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Election results and Amtrak

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Skyline

OBS Chief
Joined
Feb 19, 2016
Messages
753
I wouldn't get my hopes up. Biden is all about the NE Corridor. I don't see his excitement for LD rail.
Is there a link you can point us to that backs up your statement that Biden is anti-LD pax rail, or even neutral on it? He is obviously well versed in all things Amtrak from his days as a Senator and VP not to mention loyal ridership, so there must be something specific that caused you to make that statement.
 

Seaboard92

Conductor
Joined
Dec 31, 2014
Messages
3,768
Location
South Carolina
It wouldn't surprise me a bit if the Biden/Harris family and team charter a train for the trip from Wilmington to D.C. the day before or day of the inauguration. It's possible that a vintage carriage with a platform at the rear is being fitted with a bulletproof bubble. I would love to watch the tv coverage of that trip. The "Unity Express."
I know of the perfect private car for this the Wisconsin. It has armor plating, and bullet proof windows according to it's owner. Apparently the CEO it was built for was not well liked by his staff so he had it built with the plating, and bullet proof windows. It would be a perfect car. And it's named after a swing state that went Biden's way. It's the perfect choice.
 

flitcraft

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 10, 2018
Messages
612
I know of the perfect private car ... Apparently the CEO it was built for was not well liked by his staff so he had it built with the plating, and bullet proof windows.
Wow, just wow! I've worked for bosses in my life that I detested, but how bad must a boss be to need bullet proof glass and armored plating on your private car??
 

TRoberts

Train Attendant
Joined
Oct 25, 2020
Messages
21
Location
Chattanooga TN
I just searched for the car and found John Ringling's Private car, is that the one you are referring to? It's beautiful!
Although it's a wooden car so I'm guessing it's not Amtrak certified. But I suppose if the President requests it anything can happen! ha.

Depending on how the counts go Georgia 300 may still be appropriate!
 

Exvalley

Service Attendant
AU Supporter
Joined
Jul 7, 2020
Messages
182
Ask yourselves how well or not well did Amtrak fare under Obama. Expect much of the same.
This makes a lot of sense. In the Obama administration you had a President from Chicago, where Amtrak plays a vital role, and a Vice-President who regularly rode Amtrak. Kamala Harris comes from a jurisdiction that Amtrak does not play as an important role in, so I don't see the new Biden Administration being any better than the Obama administration.

One challenge is that government has been spending money like a drunken sailor since Covid-19. And you also have the airlines, with their much more powerful lobby, still in need of massive bailouts.
 

TRoberts

Train Attendant
Joined
Oct 25, 2020
Messages
21
Location
Chattanooga TN
Kamala Harris comes from a jurisdiction that Amtrak does not play as an important role in
I'm not sure if Senator Harris has much of an opinion on Amtrak or not, but California funds the Pacific Surfliner, San Joaquin, and Capitol Corridor. California has also been constructing a high-speed line.

Also.. back in February Senator Harris and Vice President Biden famously ran into each other while riding the Acela.

Edit - I just did a google search and Senator Harris did co-sign a request to Anderson to keep the Riverside call center open. So Amtrak appears to be on her radar.
 

Mike G

Train Attendant
AU Supporter
Joined
Jan 20, 2019
Messages
25
Location
Southaven, MS
As I have stated Congress has long-standing mandated travel for the sitting president, president elect and former presidents so your dream train ride the Secret service will have to man ever overpass and underpass along the trackage and Secure it X number of hours in Advance Then the Man hole covers with in X number of feel of tack welded and snipers on building over 3 stories. The list is much broader. I airlifted President Reagan’s limousine to Beijing in May 1984 the Average person has no idea how Extensive the Protection of the President is ( trust me no more train rides the SS will not have it.) Biden is at his highest risk he will ever be right now because of the known and unknown

Not trying to be Caustic but there is a lot out there that isn’t seen. Next train ride look out the window and ask yourself am I safe from a nut case firing his hunting rifle through the side, how many ways can you think of sabotaging this very train your on. Just asking. I maybe be wrong you guys and gals are the Amtrak experts, but Security and TSA is a standing joke on this very forum. We think like normal people that will get you in a bind.

( we had drums of Gasoline for the cars we airlifted because source was known and tested for quality and then sealed, look for the gray AF aircraft parked obscured at the airports when the President lands that part of the massive support team )
 

Lonestar648

Conductor
AU Supporter
Joined
May 17, 2015
Messages
2,743
I would like to think Biden will make Amtrak fully operational again. Unfortunately, no matter how much Biden likes Amtrak, as President, his time is so demanding he barely has time to think. A two minute lull between meetings is an eternity. If asked a question about Amtrak, he may answer it, but I doubt he spends much more time than that. Also, he will depend on the House committees to investigate and report. I think the best we can hope for is to have something attached onto a major bill in the House, unless the Senate actually does split 50/50 then I think funding for Amtrak looks brighter. If the Republicans maintain Senate control, McConnell will be vetoing everything that comes across his desk. Right now it is wait and see until January.
 

