Amtrak's future will indeed be determined in large extent on how they are navigating this crisis.I hate conspiracy theories and negative thinking, but the situation brought by Amtrak on the national network by now is obviously a crisis. Yes, this summer has been challenging from operational, staff and rolling stock standoints. They have somehow muddled through much of the summer with relatively full consists on most trains, with some exceptions and some hiccups. But as we head into the fall, the wheels seem to be coming off. What about the on-board staff they supposedly have hired to get through the summer? Are they going away in the fall? Is Amtrak taking cars out of service to concentrate on getting them back into a state of good repair? Haven't they been hiring craft people in their shops? How about they become a litte more transparent? How about RPA get some answers? How about Congress start putting some pressure on for those answers? If Amtrak was forthright and transparent, most of us here would be more understading and accepting and cut them a break. Their communications are absolutely abysmal. You can't say they are attempting to reach professional level of communication. Right now, who really wants to roll the dice and plan a trip? I am glad my plans are made for the fall and seem solid, but do I know that for sure? No, I can't count on that. But I sure can't think about next year given the current situation. Rant over.
Do travel when you can and enjoy the whistle over the hum of the tracks. That is here now. A good opportunity to create memories for tomorrow.