Home Open Account Help 270 users online

Passenger Trains > Where is NARP? (RPA)


Pages:  [ 1 ][ 2 ] [ Next ]
Current Page:1 of 2


Date: 09/22/22 07:49
Where is NARP? (RPA)
Author: regalstream1516

The long list of 'meltdown' conditions posted by many of us regarding Amtrak's management of the national system speaks volumes.  The situation is far more than COVID-19 related.  The loss of the Pacific Parlour Cars from the Coast Starlight, the downgrading of the Texas Eagle and Capitol Limited, the loss of washing staff in Portland for the Empire Builder, the failure of equipment maintenance, the attack on the Southwest Chief, along with other described actions all happened before the pandemic.  Amtrak Management saw the pandemic as an easy out for the long-distance trains, and laid off people to the point of havoc.  With all this, and all the other countless omissions, not to mention the three-quarters of a million dollars in bonuses for the top guy, where is the outrage from NARP-RPA?  What is their action plan for moving forward?   What are they communicating to the Department of Transportation and elected officials?  Perhaps those of you who are still members of that organization have Good answers.  I hope you do.  I hope there is encouraging action from NARP-RPA on these and other issues.  While I could be wrong, the NARP I remember and once supported, used to hold Amtrak accountable for questionable actions.  I want to be wrong in my assessment that RPA as out of touch, detached, weak, and insular.  Years of post office difficulty and gulf coast restoration seem to be all I hear about, with the exception of irrelevant updates and polls of opinion.



Date: 09/22/22 08:16
Re: Where is NARP? (RPA)
Author: Chessie1963

I stopped renewing RPA a few years ago when I realized that they actually do very little to advance passenger rail.  It is sad, and we need them, but they are largely absent from the conversation these days.  Amtrak does not worry about them, and communication from the group never makes it to the press.  They are, honestly, useless in their current form.

I wish it were different, but the fact is that it is up to us.  Save your money, reach out to your representatives in DC and if your state funds a state train, reach out to your state delegation as well.  We have to bring the pressure on our own now, because there is no desire at Amtrak or RPA.

I just looked up last week's RPA Hotline, and it is devoid of anything of substance.  That says it all.

 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/22/22 08:18 by Chessie1963.



Date: 09/22/22 08:50
Re: Where is NARP? (RPA)
Author: joemvcnj

For their next "Rail Nation" meeting in KC, agenda will be:

"the FRA's new Corridor Identification and Development program and we will hear from speakers working on rail corridor expansion projects from around the country. The agenda includes what the Lakeshore Rail Alliance is doing to add service and eliminate the many bottlenecks to better freight and passenger rail service. All advocates for better passenger train service are invited to attend."

When the Titanic sinks, the band will still play.
In this case, play train in fantasy-land. They evidently drank the Connect-US Kool-Aide.
They have transformed from Ross Capon days of being a consumer advocate, losing their analytical skills in the process, to a top-down, Amtrak's uninvited management consultants while they actually think they have a seat at the management table. 

State ARPS, or those who do no behave like mini-NARPs, various alliances, route specific FB groups and individuals have to take matters in their own hands with Congress. 




Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 09/22/22 08:59 by joemvcnj.



Date: 09/22/22 09:13
Re: Where is NARP? (RPA)
Author: jp1822

Forget any form of US-Connect plans, Amtrak needs to get its house in order so they they can successfully connect and operate their existing network as they are supposed to. NARP/RPA has lost my vote of confidence altogether. They are supposed to be advocating for the mere existance and support of passenger rail. Absolutel horribe job they've been doing. I was a member for years, but have no longer supported since at least 2017 when simplified dining (then flex dining) was rolled out. They are just not in touch and could help be a spokesperson for the woes Amtrak may be going through - with labor and equipment issues. But instead, like Amtrak, there's no transparency in communication and it gets swept under the rug. 
 



Date: 09/22/22 10:22
Re: Where is NARP? (RPA)
Author: RevRandy

I'm still with (and suppporting) RPA. 

Why?

Because I know that every one of the items of criticism listed above has been addressed by them with Amtrak in the past year including getting Amtrak officials in the record committing to desired changes.  I know that much of the infrastructure bill's wording in regards to passenger trains came from RPA.  I know that the RPA has developed and maintained on-going relationships with the people in Amtrak who do the work (not just the executive level). 

I also know that cutting support to RPA (they don't ask for that much ... less than an dinner out) and then decrying their lack of action is disingenuous. If you want them to do more give support, spread the word.  

On a national level, there is no one else, folks.  



