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Amtrak's 50th Year Message - "New Year, New Enhancements"

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20th Century Rider

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Just received a really hopeful and positive message from Amtrak boasting it's 50th year, and showing a picture of the new Acela. My personal inclination is to be very positive and hopeful as an Amtrak passenger. We are tackling the pandemic and the economy... and we have a president who is pro-Amtrak. Earlier I had posted a thread... looking ahead the next three years. Perhaps that thread could be merged with this.

But any positive news from Amtrak certainly builds momentum for the future of Rail travel in America! Below is the message from Bill Flynn...

Dear [passengers],
Although 2020 wasn't the year we planned for, we're more excited than ever to welcome 2021 and share all the great enhancements we have planned for you.
This year celebrates 50 years of Amtrak®.
For five decades, Amtrak has helped connect America by transforming a classic form of transportation. We look forward to the next 50 years and beyond of providing you with a safe, efficient and reliable travel experience.
Along with our continued commitment to safety and delivering a New Standard of Travel, here are few more things you can look forward to this year:
Moynihan Train Hall is now open.
Located across from New York Penn Station at 8th Avenue in the historic James A. Farley Post Office Building, this new train hall is designed to relieve crowding and improve passenger comfort and security. Other improvements include reserved waiting rooms with restrooms, a skylit boarding concourse, and premium retail and food shops. The new and improved Metropolitan Lounge® is also open and offers a business center, private restrooms, complimentary WiFi, a spacious balcony overlooking the train hall and more. Take a virtual tour.
We continue our efforts in sustainable travel.
As we look to the future, sustainability remains a key focus. Riding on Amtrak is 47% more energy efficient than traveling by car and 33% more efficient than domestic air travel. Together, we will play an important role in contributing to a sustainable future.
The debut of our new Acela® fleet.
Later in 2021, we will be introducing our new, state-of-the-art, high-speed Acela trainsets. These new trainsets will redefine the customer experience on Amtrak's Northeast Corridor by providing world-class accommodations and amenities, contactless features and an even more comfortable ride.
As we continue to look ahead, we're excited to travel forward, together. That means taking you to new places, as well as providing you with improved accommodations and better experiences on board and in our stations.
I want to thank you for choosing Amtrak. We look forward to seeing you on board soon.
Sincerely,
Bill Flynn

mail-1.jpg
 

20th Century Rider

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Not a single word about LD trains! That is disappointing!
But he did mention 'sustainable travel.' The travel industry will be closely tied to environmental concerns... and if... as mentioned many times on this forum... metro areas build up their mass transit systems linking with LD rail there is very much a hope for LD travel to continue in America.

There is another part of this story... states that depend on LD service will be campaigning vigorously at any threat of eliminating what they see as a vital link for their communities. And even with that... there may be changes in LD.

Here is an interesting opinion on LD travel evolution:

 

Devil's Advocate

Sarcastic Misanthrope
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The words Metropolitan and Lounge naturally go together in the English language. Usually you can’t trademark something like that unless it has unique spelling, font, etc.
I'm unaware of another entity choosing this combination of words and Amtrak has three decades of uncontested use in their favor at this point. So long as NRPC actively defends the mark against use by others it's theirs their keep.

Not a single word about LD trains! That is disappointing!
Agreed. On the other hand it's still very early in the new admin and MM is already holding things up over power sharing strategy so it's unsurprising LD service has little in the way of positive news. Hopefully this changes over time.
 

flitcraft

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 10, 2018
Messages
749
The words Metropolitan and Lounge naturally go together in the English language. Usually you can’t trademark something like that unless it has unique spelling, font, etc.
Not quite...the restriction on trademarking a phrase is that it cannot be a purely generic descriptor of the good or service. So, you couldn't trademark the phrase 'waiting room,' since it is a commonly used generic description. One test that is used these days in the trademark biz is to do a Google search for the term and see how often it turns up referring to something other than your product. "Metropolitan lounge" has only about 28,000 google-hits, and scrolling through them for a number of pages returned only hits referencing Amtrak's lounges.

