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Amtrak’s Grand Plan for Profitability

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Get the perfect suitcase for $20 off by going to http://awaytravel.com/wendover20 and using the promo code “wendover20 Listen to Extremities at http://ExtremitiesPodcast.com Buy a Wendover Productions t-shirt: https://standard.tv/collections/wendover-productions/products/wendover-productions-shirt Subscribe to Half as Interesting (The other channel from Wendover Productions): https://www.youtube.com/halfasinteresting Youtube: http://www.YouTube.com/WendoverProductions Instagram: http://Instagram.com/sam.from.wendover Twitter: http://www.Twitter.com/WendoverPro Sponsorship Enquiries: wendover@standard.tv Other emails: sam@wendover.productions Reddit: http://Reddit.com/r/WendoverProductions Animation by Josh Sherrington Sound by Graham Haerther (http://www.Haerther.net) Thumbnail by Simon Buckmaster Music by http://epidemicsound.com Select footage courtesy the AP Archive UNSW photo courtesy Sardaka, University of Sydney photo courtesy Jason Tong References: [1] https://skift.com/2016/10/11/delta-air-lines-chairman-resigns-effective-immediately/ [2] https://www.businessinsider.com/amtrak-why-so-expensive-america-train-system-2019-3?r=US&IR=T [3] https://www.bts.gov/content/amtrak-time-performance-trends-and-hours-delay-cause [4] https://www.amtrak.com/content/dam/projects/dotcom/english/public/documents/corporate/businessplanning/Amtrak-Service-Line-Plans-FY20-24.pdf [5] https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2019-11-20/amtrak-ceo-has-no-love-lost-for-dining-cars-long-haul-routes [6] https://thepointsguy.com/news/amtrak-plans-to-expand-new-nonstop-acela-service-from-new-york/ [7] https://transportation.house.gov/imo/media/doc/Anderson%20Testimony.pdf [8] https://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/Texas-High-Speed-Train-is-Shovel-Ready-565182232.html [9] https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelgoldstein/2019/10/31/billionaire-branson-gets-billions-in-bonds-to-launch-vegas-to-california-train-service/#f5ffad276604 [10] http://trn.trains.com/bonus/amtrak [11] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cold_wave_of_January_1977 [12] https://www.amtrak.com/content/dam/projects/dotcom/english/public/documents/corporate/nationalfactsheets/Amtrak-Economic-Contribution-Brochure-083016.pdf
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Text Comments (4252)
Julie Hansen (3 hours ago)
Honestly, the rest of the country is mooching off the northeast. The northeast corridor could cut prices by 25% or more and still be profitable and increase ridership if they weren’t carrying the damn west coast roots. Sorry, but if you want to take the train from New Orleans to California ( which is just ridiculous- book a flight) then you need to pay the true cost of this route, which is likely in the thousands of dollars.
Eric Taylor (15 hours ago)
In a country the size of the United States, trains simply can't complete with airplanes. You just can't beat the safety and speed of a wide body jet, not even with high speed rails. Even with the hassle of TSA and layovers, it's still faster to go by air than by plane, especially if you factor in safety.
Steven True (16 hours ago)
0:31 dumping fuel illegally this was before LA incident
John Deltuvia (17 hours ago)
It's obvious what makes the NE corridor work: they have their own tracks. They invested and got a return on investment. Investing in new tracks on the state and national routes would make those routes profitable, just at it did for the NE corridor.
Kales Room (18 hours ago)
I think we spend way to much on military and we could have the best train service in the world
Tinil0 (19 hours ago)
Ooof, I've taken one long haul journey on Amtrak (Portland to the middle of northern arizona) and it wasn't amazing but the one real big enjoyable part (Besides I suppose the view in times) was the meal service. Cutting that for prepackaged meals suuuuucks for customer experience.
Malcs GX (19 hours ago)
He may not care about trains, but the passengers have already complained about the cutting of certain cars on certain trains...whereby losing money
Cheng Liu (21 hours ago)
No mention of the autotrain? That is one of the most lucrative routes they have.
