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Amtrak article Nov issue of trains

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Amtrak article Nov issue of trains
Posted by herdebu on Sunday, October 10, 2021 7:47 PM

Is Amtrak going to return it's consist on the long distance trains to pre COVID?

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Posted by BaltACD on Sunday, October 10, 2021 9:36 PM

herdebu
Is Amtrak going to return it's consist on the long distance trains to pre COVID?

Is Amtrak going to get a passenger loading to pre-covid or greater levels going forward?

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Monday, October 11, 2021 12:17 AM

herdebu

Is Amtrak going to return it's consist on the long distance trains to pre COVID? 

IMO not until Amtrak getts the equipment ready to be operational ready.  But Amtrak is not hiring more maintenance persons to get  the equipment ready.  The following by Amtrak's  Roger Harris who states that Equipment is not ready to operate with some may not be ready until summer 2022.

Welcoming Back Riders and Looking Ahead to the Future with Amtrak RNDC2021 - YouTube

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, October 11, 2021 5:42 AM

Seems like a reasonable decision.  What would they do with the extra workers afterward?  And with new equipment coming on line soon after?

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Posted by Electroliner 1935 on Wednesday, October 13, 2021 8:55 PM

blue streak 1
The following by Amtrak's  Roger Harris who states that Equipment is not ready to operate with some may not  moviebe ready until summer 2022. Welcoming Back Riders and Looking Ahead to the Future with Amtrak RNDC2021 - YouTube Add Quote to your Post

Almost as much tap dancing as a Fred Astaire movie.

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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Wednesday, October 13, 2021 9:19 PM

I agree.

Still in training.


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Posted by York1 on Thursday, October 14, 2021 9:48 PM

BaltACD
One doesn't realize just how close companies, Southwest and others, have their operating plan figured for it to work.  Throw a vew 'grains of sand' into the equation and the result can be as catastrophic as putting real grains of sand into a modern automotive gearbox with tight tolerances - pretty soon it is metal against metal and it all comes to a smoking hunk of metal.

 

That's the truth.  I imagine it's even more common for small businesses which don't have the cash or credit to weather the problems the grains of sand cause.

York1 John       

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Posted by tree68 on Thursday, October 14, 2021 10:02 PM

BaltACD
One doesn't realize just how close companies, Southwest and others, have their operating plan figured for it to work. 

All you have to know is that the plane that's in Sioux City needs to be in St Louis on time so it can head for Dallas, then go back to St Louis, etc, etc.  

One hang up in that mix and the problems just cascade from there.

Add issues like crew availability, no spare aircraft, etc, and watch out...

 

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Posted by Backshop on Friday, October 15, 2021 7:12 AM

Airlines try not to have spare aircraft.  Using Delta as an example, their maintenance base may have one or two that were just finished, but not even Atlanta has spare planes sitting around, just in case.  That's why sometimes your gate number changes at the last minute.  Your plane leaves in an hour but something goes wrong that takes two hours to fix. So they find another plane that's not supposed to depart for two hours, gives you that one and then your original plane will take that leg.  Sometimes, it cascades over several planes.

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Posted by rdamon on Friday, October 15, 2021 8:07 AM

And the same is true with the crews.  If it is a crew base they have crews on ‘reserve’ that can be at the airport within a hour.  Once they use all of them because crews are stranded in other cities due to weather or equipment then things start getting cancelled.

In 2007 the mandatory retirement age of a pilot was raised from 60 to 65 years old. This created a 5 year gap where there was no retirements (estimates of 150-210 per month at the time) so in turn there were very low new hires. In turn people were not choosing to go into the industry and starting the training which can take around 5 years of training and time-building to be ‘airline ready’ 

Since then, they have been playing catch-up including reducing time requirements and providing scholarships for training.  This has the ripple effect of an already small pool of flight instructors getting hired more quickly by the regional carriers creating challenges in training more pilots.

And now with COVID adding another year gap as well as accelerating retirements, here we are.

 

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Posted by BaltACD on Friday, October 15, 2021 2:58 PM

rdamon
And the same is true with the crews.  If it is a crew base they have crews on ‘reserve’ that can be at the airport within a hour.  Once they use all of them because crews are stranded in other cities due to weather or equipment then things start getting cancelled.

In 2007 the mandatory retirement age of a pilot was raised from 60 to 65 years old. This created a 5 year gap where there was no retirements (estimates of 150-210 per month at the time) so in turn there were very low new hires. In turn people were not choosing to go into the industry and starting the training which can take around 5 years of training and time-building to be ‘airline ready’ 

Since then, they have been playing catch-up including reducing time requirements and providing scholarships for training.  This has the ripple effect of an already small pool of flight instructors getting hired more quickly by the regional carriers creating challenges in training more pilots.

And now with COVID adding another year gap as well as accelerating retirements, here we are.

