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» RAILforum » Passenger Trains » Amtrak » Will He, Or Won't He?

   
Author Topic: Will He, Or Won't He?
Gilbert B Norman
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I put this same question to another site at which I participate.

Richard Anderson came to Amtrak with a two year contract. Including his time as "co-CEO" with Wick Moorman, such is close to expiration.

So "will he, or won't he" accept an offer, presuming such is made, to "re-up for another hitch?"

It's obvious that the LD advocacy community wants him gone, for his "vision" of Amtrak does not include trains offering "experiential" service amenities, and LD trains only to the extent needed for political expedience.

Saving the advocacy community, for whom Amtrak is all about restoring "lost" LD routes, freshly prepared meals, wine tastings, and "feature Lounge Cars", Amtrak is ordering new short range equipment, and for the LD's new locomotives, which I guess represents "acceptance" that some will "be around for a while".

While the #501 Dupont incident occurred during the co-CEO period, Amtrak appears to be addressing the "broken" safety culture Mr. Anderson inherited. Hopefully, progress is being made regarding employee injury occurrences, but such information is not publicly circulated.

The Penn Station infrastructure repairs are done, and apparently "weren't all that bad" for those affected.

Even though ridership appears to have "plateaued", the Operating Loss has decreased on Mr. Anderson's watch. Perhaps that in itself shows discipline within the management ranks and that the existing $1.9B funding level will continue, allowing those funds to be directed towards the infrastructure, and not to buy gas and pay drivers.

So, with that being said, "will he, or won't he"?

Posts: 9388 | From: Clarendon Hills, IL USA (BNSF Chicago Sub MP 18.71) | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
yukon11
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Reading the scuttlebutt in other forums, there seems to be a difference of opinion on whether or not Mr. Anderson will step down, this June.

If he does, Stephen Gardner's name seems to pop up. If Gardner picks up the reigns, there seems to be conflicting opinions. Some think he will be Richard Anderson's clone and continue to decrease expenses and cut services. Others think he would do the opposite and upgrade services and amenities as well as secure the LD routes.

Richard

Posts: 1790 | From: Santa Rosa | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Gilbert B Norman
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Richard, courtney of and thanks to Ocala Mike, I did read the Don Phillips column in Passenger Train Journal suggesting that Stephen Gardner will be Mr. Anderson's successor, at least on am "Acting" basis.

That certainly appears contrary to the advocacy community's position that he is the "Rasputin" filling Anderson with the "vitriol wrecking Amtrak."

Posts: 9388 | From: Clarendon Hills, IL USA (BNSF Chicago Sub MP 18.71) | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Gilbert B Norman
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Progressive Railroading reports that a "shake up" has already occurred.

Fair Use:
  • Amtrak has named Tracie Winbigler executive vice president and chief financial officer, and Stephen Gardner chief operating and commercial officer
It appears that Mr. Gardner has "been lateraled", but perhaps this change will enable him to concentrate on operations, which for better or worse, appears to be a new "forte".

The appointment of Ms. Winbigler hardly represents the first time an organization has reach "from without" for Finance management. Possibly she can bring new prospective to Amtrak's Responsibility Accounting system, which some, such as the LD advocacy community, presents misleading management information to concerned responsibilities.

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George Harris
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I thought we had a thread relevant to Mr. Anderson's potential longevity and his logic involved in many decisions. This is about as close a one as there is and I do not want to start a new one. If what is in the media is at all similar to reality, someone has done an outstanding job of shooting themselves in the foot, and unless Anderson does an abject apology, it will have serious fallout on him.

Here it is:
https://www.foxnews.com/us/amtrak-backs-away-25g-ticket-riders-in-wheelchairs
Knowing how the press and reality may differ, this may not be as stupid as it seems, however, the gist of the article is that, two people "members of Chicago-based disability advocacy group Access Living, planned to take a train ride from Chicago to Bloomington IL, for a statewide conference." were told by an Amtrak group sales agent that, "they would need to pay $25,000 to reconfigure a train car to make space for them."
This has gotten the attention of Senator Tammy Duckworth.

Posts: 2693 | From: Olive Branch MS | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Gilbert B Norman
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The Washington Post now reports on this sorry incident:

Fair Use:

  • Sherrilyn Ifill was trying to get home to Baltimore on Friday evening when a confusing request by an Amtrak conductor that she leave her seat became a closely watched transportation saga that has yielded few concrete answers.

    “I’m being asked to leave my seat on train 80 which I just boarded in D.C. There are no assigned seats on this train,” Ifill shared on Twitter Friday, directing her query at Amtrak’s account. “The conductor has asked me to leave my seat because she has ‘other people coming who she wants to give this seat.’ Can you please explain?”

    Transit woes are nothing new, but Ifill’s grievance struck Twitter users as particularly ironic. At worst, the request struck many following the incident as having echoes of discrimination faced by civil rights icons like Rosa Parks; at best, it was an example of a black woman receiving inferior customer service. The incident also happened heading into the weekend that celebrates civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

    Ifill would be well-versed in such situations: She’s the president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the leading civil rights and racial justice organization in the United States.

Ouch! and to boot, I've learned this lady is a cousin of The Late Gwen Iffil; well known PBS correspondent and Moderator of "Washington Week in Review".

Amtrak: I'm not sure if you know what awaits in the "Hurt Locker" over this one. The "optics" could not be worse.

Posts: 9388 | From: Clarendon Hills, IL USA (BNSF Chicago Sub MP 18.71) | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
George Harris
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quote:
Originally posted by Gilbert B Norman:

“I’m being asked to leave my seat on train 80 which I just boarded in D.C. There are no assigned seats on this train,” Ifill shared on Twitter Friday, directing her query at Amtrak’s account. “The conductor has asked me to leave my seat because she has ‘other people coming who she wants to give this seat.

Most likely reasonable explanation: She was in a double to herself and there were a pair traveling together the conductor was trying to get sitting together. This could be nothing more than someone with a crosstie size chip on her shoulder looking for publicity. Cannot believe the rationale she is putting forth is the one.
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PullmanCo
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No matter what reality is, the optics of a white conductor asking a black passenger to move is called “shooting yourself in the foot.”

That’s all the more true when the passenger is a key play attorney at the ACLU.

CONGRATULATIONS, Amtrak, on your diagnosis of double hoof in mouth disease.

Posts: 1392 | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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