ERNEST OBENG (22 hours ago)
All across the world public transportation provided by the government is not necessarily to make profit. Government run public transportation is to move people all across the country both in the big cities and the small towns so people will have transportation options wherever they need to be and not necessarily to make profit. Amtrak needs more funding from congress so they can improve the trains, tracks and their services. Every year congress approves billions and billions of dollars to the military for foreign operations so easily but funding for Amtrak, public transportation, medicare, Medicaid and other public services is always a hustle. America really need to get their priorities right.
Dan McFarling (23 hours ago)
This video has an incredibly long list of false statements. First, and most import, an issue that is NOT mentioned: All non-rail modes of transport are subsidized (aviation, road transport and waterway transport. Freight rail is the only mode of transport that does NOT receive significant subsidy. In fact, freight rail CONTRIBUTES to the tax base, and those railway tax dollars are used to help subsidize other modes of transport. Rail is the ONLY mode of transport that is generally expected to use private dollars to acquire new right of way (ROW), develop said ROW. maintain their ROW, provide signal system, policing and traffic control on their ROW. And they pay taxes on not only their ROW, but also on improvements to their ROW (as mentioned above, these tax dollars help subsidize all other modes). Aviation, road transport and inland waterway transport rely in part or in whole on public funding for their tax-free ROWs, traffic control and policing. In addition, many very significant indirect costs for aviation and road transport are NOT included when computing the costs of these modes. The health care, environmental and other social costs (including very significant costs associated with sprawl) of road transport are staggering. While an essential part of the rail system, the NE corridor does NOT "make a profit. Amtrak employs arbitrary and inappropriate budget gymnastics which arbitrarily spread "administrative and overhead costs" attributable to the NE Corridor that greatly inflate the costs of national or long distance trains. There is far more that needs to be said - but these long distance trains are in many respects, more cost-effective than the corridor trains - and would be even more efficient if they were better managed. Significant improvement would be realized if most national (or long distance) trains operated 2 or 3 times a day, rather than once/day.
Allen G (1 day ago)
"What's likely to happen in the near future" ~Wendover The most likely thing to happen in the near, far and medium future - any future - is that Amtrak will continue to live on the way it has for the last 50 years. They can't survive without congressional support. And to get that funding from congress, they need pork barrel routes like the LA - Chicago to keep rural state like KS and NM voting to give them funding.
jack torrence (1 day ago)
With luminaries such as Hunter Biden on the board how can you lose?
GrimOxford (1 day ago)
Why not have the long distance trains also haul some freight? It could help make the route more profitable, while still allowing the train to haul passengers?
Alfred Molison (1 day ago)
If Amtrak tries to become profitable by eliminating all of the unprofitable routes then they'll shortly discover that the remaining routes are unprofitable. The appearance of profitability in relation to passenger service is illusory. It's a public service that requires constant regular payment by government. Our society and businesses are better off because of that investment.
Alfred Molison (1 day ago)
There's no way to make infrastructure profitable unless you are a private contractor charging the government. Railroad passenger service is like any other form of transportation the government has to massively subsidize it. Public buses, public highways, and publicly paid for airports and air traffic controllers are required. Airlines also get other hidden subsidies.
Ken Lewis (1 day ago)
This channel has showed us how rural areas and small towns are heavily subsidized for air and train travel. These same people vote Republican crying that we need a small federal government. Someone please explain this apparent hypocrisy.
Virginia Tolles (1 day ago)
Mr. Anderson has said nothing his several predecessors haven't already said. Give me the NEC, and let the others die. That's not problem solving. Amtrak is funded by taxpayer dollars. That means all the taxpayers must have reasonable access to Amtrak's services, not just the NEC.
Nicholas (2 days ago)
Great, and we all know what a great experience plane travel is...NOT!
Megaozojoe (2 days ago)
I wonder how much of the growing revenue for Amtrak has been America's move away from cars and to public transportation. For years it has been reported that gen z is less interested in cars then ever.
SRMkay (2 days ago)
Amtrak is as slow as driving and as expensive as a discount airline. I'll pass until something major changes
Don Bing (2 days ago)
Total BS. Amtrak’s wierd non-GAAP accounting show the NEC as profitable. But on a direct-cost basis, would be a money pit. Likewise the long-distance trains make money. But because of allocations to subsidize the NEC, the long distance trains show a loss. WHO PAID FOR THIS NONSENSE? Anderson simply does not understand the nature of the rail passenger business. It is nothing like air travel. He needs to be replaced!
