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 » Hoosier State - funding approved!

   
Author Topic: Hoosier State - funding approved!
Geoff Mayo
Full Member
Member # 153

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Geoff Mayo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Roughly two years after knowing the Hoosier State would be cancelled if funds were not made available, INDOT have finally committed to negotiations just five days (3 working days) before the service might have stopped. I say "might have" as it appears Amtrak would have continued service beyond termination date if "states [were] holding good-faith contract negotiations by Oct. 1". I am assuming the 180-day notice period doesn't apply because the Cardinal serves the same route and stations three days a week at the same times.

What Indiana apparently want is better service for their $3m input - much of which they want to come from communities along the route. Amtrak have put forward four options for improved frequencies and timings. Schedule changes could be interesting since the Indianapolis to Chicago route involves no less than seven railroads apparently.

The teaser on the table is Beech Grove and its 500+ jobs at risk if the train is cancelled. Lost jobs = lost votes. Whether they would really be at risk is debatable since the Cardinal is still an option, albeit only three days a week.

The above is cobbled together from various sources. I'll keep the thread updated if I hear anything more, more for my own interest as much as anything else.

--------------------
Geoff M.

Posts: 2426 | From: Apple Valley, CA | Registered: Sep 2000  |  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 
It is amazing that the Hoosier State lives as it has a very slow schedule because of its tortuous routing into Chicago. If that problem could be fixed with resulting faster transit time, I suspect ridership would increase and make it more worth saving.

On a related subject, I see on another site that the STB has received an application from CSX for operating rights (with significant track upgrades) over the Louisville and Indiana RR from Indianapolis to Louisville - the route of the short lived Kentucky Cardinal. While railfans might speculate about a rebirth of that train on the route as a result, my hope (and probably also in the fantasy category) is that CSX might reroute some traffic from Indiana and Ohio points to that route that now travels over the extremely busy line through Cincinnati and down the 'Short Line' to Louisville. That might relieve enough congestion to permit a really useful Kentucky Cardinal between those points. Certainly Kentucky would be more likely to support that and perhaps bring some political pressure on CSX given the significant part it plays in that state with the coal mines in the east and two main lines.

Posts: 2397 | From: Camden, SC | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
notelvis
Full Member
Member # 3071

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted      Profile for notelvis     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The ideal solution would be for the Hoosier State to operate daily on a more user-friendly schedule completely separate from the Cardinal.

Departing Indianapolis around 7:30am....... returning to same around 10:00pm would work better for the Hoosiers who might use such a train.

Untangling the web (and solutions are on the table) to improve running time and reliability in and out of Chicago would also help.

Even if Indiana would spring for a Hoosier State on a separate schedule say Mon-Fri only, this would still be a significant improvement.

--------------------
David Pressley

Advocating for passenger trains since 1973!

Climbing toward 5,000 posts like the Southwest Chief ascending Raton Pass. Cautiously, not nearly as fast as in the old days, and hoping to avoid premature reroutes.

Posts: 4203 | From: Western North Carolina | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Geoff Mayo
Full Member
Member # 153

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Geoff Mayo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I see the suggestions have been published (how long ago I do not know). One common idea is that there would be a re-route between Dyer, IN and Chicago, IL via the CN/IC line (route of the City of New Orleans via the St. Charles Air Line, requiring a back-up move). That is slated to save 30 minutes.

The other ideas:
1. Cancel the train.
2. Fund but otherwise do nothing.
3. Extra service (dep IND 8am; dep CHI 5:30pm)
4. Extra service (dep IND 8am; dep CHI 3:30pm)
5. Extra services (dep IND 8am and 12:15pm; dep CHI 11:30am and 5:30pm)
6. Extra services (dep IND 8am and 1:30pm; dep CHI 6:30am and 5:30pm)

Two new sidings and extending existing sidings would be necessary to support the increased service.

The reports can be found here.

I'm not sure if the meeting actually went ahead today. There are reports that it's been postponed until October 14th (yes, after the termination date).

--------------------
Geoff M.

Posts: 2426 | From: Apple Valley, CA | Registered: Sep 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
notelvis
Full Member
Member # 3071

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted      Profile for notelvis     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Option 2 (or 3 even) above sounds like a much better schedule for Indianapolis and the Indiana cities enroute. Anything that could shave 30-45 minutes off the Dyer-Chicago running time would be tremendous.

If there were a Hoosier State running on this schedule 5 to 7 days a week, the Cardinal could run separately on it's triweekly schedule. Trim some padding between Cincinnati and Indianapolis and it could depart Indianapolis westbound around 5am, depart Chicago eastbound around 7:30pm.

