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The New Passenger Paradigm is here: Amtrak must adapt or die

Friday, April 6, 2018

Tackling the Headlines 95: Another All-Amtrak Edition

Tunneling the Hudson
It's really about the Gateway Project vs AIRNet-21

Take #1: Amidst all the talk over funding new tunnels underneath the Hudson River, most people are ignoring the latter solution to the nation's peril.

Take #2: Of course, Gateway is the wrong way to go. The reason? It forces Amtrak to spend countless billions while the rest of the system suffers. Also, other states may be more willing to look elsewhere if "America's Railroad" becomes Northeast Railroad.

Rockland update
Amtrak won't be running service along the old Maine Eastern route this summer after all.

Take: Oops.

New year, new president, same old hostility towards passengers  
1. Stations continue to lose staffing, checked baggage, and ticket sales
2. Business Class will be discontinued on the Auto Train and the Crescent on May 1
3. Eliminating other amenities systemwide
4. Outlawing private cars

Take #1: It clearly doesn't matter who's in charge of Amtrak--Boardman, Moorman, Anderson--because it's the management team and/or the Amtrak Board that's cutting back on these things.

Take #2: Business Class "failed" on Trains #19, #20, #52 & #53 because management wanted it to fail. The buffer between Coach and Sleeper was not marketed properly so it's going away after only two years.

Take #3: So, as Brightline is operating its route at brand new stations and offering all kinds of goodies to South Floridians, Amtrak wants to cut back like it's the late 1960s Southern Pacific. Way to go, guys. At this point, Washington needs to do an intervention by handing the long distance routes and all state supported routes outside of the NEC and the Chicago Hub to AIPRO members.

Take #4: A lot has been said about the ban of private cars, so I'll just say this: Losing out on revenue is the ultimate cutting of one's nose to spite his face.

Take #5: With the way things are going with Amtrak trying to become Greyhound on the rails--we're past the point of the company acting like an airline--it wouldn't surprise me that a certain segment of railfans would rather see Amtrak reduced to next to nothing than letting other operators succeed with enhanced amenities and overall improved customer service.

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