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Date: 09/21/22 10:54
Alerts
Author: regalstream1516

I checked amtrak.com for possible travel in early November on the Southwest Chief.  An alert dot appeared.  Upon checking it appears that checked baggage service is suspended for the Capitol Limited and Southwest Chief, along with the Carolinian and Pennsylvanian.  "Effective Fall 2022"  Reason:  equipment shortages.



Date: 09/21/22 10:56
Re: Alerts
Author: joemvcnj

90 baggage cars, most of them to remain idle.  31xxx series Superliner coaches have a baggage section. 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/21/22 10:58 by joemvcnj.



Date: 09/21/22 11:21
Re: Alerts
Author: ronald321

I feel something is very wrong at Amtrak.    Maybe. tbey are just plain lying through their teeth.

How does Amtrak know they will have an equipment shortage in the "Fall of 2022"?

Also, the term "equipment shortage" tells you nothing about the cause of the shortage. 
(Whyt are they hiding  about the reason)

Example: when the brand new Acela's were taken out of service -- we were told about the
reason  for the "equipment shortage" -- Yaw Dampers - brakes - wheel hunting)

Now - the "equipment shortage" is unexplained.


 



Date: 09/21/22 11:32
Re: Alerts
Author: irhoghead

Sounds more like there is a shortage of functioning equipment between the ears of Amtrak's upper management.



Date: 09/21/22 11:39
Re: Alerts
Author: joemvcnj

Coscia, Gardner, and Harris all need to be summonsed to testify at Transportation committee hearings and be inquisitioned on their equipment and mechanical staffing status. And I won't believe a word that comes out of their mouths unless they are rigged to a polygraph. 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/21/22 11:46 by joemvcnj.



Date: 09/21/22 12:01
Re: Alerts
Author: alan2955

regalstream1516 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I checked amtrak.com for possible travel in early
> November on the Southwest Chief.  An alert dot
> appeared.  Upon checking it appears that checked
> baggage service is suspended for the Capitol
> Limited and Southwest Chief, along with the
> Carolinian and Pennsylvanian.  "Effective Fall
> 2022"  Reason:  equipment shortages.

Where did all the new baggage cars go that were purchased just a few years ago? Things just get worse every month. When will somebody wake up and fire Stephen Gardner and his henchmen?

Posted from iPhone



Date: 09/21/22 12:28
Re: Alerts
Author: prr60

Maybe the issue is that the new Viewliners are junk. Frequent failures resulting in greater need for maintenance labor and parts, both of which may be in short supply. No inside info, but given the difficulty initially getting the cars on the rails, it is a possibility.



Date: 09/21/22 12:39
Re: Alerts
Author: OnTime

I agree, something is wrong with Amanagement. They can't seem to do their job. Time for the new board to hire a new, competent, executive team. I have registered my complaints on this latest service failure (along with missing SSL cars on the westbound Chief and Zephyr yesterday) with my congressional delegation. I urge others to do likewise.



Date: 09/21/22 12:53
Re: Alerts
Author: DevalDragon

joemvcnj Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> 90 baggage cars, most of them to remain idle. 
> 31xxx series Superliner coaches have a baggage
> section. 

90 baggage cars? I only know of the 70 Viewliner II baggage cars; what are the other 20?



Date: 09/21/22 13:05
Re: Alerts
Author: joemvcnj

DevalDragon Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> joemvcnj Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > 90 baggage cars, most of them to remain idle. 
> > 31xxx series Superliner coaches have a baggage
> > section. 
>
> 90 baggage cars? I only know of the 70 Viewliner
> II baggage cars; what are the other 20?

80 I meant, includes 10 bag-dorms. 



Date: 09/21/22 13:55
Re: Alerts
Author: inyosub

I thought Amtrak Joe was gonna fix all this and Make Amtrak Great Again. 
Oh well. Not a fan of Buttigieg, he seems way over his head and uncaring both. Not a good leader.
I want to see Amtrak survive, and it won't ifit ceases to provide reasonable service.
C'mon man.



Date: 09/21/22 14:00
Re: Alerts
Author: joemvcnj

They know Biden and Buttigieg have their political back, are a soft touch, and have drunk the Connect-US Kool-Aide (while Chicago falls apart). So Amtrak has become a rogue outfit, does only what it wants, and does not do what it is supposed to do. As long as Acela runs to Wilmington for Biden and NYPS and NWK for Schumer, Booker, and Menendez, everything is fine with them. 



