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Way to cut down losses on long distance trains

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McIntyre2K7

Train Attendant
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Jun 30, 2020
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Tampa, FL
How much are the collective "we" willing to pay for such a lavish experience? And is Brightline even set up to be a contract operator?
I don't think Brightline wants Amtrak. Brighline has already said they want to be the option where "it's too short to fly, let too long to drive."
 

me_little_me

Conductor
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Jul 16, 2010
Messages
3,304
How much are the collective "we" willing to pay for such a lavish experience? And is Brightline even set up to be a contract operator?
Yeah, but think - fast, clean trains with consistently friendly, helpful hosts and agents, clean restrooms and reliable on-time service.

Amtrak keeps asking us to pay extra and doesn't give us any of that.

Never mind. My heart couldn't take that. It'd be "it's the big one, Elizabeth"!
 

MARC Rider

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Apr 5, 2011
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Oh heck...let's just eliminate all on board food service, and resurrect the old "Harvey House" network. Early or late, "Mr. Fred's" mantra was: "The Train Must Be Fed"....🤣:oops:
And where would you locate these new "Harvey House Restaurants?" And what happens when the train is running 2 hours late?

One alternative is off-site catering, pre-ordered by customers, delivered train-side. If the train is running late (a common occurrence on Amtrak), the meals can be shipped by truck to wherever the train is located. It's not necessarily a long drive, as a 2-hour late train could be 50 miles or less from where it's supposed to be.
 

MARC Rider

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How much are the collective "we" willing to pay for such a lavish experience? And is Brightline even set up to be a contract operator?
All we need to do is wait a few years. After the Brighline investors make all their big bucks on the associated real-estate development, they will find that the returns from just running a passenger railroad aren't all that lucrative. At that point, Brightline will be folded into Amtrak under threat of abandonment otherwise, and not only will the taxpayers be on the hook for the infrastructure costs needed to connect Brightline with the Amtrak network, you won't have to worry about having to pay for a "lavish experience," because such "lavish experience" will be history. :)
 
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MARC Rider

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Apr 5, 2011
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Baltimore. MD
Yeah, but think - fast, clean trains with consistently friendly, helpful hosts and agents, clean restrooms and reliable on-time service.

Amtrak keeps asking us to pay extra and doesn't give us any of that.
You obviously don't ride on the Northeast Corridor. It has everything you mentioned, except, maybe, clean restrooms in Baltimore and Washington stations. (Philly and New York restrooms are actually pretty good, and the Baltimore and Washington restrooms start out clean at the beginning of the day.)

This is one of the few parts of the country where passenger rail is actually a viable transportation alternative. Obviously Amtrak needs to build more of these, but it's a but hard if you don't own the track, have associated commuter service and transit feeding the systems, or cooperative state and local authorities that also want to build clock-face corridor service.
 

railiner

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Mar 20, 2009
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Palm Beach County
And where would you locate these new "Harvey House Restaurants?" And what happens when the train is running 2 hours late?

One alternative is off-site catering, pre-ordered by customers, delivered train-side. If the train is running late (a common occurrence on Amtrak), the meals can be shipped by truck to wherever the train is located. It's not necessarily a long drive, as a 2-hour late train could be 50 miles or less from where it's supposed to be.
This was not a serious suggestion...just a facetious reminder of how they did it in the days prior to the introduction of the dining car...:rolleyes:

That said, at least in the case of the AT&SF and the Fred Harvey Company, they would make sure they stayed open to accommodate all late trains...
 

TheCrescent

Train Attendant
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Jun 24, 2020
Messages
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How much are the collective "we" willing to pay for such a lavish experience? And is Brightline even set up to be a contract operator?
I wouldn’t expect that “we” would pay any more to Brightline than “we” already pay for Amtrak. Brightline management has just shown a lot of innovation that Amtrak management has not shown.
 

MARC Rider

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This was not a serious suggestion...just a facetious reminder of how they did it in the days prior to the introduction of the dining car...:rolleyes:

That said, at least in the case of the AT&SF and the Fred Harvey Company, they would make sure they stayed open to accommodate all late trains...
Ah, but did the train stay in the station long enough for everybody to get fed?
 
Joined
Mar 10, 2016
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All we need to do is wait a few years. After the Brighline investors make all their big bucks on the associated real-estate development, they will find that the returns from just running a passenger railroad aren't all that lucrative. At that point, Brightline will be folded into Amtrak under threat of abandonment otherwise, and not only will the taxpayers be on the hook for the infrastructure costs needed to connect Brightline with the Amtrak network, you won't have to worry about having to pay for a "lavish experience," because such "lavish experience" will be history. :)
You're the only one who got it! This is exactly what happened with streetcar suburbs and other transit developments (shoot, even many small midwestern towns were on this model despite the pioneer narrative).
 
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