'Amtrak'n it from park to park

Friday, January 31, 2003 11:12 AM

General Public said:


I wish we had a more European system, but I don't think it will happen. Amtrak is fully subsidized by the US government. Remember, we're talking about a company that's never turned a profit since its inception in 1972. It lives from paycheck to paycheck from Uncle Sam. ------------------
Is that a Q-bot in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?


Wrong, thast what everyone thinks. Amtrak is expected to turn a profit, something completely impossible. The funding it recieves is in no way shape or from enough to allow the railroad to be completely ran as it only sumplements the money the rr gets in the first place. Amtrak is grossly underfunded because of the silly notion it is supposed to turn a profit. If it was able to turn a profit do you really think the Freight Railroads woudl have gotten out of the passenger business in the first place?

Teh airline system doesn't turn a profit for the country, neither do the highways, yet Amtrak is expected too?

Completely and uterly ridiculous. All the European systems are 100 % funded by the Govt. Infrastructure and all and they are not ever expected to turn a profit.

And Lumpy I woudl get an F40, but honestly, that thing woudl guzzle the gas on my daily commute. Damn 645 cubic inch cylinders anyway. And 16 of em to boot. ;) Besides the neighbors wouldn't get any sleep cause I'd have to leave it run all the time.

I the bright side no more eletric bill after I convert my house to HEP and I would only have to fill up about once every two weeks.
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Da Poodle

Coming in 2003-The Spawn Of Magnum!


*** This post was edited by MagnumForce 1/31/2003 4:35:44 PM ***

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Friday, January 31, 2003 1:29 PM
You're making little sense. Railroads dumped passenger operations following years of decline in passenger revenue. Everyone took cars (interstate highway system was begun) and air travel expanded (more airports and airline deregulation in 1978). Pre-airline dereg airlines were guaranteed a profit; post dereg, they're limping but still profiting (unless the economy is in a depressed state, like right now).

Amtrak is always supposed to turn a profit, as a quasi-governmental organization. Unfortunately since 1972 it never has and has relied on the government to pay the difference in their total revenue and total costs (the total costs of operation have always exceeded revenue). Supporters in legislature and heavy lobbying have kept it alive all this time. The government didn't take over passenger operations to lose money. They wanted to spin it off as an independent corporation. In its current state it is semi-independent (sort of like the post office, which is struggling to turn profits). Recently, Amtrak has come to the brink of shutting down its entire system due to Congress stalling on a few hundred million bucks worth of appropriated money. That's a hefty subsidy to you and me.


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Is that a Q-bot in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

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Friday, January 31, 2003 1:44 PM
As Brent said, last spring I used Amtrak and SWA to get to LA to try to ride X. It was a great trip, we were mostly on time till our fatefull Roadrailer full of mail on the back of the train slipped a switch and derailed in Sacramento, causing us to arrive in Emeryville 4 hrs late.

Amtrak is a fun way to see the country, on it you see America as it really is, you see the backyards, people for some reason dont fake there backyard. I have taken many trips around the country, I have been on trains from 1 hr early to the above 4 hrs late. The train is great if you believe that getting there is half the fun and you are not on a tight schedule, As Brent says check out rail sale, I have gotten many deals there- that train from Chicago to Emeryville was $26.00. In three weeks, Ohio to New York 63.00 round trip.

Having traveled both Via and Amtrak, I can also say that Via long distance trains are better, but that is marketing, Amtrak is still sold as Transportation even in the sleepers, everyone uses the same dinning car and lounges. Via Blue and Gold on the Canadian, was simply a land cruse. Complete with gormet food fully prepaired on board, in sleeper only dinners. I walked up to the coaches and it was no different than an Amfleet II or Superliner coach, only thing better for them was the 40 year old dome car-Cafe. The NEC or Montreal-Windsor service on both lines are very comperable, although Amtrak with it electric lines, is actually faster Downtown-Downtown, NY-WAS, than the Delta Shuttle.

And about F40's a twenty year old transit worker in Portland just rounded up a loan and bought # 231 for 20,000 it will soon find a home along side SP4449 and NKP 197.

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Dave

Beware of Kiddie Coasters
*** This post was edited by kneemeister 1/31/2003 6:46:21 PM ***
*** This post was edited by kneemeister 1/31/2003 9:18:17 PM ***

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Friday, January 31, 2003 2:16 PM
I took Anthrax Railways from Riverside CA, to Washington DC via Number 4 chicago. That was so relaxing. Then we went to New York, and CP, great fun. It is very relaxing when you have a sleeper and you can just kick back, read a book, or look out the window. With that said: MAKE SURE YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO DO. Because it can get quite boring.

Oh yah, and the food in the Diner which is usually overpriced is all free for sleeper guests.


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Friday, January 31, 2003 2:39 PM
GP It is expected to turn a profit and that is what is inherently wrong with the system.

The federal govt pours billions of dollars into aviation in this country every year and does not see a dime in return. They pour billions of dollars a year into the highway system every year and never recieve a dime in return. And they don't expect too either.

