Oops. Welp, serves me right for writing a diatribe without doing actual research first. Still, agree with others...and my un-educated last-night self...this would be a political problem, though.Jeff Smith wrote:http://railpac.org/2018/04/21/amtrak-ce ... corridors/
Report – Richard Anderson, Amtrak CEO – Remarks to California Rail Summit and Questions and Answers
19th April 2018
Richard Anderson, CEO of Amtrak, gave a keynote address to about 150 passenger rail officials and industry professionals, plus a handful of advocates. I have the feeling he had not counted on there being any advocates in the audience. To the best of my knowledge there was no audio or video recording of the meeting, which is most unfortunate. I have done my best to give a reasonably concise account from my notes and from memory and have conferred with others who were there. I am reasonably certain that I have captured both the tone and overall content of his remarks and replies. I wish I had had the presence of mind to turn on my I phone, at least to capture my own question. I have used quotation marks when I have recalled actual words used, otherwise it is my best recollection.
Anderson had some positive items to report about reforms and initiatives he has undertaken. These include:
.Matt Johnson wrote:I would like to see restoration of the Gulf Coast Sunset, the Pioneer, and the Desert Wind. But at the very least, I'd like to draw a line in the sand and say no more cuts, while improving on the services that remain. Long term, on this planet of 7.5 billion people of which 300 million or so reside in the States, population growth trends will likely continue to require more sustainable transportation models which include rail, unless we desire a complete social and environmental disaster.35dtmrs92 wrote:Matt Johnson wrote:If you're not trying to grow and improve, you're dying. I think the current trajectory for long distance services = death spiral, and I believe that's by design.
Grow what? The LD network on the Gulf Coast and the West which are some of the sparsest places of the nation? If there is anywhere Amtrak should grow, it would be the Northeast Corridor, the Hiawatha, the San Joaquin, just about everywhere else besides that.
As an environmental scientist....I can say that while rail is certainly part of a sustainable future for our climate in the face of a rising population and climate change, LD rail is not necessarily. LD rail in the US is not significantly cutting GHG emissions, because 250 people is not significant on the routes in question. What IS needed, is a strong network of frequent, mid-distance high-speed rail service (that is as fast as possible--> maglev, partial vac train, etc), that is as thoroughly connected as the current interstate highway system is. That happening is not something I'm holding my breath over. Also, research indicates that environmentally, things are already and will continue to be a "disaster"... socially and environmentally...it's really just a question of "how bad" it's going to get, at this point. The continuation or discontinuation of contemporary Amtrak LDs is a political and economics question. How much does Amtrak save by cutting them, vs how much do they lose by cutting? It certainly helps "bridge the gap" though, as far as future corridor and eventual HSR service is concerned. No LDs--> Even less thought about trains as valid mode of travel--> less likely to see good service.
Corridor service enhancements could be a boon for Amtrak if they can get more than daily service. CA, WA, PA, NY, Midwest, etc have all shown that when you increase frequency and speed, ridership increases exponentially. They've also shown how hard it is to get that type of service, especially when Amtk doesn't own the trackage.mtuandrew wrote:If Anderson cuts the Amtrak deficit to essentially zero, he has the ability to Corridor-chop service like the Cardinal without Congress needing to be involved. WV gets daily service NYP-CHW, Ohio gets daily service CHI-CIN, and he cuts some losses. Arizona, NM and Texas keep a Texas Eagle CHI-FTW and a Sunset Limited LAX-FTW, Houston gets a daily Regional train from either San Antonio or Ft. Worth, and again, he cuts a few more losses. BOS-ALB gets a Regional, etc. So on, and so on, and so on.
I don’t like it, but I see the business sense.