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Amtrak changes-LD Trains

Posted by TransitChuckG on Sun Aug 11 15:33:05 2019

Changes

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Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains

Posted by Nilet on Sun Aug 11 18:59:18 2019, in response to Amtrak changes-LD Trains, posted by TransitChuckG on Sun Aug 11 15:33:05 2019.

Who came up with that dumb idea? (Wait, don't tell me, I think I already know.)

Also, whycome Amtrak hasn't announced this publicly themselves?

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Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains

Posted by Jackson Park B Train on Sun Aug 11 20:04:00 2019, in response to Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains, posted by Nilet on Sun Aug 11 18:59:18 2019.

not a good marketing plan. why proclaim you are screwing the iders?

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Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains

Posted by Nilet on Mon Aug 12 00:56:38 2019, in response to Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains, posted by Jackson Park B Train on Sun Aug 11 20:04:00 2019.

Announcing to people who have already bought their tickets that they're getting less than they paid for is never a good PR move.

Besides, Amtrak has announced the loss of diner car for coach passengers on the Auto Train next January. This is supposedly happening a month and a half from now.

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Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains

Posted by Henry R32 #3730 on Mon Aug 12 01:12:45 2019, in response to Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains, posted by Nilet on Sun Aug 11 18:59:18 2019.

Congress decreed that Amtrak cannot have food service losses starting in 2020. By making the dining car sleeper only (and switching to simpler food while doing away with most of the staff) they can bury the losses in the sleeper fares. The forced additional patronage in the regular cafe car likely eliminates the losses there on the long distance trains. The NEC always did fine with food service, and the other corridors have state subsidized food service.

They made the best of a shitty situation.

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Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains

Posted by Joe V on Mon Aug 12 07:14:39 2019, in response to Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains, posted by Henry R32 #3730 on Mon Aug 12 01:12:45 2019.

Unfortunately, NARP did nothing over the last few years to get ride of the F&B language in PRIIA that John Mica insisted on, and Stephen Gardner, while a Congressional staffer, wrote the PRIIA law.

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Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains

Posted by Alan Follett on Mon Aug 12 12:02:50 2019, in response to Amtrak changes-LD Trains, posted by TransitChuckG on Sun Aug 11 15:33:05 2019.

I wonder if this will affect the Silver Star. Will the pricing experiment, cheaper sleeper space in exchange for no included meals, continue? Or will the Star be brought back into line with the soon-to-be-downgraded Meteor?

Alan Follett
South San Francisco, CA

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Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains

Posted by Joe V on Mon Aug 12 12:22:46 2019, in response to Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains, posted by Alan Follett on Mon Aug 12 12:02:50 2019.

No change to the Silver Star. Goal is to get rid of diner staff, not add any, even 1.

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Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains

Posted by SLRT on Mon Aug 12 12:42:36 2019, in response to Amtrak changes-LD Trains, posted by TransitChuckG on Sun Aug 11 15:33:05 2019.

I love the use of the term "contemporary dining choices" in announcing the degradation of service.

How modern, how tasty. Not to mention the dishes that will be served at "ambient temperature" (i.e, cold).

Reminds me of the Army experience. In garrison, we had home cooking (it was our home after all). And it was hot and freshly made.

In the field, we had "contemporary dining choices," C-rations that were often hot (if we had boiling water in a drum) and tasty. AND desert and beverage were included in our [Private] First Class tickets.

Finally our "ambient temperature choices" were facilitated with a P-38.

Now would you prefer catering by Amtrak or the U.S. Army?

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Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains

Posted by Brightonr68 on Mon Aug 12 13:30:32 2019, in response to Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains, posted by Joe V on Mon Aug 12 07:14:39 2019.

We have to remember the purpose of train travel. It is to get there
Flying passengers complained when they took away meals. Air travel has doubled since then .

My wife and I love the food and service on Qatar airways . It actually real meat and tastes good (like you actually want to eat it ) . Last flight into Asia we flew China Southern air . It was $200 cheaper round trip . We packed sandwiches . Packing sandwiches on our British airways flight on Sunday .

In Europe we fly Ryan air vs full service airline . People want price not romantic dreams of 75 years ago.

