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Amtrak Service Reductions

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Joined
Apr 27, 2009
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7
They‘be been “looking into” lots of things for a long time. There were/are no concrete plans in place to increase service on any long-distance route, nor to add any route that wasn’t being sponsored by a state. Lots of studies, lots of ideas. None of them in the past two decades have progressed to the point of actually happening.
I will take the articles word over yours.
 

me_little_me

Conductor
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Jul 16, 2010
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I will take the articles word over yours.
Which of Trogodor's words?

"There were/are no concrete plans in place to increase service on any long-distance route, nor to add any route that wasn’t being sponsored by a state."

Since the term "concrete plans" is open to interpretation, you may consider that anything to be started in 2021 e.g. could already be set in concrete for next year but I, for one, would not be so sure even if there were no Covid and I'd view the concreteness with a LOT of skepticism but with some faint ray of hope.

"None of them in the past two decades have progressed to the point of actually happening."

I'll agree with you here if you can mention some unless, of course, what you consider an increase, differs from mine. After all, Amtrak considers "flex dining" to be an improvement but not everyone seems to agree.
 

Trogdor

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"None of them in the past two decades have progressed to the point of actually happening."

I'll agree with you here if you can mention some unless, of course, what you consider an increase, differs from mine. After all, Amtrak considers "flex dining" to be an improvement but not everyone seems to agree.
I was referring to new routes/frequency increases on long-distance routes (thought that was obvious). Since the extension of the Pennsylvanian and introduction of the Kentucky Cardinal circa 2000, nothing has happened to add a route or increase frequency, despite many “studies” on things such as the daily Sunset, daily Cardinal, North Coast Hiawatha, restoring the Pioneer, restoring service to Las Vegas, extending the Kentucky Cardinal (instead it got cut back), through cars Capitol Limited-Pennsylvanian, Crescent Star to Fort Worth. There have been countless ideas and studies, some more formal than others. None of them have resulted in a single extra mile of long-distance service.

Now I suppose technically one might consider extending the Cardinal to NYP as an LD route increase, but that didn’t add any new network mileage, and was really done for the operational convenience of rotating Viewliners through NYP after the route lost Superliners more than anything else.
 

Exvalley

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I am by no means an expert, but my understanding is that the federal government has given money to the leading vaccine manufacturers in order to ramp up production so that a supply is available as soon as their vaccine is approved. Private companies don't generally do this because they can wind up throwing out a ton of vaccines if they don't obtain approval, but the government has taken on this financial risk so that a supply will be immediately available. That said, the most at-risk will get the vaccine first. It will still take time to get it out to everyone.
 

brianpmcdonnell17

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Interestingly, the reservation system is now blocking off new reservations on certain days starting October 1st in sleeping cars, but coach seats are still available. Not all routes are modified yet in the system but I've started to go through and figure out the new schedule assuming that is the reason for the lack of sleeper space in the system.

The CL and LSL would arrive Chicago on Monday, Thursday, and Saturday. These are also the same days the Cardinal arrives in Chicago.

The CZ would leave Chicago on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday, meaning same-day connections two days per week.

The TE would leave Chicago on Sunday, Tuesday, and Friday, allowing continued tri-weekly thru-service to Los Angeles but eliminating same-day connections from the East Coast.


The CL and LSL would also leave Chicago on Monday, Thursday, and Saturday. For reference, the Cardinal leaves on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

The CZ would arrive on Monday, Thursday, and Saturday, meaning same-day connections to the CL and LSL tri-weekly and two weekly connections to the Cardinal.

The TE would arrive Chicago on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday, which preserves thru-service from Los Angeles and allows for two weekly connections to the LSL and CL but only one for the Cardinal.

I will update this list as the reservation system is changed.
 

brianpmcdonnell17

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The SWC and EB appear to both arrive and depart Chicago on Monday, Thursday, and Saturday. This would allow tri-weekly connections from both trains in both connections to the LSL and CL. Three weekly connections would also be available from the Cardinal westbound, with two being available eastbound.

The SWC to CZ connection at Galesburg would be available bi-weekly. The CZ to SWC connection would be available tri-weekly.

