RailForum.com
TrainWeb.com

RAILforum Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile | directory login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» RAILforum » Passenger Trains » Amtrak » Kummant interview, New York Observer 8/13/08 (Page 1)

  This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2   
Author Topic: Kummant interview, New York Observer 8/13/08
Henry Kisor
Full Member
Member # 4776

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Henry Kisor   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It's at:

http://www.observer.com/2008/real-estate/alex-kummant-national-stationmaster

Posts: 2236 | From: Evanston, Ill. and Ontonagon, Mich. | Registered: Feb 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
gibg
Full Member
Member # 2565

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted      Profile for gibg     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
A very interesting interview. It's strange that Mr. Kummant refers to the high-speed French trains as "TVG" (rather than the correct "TGV" -- "train a grande vitesse")

On the other hand, that could be the mistake of the interviewer or the transcriber.

Posts: 87 | From: Snowmass, CO USA | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Henry Kisor
Full Member
Member # 4776

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Henry Kisor   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Maybe the transcriber is dyxlesic.
Posts: 2236 | From: Evanston, Ill. and Ontonagon, Mich. | Registered: Feb 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
PullmanCo
Full Member
Member # 1138

Icon 1 posted      Profile for PullmanCo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Gee, some things I've been saying for years. No, I'm not Mr Kummant:

What about doing away with some of the cross-country routes?

That's an old debate. I think reasonable people can debate that. And let me start on a couple of different directions. One is do we believe that our overall offering and our overall network is exactly what we'd like it to be? Of course not. We'd like to have better stations, newer equipment, better on-time performance. The reality is, and I've said this before, if you were to blow away all the long-distance product, you would never get it back.

One of the things I strongly believe is we are on a path, and if you look at, by the way, the ridership on the long-distance products, they're up--let's see--in July, they were up 12 percent year over year. So we're seeing dramatic growth in long-distance, which, in many cases, runs along what we would call the corridors of the future. You look at the Sunset West--you've got Phoenix to L.A. In your and my lifetime, there is going to be a serious high-speed or near-high-speed product offering between Phoenix and L.A.; it has to happen. And one of my arguments would be if you take all of Amtrak's long-distance product away, you'll eliminate the remaining vendor base; you'll eliminate facilities; you'll eliminate the workforce. It will be that much harder to get it back.</b>

--------------------
The City of Saint Louis (UP, 1967) is still my standard for passenger operations

Posts: 1392 | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Gilbert B Norman
Full Member
Member # 1541

Member Rated:
4
Icon 1 posted      Profile for Gilbert B Norman     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Mr. Pullman, Mr. Kummant is using code for "don't take away our LD product as it is the catalyst for funding what is really needed - Corridors. Likewise, if LD's are to be gone, i.e. they are no longer politically expedient, then don't ever expect to have them back.

Now let's set forth a hypothesis that I will label at outset as "absurd". It is a fair assumption that IF an LD Corridor offering "four a day' Houston-LA on a 33.5hr schedule (that prevailing for SP #! circa Oct 1962), Sleeping and Dining service, fares "@ Market', restoration of service to Downtown Phoenix, and scheduled so that any two points would have at least one a day arriving or departing during people hours, there would be significant ridership increases over the existing Sunset Route (I'm not sure if "Sunset Corridor" would be that great a marketing name for such, but I'll defer to our "Mad Men" around here on that point).

Only problem, where's the infrastructure - never mind the lesser and more readily "fixable' problem of equipment.

I hope nobody around here thinks that UP is double tracking LA-El Paso so that more passenger trains can be hosted - or at least they had better not lest they be hearing from this would-be irate shareholder (disclaimer: now hold position in UNP; already third best performing security in my portfolio). Public assistance to double track Houston-El Paso triple track West; as I have noted in the past, there is nothing "open and shut' about that one. First I'll give you 99 to 1 that UP would say "get lost', secondly, as some radical fans (more "radical" than our Patrick, be assured) could well suggest, if the line were taken as in the Fifth Amendment "pro bono publico", that would make for some mighty MIGHTY costly passenger trains.

