Why doesn't Amtrak run significantly longer trains?

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TheCrescent

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jun 24, 2020
Messages
340
The SEPTA/NJT connection really doesn't work all that well anymore. At the start of the pandemic SEPTA started not timing the connections in Trenton and they haven't remedied that. It's a terrible setup because nobody should be taking a regional or high speed train to go 90 miles. That's purely an intercity express train territory. It's stupid Amtrak capacity gets so used up in that corridor.
Plenty of people in Midtown Manhattan race down to Philadelphia for a meeting or to the airport, and they take the Acela. I do. If people are willing to pay $200 for a 90 mile trip, why wouldn’t Amtrak take their money?
 

daybeers

Conductor
Joined
Jan 6, 2016
Messages
1,530
Location
NHV
Plenty of people in Midtown Manhattan race down to Philadelphia for a meeting or to the airport, and they take the Acela. I do. If people are willing to pay $200 for a 90 mile trip, why wouldn’t Amtrak take their money?
Because it's the wrong service for it. AmtrakMaineiac is right; fast intercity trains need to come back on the NYP-PHL section. It's not about making money off it (of which the fares are ridiculous), but rather about putting passengers on the appropriate trains that fit their origin and destination pattern.

It should be:
-local commuter train
-express commuter train
-regional train (I think NYP-PHL would go here, making stops in TRE and NWK)
-high speed train
-long-distance train

in order of dispatch priority, seat allocation, and scheduling. Ideally nobody should be using the LD trains for local travel, as they take up seats someone going much further could use instead. They need to get off the corridor as quickly as possible. If only the equipment was qualified for 125... High speed trains should be used for farther distances, like WAS-NYP. 90 mile trips should be done on an express regional train.

It's silly that the Regionals make so many stops between PHL and NYP, especially while in the highest speed running around. The connections between the classes of service above should be timed tightly. For example there's no need to stop at EWR for most regionals. You should be able to get off at TRE or NWK and take an NJ Transit train running hot on the regional's tail. This should be able to be done in the Amtrak reservation system for only a couple dollars extra.
 

TheCrescent

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jun 24, 2020
Messages
340
Because it's the wrong service for it. AmtrakMaineiac is right; fast intercity trains need to come back on the NYP-PHL section. It's not about making money off it (of which the fares are ridiculous), but rather about putting passengers on the appropriate trains that fit their origin and destination pattern.

It should be:
-local commuter train
-express commuter train
-regional train (I think NYP-PHL would go here, making stops in TRE and NWK)
-high speed train
-long-distance train

in order of dispatch priority, seat allocation, and scheduling. Ideally nobody should be using the LD trains for local travel, as they take up seats someone going much further could use instead. They need to get off the corridor as quickly as possible. If only the equipment was qualified for 125... High speed trains should be used for farther distances, like WAS-NYP. 90 mile trips should be done on an express regional train.

It's silly that the Regionals make so many stops between PHL and NYP, especially while in the highest speed running around. The connections between the classes of service above should be timed tightly. For example there's no need to stop at EWR for most regionals. You should be able to get off at TRE or NWK and take an NJ Transit train running hot on the regional's tail. This should be able to be done in the Amtrak reservation system for only a couple dollars extra.

So if I want to pay a fare to Amtrak that is highly profitable, in order to take the Acela for a short trip, Amtrak shouldn’t be allowed to provide the service I want, and I shouldn’t be allowed to use the service, even though there is a profitable market for that service?

There are plenty if people who will take the Acela but wouldn’t take another train, regardless of the fare. If the Acela makes a profit for Amtrak by hauling those people, and Amtrak would make less profit by using the Acela for other trips, Amtrak couldn’t serve those people?
 

daybeers

Conductor
Joined
Jan 6, 2016
Messages
1,530
Location
NHV
So if I want to pay a fare to Amtrak that is highly profitable, in order to take the Acela for a short trip, Amtrak shouldn’t be allowed to provide the service I want, and I shouldn’t be allowed to use the service, even though there is a profitable market for that service?

There are plenty if people who will take the Acela but wouldn’t take another train, regardless of the fare. If the Acela makes a profit for Amtrak by hauling those people, and Amtrak would make less profit by using the Acela for other trips, Amtrak couldn’t serve those people?
Do you really think public transportation should be about making a profit? How many people do you think are priced out of PHL-NYP except when it's the lowest Saver fare of $18, which is now never available on any Fridays or Sundays? How many people would drive instead, or just not make the trip? $2.20/mile is very different from 20¢/mile.

I'm saying it's the wrong service for that pattern. If people don't want to take another train but the Acela, then the equipment and stopping patterns of the other options aren't good enough. But I still believe someone going 220, 300+ miles on a high-speed train shouldn't be priced out of their trip because someone wants their 90 mile trip to be 10 minutes faster.
 

TheCrescent

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jun 24, 2020
Messages
340
Do you really think public transportation should be about making a profit?

Where did I state that?

If Amtrak can provide some services at a profit, resulting in more funds available for improvement of the Amtrak system overall, do you object to that?
 

west point

Engineer
Joined
Jun 9, 2015
Messages
3,325
Location
SW ATL airport
Short distances on Acela should be held out until say 30 hours before scheduled departure leaving it for longer distances.

As for longer trains with ~~ 60%+ various passenger cars out of service what can we expect? Longer trains will gradually come when the OOS gets down to 10% or less.
NOTE: Figure comes from source that am not entirely confident.
 
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