Texas Eagle OTP and Ridership

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Texas Eagle OTP and Ridership
Posted by PJS1 on Sunday, December 8, 2019 11:37 AM
In 2019 the Eagle’s On-Time-Percentage (OTP) at its end points was 29.1 percent. In 2018 the OTP was 46.4 percent; in 2017 it was 60.7 percent.  The comparative OTPs for the long-distance trains were 42, 48.6 and 52.1 percent over the same period. 
 
Ridership on the Texas Eagle declined from 346,000 in FY17 to 321,700 in FY19 or by approximately 7 percent. The decline in ridership between 2018 and 2019 was approximately 4.2 percent.
 
Ridership on the long-distance trains increased .9 percent between 2018 and 2019, but it declined 4.9 percent between 2017 and 2019.  
 
Undoubtedly, multiple factors contributed to the decline in the Eagle’s ridership.  Near the top of the list, I suspect, is OTP.  Most people I know are not going to sit around for hours waiting for a consistently late running train.  

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Posted by CMStPnP on Monday, December 9, 2019 2:18 PM

I'll bet it is on time in both directions when I ride the Texas Eagle again in a few weeks.   Always seem to luck out in that respect.   I think they should drop some of the small town stops they added on the route.   Hope, Arkansas seems to be a good candidate for a drop.   There is one station South of St. Louis as well that it seems nobody ever gets on or off but the train stops there anyway.

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, December 9, 2019 9:10 PM

CMStPnP
I think they should drop some of the small town stops they added on the route.   Hope, Arkansas seems to be a good candidate for a drop.   There is one station South of St. Louis as well that it seems nobody ever gets on or off but the train stops there anyway.

I wonder what would have to be done to the ticketing -- probably with properly-systems-integrated e-ticketing, not much -- to make many of these stops 'flag stops' if the train falls behind schedule in realtime (not net of padding) and there are no passengers to get off.  Be simple to coordinate the fact of ticket sale timed for a flag stop, and then to develop some physical indication that would let a ticket holder 'set' a physical flag that signals the conductors to get the engineer to stop.  (You could also coordinate with the passenger if the train is already late so that the stop could be a one-minute Japanese or DB-style affair losing little actual running time.  Greyhound is notorious for doing a version of this, intentionally running early and blowing past any 'stop' that doesn't have passengers there at least half an hour early.  Do NOT expect me to justify that in any way for Amtrak!!

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Monday, December 9, 2019 10:17 PM

CMStPnP

I'll bet it is on time in both directions when I ride the Texas Eagle again in a few weeks.   Always seem to luck out in that respect.   I think they should drop some of the small town stops they added on the route.   Hope, Arkansas seems to be a good candidate for a drop.   There is one station South of St. Louis as well that it seems nobody ever gets on or off but the train stops there anyway.

 

Amazing how the Eagle, with its miserable OT record,  is punctual for you,  while you always have a complaint about being delayed on the Hiawatha, even though it achieves one of Amtrak's best records. Seinfeld's bizarro world,  redux???

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Posted by PJS1 on Monday, December 9, 2019 10:31 PM

I forgot to include in my original posting the average number of minutes an Eagle rider could expect to be late in 2019.  For the 12 months ended September 30, 2019, it was 112 minutes or nearly two hours.  

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Posted by PJS1 on Monday, December 9, 2019 10:45 PM

Its not hopeless!  There is hope for Hope.   In 2018 1,650 riders got on or off the train in Hope.  Maybe they hoped to have a gander at Billy Clinton's famous or infamous pick-up.

Amtrak's conductors have a scanner that tells them who will be getting off or on the Eagle, as an example, at every station.  It also tells them whether the rider is in coach or sleeper.

Of the six stations between Fort Worth and San Antonio only two have an agent on site.  If no one is getting on or off at one of the unmanned stations, e.g. McGregor, Taylor, etc., which is rare, the train will stop momentarily, and then proceed.  On the other hand, if riders are entraining or detraining from the sleeper and coaches, the train has to make two stops because of the short platforms. 

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Posted by Gramp on Monday, December 9, 2019 10:55 PM

I recall when I rode it Chi-Dal five years ago, it was on time all the way to Longview. We lost 20 minutes from there because we had to follow a UP freight at 50mph. 

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Posted by CMStPnP on Tuesday, December 10, 2019 12:44 AM

Gramp
I recall when I rode it Chi-Dal five years ago, it was on time all the way to Longview. We lost 20 minutes from there because we had to follow a UP freight at 50mph. 

It never gets stuck behind the METRA Express when I am board either, straight shot into Chicago.

