Autotrain Services Drastically Cut?

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dlagrua

Engineer
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I was just corresponding with a friend who made a trip on the Autotrain yesterday. He reported that there was only one open cafe car, the train had no dining cars open and that meals were served in their rooms. Breakfast was a "grab and go" event. The staff told him all this was the result of budget cuts? Before arrriving it was also anounced that there was a staff shortage at Sanford. We will probably read more about this later as he will post here but does anyone know what is happening?
 
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Dining for Autotrain sleepers is now in room only.
Sleeper breakfast is in room only
The sleeper lounge car is no longer staffed. No drinks, chips etc are available.
Only the coach cafe car is open.
The coffee and hot chocolate machines in the sleeper cars are gone.
not many amenities left.
looks like there’s no crews?
 
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Of note this train had near 500 passengers.
with only one cafe car for refreshments open
On a consist thats 17 cars long.
 

Palmland

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I gotta believe this is temporary. The A-T was one train that kept amenities during the worst of COVID. Perhaps one of the crew tested positive and rest are on quarantine?
 

lordsigma

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I was on auto train heading north yesterday - was told the sleeper lounge wasn’t staffed due to staffing shortages. The dining car was completely normal and I got an in diner seating - they did not offer in diner seating on the way down - on exceptionally busy trips (southbound as of right now) they are not doing in diner seating for logistics reasons since they can’t do communal seating - they’ve been doing this for a while. But heading north was only 314 pax and they did two in diner seatings (7 and 9) The coffee machines in the sleepers are a totally different issue - was told by my attendent they are in the process of replacing the coffee stations with brand new dispenser machines and they have been ordered but are delayed due to supply chain issues. They are apparently installing them in cars as they show up.
 
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lordsigma

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New management is needed.
New management is not going to change the dynamics of the current labor market. Not everything that happens is the "latest chapter in the scheme to discontinue all long distance service." Auto Train is a management favorite and it even was under Anderson - I highly doubt there are schemes to damage it.
 

Just-Thinking-51

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New management is not going to change the dynamics of the current labor market. Not everything that happens is the "latest chapter in the scheme to discontinue all long distance service."
Sorry Amtrak sure makes it hard to work for them.

Auto Train is a management favorite and it even was under Anderson - I highly doubt there are schemes to damage it.
This thread start by asking about cuts that have occurred.
 

joelkfla

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The coffee machines in the sleepers are a totally different issue - was told by my attendent they are in the process of replacing the coffee stations with brand new dispenser machines and they have been ordered but are delayed due to supply chain issues. They are apparently installing them in cars as they show up.
Ugh - I hope it's not the ones that serve condensed coffee syrup mixed with hot water. Those used to be in WDW food service locations, and they were awful.
 

OBS

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Ugh - I hope it's not the ones that serve condensed coffee syrup mixed with hot water. Those used to be in WDW food service locations, and they were awful.
Amtrak has been there and done that....I think they learned their lesson....(I hope)...
 

Ryan

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Off looking for his sense of humor
New management is not going to change the dynamics of the current labor market. Not everything that happens is the "latest chapter in the scheme to discontinue all long distance service." Auto Train is a management favorite and it even was under Anderson - I highly doubt there are schemes to damage it.
This thread start by asking about cuts that have occurred.
That doesn't mean that those cuts are part of a management scheme to damage it.

244253402_10158561721058233_1336926482930032359_n.jpg
 

melh

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Amtrak's August y-t-d report shows the Auto Train fully covering (100%) its operating expenses. The Auto Train is not only Amtrak's best performing LD train ( revenue to cost ratio ), but beats the NEC, and twenty of the state supported services. It is too bad that on board services are having to be cut, even if temporary.
 

Railroad Bill

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After speaking with several Amtrak employees on my Gathering trip trains, it would seem that some of the shortages of personnel are a result of the upcoming requirement that all employees be vaccinated. One person said many Amtrak workers are taking leaves, sick leave, personal leave to make a point that they disagree with this mandate. One of my trains only had one conductor from the extra board show up. Shortages on Autotrain may have been a result of this mini protest???
 

