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Date: 04/02/18 16:12
Importance of Long Distance Trains & connections
Author: mundo

So many times, Amtrak - Politics - even posters on Train Order, do not see the value of the LD train as it fits into numerous corridors city pairs on each route. Too many cities without Air or bus service need the LD trains for them to get out of town for various reasons. Further connections between the various LD trains permit travel from the smaller cities.

Then we have those who say, will just fly, or as once was said for the Sunset Limited, we could purchase a airline ticket for everyone. Try that from Beaumont TX to Alpine Texas, or Yuma AZ - Lordsburg NM. One would have to either charter an aircraft or end up driving many miles to or from the airport pairs.

Nor are the majority of travelers are just traveling say, Los Angeles to Chicago.

Here are some sample figures, obtained from a well accepted rail advocate.

Train 30 from Chicago on a June 2006 trip.

Total of 213 on board from CHI, with 169 (79%) from connections at CHI. Train 4 38 transfers, train 6, with 43, train 8 with 55, train 22, with 8,train 58 with 3, train 300 1, train 317 with 8, train 338 with 8, train 348 with 3, train 353 with 1.

At Toledo, bus 6030 had 12 passengers from Michigan points. At Pittsburgh PA, had 49 transfers to train 42.

Now at the Wash DC end, train 30 had 138 passengers on board, with 103 (75%) transferring. Train 19 -5, Train 66-1, Train 91-22, train 93-1,train 94- 6, train 95-14, train 97-43, train 148 - 4, train 186-5,-train 198-2. Not many traveled CHI-WAS, the airport cities.

A few sample City pairs Topeka Kansas - Richmond VA. Rugby to Fayetteville, Shelby MT to Lancaster PA ,Creston IA to Greenville SC.

Hope this gives a snapshot of travel needs, for folks out in the country side.

Amtrak in 1971 was formed as a NATIONAL SYSTEM. Not truncated as it is now and will continue to be further broken up.

By all the various state and joint power boards, possibly going to go their own way for fare policy, reservations, info etc., we can expect their will no longer be a central source as now provided by Amtrak. Much this will happen to "save" money, payments to Amtrak. Even in California, Joint Power boards at looking at the costs of providing Thruway Bus service. Without the buses, loadings will go down on the involved routes.

The biggest mistake was making Amtrak "For Profit", then to further change making the states pay for 750 miles less. Its difficult enough to get more states on board, but how do two or three states get together to fund service such as Chicago - Cleveland. ?

Bottom line, its all a pipe dream among politico's.



Date: 04/02/18 17:07
Re: Importance of Long Distance Trains & connections
Author: railwaybaron

> Bottom line, its all a pipe dream among
> politico's.

When you wrote "bottom line", I thought of a fishing line and then a fishbone in reference to Amtrak's future route structure for some reason.



Date: 04/02/18 17:14
Re: Importance of Long Distance Trains & connections
Author: ts1457

Most small cities (and a few big ones) and large towns are not blessed with passenger train service. Having service is nice, but it certainly is far from the norm and places like where I live survive without it.

Jack



Date: 04/02/18 17:25
Re: Importance of Long Distance Trains & connections
Author: ctillnc

Important to whom, and to how many? The simple truth is, Amtrak LD trains carry less than 1% of LD passengers carried by all modes. (See Table 7 in https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policyinformation/analysisframework/docs/rsg_bus_study.pdf). If anything these numbers are very Amtrak-friendly, given that Amtrak reported 4.6 million LD passengers in the recent FY while U.S. airlines reported 850 million enplanements for the same period.

In the current climate of indifferent or hostile freight railroads, increasing Amtrak's market share is virtually impossible. To make matters worse, many Amtrak LD consists are short compared to consists of 20 years ago. What is that telling you? It's not like Amtrak trains are selling out in coach day after day.

We are very near the point where Amtrak as it was conceived in the late 1960s is toast. The fact that Amtrak was conceived as a national network is not particularly relevant any longer. Rural areas have depopulated -- a political fact of life -- and inexpensive air travel for trips over 500 miles is available to the vast majority of the American public. Populations have shifted to sunbelt cities that were little-served in the 1971 national network design. Wake up! This is not 1969. What most Americans want is relief from congested highways on daytime trips of 500 or fewer miles. Amtrak is horribly and perhaps impossibly constituted to meet that need.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/02/18 17:31 by ctillnc.



Date: 04/02/18 19:03
Re: Importance of Long Distance Trains & connections
Author: gbmott

ctillnc Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
What most Americans want is relief from
> congested highways on daytime trips of 500 or
> fewer miles. Amtrak is horribly and perhaps
> impossibly constituted to meet that need.

