Amtrak is getting Expensive again

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Sam the train man!

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Did Amtrak raise it's prices? I travel a lot between BOS-PHL(not for work) and I've noticed that Amtrak is charging well over $60 even when I book tickets a few months in advance. The cheapest tickets were $86.5 between the two cities in January!
 

afigg

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Did Amtrak raise it's prices? I travel a lot between BOS-PHL(not for work) and I've noticed that Amtrak is charging well over $60 even when I book tickets a few months in advance. The cheapest tickets were $86.5 between the two cities in January!
Appears that the low bucket for BOS to PHL Regionals is now $69. The demand for BOS to NYP service has grown such that the low bucket seats sell months in advance except for the lower demand off-peak period trains.
 
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I guess it's time to add a few more trains between Boston and NYC...even though there is no space.
 

Acela150

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Did Amtrak raise it's prices? I travel a lot between BOS-PHL(not for work) and I've noticed that Amtrak is charging well over $60 even when I book tickets a few months in advance. The cheapest tickets were $86.5 between the two cities in January!
Appears that the low bucket for BOS to PHL Regionals is now $69. The demand for BOS to NYP service has grown such that the low bucket seats sell months in advance except for the lower demand off-peak period trains.
The reason why BOS-PHL is a now high demand market is that Southwest Airlines stopped serving the PHL-BOS market about 3 years ago. When that happened they also stopped serving PVD and Manchester, NH. So the drive for Amtrak service from PHL to the Boston area went up dramatically. On top of that, Route 128 Westwood serves the suburbs of Boston and is becoming a heavy used station. Then on top of that Boston stops are at Back Bay and South Station. Should Providence be more suitable for use for folks heading to the Attleboro area then that option is there as well. One things for sure. The Boston area has plenty of options for Amtrak passengers.
 

VentureForth

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Lengthening the trains is the smart answer here, except there is no equipment, and you can't lengthen the Acelas due to their short-sightedness (and perhaps the inability to have a stable high speed train more than 6 cars long, thus making the maintenance shops sized to only be able to accomodate said trainsets).
 

OlympianHiawatha

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Lengthening the trains is the smart answer here, except there is no equipment, and you can't lengthen the Acelas due to their short-sightedness (and perhaps the inability to have a stable high speed train more than 6 cars long, thus making the maintenance shops sized to only be able to accomodate said trainsets).
I have noticed on at least on the German ICE 2 sets are often coupled together to make a "megatrain." I venture to guess like Acela it is not easy to take the individual sets apart and add or subtract cars. Perhaps that would be a solution for Acela, but now we need to find some more Acela.....
 

seat38a

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Lengthening the trains is the smart answer here, except there is no equipment, and you can't lengthen the Acelas due to their short-sightedness (and perhaps the inability to have a stable high speed train more than 6 cars long, thus making the maintenance shops sized to only be able to accomodate said trainsets).
Isn't platform length a general issue in the USA? Even at my regular station, they only use one door on the business class car due to platform length. It seems 6 cars are about the max that can be handled at most of the non terminal stations.
 

afigg

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Lengthening the trains is the smart answer here, except there is no equipment, and you can't lengthen the Acelas due to their short-sightedness (and perhaps the inability to have a stable high speed train more than 6 cars long, thus making the maintenance shops sized to only be able to accomodate said trainsets).
The NE Regionals have been lengthened with additional Amfleet I coach cars. Routine to see a 8 or 9 car long Regional with 1 BC car, cafe car, 6 or 7 coach cars. Amtrak got an boost in number of available Amfleet I coach cars from the stimulus restorations and conversion of cafe cars to coach and BC cars. The challenge to the northern half of the NEC with 9 Regionals and 10 Acelas between BOS and NYP each way on weekdays that adding 1 to 2 additional coach cars to the Regionals is only a modest increase in total seat capacity.

The early plans for the Acela were to have longer consists, but budget constraints and, in hindsight, a lack of confidence in the future success of the Acela service resulted in an order for Acelas that were too short in coach cars and seating capacity.
 

dlagrua

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We can theorize that losing money year after year is the reason why Amtrak fares are rising but when you look at the federal transportation budget it can be said that highways and airports lose far more money. Its unfair that Amtrak with about 3% of this budget is always the target for political grandstanding when it comes to government expenditures.

I also agree with Ryan that supply vs demand plays a big part in Amtrak fares. Ridership is increasing yearly and there is no equipment to add capacity. Hence, fare increases are the only way to raise revenue. If demands tapers off then the fares might ease.
 

VentureForth

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We can theorize that losing money year after year is the reason why Amtrak fares are rising but when you look at the federal transportation budget it can be said that highways and airports lose far more money. Its unfair that Amtrak with about 3% of this budget is always the target for political grandstanding when it comes to government expenditures.
You're right. It is unfair. Amtrak gets 3% of funding but only accounts for 1% of utilization.
 

jis

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Then again, air fares have also gone up very significantly over the last five or so years. And the lesser said about highway tolls where they exist, the better. Yeah, they have been going up too, sometimes dramatically.
 

jebr

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We can theorize that losing money year after year is the reason why Amtrak fares are rising but when you look at the federal transportation budget it can be said that highways and airports lose far more money. Its unfair that Amtrak with about 3% of this budget is always the target for political grandstanding when it comes to government expenditures.
You're right. It is unfair. Amtrak gets 3% of funding but only accounts for 1% of utilization.
What are you defining as funding and utilization for roads, planes, rail, etc.?
 

VentureForth

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We can theorize that losing money year after year is the reason why Amtrak fares are rising but when you look at the federal transportation budget it can be said that highways and airports lose far more money. Its unfair that Amtrak with about 3% of this budget is always the target for political grandstanding when it comes to government expenditures.
You're right. It is unfair. Amtrak gets 3% of funding but only accounts for 1% of utilization.
What are you defining as funding and utilization for roads, planes, rail, etc.?
I'm just going by dlagrua's quote. Perhaps "1% of utillization" is not accurate. That's just based roughly on 30 Mil pax/yr out of 300 Mil population.
 
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Acela150

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Lengthening the trains is the smart answer here, except there is no equipment, and you can't lengthen the Acelas due to their short-sightedness (and perhaps the inability to have a stable high speed train more than 6 cars long, thus making the maintenance shops sized to only be able to accomodate said trainsets).
Isn't platform length a general issue in the USA? Even at my regular station, they only use one door on the business class car due to platform length. It seems 6 cars are about the max that can be handled at most of the non terminal stations.
Trains in the NEC can be as long as 11 cars or so. Even LD trains now that are in the NEC are about 10 to 11 cars. Plus a locomotive or two.

Not at NEC stations where the Acela calls.
NYP can be tricky though. Some platforms aren't that long there. Although I guess a way to look at it is the LSL NYP section is about 9 cars or so. Not sure if those platforms could hold a few more cars.
 

jis

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The platform used by the LSL can handle 13 cars - tracks 7 and 8 that is. 5 and 6 are shorter.

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