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  1. L

    Starlight detour today or map problem?

    Except for the line relocation in Elko that occurred in the mid-80s. None of the track through Elko existed pre-Amtrak.
  2. L

    Metra wastes money

    As Chicago area residents who attend 20 or so theater and similar events per year, I find Metra generally unusable for them. For evening events, generally the 10:30-10:40 trains are too early and the 12:30-12:40 trains too late. Having departures at around 11:30 would make it far more usable...
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    "Highball" - More terminology questions.

    Maximum Authorized Speed is not the same Maximum Track Speed. Authorized is the lesser of track speed, speed restricted by order, bulletin, etc., and speed restricted by signal. I have never heard anyone think it's synonymous with maximum track speed. It's just long-time railroad slang (at least...
  4. L

    Using a "Vanity" email address

    It's done because some businesses can't be bothered to comply with standards and reject standards-compliant email addresses. A lot of special characters are standards-compliant but rejected by many sites. Email trivia: per standards, the part before the @ is case-sensitive (so technically...
  5. L

    Where should one change planes? London or New York? or somewhere else?

    Another place where tight connections get prioritized is Schipol (Amsterdam). A few years back, we were connecting from a flight from the U.S. to another Schengen (European combined immigration area) destination. As such, we needed to clear Immigration (passport check) but not Customs (baggage)...
  6. L

    Sold out rooms/ Insane high fare buckets

    As someone who worked in airline scheduling (now retired), your first sentence is about 180 degrees from the truth. Airline schedules are developed in periods of one to two months (sometimes shorter such as the holiday schedule which might run from only around 12/20 to 1/4). While there might be...
  7. L

    "The Dining Car Problem"

    One the issues that plagues food service accounting is the idea that food service needs to be its own profit center as if it operates independently of the train. It doesn't. It's dependent on the train and its passengers. Sitting at home, I can't decide let's go to the Amtrak Dining Car for...
  8. L

    Do any pictures of the old Randolph street Station exist?

    That looks like it. The building in the upper left diagonally across from the station entrance appears to match the building currently at the NE corner of S. Water St. and Michigan Ave. and although the lower floors have been extensively changed, the window pattern on the 3rd floor matches...
  9. L

    Trains can't leave before their departure time right?

    That sort of stuff happened a lot at my carrier. Sometimes it was because the flight crew, not understanding CBP hours, sped up thinking they'd get to bed earlier than planned only to sit until scheduled arrival before the door could open. We had one flight that became a big problem because it...
  10. L

    Trains can't leave before their departure time right?

    One additional thing about enroute winds: there is both seasonal and daily variation. We had a good handle on seasonal variation (winds are normally out of the west with stronger winds in winter) and divided the year into five seasons to account for the seasonal variation. Domestically, we had...
  11. L

    Trains can't leave before their departure time right?

    Yes, we had an Arrival 00 goal. As for the alleged padding, scheduling the length of flights (block time - time from departing the "blocks" to arriving on the "blocks") is far more complicated than 99% of the customers (or even employees) realize and much of the reason for that can be answered...
  12. L

    Trains can't leave before their departure time right?

    Different airlines have different goals. The US Department of Transportation considers a flight on-time for purposes of determining "chronically delayed" flights to be 14 minutes or less late (Arrival 14 as it is called in the industry). A given airline is likely to have both Arrival 00 (exactly...
  13. L

    Trains can't leave before their departure time right?

    From someone who spent part of my career doing delay analysis for an airline, destination weather is just one small factor. Enroute severe weather, when it closes off airways and forces flights to longer routes and also increases congestion on the routes bordering the weather issue, can...
  14. L

    How is tipping done in a cash-less Amtrak world?

    Tipping on a cashless train today is no different than tipping in today's cashless airline club lounges. For the complementary beverages, I leave a dollar bill on the bar top and not once has it been refused due to them being cashless. :) Cashless really means no cash for transactions between...
  15. L

    Trains can't leave before their departure time right?

    Sorry, but wrong. 1) Post Office is just another cargo shipper. They do not have the authority to hold a flight (if they did, we would have had a delay code for them). If they don't have their shipment ready by the cargo cutoff time, it may not go. 2) Plane being full is not a factor...
  16. L

    Trains can't leave before their departure time right?

    When part of your compensation is a performance bonus based on what percentage of flights departs on-time (as in zero minutes late), four minutes is not insignificant. Studies have shown if transportation is not moving at the scheduled departure time or stopped by the scheduled arrival time...
  17. L

    Trains can't leave before their departure time right?

    Railiner, I have no idea what sort of professional experience you might have in the area of transportation scheduling but from someone who does (airline), please leave it to the professionals. We actually do (well, not me anymore, I'm retired) know what we're doing but many things in schedules...
  18. L

    Trains can't leave before their departure time right?

    That assumes arrival performance at Newark is unimportant and only the arrival at the train's final destination is important. I suspect any passengers detraining at Newark would disagree. A few years back, I was on an Amtrak train to Newark which was on-time all the way to Metropark and ended up...
  19. L

    Trains can't leave before their departure time right?

    I don't think it's deceitful at all. It reflects that for some purposes, you need to have a "no earlier than" time and for other purposes, you need to have a "no later than" time. Using my airline experience, suppose you're waiting to board a 2:00pm flight. Due to an up-line delay, the airline...
  20. L

    US Airports and Transit Connections

    Everyone needs to take the people mover to get to Concourses B and C as the people mover is inside security and is the only way to get to them. It's more correct to say that the train drops you off near the terminal building (check-in/baggage claim) and from there you can either go through the...
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