NEW AMTRAK CEO: William J Flynn

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WesternNation
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Re: NEW AMTRAK CEO: William J Flynn

Post by WesternNation »

Gilbert B Norman wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 10:38 pm
A few more items "on the plate" to chew on before worrying about excursions and PV's, latter of which it looks like they're handling anyway:

---- The broken safety culture.
-----On time performance - Amtrak and Class I operations
-----Systemwide Food & Beverage on the LD's
-----Equipment procurement
-----Corridor improvements

And the "Huge" Elephants in the room:

-----Gateway/Portal/B&P
Gateway/Portal/B&P I believe (correct me if I am wrong) are federal government matters and Amtrak has been fighting with the DOT and Congress to get the funds for the upgrades approved.

OTP won't improve, at least on the national network, until the feds begin to enforce Amtrak priority. I'm not well-versed in NEC issues beyond the Hudson chokepoints and century-old infrastructure, so if I'm missing something please enlighten me.

Systemwide Food/Beverage could use an overhaul on the NN as well as the corridors. Microwaved food isn't exactly appealing.

What's wrong with equipment procurement? Again, an issue I'm not well-versed in.

New corridors would be great. It's long past time for Amtrak to start to look at newer routes in areas of the country that don't have it like the central and southeastern US as well as TX.

Mr Lynn
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Re: NEW AMTRAK CEO: William J Flynn

Post by Mr Lynn »

bostontrainguy wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 9:38 am
For what it's worth:

Flynn comes from a railroading family. His father was a Conrail engineer; his uncle, an Amtrak engineer; and his brother, an Amtrak conductor and local union chair.

From Railway Age
I expect it's worth a lot. From all I've read of Mr Anderson, he didn't seem to understand or appreciate the appeal of railroad travel, not only to the (vanishing) older generation who grew up with it, but to the younger generation(s) with families who are looking for congenial alternatives to the cattle-car airlines or the tedium of car trips. In my view, Amtrak has been missing the boat—I mean the train—for a long time, and Anderson was resigned to letting it go. Maybe a new CEO with railroadin' in his blood will realize what an opportunity Amtrak has been missing.

/L. E. Joiner (Walking Creek World)

eolesen
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Re: NEW AMTRAK CEO: William J Flynn

Post by eolesen »

I guess you've been reading activist blogs on Anderson. He was born into a railroad family -- his dad worked as a clerk for the Santa Fe (which was the best of the best as far as long distance service goes).

Gilbert B Norman
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Re: NEW AMTRAK CEO: William J Flynn

Post by Gilbert B Norman »

WesternNation wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 5:50 pm
Gilbert B Norman wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 10:38 pm
-----Systemwide Food & Beverage on the LD's
Systemwide Food/Beverage could use an overhaul on the NN as well as the corridors. Microwaved food isn't exactly appealing.
Mr. Western Nation, while the fault is likely mine, I believe the captionrd point regarding Food & Beverage service offered on the National Network (LD's) is taken out of context.

With Amtrak on the brink of attaining break even (Covid 19 may have different ideas), albeit on some kind of "cookie jar" accounting.method (a term I often used with my clients), F&B should only be provided in the most economical way possible, and it should be standardized just as it is on the airlines.

But at present on the LD's, it's anything between "Full Service for anyone willing to pay for it" and "Fresh and Contemporary for First Class only".

Finally, as noted at other topics, Amtrsk has started to convert the nearly new V-II Diners from their as delivered Full Service configuration to all purpose F&B Service cars. Let's just hope as taxpayers, as distinct from experiential riders such as Mr. Lynn has identified himself as in his immediate post, the edict does not suddenly and inexplicably come down to restore Full Service dining Systemwide.

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Tadman
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Re: NEW AMTRAK CEO: William J Flynn

Post by Tadman »

Gilbert B Norman wrote:
Fri Mar 06, 2020 4:02 pm
Mr. Dunville, Gray Lady's skin is very impervious to slings and arrows such as you have have chosen to shoot at her. I've been reading her since I was seven yo and for Sunday Dinner, both my Sister and I had to select articles from The Times, inform our Father of what we selected so he too could be cognizant, and then recite to his satisfaction at the Dinner table.

That daily "thump on the porch" now costs me $1200 a year, but worth every penny of such.
Not anymore. I used to read it daily circa 2000-2004 and it was a very good paper. It had a bias, but it was not like watching cartoons. Today, there are cartoon-quality articles and they're getting thicker by the minute. When they hired Sarah Jeong it was all over for me. No thanks.

