It is certainly true that Gardner is not an entitled arrogant person like Anderson. I also think he is somewhat less ignorant about trains than Anderson was.Hearing the video going around of Gardner speaking last week in VT regarding the Ethan Allen leaves me with mixed feelings. Yes, he’s in his element in the video talking about a corridor train but he comes across as likable and says all the right things. However it’s hard for me to think of him as a competent leader for Amtrak in its entirety with his hostile remarks towards the network trains and specifically the SWC in the not so distant past. The one thing we can all probably agree on is, it’s a mess for many reasons. Times change, people change so the jury is still out.
When he chooses to be, Gardner can be extremely eloquent, articulate and persuasive. We just wish he would be more so when talking about long distance rail.It is certainly true that Gardner is not entitled arrogant person like Anderson. I also think he is somewhat less ignorant about trains than Anderson was.
This weeks news of cancellations due to equipment brings managements refusal to bring equipment out of storage to another level. They really do have a duty to do basic maintenance so these cancellations don’t continue. It’s not like United canceling one RT ORD to SEA. One cancellation of the EB is a 5 day event literally with ripples across the country. Peak of summer canceling trains with less than 48 hours notice and for the most part not re accommodating passengers is insanity.“But just keeping 20-30 or so cars in Mothballs isn't exactly going to cause everyone in Beech Grove to lose their jobs. That bit is a bit of hyperbole IMHO.”
Those 20/30 cars would make a huge positive difference in day to day operations and solve a lot of logistical headaches. I think you’re spot on with your analysis.
I fully understand this analysis but while the corridor routes are making progress LD service is not.Considering that they are having problem keeping equipment that is not in storage fully available due to shortage of mechanical staff, I cannot see what good it would do at this point to drag a bunch of additional stuff out of storage. In effect they would just come out and sit there unusable.
The thing that needs to be fixed is getting a full contingent of mechanical staff and maybe a few more than that so that cars that are already out of storage can actually be used in service, before worrying about cars in storage.
In this context it would be better if Amtrak management could be transparent and share what the actual staffing situation is. It is quite clear they are not alone. The airlines are also facing this problem in spades, but some of them have done better plannig and have been more effective at hiring than Amtrak, though none of them are really out of the woods yet. Higher fares are making their financials look better than in 2019, but actually for fewer boardings by a very significant amount.
While it is true they are not alone, Amtrak doesn't seem to have any motivation nor urgency in their hiring practices; this is well documented on the Careers with Amtrak thread.In this context it would be better if Amtrak management could be transparent and share what the actual staffing situation is. It is quite clear they are not alone.
Not saying that I believe the whole "Kill the LD network" stuff, But I for sure agree that growing the network is an issue. The current thing is growing corridors.I don't think Amtrak wants to kill the LD network. They actually can't without breaking the law. What is true is they do not want to grow the LD network or put in an effort to run it successfully. And that has nothing to do with the pandemic. That problem pre-dates the pandemic and even pre-dates Anderson. The cuts began under Boardman, even though Boardman personally may have been against them and hated them.
Most regionals that have 9 or 10 cars don't have all of the cars open. In matter of fact Sunday I worked train 140 from Philly to NYP and it was 11 cars. All of which were open. I can't really publicly go into details on why cars are or aren't open on trains.While it is true they are not alone, Amtrak doesn't seem to have any motivation nor urgency in their hiring practices; this is well documented on the Careers with Amtrak thread.
At this point, I put most of the blame on Amtrak management, not on low staffing. Regionals with 9 or 10 cars is common nowadays, meanwhile some trains are still at 3x/week, being canceled, and having extremely short consists. It's just plain unacceptable.
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