--------------------
David Pressley

Advocating for passenger trains since 1973!

Climbing toward 5,000 posts like the Southwest Chief ascending Raton Pass. Cautiously, not nearly as fast as in the old days, and hoping to avoid premature reroutes.

Posts: 4203 | From: Western North Carolina | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Geoff Mayo
Full Member
Member # 153

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Geoff Mayo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Trip report later, with photos at Beech Grove, but for now the train will be running until mid-October.

--------------------
Geoff M.

Posts: 2426 | From: Apple Valley, CA | Registered: Sep 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Geoff Mayo
Full Member
Member # 153

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Geoff Mayo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Geoff Mayo:
Trip report later, with photos at Beech Grove, but for now the train will be running until mid-October.

I put the Beech Grove photos up on my own forum here which you can see without signing up.

Being at Beech Grove the night before my trip on the Hoosier State I was able to ask whether it would be running. Yes was the answer, with a Viewliner car, a refurbed engine, and a diner. And so at 5:30am we were summoned from the depths of the waiting area at Indianapolis up to the platform where a train consisting of three locos, one Viewliner, one diner, and two passenger cars awaited. We were all directed into the forward passenger car but later on the rear car was opened up as the train was busy.

Between Indianapolis and Dyer the train regularly achieved 60mph, no delays due to other trains or slow orders, and arriving at stations just a minute or two early, so very little in the way of padding. However, all that changes once joining the main line from the Monon. We waited and crawled; crawled and waited. From Dyer it's 29 miles to Chicago and it took us 90 minutes - another 8 allowed to still be on time as far as the clock goes. One can see how taking a different route into Chicago might shave half an hour off the journey.

As I said earlier, the train was busy, and seemed to have a number of regulars on board who knew the conductor. The latter mentioned she only heard that the train might be cancelled just a few days earlier. As it happens, Amtrak DID issue a 180 day notice, but not in time for October 1st when the funding run out, so they are running until the 16th October (I think). On the 14th I believe the Indiana powers-that-be will decide on the funding issue.

The guide at Beech Grove said that Beech Grove would survive simply because it's the only place that can do much of Amtrak's overhauling - they do things that the other facilities can't. However, the conductor said the Cardinal would be delayed if they had to switch in/out equipment at Indianapolis every time it stopped there.

I mentioned in another thread that I would spend the day in Chicago. As it happened, I got an earlier flight so that didn't happen.

--------------------
Geoff M.

Posts: 2426 | From: Apple Valley, CA | Registered: Sep 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
notelvis
Full Member
Member # 3071

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted      Profile for notelvis     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm still trying to locate images of the new station in Rennselaer, IN. There don't seem to be any online.

I'm curious about that Viewliner being converted into an inspection car with that big back window. Was this one of the two original prototype Viewliner Sleepers or was it one from the 50-car order placed in the mid-1990's? Was it a car that was at Beech Grove for repairs from a wreck or did they actually pull a serviceable sleeper from revenue service? Seems like they have many other cars that could have been converted for hauling the brass that would have had a smaller impact on revenue potential.

--------------------
David Pressley

Advocating for passenger trains since 1973!

Climbing toward 5,000 posts like the Southwest Chief ascending Raton Pass. Cautiously, not nearly as fast as in the old days, and hoping to avoid premature reroutes.

Posts: 4203 | From: Western North Carolina | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Geoff Mayo
Full Member
Member # 153

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Geoff Mayo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I could only find this, though Bing Maps does show a newer platform surface at least.

Regarding the inspection car, it would appear that it was a prototype - though there is much speculation on that thread so I'd take it with a sackful of salt.

--------------------
Geoff M.

Posts: 2426 | From: Apple Valley, CA | Registered: Sep 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
notelvis
Full Member
Member # 3071

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted      Profile for notelvis     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I believe that Rennselaer has received the same attractive 'neo-station' shelter design that Amtrak has erected in Beaumont, TX, Alliance, OH, and Connellsville, PA...... maybe Winnemucca, NV too.

I wasn't even aware that a new station was abuilding there until I saw pictures of a new foundation that my sister took in March when she rode the Cardinal from Prince, WV to Chicago, took Metra to Naperville, and rented a car en route to a Vetrinary Conference at Iowa State University. Airfares to Iowa for two were in the $1400 RT range at that time and she saved over $600 by taking the train....... that's even with roomettes on the Cardinal. The surprising thing is that the Cardinal's tri-weekly schedule met her needs AND the train was on-time in both directions.