One sidenote: a trademark only protects you from commercial uses that could cause customer confusion as to the source of the product or dilution of the brand's reputation. So, a manufacturer of bags and luggage called one of its briefcases the Empire Builder, and another the Zephyr. (Full disclosure--I happen to own the Empire Builder.) I wondered if this would be a trademark violation, and was told by a colleague who teaches IP that it would not unless a consumer might erroneously believe that Amtrak was in the luggage business.
 

caravanman

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Nottingham, England.
"Reserved waiting rooms with restrooms" and "Metropolitan Lounge with private restrooms" Any facilities for Joe Public? Guess I am showing my age now... ;)
 

20th Century Rider

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"Reserved waiting rooms with restrooms" and "Metropolitan Lounge with private restrooms" Any facilities for Joe Public? Guess I am showing my age now... ;)
Hi Friend! 20th Century Rider here... I can tell you that the facilities in the Metropolitan Lounge Chicago has a private room for handicapped and families... I use it too and can because that privilege comes with being 60's and 70's seniors. In fact I avail myself to such facilities in all Amtrak lounges that have them. I would think the new lounge at NYP has them too.

 

Devil's Advocate

Sarcastic Misanthrope
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Hi Friend! 20th Century Rider here... I can tell you that the facilities in the Metropolitan Lounge Chicago has a private room for handicapped and families... I use it too and can because that privilege comes with being 60's and 70's seniors. In fact I avail myself to such facilities in all Amtrak lounges that have them. I would think the new lounge at NYP has them too.
You don't first need access to the Metropolitan Lounge to use the restrooms? Is it part of the ADA that private lounges are forced to allow anyone who asks to use them? I only mention this because I don't think Caravanman's MO includes travel in fancy class or lounge membership. He's really more of a Mark Twain everyman type in that regard. :)
 
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20th Century Rider

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You don't first need access to the Metropolitan Lounge to use the restrooms? Is it part of the ADA that private lounges are forced to allow anyone who asks to use them? I only mention this because I don't think Caravanman's MO includes travel in fancy class or lounge membership. He's really more of a Mark Twain everyman type in that regard. :)
Perhaps we're talking about different things here. My remarks were regarding the allowance of senior citizens to use ADA restrooms in the Amtrak lounges after admittance. However an ADA statement regarding the use of accommodation in private clubs is posted below for your information.

I also want to separate myself from your comment regarding another AU'er. I do believe that AU recognizes the privacy of each member and we must all adhere to and be respectful of such. I personally am careful not to make judgements or conclusions on others' character or lifestyle... as should we all deliver that same high level of respect.

 

Devil's Advocate

Sarcastic Misanthrope
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I also want to separate myself from your comment regarding another AU'er. I do believe that AU recognizes the privacy of each member and we must all adhere to and be respectful of such. I personally am careful not to make judgements or conclusions on others' character or lifestyle... as should we all deliver that same high level of respect.
Caravanman has a long history of being unapologetic about his status as a man of the people rather than a member of some private lounge, hence his "Joe Public" remark. He has visited NYP and CUS in the past so I presume he already knows about access to public restrooms. I took his emoticon to mean he was poking fun at things, but I suppose it's possible I've misunderstood him in this case. Either way he's a pretty affable guy and not prone to taking offense. :)
 

crescent-zephyr

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Messages
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I think you can trademark it for a specific purpose.
Yeah it looks like it. I was just surprised to see they did. It seems like such a basic name... why bother?

Maybe I should complain about it being a waste of tax payers money!
 

John Bredin

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Maybe I'm missing something but why is Metropolitan Lounge a "basic name" or two words that "naturally go together"? Lounge is a basic descriptive word, but "metropolitan" applied to intercity trains is not in the least obvious to me. Did some pre-Amtrak railroad operate a Metropolitan Lounge and Amtrak bought or inherited the name? (Did any pre-Amtrak railroad or Pullman operate station lounges or clubs for Pullman, business class, or parlor car passengers?)
 

railiner

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Not sure, but IIRC, the term "Metropolitan Lounge" may have been a nod to the Metroliner trains that ran when they were created...
 

me_little_me

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Just received a really hopeful and positive message from Amtrak boasting it's 50th year, and showing a picture of the new Acela. My personal inclination is to be very positive and hopeful as an Amtrak passenger. We are tackling the pandemic and the economy... and we have a president who is pro-Amtrak. Earlier I had posted a thread... looking ahead the next three years. Perhaps that thread could be merged with this.