Date: 09/22/22 11:06
Re: Where is NARP? (RPA)
Author: lordsigma

RevRandy Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I'm still with (and suppporting) RPA. 
>
> Why?
>
> Because I know that every one of the items of
> criticism listed above has been addressed by them
> with Amtrak in the past year including getting
> Amtrak officials in the record committing to
> desired changes.  I know that much of the
> infrastructure bill's wording in regards to
> passenger trains came from RPA.  I know that the
> RPA has developed and maintained on-going
> relationships with the people in Amtrak who do the
> work (not just the executive level). 
>
> I also know that cutting support to RPA (they
> don't ask for that much ... less than an dinner
> out) and then decrying their lack of action is
> disingenuous. If you want them to do more give
> support, spread the word.  
>
> On a national level, there is no one else,
> folks.  

Pretty much sums up my point of view.



Date: 09/22/22 16:06
Re: Where is NARP? (RPA)
Author: ProAmtrak

I'm with the majority, when Ross ran it it was much more vocal,haven't seen much with them on my emails except for On Time Performance and other minor stuff, not the downgrades of the LD Network and not urging Amtrak to return coach passengers back into the dining car!

Posted from Android



Date: 09/22/22 16:40
Re: Where is NARP? (RPA)
Author: Wolverine350

RevRandy Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I'm still with (and suppporting) RPA. 
>
> Why?
>
> Because I know that every one of the items of
> criticism listed above has been addressed by them
> with Amtrak in the past year including getting
> Amtrak officials in the record committing to
> desired changes.  I know that much of the
> infrastructure bill's wording in regards to
> passenger trains came from RPA.  I know that the
> RPA has developed and maintained on-going
> relationships with the people in Amtrak who do the
> work (not just the executive level). 
>
> I also know that cutting support to RPA (they
> don't ask for that much ... less than an dinner
> out) and then decrying their lack of action is
> disingenuous. If you want them to do more give
> support, spread the word.  
>
> On a national level, there is no one else,
> folks.  

Thank you for actually thinking rationally.

Posted from iPhone



Date: 09/22/22 17:05
Re: Where is NARP? (RPA)
Author: Flyer92122

They aren't nearly as good as they used to be, but for now it's better than nothing. Then again maybe they are playing a game of keep your friends close and your enemies closer with Gardner and Co. 🤷 



Date: 09/22/22 17:34
Re: Where is NARP? (RPA)
Author: lordsigma

ProAmtrak Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> and not urging Amtrak to return coach passengers
> back into the dining car!

Where is your evidence of this? They are urging Amtrak to return coach passenger to the dining car - at least everything I’ve read.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/22/22 17:35 by lordsigma.



Date: 09/22/22 17:59
Re: Where is NARP? (RPA)
Author: joemvcnj

Flyer92122 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> They aren't nearly as good as they used to be, but
> for now it's better than nothing. Then again maybe
> they are playing a game of keep your friends close
> and your enemies closer with Gardner and Co.
> 🤷 

That 10% RPA member discount for Amtrak transportation needs to go. Even the appearance of a conflict of interest is not good.

Posted from Android



Date: 09/22/22 19:59
Re: Where is NARP? (RPA)
Author: lordsigma

Redacted



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 09/22/22 20:07 by lordsigma.



Date: 09/23/22 06:59
Re: Where is NARP? (RPA)
Author: PRSL-recall

The very fact that there are such discrepant comments and experiences with NARP/RPA shows that their voice and effectiveness is not clear to say the least. I don't think the negative comments were anywhere near what they are now under Ross Capon. I sure hope and wish Ross Capon understands how much he is missed.



Date: 09/23/22 11:43
Re: Where is NARP? (RPA)
Author: RRBMail

I left NARP when I concluded that it was an employment scheme for the paid staff that had little effect in improving passenger train services. The issue goes back 50 years. Amtrak (Railpax--then) was a political marriage to rid the railroads of their obligation to carry passengers (in part for the free gov't lands they got) whilst still keeping some on-board staff working--especially in Black communities where passenger service was the number one employer. I remember that back then no one thought Amtrak would last. It was expected to eventually fade away like the iron horse. Then the first energy crisis came about and the Nixon administration, caught with it pants down, trumpeted Amtrak as energy saving. The rest is history. The best and some would say the only good Amtrak CEO was Graham Claytor. After him the management spiraled into a deep abyss. Even "Amtrak Joe" could care less about the LD trains. After pointless meetings and letters I've come to the conclusion that the jerk now running the show is getting bonuses because he is exactly what Uncle Sam really wants...a hatchet man. Remember..."follow the money"? Life was better in the 1950s, everything worked and everyone worked. Trains took you everywhere from Canada to the USA and Mexico, that is if you were White and didn't get polio! 