For comparison sake - here is the new (2011) shelter in Connellsville, PA.

--------------------
David Pressley

Advocating for passenger trains since 1973!

Climbing toward 5,000 posts like the Southwest Chief ascending Raton Pass. Cautiously, not nearly as fast as in the old days, and hoping to avoid premature reroutes.

Posts: 4203 | From: Western North Carolina | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
notelvis
Full Member
Member # 3071

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted      Profile for notelvis     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
From NARP - it appears that the last run of the quad-weekly Hoosier State will be Thursday, October 16 unless the State of Indiana reaches an agreement to continue the service.

Scroll down to see a copy of the notice which Amtrak has posted in Hoosier State stations. Hoosier State notice

--------------------
David Pressley

Advocating for passenger trains since 1973!

Climbing toward 5,000 posts like the Southwest Chief ascending Raton Pass. Cautiously, not nearly as fast as in the old days, and hoping to avoid premature reroutes.

Posts: 4203 | From: Western North Carolina | Registered: Feb 2004  |  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 
Nine days to go as of this writing.

But wouldn't it be sport if 'Passenger Extras 1850 and 1851' continued to operate handling equipment between Lumber St and Beech Grove?

'Only in Government'.

On that note of only in government (and this is WAAAY away from any rail related issue), think about the possible repeal of the 2.5% tax on medical devices under ACA 10. Independent of any thoughts that this could be a 'let 'em have it' bargaining chip to end the Shutdown, think for a moment that to a great part this is simply 'Government taxing Government'. So many of the users of the devices covered are on some form of publicly funded or subsidized health care (Medicare, Medicaid, VA, Armed Forces, premium assistance under ACA 10) and the cost of these devices will simply be passed on to the end user (the patient) these assistance payments will simply be higher than otherwise. Therefore, that tax is greatly 'Government taxing Government'.

Posts: 9977 | From: Clarendon Hills, IL USA (BNSF Chicago Sub MP 18.71) | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Geoff Mayo
Full Member
Member # 153

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Geoff Mayo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thanks, David. There was no such sign on October 2nd - and it was this that frustrated me the most: that there was no communication from Amtrak to even convey the fact it was under threat. It seemed I knew more than the conductor. Just an honest notice saying, "Look, your train will be running from October 1st to the 16th, but after that it is in doubt" would have been sufficient.

As I said before, Beech Grove aren't too worried either way, though of course they'd like daily opportunities to move equipment.

--------------------
Geoff M.

Posts: 2426 | From: Apple Valley, CA | Registered: Sep 2000  |  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 
Why not just make the Cardinal daily and problem solved.

Or perhaps two day trains from Cinci, one to Chicago and one to Washington with through cars to NY on 66/67. The Capitol or LSL can handle any through NY/Wash to Chicago passengers. Northern KY/and Cinci area is a market that isn't served very well now. Throw in thruway buses to Columbus and Louisville and I'll bet ridership would increase significantly on both segments.

Posts: 2397 | From: Camden, SC | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Geoff Mayo
Full Member
Member # 153

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Geoff Mayo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Palmland, the usual excuse is lack of passenger equipment. However, the current run days means the equipment lies idle in New York for roundly 33 hours thrice a week and Chicago 31 hours once a week, meaning only two extra sets would be required for daily service compared to the two currently allocated. That's ignoring usage of the equipment for other services, of course, but even maintenance can only account for a handful of those idle hours. The Hoosier's equipment is two Horizon cars which are unsuitable for overnight service. IIRC Amtrak have plenty of motive power available.

Interestingly Amtrak allow you to buy tickets for the Hoosier beyond October 16th. Maybe they're optimistic!

--------------------
Geoff M.

Posts: 2426 | From: Apple Valley, CA | Registered: Sep 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Geoff Mayo
Full Member
Member # 153

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Geoff Mayo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Funding will be provided for a year initially

Better late than never, and it's only a short term stop-gap rather than a solid plan for the future, but it's something at least.

--------------------
Geoff M.

Posts: 2426 | From: Apple Valley, CA | Registered: Sep 2000  |  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 
All the state-financed Amtrak runs have been renewed, it was announced today.
Posts: 2236 | From: Evanston, Ill. and Ontonagon, Mich. | Registered: Feb 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Geoff Mayo
Full Member
Member # 153

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Geoff Mayo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Yes, Indiana was the last to (eventually) agree, albeit with local help.

