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  1. Nick Farr

    Inconsistent Service: A bigger problem than the food?

    I've never been barked at in a dining car in Europe, even when the attendant didn't speak English or Spanish. (Well, maybe they were barking at me in German, but they did so politely.)
  2. Nick Farr

    Amendment to CR blocking furloughs and thrice weekly long distance trains

    The NEC and Acela are: 1) The best viable alternative to all other forms of intercity transit for all potential customers. 2) Serve many more potential customers than the LD trains. 3) Have much higher utilization than the LD routes. 4) Are a kind of corridor we want to see repeated throughout...
  3. Nick Farr

    Meals in the room?

    Same here. I've had surly older DB staff in the former East Germany (i.e. around Leipzig), for sure. However, having roughly the same mileage on DB as Amtrak in my life (albeit on much shorter trips in Europe) the service on DB is much more courteous and consistent on the whole. I've never had...
  4. Nick Farr

    Large increase in Empire Builder fares?

    😍😍😍 I wish I could like this more times!
  5. Nick Farr

    Inconsistent Service: A bigger problem than the food?

    I'm not going to tell you it's impossible because its not. Here are the biggest obstacles to overcome: * When a driver comes to your house or office, they know where you are and wrap up the delivery in no more than three minutes. Sometimes the train takes three minutes just to park. Sometimes...
  6. Nick Farr

    New head of operations at NS

    Somewhere between the CSR and HR the complaint is either deemed one worthy of merit or just discounted. If I get the name of the OBS wrong, my dates of travel are off or just seem super grumpy, and I'm the only one for that trip that cared, the complaint may never get much further past the call...
  7. Nick Farr

    Will full service dining ever return to the Western trains?

    The AT has the highest utilization of any of the LD trains and runs at a very slight subsidization. They could probably raise fares slightly and make it break-even.
  8. Nick Farr

    Will full service dining ever return to the Western trains?

    I'm saying that vacations are why the highest revenue passengers take LD trains. They're not public transportation like airplanes or the NEC are. This is why I'm saying the classic LD routes need to be right sized to their respective markets.
  9. Nick Farr

    Will full service dining ever return to the Western trains?

    They're taking their car to/from a vacation destination where having a car helps enable the vacation.
  10. Nick Farr

    Will full service dining ever return to the Western trains?

    The most inelastic demand for sleeper trains (the one-and-dones and those who travel by sleeper train regardless) aren't really "opting in" to a lower level of service. The bucket listers probably have no idea and the captive users simply don't care because they don't have any other options...
  11. Nick Farr

    Flexible dining - Requesting a review from a recent rider

    Worst case, these have a less than 24 hour shelf life, which means they couldn't be used on Western Trains. It is possible to create options to extend that, but the cost is high and their supplier is geared to provide crates of frozen meals with an indefinite shelf life and side salads that...
  12. Nick Farr

    Flexible dining - Requesting a review from a recent rider

    Mostly supply issues combined with a lack of proper facilities to sanitize/serve it on board as part of meal presentation.
  13. Nick Farr

    Will full service dining ever return to the Western trains?

    If an express "take your car to Disneyworld" train that still has Full-Service dining isn't a land cruise product, what exactly is?
  14. Nick Farr

    Will full service dining ever return to the Western trains?

    All the stations on the NEC fall under NEC accounts. For the National Network, there's previously been some relatively immaterially improper capital cost allocation going on between State Supported services and Long Distance trains, but the last few audited financial reports have mostly cleared...
  15. Nick Farr

    Will full service dining ever return to the Western trains?

    They are. Acela ticket revenue in FY19 and FY20 contributed way more than their relative share to capital and infrastructure costs on the NEC, along with all the other legacy pension costs. Bear in mind that Amtrak isn't even the only user of the NEC. MARC, SEPTA and NJ Transit are among other...
  16. Nick Farr

    Will full service dining ever return to the Western trains?

    Again, Acela is not the enemy. It's what we want everywhere. Acela is a consistent net contributor to capital expenses, to the tune of $89.4M dollars, even from October 2019 through to now--which covers the entire pandemic crisis. Why do you have it out for the NEC? If you really believe in LD...
  17. Nick Farr

    Large increase in Empire Builder fares?

    All it would take is one lifehack video of someone cooking breakfast, lunch and dinner on an LD route end-to-end in a Zojirushi rice cooker. I'm actually tempted to see what I could do for dining options on Amtrak if I were cooking for myself, if I only had an electric teakettle and a rice...
  18. Nick Farr

    Will full service dining ever return to the Western trains?

    Amtrak owns most of the NEC and leases part of it out, providing a revenue stream for the usage of its assets. Given that Amtrak inherited most of the below-the-wheels assets of the NEC and gets grains to improve that infrastructure (just like freight railroads get occasional grants to improve...
  19. Nick Farr

    Will full service dining ever return to the Western trains?

    True, but will ridership revenue drop by 57%? We really won't know until the October results are in. My hunch, given the COVID numbers is that the passenger revenue will stay relatively steady after the drop in service, given the customer base already using the trains.
  20. Nick Farr

    Will full service dining ever return to the Western trains?

    After. Operating Loss is defined as GAAP Net Loss excluding non-cash pension costs and other retirement employment benefits, state capital payment amortization and income statement items reported with capital or debt results or other grants.
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