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Posted by CMStPnP on Tuesday, December 10, 2019 12:50 AM

charlie hebdo
Amazing how the Eagle, with its miserable OT record,  is punctual for you,  while you always have a complaint about being delayed on the Hiawatha, even though it achieves one of Amtrak's best records. Seinfeld's bizarro world,  redux???

Mentioned above.   I suspect it is because it uses a different and less congested METRA rail route to Union Station.    Everytime I ride the Eagle it is early into both Chicago and Dallas.    Can't explain it other than I ride the Eagle during the Christmas Holiday and I expect that most railroaders take vacation then and the traffic on the rail line is significantly lighter.  UP does really well handling the Eagle between Chicago and St. Louis up and until that God awfully old bridge over the Mississippi held together by rubber bands and bailing wire.   Thats a pain to endure all the time.   Hopefully  it will get replaced soon.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Tuesday, December 10, 2019 7:05 AM

CMStPnP
 
Gramp
I recall when I rode it Chi-Dal five years ago, it was on time all the way to Longview. We lost 20 minutes from there because we had to follow a UP freight at 50mph. 

 

It never gets stuck behind the METRA Express when I am board either, straight shot into Chicago.

 
If the "Texas Eagle" got stuck behind a Metra suburban train, it would probably be on a detour.  The only Metra service on the regular route is the Heritage Corridor between CUS and Joliet.  The service consists of three inbound trains in the AM rush and four outbound trains in the PM rush.  None of them conflict with the "Texas Eagle" schedule.
The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, December 10, 2019 10:46 AM

CSSHEGEWISCH
None of them conflict with the "Texas Eagle" schedule.

But do they conflict if the inbound train is in its 'typical' reported range of lateness?

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Tuesday, December 10, 2019 11:47 AM

It is scheduled inbound to arrive in early afternoon,  moving against the commuter outbound trains on that Metra line.  So the answer is what Hegewisch said.  There is no Metra conflict,  even if the Eagle is 2 hours late.  But for charmed CMStPnP,  it's always on time,  improbable as that seems. But not for his Hiawatha trip up to the MKE area, because Joe Lunch Bucket on Metra gets in his way. 

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Posted by CMStPnP on Monday, December 16, 2019 4:16 AM

charlie hebdo
It is scheduled inbound to arrive in early afternoon,  moving against the commuter outbound trains on that Metra line.  So the answer is what Hegewisch said.  There is no Metra conflict,  even if the Eagle is 2 hours late.  But for charmed CMStPnP,  it's always on time,  improbable as that seems. But not for his Hiawatha trip up to the MKE area, because Joe Lunch Bucket on Metra gets in his way. 

Rail stats are generally not understood in this forum and I am frequently contradicted by folks that don't even ride the trains.    I remember someone contradicting me on some of the Chicago to Milwaukee trains being standing room only for part of their trips.    Couldn't be possible I was told, the stats do not support it.    Though you can google and eventually find the official statement by WisDOT that 3-4 of the 7 trains are indeed standing room only for part of their Chicago to Milwaukee trips.   Anyhoo, I ride the trains, I know what I see.

So now here we go with the Texas Eagle.   It has a bad performance average.............so every single day of the year it has to have a bad time keeping performance.    It's just a basic misunderstanding of what the word "average" really means.    It does not mean every single data point.   It means when the data points are "averaged" together and the peaks and valleys smoothed out.

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Monday, December 16, 2019 7:23 AM

So you are saying the OTP when you ride the Eagle is an outlier. I think forum readers understand descriptive statistics much better than you give them credit.

The following stats are not averages or medians, though it would be useful to have that data along with standard deviations. Amtrak reported for 2018 that the Eagle's OTP for each station was 37%. “On-time performance” (OTP) is defined as the percentage of stations at which a train arrives within 15 minutes of the time in the public schedule. JPS1 said, "In 2019 the Eagle’s On-Time-Percentage (OTP) at its end points was 29.1 percent. In 2018 the OTP was 46.4 percent; in 2017 it was 60.7 percent.

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Posted by CMStPnP on Wednesday, December 18, 2019 2:29 PM

charlie hebdo

So you are saying the OTP when you ride the Eagle is an outlier. I think forum readers understand descriptive statistics much better than you give them credit.

The following stats are not averages or medians, though it would be useful to have that data along with standard deviations. Amtrak reported for 2018 that the Eagle's OTP for each station was 37%. “On-time performance” (OTP) is defined as the percentage of stations at which a train arrives within 15 minutes of the time in the public schedule. JPS1 said, "In 2019 the Eagle’s On-Time-Percentage (OTP) at its end points was 29.1 percent. In 2018 the OTP was 46.4 percent; in 2017 it was 60.7 percent.

