Amtrak overcoming the Pandemic; back to tri-weekly service?

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Cal

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It seems like everyone is going nuts over some post from a person with only 19 previous posts who claims to have information from "the top." Unless this person is related to Flynn or Gardner, then I doubt their connection to "the top." Everyone should calm down until we actually hear something official. If Amtrak had serious plans to reduce LD service they wouldn't continue to accept reservations.
Many other people have also stated trains being reduced. Although most not saying once a week
 

Amtrakfflyer

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The next question is will traditional dining stay or go with the reduced schedule. That alone would be a deal breaker normally for us but traveling Christmas week we’re left with no choice.

I appreciate everyone’s input here but we also have RPA saying the cutbacks are possibly coming within the past week as well. Whether this happens or not I’m sure there’s truth to the rumors and they come from high up for RPA to respond to them.

Everyone on here knows I don’t like Amtrak management, that being said this could be one of their biggest blatant screw ups if it comes to fruition. Sabotaging people’s holidays is a new low and I hope it doesn’t happen. Honestly I don’t see them canceling 60 percent of the holiday schedule this close in but anything is possible.
 
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Amtrakfflyer

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50/50.
The worst would be that Amtrak executives once again make themselves out to be the biggest idiots in customer service. So hopefully, it is just a rumor and Amtrak has this wonderful plan to provide maximum customer satisfaction and not continue to be the Grinch they have shown themselves to be.

Anyone offering odds?
 

Just-Thinking-51

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Panic sets in.
Welcome to Amtrak.
Welcome to the wild world of rumors.

Still trying to figure out were all the warm bodies that use to work as T/E, OBS, Flight Crews have gone. This is a wild time in our history. Almost as bad as the recovery after the Black Plague, but back then the plague had a much higher kill rate.
 

McIntyre2K7

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The next question is will traditional dining stay or go with the reduced schedule. That alone would be a deal breaker normally for us but traveling Christmas week we’re left with no choice.

I appreciate everyone’s input here but we also have RPA saying the cutbacks are possibly coming within the past week as well. Whether this happens or not I’m sure there’s truth to the rumors and they come from high up for RPA to respond to them.

Everyone on here knows I don’t like Amtrak management, that being said this could be one of their biggest blatant screw ups if it comes to fruition. Sabotaging people’s holidays is a new low and I hope it doesn’t happen. Honestly I don’t see them canceling 60 percent of the holiday schedule this close in but anything is possible.
If I'm management and I had no other choice but to go back to reduced service, I would try my best to make sure passengers had the full experience. Dining cars on all trains and well as both flex and traditional dining. Passengers who book sleepers would get traditional dining. Flex meals would be available for coach passengers. If coach passengers want to order traditional dining, they should be prepared to pay a little more.

Do they have enough of the new viewliner sleeper cars to make sure that all of the eastern LD routes have them?
 

Barb Stout

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Triweekly supposed to start mid December and run at least through March. This is apparently set in stone and will not changed even if rates increase between now and then. A big problem is vaccination rates among OBS based out of Chicago. Word is that the trains that do run will be 14+ cars long to accommodate changing reservations
Could the lack of information from Amtrak itself be due to the AFGE (largest federal employee union) asking the White House to harmonize the vaccination deadlines between federal workers (Nov. 22) and federal contractors (Jan 4) in hopes of getting through the busy holiday time before laying unvaccinated people off?
 

niemi24s

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And, FWIW, the CZ is currently bookable every day from 16 through 22 Jan 2022.

Does this simply mean CACharger's dire prediction has yet to be implemented? Or, does it mean something else?

Stay tuned boys and girls! :)
 

jis

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In general I think it is a reasonable expectation that if you want to share a piece of earthshaking news you should be in a position to cite a credible source, somewhat more specific than "top". If you cannot for fear of losing your job, then it is better not to share your earthshaking insight. Just IMHO of course.

If the alleged earthshaking thing actually happens, it will, regardless of whether you attempted to get a feather in your cap by leaking a bit of it or not, and if it does not, it still won't. I know the urge to share things you are not supposed to share can be strong just to feel a bit more powerful, even I have done so a few times in the past.
 