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/24/22 09:54 by RRBMail.



Date: 09/23/22 14:44
Re: Where is NARP? (RPA)
Author: hsr_fan

Where is Amtrak Joe?  We're halfway through his term and I don't expect 200 mph TGV service between all cities, but I figured maybe we could get a fresh cooked meal in one of those expensive new Viewliner II dining cars again by now.



Date: 09/23/22 15:03
Re: Where is NARP? (RPA)
Author: OnTime

I would like to know what all the folks who say they are disappointed with RPA expect RPA do to? This message is addressed to those folks.

RPA has issued press releases and public statements - available now on their website - protesting the bone headed moves of Amanagement. They warned Amtrak management at the beginning of the pandemic not to engage in mass firings. Amtrak did it anyway. They are advocating for coach passengers in the dining car. They have testified in Congress to this effect. Sadly they do not have a magic wand to fix everything all at once.

If you want to fix the problem I suggest increasing RPA's power by joining it. If you have a better idea of what RPA should do then join and advocate for your position within the organization. It is a membership organization and you could influence, by your vote and activism who is in the RPA leadership.

If all you want to do is to have temper tantrum about RPA, then that will fix nothing. 



Date: 09/23/22 16:53
Re: Where is NARP? (RPA)
Author: lordsigma

OnTime Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I would like to know what all the folks who say
> they are disappointed with RPA expect RPA do to?
> This message is addressed to those folks.
>
> RPA has issued press releases and public
> statements - available now on their website -
> protesting the bone headed moves of Amanagement.
> They warned Amtrak management at the beginning of
> the pandemic not to engage in mass firings. Amtrak
> did it anyway. They are advocating for coach
> passengers in the dining car. They have testified
> in Congress to this effect. Sadly they do not have
> a magic wand to fix everything all at once.
>
> If you want to fix the problem I suggest
> increasing RPA's power by joining it. If you have
> a better idea of what RPA should do then join and
> advocate for your position within the
> organization. It is a membership organization and
> you could influence, by your vote and activism who
> is in the RPA leadership.
>
> If all you want to do is to have temper tantrum
> about RPA, then that will fix nothing. 

Amen - what they said.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/23/22 16:56 by lordsigma.



Date: 09/23/22 17:37
Re: Where is NARP? (RPA)
Author: mp51w

How can you run a passenger train in the off season, and not have enough capacity, both coach and sleeper, to meet demand?
Answer that question NARP/RPA!



Date: 09/23/22 20:07
Re: Where is NARP? (RPA)
Author: jgilmore

OnTime Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> If all you want to do is to have temper tantrum
> about RPA, then that will fix nothing. 

True, just like throwing a temper tantrum against those who have clearly and logically conveyed their reasons for not supporting RPA will fix nothing either...

JG



Date: 09/24/22 04:55
Re: Where is NARP? (RPA)
Author: joemvcnj

OnTime Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I would like to know what all the folks who say
> they are disappointed with RPA expect RPA do to?
> This message is addressed to those folks.
> If all you want to do is to have temper tantrum
> about RPA, then that will fix nothing. 

We can chew gum and walk at the same time. Thousands of members have walked and taken matters into their own hands as individuals, groups, and some of the non-RPA compliant state ARPs. While membership hit 23,000 at the end of Chilson's leadership, it been plunging every since. The sudden firing of Ross Capon voted for by all but 3 Board members on a meeting with 2 days notice initiated a large exodus. We don't know how much member loss there has been because the Board and Staff do not disclose their membership numbers, but they know perfectly well what it is since that is how they allot Council members by state. But the weekly begging letters and staff layoffs speaks volumes. 

I was a member from 1980 to 2019, a Council member for an intermediate 12 years, and left in total disgust. They became a rather elitist, clique-ish, political, top-down organization who increasingly renders the Council powerless, simply does not listen to either they or their membership, and particularly disrespectful for people who have been active for 35 - 40 years, and now RPA suffers from the same lack of institutional knowledge Amtrak has. Basically what we feared in 2004, saved by a "palace coup" (rejection of Alan Yorker in favor of George Chilson as Chair) by 2016 has occurred with large membership losses which had been occurring until 2004.   
With their public name change to RPA, which itself was ridiculous (a whole other topic. like NARP folded up), they have forgotten who they are and what they are supposed to be, in doing so turned their back on too many issues. They are officially a 501c-educational and consumer advocacy organization. They are NOT Amtrak management consultants, but seem to think they are. Amtrak did not invite them and telling Amtrak executives this and that and I-told-you-so is just as much pissing in the wind as is writing to customer affairs.  Amtrak is a rogue outfit that only respond to existential threats from Congress, and gives them the middle finger otherwise. Whether it is Amtrak's passive aggression or stupidity doesn't matter - it amounts to the same thing. That is where ALL the emphasis for organizational activities should be.  