Dr. Utt, get ready for your field day.'

Posts: 9391 | From: Clarendon Hills, IL USA (BNSF Chicago Sub MP 18.71) | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
amtraxmaniac
Full Member
Member # 2251

Icon 1 posted      Profile for amtraxmaniac     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
You got me pinned to a 'T' Gil. LOL. My answer to the problem of capacity is to seize the land by eminent domain, new taxes in order to pay fair market value, and more tax dollars to bribe the railroads. If they snub the carrot, use every political tool to bully the hell out of them until they just give Amtrak what it wants.

Hyperbole intended. Ok, maybe I'm closer to sarcasm than hyperbole.

But, let us not forget that the railroad companies would not even exist if not for PUBLIC land grants. These railroads were build to serve PUBLIC needs. If the public needs intercity rail, companies such as UP should defer to 'public benefit'. Keep in mind, that the government's intention is to grant land for PUBLIC benefit, not PRIVATE interests. UP has a legal and moral obligation to increase capacity for the purpose of accomodating passenger trains. But as long as special interests trump historical intention, corporate greed triumphs.

I am a radical. I am proud to label myself as a radical. 'Radical', 'Whacko', 'Dreamer', 'Naive'. These are all terms that have been used to describe world changers. And my first amendment rights permit me to be wrong about something from time to time.

--------------------
Patrick

Posts: 387 | From: Bakersfield, CA | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Henry Kisor
Full Member
Member # 4776

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Henry Kisor   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I may not agree with you, Amtraxmaniac, but I will defend to your death your right to say what you wish.
Posts: 2236 | From: Evanston, Ill. and Ontonagon, Mich. | Registered: Feb 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
George Harris
Full Member
Member # 2077

Member Rated:
4
Icon 1 posted      Profile for George Harris     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Amtraxmainiac: Most readings of history will show that the land grants were about the best deal the government ever maide. They were repaid multiple times over by the provision that government freight was carried at half rates, a provision that extended to any station pairing that that had any form of land grant route between it, whether that line carried the freight or not. This provision was finally repealed after WW2. Therefore, to use the land grants as the rationale won't work.

Having said all this, however, I still feel that they should be required to handle passenger trains on a no cost to them basis, whether they like it or not. I do not believe that they have any "moral" obligation to spend their money for it, however. Nor for that matter do I believe that the state of Arizona and its various cities and counties, as an example, have the right to try to extort overpasses and underpasses out of UP or stand in the way of the second main construction just because they do not like the increase in number of freight trains.

Posts: 2693 | From: Olive Branch MS | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
amtraxmaniac
Full Member
Member # 2251

Icon 1 posted      Profile for amtraxmaniac     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The federal government has tools at its disposal to mandate the freight railroads to accomodate passenger trains and they should use those tools. Should they be solely financially responsible for the infrastructure improvements? Absolutely not. That would be an unfunded mandate, and I DESPISE unfunded mandates. However, it is simply disgusting to me that politics are on the side of private profit over public need. It's cut-throat capitalism at its worse.

--------------------
Patrick

Posts: 387 | From: Bakersfield, CA | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Gilbert B Norman
Full Member
Member # 1541

Member Rated:
4
Icon 1 posted      Profile for Gilbert B Norman     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Patrick, if you mean what I think, namely increasing frequencies to, say, "two a day" over the LD routes, that is a never happen.

Only once in its history has Amtrak ever operated "two a day" on an East-West route and that was the Summer 1972 only Chi-LA Chief. I further believe any initiative such as you implicitly propose, or worse NARP's connect the dots charade they have labeled their Vision", would upset what I believe could be considered as a "detente' between the Class I's, Amtrak, and Congress. That detente is simply "you do not allow any advocacy for more LD trains to move forth and in return we will accept your existing level of service simply as a nuisance of doing business".