Very well stated and I think it is Richard Anderson's goal to develop a business model that does just that. It won't look like today's outdated model and a lot of railfans won't like it, but it will help ensure Amtrak's long-term survival.

Gordon



Date: 04/02/18 21:13
Re: Importance of Long Distance Trains & connections
Author: ProAmtrak

ctillnc Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Important to whom, and to how many? The simple
> truth is, Amtrak LD trains carry less than 1% of
> LD passengers carried by all modes. (See Table 7
> in
> https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policyinformation/analysi
> sframework/docs/rsg_bus_study.pdf). If anything
> these numbers are very Amtrak-friendly, given that
> Amtrak reported 4.6 million LD passengers in the
> recent FY while U.S. airlines reported 850 million
> enplanements for the same period.
>
> In the current climate of indifferent or hostile
> freight railroads, increasing Amtrak's market
> share is virtually impossible. To make matters
> worse, many Amtrak LD consists are short compared
> to consists of 20 years ago. What is that telling
> you? It's not like Amtrak trains are selling out
> in coach day after day.
>
> We are very near the point where Amtrak as it was
> conceived in the late 1960s is toast. The fact
> that Amtrak was conceived as a national network is
> not particularly relevant any longer. Rural areas
> have depopulated -- a political fact of life --
> and inexpensive air travel for trips over 500
> miles is available to the vast majority of the
> American public. Populations have shifted to
> sunbelt cities that were little-served in the 1971
> national network design. Wake up! This is not
> 1969. What most Americans want is relief from
> congested highways on daytime trips of 500 or
> fewer miles. Amtrak is horribly and perhaps
> impossibly constituted to meet that need.


You need to wake up, Amtrak has been breaking records on their ridership for a good number of years, it seems you're viewing Amtrak like most Anti-Amtrak idiots did back int he 70s-90s when Amtrak had a bigger system to operate, wake up yourself! Besides, how many people left flying to the birds because of how long it takes to get through security!



Date: 04/02/18 21:27
Re: Importance of Long Distance Trains & connections
Author: ts1457

gbmott Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Very well stated and I think it is Richard
> Anderson's goal to develop a business model that
> does just that. It won't look like today's
> outdated model and a lot of railfans won't like
> it, but it will help ensure Amtrak's long-term
> survival.

That would be OK with me, I've been waiting fifty years for something like that. As a teenager in the sixties I was very excited with what Canadian National was doing with corridors. Fortunately my mother was from Canada and her parents lived in Ontario, so I was able to experience Rapido and Tempo. I was thrilled when New York Central said that it was going to turn its service into medium distance corridors, but either the railroad had second thoughts or it was just a publicity stunt. I was a member of NARP before Amtrak was created. I was expecting Amtrak to take a fresh approach, but instead it tried to recreate the past.

It is about time to have some truly useful trains.



Date: 04/02/18 22:11
Re: Importance of Long Distance Trains & connections
Author: niagara484

ProAmtrak Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> ctillnc Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Important to whom, and to how many? The simple
> > truth is, Amtrak LD trains carry less than 1%
> of
> > LD passengers carried by all modes. (See Table
> 7
> > in
> >
> https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policyinformation/analysi
>
> > sframework/docs/rsg_bus_study.pdf). If anything
> > these numbers are very Amtrak-friendly, given
> that
> > Amtrak reported 4.6 million LD passengers in
> the
> > recent FY while U.S. airlines reported 850
> million
> > enplanements for the same period.
> >
> > In the current climate of indifferent or
> hostile
> > freight railroads, increasing Amtrak's market
> > share is virtually impossible. To make matters
> > worse, many Amtrak LD consists are short
> compared
> > to consists of 20 years ago. What is that
> telling
> > you? It's not like Amtrak trains are selling
> out
> > in coach day after day.
> >
> > We are very near the point where Amtrak as it
> was
> > conceived in the late 1960s is toast. The fact
> > that Amtrak was conceived as a national network
> is
> > not particularly relevant any longer. Rural
> areas
> > have depopulated -- a political fact of life --
> > and inexpensive air travel for trips over 500
> > miles is available to the vast majority of the
> > American public. Populations have shifted to
> > sunbelt cities that were little-served in the
> 1971
> > national network design. Wake up! This is not
> > 1969. What most Americans want is relief from
> > congested highways on daytime trips of 500 or
> > fewer miles. Amtrak is horribly and perhaps
> > impossibly constituted to meet that need.
>
>
> You need to wake up, Amtrak has been breaking
> records on their ridership for a good number of
> years, it seems you're viewing Amtrak like most
> Anti-Amtrak idiots did back int he 70s-90s when
> Amtrak had a bigger system to operate, wake up
> yourself! Besides, how many people left flying to
> the birds because of how long it takes to get
> through security!

