I agree with most of your points except this one. If the PV owner is already paying to be back behind Amtrak then Amtrak is getting a cut of the pie. As much as it costs to maintain a car and I would know first hand what that costs, I doubt you would find any owners biting. Part of that is due to mistrust between Amtrak and the PV industry that a lot of owners would feel like they will get all the costs while Amtrak gets all of the gains. Unless Amtrak starts turning around in their relationship with us it will only get worse.5) It would be nice to have Amtrak contract with third parties to offer one or more of the mentioned services where Amtrak would handle the ticketing for a cut of the pie and the third party would provide the cars and service. Getting Amtrak to really buy into the concept would encourage them to become a partner rather than a reluctant provider as it could mean Amtrak agents at stations could handle checked baggage, bus interface for tours, etc and help pay for the existence of these agents during hours when they would have little to do and/or allow agents to have additional hours where they may only presently be part-time. Stations with excess room could now have separate areas for the luxury car passengers ala Amtrak lounges helping to justify the cost of those stations.
Now this I would definitely love to see. Even when you look at the NightJet in Europe the sleepers and diners are staffed by a company called NewRest not the ÖBB. Honestly a private provider probably could provide a far superior soft and hard product. Would the cost go up potentially, but I don't know by how far.Thorough analysis, Seaboard. It makes it pretty clear why third party luxury trains have a hard time making ends meet.
I completely agree with this. I would take it a step farther and have the third party handle not only the tour business but the regular sleeper traffic and perhaps dining, other than the cafe cars. This, of course, is what the old Pullman Company did so successfully for so many years.
Naturally I would also want to read more into why the Pullman Company failed before signing off on this type of idea as well.
LD's with business class.Having an upgraded coach option such as Club/Business Class is a very smart idea, borrowing from similar premium "chair cars" on many of the heritage railroads. How many Amtrak LD trains offer Business Class? I know of the Boston section of LSL (sometimes), the Cardinal and the Coast Starlight, but can't think of any others? Is the Palmetto a true long-distance route?
-Lake Shore Limited
Yes the Palmetto is technically a national network route, even though it functions as a corridor train for the most part.
Now something I'm surprised none of you remember is the Keystone Club Car experiment with the JP Henderson private car. It ran on the rear of the Pennsylvanian in the 90s. I don't know however what they did for the other consist.