Food was ehh on auto train when I took it in 2013. No real loss .

You can pay Amtrak staff way less or have prepared food . That is the choice . They made the better choice .

They should go one step further and contract out cafe car operations to experienced food service companies . Offer upgrades food service in dining cars ala carte. Cruises offer all you can eat food or upgrade to tasty food .




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Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains

Posted by Brightonr68 on Mon Aug 12 14:25:39 2019, in response to Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains, posted by Brightonr68 on Mon Aug 12 13:30:32 2019.

Remember my idea from a while back . Make train travel into an experience ala a cruise . Allow private operators to come in on long haul trains and offer an array of extra things to do . You can package with fare or charge separate.

Need to come up with new business model . Don’t need to offer on all trains .

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Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains

Posted by Jackson Park B Train on Mon Aug 12 14:42:42 2019, in response to Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains, posted by Henry R32 #3730 on Mon Aug 12 01:12:45 2019.

The only "dining service" that made money pre-Amtrak was the NH dispensing attitude adjustment on evening trains leaving Manhattan.
IMHO, if Anderson had any understanding of how train travel actually works, he would have moved to get better food to be heated up/served. Denying coach passengers access to the diners is just stupid--take the money, sell the food. I rarely bothered to eat between DC-Philly-NY, but DC-Chicago,NY-Chgo, and all of the western trains are a bit long for brown bagging it. Food service makes train travel more attractive.


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Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains

Posted by Joe V on Mon Aug 12 15:54:38 2019, in response to Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains, posted by Brightonr68 on Mon Aug 12 14:25:39 2019.

The trains runs an operating deficit. The private sector won't touch them with a 10' pole.

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Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains

Posted by Nilet on Mon Aug 12 19:32:44 2019, in response to Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains, posted by Brightonr68 on Mon Aug 12 13:30:32 2019.

Anyone following your logic of price over all wouldn't take Amtrak long distance. Buses are cheaper (but miserable). Amtrak fits a valuable niche in the speed/price/comfort field, and abandoning comfort abandons the niche.

I'm thinking they're trying to National City Lines the long distance trains in an effort to get rid of them entirely.

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Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains

Posted by Nilet on Mon Aug 12 19:32:46 2019, in response to Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains, posted by Brightonr68 on Mon Aug 12 14:25:39 2019.

Ew, no! Having tried both, train travel is kind of the opposite of a cruise and it needs to stay that way.

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Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains

Posted by Brightonr68 on Mon Aug 12 20:20:43 2019, in response to Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains, posted by Nilet on Mon Aug 12 19:32:46 2019.

I understand , but why can’t there be an option for both.


Would you rather no LD trains or LD trains with an updated business model ?

It does not have to be as extreme as a cruise but rather updated amenities and services .

LD trains are on life support . The next generation may pull subsidies and the. You have nothing .

I only take a train here and there because I am a train fan . My wife can do without .

Heading to Spain this week . Have some train time on the schedule while wife has a spa day .



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Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains

Posted by italianguyinsi on Mon Aug 12 21:42:39 2019, in response to Amtrak changes-LD Trains, posted by TransitChuckG on Sun Aug 11 15:33:05 2019.

Curious as to why Amtrak decided on Eastern trains to get the ax on food service. Surly the Silver trains as an example see more passengers than some mid western or west coast services; unless the States are also funding.

Microwaved foods for a 1,300 mile trip are not the answer. I'd love to look at Amtrak's books and how on a $1,400 Bedroom they are losing money, as most of them are sold out, especially during winter months.

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Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains

Posted by Henry R32 #3730 on Mon Aug 12 21:57:31 2019, in response to Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains, posted by italianguyinsi on Mon Aug 12 21:42:39 2019.

The eastern trains already lost a chunk of dining service (Cardinal and CONO are reduced menu, Capitol and LSL are "contemporary dining" already, Star is eliminated entirely). The last 3 with proper dining service are the Auto Train, Crescent, and Meteor. I'm guessing that by eliminating the Crescent and Meteor they get an order of magnitude of savings as they can streamline the restocking process at NYP to all contemporary dining.