Twice this year they have written complete hogwash about Amtrak. It's a farce. "Struggling to run trains"???

It looks like they're moving 100+ trains as we speak: https://scontent-atl3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/ ... e=5E8FC7A1
Dig the new rr.net Instagram account: @railroad_dot_net

Mr Lynn
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Re: NEW AMTRAK CEO: William J Flynn

Post by Mr Lynn »

Gilbert B Norman wrote:
Tue Mar 10, 2020 6:55 am

. . . Finally, as noted at other topics, Amtrsk has started to convert the nearly new V-II Diners from their as delivered Full Service configuration to all purpose F&B Service cars. Let's just hope as taxpayers, as distinct from experiential riders such as Mr. Lynn has identified himself as in his immediate post, the edict does not suddenly and inexplicably come down to restore Full Service dining Systemwide.
I don't know about 'systemwide', as I assume the Viewliner-II cars are mainly for the East and Southeast, but I would hope sleeping-car passengers could be still offered Full Service dining, either as part of the fare, or as an extra added attraction. Remember, the tourist railroads seem to do well with dinner and lunch trains.

My point, though, was that it's exactly "experiential riders" that Amtrak should be attracting—and creating!

I think there is huge potential to draw travelers, especially travelers with young children, away from the airways and highways and to the railways. It's going to take creative thinking, of course: How about kiddie-cars, with toys, games, books for kids? How about musical groups (jazz, folk, bluegrass, country) in the lounge cars? How about family plans for bedrooms? Etc., etc. But this is a a topic for another thread, perhaps. /LEJ

justalurker66
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Re: NEW AMTRAK CEO: William J Flynn

Post by justalurker66 »

Fast reliable on schedule service is the first step.
Reversing the negative changes from last year (reducing food service, etc) would be a good step.
After those steps are complete they can look at service improvements such as live music, kid cars, quiet cars, etc.

Gilbert B Norman
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Re: NEW AMTRAK CEO: William J Flynn

Post by Gilbert B Norman »

Mr Lynn wrote:
Tue Mar 10, 2020 9:50 am
I think there is huge potential to draw travelers, especially travelers with young children, away from the airways and highways and to the railways. It's going to take creative thinking, of course: How about kiddie-cars, with toys, games, books for kids? How about musical groups (jazz, folk, bluegrass, country) in the lounge cars? How about family plans for bedrooms? Etc., etc. But this is a a topic for another thread, perhaps. /LEJ
Wow, Mr. Lynn; back to the 70's.; from looking at your LinkedIn page, "you were there".

Entertainers performing aboard those smoke-filled "Black hole of Calcutta" ex USArmy hospital cars, kiddie lounges on the Starlight, regional menus. In the sky, Lounges complete with pianos (anyone care to hear my rendition of chopsticks?), stand up bars (sure wouldn't want to be there when hitting turbulence) - it's all in the past.

It's time to accept that commercial transportation is all about moving you expediently, yet safely, from A to B. Who knows if the cruiseline industry, moving you from A to A, will ever recover from their present dilemma where a passenger's safety and personal security is in great question.

mtuandrew
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Re: NEW AMTRAK CEO: William J Flynn

Post by mtuandrew »

Messrs Norman and Joiner, I have a feeling that Mr. Flynn will be interested in any and all money-making proposals. As I mentioned earlier in this thread, he seems like a “if the money’s there, I’m there” type. Anderson’s Experiential Travel model (which seems like it could include live music and kids’ programs) may still have a home with him in charge.

GWoodle
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Re: NEW AMTRAK CEO: William J Flynn

Post by GWoodle »

Gilbert B Norman wrote:
Tue Mar 10, 2020 12:57 pm
Mr Lynn wrote:
Tue Mar 10, 2020 9:50 am
I think there is huge potential to draw travelers, especially travelers with young children, away from the airways and highways and to the railways. It's going to take creative thinking, of course: How about kiddie-cars, with toys, games, books for kids? How about musical groups (jazz, folk, bluegrass, country) in the lounge cars? How about family plans for bedrooms? Etc., etc. But this is a a topic for another thread, perhaps. /LEJ
Wow, Mr. Lynn; back to the 70's.; from looking at your LinkedIn page, "you were there".