Date: 09/21/22 14:45
Re: Alerts
Author: lordsigma

Took a closer look at the advisory. The Pennsylvanian and Carolinian is indeed suspended for the fall. The Chief and Capitol Limited MAY have days where it’s not offered on a trip to trip basis based on equipment not suspended altogether (IE if they have to swap a coach bag to a reg coach on a consist most likely.) not defending or making excuses simply sharing the additional info. My guess (theory) is that Baggage cars are a really low priority for overhauls at beech grove (compared to stored revenue and food service Cars) and additional VL2 baggage cars are coming due to overhaul so are being stored so they can focus on other car “higher priority” types. Again a theory not an excuse. Take it for what it is.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/21/22 14:46 by lordsigma.



Date: 09/21/22 15:41
Re: Alerts
Author: jp1822

lordsigma Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Took a closer look at the advisory. The
> Pennsylvanian and Carolinian is indeed suspended
> for the fall. The Chief and Capitol Limited MAY
> have days where it’s not offered on a trip to
> trip basis based on equipment not suspended
> altogether (IE if they have to swap a coach bag to
> a reg coach on a consist most likely.) not
> defending or making excuses simply sharing the
> additional info. My guess (theory) is that Baggage
> cars are a really low priority for overhauls at
> beech grove (compared to stored revenue and food
> service Cars) and additional VL2 baggage cars are
> coming due to overhaul so are being stored so they
> can focus on other car “higher priority”
> types. Again a theory not an excuse. Take it for
> what it is.

Agree. Amtrak is just not able to maintain serviceable equipment - for WHATEVER reason. I don't think its with the baggage cars being deficient, but rather baggage cars coming due for inspection and the mechanical forces are just not up to speed, and hence they bump into line with the other equipment that also needs servicing. It's a sad state of affairs.

In brief, Amtrak made a LOT of mistakes between 2020 and 2021 in the way they handled employees and equipment. One can't go back in time, but they misjudged and didn't react properly, and now they are in a game of catch-up. It's very sad that they could not figure out when to pivot during the 2020 and 2021 years. At the time, do I think Amtrak toyed with the idea that they could have used the pandemic to cancel out most long distance service - yes. But, Congress intervened and decided differently. Management has had to reconcile with that decision. Yet, despite what Congress decided, Amtrak can only do bare minimum because their workforce is decimated and they lost a TON of institutional knowledge among the workers that were furloughed, took buyout plans, took other higher paying and better jobs, etc. However, Amtrak Board Chairman said publicly at his confirmation hearing that Amtrak has hired over 2,500 workers out of the goal of 4,000 workers to hire during this time. So when to see the fruits of that labor remains to be seen. Yes, I understand it takes time to train staff and get them in que. 

To allow for this, I made a comment MONTHS ago that Amtrak should have looked into - bare minimum - at trying to see if they could get in que to outsource some of the mechanical work they needed done. Had they done it MONTHS ago, and offered a bonus to said outsource company to try and bump the work output up in some way (not asking anyone to be unethical but money talks), maybe Amtrak would have had better results coming quicker by now. Don't twist my words or opinion on this - it was and is ONLY a suggestion and something that I think Amtrak should have considered and looked into. There's no evidence that Amtrak tried to do this. I get that freight railroads are having trouble getting their equipment serviced expeditiously too. Commuter railroads don't appear to be in as deep as Amtrak or the freight railroads. Even VIA Rail Canada and Rocky Mountaineer - in curtailing service and having 70+ old equipment on the books - they kept up. And Rocky did close their doors, unlike VIA and Amtrak. Yes, Rocky has far less cars to service and a completely difference busy model than Amtrak and VIA, but they pulled it off! NJT, Metra, MARC, Metrolink, SEPTA, etc. are not having as large of a scale problems as Amtrak. LOSSAN is still sending cars to a third party vendor to get refurbished, as opposed to servicing and put cars back in service (like Amtrak is trying to do - I think!). Nothing but capacity reductions this year - not additions. Not sure when the tide will turn here. Their are 3rd party vendors that maintenance work could be outsourced too, and I get that they are under huge amounts of pressure right now with a lot of work in que, but my opinion is Amtrak should have at least looked to see if this was an option. Not sure if Amtrak realized their capacity shortages would have lasted this long. But it could have been an alternative to consider.