Illinois was the penultimate and is now picking up the tab for the entire Chicago to St. Louis route. Missouri must be over the moon.

--------------------
Geoff M.

Posts: 2426 | From: Apple Valley, CA | Registered: Sep 2000  |  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 
I am astounded, but Indiana has awarded the contract to operate Hoosier State to a private concern, Corridor Capital LLC:

http://ccrail.com/wp-content/uploads/Corridor-Capital-Wins-Indiana-DOT-Contract-for-Hoosier-State-Route.pdf

But then, Indiana is in the grip of 'neocons' (I stop at tea party) and somebody decided 'we are privatizing this service that we are paying for'.

Beyond that, and assuming all existing labor agreements will be honored, it escapes me how any private operator could provide the service more economically than Amtrak.

Posts: 9977 | From: Clarendon Hills, IL USA (BNSF Chicago Sub MP 18.71) | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Vincent206
Full Member
Member # 15447

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted      Profile for Vincent206     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
There is plenty of Hoosier State financial information in the linked pdf. For instance, Indiana pays Amtrak $429,000 annually for the Hoosier State consist (1 locomotive and 2 Horizon coaches). Maybe CCLLC thinks they can save money using their own equipment.
Posts: 831 | From: Seattle | Registered: Jan 2011  |  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 
quote:
Originally posted by Vincent206:
There is plenty of Hoosier State financial information in the linked pdf. For instance, Indiana pays Amtrak $429,000 annually for the Hoosier State consist (1 locomotive and 2 Horizon coaches). Maybe CCLLC thinks they can save money using their own equipment.

First, they have to come up with their own equipment.

On another subject: I have wondered why after CSX came into existance why Cincinatti to Louisville traffic was not moved off the ex L&N "Short Line+ to the ex B&) line west to Seymour IN and then down the ex Pennsy line to Lousiville.

Without digging up employee timetables, the L&N route was about 110 miles and the best passenger schedule not less than 3 hours. It is a very curvey piece of railroad and I think lots of grades as well.

To go the other way (B&O-PRR) is about 140 miles, but with this extra 30 miles you get a much straighter and flatter piece of railroad so I doubt there would be any increase in fuel consumption. 90 miles of this is the ex-B&O, and once away from Cincinatti, pretty straight, and again without digging up old timetables, I would suspect the passenger scheules were under 2 hours. The 50 mile long PRR portion is also fairly straight and level. This was the South Wind route, and probably under 1 hour in schedule. The track on this route is pretty bad and would require a near complete relay of rail, but once that is done you would have a good piece of railroad that would be as fast as the L&N Short Line, and would probably have considerable time saved for freight due to lesser grades and curvature.

Posts: 2808 | From: Olive Branch MS | Registered: Nov 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 
I would hope this does not come to pass, but could Amtrak 'retaliate' by moving 'heavy' work, and jobs, away from Beech Grove?

Come what may, here, for TRAINS subscribers, is additional insight from Bob Johnston writing at Newswire:

Brief passage:

  • Amtrak conductors and engineers will continue to operate Indiana’s Hoosier State, the Indiana Department of Transportation has selected Corridor Capital LLC of Chicago to provide the equipment and maintenance, effective Oct. 1, 2014, for its state-supported train. Before any contract is signed and agreement details are finalized, however, officials from on line communities which agreed to help keep the train operating through Sept. 30, 2014, must approve the new service plan and funding they will be required to pay beginning Oct. 1. The operation agreement would include the four weekly round-trips over the Chicago-Indianapolis when the Chicago-Washington-New York Cardinal does not run.

    Indiana thus becomes the first state seeking to “unbundle” service currently provided by Amtrak under Section 209 of the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008. That legislation mandates that states assume financial responsibility for any Amtrak train operating less than 750 miles. The legislation requires Amtrak to itemize costs it is passing on to states or operating authorities so whatever it charges can be competitively bid on by other entities. The document released by INDOT this week reveals that Corridor Capital narrowly edged Iowa Pacific Holdings in judging criteria scored by the agency’s Selection Review Committee. Herzog Transit Services and Travel Train Holdings Inc. also submitted proposals.

    Department spokesman Will Wingfield tells Trains News Wire that Corridor Capital was essentially tapped as a consultant to help define the scope of alternatives for service that the state and Indiana communities will ultimately decide upon. “Leaders from the towns of Beech Grove, Indianapolis, Lafayette, West Lafayette, Tippecanoe County, and Rensselaer are being invited to help evaluate the options and costs that will determine how much support the train will need during the next fiscal year,” he says. Ticket pricing, possible café car service, and business class amenities are all on the table.