Which proves my point.

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Wednesday, December 18, 2019 2:56 PM

Quite the contrary but it does show you don't understand stats. 

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, December 20, 2019 12:39 AM

Where did CMStP&P say anything about on time at stations enroute?  All I recall him saying is that he was OT into Chicago, and whether or not he understands sophisticated stochastics the relevant statistic will be the corresponding 'half' of JPS1's statistic (in other words, the OT arrival percentage at Chicago).  Stats for intermediate timekeeping are irrelevant, and to me at least introducing them as if they 'meant something' against his understanding seems to have substantial red-herringness...

I must be missing something in all the acrimony, but can't figure out what it's supposed to be.

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Friday, December 20, 2019 7:20 AM

Yeah you missed the endpoint data.  OTP at endpoints (Chicago is one)  is pretty bad, well less than half the time.  But he claims he is always on time,  which is certainly possible,  but an outlier.

Apparently you conclude that it is an irrelevant red herring that the train is late at all the intermediate stations but still manages to arrive at the endpoints on time?  "I have a bridge, or swamp land... "

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Posted by CMStPnP on Friday, December 20, 2019 8:08 AM

Overmod
Where did CMStP&P say anything about on time at stations enroute?

Charlie Hebdo always takes these ridiculous contrary positions and then uses data that supports what I said earlier.    I don't get it but he did prove my point about statistics.    I don't need to be an outlier to arrive on time or early in Chicago or arrive ontime or early in Dallas.    The stats he posted underlined that fact.

Oh and BTW, as I stated in earlier threads the train is early into St. Louis and other intermediate points, the train pauses there until scheduled departure.    You don't see the early stats anywhere...........which tells you what about what Amtrak did with them?    BTW, other folks chimed in they had the same experience on the Texas Eagle on earlier threads.   It is more than just me stating this.   It's not my fault a reader can't put two and two together here and imply we all must be lying or hallucinating because that is not what the stats say or it only one or two data points in the year.    Puleeese, get serious.

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Posted by CMStPnP on Friday, December 20, 2019 8:16 AM

Overmod
I must be missing something in all the acrimony, but can't figure out what it's supposed to be.

Stats are being interpreted incorrectly as they were with the Milwaukee to Chicago cooridor when it was stated that Wisconsin did not need to add more trains because it's load factor was too low to make a case it needed more trains.     Which of course ignored the standing room only on at least 3 of the 7 existing trains between those two cities.    So again stats were being interpreted incorrectly and more broadly there then they should have been.

Then we have the 15 min Amtrak argument.   I was told that no rail operator would ever consider a 5 min or less standard..........and yet there is a publication mentioning a German rail operator showing both a 15 min and 5 min standard.   15 min standard shows everything is just great 90-93% ontime.    5 min standard shows on time performance is deteriorating over time.    So there is yet another example.

The defense rests its case. :)

Though I do want to mention the "railroad armageddon" scenario mentioned if BNSF adds just one passenger train between Denver and Pueblo........we can save that for another thread though. :)

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Posted by Deggesty on Friday, December 20, 2019 8:20 AM

Ah, yes. three years ago, I went to Chicago by way of Los Angeles, taking three nights from LA to Chicago. We arrived in St. Louis an hour early--and then rode over the former C&EI to Chicago, arriving in time for me to take #30 to Washington.

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Friday, December 20, 2019 9:10 AM

CMStPnP

 

 
Overmod
Where did CMStP&P say anything about on time at stations enroute?

 

Charlie Hebdo always takes these ridiculous contrary positions and then uses data that supports what I said earlier.    I don't get it but he did prove my point about statistics.    I don't need to be an outlier to arrive on time or early in Chicago or arrive ontime or early in Dallas.    The stats he posted underlined that fact.

Oh and BTW, as I stated in earlier threads the train is early into St. Louis and other intermediate points, the train pauses there until scheduled departure.    You don't see the early stats anywhere...........which tells you what about what Amtrak did with them?    BTW, other folks chimed in they had the same experience on the Texas Eagle on earlier threads.   It is more than just me stating this.   It's not my fault a reader can't put two and two together here and imply we all must be lying or hallucinating because that is not what the stats say or it only one or two data points in the year.    Puleeese, get serious.

 

You don't understand the term "outlier" or you wouldn't keep trying to claim your and others' always arriving in Chicago on-time (or within the 15 minute cushion - airlines use a cushion, too) is typical. But then again in fairness, how could you be expected to?

