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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic: Amtrak-related Discussion

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pennyk

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Back to Amtrak-related discussion: I just saw the Silver Meteor 98 travel through Orlando with a different consist than what I saw a few weeks ago. One engine, 4 coaches, cafe car, 2 sleepers, baggage. No sleeper lounge.
 

Palmland

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Just saw this on Trains’ newswire:

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“WASHINGTON — In a Memorial Day letter to Congress, Amtrak management has asked for $1.475 billion in “supplemental funding” it says is necessary to operate at “minimum service levels across the rail network” and continue capital projects.

Even with this funding — which is addition to $2.04 billion in its budget request for fiscal 2021, submitted before the COVID-19 pandemic decimated ridership and revenue — it says most long-distance routes will be reduced to less than daily service.........”
 

lordsigma

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appendix 1 Of said letter seems to indicate the auto train could remain the only daily long distance service in 2021. Notably the only route in the entire Amtrak network listed as “no change.” And listed as “minimal change” with no bailout.
 

MikefromCrete

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It's just a move that shows Amtrak is serious about needing this money. Congress will appropriate something, maybe the full amount, maybe less. Amtrak will take the money and there will be no more talk of service reductions.
 

MccfamschoolMom

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Feb 28, 2020
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I know you’re from Blighty, so let me tell you something; I use American public restrooms on a regular basis. Amtrak’s are not an example of particularly bad ones. I have seen much much much worse elsewhere, believe me.
The worst toilet I've ever seen in recent years was a pit toilet in a state park in Rock Island, IL last summer - hot, nasty-smelling, and too many mosquitoes around. (And obviously not cleaned daily, either -- but I had just finished driving across the state, and I couldn't wait to get to a nicer public restroom!)
 

dlagrua

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CEO William Flynn siting a 95% drop in ridership, has announced yesterday that Amtrak is preparing to lay off 20% of its staff in its next fiscal year. This is a result of what happens when we have a congress that insists that Amtrak make a profit. Notice that government workers in other agencies are unaffected. One can only feel for the Amtrak workers who need to support their familes and are struggling just to earn a middle class wage. This is terrible.
Amtrak Cutting Work Force 20%
 

tricia

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My initial reaction was that they're not letting a good crisis go to waste--that this is an opportunity to push for previously set goals of reducing public services and squeezing labor. Certainly there are Republicans in Congress who'll want to use it that way.

However, the letter states "As demand returns to pre-COVID levels, we would expect to restore frequencies for both our Long Distance and NEC service, subject to adequate funding."

Also note that less than 1/3 of the $500 million cost reductions proposed in the letter is to come from "reduced frequencies and capacity." More than 2/3 is to come from "adjustments to our work force."
 
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tricia

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This workforce cut is consistent with what's in Flynn's letter to Congress, posted and being discussed in this thread.

The article dlagrua cites is behind a paywall. I've not read the whole thing; there might be additional info there.
 

the_traveler

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Whatever siding I'm sitting on!
Also note that less than 1/3 of the $500 million cost reductions proposed in the letter is to come from "reduced frequencies and capacity." More than 2/3 is to come from "adjustments to our work force."
So that means that trains will have 1 engineer and 1 conductor. Find your own seat and/or room. If you have a room, you must make your own bed! :oops:
 

capltd29

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Here's something interesting I read (and don't understand). Background, I was at the store yesterday and they HAD RUBBING ALCOHOL back on the shelves! (Talk about not having a life, to be thrilled over that?) Well a few anyway. A sign was posted that said limit 2 per customer so I picked up 2. These are 70%, previously I would always get the 90% figuring that was better for killing viruses and bacteria. The interesting thing is that the 70% actually has a more effective kill rate, for reasons I again don't understand - something to do with a certain amount of water being required for the alcohol to destroy the virus particle coating. So if you have the 90% solution around you need to dilute with water for optimal disinfection, I guess?
I am not completely sure, but for bacteria, I recall from my college microbiology lab that we would not want to use the 95% alcohol solution on the basis that bacteria would do something to close their cell wall so it didn't penetrate as well as a lower concentration. Not sure how that would affect viruses, since they do not have a cell wall...or a cell for that matter lol
 

Amtrakfflyer

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Feb 2, 2005
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I found this chart interesting and seems to indicate what a lot of us think is the real story. The long distance trains don’t cost as much to operate as previous management led us to believe. Look at Flynn’s breakdown of Amtraks “bailout”. Out of 1.4 billion, 151 million is slated to “maintain“ the national network “long distance” trains. Am I reading this wrong?
 

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PVD

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The recommended dilutions for sanitizing are a bit different for Isopropyl and Ethyl alcohols. The very high concentrations are more often used for processes where the water content presents an issue (corrosion or reside as an example) Check out a reputable source and follow the standards....
 

AmtrakBlue

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I found this chart interesting and seems to indicate what a lot of us think is the real story. The long distance trains don’t cost as much to operate as previous management led us to believe. Look at Flynn’s breakdown of Amtraks “bailout”.
Might those be the projections for after the cutbacks in service?
 

Trogdor

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I found this chart interesting and seems to indicate what a lot of us think is the real story. The long distance trains don’t cost as much to operate as previous management led us to believe. Look at Flynn’s breakdown of Amtraks “bailout”. Out of 1.4 billion, 151 million is slated to “maintain“ the national network “long distance” trains. Am I reading this wrong?
I take that is being the projected revenue loss related to COVID from lower ridership and not really having anything to do with how much the network costs to operate.

Remember, this is the supplemental request on top of the normal request they submitted for next year. So the regular costs/losses would have been covered by that request. But with COVID, they have now lost half of their revenue/ridership, which could be $1.5 billion-ish, including a loss of $737 million in NEC ticket revenue, $100 million in state corridor ticket revenue (plus $260 million in money states won't be able to pay to maintain service), $151 million in LD revenue lost, and $229 million in commuter revenue lost (again, likely because the agencies won't be able to pay).

In fact, actual revenue loss is probably greater, but will also be somewhat offset by reduced service.
 

Bob Dylan

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It's just a move that shows Amtrak is serious about needing this money. Congress will appropriate something, maybe the full amount, maybe less. Amtrak will take the money and there will be no more talk of service reductions.
Dont bet your house on this Mike!

Once the cuts start ( 2/3 are to Labor), they'll be like topsy, just going on and on as funding dries up as the Congress starts cutting everything except their Own and the Defense and Intellegence Budgets.
 

Thirdrail7

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As you can tell, they've alternated between operating 91/92 and 98/97. This will continue until the trackwork is finished. As such, they have the same consist.
 

Palmland

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Even with the additional funding, the letter from Amtrak indicates service reductions. This seems really bad.


Thanks for that link, it really spells it out. It's pretty clear. Starting this fall with FY21 LD trains, except for the Auto Train, may well go away. With the supplemental funding they remain but on a reduced basis (less than daily) and the Silver service trains are consolidated in some fashion. Pretty grim. Again, a vaccine will protect people - and the economy.
 
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pennyk

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MODERATOR NOTE: threads regarding Amtrak service/staff reductions were merged into this thread which pertains to Amtrak related discussions concerning COVID-19. Thank you for keeping discussions more or less on topic.
Be safe, be well and be kind. 🙏
 
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