Amtrak Traveler911 (2 days ago)
Richard Anderson needs to go. He is eliminating jobs and serving frozen microwavable meals. I want fresh cooked food on the trains.
Ken Lewis (1 day ago)
Amtrak Traveler911 — and the rest of us taxpayers should subsidize your preference for fresh food? Or are you willing to pay more for it?
Leland Rogers (2 days ago)
Amtrak is not an airline! It was never meant to make a profit. It is public transport. Airlines are subsidized by taxes which pay for airports and their associated employees. Amtrak exists because private railroads knew that rail passenger traffic was not profitable.
mbryner74 (3 days ago)
Just think, what if the cargo planes got priority at airports. That's how Amtrack runs. I'd love to ride the trains in America, but when you have to drive to the bad part of town to get to the station, and the only train runs at 3 a.m., and the rolling stock looks like it's from the 1970s, what's the point??? To make it profitable you have to invest in it. Make enough connections that it's convenient, and make it go where you need it to. Buy modern rolling stock. The USA is backwards when it comes to trains. So sad.
Kilnmaster (3 days ago)
Can you believe I took the "city of New Orleans" line from New Orleans to Chicago and on that train there was NO wifi....thats a great start AMTRAK fucking morons. where am I "the Philippines?" I was and still am so pissed off I will NEVER take that fucking train system again. GOOD job
P S (3 days ago)
yet here in europe our trains are millions of years ahead of the USA
O Flo (4 days ago)
I know Virgin is non union in Florida. Yeah, Delta Dick is letting go of state contracts like the California contracts.
RD4590 (4 days ago)
You Americans call railway a communist thing. And you don't like to pay tax. That's why.
D M (4 days ago)
Love travelling with Amtrak when in the US. Went from Seattle to NYC with numerous stops and not one issue along the way
Terrence Linder (4 days ago)
Stations need major upgrades especially Philadelphia 30th street station.
27trains (4 days ago)
Try managing customer service first. AH
Alex Lawrence (4 days ago)
A propaganda film for the new Amtrak CEO, a man who made Delta airlines worse than it already was and will do the same for Amtrak.
Geofry Lawton (5 days ago)
"Profitability, no matter the cost" is a really apt description of American train service.
theyrecousins (5 days ago)
https://youtu.be/dSw7fWCrDk0?t=241 i literally screaming out "portland!!!" for no good reason
James Berlo (5 days ago)
Half a Billion $ is nothing when you think of Federal Government Spending (waste) , maybe eliminate things like the study of Women's Pubic Hair grooming research ?
gbrsc (5 days ago)
Good! Rail is on the way back! The loss per passenger in some areas might be from not enough passengers per ride. They may need to decrease the rate of those routes and advertise their availability and
Antonio Sciorra (5 days ago)
To all the morons that think that rail service is outdated: How do you think you get the majority of your goods? It's freight rail. It still is more cost effective than truck and air delivery per pound. So sit back down and STFU. Passenger travel no matter what kind has never been profitable. It's all smoke and mirrors.
Mark Gabriel (5 days ago)
Why dont people ride Amtrak? People cant afford it!
Laura (5 days ago)
America's just too big for trains tbh
Matthias Andersson (5 days ago)
CEO Richard Anderson has been getting to work. Unfortunately, he's been getting to work on a Amtrak train - he has never been on time so far. Some say he has yet to step in to his office.
James Shewan (5 days ago)
"This route, connecting Boston, New York, and DC, and a number of smaller cities" Hold up, wait a minute. Philadelphia is more populated than TWO of those cities you mentioned in that sentence fragment. It is actually the fifth largest city in the USA. *AND A NUMBER OF SMALLER CITIES*
Julie Hansen (3 hours ago)
James Shewan true but Philadelphia is just in the middle of the root. As a Philadelphian, we will always be an essential part of Amtrak’s profitability. I think Philadelphia might be the city that benefits the most from amtrak.