A few decades ago - My ex and I were flying to Florida to load up my fathers belongings after his passing.  Our flight was scheduled out of BWI for about 8 AM and scheduled to arrive Orlando about 10:30 or so.  

We are at the airport on time and the airline announces the crew for our flight stuck in a weather hold at Albany, NY and they are going to DH a crew from Philadelphia.  Flight finally got off the ground about 1:30 PM.

When I was working as a trainmaster Engineer retirements caught up with the Baltimore Division of Chessie System.  One day they were 'flush' with engineers and the next day the hauled virtually every Road Foreman of Engines into Baltimore to work the various Yard Jobs and thereby release those engineers for Road Service.  The situation continued for more than 6 months as there was a 'crash program' to train Engineers.  What is the saying - too soon old, too late smart. 

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Posted by Electroliner 1935 on Saturday, October 16, 2021 3:46 PM

You wonder whether management ever saw the PLAN Aheadsign.

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Posted by York1 on Saturday, October 16, 2021 3:53 PM

In March, just as travel was ramping up again from the virus slowdown, I made plane reservations about two months ahead from Omaha to Orlando.

Over the next several weeks, my reservations were changed by one airline four times.  I finally switched to Southwest, and they changed them twice.

When I asked what happened, it was explained that the airlines were having real issues getting the crews and the planes all lined up together in the correct cities to meet the huge increase in travel.

At that time, they really had no idea of how many people were going to be traveling and where they were going.

I have to say that my four flights were excellent.  The crews were all in good moods, and the airport workers were all polite and helpful.

York1 John       

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Posted by BaltACD on Saturday, October 16, 2021 4:23 PM

Electroliner 1935
You wonder whether management ever saw the PLAN Aheadsign.

From my anecdote - it is plain that they did not plan.

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Posted by rdamon on Saturday, October 16, 2021 5:03 PM

There was plenty of planning.  However, it was done by the accountants. 

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Saturday, October 16, 2021 5:06 PM

rdamon

There was plenty of planning.  However, it was done by the accountants. 

 

Likely. I wonder if labor - management disputes might have a role also?

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Posted by rrnut282 on Thursday, November 11, 2021 3:59 PM

When I worked in the industry, yes, they did have a hot stand-by A/C (aircraft) sitting around each of the hubs.  Sometimes, as you say, it was beside the hanger waiting to be worked back into the schedule or into the hanger.  Other times it was really a spare A/C and also a "ready reserve" crew was sitting at the airport waiting for a call to go somewhere, IF needed.   

Backshop

Airlines try not to have spare aircraft.  Using Delta as an example, their maintenance base may have one or two that were just finished, but not even Atlanta has spare planes sitting around, just in case.  That's why sometimes your gate number changes at the last minute.  Your plane leaves in an hour but something goes wrong that takes two hours to fix. So they find another plane that's not supposed to depart for two hours, gives you that one and then your original plane will take that leg.  Sometimes, it cascades over several planes.

 

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Posted by CMStPnP on Thursday, November 11, 2021 4:35 PM

So in regards to this article and Amtrak expansion plans I would not necessarily get all overly excited about passage of the infrastructure bill nor would I expect to see immediate results.    A lot of the routes they are proposing have not even had an EIS done on them yet.   Right off the bat that is a 24 to 36 month delay in startup, not to mention our current supply chain issues and lack of critical supply of parts and how that might impact filling equipment orders.    Also, as unfortunate as it is I think your going to see some of the larger 10-15 year projects like California HSR siphon off money from the Amtrak pot,  sounds like Texas HSR is going to attempt to siphon off money as well.    They also stated they wanted to catch up on all the ADA requirements on NEC and ancillary  lines.....that will take money.   Deferred maintence over the past 20 years will suck up more money.     So this first tranch of $66 Billion.   Don't expect to see a lot of changes, it's more going to be treading water I suspect.    They are due a second tranche of $10 Billion in the second Infrastructure bill if it ever passes, in my view that should be amped up to $50 Billion but chances are it will be reduced from $10 Billion prior to passage.

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Posted by Backshop on Thursday, November 11, 2021 6:12 PM

rrnut282

When I worked in the industry, yes, they did have a hot stand-by A/C (aircraft) sitting around each of the hubs.  Sometimes, as you say, it was beside the hanger waiting to be worked back into the schedule or into the hanger.  Other times it was really a spare A/C and also a "ready reserve" crew was sitting at the airport waiting for a call to go somewhere, IF needed.   

 
Backshop

Airlines try not to have spare aircraft.  Using Delta as an example, their maintenance base may have one or two that were just finished, but not even Atlanta has spare planes sitting around, just in case.  That's why sometimes your gate number changes at the last minute.  Your plane leaves in an hour but something goes wrong that takes two hours to fix. So they find another plane that's not supposed to depart for two hours, gives you that one and then your original plane will take that leg.  Sometimes, it cascades over several planes.

