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Amtrak Service Reductions

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neroden

Conductor
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
7,821
Location
Ithaca, NY
I think that it sometimes takes awhile for a person in Mr. Flynn's position to learn who is giving him the "straight scoop" and who is providing a view more in line with that individual's agenda.
Agreed, I've seen that a lot.

The demand destruction is real: every railfan group I've been in has people coming and saying "Has Amtrak stopped service betweeen Chicago and NY? Has Amtrak stopped service between Chicago and Denver? " etc. because they tried to book and found no trains on the day they picked.

Those who don't bother to join a railfan group will simply leave assuming there is no train service, and that's the end, they won't travel again. Customer lost for years or possibly forever. I'm seeing several per week in every railfan group -- how many customers are being bled out by this idiotic three-a-week nonsense?

It's pretty clear it's going to be more dollars lost than the "cost savings" (which have been documented to verge on the nonexistent). It doesn't take a rocket scientist to calculate what the effect is going to be.

I'm a reasonable person. Vermont decided to completely suspend the trains in Vermont. This actually *does* save money (which the three-a-week nonsense does not). It is also clear and comprehensible. When they restart service, they will make a big "we're back" announcement, and riders will come back. In fact, if Amtrak had done that nationally, I wouldn't like it, but I'd accept it.

But three-a-week is garbage. It drives away even customers who *can* plan their schedules around the three-a-week schedule, because they *expect* a daily train and when they don't find a train on the first day they pick, they assume there's no train at all. And Amtrak has not publicized the schedule.

These trains are going to run empty because only those "in the know" will even realize that they're running. This is sabotage by Amtrak management (probably Gardner).
 

Amtrak_Carolinian_2020

Train Attendant
Joined
Jan 14, 2020
Messages
21
Any idea when the business class car and the baggage car will return to the Carolinian? The Palmetto, for example, has restored its standard trainset with the business class car and baggage car for quite some time since COVID related trainset reductions began, but the Carolinian is still at 5 coaches and 1 cafe car. Any idea when the Carolinian will restore its standard trainset?
 

John Bobinyec

Conductor
Joined
Sep 18, 2009
Messages
1,766
Location
CYN
I can't tell you when, only what I was told about what happened.

The Carolinian is a state sponsored train from Charlotte to Washington. In order to save money, NCDOT decided with Amtrak to remove the baggage car. I can't say about the business class car. Since October starts a new fiscal year, perhaps those cars will return, if NCDOT can find some money.

jb
 

Steve4031

Conductor
AU Supporter
Joined
Aug 27, 2002
Messages
5,819
Location
Chicago
I just tried booking 4 possible departures for Saturday returning to Chicago from Salt Lake City, Albuquerque, San Antonio and Boston on 10/17. Not one was available because none of the trains departed from those cities on those days. This is a bunch of horse ****.
 

FrensicPic

Conductor
Joined
Jan 15, 2012
Messages
3,031
Location
LAX
I just tried booking 4 possible departures for Saturday returning to Chicago from Salt Lake City, Albuquerque, San Antonio and Boston on 10/17. Not one was available because none of the trains departed from those cities on those days. This is a bunch of horse ****.
You now have to build your travel around Amtrak's "schedule" instead of the other way around!
 

me_little_me

Conductor
Joined
Jul 16, 2010
Messages
3,267
I just tried booking 4 possible departures for Saturday returning to Chicago from Salt Lake City, Albuquerque, San Antonio and Boston on 10/17. Not one was available because none of the trains departed from those cities on those days. This is a bunch of horse ****.
Does it offer you alternate days? If not, they need to have their heads examined.
 

Sidney

Train Attendant
Joined
Jul 12, 2020
Messages
66
Now you have to book according to Amtrak's schedule instead of booking on your schedule. If you want to go from Chicago to LA or New York to Miami you can still book everyday. It's the stops inbetween that you have to see which days Amtrak stops. Most people are not going to be bothered to figure out a schedule for themselves. Flexibility(like the food).

Again,how is this tri weekly schedule supposed to increase ridership,?
 

nti1094

Train Attendant
Joined
Apr 9, 2015
Messages
75
Or worse, you have a booking you are attempting that involves a connection. I often (once a month or two)travel NYC to Memphis, but after October this is not possible to book in the app. There is no longer a same day connection in Chicago. That alone is problematic, but the thing is I would have to book two iteneraries knowing the days service runs. Most people would just give up after inputting a few days and never getting a valid itenerary in the app.

Agreed, I've seen that a lot.

The demand destruction is real: every railfan group I've been in has people coming and saying "Has Amtrak stopped service betweeen Chicago and NY? Has Amtrak stopped service between Chicago and Denver? " etc. because they tried to book and found no trains on the day they picked.

Those who don't bother to join a railfan group will simply leave assuming there is no train service, and that's the end, they won't travel again. Customer lost for years or possibly forever. I'm seeing several per week in every railfan group -- how many customers are being bled out by this idiotic three-a-week nonsense?

It's pretty clear it's going to be more dollars lost than the "cost savings" (which have been documented to verge on the nonexistent). It doesn't take a rocket scientist to calculate what the effect is going to be.

I'm a reasonable person. Vermont decided to completely suspend the trains in Vermont. This actually *does* save money (which the three-a-week nonsense does not). It is also clear and comprehensible. When they restart service, they will make a big "we're back" announcement, and riders will come back. In fact, if Amtrak had done that nationally, I wouldn't like it, but I'd accept it.

But three-a-week is garbage. It drives away even customers who *can* plan their schedules around the three-a-week schedule, because they *expect* a daily train and when they don't find a train on the first day they pick, they assume there's no train at all. And Amtrak has not publicized the schedule.

