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Passenger Trains > What if a new company took over the Amtrak LDT network?


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Date: 02/11/20 18:33
What if a new company took over the Amtrak LDT network?
Author: ts1457

This is a bit of a hypothetical, but if a well funded company with a plan offered to take over Amtrak's entire LDT network, what would happen to the rest of Amtrak's system?

Would Amtrak lose Federal support since it would not longer be a national system? What would become of the NEC?



Date: 02/11/20 18:57
Re: What if a new company took over the Amtrak LDT network?
Author: Macster

Ya know, it is funny cause when I was typing out my thread above, I was thinking the opposite and if Amtrak gave up the Intercity runs and went all in on the long distance service.

I'd be really curious on what that would do to the NEC operations or if that would be something like the UK and have multiple competing services on the same lines...?

Posted from Android



Date: 02/11/20 22:10
Re: What if a new company took over the Amtrak LDT network?
Author: zfan

Interesting thought.  Would never happen, but if it did, it would have to be people with deep pockets that think outside the box, like what's going on in Florida with Brightline or Virgin, or whatever it's called now.  



Date: 02/12/20 07:23
Re: What if a new company took over the Amtrak LDT network?
Author: aehouse

How many angels can fit on the head of a pin?



Date: 02/12/20 07:43
Re: What if a new company took over the Amtrak LDT network?
Author: andersonb109

There are private sleeping car services in the U.K. and Europe. So why not here? Would work well on shorter routes where food isn't required. That said, the Caledonian Sleepers have full lounge cars. And they are only 8 hour trips for the Lowland Sleeper. 



Date: 02/12/20 07:55
Re: What if a new company took over the Amtrak LDT network?
Author: ts1457

aehouse Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> How many angels can fit on the head of a pin?

Yes, I know it is an unlikely scenario, but circumstances can change. What if PSR results in the majors spinning off most lines except their "heavy-haul" and one or more companies pick up the pieces and turn them into open-access networks?

I should have been more direct with the question. Would Amtrak still get Federal support if it becomes just the NEC and a few isolated corridors?



Date: 02/12/20 07:59
Re: What if a new company took over the Amtrak LDT network?
Author: joemvcnj

ts1457 Wrote:

> Would Amtrak still get Federal support if it
> becomes just the NEC and a few isolated corridors?

IMHO, no, especially not from the rural dominated Senate. Then it is every state for themself, and a big eff-you from 41 of them (82 Senators) to the NEC. 



Date: 02/12/20 08:03
Re: What if a new company took over the Amtrak LDT network?
Author: another_view

ts1457 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> This is a bit of a hypothetical, but if a well
> funded company with a plan offered to take over
> Amtrak's entire LDT network, what would happen to
> the rest of Amtrak's system?
>
> Would Amtrak lose Federal support since it would
> not longer be a national system? What would become
> of the NEC?

The FAST Act allowed other operators to submit proposals to operate up to three existing long distance routes. The thought was to introduce competition and to allow independent companies operate these more effectively and competitively. There were no takers, the routes loose so much money no one could come up with a plan to do so even with government funding.

Posted from iPhone



Date: 02/12/20 08:06
Re: What if a new company took over the Amtrak LDT network?
Author: tmurray

It was called the Pullman Company.

andersonb109 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> There are private sleeping car services in the
> U.K. and Europe. So why not here? Would work well
> on shorter routes where food isn't required. That
> said, the Caledonian Sleepers have full lounge
> cars. And they are only 8 hour trips for the
> Lowland Sleeper. 



Date: 02/12/20 09:12
Re: What if a new company took over the Amtrak LDT network?
Author: howeld

I’d rather see the freight railroads take it back. Give them a subsidy to cover the basic operation of a train from A to B. They keep all ticket revenue as profit so better service means more profit. Keep Amtrak’s nationwide reservation system and a nationwide pool of passenger cars but freight companies provide crews and power and take the rap for bad service they provide.

Posted from iPhone



Date: 02/12/20 09:18
Re: What if a new company took over the Amtrak LDT network?
Author: tmurray

Go find one that wants the hauling of people back (as pre-May 71) for the same amount of money Amtrak would get/provide them with from the Fed.
I'd wager all the owners/operators will provide the same response.

howeld Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I’d rather see the freight railroads take it
> back. Give them a subsidy to cover the basic
> operation of a train from A to B. They keep all
> ticket revenue as profit so better service means
> more profit. Keep Amtrak’s nationwide
> reservation system and a nationwide pool of
> passenger cars but freight companies provide crews
> and power and take the rap for bad service they
> provide.
>
> Posted from iPhone



Date: 02/12/20 09:23
Re: What if a new company took over the Amtrak LDT network?
Author: goneon66

sure a freight railroad would run passenger trains again IF:

-they were paid more than what their most expensive premium trains currently earn.

and

-they were paid for capacity increases so that their new business of passenger service trains did not see any color AND did not delay any other freight.

so, i doubt we will see freight railroads back in the passenger business again............

