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Amtrak's Latest Blunder

MarkwellMarkwell Central PAPosts: 1,685 ✭✭✭✭✭
Definitely not cigar related, but thought I'd post it here as I know some of you have a slight fascination with trains. Amtrak has recently changed leaders and enacted new policies. The new president is ex CEO of Delta Airlines, Richard Anderson. One of his first moves as president has been to discontinue the hosting of special excursions along with hauling private railcars on its trains. 

Several trips have already been canceled, such as the Pennsylvania Railroad Historical Society's convention trip from Philadelphia to Altoona, steam excursions out if Roanoke, VA, and the annual New River Trains through West Virginia, which attracted the general public from all across the country. This policy also ends the freedom for those who own private antique equipment to pay a fee to have it run on regularly scheduled trains. These people have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars into restoring and maintaining these cars, which were required to go through many mechanical changes to become Amtrak certified. In many cases these cars were made available for charters with the general public and used for special events like the wounded warrior project for our vets.

These changes are yet another example of our government not caring about our country's rich history. In the past, the running of such trains was a huge historical interpretation tool in rail preservation. Amtrak now says these events "caused severe operational distraction, failed to capture fully allocated profitable margins, and sometimes delayed our paying customers on scheduled trains." I urge any of you who give a hoot about such things to please reach out to your local politicians, who control Amtrak. When voters complain they listen. Thanks for reading this novel rant...things like this boil my blood.
“Happiness? A good cigar, a good meal, a good cigar and a good woman – or a bad woman; it depends on how much happiness you can handle.” – George Burns

Comments

  • jlmartajlmarta 50 miles from ParadisePosts: 7,658 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I think, if the truth were known, Amtrak doesn’t want to be in the business of hauling people but, in order to keep their subsidy, they have to. Hauling freight is what they want to do but can’t keep it up without the subsidy. It isn’t profitable enough. 

    Just the word word on the street.......
  • MarkwellMarkwell Central PAPosts: 1,685 ✭✭✭✭✭
    jlmarta said:
    I think, if the truth were known, Amtrak doesn’t want to be in the business of hauling people but, in order to keep their subsidy, they have to. Hauling freight is what they want to do but can’t keep it up without the subsidy. It isn’t profitable enough. 

    Just the word word on the street.......
    While there's no denying the railroads of yesteryear got away from offering passenger service because there's no profit to be made, Amtrak (also knows as the national passenger railroad) is/was created exclusively for passenger service and funded by the US gov't. While they do operate over freight railroad's trackage, they do not haul freight other than baggage. 
    “Happiness? A good cigar, a good meal, a good cigar and a good woman – or a bad woman; it depends on how much happiness you can handle.” – George Burns
  • silvermousesilvermouse Cape CodPosts: 10,089 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Now that the US gov't is ruled by corporations, in large part, it is not surprising.
  • Amos_UmwhatAmos_Umwhat West TNPosts: 5,695 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2018
    I voted for Bill Clinton the first time he ran.  It was only a couple years prior to that election that I'd returned from being stationed in Germany for 4 years.  Bill was talking trains, we need 'em, and I agree.  

    We moan and groan about pollution, fossil fuels, lives lost in auto accidents, need more lanes, and more lanes, and more lanes, and filling potholes, and on and on...

    The answer is simple and proven.  It works all over Europe.  Here, we've dropped the ball.  For example, look at Nashville.  It is a hub to the outlying communities, where many of it's workers live.  There was an attempt to resurrect Union Station downtown, but no serious effort made to create the commuter train system that would have made it viable.  There should be hourly trains running from Gallatin in the north, Dickson to the west, Lebanon to the east, and Murfreesboro to the south.  

    Of course, then there'd have to be genuine public transportation in the city, as well.  Perhaps if there were, then there wouldn't be daily gridlock starting at about 3 pm, or daily reports of traffic deaths, road rage.  

    Perhaps young people would be interested.  

    HEY!  Teenagers!  On a train you can text the entire time you're getting where you're going, and not get killed!

    Adults!  Instead of an unpredictable length of time weaving in and out of traffic, cursing madly, fearing for your life from the texting idiots all around you, you could be reading the morning paper, sipping your coffee, and eating a doughnut, and leave home and arrive at work at the same time every day!

    Imagine.
    WARNING:  The above post may contain thoughts or ideas known to the State of Caliphornia to cause seething rage, confusion, distemper, nausea, perspiration, sphincter release, or cranial implosion to persons who implicitly trust only one news source, or find themselves at either the left or right political extreme.  Proceed at your own risk.  

    "There is nothing so in need of reforming as another person's bad habits."   Mark Twain
  • RhamlinRhamlin WVPosts: 7,755 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Wasn’t too long ago they were almost out of business and now they are going to turn away business. Shame about the WV run. It’s scenic country. 
  • MarkwellMarkwell Central PAPosts: 1,685 ✭✭✭✭✭
    It truly is a shame that we've allowed our country's rail network to slowly decay over the last half century. Meanwhile in places such as England and Germany, they have excellent rail transportation and still have special steam excursions that operate at 90-100mph. 
    “Happiness? A good cigar, a good meal, a good cigar and a good woman – or a bad woman; it depends on how much happiness you can handle.” – George Burns
  • jlmartajlmarta 50 miles from ParadisePosts: 7,658 ✭✭✭✭✭
    It’s true that they have nice train systems over there - we travelled by high-speed rail from Torino to Paris and later through the Chunnel to London. It was lovely. But it damned sure wasn’t cheap....   B)
  • MarkwellMarkwell Central PAPosts: 1,685 ✭✭✭✭✭
    No, it sure isn' cheap! One thing on my bucket list is to ride the Venice Simplon Orient Express from London to Istanbul. They still run all of the Victorian equipment and you're spoiled with true first class service all the way. Costs about $5k one way  :D
    “Happiness? A good cigar, a good meal, a good cigar and a good woman – or a bad woman; it depends on how much happiness you can handle.” – George Burns
  • dirtdudedirtdude Green ValleyPosts: 5,102 ✭✭✭✭✭
    ^^^where is the 'do it' button^^^
    A little dirt never hurt
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