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ML111

ACES Update: The Good and the Bad

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On my ACES inbound train yesterday evening, I came across the following information, signaling a good month ridership wise, but internal management issues involving the bureaucracy of the joint casino-NJ Transit-AMTRAK partnership for ACES:

 

The Good:

 

1. Since Memorial Day, the outbound departures into AC on Saturday have operated at a 2/3 to Sold Out capacity, same goes for the inbound departures on Sunday afternoon and evening; the yields off of their discretionary (late nights and Saturday evening inbound, Sundays outbound) is close to approximately 75-100 people per train - also they are currently running in the black; much of this is associated with the greater marketing and advertising presence in both NY and AC and the discounted fares of $29 OW

 

2. ACES has explored new mediums of cross-promotion and marketing, expanding the appeal and target demographic to more middle-class folks, the creation of ACESCAPE magazine (a promotional feature for the three hotels), and marketing efforts in local newspapers including promos in the NY Daily News and NY Post

 

The Bad:

 

1. Reports of limited food service during trips when the service is sold-out because most of the food is sold out prior to the train's actual departure out of New York and Atlantic City, the supervisor in charge of ACES has refused calls for greater stock during peak period trains

 

2. Disconnection and miscommunication between the management entities of the Casinos, Amtrak and NJ Transit on front-line issues relating to operation and the ticketing systems, in addition to a lack of direct customer service during the operation hours of ACES

 

 

Also on a side note, yesterday morning's 9:16AM departure out of New York was terminated at Absecon due to a bridge stall and malfunction, which left the 125+ passengers standing in the rain at Absecon while the train pushed back into the pocket - the Academy shuttle buses arrived 30 minutes later however this was after much confusion and inconvenience experienced by the passengers, as they were told to wait on the platform and not on the train for the shuttles to arrive.

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That don't sound too sweet. The ACES is booming in ridership. I just wish they move it stop at Newark to Rahway or Metropark so that :njc: customers get a chance to ride instead of going to Newark.

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On the bright side: at least they can literally say: First come first served, when it comes down to the food, lol

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That don't sound too sweet. The ACES is booming in ridership. I just wish they move it stop at Newark to Rahway or Metropark so that :njc: customers get a chance to ride instead of going to Newark.

 

I think the "new blue comet" is good as is as far as stops, however, new service could be implemented that stopped at new york, newark, trenton, philadelphia 30th st, and atlantic city. This service would mean (NJT) getting more P40DC, and possibly the consortium ordering new MLV's.

 

If ridership is booming, make service better on the current offering, then use some of that $ to invest in an expanded ACES fleet. I think also they should consider hooking a de-mothballed amfleet diner modded with the ECS to be compatable with the multilevels. You could have it be the last car, you could even tack one onto current ACES trains, but make sure they have tables and business class/upgraded seats.

 

- A

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ACES is supposed to be a premium super express. Adding all of those extra stops would make it just another run of the mill route.
I agree. I wished that they would exclude Newark as well b/c that area is already a bottleneck for trains.

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ACES is supposed to be a premium super express. Adding all of those extra stops would make it just another run of the mill route.

 

There would be the premium current trains, and additional, not all changed, just new ones, more people = more $ = more service etc etc.

 

Remember, this is basically a modified Blue Comet move

 

I agree. I wished that they would exclude Newark as well b/c that area is already a bottleneck for trains.

 

Not everyone wants to have to go an extra 20 minutes and 10 dollars into nyc just to catch this train, plus it is the second "hub" of (NJT) operations aside from hoboken with :nec::njc: and :rvl: service. It isn't actually a bottleneck at all, and is very flexible in its operations. They have 6 tracks, more than enough for through service. One is barely used.

 

There is also tons of bus service, and PATH, and EWR is right down the road.

 

The real bottleneck is the 2 track section between SEC and NYP. Once the new station, tunnels, portal bridge, and connecting track are in place & complete there will be no more bottlenecks. I believe this service will be around then, if not replaced in time by something similar.

 

- A

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Routing ACES via Philadelphia then backtracking over the existing ACRL routing (ie. NYP to PHL then ACY via Frankford Jct) defeats the purpose of the non-stop express service in the first place.

 

I don't agree that a stop either Trenton or Metropark, though, if those bottleneck issues can be resolved, I could see a stop at Secaucus to allow connections with the Hoboken Division of the system for riders from Morris, Bergen, Passaic, and Rockland Counties.

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Andy,

 

This train is not like the Blue Comet but rather is just a modified version of PRR's Nellie Bly which ran between NYP and AC using what is today the RIVERline to connect to the NEC at Trenton instead of ACES which uses Frankford Jct. For the train to be like the Blue Comet it would have to travel via NJCL to Southern Secondary(OOS Lakehurst to Winslow Jct) to ACL.

 

The service seems to be picking up btw, but a service like this should pick up in the summer and slow down in the colder months.

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Andy,

 

This train is not like the Blue Comet but rather is just a modified version of PRR's Nellie Bly which ran between NYP and AC using what is today the RIVERline to connect to the NEC at Trenton instead of ACES which uses Frankford Jct. For the train to be like the Blue Comet it would have to travel via NJCL to Southern Secondary(OOS Lakehurst to Winslow Jct) to ACL.

 

The service seems to be picking up btw, but a service like this should pick up in the summer and slow down in the colder months.

 

Ah thanks for the correction. :cool:

 

In any case, i just know the crowd in this area would love this service, a shame it totally bypasses philly with only :ac: as an option.

 

- A

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What should be done if service really begins to boom is a second train should be made making a different stop. So instead you could have saw NYP-MET(Metropark)-AC or some other combination. I would not chose Rahway or any where RR East of it as they could head to Newark to catch the train, but a stop at Metropark would draw the Central Jersey crowd as most of them already use this station for Amtrak trains and there is a parking deck there that could handle the traffic on weekends.

 

Just my $.02

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What should be done if service really begins to boom is a second train should be made making a different stop. So instead you could have saw NYP-MET(Metropark)-AC or some other combination. I would not chose Rahway or any where RR East of it as they could head to Newark to catch the train, but a stop at Metropark would draw the Central Jersey crowd as most of them already use this station for Amtrak trains and there is a parking deck there that could handle the traffic on weekends.

 

Just my $.02

 

Yea, that's what i was saying. :):confused: :cool: It would work!

 

Each train would stop at a different "middle" station. Preferably one with parking garages.

 

New Brunswick, Metropark, Trenton & possibly hamilton, since people from bucks county across the river could come to either depending where they live, plus hamilton has massive parking capacity and a bus garage is kinda right there at the station, would be good to divide the traffic between 2 trains since their consists are what 4 cars, 5? Princeton junction folks could go from hamilton, it's a 2 minute drive on rt1. Bus service from west trenton to facilitate the train schedule.

 

- A

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