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TheKorean

How to fix Amtrak

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Where do you see this? Cheapest one-way fare between NYP and 30th street is $47...just looked it up.

 

Did you try 14 days ahead , thats how there new lower fares work.

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Did you try 14 days ahead , thats how there new lower fares work.

 

Whoops, now I see 'em.

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Some trains are $92, regional. Why is that?

 

$49 is pretty reasonable I guess. I still think they need to cut down Acela to around 80 dollars.

 

Cutting costs means they will become viable alternative to airlines. They need to do that on other lines in US that has potential to do well, like N Cal, So Cal line.

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Some trains are $92, regional. Why is that?

 

$49 is pretty reasonable I guess. I still think they need to cut down Acela to around 80 dollars.

 

Cutting costs means they will become viable alternative to airlines. They need to do that on other lines in US that has potential to do well, like N Cal, So Cal line.

 

I can get the cheapest ticket from NYP to Wilmington, DE for $41, my train was late out of NYP 2 weekends ago when I traveled, so I had to change it to an earlier train to make a bus connection in Wilmington. The ticket cost me $92 instead of the original $41, because the train was overbooked and every single seat was taken, employees who were deadheading to PHL or WAS were standing up. The fares are raised, Amtrak makes more money and everything is fine...

 

As for Acela, it's nice to have a promotion going when you have travel plans, but I believe this service is nice north of NYP or for business people in general, and Acela is already the best alternative to planes in the price and travel time.

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http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/single-view/view/10/korail-sets-out-its-2015-vision.html

 

Korail is profitable. I believe railroads can be profitable if the government spends the money right.

 

Al Korail has done was cutting low ridership services and expanding high speed rail lines. They are growing.

Buddy, but the USA is not Korea. Different countries with different governments that have differing ideas on how to run the national rail network.

 

What Amtrak needs is to add more service. It should focus on adding conventional rail, restoring currently abandoned corridors. Funds should be directed such that both conventional rail service could be maintained optimally with funds for a provision to build HSR services.

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^Of course, but in the end railroads are railroads. There are going to be a lot of similarities.

 

Korea now a days can take planes to other cities, but railroad usage is still very high. Its a very simple modeal that I think can work in US.

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You have yet to make a single valid point in supporting your argument, an idea that not only would never be implemented in this country, but also could never work well here either. Henry hit the nail on the head: this isn't Korea. That article refers to a transportation system that cannot be built here for various reasons, the lack of funding being one of them; built in a country with few similarities to the U.S. You've managed to present inaccurate information without any current statistics to support your points. You've also admitted to having rode Amtrak services very few times, and yet, you've argued with an Amtrak conductor, a regular on the services he works, about the points that he would know firsthand, both through actual numbers and observation. That's similar to me driving down one street of any neighborhood that I've never been through and then trying to tell a resident that the neighborhood doesn't have anything to do or a lot of people in it. Aside from that, several others have also made verifiable and reliable statements that you could not argue with, and yet you did, with misled opinions rather than actual facts.

 

Everyone is titled to an opinion and everyone is entitled to ideas. However, one cannot make definite statements and argue in support of them when facts are not presented and opposing voices are more reliable and much more accountable for having access to accurate information. Amtrak service is probably at its all-around best in a long time and there are many reasons why it shouldn't and won't be severely altered in the foreseeable future, at least not in the ways that you poorly proposed.

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^Of course, but in the end railroads are railroads. There are going to be a lot of similarities.

 

Korea now a days can take planes to other cities, but railroad usage is still very high. Its a very simple modeal that I think can work in US.

Once again, you can't supplement your argument by bringing up Korea. Every country has its own way into thinking and managing. And don't forget, your country is a fraction of the US if you put it on the map of the continguous 48 states. Travel from the north to the south (and I mean like Seoul to Busan) is not the same as us going north to south (Boston to Tampa). There's much more of a distance. You mention air travel in your country, but over here, long distance lines are pretty much doable. And once again, it is feasible to convert high traffic lines into high speed lines in your country, the KTX. Countless corridors have high traffic on them. And you must acknowledge that the freight lines run on the same tracks as the passenger trains, so you can't put freight lines on high speed tracks. So again, bringing up your country is moot, because you have to take into account the different sizes of the countries and funding priorities.

