Amtrak FY 2021-2025 Plans

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railiner

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I am intrigued by what the 'concept' will turn out to be, from page 89 of the 'Long Distance Service Line'...

Experiential Service Model The unique train travel experience is the most significant factor for customers choosing long distance travel. The trains that operate over two nights require a different strategy to attract an expanded ridership base and establish a more contemporary model. The current rider demographic skews heavily to retirees and train aficionados due to long trip times and less concern about on-time reliability. Our goal is to develop a more contemporary experience which leverages the important communal experience that the traditional rider expects with service options more attractive to Millennials. The strategy includes redesigning sleeper cars, contemporary seating in dining/lounge cars similar to current living space trends, updated menus and service equipment and specialized staff training. We intend to establish a “concept” train to advance this initiative prior to a systemwide modification to the service standards and experience.
 

lordsigma

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I am intrigued by what the 'concept' will turn out to be, from page 89 of the 'Long Distance Service Line'...

Experiential Service Model The unique train travel experience is the most significant factor for customers choosing long distance travel. The trains that operate over two nights require a different strategy to attract an expanded ridership base and establish a more contemporary model. The current rider demographic skews heavily to retirees and train aficionados due to long trip times and less concern about on-time reliability. Our goal is to develop a more contemporary experience which leverages the important communal experience that the traditional rider expects with service options more attractive to Millennials. The strategy includes redesigning sleeper cars, contemporary seating in dining/lounge cars similar to current living space trends, updated menus and service equipment and specialized staff training. We intend to establish a “concept” train to advance this initiative prior to a systemwide modification to the service standards and experience.
That was in there last year too.
 

lordsigma

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Some will be disappointed by one bit revealed here: the equipment plan confirms that the Silver Star will not be receiving a viewliner car as part of flexible dining. It will use the same setup as the Cardinal. The long term plan now confirmed is to convert the Viewliner II diners into a single food service car that will serve both flex dining and cafe/lounge meals. The Cardinal and Star will receive a V2 once that occurs.
 

lordsigma

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Also it sounds like instead of converting Viewliner Is to the same style as Viewliner IIs they are simply going to deploy them on separate routes. V1s are slated for refresh though.
 

flitcraft

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Okay, I get that a 'communal experience' is perceived as undesirable by millenials. (In fact, on our last trip, we sat across from a late-twenty-something couple at one dinner. As we always do, we said hello and introduced ourselves--the woman said hi, the man looked up briefly, said nothing, and both continued to look at their phones. In fact, other than ordering their food, they didn't say a word to each other during the meal, either. I guess it's a millenial thing...) So I assume that the default will be dining in-room, away from having to make brief eye contact with strangers. But what I don't understand is "seating...in dining and lounge cars similar to current living space trends." What in the world is that? Open-concept without walls is the only current living space trend that I am aware of. I really don't have a clue as to what they are trying to say here. Anybody able to translate that into something comprehensible?
 

lordsigma

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It's the first I've seen of it. Or heard any comments here about it...sorry if I missed something.
I don't have a clue, either, of what they are talking about...[emoji50]
They first mentioned it in that plan last year. But so far nothing has really come out about what they plan to do. I would suspect they would trial whatever they are going to do on a route like the Zephyr or Coast Starlight. And if anything you’ll maybe see it on those two plus the Builder if I had to guess.
 

neroden

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Shows that they don't have a clue what millennials want. The LSL had nice strong millennial ridership (I have the graphs from inside Amtrak) until they trashed the food service.

There are things they could have done to make it more attractive to millennials (gluten-free options?), but this wasn't it.
 

Amtrakfflyer

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Messages
438
They just sound like weirdos it’s not an age specific thing. Had many great meals with people of every age.

Okay, I get that a 'communal experience' is perceived as undesirable by millenials. (In fact, on our last trip, we sat across from a late-twenty-something couple at one dinner. As we always do, we said hello and introduced ourselves--the woman said hi, the man looked up briefly, said nothing, and both continued to look at their phones. In fact, other than ordering their food, they didn't say a word to each other during the meal, either. I guess it's a millenial thing...) So I assume that the default will be dining in-room, away from having to make brief eye contact with strangers. But what I don't understand is "seating...in dining and lounge cars similar to current living space trends." What in the world is that? Open-concept without walls is the only current living space trend that I am aware of. I really don't have a clue as to what they are trying to say here. Anybody able to translate that into something comprehensible?
 

chrsjrcj

OBS Chief
Joined
Mar 24, 2011
Messages
807
Okay, I get that a 'communal experience' is perceived as undesirable by millenials. (In fact, on our last trip, we sat across from a late-twenty-something couple at one dinner. As we always do, we said hello and introduced ourselves--the woman said hi, the man looked up briefly, said nothing, and both continued to look at their phones. In fact, other than ordering their food, they didn't say a word to each other during the meal, either. I guess it's a millenial thing...) So I assume that the default will be dining in-room, away from having to make brief eye contact with strangers. But what I don't understand is "seating...in dining and lounge cars similar to current living space trends." What in the world is that? Open-concept without walls is the only current living space trend that I am aware of. I really don't have a clue as to what they are trying to say here. Anybody able to translate that into something comprehensible?
Hmm...maybe it's more of a personal preference than generational thing. I've had meals with only 20/30 year olds and the conversations lasted so long we were politely reminded by the dining car staff that we could continue our conversations in the lounge car. On the other hand, I've had meals with retirees where the only words exchanged were "Hello" and "goodbye."
 

TC_NYC

Train Attendant
Joined
Nov 1, 2015
Messages
57
Hmm...maybe it's more of a personal preference than generational thing. I've had meals with only 20/30 year olds and the conversations lasted so long we were politely reminded by the dining car staff that we could continue our conversations in the lounge car. On the other hand, I've had meals with retirees where the only words exchanged were "Hello" and "goodbye."
Agreed, don't be quick to paint millenials with a broad brush. I am a millenial and took the CS last summer from LAX-PDX and my wife and I where happy to sit with others at the diner and have a conversation. My wife actually saw this as a huge selling point of the train.
 

crescent-zephyr

Conductor
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Oct 21, 2015
Messages
2,277
They just sound like weirdos it’s not an age specific thing. Had many great meals with people of every age.
Exactly. They are using those words to convince people that don’t ride trains that they are improving the trains and modernizing them.

There is no data to support that LD trains are mostly used by retirees and “train aficionados” - people of all walks of life use LD trains.
 

west point

Conductor
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Jun 9, 2015
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Anderson's broad brush is another attempt by some persons placing everyone into one small basket of sameness,
 

Thirdrail7

Conductor
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Jul 9, 2014
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There is no data to support that LD trains are mostly used by retirees and “train aficionados” - people of all walks of life use LD trains.
That may depend on who fills out the customer surveys. I'm pretty sure there is a "reason for riding" and an "employment" type of question.
 

crescent-zephyr

Conductor
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Oct 21, 2015
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That may depend on who fills out the customer surveys. I'm pretty sure there is a "reason for riding" and an "employment" type of question.
“The current rider demographic skews towards” tells us nothing. If data was available to back that up, they would show us said data.
 

Amtrakfflyer

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Messages
438
As a frequent SWC rider I received a few of the surveys concerning food service and buses. The surveys were anything but honest. Someone voting for “fresh and contemporary” meals would have no clue they were voting for a TV dinner. The surveys were drawn up to show a specific result in my opinion.
 

west point

Conductor
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Jun 9, 2015
Messages
2,039
An independent survey thru congress is the only way to get real results. Even then you have to be careful.
 
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