66



Date: 02/12/20 09:57
Re: What if a new company took over the Amtrak LDT network?
Author: joemvcnj

The trend is away from Class I's having commuter trains. UP in Chicago may be next to go all Metra. 



Date: 02/12/20 12:47
Re: What if a new company took over the Amtrak LDT network?
Author: jcaestecker

rantoul Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Liability?

Bingo!  Rantoul is the winner with the real reason that the freight railroads will never jump back in -- attractive subsidies or not.  The risk management zealots will win the day in the boardroom.

-John



Date: 02/12/20 14:46
Re: What if a new company took over the Amtrak LDT network?
Author: Lackawanna484

jcaestecker Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> rantoul Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Liability?
>
> Bingo!  Rantoul is the winner with the real
> reason that the freight railroads will never jump
> back in -- attractive subsidies or not.  The risk
> management zealots will win the day in the
> boardroom.
>
> -John

The feds did an emergency increase in Amtrak's per incident liability ceiling after the 2015 Frankford curve derailment.  Eight dead, 11 with critical injuries including amputations, dozens with lesser injuries.

Amtrak is a federal agency / enterprise / business and is covered under all kinds of federal umbrellas.  I can't imagine CSX etc would have enough insurance to cover the billions in damages. In a Philadelphia courtroom. Look at how many times the prosecutors and politicians dragged Mr Bostian into the court house and tried to hang him.



Date: 02/12/20 15:16
Re: What if a new company took over the Amtrak LDT network?
Author: Molino

rantoul Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Liability?

There's the fly in the ointment. 
If a boxcar gets turned over at track speed in the woods, call out a bulldozer.  A passenger car however would receive ambulances, news helicopter, tv interviews,  lawyers etc...



Date: 02/12/20 15:29
Re: What if a new company took over the Amtrak LDT network?
Author: ATSF3751

ts1457 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> This is a bit of a hypothetical, but if a well
> funded company with a plan offered to take over
> Amtrak's entire LDT network, what would happen to
> the rest of Amtrak's system?

They would probably run the system until their money ran out. 
>
> Would Amtrak lose Federal support since it would
> not longer be a national system? What would become
> of the NEC?

Maybe. Depends on what type of agreements would be reached. Funds by the Gov for "essential services" or not? Sharing costs, as in Calfifornia? Also, the railroads would need to be in agreement given they don't want to be "holding" the bag if the new company ran short of money and was unable to pay them. 

 



Date: 02/12/20 15:47
Re: What if a new company took over the Amtrak LDT network?
Author: ATSF3751

tmurray Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> It was called the Pullman Company.

Yup. Ceased operations on 01/01/69. Appearently the business trade was more interested in getting there and back then enjoying a nostalgic overnight ride. Seems leisure travellers at the time also though the same. 

Euorpe rail leisure travel market is much larger given the massive amounts of visitors. Large metro areas are a few hours apart by high speed trains in most cases due to massive rail infrastructure investments, not to mention the higher price of gas and the costs associated with car ownership.  The entry of low cost air carriers may be changing the travel dynamics in Euorpe, so not sure what effect that will have in the future of rail travel. .

Outside of BOS-WAS corridor, the US passenger service market is comprised of longer distances that average only a few miles per hour faster then high priority freight trains. Sound like the perfect tool for building a fast and reliable overnight service. 

Not sure why this idea about "overnight" services targeted towards business travellers keeps coming up. It's pure fantasy. 
al
> andersonb109 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > There are private sleeping car services in the
> > U.K. and Europe. So why not here? Would work
> well
> > on shorter routes where food isn't required.
> That
> > said, the Caledonian Sleepers have full lounge
> > cars. And they are only 8 hour trips for the
> > Lowland Sleeper. 



Date: 02/12/20 19:51
Re: What if a new company took over the Amtrak LDT network?
Author: LooseCaboose

jcaestecker Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> rantoul Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Liability?
>
> Bingo!  Rantoul is the winner with the real
> reason that the freight railroads will never jump
> back in -- attractive subsidies or not.  The risk
> management zealots will win the day in the
> boardroom.
>
> -John

and, yet, the FEC started Brightline... I bet there's STILL a lot of people wondering why they did that..

 



Date: 02/12/20 21:54
Re: What if a new company took over the Amtrak LDT network?
Author: toledopatch

LooseCaboose Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> jcaestecker Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > rantoul Wrote:
> >
> --------------------------------------------------
>
> > -----
> > > Liability?
> >
> > Bingo!  Rantoul is the winner with the real
> > reason that the freight railroads will never
> jump
> > back in -- attractive subsidies or not.  The
> risk
> > management zealots will win the day in the
> > boardroom.
> >
> > -John
>
> and, yet, the FEC started Brightline... I bet
> there's STILL a lot of people wondering why they
> did that..
>

Real estate development. It could end up being a bad play if Florida drowns under a rising ocean, but for now that and a huge tourist market are the reasons for trying it there and not someplace else. 



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