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um, Amtrak is owned by the Federal Government.

So they will never be "independent".

 

The quotation in your post (# 4) about common stock holders (railroads) turning down a buyout from Amtrak in 2002 caught my eye. first of all which are the common stock owners today? I believe they originally included BN, MILW, PC, GTW and another one or two. Since these railroads have been merged or acquired with others...does that mean the succcessor now have them?

And in the case of the PC, did the stock go to Conrail, or to the realty/insurance company that PC became?

And lastly, why on earth would these companies turn down a buyout of a stock that "had almost no benefits"?:confused:

Edited by traildriver
quotation did not show relevant part of referenced post

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You have yet to make a single valid point in supporting your argument, an idea that not only would never be implemented in this country, but also could never work well here either. Henry hit the nail on the head: this isn't Korea. That article refers to a transportation system that cannot be built here for various reasons, the lack of funding being one of them; built in a country with few similarities to the U.S. You've managed to present inaccurate information without any current statistics to support your points. You've also admitted to having rode Amtrak services very few times, and yet, you've argued with an Amtrak conductor, a regular on the services he works, about the points that he would know firsthand, both through actual numbers and observation. That's similar to me driving down one street of any neighborhood that I've never been through and then trying to tell a resident that the neighborhood doesn't have anything to do or a lot of people in it. Aside from that, several others have also made verifiable and reliable statements that you could not argue with, and yet you did, with misled opinions rather than actual facts.

 

Everyone is titled to an opinion and everyone is entitled to ideas. However, one cannot make definite statements and argue in support of them when facts are not presented and opposing voices are more reliable and much more accountable for having access to accurate information. Amtrak service is probably at its all-around best in a long time and there are many reasons why it shouldn't and won't be severely altered in the foreseeable future, at least not in the ways that you poorly proposed.

 

What are you talking about I have clearly proved that Amtrak is losing money. If you dont think its good enough look it up. Amtrak is losing money. While my solution, perhaps, may not be reasonable and that may be valid, it still doesnt change the fact that Amtrak is losing money, and they have to reform and you know, at least break even annually. Yes, its Korea and its US, but I am just saying, with proper management railroads dont have to lose money, bleed money. I am merely following the ideas on how to succeed in a competition. Lower prices, better service. I am just throwing some ideas out there. If it doesnt make sense, fine, I am clearly not an expert. But the fact is fact. Amtrak is bleeding money.

 

So, whos the conductor here?

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Even I never been on Amtrak, I have lots of people lined up on Amtrak at New York Penn Station, Newark Penn Station every single day.

 

People and visitors take Amtrak, because of scenic routes around the USA.

On Airplane, there's not good view because of higher.

When I was on Continental Airline flight to Cleveland, OH, I got window seat, but problem was because of hot sunlight, I could not enjoy the view outside.

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Even thought airplane, Amtrak is best choice if you go to Niagara Falls.

My friend have taken Amtrak ride to Boston and Niagara Fall.

One of my friend who have taken airplane to Buffalo Airport, however bus service was infrequent.

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Even I never been on Amtrak, I have lots of people lined up on Amtrak at New York Penn Station, Newark Penn Station every single day.

 

People and visitors take Amtrak, because of scenic routes around the USA.

On Airplane, there's not good view because of higher.

When I was on Continental Airline flight to Cleveland, OH, I got window seat, but problem was because of hot sunlight, I could not enjoy the view outside.

 

Thats New York though. Have you ever been to another Amtrak station?

 

Stations like New York Penn, 30th Street, South Station etc... are going to be crowded. Because NEC is used by a lot of people.

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Here's the deal with Amtrak. First, I prefer having the Feds running Amtrak over a private corporation because under the Feds Amtrak does not need to make a significant profit so using Amtrak does not involve obscenities such as $45 carry-on fees as well as on-board fees for everything from pillows to snacks. Second, I would prefer federal subsidies go to a federally operated company such as Amtrak rather than to a private corporation as is the case with a number of commuter airlines in and around Phoenix.