But when it comes to a passenger rail system that the freight railroads dumped as soon as they had a chance because it was a money loosing propostition they magically expect it to turn a profit?

The European Govt's pour money into their rail systems and never expect to get anything in return....ever. Do they turn a profit? No, not even with their systems.

The US Govt needs to get it through their heads that Amtrak will never be able to turn a profit and support itself.

As it is now the heads that be at Amtrak have to basically get on their hands and knees before congress and beg for money to run the system every year.

The funding is inherently flawed because the Govt believes that in some magical way Amtrak should make a profit.

It is impossible to do even in the Northeast Corridor, it's impossible to do anywhere with the system.

The Sysytem is so grossly Underfunded now its a wonder they run any trains at all.


Coming in 2003-The Spawn Of Magnum!


*** This post was edited by MagnumForce 1/31/2003 7:45:39 PM ***

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Friday, January 31, 2003 2:55 PM
The rail companies in Europe do see a profit. They aren't baby-fed money. Amtrak is expected to turn a profit. The federal gov't. doesn't get into business to lose money. It started Amtrak to keep rail passenger service alive. The problem is, rail passenger service in the US isn't competitive with other forms (autmobile, air). It's unpopular with the public and many politicians to funnel billions and billions and not see a return. Fucing is becoming harder and harder to find for it. Amtrak is a business, and has the goal of seeing a profit. That's why there is talk of splitting it up into smaller entities. That's also why it nearly had to shut down (and is still in danger of it). No one, not even the government, wants to get into a money-losing proposition. It's not given money to stay alive because Uncle Sam likes the romantic idea of shiny trains corrsing the country.
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Is that a Q-bot in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?
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Friday, January 31, 2003 3:10 PM
I can think of 3 trains that are filled to capacity day in an day out yet still even come close to making a profit.

Lake Shore Limited, Capital Limited, Californa Zephyr

These Trains are always jam packed full and never ever come close to paying for themselves.

What does that tell you?

I could cite of volumes of resources about this but I suspect this is a better topic for trains.com or trainorders.com then it is here.

Amtrak is doomed to be a ward of the federal governtment for the forseeable future. We realize this so why not give them the funding it takes to improve infrastructure and add enough trains that they do become a viable option. Penalize the freight Railroads for there passenger trains in the hole, reward them for getting the trains over the track on time.

The Govt doesn't run Amtrak on some *Romantic Notion*, it runs them because they are needed.

Force the airlines to hire their own Air Traffic Controllers and build and maintain their own airports and see which ones turn a profit. NONE OF THEM!

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Da Poodle

Coming in 2003-The Spawn Of Magnum!

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Friday, January 31, 2003 3:13 PM

kneemeister said:
And about F40's a twenty year old transit worker in Portland just rounded up a loan and bought # 231 for 20,000 it will soon find a home along side SP4999 and NKP 197. ***

He wanted to ship it to us for storage and our use until he could come up with the funding to move it west. Since then he has decided to give it too the "Brooklyn Roundhouse Boys" who more and likely can have it shipped directly to Portland without any midwest storage. I couldn't wait for its arrival, because I am one of the only people qualified at the Whitewater to run it.

As for Amtrak: It is expected to make a profit every operating year, and when it can't and is about to shut down, Congress passes along just enough money to fix a few pieces of the wrecked equipment and to continue operations at a status quo. So Amtrak's service does not get any better and usally it doses get a little worse on most trains.

Dave, Right now Amtrak Rail Sale has Cincy to Chicago or vise versus for $8.00

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CBCon Quote "We didn't even get wet"......30 seconds later you hear plop, then splash!!!!
*** This post was edited by lumpy72 1/31/2003 8:14:17 PM ***

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Friday, January 31, 2003 3:21 PM
Since when did we need trains? You can take a plane across the country much faster, or drive. That's why Amtrak isn't competitive. And some of those full trains probably are turning a profit. The system as a whole doesn't. Again, that's why there is a movement to split Amtrak up into pieces, to cater to these smaller profitable markets. Until we see designated infrastructure coast to coast, railroads will not compete with airplanes or autos, and Amtrak won't profit from long distance routes. Unfortunately, Amtrak's business model doesn't reflect that, and they lose big bucks. Right now, the money is in corridors.

But, the gov keeps on doling out the cash to keep it moving (maybe not in the future, though). Amtrak exists in a market that doesn't exist.

My point? AT should be able to turn a profit, or shift to cover only profitable areas. Many Congresspersons don't like the notion of losing trains service to some small towns even though it doesn't make economical sense. That's the only reason it stays alive... not because the gov likes shiny trains.
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Is that a Q-bot in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

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Friday, January 31, 2003 3:24 PM
AMTK = Amtrak not AT

As for the subject: I had planned to ride Amtrak from Cincy to PGA (Station at property) and return, but didn't want to use one week of my vaction for the whole trip.

