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Date: 01/10/20 16:07
Failure?
Author: CSXhogger

With the return of diner/cafe on May 1st to the Silver Star. Can it be implied or stipulated that removing the diner was a mistake?

Posted from Android



Date: 01/10/20 16:58
Re: Failure?
Author: another_view

CSXhogger Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> With the return of diner/cafe on May 1st to the
> Silver Star. Can it be implied or stipulated that
> removing the diner was a mistake?
>
> Posted from Android

I don't believe so, it is simply an effort to make the east coast services more consistent. The Silver Star effort in strictly a financial sense was an absolute success. It created a less expensive sleeping car option for those passengers who did not value the dining experience.



Date: 01/10/20 17:13
Re: Failure?
Author: SpeederDriver

another_view Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> CSXhogger Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > With the return of diner/cafe on May 1st to the
> > Silver Star. Can it be implied or stipulated
> that
> > removing the diner was a mistake?
> >
> > Posted from Android
>
> I don't believe so, it is simply an effort to make
> the east coast services more consistent. The
> Silver Star effort in strictly a financial sense
> was an absolute success. It created a less
> expensive sleeping car option for those passengers
> who did not value the dining experience.

Which still begs the question: Why?
 



Date: 01/10/20 17:18
Re: Failure?
Author: DevalDragon

The diners were removed from the Silver Star (and Lake Shore) because they didn't have enough heritage diners not a cost cutting measure.

Amtrak determined they had suddrnly developed structural issues and half of the heritage diners were withdrawn literally overnight.



Date: 01/10/20 17:23
Re: Failure?
Author: joemvcnj

A CFO (no longer there) made that decision, and did not run it by Boardman. 
Xmas season a year ago, they put a 2nd staffed dinette car in the consist for the extra coaches. Not this year. One such car does limit the revenue consist. Unlike the Meteor, it could not support 3 or 4 sleepers and 6 coaches.



Date: 01/10/20 17:45
Re: Failure?
Author: another_view

DevalDragon Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The diners were removed from the Silver Star (and
> Lake Shore) because they didn't have enough
> heritage diners not a cost cutting measure.
>
> Amtrak determined they had suddrnly developed
> structural issues and half of the heritage diners
> were withdrawn literally overnight.

You are absolutely correct that Amtrak was struggling with the availability of Heritage Diners but that did not weigh in on the decision to remove the diner from the Star. The removal was a cost cutting move that help demonstrate that they were moving toward eliminating the loss in F&B. More importantly, it assisted in determining the actual impact the removal of dining car service has on ticket revenue rather than relying on estimates.

Surprise, surprise! Overall financial performance of the train improved!



Date: 01/10/20 17:58
Re: Failure?
Author: irhoghead

With all of the shady cost allocations that Amtrak is so often linked to, how can we believe any numbers that Amtrak assigns to the Star? If they wanted their effort to look good, it did. If they want to make other LD trains look bad, they are more than apt to do likewise. I have reason to not believe a whole lot of anything that they put out. Numbers can be tweaked to make almost any agenda saleable.



Date: 01/10/20 18:42
Re: Failure?
Author: joemvcnj

another_view Wrote:

> You are absolutely correct that Amtrak was
> struggling with the availability of Heritage
> Diners but that did not weigh in on the decision
> to remove the diner from the Star. The removal was
> a cost cutting move that help demonstrate that
> they were moving toward eliminating the loss in
> F&B. More importantly, it assisted in determining
> the actual impact the removal of dining car
> service has on ticket revenue rather than relying
> on estimates.
>
> Surprise, surprise! Overall financial performance
> of the train improved!