Second, I believe that if you really want to enhance profitability on these lines then you need to stop looking to slash low-performing services but look to augment them so that they are as attractive as the other options. I will not come down one way or the other on where Amtrak is financially right now because I am neither a rider nor an employee. However, I firmly believe that we would be able to drastically improve it through an expansion program. I agree with many of you that high-speed service would probably be more than profitable if it were put in place on nearly all 500+ mile routes with some more popular 100- to 500-mile routes being upgraded as well. At that point, it would probably be a good idea to put together a spoke-and-hub system coming out of most if not all major cities in the United States and parts of southern Canada running at regular speed (60-100 mph between stations, comparable to commuter rail) and then create a high-speed web of railway lines between major cities.

To those of you who say that this would be a waste of money, I say think again. TGV does runs at 170+ mph on a daily basis, and China is able to get ~225 mph on parts of it's high-speed system. Japan's Nozomi service does ~190 mph on regular runs and has a new train out capable of 224 mph. These numbers are also nowhere near the record speed for a wheeled train (320 mph, TGV). If this technology is already out there and in use in Europe and Asia, then I don't think it would be impossible to get regular passenger service operating at around 250 mph on high-speed, long-distance runs. It would be quite expensive to build in terms of laying and electrifying massive amonts of new track, but it is not impossible.

Once the service gets going in that pattern or something similar to it, I guarantee you that Amtrak will become a moneymaker for the government in little or no time. Look at it like this: as things are today, a 3000-mile trip from JFK Airport in New York to LAX will take you 5-6 hours and will run you $330-$515 per person assuming two checked bags and no meals. However, not included in that estimate is the 2.5-3.5 hours it will take you to clear security, check baggage, etc. In reality, your full airport-to-airport travel time will be 8-9 hours. A high speed Amtrak train of the type I described could make the trip in about 11-12 hours, only about a three-hour difference. In fact, for trips shorter than 1250 miles, the train would actually be faster. If you assume Amtrak high-speed fares will stay where they are for current runs an NYP-LAX round trip would be about $450-$500 (slightly higher than by air but not if you want to eat en route).

If this were to be built, you would have created a travel option that is comparable in price (perhaps lower as increased ridership may allow for fare cuts and some airlines have decided to start charging for carry-on bags), anywhere from 2-3 hours slower to 1-2 hours faster than, and much more passenger-friendly than airplane travel. I see little or no reason why many people would continue to fly over those distances when a bullet train can do the job appreciably better. As for slower, more scenic lines, I say that we would probably be able to cut several of them with little or no outcry because much better service would be available while the others would wind up being commuter runs over shorter distances.

Many of you (particularly TheKorean) will probably balk at this due to cost, but cost may not be as prohibitive as it appears. In 1956 Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the bill Ordering the creation of the Interstate Highway System, and half a century and half a trillion dollars later, it wound up fundamentally changing the face of America. What's to say the same can't be true for Amtrak?

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Thats New York though. Have you ever been to another Amtrak station?

 

Stations like New York Penn, 30th Street, South Station etc... are going to be crowded. Because NEC is used by a lot of people.

 

South Station? You mean Back Bay Station?

 

Here's the deal with Amtrak. First, I prefer having the Feds running Amtrak over a private corporation because under the Feds Amtrak does not need to make a significant profit so using Amtrak does not involve obscenities such as $45 carry-on fees as well as on-board fees for everything from pillows to snacks. Second, I would prefer federal subsidies go to a federally operated company such as Amtrak rather than to a private corporation as is the case with a number of commuter airlines in and around Phoenix.

Second, I believe that if you really want to enhance profitability on these lines then you need to stop looking to slash low-performing services but look to augment them so that they are as attractive as the other options. I will not come down one way or the other on where Amtrak is financially right now because I am neither a rider nor an employee. However, I firmly believe that we would be able to drastically improve it through an expansion program. I agree with many of you that high-speed service would probably be more than profitable if it were put in place on nearly all 500+ mile routes with some more popular 100- to 500-mile routes being upgraded as well. At that point, it would probably be a good idea to put together a spoke-and-hub system coming out of most if not all major cities in the United States and parts of southern Canada running at regular speed (60-100 mph between stations, comparable to commuter rail) and then create a high-speed web of railway lines between major cities.

