Author Topic: End of excursion/private/varnish cars on Amtrak  (Read 2008 times)

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mu26aeh

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DKS

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Re: End of excursion/private/varnish cars on Amtrak
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2018, 01:42:04 PM »
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Bad day for the CRHS.

Philip H

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Re: End of excursion/private/varnish cars on Amtrak
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2018, 02:49:52 PM »
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Quote
“Generally, Amtrak will no longer operate charter services or special trains. These operations caused significant operational distraction, failed to capture fully allocated profitable margins and sometimes delayed our paying customers on our scheduled trains,” the notice reads.

That's the nut right there folks. Amtrak is still under "make a profit or else" guns in Congress.
Philip H.
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Baton Rouge Southern RR - Mount Rainier Division.

"Yes there are somethings that are "off;" but hey, so what." ~ Wyatt

"I'm trying to have less cranial rectal inversion with this." - Ed K.

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DKS

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Re: End of excursion/private/varnish cars on Amtrak
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2018, 02:57:46 PM »
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That's the nut right there folks. Amtrak is still under "make a profit or else" guns in Congress.

And when have they ever made a profit?

C855B

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Re: End of excursion/private/varnish cars on Amtrak
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2018, 03:56:01 PM »
+2
When your model for profitability includes p!$$!ng off your most vocal and consistent supporters, that somehow doesn't strike me as a good business plan. We'll see how long this lasts.

OTOH... maybe the intent is to drive off repeat, high-dollar customers. They made big changes in the frequent-"flyer" points system a couple of years ago that seriously screwed long-distance train customers like my wife and I, with cuts in the quality of service quite evident in the two years before that. It total it sounds like moves to shut down LD trains altogether.

That it is characterized as impacting schedule performance is a red herring. Amtrak has no leverage over the RRs, who have them over a barrel on timely train movement ever since the court decision vacating the compensation system penalizing bad performance. Blaming schedule issues on private varnish is weak.
...mike

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We don't make mistakes, we have happy accidents. We just don't tell anybody. -Bob Ross

dougnelson

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Re: End of excursion/private/varnish cars on Amtrak
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2018, 08:24:33 PM »
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The PRRT&HS has a special train to the 50th Anniversary annual meeting scheduled for May 8-13 to travel from Philadelphia to Altoona, and return via HS Curve and Gallitzin.  This is a separate train, not attached to the Pennsylvanian.  It will be led by Bennett Levin's PRR E8s, and it is said that this may be the last trip for the E8s due to the issue of PTC, which may not be economically feasible for the E8s.  I assume that this train would have an Amtrak engineer between Phil and Harrisburg.  I hope this new Amtrak policy will not affect this train.

Mark5

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Re: End of excursion/private/varnish cars on Amtrak
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2018, 10:11:58 PM »
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And when have they ever made a profit?

Never. Never will.  :trollface:

Philip H

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Re: End of excursion/private/varnish cars on Amtrak
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2018, 07:05:11 AM »
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Never. Never will.  :trollface:

And you'd be amazed at how many Congress-critters still expect it to.  Not to pick political nits - this is a bi-partisan issue - but I think creating passenger service out of the ashes of it being cast off by private for-profit railroads endowed Amtrak with a needless profit focus (i.e. "railroads" in the US make profits, ergo Amtrak MUST make a profit since its a railroad).

FWIW our own @rswinnerton has a Change.org petition going to challenge this.  You might want to google it and sign.
Philip H.
Chief Everything Officer
Baton Rouge Southern RR - Mount Rainier Division.

"Yes there are somethings that are "off;" but hey, so what." ~ Wyatt

"I'm trying to have less cranial rectal inversion with this." - Ed K.

"There's more to MRR life than the Wheezy & Nowheresville." C855B

trainforfun

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Re: End of excursion/private/varnish cars on Amtrak
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2018, 11:19:14 AM »
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This the kind of news that you would like to rewind the tape ....
Where is the De Lorean when you need it .
My mind just don't want this to happen .
 :|
Thanks ,
Louis



Point353

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Re: End of excursion/private/varnish cars on Amtrak
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2018, 10:54:18 PM »
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See what happens when a former airline executive is put in charge of a railroad.

p51

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Re: End of excursion/private/varnish cars on Amtrak
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2018, 12:12:12 PM »
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My first reaction to hearing this was how much $ the owners of private varnish have into their (Amtrak-certified) cars and might not be able to run them on main lines anymore. More on that in a moment...
When your model for profitability includes p!$$!ng off your most vocal and consistent supporters, that somehow doesn't strike me as a good business plan. We'll see how long this lasts.
Does anyone here really think that Amtrak is going to have problems stemming from a few foamers not getting to ride behind steam (or on restored private cars) on a mainline?
Puh-lease...
Now that said, some of these private varnish operators have a huge amount of money and I'd bet some (if not many) are well-connected. There could be potential for them causing some friction for Amtrak due to not getting to tie in their expensive toys onto Amtrak trains anymore.

GaryHinshaw

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Re: End of excursion/private/varnish cars on Amtrak
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2018, 12:33:51 PM »
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Now that said, some of these private varnish operators have a huge amount of money and I'd bet some (if not many) are well-connected. There could be potential for them causing some friction for Amtrak due to not getting to tie in their expensive toys onto Amtrak trains anymore.

This.  For better or worse, Washington is still a small town.

pdx1955

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Re: End of excursion/private/varnish cars on Amtrak
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2018, 02:32:02 PM »
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  I hope this new Amtrak policy will not affect this train.

Unfortunately, from the article it does mention separate trains as well. This is bad news for most NRHS societies that run their own special excursions too not to mention all of the charter operators.
Peter

"No one ever died because of a bad question, but bad assumptions can kill"

reinhardtjh

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Re: End of excursion/private/varnish cars on Amtrak
« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2018, 10:55:07 PM »
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The following has been posted from the PRT&HS

Quote
A message to all those who have already sent deposits in or maybe still planning to join us on this trip. Contrary to what you might have heard about Amtrak's statement, NOTHING has changed about the status of our trip. All those who have sent in deposits and full payments (full payment is due now) for this trip will be personally contacted by me by phone if there should be any change. OR, I will be telling all that I am depositing their checks for this trip. Mr Levin and I, have put much time, effort and money into this trip, much more so on the part of Mr Levin. He is doing everything possible to see that all who have the desire to travel with us will be able too.

A few seats are still available.

Thank you,

Steve Staffieri,
President, Pennsylvania Railroad Technical and Historical Society

I don't know if it is wishful thinking or not.

John H. Reinhardt
PRRT&HS #8909
C&O HS #11530
N-Trak #7566

dougnelson

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Re: End of excursion/private/varnish cars on Amtrak
« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2018, 12:53:28 AM »
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Bennett Levin is one of those well-connected people.