AbsoluteMoonman (5 days ago)
Passenger rail will never be profitable so long as highways exist. The rail infrastructure doesn't exist and probably never will that would be required to service the same people that highways service. Passenger service only made the old railroads money because of things like the postal service exclusively using (and paying well for it) passenger trains to deliver the mail, continuing to operate passenger trains that already struggled before the loss of the postal service and the advent of the interstate, which was required by the government, bankrupted numerous railroads before Amtrak. Beyond scenic tourist trains, why do you think private railroads usually no longer operate passenger trains? because a full passenger car on a train of 10ish cars doesn't pay nearly as well as 130 coal, oil, or shipping container cars does for the same amount of locomotives and time.
qolspony (6 days ago)
If the states want these trains, they should pay for them. Otherwise, Amtrak should just cut these routes out entirely.
ReinSouls (6 days ago)
I think part of the problem is the unreliability of Amtrak. As stated, as a whole trains were only on schedule 73% of the time. And the long-distant trains being at 43%. These state lines and long distant trains could make more money if they were actually reliably on time. And that problem lies with needing to share lines with private freight companies. If they had their own rails nationwide the trains would be much, much more reliable. In which, more people will be wiling to take them.
davidsixtwo (6 days ago)
(1) Delta CEO takes over Amtrak because it is struggling. But Amtrak is struggling due to congressional mismanagement and chronic underfunding, not a lack of airline CEOs. (2) Amtrak was set up to fail by design -- the politicians behind its founding created it as a transition toward the end of passenger rail in the US. Despite the best efforts of those politicians, Amtrak has not failed -- it may be "strugging" but it's also carrying more passengers than ever and expanding in states like Virginia and it's about to bring over an all new high speed trainset in the northeast corridor, and a fleet of new national coaches. (3) Amtrak is not profitable, and neither are 99% of US roads, airports, seaports, bike paths, urban public transit systems, etc. Simply because Delta or Ford or Greyhound themselves are profitable does not mean the underlying infrastructure they use is profitable. If Ford and Greyhound had to pay for the roads, they wouldn't be profitable either (even fuel taxes do not cover a majority of the cost of unprofitable US highways). Amtrak has to pay for the rails, because ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ (4) Amtrak trains are delayed due to freight service...no "but still" needed. If freight companies actually made good faith efforts to accommodate passenger rail, the vast majority of those delays would be erased. The remainder of delays are largely due to congressional mismanagement on underfunded infrastructure (such as the old coaches and aging bridges), not Amtrak leadership. (5) What you describe with the long distance network as "strong fan bases" are actually a huge catch all for people who do not or cannot drive (include disabled folks, retired folks, people with certain religious restrictions, children, people in poverty) and don't discount the fact that they serve smaller communities that are now rarely well served by intercity buses (Greyhound has massively cut rural service in the last several decades) not to mention mostly being totally unserved by airlines. Add in people who are afraid of flying and people who do not enjoy security situation at airports, and people who want a more comfortable option than intercity buses and you can see why passenger numbers on these lines are increasing, not decreasing as suggested. (6) Some of the policies Anderson is changing to cut costs will lead to more dissatisfied users, like getting rid of refundable cheap tickets and eliminating dining cars on multi-hour trains. You can't cut rail costs while also increasing usage, we're either trying to have a public railroad transporting the maximum number of people at the most affordable cost or we're trying to get rich, choose one. My point being here, call the problems what they actually are -- political and not based on profitability. We've decided to massively subsidize other forms of transportation (especially cars and trucks) and to not subsidize passenger rail because ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Federal state and local governments spend hundreds of billions of dollars per year on roads (again, largely not paid for by user fees like fuel taxes and tolls) -- cars and trucks and road freight and intercity buses are also not profitable, but Amtrak is supposed to somehow compete with them on price or value or on time performance when only Amtrak is being held to this standard of profitability. Imagine an alternative scenario where the physical rail infrastructure costs (that is, leasing rail access from freight companies, stations, funding repairs and new rail construction, etc) were operated by a subsidized public agency and the remainder of Amtrak's costs (coaches, repairs, staff) were operated on a more businesslike model. In that case, Amtrak wouldn't look so unprofitable and political parties would have less bickering to do about funding basic essential infrastructure. Maybe we underfund rail due to corruption -- highway construction companies who wanted lucrative taxpayer funded payouts and freight companies who want passenger trains out in favor of more profitable freight. Maybe it was a lack of imagination, while other developed nations expand rail and use rail transport as a way of mitigating traffic, climate change, and accessibility concerns, the US languishes.