The TE to SWC connection via St. Louis and Kansas City would be available bi-weekly, but the reverse would no longer have any same-day connections.
 

brianpmcdonnell17

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The updated CL schedule would connect once per week to the SM and twice per week to the SS. Do the lack of a guaranteed connection from the SS to the CL or LSL, there would only be one weekly connection from the SM to the CL and LSL for the Florida to Midwest market.

The Crescent appears to depart the NEC on Sunday, Tuesday, and Friday. This would allow tri-weekly connections from the CL and two weekly connections from the Cardinal.

In the opposite direction, the Crescent would arrive the NEC on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. This would allow bi-weekly connections to both the CL and Cardinal.

One night connections from the SL to Crescent would be lost in both directions.
 

brianpmcdonnell17

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The CS would depart Los Angeles on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. This would allow for tri-weekly connections from the SL and two weekly connections from the SWC. In addition, tri-weekly connections would be maintained from the CZ to northbound CS and from the northbound CS to the EB at Portland.

The southbound CS would arrive Los Angeles on Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday. This would maintain only one weekly connection to the SL. Two weekly connections would be available from the southbound CS to eastbound CZ and tri-weekly connections would be available from the EB to southbound CS.

As of the time it this post, changes are not yet visible in the reservation system for the CONO or Palmetto.
 
Joined
Mar 23, 2020
Messages
11
I'm looking at train schedules for the Southwest Chief and trains are already sold out. I think this means Amtrak is moving forward with the tri-weekly trains.
Notice how on Sunday, Tuesday, and Friday (Days With 421) the Chief is Sold Out
You can only buy tickets on three days a week for the Chief. Wednesday, no trains avalible.
Screen Shot 2020-08-13 at 11.23.39 AM.pngScreen Shot 2020-08-13 at 11.23.46 AM.png
 
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FrensicPic

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As I noted on your Facebook post, interesting that Coach still shows fares (not "sold out") vs sleeper. Perhaps the next step of implementation on the website coach will also show sold out.

Related/not related? - AmSnag has been Unable to retrieve Fare Page for the past few days.
 

brianpmcdonnell17

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I added a few posts to the Service Reductions thread that describe the changes; those probably belong in the same thread as this. As to only blocking sleeper sales, maybe this is a way of proving that the changes are for real while not officially canceling anything in the hope that Congress will come through with funding. It may also be that there is concern there would not be sufficient sleeper capacity to change everyone onto the new schedule if bookings continued but there is still spare capacity in coach.

MODERATOR NOTE: The 2 Service Reductions threads have been merged
 
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mitako

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May 21, 2018
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73
The CS would depart Los Angeles on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. This would allow for tri-weekly connections from the SL and two weekly connections from the SWC. In addition, tri-weekly connections would be maintained from the CZ to northbound CS and from the northbound CS to the EB at Portland.

The southbound CS would arrive Los Angeles on Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday. This would maintain only one weekly connection to the SL. Two weekly connections would be available from the southbound CS to eastbound CZ and tri-weekly connections would be available from the EB to southbound CS.

As of the time it this post, changes are not yet visible in the reservation system for the CONO or Palmetto.
I'm assuming that the departure/arrival times are staying the same? Or are those being tweaked to create safer connections between routes?
 

lordsigma

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From Trains Magazine:


Amazingly my cross country trip survived the cut my reservation days all check out except for one - just have to change the day I leave SPG on the LSL so I either have to spend two nights in CHI or do a same day connection going out.
 

NativeSon5859

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There goes the overnight NOL connection between the Sunset and Crescent. It's a shame, really, because if the SL schedule could have been amended, you could have had SAME DAY connections for city pairs like ATL-HOU, ATL-SAS, ATL-LAX, BHM-HOU, CLT-HOU, etc. But instead of taking advantage of the geographic strong points of the network, the opposite happens. Can't say I'm surprised.
 

rtabern

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Is it me... or could have a toddler come up with a better schedule? Unless I am reading this wrong... a conductor out of Chicago on the EB would sit in Winona, MN for Mon, Tue, and Wed night. Because when they arrive on 7 at 8pm on Monday night. The next possible train home would be 8 around 10am on Thursday. Same deal on 3 with Fort Madison and Kansas City. ***. So either crews get 3 nights sitting on the company dime or hundreds of dollars are poured out for vans back to Chicago from remote places. The unions and crew bases must be flipping out tonight.
 

