Did AMTRAK just murder private cars?
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  1. #1
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    Default Did AMTRAK just murder private cars?

    In honesty I've never been a fan of Scamtrak, and this time the company that parks trains and annoys passengers may have gone too far. I well remember NY Central being able to operate passenger service along with other roads. Scamtrak was designed to be a second class service, and always has been.

    Here are a couple of links:
    RIDE ALONG: Amtrak Changes Policy on Private Rail Cars

    Rolling back Amtrak's private car restrictions and special train ban won't be easy: Here's how to do it - Trains Magazine - Trains News Wire, Railroad News, Railroad Industry News, Web Cams, and Forms

    There are significant issues here. Amtrak may actually be violating its charter which mentions it operating excursion trains and private cars. The huge economic impact will be devastating, as the response from WV's Senator mentions since the annual New River Gorge Train is vital to the economies of the small communities along that route.

    UP funds its steam program and has its own cars for public (which it decides to use them) use. In that respect, it is unique among the American Class I railroads. Several others may have enough cars to assemble an Office Car special and they may have a HEP-equipped passenger diesel, but the other big steam programs (NW 611; NKP 765, etc.) are all actually non-profits that invest their donor's money to rebuild, maintain, and run those engines.
    Mainline excursions require the co-operation from numerous freight roads and Amtrak.

    So, with the stroke of a pen and no advance notice, Amtrak has jeopardized the future of the whole private car and steam engine preservation industry.

  2. #2
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    I have been watching this. Might be a diversion to take away attention from their abysmal safety and training, especially after the 501 debacle in Washington. However they need more than ever to justify their existance.

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    You guys clearly have not traveled much between Washington DC Philly and NYC. Amtrak is really convenient for those trips.


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    Amtrak is what the public allows it to be. I think it can and should be better. I am sure the private car owners of our world will find a way... [$100K-$500+K to own let alone operate]. The rest of us only have political leverage. If you want better/more service, make it known. If you want passenger rail service gone, make it know.
    Just my opinion...


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    +1 for Amtrak from Baltimore to Richmond- worlds better than driving in every possible respect. From the highway its the usual ugly crowded I-95 wasteland the whole way, from the train its a very pretty ride outside the cities.

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    I don't think you understand. I am not knocking rail travel by any means. I love it. Comfort, great views, time to actually think, read, absorb some of the world around you.
    BUT the recent 501 accident in Washington will not bring people to rail travel. It will drive them away. Amtrak's hiring, training, and supervisory functions are non existent. Would you want to fly in a 747 with an pilot who had flown one once before " Uh, up and back, over the top there"? A man who joked from the word go that this trip was a learning experience? A man whose total experience over the route consisted of 4 trips, only one of which he operated a freight engine supervised by a freight shortline crew on a roadway that was rated for 30 MPH max? Then the roadway is improved to 79 MPH max and this guy is turned loose on it.
    Sort of like bringing in a noob and letting him push the green button 4 times and now he's a journeyman.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tdmidget View Post
    I don't think you understand. I am not knocking rail travel by any means. I love it. Comfort, great views, time to actually think, read, absorb some of the world around you.
    BUT the recent 501 accident in Washington will not bring people to rail travel. It will drive them away. Amtrak's hiring, training, and supervisory functions are non existent. Would you want to fly in a 747 with an pilot who had flown one once before " Uh, up and back, over the top there"? A man who joked from the word go that this trip was a learning experience? A man whose total experience over the route consisted of 4 trips, only one of which he operated a freight engine supervised by a freight shortline crew on a roadway that was rated for 30 MPH max? Then the roadway is improved to 79 MPH max and this guy is turned loose on it.
    Sort of like bringing in a noob and letting him push the green button 4 times and now he's a journeyman.
    I don’t disagree with most of your commentary. However, your ignorance of train operations is showing at the end. It’s more like taking an experienced, intelligent, capable machinist to a brand new machine. Give him the “crash” course and tell him to press the red button 4 times. Just like learning a new route to work; you already know how to drive...

    Yes mistakes were made. Management should be held accountable.


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    I’ll ask my brother in-law about this since he works for the railroad as a controller or for those that remember back in the day he is basically a tower man but on a much larger scale


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