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Amtrak launching nonstop NYC-DC Acela (suspended 3/10-5/26)

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west point

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Am I the only one who doesn't want to be the engineer on these trips? 2 and a 1/2 hours with no stops to use the bathroom? I'll pass.
Well if the conductor is a qualified engineer then relief otherwise hope for a stop signal somewhere ?
 

Acela150

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Well if the conductor is a qualified engineer then relief otherwise hope for a stop signal somewhere ?
Conductors are usually not cross qualified at Amtrak. Freight it's very common. But in Passenger Service it's one or the other normally. Engineers can keep Conductor qualifications normally.

Hope that makes sense.
 

railiner

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As for short haul bookings blocking ‘more lucrative’ longer haul bookings...
I had thought that long ago, Amtrak’s space and equipment control, along with best yield management practices could solve that problem with a sophisticated algorithm that would maximize any trains revenue potential?
 

keelhauled

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According to a a press release issued today, the nonstop train will have "complimentary coffee, tea water, and a light snack, “at seat” cashless cart service offering a limited menu of snacks and beverages and onboard phone charging kits for sale" on top of the standard Acela soft product.
 

Anderson

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So, a bit of analysis:
(1) It sounds like the on-board soft product in Business Class will be slightly above the Regional Business Class product. I'd argue this is a good thing, since "Acela Business" is the only Business Class product that doesn't include complementary F&B in any manner.
(2) It also sounds like the product otherwise aligns pretty smoothly with what you'd expect for an airline beverage cart (albeit plus the charging kits...which I'd note Brightline sells at its stations). Depending on the exact specs, this feels like a nice testbed for the Acela IIs if they're looking to go in this direction.
(3) Of course, this raises the question of whether there will be an effort to restrict cafe seating on the Acela IIs, etc.

Honestly, as it stands I'm somewhat pleasantly surprised by this at the moment. I'll be curious to see what, if anything, gets slipped in for F.
 

railiner

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According to a a press release issued today, the nonstop train will have "complimentary coffee, tea water, and a light snack, “at seat” cashless cart service offering a limited menu of snacks and beverages and onboard phone charging kits for sale" on top of the standard Acela soft product.
Curious about the “phone charging kits for sale”...I don’t think they will charge you, just to plug in your phone, (they don’t currently), and all phones come with charging cords....so are they just hoping to sell to those that forgot to bring them?
Most curious item to sell....
 

PVD

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Small phone charging kits including a cigarette lighter to usb adapter, a plug in usb adapter, and an octopus cable with usb to various charging tip plug in in a little box are extremely popular giveaways at trade shows and conferences I attend. I think many people will leave a "setup" at home or at work, and like the extra kit to travel with. Small auxiliary batteries are popular also.
 

Acela150

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Railroaders, like Teachers, are Underpaid for what they do!;)
To an extent I agree. NS is so picky with claims that they approve. I put in for a "UA" Used of Assignment claim several times during my time there. Basically you get a second days pay for taking a second train. They would always deny it, and I would fight tooth and nail to get them to pay it.

Outside of those issues I think I was paid fairly.
 

Anderson

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So, I am stating this for posterity: Regardless of what ASMAD says, we were one minute behind leaving NYP (we started moving at 0636) and we were a minute earlier into WAS than it indicates (we arrived at 0906, not 0907). Both were with my phone and there was no recalibration. We did the run in 2:30 flat, and that was even being stuck behind the Acela in front of us (which we could have, had the tracks been available, overtaken...but I think we basically caught up to them at the Bush River outside of Baltimore)
 

KnightRail

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Looks like the ‘Express’ branding has started to be removed, likely to avoid confusion with the nonstops. Acelas are now simply “Acela” or “Acela Nonstop”. Gone is “Acela Express”, which I believe has been used back since the days of “Acela Regional”.
 

jis

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Looks like the ‘Express’ branding has started to be removed, likely to avoid confusion with the nonstops. Acelas are now simply “Acela” or “Acela Nonstop”. Gone is “Acela Express”, which I believe has been used back since the days of “Acela Regional”.
Yeah, and remember, they had plans for applying the "Acela Commuter" moniker to the Clockers and perhaps the Keystones. Of course then someone realized that dilution of the Acela brand was downright stupid, so all that fell by the wayside, and it was basically Acela and NE Regional.

