Short Consists of Long Distance Trains

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toddinde

Lead Service Attendant
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Apr 23, 2015
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Sierra Vista, AZ
It is normal for the 2nd sleeper to appear and disappear from one day to the next in shoulder season. In winter it is usually absent.

The 2nd Seattle coach runs somewhat less often than the 2nd Seattle sleeper -- in a pre-covid year it ran most of the summer, but essentially never in winter or shoulder season -- but this year is the only year where I didn't see a 2nd Seattle coach all summer.

I am not 100% sure it is an equipment shortage and not just simple capacity needs...east of Spokane that still gives the Builder 3 coaches. There will just be a lot of people holding tickets reading "27" rather than "7".
No, it’s an equipment shortage. Amtrak VP Harris said as much during his comments to RPA. Reading between the lines, Amtrak didn’t expect to be running many long distance trains in the future, so many cars were placed in storage and maintenance was deferred.
 

zephyr17

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Washington State
No, it’s an equipment shortage. Amtrak VP Harris said as much during his comments to RPA. Reading between the lines, Amtrak didn’t expect to be running many long distance trains in the future, so many cars were placed in storage and maintenance was deferred.
Make that read Amtrak planned not to run many long distance trains in the future. Congress upset their apple cart, but not unexpectedly.

Amtrak management seemed to almost intentionally fail to read the tea leaves on the Congressional mandate to return to daily operation. It was in the works for months before it passed and was fully expected to pass.

It wasn't unexpected. It was lack of planning.
 

me_little_me

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Make that read Amtrak planned not to run many long distance trains in the future. Congress upset their apple cart, but not unexpectedly.

Amtrak management seemed to almost intentionally fail to read the tea leaves on the Congressional mandate to return to daily operation. It was in the works for months before it passed and was fully expected to pass.

It wasn't unexpected. It was lack of planning.
Moreover, when things are done well, executives almost always find ways to reward themselves. Most of Amtrak's executives and Board need to find elsewhere to make their money and reputation and be terminated for cause. They have intentionally put cars in long-term unmaintained status and grossly mis-planned their needs.
 

MARC Rider

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My, my, there seem to be a lot of paranoia and conspiracy theory here. Some people seem to think that Amtrak's management have all been reincarnated from the management of the Southern Pacific in the late 1950s and 1960s, and that they have some sort of secret plan to eliminate all the long-distance trains by ensuring that there aren't enough railcars to operate the trains. It's also possible that the management just misjudged how long the COVID downturn would last. And remember, just because there are more people riding the trains today than there were last year doesn't mean that there are as many people riding as there were back in 2019 before the pandemic. In fact, I did a couple of test booking and found that there was space available for sale on all of the Long Distance trains leaving New York for Miami, New Orleans, and Chicago tomorrow. So there still seems to be empty space on the trains, even with the shorter consists. Unless someone has intercepted texts or emails from management documenting a conspiracy to starve out the long distance trains, I would suggest some patience, here.
 

Amtrakfflyer

OBS Chief
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In a perfect world that all makes sense. The problem is Gardner is on record with Anderson as not wanting to run the network trains going back before CoVid. The SWC shouting match showed their true colors. Its not a secret to congressional aides at least on the SWC coalition that Gardner is anti national network. Covid or not this management has made bad decision after bad decision to the point they need to be replaced before more damage is done.

As far as trains not being completely sold out. Last minute fares and fares in general are outrageous for the most part and east coast trains have virtually no amenities on top of that. We can debate buckets and what not but the end result my trips on the SWC this year are 50%higher in cost then I’ve ever paid before. We’re paying $1920 ow for the family bedroom GBB to LAX 12/21 this year. On 12/23/18 we paid $970 for it. This has caused us to fly on 2 trips this year that we may have taken the train. The low buckets are far and few between if at all.