 

 

 

Delta, at least, doesn't have "ready reserve". They have "long reserve" and "short reserve". You may be on both during your reserve period.  Long reserve is when the airline knows beforehand that they may need you in 12 hours.  Short reserve, you have to be at the airport in 60-90 minutes.

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Posted by jeffhergert on Friday, November 12, 2021 8:57 PM

SFbrkmn

An incentive on BNSF, which just came out this wk, is offering an extra PLD and a spcl claim code of 65 miles (around $300.00) to be fully shot up. Almost seven months since my second shot, and ready for the booster. For an extra PLD and $300.00, I'll roll my sleeve up and stick out my arm.

Sam 

 

PLD is Paid Leave Day?   What we cal PL, a paid personal leave day.  (Our company can't afford to use 3 letter status codes, we only get 2 letters.  If we're lucky, maybe in addition a number.  Same with our train symbols.  We only have 2 letter/number codes for origin/destination points.) 

I'm also guessing 65 miles is half (basic day now being 130 miles) of a day?  We still use 4 hours or 50 miles for half of a day, even though the basic day is 130 instead of 100 for most jobs.  A half of a basic day for me pays about $130.

I've been vacinated, but so far they've only offered cheap trinkets for doing so.  I know of a few who are planning on looking for new careers come January.  I think some will change their minds.  At least I hope so, some are good railroaders. 

Others have mentioned that they feel the company will use the reduced manpower to unilateraly impose one person crews.  

Jeff

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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Friday, November 12, 2021 10:48 PM

Sam, that sounds like a win-win. Seems like a no-brainer.

Still in training.


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Posted by zugmann on Saturday, November 13, 2021 9:31 AM

jeffhergert
I know of a few who are planning on looking for new careers come January.  I think some will change their minds.  At least I hope so, some are good railroaders. 

Kind of funny.  Of all the stuff that's happened with the railroads/contracts/PSR/whatever over that past 10 years, that this is where they draw the line in the sand?  Seems silly to me*.  But hey, they need to do what they need to do.

Although I'm sure many will reconsider once they start to worry about where their Sierra Denali truck payment is going to come from next. 

*almost as silly as the RRs telling its employees they "don't want them to quit over this".  But remain silent on all the other stuff that has happened in the past 10 years. 

   The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer or any other railroad, company, or person.

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Posted by Steven Otte on Monday, November 15, 2021 4:41 PM

As I seem to be having to say a lot lately...

It seems to have become impossible for any discussion of COVID to not turn immediately political. Not to mention the rampant misinformation and conspiracy theories around the topic. Kalmbach doesn't have the staff or resources to vet vaccination information posted on this Forum for accuracy. Therefore, discussion of the disease, the virus, its origins or treatments, and/or the vaccine are strictly off-topic for this Forum. Violation of this rule will result in deletions and warnings; repeated and willful violation, posting of misinformation or conspiracy theories, or use of racially insensitive terminology will earn suspension or a ban.

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Posted by zugmann on Monday, November 15, 2021 4:43 PM

Steven Otte
Therefore, discussion of the disease, the virus, its origins or treatments, and/or the vaccine are strictly off-topic for this Forum. Violation of this rule will result in deletions and warnings; repeated and willful violation, posting of misinformation or conspiracy theories, or use of racially insensitive terminology will earn suspension or a ban.

What about the affect of requirements of vaccines in realtion to conditions of employment/shortages?

 

   The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer or any other railroad, company, or person.

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Posted by Steven Otte on Monday, November 15, 2021 4:55 PM

zugmann

 

Steven Otte
Therefore, discussion of the disease, the virus, its origins or treatments, and/or the vaccine are strictly off-topic for this Forum. Violation of this rule will result in deletions and warnings; repeated and willful violation, posting of misinformation or conspiracy theories, or use of racially insensitive terminology will earn suspension or a ban.

 

What about the affect of requirements of vaccines in realtion to conditions of employment/shortages?

 

 

If you think you (the collective you, people on this Forum) can keep politics, conspiracy theories, and misinformation out of such a discussion, go ahead and try, but I have zero confidence you'll succeed. Someone will spoil it for everyone. And I would really rather that you just don't do it, rather than making me spend half an hour deleting posts every night.

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Posted by zugmann on Monday, November 15, 2021 5:07 PM

Steven Otte
If you think you (the collective you, people on this Forum) can keep politics, conspiracy theories, and misinformation out of such a discussion, go ahead and try, but I have zero confidence you'll succeed. Someone will spoil it for everyone. And I would really rather that you just don't do it, rather than making me spend half an hour deleting posts every night.

So....no.  Ok.

(I'm not anybody's daddy on here, so I can never guarantee they won't take my posts and run, but that's life I guess). 

   The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer or any other railroad, company, or person.

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Posted by BaltACD on Monday, November 15, 2021 6:16 PM

Reality and Politics in conflict.  Never heard of such a thing.SoapBox

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