Tommi Terävä (6 days ago)
The US government spends over 700 billion dollars on defence annually meanwhile they don't even have a functioning passenger railway services. I don't mean that one should take a train between NYC and LA. However, trains could be extremely useful on short/medium distance journeys such as Miami-Orlando-Tampa, LA-SF, Chicago-St. Louis, Chicago-Minneapolis/St. Paul, Dallas-Houston, etc. First of all, the US government should fix the Northeast Corridor between Boston and DC. America has so much money that it could easily build a working high-speed rail network if it only wanted to. Air travel should be used only for transcontinental/long distances.
CrowFarmerYT (6 days ago)
We need a high speed line across america
Einhärjar (6 days ago)
If congress wants to save money they should be dropping million dollar bombs by the billions all over the world for no other reason than to fight Israels battles.
Joshua Salem (6 days ago)
Ah yes, profitability. The best way to make public services more expensive, and less practical
Fèlix Léon (7 days ago)
It still blows me away that in 2 hours i can travel roughly 1/3 of the country but in the U.S that's like city to city....its a shame the U.S hasnt got any populous from say China, Mexico etc that could help build the railways for the future like they built in the past.
Edward Pate (7 days ago)
Making a profit simplicity itself. Provide great product at a good price and serve a need and the world will beat a path to your door.
vernon knapp (7 days ago)
I miss Amtrak.
Design & more (7 days ago)
Corporate America is run by liberal idiots who have no vision or creativity which is why the USA has become a third world nation.
J Williams (7 days ago)
Richard 'Planes, Trains and Automobiles' Anderson!
Enjoy and Travel The World! (7 days ago)
Odd the government did deregulation in the late 70's for airlines but we still have government supported train system. Deregulate it! If it fails then who cares. The airlines had to adjust and many went belly up but today most US airlines are in fine shape. Unless your going on vacation and want a slow , easy , historic way to travel nobody goes on the trains anyway! I just checked the prices from Las Vegas to New York on Amtrak. The lowest price quoted was $442 one way! I saw an ad for Alaska airlines offering $159 one way same routing. The airline takes 5 hours Amtrak 65h 51m TOTAL TRAVEL TIME! Toss on the fact the train is $283 more expensive..its a bit of a no brainier. Let the trains go!
Karman Bassi (7 days ago)
private companies > government run ones
Jacob Law (7 days ago)
Wendover, which source did you use for the four northeast corridor teirs
Mike Miller (8 days ago)
It could be $0 and I STILL wouldn’t go by train
Avionic7779x (8 days ago)
Its sad that we don't have more connected trains. Imo, we should be building more passenger only routes for Amtrak. They need high speed lines on their long haul routes. There is PLENTY of road in rural america that can be widend for a track. Also, Amtrak doesn't need to be profitable. It needs to be reliable.
Lacid Atr (8 days ago)
amtrak never fell out of the sky! and amtrak never denied you peanut butter in your luggage! stay on track and enjoy the view 😉 pack a snack and take your favorite drink and if you must change your seat, or take a nap if you’re ballin’ $ in your own room lol
D.E.B. B (8 days ago)
So, while China builds high speed rail all over their country (which is just as big as ours, BTW), we can't even get slow speed rail for our citizens done right. Maybe it's time to put all those unemployed workers who want better paying jobs, to work building a new network of high speed rail all over the U.S..
Colorado Strong (8 days ago)
Thought the title was from The Onion. It should be.
Michael Hunt (8 days ago)
I love taking the Train! I've got lots of great memories from many long trips on Amtrak. I hope they keep everything going.
marc dich (8 days ago)
the trains want a hug ,dont hurt them and put them away
Cameron Rogers (9 days ago)
Trains work in Europe because the population density is higher. The US (and Canada with VIA) includes too much wide open space with vast distances between cities that people want to travel to. The advent of the Interstate Highways killed train travel for shorter distances and cheap air travel beats any train for longer distances. Why would anyone spend 56 hours on a train instead of 3 hour in the air? The train ticket will even cost you more in many cases.