daybeers

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 6, 2016
Messages
772
Location
HFD
As I have stated Congress has long-standing mandated travel for the sitting president, president elect and former presidents so your dream train ride the Secret service will have to man ever overpass and underpass along the trackage and Secure it X number of hours in Advance Then the Man hole covers with in X number of feel of tack welded and snipers on building over 3 stories. The list is much broader. I airlifted President Reagan’s limousine to Beijing in May 1984 the Average person has no idea how Extensive the Protection of the President is ( trust me no more train rides the SS will not have it.) Biden is at his highest risk he will ever be right now because of the known and unknown
Mike is right: Biden will sadly probably not be riding any more trains until after he has served his term. It's just too risky security-wise, with having to spike every switch, a pilot train, and covering over and underpasses.
 

Cho Cho Charlie

Conductor
Joined
Apr 9, 2009
Messages
2,242
Location
Near an Amtrak station
Mike is right: Biden will sadly probably not be riding any more trains until after he has served his term. It's just too risky security-wise, with having to spike every switch, a pilot train, and covering over and underpasses.
Is this long the lines that all/any ex-Presidents will never be allowed to ever drive a vehicle again. Well, not at least on public roads. Bush tried to get around this restriction by driving his pickup on his ranch (only).
 

Rover

OBS Chief
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N. Texas
Is there a link you can point us to that backs up your statement that Biden is anti-LD pax rail, or even neutral on it? He is obviously well versed in all things Amtrak from his days as a Senator and VP not to mention loyal ridership, so there must be something specific that caused you to make that statement.
No links, just my gut feeling.
 

brianpmcdonnell17

Conductor
Joined
Mar 5, 2016
Messages
1,416
Location
Chicago, Illinois
No links, just my gut feeling.
A former Amtrak president seems confident that Biden will support the LD network:


The combination of the fact that he used a campaign train that utilized LD routes and stations and seems to be emphasizing national unity (as opposed to just the urban areas where most of his support came from) also raises my confidence that he will support the LD network.

Regardless of who ends up with a majority in the Senate, I think there is sufficient political support to bring daily service back. The primary obstacle seems to be getting the issue brought up to a vote in the first place.
 

Dakota 400

Conductor
Joined
Mar 5, 2014
Messages
2,296
I would think some of the other Republican Senators might finally realize that McConnell is stifling *their* goals. Which he is, by bottling up all legislation, even bipartisan legislation. But they haven't so far. It's perplexing.
It's disgusting to this citizen.

I am hopeful because of the past relationships McConnell and Biden have had that this situation will change. I am hopeful that Murkowski, Romney, and Collins gain more influence in the GOP caucus. Senator Collins owes nothing to McConnell. His refusal to help get another stimulus Bill through the Senate did nothing to help her in her Senate race. I read that she is slated to be the Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee in the next Congress. If so, that's a very important position and McConnell may have to consider that if he wants to get whatever he wants out of that Committee.
 

AmtrakFlyer

Train Attendant
Joined
Nov 27, 2016
Messages
96
It’s going to be interesting. In my experiences with co workers and family members once one gets near 80 they hunker down to their core values and they don’t see the middle ground as well (or at all), the good shines through more in good people and the bad comes out more in not so good people. Aka “set in their ways”.

Both our POTUS elect and Senate leader will be approaching 80 soon and are polar opposites. It’s clear to me which ones the cantankerous old fart and I’ll be surprised if he plays ball this time around.
 
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Devil's Advocate

Sarcastic Misanthrope
Joined
May 24, 2010
Messages
11,729
Location
Texas
This makes a lot of sense. In the Obama administration you had a President from Chicago, where Amtrak plays a vital role, and a Vice-President who regularly rode Amtrak. Kamala Harris comes from a jurisdiction that Amtrak does not play as an important role in, so I don't see the new Biden Administration being any better than the Obama administration.
I felt that Amtrak fared reasonably well under Obama and would have done much better with a more Congress. It was certainly better than zeroed budget proposals and losing the Sunset East under Bush or zeroed budget proposals and losing meals and frequencies under Trump. The aspects I was unhappy with were mostly down to the actions and inaction of board members, legislators, and governors. I expect Biden to promote passenger rail spending, to approve budget increases for passenger rail, and to nominate supportive executives. That's about the best you can hope for since the president cannot change the charter, replace the stakeholders, or increase the budget on his own.

One challenge is that government has been spending money like a drunken sailor since Covid-19. And you also have the airlines, with their much more powerful lobby, still in need of massive bailouts.
Funny how overspending only seems to come up when there's a change in control. I suggest we get Amtrak back to running daily and give any future pandemic bailouts to individual citizens so they can decide if the airlines are deserving of more taxpayer dollars. Maybe they'll choose passenger rail instead.
 