Where has that ridership growth been? Not the LDTs. They've been static at best. Corridors are the future. It's hard to argue with the success of the Capitols (CA), or the Cascades (WA-OR), or Piedmonts (NC).

And I really don't get this pre-occupation some of you have with airport security. It took 4 minutes on Easter Sunday to drop my checked bag off at the Delta counter and clear the TSA checkpoint in Louisville, KY for my flights back to Denver (connecting through Minneapolis/St. Paul). Security's a breeze at the vast majority of airports when you have TSA Pre-Check, even congested places like Chicago, Denver, and Seattle. Global Entry through US Customs and Border Protection is an even better deal.

niagara484



Date: 04/03/18 01:21
Re: Importance of Long Distance Trains & connections
Author: Margaret_SP_fan

ctillnc wrote --

> The simple truth is, Amtrak LD trains carry less
> than 1% of LD passengers carried by all modes.

That is because no one can ride trains that do not exist, so that figure is both irrelevant and misleading.

SNIP ----------

> What most Americans want is relief from congested
> highways on daytime trips of 500 or fewer miles.
> Amtrak is horribly and perhaps impossibly constituted
> to meet that need.

Most Americans also subsidize these very inefficient and dangerous highways, and also the aviation industry, and seem not to be bothered by that. Please read what "WW" write so well in his post on this thread, as he put it much better than I can.

Date: 04/02/18 16:37
Re: More Amtrak predictions......
Author: WW

https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?4,4522083,page=2



Date: 04/03/18 02:54
Re: Importance of Long Distance Trains & connections
Author: SANSR

ProAmtrak writes:
"You need to wake up, Amtrak has been breaking records on their ridership for a good number of years, it seems you're viewing Amtrak like most Anti-Amtrak idiots did back in the 70s-90s when Amtrak had a bigger system to operate, wake up yourself! Besides, how many people left flying to the birds because of how long it takes to get through security!"

Pro, no one will ever question your zeal for Amtrak to succeed; in fact, you may be their biggest champion on TO. That said, when you refer to others as 'idiots', that approach minimizes and cheapens your stance.



Date: 04/03/18 09:19
Re: Importance of Long Distance Trains & connections
Author: joemvcnj

LD ridership static at best ?
Wrong.

It has gone up 25% in the last 11 years with "no additional equipment, frequencies, or routes". In retail, that is called "same store sales".
Read their 2016 and 2017 financial reports and 5 year business plans. Farebox recovery is 52% after all their fully allocated cost allocation nonsense, which is still better than the beloved Amtrak "corridors" - "the future" and most public transit systems.

Then stop conflating long distance trains with the passengers that ride them. 84% are coach passengers and average distance traveled is 490 miles.

Seems the uninformed cranks here are still living in the glorious 1960's jet age. That is over.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/03/18 10:06 by joemvcnj.



Date: 04/03/18 12:31
Re: Importance of Long Distance Trains & connections
Author: niagara484

joemvcnj Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> LD ridership static at best ?
> Wrong.
>
> It has gone up 25% in the last 11 years with "no
> additional equipment, frequencies, or routes". In
> retail, that is called "same store sales".
> Read their 2016 and 2017 financial reports and 5
> year business plans. Farebox recovery is 52% after
> all their fully allocated cost allocation
> nonsense, which is still better than the beloved
> Amtrak "corridors" - "the future" and most public
> transit systems.
>
> Then stop conflating long distance trains with the
> passengers that ride them. 84% are coach
> passengers and average distance traveled is 490
> miles.
>
> Seems the uninformed cranks here are still living
> in the glorious 1960's jet age. That is over.

LDT ridership from Amtrak's Annual Reports (available data goes back to FY 2012):

2012: 4,736,187
2013: 4,753,868
2014: 4,543,199
2015: 4,488,542
2016: 4,655,599
2017: 4,698,000

That's a pretty static set of numbers. I do not recall any substantial changes in the LDT network in this time period (train additions/deletions). If Amtrak's setting ridership records every year, it's not coming from the LDTs.

niagara484



Date: 04/03/18 12:38
Re: Importance of Long Distance Trains & connections
Author: joemvcnj

Read page 61 and on in the last 5 year business plan.