If the Eagle reaches end points on-time less than 30% of the time, then your always being on-time is really bucking the odds.  Perhaps you should head for the casinos as you seem to be a really lucky guy!!! Idea

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Friday, December 20, 2019 9:14 AM

Overmod
whether or not he understands sophisticated stochastics

Inappropriate use here, as Amtrak's OTP on a given day or in aggregate is hardly random, at least in most cases.

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Posted by n012944 on Friday, December 20, 2019 12:12 PM

CMStPnP

 

 
Though I do want to mention the "railroad armageddon" scenario mentioned if BNSF adds just one passenger train between Denver and Pueblo........we can save that for another thread though. :)
 

 

No one mentioned "armageddon.  Just a couple of people who are experienced in railroad operations telling someone without railroad operation knowledge the challenges of operating passenger trains over the line.  And no, watching YouTube videos does not count as railroad operation knowledge.

http://cs.trains.com/trn/f/743/p/258882/2905202.aspx?page=2 

Unfortunately Buslist is no longer with us, however he had more railroad knowledge in his left thumb that you will ever have.  He also had the ability to stop, listen, and learn when someone with more knowledge was trying to educate him, a skill you seem to lack.  Oh well....

https://hickscarworks.blogspot.com/2018/01/in-memoriam-albert-reinschmidt.html

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Posted by CMStPnP on Friday, December 20, 2019 12:30 PM

charlie hebdo
You don't understand the term "outlier"

One data point (one day for an annual stat) usually not repeatable that stands out from the rest...........and yet for me it happens in the past two days both trips.   You really need to brush up on your definitions though.    Pretty sure I understand it.   Plus you have Diggesty saying it happened to him at St. Louis.    That would be another data point on another years annual stats of course and if it was the only train it would be an outlier.

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Posted by CMStPnP on Friday, December 20, 2019 12:37 PM

n012944
No one mentioned "armageddon.  Just a couple of people who are experienced in railroad operations telling someone without railroad operation knowledge the challenges of operating passenger trains over the line.  And no, watching YouTube videos does not count as railroad operation knowledge. http://cs.trains.com/trn/f/743/p/258882/2905202.aspx?page=2  Unfortunately Buslist is no longer with us, however he had more railroad knowledge in his left thumb that you will ever have.  He also had the ability to stop, listen, and learn when someone with more knowledge was trying to educate him, a skill you seem to lack.  Oh well.... https://hickscarworks.blogspot.com/2018/01/in-memoriam-albert-reinschmidt.html

I wasn't aware he was in charge of operations for that specific line.   I thought he just knew of it or possibly operated over it and was expressing his observations as a crew member.     

I might say the whole arguing position on that issue is quite ridiculous as well.    Capacity can't be added because............well it's impossible or cost prohibitive.     Yet public proposals from the state are made unchallenged by the railroad.    Elsewhere the same railroad speaks up publicly if a proposal is made that is unrealistic.

You know that reminds me of another arguing position someone took on here about adding a third track to a specific route.........well one could go on and on.   It's not that I don't take seriously some of the comments or appreciate them.  Some are so ridiculously outlandish they beg for a challenge.    I guess I could keep quiet and let the ridiculousness get worse but that is the cost of silence.   The poster making the outlandish claim thinks they got away with the last one, so why not make another, then another.    Eventually it is no longer a serious discussion.

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, December 20, 2019 4:09 PM

charlie hebdo
Apparently you conclude that it is an irrelevant red herring that the train is late at all the intermediate stations but still manages to arrive at the endpoints on time?

The problem is that the 37% for what I think is supposed to be 'average percentage of lateness at one or more intermediate stations' correlates so poorly with JPS1's stats for endpoint arrivals.  That indicates to me that there is likely some delay enroute that is made up by arrival; which as I noted is immaterial to CMStP&P's observation.

This would be easier to substantiate if I had an exact percentage for on-time arrival at Chicago in the month(s) involved, which is probably easy enough to generate given time and access to data sources.  I'd also say that applying statistics to determinate outcomes is not as meaningful an application of statistical principles as predicting the probability of late arrival a priori; all it means is he was lucky on the particular days he traveled, which is what I thought he was saying from the beginning.

I don't think you or anyone else could accurately predict whether a given particular Eagle will be late, either at select intermediate stops or endpoints, from the given 'numbers' or any other monthly statistic, which is partly why I invoked stochastics.  (I confess some additional part of it was in sarcasm rather than intended as technically accurate...)

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, December 20, 2019 4:12 PM

n012944

Damn, that sucks.  I thought he was one of the better posters here, too.

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Friday, December 20, 2019 5:23 PM

duplicate

 

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Friday, December 20, 2019 5:23 PM

duplicate

 

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