Bob Wieland (9 days ago)
Train travel is the best way to travel anywhere in America. It's relaxing and very comfortable. I.love train travel but it is not what it once was and that's a shame. But if you would go to Europe you would find that train travel is still the number one way to go
Lee Roggy (9 days ago)
It wouldn't hurt if they also came up with higher-end catered meals for pre-order before you get on board and can be either picked up in the Cafe Car or delivered to your seat. The food has taken a hit over the years. As a kid in the mid-late 60's the Dining Car was quite the treat for the traveler.
Nathan Blalock (9 days ago)
I ride Amtrak’s Carolinian and Palmetto trains between North Carolina and Washington, DC at least once a year. And if there’s one thing I have learned through the years is that the primary demographic of people who ride these trains are elderly people. Train travel is extremely hassle free compared to air travel and, in the case of elderly people living in small town North Carolina, train travel is easier than air travel when you need to get to and from the big metropolitan areas of the Northeast.
Zach Michaelis (9 days ago)
the plains states would benefit from rails but the plains states never cross any CEOs minds
Zach Michaelis (9 days ago)
we need north to south trains in the midwest like sioux falls to kansas city
Nick (9 days ago)
im sorry wtf is happening at 8:29 that is sort of horrifying
ROBERT CRAIG (9 days ago)
mrs mucha (9 days ago)
Why does Amtrak have to be profitable? Does public transportation have to be profitable? People who can't afford a car can travel quickly back and forth from their jobs as can people who want to save money. People can find better jobs because now they have transportation that doesn't cost a fortune. And you cut down on all the pollution from cars so the air is cleaner. We have to start thinking about average people instead of doing things only for the richest 1%.
dave corum (9 days ago)
Amtrak took over passenger service in 1971 because the freight service  did all it could to destroy passenger service. Talk about subsidized rail - look what land grants the railroads got from congress to put in rail service. Try and reasonably buy abandoned rail right of way from the BNSF in ND that 1) have been abandoned; 2) track pulled and salvaged; 3) roadbed cuts through profitable farm land. Freight haulers like BNSF should be required to maintain a high standard of ribbon rail that they sell use to Amtrak long distance trains on and give passenger train Priority one on use OR give back all the abandoned property they still hold title to to the  respective states.
Legs Love (9 days ago)
Amtrak loses money because their trains are old and the services are low quality. You can't use 90"s tech in the 21st century. Also, the government should invest in high speed rail to allow people to, say live in Boston and work in NYC.
Mike Morris (10 days ago)
Why doesn’t Amtrak just build their own railroad tracks nation Wide, That way there’s no need to get delayed by the Freight Trains. Even though Amtrak is supposed to get priority and the freight trains are supposed to stop and let Amtrak go by first.
David Hoffman (10 days ago)
The USA Congress has never properly funded the replacement and maintenance of the trains Amtrak uses. A necessary funding that the USA Congress promised to do when Amtrak was created. So you have an over 42 year failure to do what was needed to start Amtrak off properly. With that kind of record do you really think that the USA Congress is going to fund a ubiquitous nationwide railroad track system for Amtrak?
Mike Morris (10 days ago)
You forgot to mention the Auto Train.. I’ve heard it’s one of Amtrak’s profitable routes..
Morahman7vnNo2 (10 days ago)
What if Amtrak started flying planes?
David Hoffman (9 days ago)
@Morahman7vnNo2 , Even if they go to the simplest airliner aircraft(9 passengers, un-pressurized, non- retractable landing gear, etc) it still is a very demanding set of hurdles to overcome to get to initial operations. IF they go to larger aircraft that carry more passengers then it gets exponentially more difficult and expensive.
Morahman7vnNo2 (10 days ago)
@David Hoffman because they would only fly people to train stations or small regional flights, with small planes.
David Hoffman (10 days ago)
Note the failure of several historical airlines such as Eastern, Trans World Airlines, Pan American Airlines, Continental, Northwest, and so on. Why would you think a railroad corporation would have any more success than they did?
