Ideas for Amtrak to raise revenue

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MIrailfan

Lead Service Attendant
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How about sell wrap around advertising space on passenger cars? San Diego's Coaster does that. Another idea is giving brands their names on routes in exchange for money, i.e. the Under Armour Texas Eagle.
 

PerRock

Conductor
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Ann Arbor, MI
Amtrak does wrap advertising. The majority of the wraps are done on locomotives, but not always.
Currently Engine #662 is sporting a Train Sim World advertising wrap:
Amtrak California has done wraps for SHNSF. A number of TV channels have gotten wraps for trains & cars on the NEC (TLC, Cartoon Network, Nat Geo, History, to name a few). New York wrapped a train advertising the state fair. Both Century Link & Lyft have had wraps for the Ski Train.

So no, advertising wraps are not uncommon. Although I feel like there would be an outcry if Amtrak sold naming rights... in fact for some trains I believe if they did they would loose the exsisting naming rights they currently have.

peter
 

PaTrainFan

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Pittsburgh, Pa.
How about sell wrap around advertising space on passenger cars? San Diego's Coaster does that. Another idea is giving brands their names on routes in exchange for money, i.e. the Under Armour Texas Eagle.
It is so annoying on transit when they wrap the windows and it distorts the views. It would be the Amtrak thing to do, however. Might not be worse than the dirty windows.
 

Ryan

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Amtrak has a long history of doing this. This is over a decade ago:

1024px-Bringing_up_the_Markers_%284861870570%29.jpg
 

AmtrakBlue

Engineer
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Delaware
Amtrak does wrap advertising. The majority of the wraps are done on locomotives, but not always.
Currently Engine #662 is sporting a Train Sim World advertising wrap:
Amtrak California has done wraps for SHNSF. A number of TV channels have gotten wraps for trains & cars on the NEC (TLC, Cartoon Network, Nat Geo, History, to name a few). New York wrapped a train advertising the state fair. Both Century Link & Lyft have had wraps for the Ski Train.

So no, advertising wraps are not uncommon. Although I feel like there would be an outcry if Amtrak sold naming rights... in fact for some trains I believe if they did they would loose the exsisting naming rights they currently have.

peter

And 606 had a Coke wrap when they switched from Pepsi to Coke. Now 606 has this (my pics). And no it's not dirty. The black area has hieroglyphs

1660784820383.png
1660784844446.png
 
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Hillsborough, NJ
In years past Amtrak ran TV , magazine ads and marketed the service more aggressively. They also ran a National Train Day event. Today we see little in the way of advertising and marketing. Advertising and marketing is a key part of any business growth plan. If Amtrak is looking to raise revenue, this may be the solution.
 

Devil's Advocate

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How about providing sleeping cars on long distance trains?
Keep trains on time.
National Train Day
Just fix everything and hire personnel to operate the equipment.
These are all excellent ideas for increasing revenue. 👍 If only we could convince Gardner to take any of this seriously. 🙄

I actually don’t mind wraps as long as they cut out the windows so I have a clear view.
A brief trip on a wrapped commuter train is doable but for long distance trains it's no good. After spending thousands of dollars and several precious vacation days to ride a train with a giant hatching chicken on the front I turned against the idea of accepting any more train wraps. Did selling out to the Quebec lottery grant me any benefits in exchange for the hideous advertising? Not that I could perceive. Nor would I expect any benefits in the future.
 
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rs9

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Chicago
There are a lot of complaints here about the fact that Amtrak is run by former airline executives. I don't agree with all the complaints, but here's something I do find confusing. The airlines have created out of thin air ways to create incremental revenue - mainly the creation of more classes of service. "Economy plus" isn't really all that different than economy. Same seat, same seat width, same number of people in the row with you, the only difference is a few inches of leg room. And for that, there's a hefty markup.

Now I'm not asking Amtrak to start nickel and diming people for every ounce of service. The point is that the airlines discovered there apparently is demand for an in-between level of service from economy to business or first class.

The topic of services between coach and sleeper on Amtrak have been thoroughly discussed on this site, so I won't belabor that point. I just find it really odd that the airline folks don't see the market opportunity here. Though in fairness, I'm just saying random stuff and have zero market research to back me up!
 

Ryan

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Now if only we could convince Amtrak that revenue enhancement is actually a thing. Their focus is and has been solely on the cost side of the ledger. They'll lose a dollar in order to save a dime.
Demonstrably false given the number of threads where people complain about the high cost of their tickets. They're probing to be quite effective at revenue management.
 

Devil's Advocate

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"Economy plus" isn't really all that different than economy. Same seat, same seat width, same number of people in the row with you, the only difference is a few inches of leg room. And for that, there's a hefty markup.
All these coach upgrades started as TWA's Comfort Class which was a fleet-wide challenge to an increasingly cramped coach class. If only that service had succeeded long term. Unfortunately TWA did not survive and Comfort Class morphed into More Room Throughout Coach on AA after they purchased TWA's assets. Comfort Class and MRTC did not charge an additional fee but did restrict pricing flexibility as US airlines began unbundling services into separate surcharges. MRTC was relatively short lived and was followed by paid upgrades named Economy Plus on United, Comfort Plus on Delta, and Main Cabin Extra on AA. For tall people the extra legroom is worth every penny but you also get priority boarding, early overhead bin use, a reserved seat, and free drinks on AA & DL.

 
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Joined
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I don't know about other places but...
Chicago Union Station rents out the great hall for private events quite regularly. I assume revenue goes right into the Amtrak pot.

LAX Union Station has a large area, and probably other spaces, that could be used for special events. The area that I am thinking of has been used as a movie set.

I have posted this before and I am going to post it again. Keep the Cafe/Lounge car open longer hours and during long stays at a station (such as when engines are switched at Washington) could result in more sales and prevent the long lines that I have experienced when the SA opens it again.
 

crescent-zephyr

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Oct 21, 2015
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Keep the Cafe/Lounge car open longer hours and during long stays at a station (such as when engines are switched at Washington) could result in more sales and prevent the long lines that I have experienced when the SA opens it again.
Yes! Now hiring an extra LSA would decrease the profits. What needs to happen is other employees should be able to fill in for the LSA when they take a break.

Also coach attendants should be making regular trips to the cafe for customers - like flight attendants.

The “at your seat dinner” from the dining car was also an excellent idea.
 
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LAX Union Station has a large area, and probably other spaces, that could be used for special events. The area that I am thinking of has been used as a movie set.
It's already being done. The large area to the left as you enter (I believe it's the Ticket Concourse) is normally closed to the public, reserved for events. Other areas are also available.

 
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