Can Amtrak's Nationwide On Time Performance Be Improved?
I found this editorial on the Internet and I think this might be worth discussing since I believe a good chunk of Amtrak's OTP problems are due to short federal funding. The story is a bit long to post on the boards; so click on the link to view the whole editorial. I've posted the introduction.
Recent reports show that the poor condition of America’s national passenger rail system, Amtrak, continues as usual.
Overall on-time performance for the entire Amtrak system was only 69.7 percent in April and 68.9 percent in May, according to Amtrak’s monthly report. These figures actually understate the severe and endemic delays outside of the northeastern region of the United States. Long-distance Amtrak trains, which operate over the tracks of private freight railroads, had an abysmal 40 percent on-time performance in April and 37.5 percent in May—that is, well over half of long-distance trains are late.
Despite these regular delays, the number of Amtrak riders continues to increase, owing to the rising price of gas, highway congestion, and the high cost of air travel. These factors, along with environmental concerns, demonstrate the need for increased passenger rail within a planned transportation system. The continually poor performance of Amtrak for over 36 years shows clearly that the market cannot meet these needs.
Post by James Fujita on Aug 1, 2007 12:57:43 GMT -8
as far as OTP is concerned, it's obvious where the major fault lies and that is with the freight railroads.
unless Amtrak finds a way to sever their ties to the railroads, OTP will always be a problem, because there are no teeth in the enforcement of whatever laws, rules and regulations are supposed to give Amtrak top priority. on top of that, Amtrak is stuck with whatever bumpy track that the railroads choose to provide, so that Amtrak's equipment gets shaken to bits; and if a carrier decides that a major metropolitan region such as Phoenix is not worth serving, it can abandon the tracks leading into the city.
if Amtrak had control over its own tracks, they wouldn't have nearly so many problems. now federal funding... that is a whole different problem, but at least they wouldn't have to deal with the freight traffic.
if Amtrak had control over its own tracks, they wouldn't have nearly so many problems.
That's a reason why I think a good chunk of Amtrak OTP problems is due to lack of funding. I'm trying to look at the core of the problem. Amtrak really has no money for capital improvement such as aquiring/developing its own ROW.
It's tempting to point the finger directly to the freight rail lines, but with the advent of the Internet and increased demand for imports, the demand for shipping services have skyrocketed, which makes the freight rail lines that much busier. Don't forget that they too have to deal with the increase in the price of steel. I can see why they worry about sharing their tracks/ROW with Amtrak, but I do agree that some better agreements between the less used freight lines and Amtrak can be worked out.
We need a system that will seamlessly move both passengers and our freight, and I think that can be possible if the passenger rail system has capital money and federal support to aquire/develop some ROW.
I think Amtrak and other passenger rail systems need their own ROW if the existing freight lines that they currently use are too busy to handle higher speed passenger rail traffic.
I also think the freight rail lines would also be more supportive to share their rails better to Amtrak if the federal governent, in return, helps build, expand, and/or maintain the tracks along their existing ROW's.
Well. It also depends on who Line you are using. Amtrak does have great on time performance. But Amtrak has a better relationship with the BNSF vs the UP. The SW Chief has the best OTP of all the LD Routes And I think the EB (Chicago-Seattle/Portland) is close by.
But Also. I think Amtrak needs to get more rolling stock. For both the LD and Corridor Trains (outside of the NEC) Also Amtrak need a better Preventive Maintain Problem too. Along with more people at the ends of the route to clean and turn the trains around. I hear many times on varies Trains sites. Where The trains have departed a starting point of its route. And it doesn't have working toilets, missing some linens, short of food supply, trains not cleaned and or even washed.