brianpmcdonnell17

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Is it me... or could have a toddler come up with a better schedule? Unless I am reading this wrong... a conductor out of Chicago on the EB would sit in Winona, MN for Mon, Tue, and Wed night. Because when they arrive on 7 at 8pm on Monday night. The next possible train home would be 8 around 10am on Thursday. Same deal on 3 with Fort Madison and Kansas City. ***. So either crews get 3 nights sitting on the company dime or hundreds of dollars are poured out for vans back to Chicago from remote places. The unions and crew bases must be flipping out tonight.
It seems to prioritize maintaining connections over all else. I didn't look at it from a crew perspective but it also makes little sense to me that there are 9 weekly departures from the NEC to Chicago which all occur on the same 3 days. For the Cleveland to Chicago portion, there are 6 weekly departures which are on the same 3 days only an hour apart from one another.
 

bms

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Cleveland
It seems to prioritize maintaining connections over all else. I didn't look at it from a crew perspective but it also makes little sense to me that there are 9 weekly departures from the NEC to Chicago which all occur on the same 3 days. For the Cleveland to Chicago portion, there are 6 weekly departures which are on the same 3 days only an hour apart from one another.
Cleveland has already lost its twice-daily Megabus service to Chicago, meaning the only daily transportation options will be Greyhound and air travel - both of which have cut their schedules drastically and do not guarantee two seats to a single traveler. I would expect the Greyhound buses to be packed on days Amtrak doesn't run, leading to interstate spread of Covid-19. The decision-makers who created this situation may care, but do not truly feel its effects as they are all affluent enough to own cars.
 

Ollie12

Train Attendant
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Jul 24, 2020
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Melbourne, Australia
Not sure if everyone has seen this but it looks like Amtrak have decided the timetable from October when long distance trains are reduced to thrice weekly.
Most connections are maintained but the east coast to Chicago suffers with all three trains (other than one Chicago - NY Cardinal) operating on the same days...

TrainReview
 

Sidney

Train Attendant
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Jul 12, 2020
Messages
81
A schizophrenic schedule. If you are traveling from Chicago to LA the Eagle/Sunset and the Chief alternative days. The only off day is Wednesday,but you can take the Zephyr to Sacramento and a San Joaquin and bus to LA. Of course this scenario is fine if that's the city pair you choose. Every other stop,save Galesburg is three days a week.

Unless you are a train buff and enjoy sorting out connections and days,most average people won't have the time and patience to work out a schedule that will fit their needs.
 

railiner

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Is it me... or could have a toddler come up with a better schedule? Unless I am reading this wrong... a conductor out of Chicago on the EB would sit in Winona, MN for Mon, Tue, and Wed night. Because when they arrive on 7 at 8pm on Monday night. The next possible train home would be 8 around 10am on Thursday. Same deal on 3 with Fort Madison and Kansas City. ***. So either crews get 3 nights sitting on the company dime or hundreds of dollars are poured out for vans back to Chicago from remote places. The unions and crew bases must be flipping out tonight.
Like any other changes and upheaval's in service, while many are hurt by it, there are always a few that realize an unexpected benefit. Such can be the case, if say a crew member lives at or close to the 'away' end of his run, and normally 'commutes' to work....
I haven't looked at any of the specific's of the new schedule, but wondering if Amtrak could 'flip' the home terminal to result in shorter layover's? Of course, that would probably be too disruptive for the majority of the crew's, who already have home and roots in the current home terminal's, not to mention the logistic's of moving a crew base....so probably not a good idea.
 

Exvalley

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This is the schedule for my trip in late October:
Fly to Boston on Saturday morning
Boston-Chicago on the LSL: Saturday
Chicago-New Orleans on the CONO: Tuesday (8:05 PM)
Fly home from New Orleans: Friday

I honestly cannot figure out how to make this work with the new timetable. This is because I have meetings in Chicago all day on Monday and Tuesday. Plus... I have to make it work with the airfare that I have booked.
 
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