Just-Thinking-51

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After speaking with several Amtrak employees on my Gathering trip trains, it would seem that some of the shortages of personnel are a result of the upcoming requirement that all employees be vaccinated. One person said many Amtrak workers are taking leaves, sick leave, personal leave to make a point that they disagree with this mandate. One of my trains only had one conductor from the extra board show up. Shortages on Autotrain may have been a result of this mini protest???
So happy all these Amtrak employees are protesting a simple vaccine.

Don’t trust the government when your job is dependent on funds from say government. Ok that rich.

At some point we going to have stop blaming the pandemic for our problems, and put our big boy pants on.
 

JoshP

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It doesn't make sense because I know AT is only one and the money maker route through out the Amtrak system, yet they cannot afford to solve these issues? Shame. The passengers on AT pay lot of money like pay fees for vehicles, bedroom, etc. So AT should had make killing to be able to offer full benefits on the train.

Obviously, we need new management at Amtrak to fix the system to run it right.
 

lordsigma

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It doesn't make sense because I know AT is only one and the money maker route through out the Amtrak system, yet they cannot afford to solve these issues? Shame. The passengers on AT pay lot of money like pay fees for vehicles, bedroom, etc. So AT should had make killing to be able to offer full benefits on the train.

Obviously, we need new management at Amtrak to fix the system to run it right.
As stated previously - this doesn't really sound like a management cut it sounds more like a labor shortage. If management wanted to kill the Auto Train they would have made cuts to it during the earlier part of the pandemic which they didn't. Obviously what one feels about management forcing the vaccine mandate and whether they should be doing it is another matter.
 

JoshP

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As stated - this doesn't really sound like a management cut it sounds more like a labor shortage. If management wanted to kill the Auto Train they would have made cuts to it during the earlier part of the pandemic which they didn't.
There is need a source if its worker shortage or budget issues.

if I had billion of dollars or more, I would take over AT and I would renovate everything and make it a real AT route and offer sleepers for half of price, not the ones you see on amtrak site for $1500 to $3000.

Under my new ownership, I would do as follows:

Coach: $75 - $125
Business Class: $150 - $200
Roomette: $275 - $375
Bedroom: $400 - $500
Family Bedroom: $600'
ADA Bedroom: $300

There will be two lounges, one for Coach passengers and one for Business Class/Sleepers. There will be also FULL dining, with real food from scratch like you are eating from your grandma's house.
 

lordsigma

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One person said many Amtrak workers are taking leaves, sick leave, personal leave to make a point that they disagree with this mandate. One of my trains only had one conductor from the extra board show up. Shortages on Autotrain may have been a result of this mini protest???
I got the same impression on my trip.
 

Cal

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There is need a source if its worker shortage or budget issues.

if I had billion of dollars or more, I would take over AT and I would renovate everything and make it a real AT route and offer sleepers for half of price, not the ones you see on amtrak site for $1500 to $3000.

Under my new ownership, I would do as follows:

Coach: $75 - $125
Business Class: $150 - $200
Roomette: $275 - $375
Bedroom: $400 - $500
Family Bedroom: $600'
ADA Bedroom: $300

There will be two lounges, one for Coach passengers and one for Business Class/Sleepers. There will be also FULL dining, with real food from scratch like you are eating from your grandma's house.
And how much would vehicles cost?
 

lordsigma

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There is need a source if its worker shortage or budget issues.
As far as my trip went (that I just got back from yesterday) there have been no "cuts." We were told on the train 52(23) the lack of the sleeper lounge attendant was due to an employee call out - and remember that the OBS crews go Lorton - Sanford and back the next day so if that happens heading south, the northbound train the next day likewise will not have a lounge attendent. The dining car operated as normal both ways - on the really busy trips they are sometimes serving all meals in-room which right now is basically in the southbound direction -this isn't new they did the same on my trip in April - they offered an in diner seating heading south but not north on that trip - this trip being in October it was the opposite - I ate in the diner heading north on the way home but it was not offered on the way down. As I stated before some of the cars do have the coffee - others don't they are waiting for new machines - if your car doesn't have it you can go to an adjacent car - this was all stuff that was said by employees on the train.
 
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