Staffed to Unstaffed Stations Master Thread

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PaulM

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Quite of a few of the stations that are losing their staffs are under review for train side, baggage lite service.
Would this be in addition to eliminating existing baggage lite service? Fort Madison (FMD) has had track side baggage service for several years on weekends when it is not staffed. When I went to book FMD to LMY May 19 (a Saturday), it said no baggage.

So why didn't they do this review before eliminating the service?
 

cpotisch

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Quite of a few of the stations that are losing their staffs are under review for train side, baggage lite service.
Would this be in addition to eliminating existing baggage lite service? Fort Madison (FMD) has had track side baggage service for several years on weekends when it is not staffed. When I went to book FMD to LMY May 19 (a Saturday), it said no baggage.

So why didn't they do this review before eliminating the service?
'Cause they didn't think it would make sense for that station?
 

Thirdrail7

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Would this be in addition to eliminating existing baggage lite service? Fort Madison (FMD) has had track side baggage service for several years on weekends when it is not staffed. When I went to book FMD to LMY May 19 (a Saturday), it said no baggage.

So why didn't they do this review before eliminating the service?
In FMD's case, maybe they did do the review prior to eliminating the service. Maybe they looked at the current operation and decided it was no longer worth it and targeted it for elimination. The same goes for GRV. After watching baggage lite in action for a few months, they cancelled it.

As for the rest of the stations under consideration, I personally(please note the use of the word "personally") believe it won't occur. The problem is there is little "hard" revenue appearing from the checked bags and there are quite a few top people that question the wisdom of even having an operational baggage car fleet, wondering aloud if it would be better to treat them like the HHP-8s (if you catch my drift.) I don't think that will happen, but the reality of the situation is it largely irrelevant if baggage lite is available or will become available. Staffing costs and costs (particularly on the LD service line network) must be cut...and that means now. So, goodbye staff and you guys can figure if baggage lite will work on your own time.

Revenue trumps ridership!!!!!!
 
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AmtrakLKL

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Texarkana, TX will begin limited train-side checked baggage and bike service today.
 

cpotisch

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Maybe they'll start hiring baggage car attendants. I'm kind of joking but kind of not.
 

TiBike

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I take it as a positive development. Once it's established that passengers are as capable of handing up bikes and baggage as Amtrak employees, there's no reason not to take bikes and baggage at every station.

Want to avoid double spotting? Accept the bags and bikes into the lower level of a coach – where they put "carry on" bags anyway – and transfer to a baggage car later, at a station where there's an employee, likely with a motorised cart.

Too much work or too much dwell time required? Start charging $20 per bag per segment, as with bikes.
 

Thirdrail7

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Quite of a few of the stations that are losing their staffs are under review for train side, baggage lite service.
Even though the website has a weird way of showing it, Charlestown, WV (CHW) and Cincinnati, OH (CIN) will offer baggage lite service. Bikes are included.

The thing is, the website doesn't really reflect it unless you search. If you go to CIN's page, you'll get this:

Amtrak Express shipping not available

Checked baggage service available

No checked baggage storage

Bike boxes not available

The number of bike boxes available in the station is limited. For further assistance, please call 1-800-USA-RAIL.

No baggage carts

Ski bags not available

No bag storage

Baggage storage is an area where passengers may store their bags, equivalent to "left luggage" in Europe. A storage fee may apply.

Shipping boxes not available

No baggage assistance

Free passenger assistance, including baggage-handling and courtesy wheelchairs where available, is provided by station staff.

However, when you click on the the advisory regarding the window closing you'll get this:

Checked Baggage

Train side checked baggage and bike service will be in effect seven days a week. Passengers will obtain baggage checking supplies in the station, attach them to their baggage or bike and bring them to the baggage car on the train.

Caretakers will be available to answer questions, if needed.

CHW's page is even worse. Behold:

Amtrak Express shipping not available

No checked baggage service

No checked baggage storage

Bike boxes not available

The number of bike boxes available in the station is limited. For further assistance, please call 1-800-USA-RAIL.

No baggage carts

Ski bags not available

No bag storage

Baggage storage is an area where passengers may store their bags, equivalent to "left luggage" in Europe. A storage fee may apply.

Shipping boxes not available

No baggage assistance

Free passenger assistance, including baggage-handling and courtesy wheelchairs where available, is provided by station staff.

When you click on the advisory regarding the window closing, you get this:

Checked Baggage

Train side checked baggage and bike service will be in effect seven days a week. Passengers will obtain baggage checking supplies in the station, attach them to their baggage or bike and bring them to the baggage car on the train.

Caretakers will be available to answer questions, if needed.

Both stations offer baggage lite but one station says they offer checked baggage while the other one does not. Perhaps they haven't finished the updates.
 

TiBike

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Bike boxes not available

The number of bike boxes available in the station is limited. For further assistance, please call 1-800-USA-RAIL.

