AMTRAK CEO: PHASING OUT LONG DISTANCE TRAINS IN FAVOR OF “CORRIDORS”.

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Bob

Forum Host
Staff member
#1
More "good news" for Amtrak.

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
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.

Read the full article and commentary here:
http://www.railpac.org/2018/04/21/amtrak-ceo-phasing-out-long-distance-trains-in-favor-of-corridors/
 
#2
Sounds like CEO Anderson, doesn't like to answer hard questions, he doesn't have a prepared answer for.

I don't envy his position and would not want his job. He runs a quasi-Government Agency, controlled and governed by a Cabinet level department, and almost totally dependent on annual Congressional appropriations. Most of his workforce no longer has any connection with the railroad industry, and thinks and operates as a government agency. There are entirely too many "Consultants" retained by Amtrak, In some cases performing work that used to be performed by Amtrak employees. That's why so many poor decisions are made.

Almost all of Amtrak's fleet of passenger equipment is over age and obsolete. This includes high volume corridor service equipment, and Long Distance trains. The organization lacks the resources to maintain it's existing equipment, on a regular basis, Is unwilling or unable to raise capital, and is constrained by various political and social agendas, that are not present in the Airline Industry Something has got to give.

The Northeast Corridor, in reality extends from Maine to Roanoke and Norfolk Virginia, and West to Harrisburg PA, and Niagara Falls, NY. Not exactly limited to between NY and DC, although that's where the greatest ridership is.

Some long haul should still fit in the equation, as long as sufficient passenger volume remains. However, capital spending for equipment should go to routes most likely to sustain growth.

Keep in mind, that I have not availed my self of Amtrak service, since I retired from Amtrak in 2008, although, I theoretically can travel for free or reduced cost [That in itself a convoluted formula], Simply stated, they don't go anywhere near where I want to go, without my going way out of my way to get there. It's much easier and more direct to drive.

One other thing to keep in mind, was that Amtrak Brought in David Gunn to replace George Warrington. Gunn had a reputation for being an expert problem solver in the Passenger Rail Sector. He was gone within two years, after he was allegedly caught with his hand in the till. He did manage to kill off the Mail and Express business and for a short time brought the property to a state of good repair. he also forced the issue with the Acela program, but in general, as soon as he left, it was back to business as usual. Chances are, that Mr. Anderson, will find out that he cannot implement all of his changes, as Congressional intervention rewrites his agenda, and revert to the status quo..
 

Bob

Forum Host
Staff member
#3
Amtrak is a bit of a half-baked system at best. Part of the concept is to serve smaller towns that don't have air service etc. But, as you pointed out, usually the answer is "It doesn't go where I want to go". There's only a few routes, and even fewer routes that go north/south. Fare from being a national network, it's a route along each coast, one north/south in the Midwest, and some east/west routes. Compare the route map to the spiderweb that is the interstate highway system.

In Europe, they have routes that cover large areas and trains are frequent. Some of the "corridors" do have fairly frequent service, but much of the system is lucky to have a train a day. They really need to increase service, not kill it off, if they want things to be practical.
 
#4
Boris wrote: "Sounds like CEO Anderson, doesn't like to answer hard questions, he doesn't have a prepared answer for."

Sounds to me like CEO Anderson already knew the answers, but just wasn't "prepared" to answer them anyway.
 





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