• How much are Class I and II railroads paid by Amtrak?

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

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, mtuandrew, Tadman

  by NHV 669
And yet with 3 tracks to work with, CSXT still sent a 150+ car manifest off the West Shore onto T2 at Fairport with AMTK 64 less than a minute behind it at 14:00 today. 63 passed on T1 11 minutes later.

Seems odd they gave priority to a 10,000 train moving at 40mph, over the smaller Amtrak good for 79, with no crossover until 10 miles east of that location.
  by Spike1724
Just this morning I was reading the December 2023 addition of Railway Age. There was an op ed piece on page 32 by Chuck Baker. It discussed some of what we are talking about here. I’m not sure if the link will work here, because I have a subscription. It might work for the general public.

The gist of the article was about how the government is changing its view on Amtrak. In the past the goal was for it to become self sufficient someday. Now with the whole “green” philosophy Amtrak is being seen more in the light of the European government run and funded passenger rail services.

I know that what I’m saying deviates slightly from the main topic of this discussion. One point made in the article was too bad that the realization of self sufficiency is impossible or at least improbable wasn’t made sooner. The point was made about the loss of slots for freight. It went on to say the it’s too bad that in the 1970s Amtrak wasn’t in the position to acquire its own lines. They could have gotten the PRR west of Cleveland from PC/Conrail, the S Line from Seaboard, or even one of the two Northerns from BN (or MILW, eh Mr. Norman). Now we are stuck with what we have because many of the duplicate lines are gone.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  by David Benton
Of course, many with shares would like to think corporates can do whatever they please, and their only obligation is to make as much money as possible for their shareholders.
The reality is any government or regulatory body will soon move against any such excess. As will consumers, and social groups. And many Shareholders.
Companies know it pays to be good corporate citizens, and in many ways,Amtrak is the railroads shop window.
  by Gilbert B Norman
Referring to your immediate, Mr. Benton, while I'm not sure what the comparable figure is down there in Middle Earth, but up here in The States, 61% of households own equity securities, otherwise known as stocks.
  by Railjunkie
eolesen wrote: Thu Dec 28, 2023 2:19 pm
Railjunkie wrote: Thu Dec 28, 2023 9:49 am how would crossing a train over to get around an issue in the above situation cause so much confusion and delay on a double track railroad???
It shouldn't. That's why you have passing sidings and crossovers.

And I'm sure those problems didn't happen before PSR, right?...
These problems have happened before and after PSR. I don't go the Mohawk any longer except to keep my qualifications. Still much the same on my yearly trips. These issues would sometimes even pop up when I was playing Conductor in the late Conrail early CSX days before the boys from the south taught us Yankees how to railroad. It boils down to the ability of a dispatcher to dispatch not some bean counter to worry about how much fuel, brake shoe wear it takes to slow down and speed up a train. I have seen plenty of auto racks with a single box car bringing up FRED. Just took a 60 mph and turned it into a 50mph train. The railroads do a very good job of slowing themselves down to a crawl. Amtrak just happens to be in the mix.
  by David Benton
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Thu Dec 28, 2023 8:26 pm Referring to your immediate, Mr. Benton, while I'm not sure what the comparable figure is down there in Middle Earth, but up here in The States, 61% of households own equity securities, otherwise known as stocks.
Bit off topic, but with no capital gains tax, and interest tax deductible, property is the investment of choice.
But I don't think high share ownership negates my point, the more mom & pop investors, the more likely to think ethically, or environmentally , and invest in like minded funds .
  by Gilbert B Norman
I hear your point, Mr. Benton; and it must be further noted that much of the 61% is comprised of Mutual Funds, where the fund shareholders have no direct control over how the Fund Managers choose to invest. The only control they have is from the very broad "fund objectives" from which an investor can make an investing decision. For example, if investing in Environmental, Social, and Governmental (ESG) are of concern to an investor, such as my Sister, they can choose Funds (offered by every major Fund House, e.g. Fidelity, Vanguard, et magna alia) to meet their concerns.

But many of the fund investors are so invested through Retirement Plans, such as IRA's and 401k's, which give participants even less control over their investments. So all told, what percentage of that 61% have free-standing traditional Brokerage Accounts such as I have, is unknown to me and does not appear to be reported on the web.

But to close with an effort to return to topic, I don't think too many if any railroad securities are included within ESG portfolios whether held by an individual or a Fund.
  by Tadman
I think this is very interesting material and certainly pertains to the topic as it helps us understand why the numbers work out the way they do.

From Yahoo Finance:
81% of Union Pacific is instituationally held; of that:
9% Vanguard
8% Blackrock
4% State Street

Black Rock is an interesting animal to dissect.

Multiple former executives are economic advisors to Obama, Biden, and Harris.
They oversee 10 TRILLION dollars of investments - that's more than any country's GDP other than USA or China.
Their profits are the percentage fees of assets under management. In other words, if your 401k collects $20m from individuals this year and gives it to Blackrock, they invest it in places like UP (9pct), CSX (4.4pct), and NS (6.7pct) and charge the investors a set percentage of their principle, or amount invested. The dividends and stock appreciation cash flows back to investors' 401k. The individual investors have little control. They give their money to 401k's and then the 401k turns it over to managers. You can change your investment strategy but it's a bit like voting - you can go democrat or republican but George Bush or Barack Obama are not actually listening to you, you are making a binary choice about their policy already put forth. Ergo investment managers have to put forth very competitive performance records as most folks like you and I simply look for the most attractive invesments pertaining to our stage in life.

So tying this all back to Amtrak and trackage rights: Bottom line is there has got to be a better way. Right now basically all federal elected officials for fifty years have shown us they don't care by their voting and legislative record. Our collective national wealth of trillions of dollars is against the current passenger train concept. Burying our head in the sand and continuing to fight the federal government and the biggest banks and railroads is just unfathomably ridiculous.

That's why I continue to suggest that the shortcut here is to pay market rate trackage fees.

Now when you look at their annual P&L this gets kind of laughable I have bolded "train operations" because I think that's where trackage rights fees fall under. Of their annual $5.4 billion expenses, salaries are about half and trackage rights are somewhere under the $350m line item for train operations. What happens if an additional $100m goes to trackage rights? $200m? Here's the real question: how much is that number in order to get a real contract between Amtrak and the Class 1's where real penalties exist? JB Hunt gets a big piece of UP's pie when their train is late. When you have real prices, you have the opportunity for real penalties without resorting to legislative remedies.

Salaries, wages, and benefits 2,689
Train operations 342
Fuel, power, and utilities 335
Materials 222 194
Facility, communication, and office related 242
Advertising and sales 104
Casualty and other claims 64
Depreciation and amortization 898
Other 733
Indirect cost capitalized to property and equipment (216)
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