News Wire: Amtrak chairman talks infrastructure with Trump administration

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Posted by Brian Schmidt on Wednesday, September 13, 2017 9:47 AM

NEW YORK — Amtrak Chairman Tony Coscia recently met with the Trump administration to talk about the railroad’s massive undertaking to build new rail tunnels underneath the Hudson River, AM New York reports. The $24-billion project, bette...

http://trn.trains.com/news/news-wire/2017/09/13-amtrak-a-chairman-talks-infrastructure-with-trump-administration

Brian Schmidt, Assistant Editor Trains magazine

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Posted by CMStPnP on Monday, September 18, 2017 8:25 AM

So what I got from the various Wick Moreman speaches on youtube and reading the above is they will talk about the new tunnels, which for some reason have inflated in cost from $2-3 Billion to almost $15 Billion now (great estimating folks).

Otherwise Amtrak will focus on cheap things that are visible like rehabbing interiors, trying to get the trains to run more on time,  improving customer service.

Focus on State Assisted Corridors, when states approve.    Primary focus on Northeast Corridor which Mr. Moreman emphasized was NOT PROFITABLE by itself.  I am sure thats an assertion that will ruffle some feathers here.    However he made it to counter folks that say eliminating the LD Trains will improve the bottom line.   He specifically stated that eliminating the LD Trains will make the bottom line far worse and will actually increase rather dramatically the current government subsidy offset needed.

Stated Amtrak has no inclination to eliminate LD trains at the current time but instead will focus on just maintaining them in a status quo fashion.

So what I find lacking here is direction in improving the Charter business, Seasonal Trains like the Ski Train, perhaps expanding some state assisted routes where it makes sense too by an additional stop or handful of new stops.    Not much in growth strategy.    Shifting, schedules to find more profitable run times.

Both Moreman and his Airline replacement mentioned Amtrak system as a "network" and "improving the network" buzz phrase.    Which I interpret as trying to make connections work better between trains or by adding trains that offer more options (ex: KC to Dallas, New Orleans to Mobile).

On one video he went into a 10 minute tangent on why Macon to Atlanta passenger train service fell apart when dealing with MARTA and other players.    Said the talks went well but the operation fell apart when the State realized they did not have enough money.    Service would have run over the former Central of Georgia Macon-Atlanta route now run by NS.

 

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