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Author Topic: Amtrak Management buyout
palmland
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According to the TrainOrders site, Amtrak has about 330 employees taking the voluntary buyout effective Dec. 31. Subsequently a reorganization was announced. It is clear that the ex Delta CEO and now head of Amtrak, Richard Anderson is making his presence felt. I think that is a good thing. This announcement in particular promises to bring significant changes to an area that needs it.

“Peter Wilander is joining Amtrak on January 4, 2018 as Vice President, Product Development and Customer Experience, reporting to Stephen Gardner. Peter joins us from Gate Group, a leading global provider of products, services and solutions for onboard experience, where he served as Chief Commercial Officer. Peter has more than 35 years of airline industry experience, having previously held the role of Managing Director Onboard Services for Delta Air Lines, where he was responsible for the worldwide catering operation, food & beverage design and implementation, onboard retail programs, and crew service delivery procedures. In his new role, Peter will establish Amtrak’s customer service standards.”

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yukon11
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It sounds hopeful that Mr. Wilander might bring a much needed improvement in on-board services. I think it starts with an upgrade in food and dining options, and I think passengers would gladly pay for such an upgrade.

Richard

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palmland
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Richard, I would be happy with just a few simple things:
Consistent professional service, less intrusive PA announcements, better (healthier, fresher) cafe options, and maybe ‘brown bag’ carry out options for meals. The last was prompted by the excellent continental breakfast delivered to our room on the Portland segment of the EB. The days of fine dining in the diner are long gone.

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MargaretSPfan
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What the new guys are trying to do to "improve" Amtrak cannot work as long as they have to spend a lot less while "improving" service. You get what you pay for, and low-paid people will never be able or willing to give consistently superior service, nor can buying cheap supplies, including food, ever be really satisfactory to passengers. So-so and blah food will ruin people's on-board experience.

Passengers -- NOT "customers', please! -- need and deserve really good service, both before their trips (when using the Amtrak website and talking to Amtrak's representatives on the phone and in person) and while on board.

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palmland
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Margaret, I understand your skepticism but I’ve seen nothing that indicates Amtrak will be spending less. And I suspect Amtrak on board service employees are paid significatnly more than their restaurant or hotel counterparts - but granted they do have long hours and are often away from home.

But I am optimistic that a more disciplined approach to managing the business will actually improve the service. We have lamented many times on this forum the inconsistency of Amtrak service. Let’s hope the new sheriff in town will not only improve that consistency but also demonstrate some innovation that will result in improved service and, yes, maybe be more cost effective with that savings going back into better operations.

One good sign: the CEO has been quoted as saying he will not use the fancy Amtrak office car but prefers to ride in ‘the main cabin’, as he did in Delta, where he can get one on one feedback from his paying passengers (and I agree they should be called passengers, not customers). I believe the last Amtrak President to do so was Graham’ Clayton - widely regarded as Amtrak’s most effective president. And the fact Anderson’s dad worked for the Santa Fe in Texas says he might have railroading in his blood!

Posts: 2163 | From: Camden, SC | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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