MikefromCrete

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Let us not forget the "in the know" types who assured us that the LSL would begin running via Michigan as soon as possible. It never happened.

Now, some reduction in service may happen due to crew shortages. After all, airlines have been canceling hundreds of flights every day, but it sure doesn't seem like it going to happen next week.
 

jis

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Let us not forget the "in the know" types who assured us that the LSL would begin running via Michigan as soon as possible. It never happened.
That time they even proceeded to share a timetable which was provably physically impossible given the physical distances and the prevalent speed limits under which such a train would operate. That was kind of fun to watch unfold. :D

All these at the end of the day are "Que Sera Sera", 🤷‍♂️ specially given that Amtrak management does have a penchant of screwing up spectacularly where convenience of customers is concerned, and that too, completely unprovoked.
 
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CACharger262

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I understand everyone's skepticism, its more than fair. I only share this information because others on this site have posted useful information over the last several years, and I wished to contribute what I heard. Trust me, if none of this comes to pass I will be cheering right along side you folks because this directly affects myself and the people I work with. I want these things to be wrong. If this does happen, in some way shape or form, for those that had planned LD trips in the next several months, I wished to give them a heads up in case plans needed to be changed. Inducing panic is not my goal, I just wish to warn of the worst case scenarios actively being planned.

Amtrak has a long history of doing things that seemingly lack common sense, don't add up, or are seen as a straight up slap to the face to its paying customers. The money from the Infrastructure bill and verbal commitment to LD service and investment into new equipment/passenger amenities is a great start in the right direction, so I hope they do not take this step backwards, temporary or not.
 
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PaTrainFan

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Here, from Railway Age, is a provision in the infratsruture bill on reductions of service:

Section 22210 is headlined “Protecting Amtrak Routes Through Rural Communities” and essentially reaffirms prior policy. It says: “Discontinuance or Substantial Alteration of Long-distance Routes: Except as provided in subsection (c), in an emergency, or during maintenance or construction outages impacting Amtrak routes, Amtrak may not discontinue, reduce the frequency of, suspend, or substantially alter the route of rail service on any segment of any long-distance route in any fiscal year in which Amtrak receives adequate Federal funding for such route on the National Network.” This is essentially the established policy, but a new provision, §22210(d), requires 210 days’ notice to members of Congress who represent states or districts where the discontinuance would occur. Presumably this provision was added to prevent another sudden service reduction, like the cut in long-distance service to tri-weekly that began last October and lasted until the beginning of this past summer.

I suppose they can try to claim maintenance outages due to lack of staffing in their maintenance facilities but I am not sure how they can get away with reducing trains to tri weekly under this law, especially without adequate notice to members of Congress.
 

Tlcooper93

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Here, from Railway Age, is a provision in the infratsruture bill on reductions of service:

Section 22210 is headlined “Protecting Amtrak Routes Through Rural Communities” and essentially reaffirms prior policy. It says: “Discontinuance or Substantial Alteration of Long-distance Routes: Except as provided in subsection (c), in an emergency, or during maintenance or construction outages impacting Amtrak routes, Amtrak may not discontinue, reduce the frequency of, suspend, or substantially alter the route of rail service on any segment of any long-distance route in any fiscal year in which Amtrak receives adequate Federal funding for such route on the National Network.” This is essentially the established policy, but a new provision, §22210(d), requires 210 days’ notice to members of Congress who represent states or districts where the discontinuance would occur. Presumably this provision was added to prevent another sudden service reduction, like the cut in long-distance service to tri-weekly that began last October and lasted until the beginning of this past summer.

I suppose they can try to claim maintenance outages due to lack of staffing in their maintenance facilities but I am not sure how they can get away with reducing trains to tri weekly under this law, especially without adequate notice to members of Congress.
just finished reading the railway age article myself and though this was worth sharing, but you beat me to it!

it will be a real shame if this occurs. My Zephyr trip around the holidays will surely be affected.