Sapphiregriffin (10 days ago)
well, I decided to use via rail instead of the cheaper amtrak due to Via serving fresh food.
Anthony Hardwick (10 days ago)
Shout out to Denver's beautiful Union Station!
Ethpling (10 days ago)
Put Amtrak under direct government control
Rail-Ryder 713 (10 days ago)
Here is what is definitely not going to make Amtrak better, cancel special trains.
Stu Bur (10 days ago)
This is a bad plan. Contraction of service with train networks is part of what led to the problem. The most successful networks are those that are comprehensive and link to local networks on both ends. Squeezing the very limited and splintered US passenger networks on a short term profit basis will only lead to less service and less use. This is a downward spiral. What Amtrak needs is the exact opposite - massive investment in expansion to build out a complete network. Hire some people from Japan and copy their network. Amtrak though is running not as a network but as a collection of independent point to point routes. This narrow view is not going to be helped by an airline executive who is used to thinking that way. The entire system needs to be rebuilt and this guy is instead cutting corners and closing down lines.
Clay Hendricks (11 days ago)
He is not going make it pay.
Herpn Derpn (11 days ago)
I would like to say that the 3 million spent on electrical maintenance outside of the NEC could very well be track side signaling and radio systems as well as the infrastructure to power them. I can't swear to that having not seen their actual financials, but that's the case with nearly all operational rail lines who have substantially higher costs associated with maintenance of way.
Joeyb (11 days ago)
I’ll form my opinions about this guy if he starts updating some routes with some needed high speed trains like japan and China.
Tiny Elephant (11 days ago)
Honestly, Amtrak itself really shouldn't be blamed for this dilemma. It receives its funding from Congress, and well, Congress has continued to refuse it more money for upkeep on these routes. Amtrak is being faced with a difficult situation that isn't of their own doing.
Tiny Elephant (13 hours ago)
@the.abhiram.r Honestly, if the govt. doesn't get it's act together and start funding the company IT created, then yeah, Amtrak should honestly just go full private.
the.abhiram.r (21 hours ago)
amtrak should become a private company then
Connor McLernon (11 days ago)
what about the Autotrain
Dream Journal Projects (12 days ago)
I don't mind Amtrak taking advice from a former Aviation individual. To me, Amtrak should basically inculcate the principles of Budget Airlines. I will do a video about that on my channel soon.
Neil Stapley (12 days ago)
One name Dr Beeching that is all.
Fnu Lnu (12 days ago)
Binka O (12 days ago)
This makes me sad
Zach Bloomquist (12 days ago)
Just FYI. Its not the long distance trains losing money. Its the delays due to freight congestion, NEC physical plant repair deferment and stupid congressional budgetary hoops and goal post moving.
Mittens (12 days ago)
I have ridden on the Empire Builder train from Chicago to Seattle a number of times. A fantastic experience that I can’t remind highly enough.
Peter L (12 days ago)
Richard Anderson -- I liked him in The Six Million Dollar Man. Great show.
philip thomey (13 days ago)
The Rust-Belt calls it socialism, until they want their trains. Oops sorry. Too expensive. Here's your capitalism. Enjoy.
Drew Mackintosh (13 days ago)
Acela is such a scam...if the tracks in the NE corridor they ran on actually allowed them to run at their intended speed for a majority of their travel it would be one thing, but that's just not the case, and will never be the case as long as Amtrak is as much an after thought in the budget as they are currently. As long as they can fill those DC-PHL-NYC-BOS trains with business people, they're never going to actually improve those routes beyond glitzy new hardware that will in reality do nothing positive but make the butts/seat ratio more profitable due to a new excuse to raise prices. I love Amtrak, I have so much nostalgia for them, and have so many plans to take their long distance routes out west just for the experience itself...but I'll believe that they're actually improving their NE corridor service when I actually see it...
RanochVTX (13 days ago)
To start, Amtrak needs more funding and their own train tracks.
dj haven m (13 days ago)
Okay, Congress, if you are so keen on profitability, why don't you make the US Interstate System profitable?. Let's makes these roads self-supporting, so that they are no longer a burden on the American public. Who needs to drive their silly cars between cities anyway?
Dick B Dragging (13 days ago)
KC to St. Louis isn’t a bad trip