And the fact that the Sieman's cars are not in service was not planned for either. I get that the passenger cars are owned by the States, but Amtrak does have some responsibility. Sieman's has even MORE responsibility to get these cars into serviceable condition. The lack of info on why most of the Venture cars delivered by not accepted into service still remains a bit incomprehensible. But I bet Sieman's got paid! As far as I am concerned - Amtrak/States purchased the Venture cars (the States were guided/advised by Amtrak) that lacked an effective service/maintenance plan to ensure the equipment is delivered, but then moves quickly to a serviceable and operable status. They've not learned lessons from previous ordered equipment - most recently the Viewliner order from CAF....A bit more explanation (from Amtrak or the States) on the challenges currently being faced would help on a number of levels.    



Date: 09/21/22 16:12
Re: Alerts
Author: joemvcnj

I'd have thought the Eagle would be their whipping boy for sacrifice this time as opposed to the Chief, being they can't seem to guaranteee a 31xxx Superliner coach would always be available. 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/21/22 16:23 by joemvcnj.



Date: 09/21/22 16:40
Re: Alerts
Author: gbmott

I don't know Amtrak staffing requirements, but on a train like the Carolinian does baggage service require an additional onboard crew member?  If so I wonder if this is really a manpower issue, at least in part.

Gordon



Date: 09/21/22 18:37
Re: Alerts
Author: UP951West

alan2955 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> regalstream1516 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > I checked amtrak.com for possible travel in
> early
> > November on the Southwest Chief.  An alert dot
> > appeared.  Upon checking it appears that
> checked
> > baggage service is suspended for the Capitol
> > Limited and Southwest Chief, along with the
> > Carolinian and Pennsylvanian.  "Effective Fall
> > 2022"  Reason:  equipment shortages.
>
> Where did all the new baggage cars go that were
> purchased just a few years ago? Things just get
> worse every month. When will somebody wake up and
> fire Stephen Gardner and his henchmen?
>
> Posted from iPhone

Ding, ding, ding. You get the prize for the best response to this issue in a nutshell.  Thanks. 



Date: 09/22/22 05:43
Re: Alerts
Author: mp51w

There have been a few times in the past, where they used the conductors area in the dorm transition cars for luggage.



Date: 09/22/22 08:19
Re: Alerts
Author: mundo

https://www.amtrak.com/content/dam/projects/dotcom/english/public/images/logos/amtrak-logo__white.svg  https://www.amtrak.com/content/dam/agr/spinners/preloader-blue.gif 
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   apitol Limited, Southwest Chief, Carolinian and Pennsylvanian Checked Baggage and Bicycle Service ChangesEffective Fall 2022Due to lack of equipment, checked baggage service is suspended on Capitol Limited, Southwest Chief, Carolinian and Pennsylvanian trains for the fall schedule, as outlined below.September 12: Capitol Limited and Southwest ChiefSouthwest Chief Trains 3 and 4 and Capitol Limited Trains 29 and 30, may occasionally suspend checked baggage and bicycle service along the route, due to equipment shortages.October 3: Carolinian and Pennsylvanian
  • Carolinian Trains 79 and 80 will suspend checked baggage but will continue to accept carry-on bicycle service.
  • Pennsylvanian Trains 42 and 43 will suspend checked baggage and trainside checked bicycle service.
  • Service is expected to resume on or about November 17, 2022.
Customers may continue to travel with carry-on baggage as outlined below:
  • Two personal items, up to 25 lbs. and 14 x 11 x 7 inches each
  • Two carry-on bags, up to 50 lbs. and 28 x 22 x 14 inches each
We will continue to re-assess equipment plans and update the plan for the winter.



Date: 09/23/22 04:25
Re: Alerts
Author: lordsigma

At some point yesterday the alert was edited to mention only the Carolinian and Pennsylvanian. And the warning was removed from the Chief and Cap destination pages. Perhaps a miscommunication or error was made by whoever puts these advisories up? We shall see. Worth continuing to watch.



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