That said, I don’t think it is unreasonable to think these people perpetuating these rumors could be right.
Amtrak has done it before, and perhaps the only reason they haven’t announced this yet is because the new language in the bill may be preventing them from doing said desired reductions in service.
 

lordsigma

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If they have to reduce service due to staff they have to reduce service due to staff. It doesn't matter what the law says. Let's say hypothetically they lose a bunch of people due to vaccine mandates. If they don't have the staff to run the trains they can't run them.
 

John Santos

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If they have to reduce service due to staff they have to reduce service due to staff. It doesn't matter what the law says. Let's say hypothetically they lose a bunch of people due to vaccine mandates. If they don't have the staff to run the trains they can't run them.
The unstated assumption here is that a significant portion of the onboard staff (like 50%) is NOT vaccinated. What the ????? I certainly would not want to be stuck on a train with ANY unvaccinated staff, let alone 50%!
 

jis

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The unstated assumption here is that a significant portion of the onboard staff (like 50%) is NOT vaccinated. What the ????? I certainly would not want to be stuck on a train with ANY unvaccinated staff, let alone 50%!
This is what I was thinking. In the interest of transparency Amtrak management needs to let its customers know what proportion of its customer facing employees are vaccinated so that potential customers can make an informed decision about whether they wish to continue to be customers.

For example if the number is truly only 50% I guess I will be seriously considering canceling my planned trip(s) and flying instead. It would be nice to know.
 

John Santos

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This is what I was thinking. In the interest of transparency Amtrak management needs to let its customers know what proportion of its customer facing employees are vaccinated so that potential customers can make an informed decision about whether they wish to continue to be customers.

For example if the number is truly only 50% I guess I will be seriously considering canceling my planned trip(s) and flying instead. It would be nice to know.
Yes, and if the number is actually 90% or more, that would not justify a 50% cut in service.
 

Seaboard92

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This is what I was thinking. In the interest of transparency Amtrak management needs to let its customers know what proportion of its customer facing employees are vaccinated so that potential customers can make an informed decision about whether they wish to continue to be customers.

For example if the number is truly only 50% I guess I will be seriously considering canceling my planned trip(s) and flying instead. It would be nice to know.
You probably don't want to fly either. I can think of a lot of FAs out there that are refusing to get the vaccine. And some of them are really strict on the mask ordinance which makes it quite interesting in of itself. And the pilots are even worse on the vaccine rate.
 

jis

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You probably don't want to fly either. I can think of a lot of FAs out there that are refusing to get the vaccine. And some of them are really strict on the mask ordinance which makes it quite interesting in of itself. And the pilots are even worse on the vaccine rate.
It is possible that there are specific poorly managed airlines that I might wish to avoid. I have not heard of any airline where the vaccination rate is 50%. If your airline is there, and is actually letting such FAs fly in commercial flights, let us know. I will not fly them as you suggest.

So far I can generally get the information on an airlines crew policy from the airline if I ask. All that I am suggesting is Amtrak should do so too.
 

fillyjonk

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Wait, that news release is from 2020? So the Texas Eagle ISN'T going back to 3 days a week with no warning to passengers with tickets?

I have a trip this week on the TE, and one for Dec. 15. I missed ALL the holidays with relatives (mainly: my 85 year old mother) last year, will be deeply frustrated if that happens again (I am not comfortable with the idea of traveling coach during a pandemic; I have a roommette for both scheduled trips)
 

Chris I

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You probably don't want to fly either. I can think of a lot of FAs out there that are refusing to get the vaccine. And some of them are really strict on the mask ordinance which makes it quite interesting in of itself. And the pilots are even worse on the vaccine rate.
Which airline? Of those that have reported numbers, vaccination rates are 90%+.

United is at 99.5% with 3% exemptions:

Delta was at 90%+ a month ago:
 

Just-Thinking-51

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Wait, that news release is from 2020? So the Texas Eagle ISN'T going back to 3 days a week with no warning to passengers with tickets?

I have a trip this week on the TE, and one for Dec. 15. I missed ALL the holidays with relatives (mainly: my 85 year old mother) last year, will be deeply frustrated if that happens again (I am not comfortable with the idea of traveling coach during a pandemic; I have a roommette for both scheduled trips)
It’s a just a railroad rumor. That is getting out of hand like all railroad rumors do.

Enjoy your trip.
 
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