Posts: 9391 | From: Clarendon Hills, IL USA (BNSF Chicago Sub MP 18.71) | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TwinStarRocket
Full Member
Member # 2142

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted      Profile for TwinStarRocket     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Two trains a day on the CHI-LA ATSF route in summer of 72? I did not know that. Tell me more. Were they on identical routings? What times? Consists? Was it successful in terms of filling seats?
Posts: 1564 | From: St. Paul, MN | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Henry Kisor
Full Member
Member # 4776

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Henry Kisor   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Perhaps more than one train a day in each direction on the LD routes is unworkable for the reasons GBN cited, but what about increasing the consists to fill the demand -- assuming Amtrak can obtain new sleepers and coaches? Longer consists wouldn't be any more of a PITA for the freight railroads, would they?
Posts: 2236 | From: Evanston, Ill. and Ontonagon, Mich. | Registered: Feb 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Gilbert B Norman
Full Member
Member # 1541

Member Rated:
4
Icon 1 posted      Profile for Gilbert B Norman     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Here you go, Mr. Twin Star

Source: Amtrak System Timetable June 11, 1972

#19 Chief------------#20 Chief

930A----Chicago--------730A
1225P---Galesburg------356A
239P----La Plata-------146A
500P----Kansas City---1130P
1230A---La Junta-------210P
800A----Albuquerque----655A
1230P---Flagstaff-------1201A
935P----San Bernardino--238P
1135P---Los Angeles-----100P

Equipment Chi LA

Hi-Level Coaches
Slumbercoach
Diner
Dome Lounge
Sleeper

NY-LA via 31-MKC-19

Sleeper
Coach

Last trip was Sep 10, 1972

Posts: 9391 | From: Clarendon Hills, IL USA (BNSF Chicago Sub MP 18.71) | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TwinStarRocket
Full Member
Member # 2142

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted      Profile for TwinStarRocket     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thank you Mr. Norman. Apparently for a brief post A-day time in 1972, I could transfer same day in CHI to catch a train to St. Paul (after the demise of the Twin Star Rocket). No such luck in the reverse direction though.

I assume the connecting (through car) train to NY was the National Limited. Seems like a tight connection westbound. My honeymoon trip in 1977 was on the National Limited on a through sleeper we picked up in Warrensburg, MO bound for Arizona. Plenty of time to explore KC and Crown Plaza while our sleeper waited to be picked up by the Southwest Limited/Chief, which happened as we slept.

I would have liked to see the Flint Hills of Kansas and the route west of Flagstaff by daylight. The Arkansas River valley just doesn't do much for me as scenery in Kansas and Colo.

Posts: 1564 | From: St. Paul, MN | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
irishchieftain
Full Member
Member # 1473

Icon 1 posted      Profile for irishchieftain     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
The federal government has tools at its disposal to mandate the freight railroads to accomodate passenger trains and they should use those tools
Mandates died with Amtrak. And besides, we have too many unfunded mandates as it is. (Off-topic, but the promises made to Saakashvili can't even be honored, it seems.)
Posts: 539 | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Gilbert B Norman
Full Member
Member # 1541

Member Rated:
4
Icon 1 posted      Profile for Gilbert B Norman     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Henry Kisor:
...but what about increasing the consists to fill the demand -- assuming Amtrak can obtain new sleepers and coaches? Longer consists wouldn't be any more of a... (burden) for the freight railroads, would they?

I concur, Mr. Kisor; such was part of the Warrington model for conversion of the LD's to "Mixtos Diario', or if a train is occupying a block, then it matters not whether it is ten cars or 100.

Obtaining additional equipment is probably the easiest way for Amtrak to add capacity, and there are reports that they are starting to return to service stored A-I's (even if I am a bit baffled why it will take until Xmas to give five cars their mandated COT&S inspection).