To those of you who say that this would be a waste of money, I say think again. TGV does runs at 170+ mph on a daily basis, and China is able to get ~225 mph on parts of it's high-speed system. Japan's Nozomi service does ~190 mph on regular runs and has a new train out capable of 224 mph. These numbers are also nowhere near the record speed for a wheeled train (320 mph, TGV). If this technology is already out there and in use in Europe and Asia, then I don't think it would be impossible to get regular passenger service operating at around 250 mph on high-speed, long-distance runs. It would be quite expensive to build in terms of laying and electrifying massive amonts of new track, but it is not impossible.

Once the service gets going in that pattern or something similar to it, I guarantee you that Amtrak will become a moneymaker for the government in little or no time. Look at it like this: as things are today, a 3000-mile trip from JFK Airport in New York to LAX will take you 5-6 hours and will run you $330-$515 per person assuming two checked bags and no meals. However, not included in that estimate is the 2.5-3.5 hours it will take you to clear security, check baggage, etc. In reality, your full airport-to-airport travel time will be 8-9 hours. A high speed Amtrak train of the type I described could make the trip in about 11-12 hours, only about a three-hour difference. In fact, for trips shorter than 1250 miles, the train would actually be faster. If you assume Amtrak high-speed fares will stay where they are for current runs an NYP-LAX round trip would be about $450-$500 (slightly higher than by air but not if you want to eat en route).

If this were to be built, you would have created a travel option that is comparable in price (perhaps lower as increased ridership may allow for fare cuts and some airlines have decided to start charging for carry-on bags), anywhere from 2-3 hours slower to 1-2 hours faster than, and much more passenger-friendly than airplane travel. I see little or no reason why many people would continue to fly over those distances when a bullet train can do the job appreciably better. As for slower, more scenic lines, I say that we would probably be able to cut several of them with little or no outcry because much better service would be available while the others would wind up being commuter runs over shorter distances.

Many of you (particularly TheKorean) will probably balk at this due to cost, but cost may not be as prohibitive as it appears. In 1956 Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the bill Ordering the creation of the Interstate Highway System, and half a century and half a trillion dollars later, it wound up fundamentally changing the face of America. What's to say the same can't be true for Amtrak?

 

Wow ,just wow. You hit all the right points , as for the top speed , i could care less. Its more about the Average Speed. I want the Average speed on the entire NEC to be at least 130-50. Tops can be tweaked later. They need to add at least 2-4 more Tracks by the end of this decade, because i can bet you that NEC will beyond Capacity = 2 Japanese Corridors.

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What nobody's mentioned is that both our highway system and airports/flying are heavily subsidized and also not profitable. Passenger rail is a common carrier and is similar to education where it does not produce a direct profit but creates an indirect one by saving everyone money for its service. The economy is better for it.

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What nobody's mentioned is that both our highway system and airports/flying are heavily subsidized and also not profitable.

 

But driving is the American Way. Only a communist would take the train.

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What nobody's mentioned is that both our highway system and airports/flying are heavily subsidized and also not profitable. Passenger rail is a common carrier and is similar to education where it does not produce a direct profit but creates an indirect one by saving everyone money for its service. The economy is better for it.

 

Highway is an absolute necessity that needs to remain free or at least low toll fee for the most part.

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Highway is an absolute necessity that needs to remain free or at least low toll fee for the most part.

 

You missed the point that it's heavily subsidized, even moreso than Amtrak is. It is not free.

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But driving is the American Way. Only a communist would take the train.

 

LOL, I'll take the train over driving anytime. Driving loses its charm over time, especially when the cost of gas goes up.

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Highway is an absolute necessity that needs to remain free or at least low toll fee for the most part.

 

The Days of Free highways are over , several states are considering A toll system to pay for maintenance and New Transit projects. I believe CT is thinking about re-tolling I-95 to pay for New Transit & Bridge Projects. Seriously you and Suburbist are starting to piss me off , and its not like i can escape your ridiculous comments , there on 2 sites i use.:mad:

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What are you talking about I have clearly proved that Amtrak is losing money. If you dont think its good enough look it up. Amtrak is losing money. While my solution, perhaps, may not be reasonable and that may be valid, it still doesnt change the fact that Amtrak is losing money, and they have to reform and you know, at least break even annually. Yes, its Korea and its US, but I am just saying, with proper management railroads dont have to lose money, bleed money. I am merely following the ideas on how to succeed in a competition. Lower prices, better service. I am just throwing some ideas out there. If it doesnt make sense, fine, I am clearly not an expert. But the fact is fact. Amtrak is bleeding money.

