1) I believe his short contact was up this year, so he’s not leaving because of interactions with Congress.Can't help but think having Congress get in his face was an unpleasant surprise and may have something to do with his agreement to get out of Dodge.
He came in great guns with his inane proposal to literally get Amtrak out of Dodge City with his SWC bus bridge. No doubt he had agreement with Gardiner and the rest of the board when he tried to get that turkey to fly.
Then he found out that he wasn't responsible just to a board when he got slapped silly by Congress. He clearly would not have been able to do what he dearly would have liked to do with long distance service. Messing about with agents and food service was about all he could do, bad as that was. Congress tied his hands. It must have been frustrating...
I had thought that Wick Moorman was the “turnaround specialist”, and laid the groundwork for his long-term replacement.Being that Anderson was on a short term contract with bonuses over base pay, I don't think Anderson's tenure was ever meant to be long term. Anderson was the turnaround specialist, this guy is probably the long term pick..
^This^While I too would prefer a leader with some "passenger railroad experience", they are few and far between. (outside of Brightline, and former Amtrak C-suite level execs, there is not a big pool to choose from...I think Brian Rosenwald would be ideal, alas...) However, JUST BECAUSE the new skipper doesn't come with the pedigree that we would like, doesn't mean we need to slam the board's decision out of the gate. Mr. Flynn is obviously qualified to lead a large organization, has experience with unions, (good-bad-ugly-debatable) "knows" the transportation industry inside-and-out, and should be given a fair chance to make his mark upon Amtrak.
Amtrak didn't really "suffer" under Anderson, in fact, quite the opposite. While I was not in favor of MANY of his decisions, primarily the disaster they call "Flexible Dining" and the retiring of the PPCs, many of his other decisions were the right decisions, they were just unpopular. Take the new(er) ticketing penalties? Very unpopular, but a wise move IMHO. Staffed stations? That's truly debatable, as some Amtrak agents were indeed revenue-generators and community ambassadors, but's it's hard to evaluate each station individually, but it SHOULD have been done, not the across the board cuts like Anderson did.
I think Amtrak's CEO needs to make hard decisions, not EZ decisions, any moron can do that. It might be "hard" to offer both basic transportation for the masses, AND sell a luxury product that pays for itself, but there is likely a market for both. It might be "hard" to empower field employees to make decisions that influence revenue in a positive manner, like selling rooms for a discount, once the train has left the station, or "low priced entrees" for inventory that is going to be condemned anyway upon arrival at the terminal... or PV hauling, or Special Charters, that, in the worst case, break even, but more than make up for it in public relations.
Think outside the box, invite the unions to the table for REAL discussions and change, and do something, do a LOT OF THINGS; DIFFERENT. Because what Amtrak has been doing for the last 49 years, just isn't good enough for the next 49. Not by a long shot. That train has left the station, and it ain't comin' back.
He was doing a good job too. It’s a shame Amtrak couldn’t have kept him longer, he “got it” both with NS and Amtrak. Both have taken a turn for the worse since his departure.I had thought that Wick Moorman was the “turnaround specialist”, and laid the groundwork for his long-term replacement.
The job seems like a revolving door...
He is the one that did not want to stay. His appointment was for a year. He did stick around a bit longer.He was doing a good job too. It’s a shame Amtrak couldn’t have kept him longer, he “got it” both with NS and Amtrak. Both have taken a turn for the worse since his departure.
The CEO of Brightline, Patrick Goddard is from the Hospitality industry. His background is in hotel management.Have to say I agree with the comment that maybe a candidate from the hospitality industry may make a lot of sense.
Nothing. It's corporate-brag-speak.From the Railway Age article, "...“We want to continue the modernization of Amtrak that started four years ago with Wick Moorman, and then accelerated under Richard Anderson...." What did Wick Moorman do that is meant by "the modernization of Amtrak"? I am relatively new to paying attention to Amtrak and wasn't part of this forum during that time.
I'm pretty sure. Mr. Anderson didn't have the common sense to avoid yelling at Senators, who are his bosses. At that point I said his days were numbered. The Board are all political creatures of DC, they understand how it works, and they probably turned against him as soon as he proved incapable of being polite to Congress.Well this leaves me with some questions:
Was there a "no confidence" vote by the board against Anderson (or something similar)?
Having a long history in sales & marketing means that he probably has more awareness of *customer satisfaction* issues than Mr. Anderson did. I read the press release from when Atlas hired him -- apparently he spent a lot of time with Sea-Land, which had a good reputation. After CSX idiotically sold Sea-Land and engaged in the idiotic Conrail merger, Mr. Flynn was apparently called back (presumably at a raise) to recover the freight customers lost to bad service. Atlas has run passenger charters, which are an intensely customer-satisfaction-based business.I knew him as a sales director at CSX before being promoted to other positions and eventually head of Merchandise Service (sales and marketing). He left in 2002. He can certainly 'speak railroad' but not sure what skills he brings as far as passenger rail or transit. Apparently that's no longer important but he should be an improvement over Anderson.
I think we can all agree that that was an act of total mismanagement. I'm OK with cold food in boxes if it's done *well* but this was just *junk* which requires me and anyone else trying to eat a half-decent meal to take our own food.Amtrak didn't really "suffer" under Anderson, in fact, quite the opposite. While I was not in favor of MANY of his decisions, primarily the disaster they call "Flexible Dining"
They were a maintenance nightmare and weren't pulliing their weight financially -- that's one of the few Anderson decisions I actually agree with.and the retiring of the PPCs,
Nope. Unwise move. Reputation destroying money loser.many of his other decisions were the right decisions, they were just unpopular. Take the new(er) ticketing penalties? Very unpopular, but a wise move IMHO.
Boardman and Moorman were both successfully destaffing smaller stations, quietly. Anderson was idiotic enough to destaff Cincinatti, which obviously should be staffed, and that got a backlash. Again, dumbassery.Staffed stations? That's truly debatable, as some Amtrak agents were indeed revenue-generators and community ambassadors, but's it's hard to evaluate each station individually, but it SHOULD have been done, not the across the board cuts like Anderson did.
Let's hope.If he'd taken a less egomanaical approach he probably could have implemented an agenda. Ignoring and yelling at your bosses is not a good way to get an agenda implemented.
The business with Cincy is still gobsmacking to me -- anyone with common sense would have kept the station agent there, and a couple of the other most high-profile locations, and been able to cut the station agents everywhere else they wanted to cut them with few objections. Instead, by picking a fight over a case where Amtrak was *clearly wrong*, they ended up with legislation ordering them to put back *all* the station agents.
I don't know what Flynn is going to do, but I suspect he's going to be a lot smoother about it, whatever it is.