But any positive news from Amtrak certainly builds momentum for the future of Rail travel in America! Below is the message from Bill Flynn...
Dear [passengers],
Although 2020 wasn't the year we planned for, we're more excited than ever to welcome 2021 and share all the great enhancements we have planned for you.
Like the new bedding they promised a couple of years ago?

For five decades, Amtrak has helped connect America by transforming a classic form of transportation.
Correct. Lots of trains gone. LD is a skeleton of what they had. Classic food gone.

Moynihan Train Hall is now open.
Located across from New York Penn Station at 8th Avenue in the historic James A. Farley Post Office Building, this new train hall is designed to relieve crowding and improve passenger comfort and security. Other improvements include reserved waiting rooms with restrooms, a skylit boarding concourse, and premium retail and food shops. The new and improved Metropolitan Lounge® is also open and offers a business center, private restrooms, complimentary WiFi, a spacious balcony overlooking the train hall and more. Take a virtual tour.
Great if going into or leaving from Penn Station. But helps nowhere else. New York deserves it and some tunnel, bridge and track work but it wasn't Amtrak's doing.

The debut of our new Acela® fleet.
Later in 2021, we will be introducing our new, state-of-the-art, high-speed Acela trainsets. These new trainsets will redefine the customer experience on Amtrak's Northeast Corridor by providing world-class accommodations and amenities, contactless features and an even more comfortable ride.
For those that can afford Acela over the Regionals. Only the rich and company-paid riders can afford or justify the expense of more than a one-time trip on an Acela over a Regional. On the other hand, look how long between when new sleepers were accepted and they started using them? And there are no plans revealed or proposed by Amtrak for the worn-out Superliners.

As we continue to look ahead, we're excited to travel forward, together. That means taking you to new places, as well as providing you with improved accommodations and better experiences on board and in our stations.
New places? Possibly some day we'll have NOL to Florida, Atlanta to Nashville, Chicago to Florida via Atlanta, more Auto Trains, daily service on Sunset Limited, daytime Cincinnati to Chicago, faster running trains on L.D. lines, more promised intercity service, etc, etc. Don't hold your breath too long.

More sincerely than you, Flynn,

Your Loyal Customers
 

Willbridge

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Maybe I'm missing something but why is Metropolitan Lounge a "basic name" or two words that "naturally go together"? Lounge is a basic descriptive word, but "metropolitan" applied to intercity trains is not in the least obvious to me. Did some pre-Amtrak railroad operate a Metropolitan Lounge and Amtrak bought or inherited the name? (Did any pre-Amtrak railroad or Pullman operate station lounges or clubs for Pullman, business class, or parlor car passengers?)
Based on my on-the-scene recollections a private waiting area was not needed because a hefty man in a cheap suit with a .45 in his holster ran any problem characters off. He had the title of "Special Agent" of the Northern Pacific Terminal Co. of Oregon. That method is no longer acceptable. Some American stations had Ladies Waiting Rooms.

Some European stations had first class waiting rooms. And some European terminals had royal waiting rooms. On the night of 14 Mar 39 a Czech diplomatic mission was treated to use of the royal waiting room in Anhalter Bahnhof on their way to surrender their country to Adolf Hitler.
 

Bob Dylan

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Austin Texas
I also don't recall any Stations Pre- Amtrak that had First Class Lounges or Waiting Rooms, although as Willbridge said, there were Ladies waiting Rooms ( and South of the Mason Dixon Line Seperate " Colored" Waiting Rooms.)

Other things most Major Stations had included Restuarants,Coffee Shops, Newstands/ Tobacco Shops,Western Union Offices and Barber Shops with Shoe Shine Stands.( people dressed up more when traveling back in the day).

Nice as they looked, most of the Classic Wooden Benches in the Waiting Rooms were uncomfortable for sitting or Sleeping on if you had a long wait for your Train.
 

caravanman

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Joined
Mar 22, 2004
Messages
3,923
Location
Nottingham, England.
My remark about the restroom facilities above was meant to question whether all the improvements to the facilities were just for the benefit of passengers paying extra, such as those mentioned as reserved waiting area, or sleeper passengers in the Lounge, or whether the ordinary passenger had some benefit from the new building.

:D I regard Mr. Devil's remarks as a badge of honour, rather than taking any offence.
 
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