-- snip --

No bag storage

Baggage storage is an area where passengers may store their bags, equivalent to "left luggage" in Europe. A storage fee may apply.

-- snip --

Checked Baggage

Train side checked baggage and bike service will be in effect seven days a week. Passengers will obtain baggage checking supplies in the station, attach them to their baggage or bike and bring them to the baggage car on the train.
So you can and can't store luggage. And you can and can't get bike boxes. But you probably don't need a bike box anyway, because you can roll it up, unless someone reads it differently. I think the "not quite done yet" hypothesis is the valid one
 

bmjhagen9426

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Apr 16, 2014
Messages
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“Available 7 days a week”?



The Cardinal only operates 3 days a week!
My guess is that Amtrak does a lot of copy-and-paste when it comes to writing up destaffing notice.

In other news, despite Amtrak's recent station employee layoffs, people have been very vocal about the loss of station staff.
 

Thirdrail7

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“Available 7 days a week”?



The Cardinal only operates 3 days a week!
If you want to get technical, The Eastbound Cardinal passes through CHW on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday while the Westbound Cardinal passes through on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday.

It should read 6 days a week.
 

brianpmcdonnell17

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Mar 5, 2016
Messages
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Available 7 days a week?



The Cardinal only operates 3 days a week!
If you want to get technical, The Eastbound Cardinal passes through CHW on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday while the Westbound Cardinal passes through on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday.

It should read 6 days a week.
I think you mean Cincinnati, which has one train on the days you listed. Charleston (CHW) has two trains (one in each direction) on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, but none on the other four days of the week. Also, since the times are after midnight at Cincinnati the eastbound Cardinal passes through on Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday, while the westbound comes through on Monday, Thursday, and Saturday.
 
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Thirdrail7

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If you want to get technical, The Eastbound Cardinal passes through CHW on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday while the Westbound Cardinal passes through on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday.
It should read 6 days a week.
I think you mean Cincinnati, which has one train on the days you listed. Charleston (CHW) has two trains (one in each direction) on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, but none on the other four days of the week. Also, since the times are after midnight at Cincinnati the eastbound Cardinal passes through on Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday, while the westbound comes through on Monday, Thursday, and Saturday.
Thank you. That is what I should have typed.
 

AmtrakLKL

Lead Service Attendant
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Jun 7, 2012
Messages
352
Effective July 8, La Junta will be staffed five days a week, Monday to Friday, with a caretaker on weekends. Ticket sales will continue to be available when the agent is on site, currently scheduled as Mon-Wed 7am - 12:30pm and Thur-Fri 7am-10am and 6pm-8:30pm. When the agent is not available during the scheduled hours a caretaker will open the station. Checked baggage and unaccompanied minor services will not be available.
 
Joined
Jul 21, 2016
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Yesterday was the last day for Flint, MI's agent. The remaining staffed Michigan Amtrak stations are Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, Ann Arbor, Dearborn, Detroit and East Lansing.
 

dogbert617

OBS Chief
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Aug 19, 2016
Messages
790
Yesterday was the last day for Flint, MI's agent. The remaining staffed Michigan Amtrak stations are Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, Ann Arbor, Dearborn, Detroit and East Lansing.
I didn't realize Niles, MI no longer had an agent. That is too bad, but I guess the way all these unstaffing decisions are coming to(sigh). And as for Charleston, WV, I recall reading US Senator Manchin(of WV) was trying to add language to the Amtrak funding bill for this year to require Amtrak to have at least 1 station agent, in each state where Amtrak operates trains through. Clever idea he's doing that, since it'll save at least Charleston, WV's agent. Too bad it won't save the one in Cincy....

And that's too bad La Junta's agent will only be there on weekdays. Probably a sign that soon it'll lose its agent entirely, one of these future months/years....

Yesterday was the last day for Flint, MI's agent. The remaining staffed Michigan Amtrak stations are Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, Ann Arbor, Dearborn, Detroit and East Lansing.
I didn't realize Niles, MI no longer had an agent. And from reading page 1, apparently Jackson, MI recently lost its agent too. That is too bad, but I guess the way all these unstaffing decisions are coming to(sigh).
 
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jis

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I suspect if Michigan wanted to have agents at stations served primarily by their trains, they could make it happen.
 

Palmland

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Messages
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In light of the reduction in staffed stations and the resulting reduction in checked baggage, I wonder if Amtrak didn’t make the wrong decision about the baggage and baggage-dorm cars. Wouldn’t it have been better to have more bag-dorms and reduce or eliminate baggage cars on single level trains? This would at least generate more revenue.

Do trains like the Carolinian, Palmetto, Star, Cardinal and Crescent really need that much baggage space. Even though it’s a bigger train, the LSL certainly doesn’t need two baggage cars. Would it be possible to reconfigure full baggage cars to bag-dorms?
 

JRR

OBS Chief
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Jul 17, 2017
Messages
912
By cutting baggage service at stations, they assure that even less space is needed.
 
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