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CBCon Quote "We didn't even get wet"......30 seconds later you hear plop, then splash!!!!
*** This post was edited by lumpy72 1/31/2003 8:30:04 PM ***

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Friday, January 31, 2003 3:28 PM
Thanks.. but I will use AT

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Is that a Q-bot in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

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Friday, January 31, 2003 4:16 PM
AT=Air Transit

One major flaw in the transportation system is the use of airplanes to fly routes of less than 400 miles, these routes could all be served by a network of Highspeed trains, we see this in the NEC where Amtrak does infact cover its Operating costs and is infact faster than any of the so called Air Shuttles. But here is the kicker, even there Amtrak is saddled with an 80 year old infrstructure that is in need of Billions of dollers just to bring back to the standards it was in 1940, let alone the extra billions needed to bring it to 21st century standards. For the price of one year of Amtrak subsidy, you can build about one new airport terminal. As to air traffic, if you add it all up not even counting the Billions spent on ATC, and Billions more on govenment built Airports, Airlines from the beginning to today have a net loss.

One long distance train, the Empire Builder: serves vast areas of the northern states, and is the only transportation choice for the people of eastern Montana and central North Dakota.

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Dave

Beware of Kiddie Coasters
*** This post was edited by kneemeister 1/31/2003 9:22:51 PM ***

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Friday, January 31, 2003 4:20 PM
Lumpy, Chris was at Beach Grove just this week getting his "Baby" ready to ship west. I expect to see it, providing HEP to future 4449 trips.

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Dave

Beware of Kiddie Coasters

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Friday, January 31, 2003 4:38 PM
AT=Amtrak=Air Transit, who cares.

What you said is true. Until we get better infrastructure (particularly the removal of all grade crossings) nothing will happen.

Of course in these little bitt towns it's their only choice. But that's a small portion of the small towns AT serves. And it's still unprofitable.

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Is that a Q-bot in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

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Friday, January 31, 2003 4:55 PM

MagnumForce said:


The federal govt pours billions of dollars into aviation in this country every year and does not see a dime in return. They pour billions of dollars a year into the highway system every year and never recieve a dime in return. And they don't expect too either.


Hmmm, raises a little question here....I'll work real hard to keep the politics to a minimum, my leanings are already known. What is this *magical*connection between the airlines and the auto industry....I would be forced to say that the BIG beneficiary of all this gov't money is.....you got it, the OIL industry. You see, we *could* at least begin to move towards a society where mass-transit operates the way it SHOULD. Some cities in the US do a pretty good job (Portland, right?), and many *civilized nations* have caught on, but those good people in Washington who lobby for the oil industry seem to have some pretty powerful friends. You DO realize that federal spending on alternative energy research has been SLASHED, right?

I sincerely hope that the *hi-speed rail system* that we Floridians voted for proves to be successful, and a model for the rest of the country....but I really doubt that happens. Rail systems are a BIG investment, and the political payoff is relatively small. But one day in the not-so-distant future, all the gas-guzzling will HAVE to be reduced, and it SURE would be nice to have some sort of *plan*...(even if plan IS a four-letter-word)...;)

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"I may be wrong, but I doubt it", by C. Barkley (and Shaq thought HE was "The Big Aristotle")...;)

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Friday, January 31, 2003 5:24 PM
Like it or not, We are a victim of our own success. Back in the early and mid 1900's the country had a very useable rail infastructure and passenger service to almost every community in the U.S. Like it or not, Almost every town was formed on a rail/canal/river or port and communties not only relied on rail for getting from one city to another, The depended on it for supply goods. Along come the post WWII years and Industry is booming, Competition is fierce and the automobile becomes affordable for anyone working. Gradually the Auto and Trucks took away the majority of rail passenger need and Put a huge dent in materials as well because now communities do not need to be near a rail line and nor due buisness because trucks can deliver anywhere a buisness wants to locate.

Enter the 80's The existing infastructure of the Interstate system is becomming over crowded and unable to expand in some areas. Add another circle freeway is the norm.

Enter the 90's, Now the airports are nearing capasity. Some cannot add more runways and some just can't handle any more traffic.

Face it, In another 20 years we are all going to be sitting in traffic at any time of the day unless we take some trucks and cars off the road and replace it with a passenger rail system and expanded frieght rails.

Chuck, I've seen the future and it's going to COST us a big time.

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Charles Nungester.
Confirmed, Lesourdsville Lake opening for 2003 details soon at Lesourdsville.com

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Friday, January 31, 2003 5:40 PM
I took a train from Windsor to Toronto once.
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Friday, January 31, 2003 8:21 PM
I have one major problem with Amtrak. IMO they need there own\rails, and should totaly avoid having to make public crossings. The things go way to fast be traveling through residential areas like around my house. A few years ago, my friend Joe was struck by an Amtrak train, killed instantly. All because other trains were stoped, blocking his view, no gates at the crossing, and the fact that the train overshot its horn because of its high rate of speed. I live in Northwest Ohio, in an area thats known for having a lot of railways. I know that it was a totaly freak accident, but it's really hard for me to want to get on one of their trains after that.
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-"Who is Kaiser Sossay?"-
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Friday, January 31, 2003 10:13 PM
I think most of us on this post can agree on one thing... rail is the way to travel.

As someone who has taken the train coast to coast, it's a totally different way to travel that I wish every one would have the chance to enjoy.

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