|Quoting BMI727 (Reply 10):|
Their solution, to just wait, was not sufficient. No alternate routing, no other arrangements, just sit and wait.
Easier said than done when it comes to a train. Obviously there are only railroad tracks in certain places. Not like a plane that can fly around weather, or a car that can take a road a couple miles out of the way. On top of that railroad crews are qualified on the piece of territory on which they work. That means they have to know literally every inch of hundreds of miles of track. They have to know by memory every switch/interlocking, signal location, curve, crossing bridge etc. This includes knowing speed limits/restriction for every one of those curves or switches down to the tenth or even hundredth of a mile. So even if there is an alternate routing available, your crew isn't qualified to operate on it. And I believe railroad crews must remain current on territory they're qualified on, so even if their qualified on said emergency routing, if they never have a need to operate there than they won't be current.
The only alternative is to get a "pilot" crew to ride in the cab with the regular crew for the trackage they're not qualified on, and if there's a flood like you mentioned, freight crews may be out of place with stranded trains and manpower may not be available to ride with Amtrak. Not much different than any major airline during a large blizzard etc.
|Quoting BMI727 (Reply 10):|
And it seems to happen quite a bit, since they don't own a lot of the tracks they use. And never making a nickel makes them a failure too.
Correct, the vast majority of Amtrak routes on over host freight railroads. But because of this Amtrak has really no control. The host railroads typically give their high priority fast intermodal trains priority over the railroad.
And news flash. No public transit operation in this country has ever made a profit, and likely never will. All public transit relies on government subsidies to operate day to day. The cost structure compared to what comes in the "fare box" from the passenger doesn't permit it. A recent discussion I read on a NJ
Transit forum posed the question of what fares would have to be if NJ
Transit was a normal private company with no government subsidy. The generally accepted answer was fares would have to be 3x what they are now to break even. And that didn't include capital funding to upgrade and replace old equipment. Amtrak's Northeast Corridor/Acela operations come closest to breaking even, or may actually make a small profit compared to their costs. But of course there is a lot more to Amtrak than just the Northeast Corridor.
Now don't get me wrong, you won't catch me taking Amtrak on long distance routes because 3 days to go 2000 miles is time I just don't have to waste. And the Europeans have us beat in railway efficiency by 100 fold. But it annoys me when everyone flat out blames Amtrak for every problem under the sun, when they physically can't do anything more. I'm sure we all here feel the same way when we hear disgruntled airline passengers ripping some poor gate agent a new one when they're flight is canceled and they aren't rebooked on to some other plane leaving 5 minutes ago. Its just the nature of the beast.
And as for the original topic at hand, I'm not really interested so much in Amtrak long distance. I'm much more interested in seeing the new Corridor cars being spec'ed right now and the ACS-64 locomotives they'll be getting from Siemens.
I think Big Foot is blurry... It's not the photographers fault. There's a large out of focus monster roaming the countryside.