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Exvalley

Service Attendant
AU Supporter
Joined
Jul 7, 2020
Messages
182
Funny how overspending only seems to come up when there's a change in control. I suggest we get Amtrak back to running daily and give any future pandemic bailouts to individual citizens so they can decide if the airlines are deserving of more taxpayer dollars. Maybe they'll choose passenger rail instead.
More likely, with the virus getting much worse, they will choose neither. Which is why money will likely go directly to airlines.
 

CTANut

Train Attendant
Joined
Oct 29, 2019
Messages
23
Location
Ohio
We may see less delays if Joe Biden appoints a pro-Amtrak attorney general. They might bring more actions against the freight railroads in court. Norfolk Southern/CSX (I forget which one), might be first up in line to be sued.
 

neroden

Conductor
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
7,920
Location
Ithaca, NY
We may see less delays if Joe Biden appoints a pro-Amtrak attorney general. They might bring more actions against the freight railroads in court. Norfolk Southern/CSX (I forget which one), might be first up in line to be sued.
CN.
 

tgstubbs1

Service Attendant
Joined
Mar 3, 2020
Messages
226
Agreed. Assuming Biden is the 46th POTUS, (they're just projections right now), it would be a very, very good thing for Amtrak for the next four to eight years. It might finally be the break they've been waiting for to start expanding into new areas (MSY, DEN, PDX, MSP) and improving service across the system.
No doubt there will be a new "Biden Baltimore Express" with the first Amtrak PetLounge for the Presidential First Dog.

Maybe we will get the long overdue Nationwide Autotrain (with the first addition of overnight service between SoCal and SFbay) so he can ship his Corvette cross country.
 

RichieRich

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Dec 2, 2016
Messages
328
Maybe we will get the long overdue Nationwide Autotrain
While you are obviously being facetious...it's a matter of AutoTrain vs. height restrictions...why it goes no further North then Lorton. And with a 3-4+ hour turn-around (i.e., arrives at 9ish, leaves at 4ish)...why it currently can't stop in JAX and end in Miami. From my 10 r/t's-a-year to none...can't see any AT trips in my near future. Maybe next Fall !?!?!?
 

Willbridge

OBS Chief
Joined
Mar 30, 2019
Messages
576
Location
Denver
Wow, just wow! I've worked for bosses in my life that I detested, but how bad must a boss be to need bullet proof glass and armored plating on your private car??
Well, Josef Stalin had an armored sedan for use at the Potsdam conference... :)

He got to Potsdam without changing trains at Brest-Litovsk by ordering that the track gauge between there and Potsdam be changed. His special train, pulled by a Lend-Lease Diesel, presumably had armored cars. None of that revealed whether he liked Long Distance trains or corridors.

Seriously, there are lots of places where corridor improvements can also benefit long distance routes. And the majority of current corridor routes share either routes, stations or servicing facilities with long-distance service.

P1050277.JPG

One hand of this station staffer should be charged to the Coast Starlight and the other hand should be charged to the Cascades.
 
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neroden

Conductor
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
7,920
Location
Ithaca, NY
I see no reason why Biden shouldn't have a bulletproof Presidential private car for riding the rails. Why deny him one of his favorite pleasures? I'm sure they can convert some back or side entrance to DC Union Station into the Presidential Secure Entrance. We already need to secure the tracks and the dispatching offices; in many ways it's a much smaller problem than securing a motorcade.
 

Lonestar648

Conductor
AU Supporter
Joined
May 17, 2015
Messages
2,743
Personally, I wouldn’t get my hopes up yet until we see how Biden selects his cabinet and sets his priorities. We May be happily surprised, but there is the strong possibility we will be very disappointed. Just cautioning because politics makes for strange things to happen.
 

AmtrakFlyer

Train Attendant
Joined
Nov 27, 2016
Messages
96
Even the ultimate let down of Richard Anderson as DOT Secretary has a 10-20 percent chance of happening. Stranger things have happened.

The more I hear about Gil Garcitti the less enthusiastic I get. We may very well get a political hack as DOT Secretary. As far as Amtrak specifically we need real world leadership at the helm and Board. I feel a lot better about Flynn after his immediate reach out to Biden but the majority of the Board no if ands or buts needs to be replaced (and of course Gardner too).

Personally, I wouldn’t get my hopes up yet until we see how Biden selects his cabinet and sets his priorities. We May be happily surprised, but there is the strong possibility we will be very disappointed. Just cautioning because politics makes for strange things to happen.
 
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Barb Stout

OBS Chief
Joined
Mar 13, 2019
Messages
564
The more I hear about Gil Garcitti the less enthusiastic I get. We may very well get a political hack as DOT Secretary. As far as Amtrak specifically we need real world leadership at the helm and Board. I feel a lot better about Flynn after his immediate reach out to Biden but the majority of the Board no if ands or buts needs to be replaced (and of course Gardner too).
Why? What's the deal with Garcitti?
 
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