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Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains

Posted by pragmatist on Mon Aug 12 22:04:40 2019, in response to Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains, posted by italianguyinsi on Mon Aug 12 21:42:39 2019.

They are all one day/night as opposed to the Western trains.

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Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains

Posted by italianguyinsi on Mon Aug 12 22:51:26 2019, in response to Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains, posted by pragmatist on Mon Aug 12 22:04:40 2019.

CONO is a overnight operation and isn't losing dining car service.

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Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains

Posted by italianguyinsi on Mon Aug 12 22:53:16 2019, in response to Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains, posted by Henry R32 #3730 on Mon Aug 12 21:57:31 2019.

That may be it; curtail labor at NYP. Seems unfair to east LD travelers. and I am sure there will be plenty of empty stomachs this fall and into 2020.

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Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains

Posted by Nilet on Tue Aug 13 01:03:30 2019, in response to Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains, posted by Henry R32 #3730 on Mon Aug 12 21:57:31 2019.

Cardinal's had microwaved food for 10 years at least. It's apparently getting an upgrade with a new sleeper-lounge car.

Capitol and LSL are already on "contemporary dining" but those are fairly short trips with only one non-breakfast meal onboard, so the change is at least tolerable.

CONO has proper dining service (I think) and is losing it. That's sad, since the CONO has its own menu rather than using the system-wide menu, but at least it's a fairly short trip.

Silver Starve has gone without entirely for years.

Auto Train is keeping its full diners until January and keeping a full diner for sleeper passengers indefinitely.

But the Meteor and Crescent are abandoning dining cars for what's honestly a fairly long trip. I rode the Meteor recently; I wouldn't want to ride it again without a diner. I've ridden the Crescent twice, and while I'd consider ATL - NYP after the change, NOL is out of the question.

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Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains

Posted by Nilet on Tue Aug 13 01:03:35 2019, in response to Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains, posted by italianguyinsi on Mon Aug 12 22:51:26 2019.

Yes it is. The document mentions it as one of the trains being switched to "contemporary dining."

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Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains

Posted by Nilet on Tue Aug 13 01:03:40 2019, in response to Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains, posted by italianguyinsi on Mon Aug 12 21:42:39 2019.

The $1400 bedroom makes money, but the dining car itself loses money and the clowns in Congress can't figure out that the dining car is a loss leader that you need in order to sell the $1400 bedroom.

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Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains

Posted by Nilet on Tue Aug 13 01:03:45 2019, in response to Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains, posted by Brightonr68 on Mon Aug 12 20:20:43 2019.

Would you rather no LD trains or LD trains with an updated business model ?

I dunno. I've ridden Alaskan cruise trains but I never want to again. I've looked into booking a trip on the Rocky Mountaineer and then noped right back out of booking it in favour of VIA Rail's Skeena. I've considered a trip on some European cruise-train only to get stalled halfway through the booking process when it occurred to me how much I'd hate riding it.

It does not have to be as extreme as a cruise but rather updated amenities and services .

So, the Canadian. Or the Super Chief. Or the Caledonian Sleeper. Hardly cruise trains, yet perfectly serviceable trips.

LD trains are on life support.

In the US, and only because of the particular quirks of this country at this point in time. China is building brand-new long distance trains. Europe has an international network that puts ours to shame. Canada is in the same position as we are, trying to run a passenger network over rented freight tracks on a shoestring budget, yet they manage to offer decent service even outside of their premier train between Vancouver and Toronto.

Even Cuba has brand-new trains operating on their mainline between Havana and Santiago, and I consider it a good rule of thumb that if Cuba manages to pull it off, we aren't allowed to say it's impossible.

The next generation may pull subsidies and the. You have nothing .

That's unlikely. The current generation in power is the one who grew up with the idea that cars represented Freedom™, commercial flights were exciting, and global warming wasn't an issue. For anyone born after 1980, (ie, anyone who is pushing 40 years old and is the "next generation" who will hold power), commercial flights have been miserable, driving is annoying, global warming has pretty much always been an issue, and trains represent a great solution if only the politicians would be willing to get their asses in gear to support them.

I only take a train here and there because I am a train fan .

I take trains because that's how one gets places.

My wife can do without .