Date: 04/03/18 13:13
Re: Importance of Long Distance Trains & connections
Author: ts1457

joemvcnj Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Read page 61 and on in the last 5 year business
> plan.

Obviously the last six years of no growth is more significant than what has happened since 2006.

Right now, the 25 percent figure is failing my smell test.

Jack



Date: 04/03/18 13:53
Re: Importance of Long Distance Trains & connections
Author: ctillnc

Of course, the population and GDP increase every year. So do trips by alternate modes. Market shares? Ain't changing. The fact remains, LD trains are a drop in the bucket. I stand by what I have written: overnight trains are obsolete. Sure, they appeal to some railfans (I've done 34 states on Amtrak) and some people taking land cruises, and they serve some people in the boondocks and some people who cannot or will not fly or drive or take a bus. Add those folks up, and they're still a drop in the bucket.

The 1969 LD "national network" stumbles on, rather like Rocinante the aged horse under Don Quixote. We haven't yet found the collective will to put it out of its misery. But the clock is ticking, and the next shoe to drop will be the discontinuation of all dining cars on one-night trains except the Auto Train.



Date: 04/03/18 14:31
Re: Importance of Long Distance Trains & connections
Author: joemvcnj

ts1457 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> joemvcnj Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Read page 61 and on in the last 5 year business
> > plan.
>
> Obviously the last six years of no growth is more
> significant than what has happened since 2006.
>
> Right now, the 25 percent figure is failing my
> smell test.
>
> Jack

They only reason corridor trains pass your "smell test" and you think they are the only future is that they are off Amtrak's books, saved them $100 million a year in operating deficits with PRIAA, and states massively subsidize them. That is in addition to the 403b trains that Amtrak has never subsidized, and would not if asked to.

Illinois doubled frequencies. California, Washington, and North Carolina bought a lot of equipment. But most corridor trains are still 4 or 5 coaches.

NJ Transit and soem other commuter operators have had no growth in 6 years. What's your point ?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/03/18 15:00 by joemvcnj.



Date: 04/03/18 14:40
Re: Importance of Long Distance Trains & connections
Author: joemvcnj

ctillnc Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Of course, the population and GDP increase every
> year. So do trips by alternate modes. Market
> shares? Ain't changing. The fact remains, LD
> trains are a drop in the bucket. I stand by what I
> have written: overnight trains are obsolete. Sure,
> they appeal to some railfans (I've done 34 states
> on Amtrak) and some people taking land cruises,
> and they serve some people in the boondocks and
> some people who cannot or will not fly or drive or
> take a bus. Add those folks up, and they're still
> a drop in the bucket.
>
> The 1969 LD "national network" stumbles on, rather
> like Rocinante the aged horse under Don Quixote.
> We haven't yet found the collective will to put it
> out of its misery. But the clock is ticking, and
> the next shoe to drop will be the discontinuation
> of all dining cars on one-night trains except the
> Auto Train.

All philosophical, subjective gibberish without any foundation.

Explain why the Lake Shore Ltd has the biggest load and longest revenue consist moving across New York State of all the corridor trains filling 6 coaches and 3 sleepers, and into the midwest.

Explain why the Capitol Ltd is far more loaded overnight west of Pittsburgh that it is to the east.

Explain why the Crescent carries just as big or a bigger load across North Carolina during the night than any of those daytime Piedmont puddle jumpers.

Tells us what percentage of LD ridership are "railfans".

When you run tiny service, it carries drop in the bucket. No kidding.



Date: 04/03/18 15:02
Re: Importance of Long Distance Trains & connections
Author: agentatascadero

ctillnc Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Of course, the population and GDP increase every
> year. So do trips by alternate modes. Market
> shares? Ain't changing. The fact remains, LD
> trains are a drop in the bucket. I stand by what I
> have written: overnight trains are obsolete. Sure,
> they appeal to some railfans (I've done 34 states
> on Amtrak) and some people taking land cruises,
> and they serve some people in the boondocks and
> some people who cannot or will not fly or drive or
> take a bus. Add those folks up, and they're still
> a drop in the bucket.
>
> The 1969 LD "national network" stumbles on, rather
> like Rocinante the aged horse under Don Quixote.
> We haven't yet found the collective will to put it
> out of its misery. But the clock is ticking, and
> the next shoe to drop will be the discontinuation
> of all dining cars on one-night trains except the
> Auto Train.


