtrak working within its fixed constraints and maximizing the use out of its revenue+allotted funds, but it's a factor nonetheless. A factor that's been historically quite influential in keeping what LDs we have left going.

(Hence, why cutting budgets rarely goes over well and therefore doesn't happen much, and then why deficits go ballooning upwards, but that's a discussion for elsewhere. I am trying to keep this focused on Amtrak, not broader political musings! :P )

I do think that how these "corridors" are implemented could potentially lessen the local backlash to ending certain LDs. If service still remains, but is limited by either temporal or geographical extent, the level of yelling coming from constituents is likely going to be less than an absolute end of service. It could be a winning strategy, but it really does depend an awful lot on the details of each individual change.
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Re: The dismantling of LDT are near.

Post by adamj023 » Mon Apr 23, 2018 4:17 pm

I believe the rails should be privatized and dismantled and sold off. I am not against long haul connectivity with connecting trains however as long as the focus is not on long haul transportation and instead is on providing a real system that works.

In the old days national rail connectivity was a huge deal. Today commuter rail is the more widely used part of train transportation and high speed rail going through very populous areas, Train just doesn’t compete well on long distance routes. We have the roads for that which can take over along with airplanes. Only on heavily congested road corridors with a higher speed train does rail make sense. Much of Amtrak’s national network is going through very low utilized roadways and it just doesn’t make sense.

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Re: The dismantling of LDT are near.

Post by blockline4180 » Mon Apr 23, 2018 6:16 pm

frequentflyer wrote:IMO-

1. State Supported Corridors is Amtrak's future. Which include DMU and EMUs.



2. Most of the present LD trains will stick around to connect said corridors and keeping a "national" network.



3. Not all LD trains will survive though. SL, and Cardinal be gone, replaced with "corridors" somewhere along their routing.



4. For those of us that grew up riding on Amfleets and Superliners and now have families of our own riding on the same cars its a big change for us. Sometimes change is necessary.



In the end there will be less LD trains, but Amtrak's pax and revenues will increase and require less subsidies. LD trains are not going anywhere, but sadly there will be less of the
Exactly, can not disagree anymore with that...
Some people seem to believe all LDT trains as safe, and some think all will be gone.. I tend to believe half will probably continue, but probably not at the 5 days a week current ops.. We now know by the tone of Anderson that trains like Cardinal and Sunset probably won't make it.. I do hope others like the Meteor and Crescent arent on the chopping block either, but who knows what he is thinking or if they will be since there is no "diner lite" cold food proposal there ..
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