These trains are going to run empty because only those "in the know" will even realize that they're running. This is sabotage by Amtrak management (probably Gardner).
 

Palmetto

Conductor
Joined
May 12, 2014
Messages
2,037
Location
Miami
Now you have to book according to Amtrak's schedule instead of booking on your schedule. If you want to go from Chicago to LA or New York to Miami you can still book everyday. It's the stops inbetween that you have to see which days Amtrak stops. Most people are not going to be bothered to figure out a schedule for themselves. Flexibility(like the food).

Again,how is this tri weekly schedule supposed to increase ridership,?
It's not. Apparently, just the opposite is occuring, which some would hold was the "grand plan" in the first place. I'm not one of them.
 

jis

Conductor
AU Lifetime Supporter
Gathering Team Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2003
Messages
25,876
Location
Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
I think Amtrak's website has become pretty much unusable, specially with this tri-weekly service stuff, since the website does not provide a calendar view of which days service is available (unless of course I completely missed it somehow). You just have to try every day of the week to first discover what days things run, unless you by chance find the well hidden document that provides that information.

heck, even the worst airlines in the world are able to provide a calendar view of service availability including different fares available on each day. But not Amtrak. It is still trying to get into the 21st centurky while apparently regressing in actuality towards the 19th century. :(
 

Qapla

Conductor
Joined
Jul 15, 2019
Messages
1,220
Location
Gator Country Florida
The AirB&B app has unavailable days blocked/grayed out ... seems Amtrak could do the same with their app - simply gray out the days a particular train does not run once you have selected the origin station (like the auto part sites do once you select year and/or make ... they then give a list of only the models available)
 

bms

Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 29, 2018
Messages
122
Location
Cleveland
They have an alternate reservation system that does suggest another travel date:



I found that when I searched for a train from CLE to ACY on the regular site. It directed me to that alternate site because the reservation includes a NJ Transit train.
 

Qapla

Conductor
Joined
Jul 15, 2019
Messages
1,220
Location
Gator Country Florida
That's their old site/interface - the one they took away for this "better" site/interface

OK - I looked at a trip from JAX to CHI on Oct 9 - leaving Jax on a Friday

It says there is no train available and gave me the "the next available day" - Oct 13 :oops: So, I can't take a train to travel over the weekend??? I would have to wait until the following Tuesday??? 😲 And they think ridership will increase??? 😥
 
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brianpmcdonnell17

Conductor
Joined
Mar 5, 2016
Messages
1,395
Location
Chicago, Illinois
That's their old site/interface - the one they took away for this "better" site/interface

OK - I looked at a trip from JAX to CHI on Oct 9 - leaving Jax on a Friday

It says there is no train available and gave me the "the next available day" - Oct 13 :oops: So, I can't take a train to travel over the weekend??? I would have to wait until the following Tuesday??? 😲 And they think ridership will increase??? 😥
With the new schedules, Tuesday is the only option from Florida to Chicago (or points west of there). There are only three days with service from the NEC to Chicago and two of those are on SS days, which doesn't have a guaranteed connection to Chicago.
 

Qapla

Conductor
Joined
Jul 15, 2019
Messages
1,220
Location
Gator Country Florida
With the new schedules, Tuesday is the only option from Florida to Chicago (or points west of there)
I know. That is the point. How do they expect bookings to increase when availability is so poor? Even though they say it is 3x weekly service and that Florida still has daily service with both Silvers running - that is not reality. As can be seen in this example - it is really only 1 day a week service.

Sad - Indeed!
 

brianpmcdonnell17

Conductor
Joined
Mar 5, 2016
Messages
1,395
Location
Chicago, Illinois
For anyone struggling to figure out connections, I made a Google Doc with the scheduled dates for each LD train at connection points. I also made bulleted lists of every current LD to LD connection that will become available on fewer than three days per week.

 
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dlagrua

Conductor
Joined
Nov 24, 2009
Messages
3,140
Location
Hillsborough, NJ
This three day schedule is really a very bad thing for Amtrak as ridership will decline. We can only hope that congress intervenes but Oct 1st is now around the corner.
 

jruff001

Train Attendant
Joined
Jan 23, 2020
Messages
98
And they think ridership will increase??? 😥
Amtrak has never suggested reducing the schedule will increase ridership. They are primarily to reduce costs; and also to better match the drastically-reduced Covid ridership levels.

(I don't want to spark a re-hash of the extensive prior arguments about the reductions. I only want to point out the purpose and expected result is not to increase ridership, which has been mentioned twice now.)
 

jis

Conductor
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Messages
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Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
Amtrak has never suggested reducing the schedule will increase ridership. They are primarily to reduce costs; and also to better match the drastically-reduced Covid ridership levels.
It is to reduce current net cash outflow, even at the cost of having a negative impact on the financial account for the year since it is cash on hand that Amtrak is at the risk of running out of. And without cash to pay the bills there will be shutdown with really bad consequences. Now, whether this achieves that is a separate matter.
 
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jruff001

Train Attendant
Joined
Jan 23, 2020
Messages
98
It is to reduce current net cash outflow, even at the cost of having a negative impact on the financial account for the year since ot os cash on hand that Amtrak is at the risk of running out of. And without cash to pay the bills there will be shutdown with really bad consequences.
Yes, thank you. I was trying to keep it short but this captures it more fully.
 

41bridge

Train Attendant
Joined
Feb 9, 2016
Messages
18
For anyone struggling to figure out connections, I made a Google Doc with the scheduled dates for each LD train at connection points. I also made bulleted lists of every current LD to LD connection that will become available on fewer than three days per week.

[/QUOT

Better check your work at Cleveland. 2 columns for 29; none for 49.
 
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