Amtrak was NOT created in the "1969 national network." The 1971 start up Amtrak ran only one third of the trains which comprised the 1971 national network. I'm not sure of the rate of decline of different routes as compared to trains, but am aware of serious loss of connectivity in the network.

That loss of connectivity, from day one on, has severely impaired Amtrak's mission to serve a national network.

AA

Stanford White
Carmel Valley, CA



Date: 04/03/18 15:32
Re: Importance of Long Distance Trains & connections
Author: ts1457

joemvcnj Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> ts1457 Wrote:
> -------------------------------------------------------
> > joemvcnj Wrote:
> >
> --------------------------------------------------
>
> > -----
> > > Read page 61 and on in the last 5 year> business
> > > plan.
> >
> > Obviously the last six years of no growth is more
> > significant than what has happened since 2006.
> >
> > Right now, the 25 percent figure is failing my
> > smell test.
> >
> > Jack
>
> They only reason corridor trains pass your "smell
> test" and you think they are the only future is
> that they are off Amtrak's books, saved them $100
> million a year in operating deficits with PRIAA,
> and states massively subsidize them. That is in
> addition to the 403b trains that Amtrak has never
> subsidized, and would not if asked to.
>
> Illinois doubled frequencies. California,
> Washington, and North Carolina bought a lot of
> equipment. But most corridor trains are still 4 or
> 5 coaches.
>
> NJ Transit and soem other commuter operators have
> had no growth in 6 years. What's your point ?

We were talking about the figure of a 25 percent growth in LD passengers since 2006. Corridor trains were not the subject of my smell test.

You probably need to start taking deep breaths before you post.

Jack



Date: 04/03/18 17:11
Re: Importance of Long Distance Trains & connections
Author: SanDiegan

mundo Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> So many times, Amtrak - Politics - even posters on
> Train Order, do not see the value of the LD train
> as it fits into numerous corridors city pairs on
> each route. Too many cities without Air or bus
> service need the LD trains for them to get out of
> town for various reasons. Further connections
> between the various LD trains permit travel from
> the smaller cities.
>
> Then we have those who say, will just fly, or as
> once was said for the Sunset Limited, we could
> purchase a airline ticket for everyone. Try that
> from Beaumont TX to Alpine Texas, or Yuma AZ -
> Lordsburg NM. One would have to either charter
> an aircraft or end up driving many miles to or
> from the airport pairs.
>
> Nor are the majority of travelers are just
> traveling say, Los Angeles to Chicago.
>
> Here are some sample figures, obtained from a well
> accepted rail advocate.
>
> Train 30 from Chicago on a June 2006 trip.
>
> Total of 213 on board from CHI, with 169 (79%)
> from connections at CHI. Train 4 38 transfers,
> train 6, with 43, train 8 with 55, train 22, with
> 8,train 58 with 3, train 300 1, train 317 with 8,
> train 338 with 8, train 348 with 3, train 353 with
> 1.
>
> At Toledo, bus 6030 had 12 passengers from
> Michigan points. At Pittsburgh PA, had 49
> transfers to train 42.
>
> Now at the Wash DC end, train 30 had 138
> passengers on board, with 103 (75%) transferring.
> Train 19 -5, Train 66-1, Train 91-22, train
> 93-1,train 94- 6, train 95-14, train 97-43, train
> 148 - 4, train 186-5,-train 198-2. Not many
> traveled CHI-WAS, the airport cities.
>
> A few sample City pairs Topeka Kansas - Richmond
> VA. Rugby to Fayetteville, Shelby MT to Lancaster
> PA ,Creston IA to Greenville SC.
>
> Hope this gives a snapshot of travel needs, for
> folks out in the country side.
>
> Amtrak in 1971 was formed as a NATIONAL SYSTEM.
> Not truncated as it is now and will continue to be
> further broken up.
>
> By all the various state and joint power boards,
> possibly going to go their own way for fare
> policy, reservations, info etc., we can expect
> their will no longer be a central source as now
> provided by Amtrak. Much this will happen to
> "save" money, payments to Amtrak. Even in
> California, Joint Power boards at looking at the
> costs of providing Thruway Bus service. Without
> the buses, loadings will go down on the involved
> routes.
>
> The biggest mistake was making Amtrak "For
> Profit", then to further change making the states
> pay for 750 miles less. Its difficult enough to
> get more states on board, but how do two or three
> states get together to fund service such as
> Chicago - Cleveland. ?
>
> Bottom line, its all a pipe dream among
> politico's.

Exactly. Amtrak and Train Orders amateurs don’t know the difference between ridership and revenue. The NEC is the big money loser.

Posted from iPhone



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