Heading to Spain this week . Have some train time on the schedule while wife has a spa day .


Should've married a railfan. :ž

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Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains

Posted by Joe V on Tue Aug 13 06:30:49 2019, in response to Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains, posted by Brightonr68 on Mon Aug 12 20:20:43 2019.

Long distance train run deficits, period.
Rocky Mountaineer is not a transportation service, makes few intermediate stops and charges $3,000.

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Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains

Posted by Nilet on Tue Aug 13 06:54:21 2019, in response to Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains, posted by Joe V on Tue Aug 13 06:30:49 2019.

VIA charges close to $10,000 if you want to travel in super-mega-upgrade class on the Canadian.

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Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains

Posted by italianguyinsi on Tue Aug 13 09:58:36 2019, in response to Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains, posted by Nilet on Tue Aug 13 01:03:35 2019.

Then that is truly a shame. You have 800+ mile service without a proper dining car? Not sure how Amtrak can't and VIA can!

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Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains

Posted by Broadway Lion on Tue Aug 13 10:05:08 2019, in response to Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains, posted by Brightonr68 on Mon Aug 12 13:30:32 2019.

Turn the cafe cars over to McDonald's, let them run them

ROARING

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Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains

Posted by Broadway Lion on Tue Aug 13 10:06:39 2019, in response to Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains, posted by Brightonr68 on Mon Aug 12 20:20:43 2019.

Well, you cannot take a train to Spain.

ROARING

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Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains

Posted by Broadway Lion on Tue Aug 13 10:11:57 2019, in response to Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains, posted by Nilet on Tue Aug 13 01:03:45 2019.

The deal is to build high speed trains whose business is transportation. Done correctly they could shut half of the airlines down. Fast Service down town to down town, no TSA. What isa not to like.

If the Chinese can build HSR, then why not us.

Yeah go ahead and tell us all of your objections and why it cannot be done. Why don't you look for ways that it CAN be done.

Sticks in the mud will always be stuck in the mud.

We have direct ROWs, today they are called interstates. There is no reason why we cannot build HSR along them. And I do not want to know about hills and curves, these things can be conquered.

ROAR

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Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains

Posted by Broadway Lion on Tue Aug 13 10:13:16 2019, in response to Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains, posted by Joe V on Tue Aug 13 06:30:49 2019.

Long distance train run deficits, period.


Yeah... so do airlines.

ROAR

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Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains

Posted by AlM on Tue Aug 13 10:16:42 2019, in response to Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains, posted by Broadway Lion on Tue Aug 13 10:11:57 2019.

And I do not want to know about hills and curves, these things can be conquered.

Yes, by not using the Interstate as the ROW.




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Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains

Posted by Broadway Lion on Tue Aug 13 11:04:59 2019, in response to Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains, posted by AlM on Tue Aug 13 10:16:42 2019.

It will be an elevated line cutting some corners leveling some hills but mostly following the ROW.

With reaction on each truck it will be able to laugh at any interstate hills, and be able to smooth its way into the curves.

Think on how to do it.

If you have an objection, we need to find a solution.

ROAR

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Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains

Posted by Dave on Tue Aug 13 11:09:19 2019, in response to Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains, posted by Nilet on Tue Aug 13 01:03:45 2019.

Or the Caledonian Sleeper.

Breaks down on a regular basis and strands passengers.

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Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains

Posted by Dave on Tue Aug 13 11:11:28 2019, in response to Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains, posted by Broadway Lion on Tue Aug 13 11:04:59 2019.

You have money trees growing in your back yard? Or is our near-trillion dollar deficit not high enough for you?

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Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains

Posted by Dave on Tue Aug 13 11:12:16 2019, in response to Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains, posted by Broadway Lion on Tue Aug 13 10:13:16 2019.

False. Stick to what you know. Airline financials aren't one of them.

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Re: Amtrak changes—LD Trains

Posted by Olog-hai on Tue Aug 13 12:20:25 2019, in response to Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains, posted by Dave on Tue Aug 13 11:12:16 2019.

How about government distortions of markets?

