Quantcast

Long distance trains now sold out, NEC still burning cash..

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

Amtrakfflyer

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Messages
472

MARC Rider

Conductor
Joined
Apr 5, 2011
Messages
2,233
Location
Baltimore. MD
Sorry... not allowed to say the NEC is losing money. Even if it’s a fact. :)
The NEC hating is silly. The NEC is one of the few places in the US where intercity passenger rail is a viable transportation alternative, and, at least before Covid, a major part of the intercity market share. Of course it's a higher priority for Amtrak than one-a-day trains that serve thinly populated areas with decent roads where nearly everyone drives.

Remember the politics of government support for passenger rail -- to get funding for the NEC, Congress has to support the long distance network, but also, to get funding for the long-distance network, Congress has to support the NEC. Remember, there are 18 senators from states with NEC service.
 

brianpmcdonnell17

Conductor
Joined
Mar 5, 2016
Messages
1,402
Location
Chicago, Illinois
I'm on the CL right now and there is only 2 coaches instead of the normal 3. Considering the tri-weekly schedule and 50% max occupancy, current coach capacity is roughly 1/7 the normal. Even with the reduced demand from less-than-daily service, it's not that hard to sell out a train when capacity on the trains that do run is 1/3 of normal.
 

me_little_me

Conductor
Joined
Jul 16, 2010
Messages
3,288
I'm on the CL right now and there is only 2 coaches instead of the normal 3. Considering the tri-weekly schedule and 50% max occupancy, current coach capacity is roughly 1/7 the normal. Even with the reduced demand from less-than-daily service, it's not that hard to sell out a train when capacity on the trains that do run is 1/3 of normal.
I think the point is that there apparently is a lot of justification for increasing the capacity of each train and/or increasing the frequency. Unless of course your intention is to eliminate the service by not bringing in as much revenue as you could!
 

Maverickstation

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Mar 2, 2017
Messages
265
Location
Boston, MA (Eastie)
The NEC hating is silly. The NEC is one of the few places in the US where intercity passenger rail is a viable transportation alternative, and, at least before Covid, a major part of the intercity market share. Of course it's a higher priority for Amtrak than one-a-day trains that serve thinly populated areas with decent roads where nearly everyone drives.

Remember the politics of government support for passenger rail -- to get funding for the NEC, Congress has to support the long distance network, but also, to get funding for the long-distance network, Congress has to support the NEC. Remember, there are 18 senators from states with NEC service.
Well said !
 
  • Like
Reactions: jis

Amtrakfflyer

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Messages
472
I agree 100 percent with the above. The issue is this management appears to only care about the NEC at the expense of the network. They have done nothing to foster and build ridership on network trains, but as of now at least riders are still riding. Forgot about fostering growth they have gone out of their way to drive passengers away. Cutting amenities and raising fares is one thing but spreading falsehoods as they have done in the past shows their true colors.

Covid or not with such partisanship the NEC and Network need seperate management in my opinion.
 

bms

Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 29, 2018
Messages
174
Location
Cleveland
I think the point is that there apparently is a lot of justification for increasing the capacity of each train and/or increasing the frequency. Unless of course your intention is to eliminate the service by not bringing in as much revenue as you could!
I tend to think Mr. Flynn means well, but was unqualified for the job and is in over his head. Either way, this consist is depressingly like how most of the great trains ended. Years of cuts and complaints to Congress and finally, a single tired old locomotive pulling two or three coaches into the station for the last time.
 

jiml

Conductor
Joined
Feb 27, 2019
Messages
1,708
Location
Toronto area
AA was, last week from Palm Beach to Charlotte, and almost full, Charlotte to JFK...that was on 3 October.
I believe Delta is the only North American carrier still blocking seats. The others have returned to full planes and some have made seat and tray-table cleaning the passengers' responsibility, handing out wipes on boarding.
 

Devil's Advocate

Sarcastic Misanthrope
Joined
May 24, 2010
Messages
11,602
Location
Texas
The NEC hating is silly.
Out here on the national network we're down to half size trains that barely run a few times per week with gas station breakfasts and frozen casserole dinners that rarely connect to each other in a practical manner. We also face an Amtrak-created restriction that requires nearly every available seat to be booked months in advance before we can talk about resuming daily operation. If you're aware of a credible threat to the NEC's post-Covid service then by all means please let us know how we can help. If not then perhaps you can understand our frustration.
 
Last edited:

Anderson

Conductor
Joined
Nov 16, 2010
Messages
9,585
Location
Virginia
Sorry... not allowed to say the NEC is losing money. Even if it’s a fact. :)
Actually, even by Amtrak's metrics the NEC has been losing money since April. They're only running a handful of Acelas (at about 50% capacity) and a reduced number of Regionals (ditto). It's looking like, for FY20, the NEC is going to be at about break-even...and that included Oct-Feb running at a record pace.

And "sold out" might be 50% of normal capacity.
It's 50% in coach and 100% in sleeper. My understanding is that sleepers are selling out pretty frequently (probably due to a decent number of displaced pax from the other days) while coach is more touch-and-go on that front.
 

sttom

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 23, 2019
Messages
525
The NEC hating is silly.
Some of us wanting a fairer means of funding passenger rail outside of the NEC isn't hating the NEC. It would be nice to have more NEC like corridors around the country, but that would mean Congress accepting that they would need to pony up money for it like it does with the NEC. And that means spending money in states that may not want to deal with Amtrak. There is no reason why getting more frequent service between cities like Dallas and Houston would mean having the trains run all the way to Kansas City just to comply with the 750 mile rule and therefore be eligible for federal funding. Or put states in a position where they have to scrounge for money to keep a federal route like the Southwest Chief going when it is a federal concern. Arguing for a fair and rational system is not hating the NEC.
 

ehbowen

Conductor
Joined
Mar 22, 2011
Messages
2,373
Location
Houston, Texas
Some of us wanting a fairer means of funding passenger rail outside of the NEC isn't hating the NEC. It would be nice to have more NEC like corridors around the country, but that would mean Congress accepting that they would need to pony up money for it like it does with the NEC. And that means spending money in states that may not want to deal with Amtrak. There is no reason why getting more frequent service between cities like Dallas and Houston would mean having the trains run all the way to Kansas City just to comply with the 750 mile rule and therefore be eligible for federal funding. Or put states in a position where they have to scrounge for money to keep a federal route like the Southwest Chief going when it is a federal concern. Arguing for a fair and rational system is not hating the NEC.
Agreed and liked, although if service was re-established between Houston and Dallas (or Fort Worth!) I would be all in favor of extending it to Kansas City...and Chicago, for that matter!
 

sttom

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 23, 2019
Messages
525
Agreed and liked, although if service was re-established between Houston and Dallas (or Fort Worth!) I would be all in favor of extending it to Kansas City...and Chicago, for that matter!
My point is that the 750 mile rule is asinine when the NEC gets federal money when it needs it. The feds fund highway improvements between DFW and Houston, why shouldn't trains be on the menu unless you can make a line that goes all the way to Kansas City at minimum? Highways are state owned, state planned and partially state funded and Amtrak exist to "provide a balanced transportation network". I want more trains of all types across the system, but that's not going to happen while we have rules of thee and not for me when it comes to which corridor services get money and which ones don't. Whatever the NEC states get to keep the NEC running and in good repair on a per capita basis, should be available to every other state in the lower 48. The Senators and House Reps that defend Amtrak from cuts should demand more than they do.
 
Top