What should RPA be doing ? 

Job 1 right now is to lobby the Senate to reject Biden's NEC-centric Board appointments ESPECIALLY Anthony Coscia, who only boasts about NEC investment and cost cutting and running service into the ground everywhere else from 2012 right through Anderson's destructive reign, who was just fine into destroying the Southwest Chief, killing dining service, destaffing stations, laying off thousands before Covid, and sharp criticism of the inept executive suite, if not call for their resignations. RPA has done nothing of a kind.  

Their total effort should be informing Congress and NARPdbaRPA's membership the current state of affairs with service issues and Amtrak's deviant behavior. Over the last 10 years, not in any particular order:
  • PRIAA -210 (LD Performance Improvement Plans) - some made sense, others did not, yet all of it was trashed by Amtrak and ignored by NARP, except for silly "Daily Cardinal Campaign" that got zero traction because it made little financial sense, but ignored a budget positive one for the Capitol Ltd with Pennsylvanian thru-cars. 
  • PRIAA-216 (charters, specials, PV'S encourage to enhance revenue) - trashed by Amtrak and ignored by NARP.
  • Title 49 U.S. Code § 24102. - which freezes the LD network at 2008 levels as part of PRIIA, ignored by RPA
  • "Silver Starvation" - implemented by an Amtrak CFO, without Boardman's knowledge, and ignored by NARP, which tried to distract by a silly "Chef Mady" publicity stunt one summer, and an admitedly foolish attempt to get younger members. That was after a bunch of NARP Directors were invited to a food lab in Wilmington by Amtrak without the courtesy of even informing the local Council members, albeit as a bribe to shut NARP up on the dining issue, while the cafe menu also turned to nothing but junk food. I know this because I caught them all on a Regional train headed to DC. 
  • Amtrak Express - "temporarily" dropped in Sep,2020 for tri-weekly service , but never put back. Amtrak doesn't want the revenue and RPA is dead silent on that issue.
  • Ignored, so as to not piss of Amtrak: https://www.railpassengers.org/site/assets/files/7353/amtraks_route_accounting_-_fatally_flawed.pdf Researched by by older NARP Directors at the time, another sign of disrespect by the current staff and Board, also likely lacking the empirical patience and/or competency to comprehend it, highlighting Amtrak's deceptive, fraudulent APT cost accounting, though they lied about its distribution to Congress, 
And now we have  service meltdown the most severe since the 1977-78 midwest blizzards.
What does RPA do instead to distract so as not to piss off Amtrak and jeopardize their 10% ticket discounts for members ?
  • Swallow Amtrak's Connect-US Corridor-only Kool-Aide. It is designed to over-charge states for PRIIA-209 trains after a 5 year step-down period and send the proceeds to the NEC money pit, and also distract while they run the national network trains into the grounds, if not segment them. Other than Penn-DOT throwing $200 million at a 2nd Pennsylvanian, a 2nd St Paul train, and some more extensions in Virginia, all of which have been in the pipeline for 10 years, Connect US has no traction. Amtrak and RPA obsess over Gulf Coast service to set a legal precedent, but neither Mississippi or Alabama are interested. How about obsess with Pioneer and North Coast Hiawatha instead since Idaho, North Dakota, and Montana all want those trains. Oops, it is not PRIIA-209 and Title 49 prevents it anyway regardless of 750 miles.  
  • Conduct a Rail Nation Board/Council meeting in Kansas City focused entirely on corridor expansion and the silly Lake Shore Alliance where not a single legislature or governor between New York and Indiana is the least bit interested. It is a warmed over proposal by Rick Harnish 10 years ago albeit to distract from the Capitol Ltd's PIP, who at the time refused any consideration for NY-PGH-CHI service, 
So there you have it. RPA is not the be-all/end-all of lobbying Congress and there is much they choose to ignore while the rest of us are no longer constrained by their politically crafted scripts for which they do not solicit input. 

You go to your church - I go to mine.  

 



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 09/25/22 03:46 by joemvcnj.



Pages:  [ 1 ][ 2 ] [ Next ]
Current Page:1 of 2


[ Share Thread on Facebook ] [ Search ] [ Start a New Thread ] [ Back to Thread List ] [ <Newer ] [ Older> ] 
Page created in 0.2098 seconds