Now regarding the LD product. I believe the maximum length a Superliner train may be is 14 cars, or at least that is how long I seem to recall the maximum consist of the "Everywhere West", or 5-25-35 - combined California Zephyr-Pioneer-Desert Wind (its minimum consist was 12). Secondly, I must accept that the folk at 60 Mass are not dummies, and their demand pricing model has shown that to add capacity, as well as presuming "Field of Dreams' mentality will prevail (if you build it they will come), that additional costs will be incurred to run the longer train and that fares would need be reduced to fill such up.

While likely Patrick holds that Amtrak is first and foremost here "pro bono publico', last time I checked Amtrak is mandated to run as a business. I must have confidence its managers have determined the existing nine car E-W consists represent the "best profit point'.

Posts: 9391 | From: Clarendon Hills, IL USA (BNSF Chicago Sub MP 18.71) | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Henry Kisor
Full Member
Member # 4776

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Henry Kisor   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I see that GBN has redacted a word in one of my earlier posts, apparently surmising that some folks might not know its meaning.

The word is "PITA," which means "pain in the a s s ."

Indeed it means "burden."

Posts: 2236 | From: Evanston, Ill. and Ontonagon, Mich. | Registered: Feb 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Gilbert B Norman
Full Member
Member # 1541

Member Rated:
4
Icon 1 posted      Profile for Gilbert B Norman     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Be assured Mr. Kisor, I know well enough what you meant and I would dare say so do the majority around here. However, this material goes out to a world wide audience and is read by industry contemporaries of mine - some of whom just happened to be my superiors.

What you state in your postings is between you and "The Moderator', but I will not be party to any such with my name, my given legal name, disseminated to a world wide audience. Therefore I chose to exercise my prerogative and accordingly redact your quote.

Posts: 9391 | From: Clarendon Hills, IL USA (BNSF Chicago Sub MP 18.71) | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Henry Kisor
Full Member
Member # 4776

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Henry Kisor   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Ah. Well. So be it.
Posts: 2236 | From: Evanston, Ill. and Ontonagon, Mich. | Registered: Feb 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
irishchieftain
Full Member
Member # 1473

Icon 1 posted      Profile for irishchieftain     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm innocent in this affair. I always think of that which contains a "gyro" when those four letters are strung together. (Can't get them where I live, but I try to have at least one when I visit NJ.)

 -

Posts: 539 | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Henry Kisor
Full Member
Member # 4776

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Henry Kisor   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Irishchieftain, surely you jest. What about having a:

http://www.drinksmixer.com/drink12207.html

Posts: 2236 | From: Evanston, Ill. and Ontonagon, Mich. | Registered: Feb 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
irishchieftain
Full Member
Member # 1473

Icon 1 posted      Profile for irishchieftain     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Looks a bit on the sweet side.

I think I might give this a try, though…

Posts: 539 | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
PullmanCo
Full Member
Member # 1138

Icon 1 posted      Profile for PullmanCo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I actually rode three different consists of the 1972 edition of the Chief!

Rest assured the lounge was a flat-top. As I recall, 2 of the 3 were from the big Budd order which equipped the Chief as a streamliner. That would have been around 1940 or so. I'll have to look at a copy of Wayners Names, Numbers and Consists book to be sure

Posts: 1392 | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
amtraxmaniac
Full Member
Member # 2251

Icon 1 posted      Profile for amtraxmaniac     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm not proposing added frequency near as much as I'm advocating relieving traffic on those lines to minimize the delays on existing trains like the Sunset Limited. Added capacity=less delays, hense improving the service on ALREADY EXISTING routes. I don't think that there is any need or justification to add frequencies on any of the EXISTING LD's. I would just like to see services maintained and improved. Quality is the first step to respectability, not quantity. However, I would like to see increased frequency on the Sunset, which Amtrak and UP seem like equally guilty parties in not materializing.

