Gardner article

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Amtrakfflyer

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https://www.progressiverailroading.com/amtrak/article/Amtrak-at-nearly-50-The-railroad-faces-its-next-chapter--59244

Definitely a different tone in this article/interview. The disdain for the the network is still there but it’s not in your face. I still believe they want to destroy the network, they’re getting smarter unfortunately and not broadcasting it as loudly as they did a year ago.

Instead the continuous cuts to amenities along with higher fares/dirty/late trains are what I think they are counting on to drive passengers away and ultimately achieve the reduction of 5-10 (at the min) network trains they desire.
 
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andytiedye

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They are trying to push us onto airplanes. They figure that we'll spring for first class and they want that revenue going to Delta and the like, not Amtrak.
 

Amtrakfflyer

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That was almost a direct quote from Anderson last week, “flying is cheaper and faster.”
 
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dogbert617

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That was almost a direct quote from Anderson last week. “People should fly it’s cheaper and faster.”
Was that really mentioned in any articles, or say you heard in like some online clip of a hearing on Amtrak you remember watching online somewhere? Or are you just trying to imagine what Anderson probably thinks in his head? Which sadly, probably exactly is this. :(
 

Just-Thinking-51

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Very crafty in how they framed things when interviewed for the article.

Mentioning everything targeting "a new generation of riders" without specifying who those riders are or what they want. In other words, we can get away with anything by saying riders want it, and you can't refute it because we haven't said who those riders are.

And: "Amtrak officials attributed capital investments aimed at making passengers happier and more comfortable as a factor in the railroad’s stronger financial performance." Then they tout new chair coverings and better technology, but say nothing about the flexible contemporary junk food and dirty trains (to be fair, not all are dirty, but many are).

Amtrak management is getting better at sounding like they are improving the network they are intent on destroying. ("doublespeak" and shades of "1984"?)
 

neroden

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Essentially fraudulent doublespeak. I suppose the new generation they are targeting is Gardner's generation who grew up in the 50s and 60s, because it sure isn't Gen X, Millenials, or Gen Z.
 
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I just assumed it was Millenials or Gen Z, because I would assume that the Boomers and even Generation X would both want some semblance of luxury and as much long-distance as possible, with trains being much easier than flying or driving for many of us.

(I also assumed Gardner was younger--maybe in his 40s? It's hard to tell from his picture.)
 

neroden

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Gardner seems to be younger than I thought, but he is not a millennial. Based on his college graduation date, he is a year older than me, which probably puts him on the wrong (older) side of the generational early-Gen-X vs. Xennial divide. He had an undistinguished career in short line freight railroading prior to going into politics; I was spending the same period doing financial analysis and investing.

I appear to be more qualified than Gardner for his job... And his previous three jobs at Amtrak. I didn't realize what an undistinguished career he had. He has absolutely no background in financial analysis of businesses, which probably explains his unbusinesslike attitude. He was incompetent at NEC business development, being there during the period when outside would-be business partners repeatedly complained that Amtrak was impossible to negotiate with. As I look at his LinkedIn profile, I'm realizing that he failed upwards, like Thomas Downs.

He may be a perfectly nice guy, but he is not competent for the position he has, not even close. This is a case where I wish Mr Anderson had brought in someone from another industry.
 
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jis

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Amtrak has a long history of providing examples supporting the core hypothesis of the Peter Principle.
 

Just-Thinking-51

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The Peter principle is a concept in management developed by Laurence J. Peter, which observes that people in a hierarchy tend to rise to their "level of incompetence". In other words, an employee is promoted based on their success in previous jobs until they reach a level at which they are no longer competent, as skills in one job do not necessarily translate to another. The concept was elucidated in the 1969 book The Peter Principle by Dr. Peter and Raymond Hull.

One thinks the Peter Principle does not cover the political appointee part of Garden employment history.
 

jis

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Actually all appointments whether in corporations or government are political in nature near the top of the hierarchy. The principle applies to all equally, including for elected officials.
 
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