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Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains

Posted by Jackson Park B Train on Tue Aug 13 12:29:03 2019, in response to Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains, posted by Dave on Tue Aug 13 11:11:28 2019.

the deficit was engineered to restrict exactly the kind of useful to the public spending you are speaking of. Nearly every $ of the taxcuts for corporations supposedly to encourage domestic investments was instead used for stock buybacks which trigger executive bonuses. We need to return to tax rates of the Eisenhower era which will then enable us to both reduce thedeficit and build infrastructure improvements. Cutting the DOD money burning is also necessary.
We have the resources to upgrade and expand our transit, intercity rail, and many other infrastructue systems; we are wasting it on over priced projects and allowingthe 1% to sequester way too much money.

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Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains

Posted by Jackson Park B Train on Tue Aug 13 12:33:24 2019, in response to Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains, posted by Dave on Tue Aug 13 11:12:16 2019.

without government built airports, government funded "signal systems", they would not be viable.

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Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains

Posted by Jackson Park B Train on Tue Aug 13 12:39:48 2019, in response to Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains, posted by italianguyinsi on Tue Aug 13 09:58:36 2019.

can't isn't the correct word. A now retired GOP congressman jammed through a clause in Amtrak's funding requiring them 'not to lose money'on food service. Rail food service has always been a loss leader much the same as food for first class airline pax.

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Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains

Posted by AlM on Tue Aug 13 13:13:47 2019, in response to Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains, posted by Broadway Lion on Tue Aug 13 11:04:59 2019.

Your plan is brilliant and will work perfectly to provide high speed rail along I-94 all the way from Minneapolis to Billings.



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Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains

Posted by Brightonr68 on Tue Aug 13 16:23:37 2019, in response to Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains, posted by Broadway Lion on Tue Aug 13 10:11:57 2019.

In Europe with said high speed trains, airlines are the choice .

Love trains ,

High speed trains are a boondoggle in the USA . Distance too far and fare will be too high .

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Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains

Posted by AlM on Tue Aug 13 16:39:54 2019, in response to Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains, posted by Brightonr68 on Tue Aug 13 16:23:37 2019.

Wash - Boston, Wash/NYC - Chicago, and SF - LA are not really longer than distances between major European cities.

Berlin to London is 1100 km. Paris to Vienna is 1200. Paris to Rome is 1400.


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Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains

Posted by Dave on Tue Aug 13 17:12:24 2019, in response to Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains, posted by Jackson Park B Train on Tue Aug 13 12:33:24 2019.

The construction of airports in the last 50 years or so have been financed from the sale of bonds managed by a local authority or sponsor, not the federal government. Federal taxes on fuel and passenger tickets are used for improvements, air navigation systems, and security.

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Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains

Posted by randyo on Tue Aug 13 17:34:22 2019, in response to Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains, posted by Nilet on Tue Aug 13 01:03:30 2019.

As long as a train has a diner for any of its passengers, it doesn’t make sense to exclude coach passengers especially if those passengers are willing to pay for the service. Allowing coach passengers into the diner wouldn’t cost Slamtrak anymore money.

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Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains

Posted by randyo on Tue Aug 13 17:38:54 2019, in response to Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains, posted by Broadway Lion on Tue Aug 13 10:05:08 2019.

Now something like that might not be a bad idea. Periodically put out competitive bids to companies like McDonald, Burger King KFC etc for the rights to provide service on Amtrak diners.

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Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains

Posted by Dave on Tue Aug 13 18:28:52 2019, in response to Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains, posted by randyo on Tue Aug 13 17:38:54 2019.

Back in the day railroads like ATSF and the New Haven had dining car meals that rivaled the finest restaurants.

Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

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Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains

Posted by Joe V on Tue Aug 13 18:45:19 2019, in response to Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains, posted by randyo on Tue Aug 13 17:38:54 2019.

How is that shit any better than what you get in the cafe car ?

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Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains

Posted by AlM on Tue Aug 13 18:49:36 2019, in response to Re: Amtrak changes-LD Trains, posted by Dave on Tue Aug 13 18:28:52 2019.

As opposed to the British Railways?

An epicure dining at Crewe
Found a mouse in his stew
Said the waiter, don't shout
And wave it about
Or the others will want one too

My father told me that one in the mid-1950s.





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