Notwithstanding what Amtrak thought the brand was it was uncommon to hear someone say they were taking the Acela Express to Washington. Colloquially they simply said they are taking the Acela to Washington.
 

KnightRail

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Agree, people say they are taking the Acela, or taking Amtrak. I see it as a positive change simply being Acela. Rarely do I hear someone say they are taking the “North East Regional”. Now if North East Regional changed to something more appealing such as Metroliner, then we’d really be getting somewhere.
 
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Acela150

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So, I am stating this for posterity: Regardless of what ASMAD says, we were one minute behind leaving NYP (we started moving at 0636) and we were a minute earlier into WAS than it indicates (we arrived at 0906, not 0907). Both were with my phone and there was no recalibration. We did the run in 2:30 flat, and that was even being stuck behind the Acela in front of us (which we could have, had the tracks been available, overtaken...but I think we basically caught up to them at the Bush River outside of Baltimore)
How was the PAX load?
 

Anderson

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How was the PAX load?
Per talking with Jim Mathews, about 180 revenue pax plus a handful of Amtrak management, press, etc. It wasn't slam full, but it was definitely enough to justify running the service. Also, the vast majority seem to have been business travelers...so I'd guess that you're looking at a 50% "regular" load [1] accounting for that. Given the Acela's normal cost recovery numbers and load factors, I think it is fair to say that the new service is "in the black" from day one.


[1] In an email earlier I estimated 40% or so, but this was under the impression of the press, management, etc. being part of the 180.
 
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Thirdrail7

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We did the run in 2:30 flat, and that was even being stuck behind the Acela in front of us (which we could have, had the tracks been available, overtaken...but I think we basically caught up to them at the Bush River outside of Baltimore)
You were no were near 2103. I'm not sure what makes you think you could have overtaken it without holding it for 10 minutes. The closest you got to 2103 is when you were next to it In WAS. O

How was the PAX load?
It seems like the NYP departure is busier in the early part of the week while the WAS departure is busier in the later part of the week, which is natural. The WAS is going to be the heavy hitter and it should open up seats on 2172, a notoriously busy train. If they could have put it between 2170 and 2172, it be killer
 

Acela150

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It seems like the NYP departure is busier in the early part of the week while the WAS departure is busier in the later part of the week, which is natural. The WAS is going to be the heavy hitter and it should open up seats on 2172, a notoriously busy train. If they could have put it between 2170 and 2172, it be killer
To me that seems normal. Heavier travel from NYP on a Monday.

I've done 2172 on a Friday twice. Both times in FC. The one Friday when I got on in PHL FC was S/O. Oddly enough upon departure of NYP the FC Car only had about 10 pax including myself. Which astonished me and the LSA's. They thought more seats would sell. To make it even more odd it was the Friday before Christmas.

But I do agree, push that up an hour to 3:30 on Friday's and you'd take a decent load from 2170 and 2172 and put that onto 2402. Which frees up seats between WAS and NYP for intermediate travel, especially the PHL-NYP pax. IIRC the last time they tried something similar to a non stop service it only stopped at PHL and that left WAS around 5 of 4. Which was still a decent slot, but I think 330 would have been much better.
 

Anderson

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(1) I am passing along what we were told while onboard in re a slowdown. To be fair, the issue might also have been clearing a track at WAS from the 0900 departure?
(2) The issue is that the last time around, the departure was 1555...and I suspect that at least for now, Amtrak doesn't want to have the Nonstop at different times on different days.

(3) As a data point, I checked next Friday and 2402 is showing a higher price than either 2172 or 2122.
 

Thirdrail7

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But I do agree, push that up an hour to 3:30 on Friday's and you'd take a decent load from 2170 and 2172 and put that onto 2402. Which frees up seats between WAS and NYP for intermediate travel, especially the PHL-NYP pax. IIRC the last time they tried something similar to a non stop service it only stopped at PHL and that left WAS around 5 of 4. Which was still a decent slot, but I think 330 would have been much better.
2170 and 2172 operate to BOS. You also free up additional space for travel to BOS, which would help. Even the 4:30 departure is pulling people fro, 2172 as it gives them another half hour but doesn't arrive too much later than 2172.


(3) As a data point, I checked next Friday and 2402 is showing a higher price than either 2172 or 2122.
Doesn't that defeat the purpose?
 
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