Posts: 9977 | From: Clarendon Hills, IL USA (BNSF Chicago Sub MP 18.71) | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Vincent206
Full Member
Member # 15447

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted      Profile for Vincent206     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
One thing I noticed in the financial information about the Hoosier State is that the amount of money spent on advertising for the HS was ZERO. Given that the HS runs at difficult times, 4 days a week on slow tracks, I don't think that advertising would generate many new passengers. However, if Indiana wants to take ownership of the service, improve the route, make it more competitive, efficient and attractive, it may be possible to grow the passenger numbers which would cause the state subsidy to shrink. The HS can still shuttle cars between Chicago and Beech Grove (Indiana will get paid $500 for each car delivered), but the most benefit would come from making the train work better for passengers.
Posts: 831 | From: Seattle | Registered: Jan 2011  |  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 think Vincent has the right idea. It's not about seeing how much cost you can cut, rather they need to attract more riders. The freight railroads in the 80's/90's tried the cost cutting approach to profitability and are now paying the price. Working on the income side of the equation is something Amtrak hasn't really bothered with. The current train may be cheap to operate - and it shows. Kind of reminds me of the PC passenger trains in its last days.

Indiana is taking the right approach by involving the communities along the line and looking at options to actually improve, rather than just maintain, the service. And, no it doesn't have to cost a lot to do this. Just look at the superb service offered by NC Piedmont trains. I particularly liked what they did by converting old hospital cars into a very attractive snack/lounge with baggage section that includes bike space. Yes the food is vending machine, but it works and is adequate for what is essentially a long haul commuter train. Let's hope the Hoosier service, like NC and other states, succeeds. I would like to see states put their own brand on state supported services and let Amtrak just deal with LD service.

This is what an NC representative testified before a house congressional committee hearing:

"The conversion of the NCDOT café cars to combination baggage/lounge cars cost NCDOT approximately $750,000 each. The average cost of a vending machine is $3,500. During a typical month their sales exceed the cost of goods sold. Costs associated with bottled water and self-service coffee are covered by a 50¢ surcharge added to each Raleigh to Charlotte corridor ticket. To maintain uniform pricing between the Piedmont and Carolinian, the surcharge was also added to each Carolinian fare (for the Raleigh to Charlotte corridor only). Exclusive of the initial capital costs for converting the NCDOT railcars to vending machine service, NCDOT’s Piedmont snack and beverage service is now paying for itself."

Posts: 2397 | From: Camden, SC | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Geoff Mayo
Full Member
Member # 153

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Geoff Mayo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Looking through the various documents it would seem impossible to maintain the status quo in terms of service level while reducing cost and subsidies. Labor costs alone exceed revenue, and that must involve crew sharing with other routes. For a private company to provide labor for 5 hours a day, four days a week (assuming the outbound and inbound crews cannot work the same day due to length of day) it's going to be exorbitant and wasteful. I can't see how subbing Amtrak conductors and engineers is going to cut any costs either.

That said, I don't blame Indiana for exploring such ideas: in fact I think it's a great idea - to explore the idea. The risk is what happens when the new owners try for a year or so, throw the keys back in the dropbox and say, "hey, it was fun but no thanks".

However, if they expand from one round trip per day to two then that would reduce the waste somewhat, while also increasing vehicle utilization.

One thing I noted from the Q&A is that Indiana is required to make the proposal documents public yet I can't find them - anybody know? Something else noteworthy was the scores for various categories for each of the four companies: pretty much all were low or even negative. That suggests the INDOT reviewers didn't really have much faith in any of the bidders!

--------------------
Geoff M.

Posts: 2426 | From: Apple Valley, CA | Registered: Sep 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Vincent206
Full Member
Member # 15447

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted      Profile for Vincent206     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
documents link: http://pscsapp.indot.in.gov/UCMrfp/SupportingDocument.aspx?RFPNumber=1404s1
Posts: 831 | From: Seattle | Registered: Jan 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Geoff Mayo
Full Member
Member # 153

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Geoff Mayo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Vincent206:
documents link: http://pscsapp.indot.in.gov/UCMrfp/SupportingDocument.aspx?RFPNumber=1404s1

Thanks but there should be the actual bids from the four companies concerned. One of the Q&A entries from one (unknown) company asks if their bids will be private to which the answer was "No, Indiana requires them to be public". Just not online maybe.

--------------------
Geoff M.

Posts: 2426 | From: Apple Valley, CA | Registered: Sep 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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