Entertainers performing aboard those smoke-filled "Black hole of Calcutta" ex USArmy hospital cars, kiddie lounges on the Starlight, regional menus. In the sky, Lounges complete with pianos (anyone care to hear my rendition of chopsticks?), stand up bars (sure wouldn't want to be there when hitting turbulence) - it's all in the past.

It's time to accept that commercial transportation is all about moving you expediently, yet safely, from A to B. Who knows if the cruiseline industry, moving you from A to A, will ever recover from their present dilemma where a passenger's safety and personal security is in great question.
Are you sure it isn't back to the 80's when the Superliner Sightseer lounge had TV screens with VCR's showing movies on Empire Builder & other western LD trains. Park service rangers on the Chief. Printed tour guides with mp & times for EB/WB to see attractions. Watch for bears on the track eating grain spilled from hopper cars.
Glenn Woodle

Mr Lynn
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Re: NEW AMTRAK CEO: William J Flynn

Post by Mr Lynn »

Gilbert B Norman wrote:
Tue Mar 10, 2020 12:57 pm

Wow, Mr. Lynn; back to the 70's.; from looking at your LinkedIn page, "you were there".

Entertainers performing aboard those smoke-filled "Black hole of Calcutta" ex USArmy hospital cars, kiddie lounges on the Starlight, regional menus. In the sky, Lounges complete with pianos (anyone care to hear my rendition of chopsticks?), stand up bars (sure wouldn't want to be there when hitting turbulence) - it's all in the past.

It's time to accept that commercial transportation is all about moving you expediently, yet safely, from A to B. Who knows if the cruiseline industry, moving you from A to A, will ever recover from their present dilemma where a passenger's safety and personal security is in great question.
Well, I do go back a ways, but never experienced the delights you mentioned. I do remember an airline (Pan American?) advertising Boeing Stratocruisers with sleeping berths and lounges upstairs (they had two levels)—that was well before jets, and I was just a kid. I think Boeing in the '70s also offered such amenities on their 747s, though I don't know if any airline took them up.

You're right about commercial transportation, and Lord knows too much passenger railroading is "all about moving you expediently, yet safely, from A to B," and nothing more. That's fine for commuter lines, and I suppose for the NEC and short inter-city runs, but the only way you're going to get folks out of the cattle-car airplanes and the Endless Black Ribbons of the highways (q.v Tiny Harris) for long-distance travel, is to entice them with the experience. If you can't do that, forget it; might as well keep Anderson on. /LEJ

Mr Lynn
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Re: NEW AMTRAK CEO: William J Flynn

Post by Mr Lynn »

mtuandrew wrote:
Tue Mar 10, 2020 1:42 pm
Messrs Norman and Joiner, I have a feeling that Mr. Flynn will be interested in any and all money-making proposals. As I mentioned earlier in this thread, he seems like a “if the money’s there, I’m there” type. Anderson’s Experiential Travel model (which seems like it could include live music and kids’ programs) may still have a home with him in charge.
I hope you're right. I plan to write more on the topic. Ideas welcome. /LEJ

Mr Lynn
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Re: NEW AMTRAK CEO: William J Flynn

Post by Mr Lynn »

GWoodle wrote:
Tue Mar 10, 2020 1:54 pm
Are you sure it isn't back to the 80's when the Superliner Sightseer lounge had TV screens with VCR's showing movies on Empire Builder & other western LD trains. Park service rangers on the Chief. Printed tour guides with mp & times for EB/WB to see attractions. Watch for bears on the track eating grain spilled from hopper cars.
As recently as 2008 we took the Builder from Seattle east, and they had people on board describing the wonders we were passing—not sure if they were rangers. They had a wine-tasting or two, as well; and the food was pretty good. /LEJ

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Tadman
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Re: NEW AMTRAK CEO: William J Flynn

Post by Tadman »

GWoodle wrote:
Tue Mar 10, 2020 1:54 pm

Are you sure it isn't back to the 80's when the Superliner Sightseer lounge had TV screens with VCR's showing movies on Empire Builder & other western LD trains.
Oh my those TV's were the worst. They had two volume levels, super loud and mute. The screen was about the size of a larger laptop, positioned up high in the bulkhead. It was usually washed out with the sunlight. And good luck watching anything you wanted to see.

The last memory I have of those was around 2004 on the Chief to KC. GOOD RIDDANCE.
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east point
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Re: NEW AMTRAK CEO: William J Flynn

Post by east point »

Flynn is walking into a very bad situation that no one knew was coming. How Coniv-19 affects Amtrak from now to when he comes in to the end of the crisis has to be daunting.

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