What you deliberately left out:

1) Sleeper rates were lowered and went a la carte for food. Demand elasticity in action. Micro Econ 101.
2) Unlike all other eastern overnight trains, except maybe the Cardinal, the peak load point is not the overnight portion, hence less need for dinner and breakfast on the train. 
3) Done without Boardman's approval
 



Date: 01/10/20 19:27
Re: Failure?
Author: BRAtkinson

joemvcnj Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> What you deliberately left out:
>
> 1) Sleeper rates were lowered and went a la cartefor food. Demand elasticity in action. Micro Econ 101.
> 2) Unlike all other eastern overnight trains, except maybe the Cardinal, the peak load point is not the overnight portion, hence less need for dinner and breakfast on the train. 
> 3) Done without Boardman's approval

What it means to me is that restoring the 'diner' and it's very low cost 'Flexible Dining' is simply an excuse to raise ticket prices roughly $100 NYP-Florida and provide only $20 worth of food.  It'll make that train 'profitable', too!



Date: 01/11/20 11:50
Re: Failure?
Author: another_view

joemvcnj Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> another_view Wrote:
>
> > You are absolutely correct that Amtrak was
> > struggling with the availability of Heritage
> > Diners but that did not weigh in on the
> decision
> > to remove the diner from the Star. The removal
> was
> > a cost cutting move that help demonstrate that
> > they were moving toward eliminating the loss in
> > F&B. More importantly, it assisted in
> determining
> > the actual impact the removal of dining car
> > service has on ticket revenue rather than
> relying
> > on estimates.
> >
> > Surprise, surprise! Overall financial
> performance
> > of the train improved!
>
> What you deliberately left out:
>
> 1) Sleeper rates were lowered and went a la carte
> for food. Demand elasticity in action. Micro Econ
> 101.
> 2) Unlike all other eastern overnight trains,
> except maybe the Cardinal, the peak load point is
> not the overnight portion, hence less need for
> dinner and breakfast on the train. 
> 3) Done without Boardman's approval
>  

Thanks for reminding me:

1) Yes, prices were lowered for sleeping cat passengers. What is your point? The important metric is the overall performance of the train improved and losses were reduced. That is good news for the sustainability of passenger rail.
2) Yes again, there is limited demand for a diner in this route! Perfect reason to eliminate the diner.
3) If you can’t say anything good about someone, don’t say anything at all.

Posted from iPhone



Date: 01/11/20 14:40
Re: Failure?
Author: joemvcnj

another_view Wrote:

> 1) Yes, prices were lowered for sleeping cat
> passengers. What is your point? The important
> metric is the overall performance of the train
> improved and losses were reduced. That is good
> news for the sustainability of passenger rail.

Yes overall performance, which I keep telling you. But you insist are picking apart individual cars, sleepers, baggage cars, etc.
Notice they picked the Star, not the Meteor to go entirely diner-less. Compeletely different markets, O&D, trip length, demographics.  

> 2) Yes again, there is limited demand for a diner
> in this route! Perfect reason to eliminate the
> diner.

Which I said. But taking off the diner likely exasperated further the difference betwen the Star and Meteor. Now they look for uniformity, so there is no clear policy of what they are doing. They are also unable to swell the Star's consist during Holiday season very much because the 1 food service car can't handle it for 27 hours. How much revenue foregone is that ? The Meteor got a 4th sleeper and 6 coaches - 2 or 3 more than usual. (97 still had a 4th coach today up front). Claytor could have figured out the Incremental Accounting. The current cast of characters cannot. 

> 3) If you can’t say anything good about someone,
> don’t say anything at all.

I simply said the CFO pulled this off without telling Boardman. That is simply reporting what had occurred. Perhaps you don't like that little factoid being exposed, but that's too bad. .



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/11/20 14:53 by joemvcnj.



Date: 01/11/20 22:35
Re: Failure?
Author: jp1822

another_view Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I don't believe so, it is simply an effort to make
> the east coast services more consistent. 

This is EXACTLY what needs to be done. - create a consistent product so there's not one-offs for service on this or that. The Cardinal needs to the same treatment and Amtrak just needs to suck it up and add the second Viewliner Sleeper. The space will sell. It's time to finally make that train unform with the rest of the single level overnight trains. Consistency, development of the product, and putting forth upsells with advance sales techniques (atthe time you purchase the ticket). 



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