--------------------
Patrick

Posts: 387 | From: Bakersfield, CA | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
PullmanCo
Full Member
Member # 1138

Icon 1 posted      Profile for PullmanCo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Money talks, is all I will say.
Posts: 1392 | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Henry Kisor
Full Member
Member # 4776

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Henry Kisor   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Amtraxmaniac, by "relieving traffic" do you mean ordering the freight railroads to run fewer trains in order to benefit Amtrak?
Posts: 2236 | From: Evanston, Ill. and Ontonagon, Mich. | Registered: Feb 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
amtraxmaniac
Full Member
Member # 2251

Icon 1 posted      Profile for amtraxmaniac     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
No, what I mean is providing funded mandates to the Class I's to add capacity to the busy corridors. And Pullman, yes unfortunately money talks and that's why the government should get involved. That's when government should say 'ok, we are offering you fair compensation to add capacity to your railroad. If you want to play games, we'll just force you to do it via tax penalties. Our government has the power to do that, and THEY SHOULD. The greatest good for the greatest number. Now, if that sounds socialist, call it that, but its the right thing to do.

--------------------
Patrick

Posts: 387 | From: Bakersfield, CA | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Henry Kisor
Full Member
Member # 4776

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Henry Kisor   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Amtraxmaniac, if I were king I would issue an executive order to all Class I's to triple-track their main lines and upgrade them to 125 mph passenger-train running. I'd also earmark several billions to help them do that while also giving the royal bird to freight-railroad stockholders.

But this is the real world and that ain't gonna happen. We are still a modified capitalist economy and American passenger rail is always going to have to scramble and scrape and scratch for existence, notwithstanding the Lautenberg bill.

Posts: 2236 | From: Evanston, Ill. and Ontonagon, Mich. | Registered: Feb 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
amtraxmaniac
Full Member
Member # 2251

Icon 1 posted      Profile for amtraxmaniac     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
We have the political tools to make things happen. Those tools are just in the wrong hands. Too much in the form of special interest money is being thrown at thes fools. So what do they do? They tuck those tools away and even say they don't exist so they can get their hands on the $$$. Its one of the evils of our political system. So Pullman was right. Money talks.

My money talks too. It usually says "I'm leaving you for someone richer." LOL

--------------------
Patrick

Posts: 387 | From: Bakersfield, CA | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Henry Kisor
Full Member
Member # 4776

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Henry Kisor   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The following went over the AP B-wire today. I hadn't seen Kummant declaring before that the car fleet should be "doubled." Had he done so?

CHICAGO (AP) - Amtrak says it needs more passenger cars to keep pace with booming demand in Illinois and nationally.

Amtrak CEO Alex Kummant made a stop in Chicago to discuss how the service can boost it's fleet of 1,500 cars. Ideally, he says Amtrak should double the size of its fleet over the next decade.

Amid soaring gas prices, Amtrak ridership is up by more than 10% nationally since last year. In Illinois, it's up 19% since October.

Amtrak hasn't received new passenger cars since the mid '90s and is forced to continually renovate old ones.

Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari says booming demand is a problem they're glad to have. But he says Amtrak simply won't have enough cars to meet that demand, which is expected to keep growing 10% annually.

Posts: 2236 | From: Evanston, Ill. and Ontonagon, Mich. | Registered: Feb 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Henry Kisor
Full Member
Member # 4776

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Henry Kisor   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Amtraxmaniac, what are the political tools of which you speak? Who are "these fools?" Whose hands are the "right" hands? And how do you get the tools, once they are defined, into these hands? Perhaps we need to move from boxcar generalizations into specifics.
Posts: 2236 | From: Evanston, Ill. and Ontonagon, Mich. | Registered: Feb 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
PullmanCo
Full Member
Member # 1138

Icon 1 posted      Profile for PullmanCo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by amtraxmaniac:
And Pullman, yes unfortunately money talks and that's why the government should get involved. That's when government should say 'ok, we are offering you fair compensation to add capacity to your railroad.