My, my, there seem to be a lot of paranoia and conspiracy theory here. Some people seem to think that Amtrak's management have all been reincarnated from the management of the Southern Pacific in the late 1950s and 1960s, and that they have some sort of secret plan to eliminate all the long-distance trains by ensuring that there aren't enough railcars to operate the trains. It's also possible that the management just misjudged how long the COVID downturn would last. And remember, just because there are more people riding the trains today than there were last year doesn't mean that there are as many people riding as there were back in 2019 before the pandemic. In fact, I did a couple of test booking and found that there was space available for sale on all of the Long Distance trains leaving New York for Miami, New Orleans, and Chicago tomorrow. So there still seems to be empty space on the trains, even with the shorter consists. Unless someone has intercepted texts or emails from management documenting a conspiracy to starve out the long distance trains, I would suggest some patience, here.
 
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neroden

Engineer
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Feb 23, 2014
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Ithaca, NY
Roger Harris of Amtrak addressed RPA September 20. He stated that short consists were due to lack of maintenance personnel to get all equipment back in service. So a check of the Amtrak job site did not show any job openings at BEECH, Wilmington, and bear. As well no maintenance positions at any of the end points of the LD trains including Chicago. The job posting go back for one month. Now there were several locations listed for OBS. Also coach cleaners at NEC locations.
Innnnteresting. It's possible they have a lot of unexpected sick time due to Covid or something. Still, this shows mismanagement. Get that letter written!

Am composing a letter to sec of transportation asking what is going on.?
 
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neroden

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Rumors Amtrak wants to and will shortly announce reduction back to 3x weekly service for LD using excuse of can’t hire new employees and abnormally high number of employees facing termination due to refusing vaccine mandate next month…it’s on the other board.
Based on the current Congressional landscape, which is outright ordering Amtrak to provide daily service, that would basically amount to management tendering its resignation letters. So it seems unlikely. On the other hand, maybe Mr. Gardner wants to quit -- who knows?
 

me_little_me

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My, my, there seem to be a lot of paranoia and conspiracy theory here. Some people seem to think that Amtrak's management have all been reincarnated from the management of the Southern Pacific in the late 1950s and 1960s, and that they have some sort of secret plan to eliminate all the long-distance trains by ensuring that there aren't enough railcars to operate the trains.
They haven't got the brains to make their plan secret. That's why so many people are complaining about the SWC blunder, the cars not being available, the high prices, the lack of timetables, the food disaster, amtrak.com problems and everything else.

It's also possible that the management just misjudged how long the COVID downturn would last.
I've said it before. When the executives gets it right, they get honored, perks, promotion and $$. So when he gets it wrong, they need to suffer the consequences.

In fact, I did a couple of test booking and found that there was space available for sale on all of the Long Distance trains leaving New York for Miami, New Orleans, and Chicago tomorrow.
And your point? Prices for off-season are still out of sight. That's why there may be rooms available. I thought I paid way too much for rooms on my upcoming trip west but when I check, the prices are now laughable. If I could sell my rooms at those prices, I would then take the money, fly first class, and have enough left over for a 2019 Amtrak trip. I know. I did two then including one at Christmas time.
 

west point

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Is it still Amtrak policy that a passenger can cancel at last minute without penalty ? Do not count being able to book at last minute there are always cancellations.
 

Amtrakfflyer

OBS Chief
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Feb 2, 2005
Messages
631
Add that to the gripe list as well. Acela first class you can cancel 1 minute before departure and get a full refund. Long distance sleeper traveler is the most punitive needing 121 days notice for a full refund. Yes, 121 days. They really have made it death by a 1000 cuts with just about every aspect of long distance travel.

Class of Service: Sleeper Accommodations

  • Refunds: Full refund to original form of payment with no fees if canceled 121 days or more before departure. Refund to original form of payment with 25% fee charged if canceled 120 to 15 days before departure. Within 14 days of departure, only refundable to non-refundable eVoucher with a 25% cancellation fee.
  • No change fee
 
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Cal

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Socal
dd that to the gripe list as well. Acela first class you can cancel 1 minute before departure and get a full refund.
Hmmm. Just curious, if it arrives early and you board, would you be able to cancel after you're already on board? Although the conductor would have to scan your ticket on the platform.
 

TheVig

Train Attendant
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Charlotte NC
Friday we took the Carolinian home from PHL to CLT. When we boarded in PHL, I noticed an extra coach car had been added. I took a walk through the train, coach cars were packed to the gills. We were in business, and it stayed packed until RGH.

