RPA's Jim Mathews' views on Amtrak

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daybeers

Conductor
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I'm confused. Does the STB not currently have the capacity to keep track of these delays, and does it not have the authority to do take action? Jim said otherwise in the video. There are several resources that easily keep track of Amtrak performance via no help nor funding from them, and isn't keeping transportation companies accountable their main job? 😅

The hoops this country has to go through to not have trains run half a dozen hours late daily is ridiculous.
 
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I'm confused. Does the STB not currently have the capacity to keep track of these delays, and does it not have the authority to do take action? Jim said otherwise in the video.
I don't think he did. What he said was (1) the "new" regulations, finally approved by the Supreme Court, give the STB authority to take action, and (2) whether they have enough resources to do so depends on what comes out of the STB reauthorization bill that will be before Congress later this year.
 

Devil's Advocate

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Does the STB not currently have the capacity to keep track of these delays, and does it not have the authority to do take action?
If there is one thing I've learned about this country it's that sufficient authority is rarely an issue, but that a willingness to use such authority for the good of anyone outside the investor class is surprisingly rare. We also have a new hurtle of even long established rights being suddenly invalidated by an activist court.
 
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zephyr17

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What I will be looking for, now that the STB Passenger OTP statistics are being gathered and published, will be Amtrak's willingness to file complaints. Mr. Matthew's accurately pointed out the DOJ only filed suit once, what is not there in his statement is Amtrak has traditionally been quite reticent to even threaten the hosts with going to DOJ, or publicly complain about OTP. They often have a taken a "go along to get along" approach in their relationship with the host railroads they are yoked together with.

As most who are here regularly are aware, I am not a fan of of Amtrak's current and recent executive management teams, to say the least. One point in their favor is that they have been much more willing to publicly call out the host railroads on their OTP issues than Amtrak had been in the past. Issuing public "grades" of host railroad performance is one example.

I really don't expect the STB to self-move in filing actions, but I do expect Amtrak to file complaints. Whether they will will be a key test of these new regs. Based on Amtrak's current management's willingness to call out the host railroads, I am cautiously optimistic.
 
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