Usual disclaimer applies.

To me, fair compensation is offering the railroads the same rate they would get to pull a hotshot COFC/TOFC freight running priority on the line.

UPS, COSCO, and others pay pretty dearly for their time on BNSF and UP lines. Amtrak doesn't pay near what the shippers are paying.

Money talks.

Again, usual disclaimer applies.

Posts: 1392 | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
irishchieftain
Full Member
Member # 1473

Icon 1 posted      Profile for irishchieftain     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Cosco should be banned from doing business in the USA. Forever. JMHO, of course, but considering that their money goes towards torturing Tibetans to death while the Olympics go merrily along (among other Maoist atrocities), the railroad execs ought to subsidize Amtrak for free as a penalty.
Posts: 539 | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Gilbert B Norman
Full Member
Member # 1541

Member Rated:
4
Icon 1 posted      Profile for Gilbert B Norman     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Mr. Pullman, money talks.

During the mid-70's, Amtrak and the roads negotiated train performance agreements that were so rich, Amtrak train performance became a "profit center".

Also of note, the surge of traffic arising from Dereg and Globalization had not set forth.

However, during 1997, the traffic surge had arrived entering the industry into its "second Golden Age" and at that same time Amtrak was being "giidepathed to self-sufficiency". They simply did not have funding to continue with the existing train performance payments and accordingly negotiated far less lucrative remuneration with the roads.

Result, Amtrak started to "get what they were paying for".

Money talks; UNOWAT walks.

usual disclaimer: positions in BNI NSC UNP

Posts: 9391 | From: Clarendon Hills, IL USA (BNSF Chicago Sub MP 18.71) | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
George Harris
Full Member
Member # 2077

Member Rated:
4
Icon 1 posted      Profile for George Harris     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Did anybody else consider the "glidepath to self sufficiency" a smokescreen for running the system straight into the ground from the first time they heard it? I did. It was a smoke and mirrors act that degraded the service quality while it was going on and left a legacy of sour tase in the mouth of both the customers and the host railroads.
Posts: 2693 | From: Olive Branch MS | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
palmland
Full Member
Member # 4344

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted      Profile for palmland     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I can attest to Mr. Norman's point. During the 90's I heard several discussions from the CSX operations center that said we will run Amtrak on time so we can get the incentive payments - and they did.

If the government decides more money for Amtrak is necessary for the greater good, then they need to pay up and on time trains will result. And that assumes there is also funding for infrastructure payment to provide capacity. Not a problem in the 90's but thankfully is now as a result of globalization - as all of us that own railroad stock or have 401k's can agree.

Posts: 2394 | From: Camden, SC | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
amtraxmaniac
Full Member
Member # 2251

Icon 1 posted      Profile for amtraxmaniac     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Eminent domain for one.

--------------------
Patrick

Posts: 387 | From: Bakersfield, CA | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
amtraxmaniac
Full Member
Member # 2251

Icon 1 posted      Profile for amtraxmaniac     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Power to tax is a powerful tool. We tax individuals and corporations to bend them to the will of government all the time. If they chose to thumb there noses at the concenpt of greater public good, they are taxed into comformity.

--------------------
Patrick

Posts: 387 | From: Bakersfield, CA | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
amtraxmaniac
Full Member
Member # 2251

Icon 1 posted      Profile for amtraxmaniac     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The real question is WHO in Washington has the intestinal fortitude to stand up to the corporations like UP and CSX?

--------------------
Patrick

Posts: 387 | From: Bakersfield, CA | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
delvyrails
Full Member
Member # 4205

Rate Member
Icon 1 posted      Profile for delvyrails     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Especially when they get wined and dined aboard UP and CSX business cars.
Posts: 137 | From: Willow Grove, PA | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
  This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.

Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Home Page

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2




Copyright © 2007-2016 TrainWeb, Inc. Top of Page|TrainWeb|About Us|Advertise With Us|Contact Us