Yeah, nobody rides trains anymore.
 

nti1094

Service Attendant
Joined
Apr 9, 2015
Messages
116
No, it’s an equipment shortage. Amtrak VP Harris said as much during his comments to RPA. Reading between the lines, Amtrak didn’t expect to be running many long distance trains in the future, so many cars were placed in storage and maintenance was deferred.
The utter incompetence of this company is unbelievable. And now we have to subract an entire trainset worth of cars after the builder. (as usual, I’m sure all but two cars will go long term storage/damaged) The only time they ever really focused on repairs to damaged but not totally destroy ours as with Obama stimulous funds. Perhaps it’s time to consider something like converting the CONO to single level and re-assigning those cars to the western trains?
 

nti1094

Service Attendant
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Apr 9, 2015
Messages
116
Hmmm. Just curious, if it arrives early and you board, would you be able to cancel after you're already on board? Although the conductor would have to scan your ticket on the platform.
Not after scanning the ticket and being marked on the manifest. At least not easily like through the app.
 

nti1094

Service Attendant
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Apr 9, 2015
Messages
116
They haven't got the brains to make their plan secret. That's why so many people are complaining about the SWC blunder, the cars not being available, the high prices, the lack of timetables, the food disaster, amtrak.com problems and everything else.


I've said it before. When the executives gets it right, they get honored, perks, promotion and $$. So when he gets it wrong, they need to suffer the consequences.


And your point? Prices for off-season are still out of sight. That's why there may be rooms available. I thought I paid way too much for rooms on my upcoming trip west but when I check, the prices are now laughable. If I could sell my rooms at those prices, I would then take the money, fly first class, and have enough left over for a 2019 Amtrak trip. I know. I did two then including one at Christmas time.
A perfect way to frame these losers, “haven’t got the brains to make it secret.” It’s amazing that people like this end up
in management. Lately I have been just flying and saving a HUGE amount of money and getting treated like my business means something. Getting appreciated. Great job Amtrak, you have driven away one of your best customers. It kills me, but I just cannot continue supporting the degraded yet more expensive.
 

nti1094

Service Attendant
Joined
Apr 9, 2015
Messages
116
Based on the current Congressional landscape, which is outright ordering Amtrak to provide daily service, that would basically amount to management tendering its resignation letters. So it seems unlikely. On the other hand, maybe Mr. Gardner wants to quit -- who knows?
Time to clean house and get a new board in and get new managers.
 

nti1094

Service Attendant
Joined
Apr 9, 2015
Messages
116
Moreover, when things are done well, executives almost always find ways to reward themselves. Most of Amtrak's executives and Board need to find elsewhere to make their money and reputation and be terminated for cause. They have intentionally put cars in long-term unmaintained status and grossly mis-planned their needs.
If they really put cars into unmaintained long term storage, they need to all be fired and the company needs a reset.
 
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west point

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Over several months we have had reports of various cars parked at different locations/ That IMO means un maintained.
 

Amtrakfflyer

OBS Chief
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Feb 2, 2005
Messages
631
This is another situation where a shady untrusted management needs oversight. Whether that be RPA, Buttigieg/ Administration, certain Congress members or us, Amtrak’s long term future is again at stake. Money/funding/good intentions mean nothing if there continues to be sabotage from within.
 
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toddinde

Lead Service Attendant
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Apr 23, 2015
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Sierra Vista, AZ
The utter incompetence of this company is unbelievable. And now we have to subract an entire trainset worth of cars after the builder. (as usual, I’m sure all but two cars will go long term storage/damaged) The only time they ever really focused on repairs to damaged but not totally destroy ours as with Obama stimulous funds. Perhaps it’s time to consider something like converting the CONO to single level and re-assigning those cars to the western trains?
It is a constant frustration. Anderson, on behalf of the Trump Administration, Mick Mulvaney, and the Heritage Foundation, really planned to do away with the long distance trains. I believe the three day per week was fully intended to be permanent. The election really messed that up. The long distance trains have nine lives. They’re popular, not costly to operate, and literally serve as the basis for all future passenger rail expansion. The Boardman years were largely lost years. They were a time when Amtrak could have presented a vision. Moorman was brought in to wreck it, and picked Anderson to finish the job. Thankfully, it didn’t happen.
 
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