 

So, whos the conductor here?

 

Where the hell did I ever state that Amtrak wasn't losing money? I just stated that you threw an idea about Amtrak being a money out on the floor, and then another about revamping the interstate train system with a high-speed rail system similar to what Korea uses, and that all none of the points that you raised had any sound statistics or facts to support them. You put a link to magazine article in one post; that helps, but won't sell anyone, especially the government, on that idea. And I also never claimed to be "the conductor" in question.

 

I'm not into starting arguments, not online anyway. E-fights are lame at best, and I worded my original post to avoid that from happening.

 

Here's the deal with Amtrak...

 

What's to say the same can't be true for Amtrak?

 

Thanks! I shortened that up to save space, and I wasn't able to thank you, but your post is a gem. Way to bring Eisenhower's Highways into play, since that proves such a good point, which Fred backed below.

 

What nobody's mentioned is that both our highway system and airports/flying are heavily subsidized and also not profitable. Passenger rail is a common carrier and is similar to education where it does not produce a direct profit but creates an indirect one by saving everyone money for its service. The economy is better for it.

 

Well said and to the point, Fred. Thanks as well!

 

The Days of Free highways are over , several states are considering A toll system to pay for maintenance and New Transit projects. I believe CT is thinking about re-tolling I-95 to pay for New Transit & Bridge Projects. Seriously you and Suburbist are starting to piss me off , and its not like i can escape your ridiculous comments , there on 2 sites i use.:mad:

 

Connecticut had tolls on a few state and interstate roads until the mid-80's. And yes, they've been tossing the idea around for a while now, but I don't foresee it happening anytime soon for a few reasons:

1. The Connecticut state ban on toll roads would have to be repealed, and then any proposal would have to be approved by the U.S. Congress since maintenance is federally-funded.

2. Toll placement is a touchy subject. NIMBY's are like a plague up here, and the last thing that anyone wants is a toll plaza behind his or her house.

3. Connecticut owes over $2.6 billion in federal highway funds that the state has received since tolls were eliminated in 1985. A fat percentage of the toll revenue would have to be sent to Washington to start paying that tab, and prior to toll abolition, only $65 million was brought in from tolls each year. Even adjusted for inflation, that's about $130 million in 2010 - a small drop in a big bucket.

 

I'm in favor of tolls here. The Federal Highway Trust Fund is just about empty (if it isn't already) and most interstate highways are ran and maintained the way that any encompassing states can manage. If anyone doesn't believe that statement, take a trip up and down I-95 between NYC and New Haven, and try to convince me that the quality of maintenance, repairs, even the paving and painting is equal. NO WAY.

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take a trip up and down I-95 between NYC and New Haven, and try to convince me that the quality of maintenance, repairs, even the paving and painting is equal. NO WAY.

 

Nice in CT, sucks in NY.

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Nice in CT, sucks in NY.

 

Bro... the difference is noticed as soon as the Byram River Bridge is crossed in either direction. And I-95 between New Jersey and New Haven is infamous for its crammed and abrupt exit and entrance ramps, but it seems as if New York has a more loops, cloverleaf-style interchanges and all sorts of complex junctions. Obviously there wasn't much of a choice in the Bronx, but Westchester has a few of those tight ramps too.

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Rutgers Tube its quite obvious that you and I have a misunderstanding. I am not trying to call you or anyone else out. I am just looking for a constructive criticism so I can actually get something out of this thread. Look if you think I am wrong, which I rpobably am considering you are much more of an expert in this field, I think you should at least be a bit more polite about this. I am not trying to piss you off. I am just saying, Amtrak is losing money and I think it needs to be restructured and here is how I would do it. Simple.

 

And you did mention that I was arguing with a conductor...I was just asking whos the conductor here?

 

Railroads if I am not mistaken for the most part of its history in United States were privately owned and operated. Highways are roads, just like sidewalks, or streets, which are all necessities of everyday lives.

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