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Why did Amtrak stop publishing timetables?

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Posted by Electroliner 1935 on Friday, July 22, 2022 8:51 PM

Sears used to publish what was called the WISH BOOK. My wish book was the OFFICIAL GUIDE. 

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Posted by MidlandMike on Friday, July 22, 2022 9:32 PM

My recollection is that Amtrak quit printing timetables (even on their website) during the pandemic because the schedules were changing so often, that even an electronic version would quickly become an artifact.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Saturday, July 23, 2022 9:54 AM

Just about the last timetables left in print are for suburban service (rail and bus) and city transit (usually maps but some timetables for individual routes may be available).

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 Sunday, July 24, 2022 9:00 AM

What I remember was that Amtrak first started discussing eliminating expensively-printed paper timetables when 'photo-quality' home printers started to become ubiquitous and "nominally" cheap.  Those who wanted a paper copy could then easily just print one... and then another if or when the information changed... shifting the cost to the end-user where I agree it ought to belong.

My great objection is that Amtrak is not updating its on-screen timetables, probably in part since phones don't have printers and aren't optimized to display timetables legibly.  The great problem is that the current 'user interface' presumes that passengers already know where they want to get on and off and what date and time they want to travel... so you have to enter those things explicitly to get any information.  You could still extract a timetable of sorts, but you have to do an awful lot of work and have no real idea if or when service or schedule changes are made.

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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Sunday, July 24, 2022 10:46 PM

It's okay if there are no printed timetables. But no excuse for no online ones.

Many people want general info about where Amtrak goes, and when.

How hard can this be?

Still in training.


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Posted by blue streak 1 on Sunday, July 24, 2022 10:59 PM

Timetables are different for airlines and trains.  It is important for passengers on trains to know that the stop they just had means the next stop is where to get off.  I would like to know how many passengers miss or almost miss their stop.  Most airplane flights stop at just one airport.  Then maybe a connection. Except maybe SW with 3 or 4 stops.

But we have persons on a train that makes multiple stops.  Especially LD with 8 - 14 stops over 2+ days. 

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Posted by BEAUSABRE on Monday, July 25, 2022 9:02 AM

Just tell the conductor where you want to get off and ask him or her notify you about when you are about to arrive. Try it, it works like a charm. 

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