Ideas for Amtrak to raise revenue

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Joined
Jul 13, 2022
Messages
8
Location
Chicago
1) Daily trains. Customers can’t “count on” service without.

2) In states like IL that have state-supported service stations, long distance trains should stop at all stations. For example, only the state trains stop at Plano while the SW Chief and CZ both blow by the station. The additional runtime should be offset by the additional frequencies that customers can leverage in making trips to/from, increasing revenue.

3) Where Amtrak routes cross interstates, a coordinated Federal DOT effort should establish a station with direct interstate access and dedicated on-/off- ramps. Imagine the inherent advertising and “regional draw” when you don’t have to navigate off an interstate 20-mins through an urban area to get to the station.

4) Strike a deal with major rental car companies to base their operations at Amtrak stations, just like airports. This is particularly important at rural towns that don’t have Lyft/Uber. Want to visit Burlington, IA and go to the casino and water park? Avis and Enterprise are both in town, but the closest (Avis) is 2.4-miles and a 50-min walk per Google. Many stations have excess space inside and ample real estate outside, and perhaps this should be a “no cost lease” to guarantee the move from present location with justification that enabling your customers to get “beyond the train” will increase revenues. Even the smallest airports I’ve traveled through have this - for a reason.

5) Strike a deal with a major hotel chain to operate “hotel cars” on long distance trains. Imagine going to the Hilton website and being able to book a Hilton between Chicago and Kansas City on the SW Chief. The car is decorated, furnished, and operated by Hilton staff with service and food you’d expect from that brand at a price commensurate with their hotels in either city. Could it drive down the price of Amtrak rooms making them more accessible to the masses?
 

rs9

Service Attendant
Joined
Dec 26, 2021
Messages
202
Location
Chicago
2) In states like IL that have state-supported service stations, long distance trains should stop at all stations. For example, only the state trains stop at Plano while the SW Chief and CZ both blow by the station. The additional runtime should be offset by the additional frequencies that customers can leverage in making trips to/from, increasing revenue.

3) Where Amtrak routes cross interstates, a coordinated Federal DOT effort should establish a station with direct interstate access and dedicated on-/off- ramps. Imagine the inherent advertising and “regional draw” when you don’t have to navigate off an interstate 20-mins through an urban area to get to the station.

5) Strike a deal with a major hotel chain to operate “hotel cars” on long distance trains. Imagine going to the Hilton website and being able to book a Hilton between Chicago and Kansas City on the SW Chief. The car is decorated, furnished, and operated by Hilton staff with service and food you’d expect from that brand at a price commensurate with their hotels in either city. Could it drive down the price of Amtrak rooms making them more accessible to the masses?

2) I would think Amtrak has crunched the numbers on station stops and determined that ridership isn't high enough to support every stop.

3) The problem is Amtrak / virtually all railroads use rights-of-way that existed before the interstate system. For example, in Chicago, the NS right-of-way out of Union Station intersects with Interstate 55 at a pretty random point of the city that would would make no sense for travelers who don't have cars.

5) I like the idea, but wouldn't a Hilton level of service be a step up from current sleeper service? Why would we expect a price decrease for roomettes/sleepers in that case? Acknowledging that Amtrak's pricing is a choice, in and of itself.
 
Joined
Jul 13, 2022
Messages
8
Location
Chicago
2) I would think Amtrak has crunched the numbers on station stops and determined that ridership isn't high enough to support every stop.

3) The problem is Amtrak / virtually all railroads use rights-of-way that existed before the interstate system. For example, in Chicago, the NS right-of-way out of Union Station intersects with Interstate 55 at a pretty random point of the city that would would make no sense for travelers who don't have cars.

5) I like the idea, but wouldn't a Hilton level of service be a step up from current sleeper service? Why would we expect a price decrease for roomettes/sleepers in that case? Acknowledging that Amtrak's pricing is a choice, in and of itself.

2) Maybe they have, maybe they haven’t. If they did, when? If not or they did a long time ago, maybe this is a valid current idea to raise revenue consistent with the forum topic?

3) Agree and I should have been more clear with my initial comment that I was thinking generally “beyond metropolitan areas,” certainly not the mile or two from downtown like your example. I’m thinking more like the I-80’s and I-39’s of the world on the outskirts of metro areas to draw rural crowds from a broader area easier.

5) Yes, I’d assume Hilton would be a step up from current. Comment on price reduction is simply the thought that with increased supply on a train and additional competition that price for current service may have to decrease (or quality increase), but the overall revenue should still increase if the demand exists now but isn’t being fulfilled (I.e. sold out rooms now?).
 
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