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LAXintl
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Richard Anderson steps down, Atlas Air Chairman appointed as next Amtrak CEO

Mon Mar 02, 2020 5:22 pm

Former Delta CEO Richard Anderson who joined Amtrak as CEO in July 2017 is stepping down. Being replaced by William Flynn, Chairman and former CEO of Atlas Alr.
Flynn previously held senior roles in shipping and rail companies.

https://media.amtrak.com/2020/03/amtrak ... president/

=

Interesting move. Figured Anderson would have stuck around longer as he was instituting many airline like changes to the national rail operator.
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Varsity1
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Re: Richard Anderson steps down, Atlas Air Chairman appointed as next Amtrak CEO

Mon Mar 02, 2020 5:34 pm

Flew atlas into the ground, now gets to spend our tax dollars at Amtrak. Great.
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PHLspecial
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Re: Richard Anderson steps down, Atlas Air Chairman appointed as next Amtrak CEO

Mon Mar 02, 2020 5:40 pm

RIP Amtrak service. At least Anderson try to make Amtrak trains filled with more passengers. I'm afraid this will lead to cargo trains having the right of way over Amtrak.
 
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UPlog
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Re: Richard Anderson steps down, Atlas Air Chairman appointed as next Amtrak CEO

Mon Mar 02, 2020 5:43 pm

Varsity1 wrote:
Flew atlas into the ground, now gets to spend our tax dollars at Amtrak. Great.


Seems to me he did excellent.

Atlas Worldwide grew from 37 planes in 2007 to 123 at the end of 2019. Merged a bunch of airlines - Polar, Southern, Florida West, etc.

Probably helped build Atlas into the worlds premier ACMI large capacity freight operator imo.
 
aklrno
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Re: Richard Anderson steps down, Atlas Air Chairman appointed as next Amtrak CEO

Mon Mar 02, 2020 5:50 pm

PHLspecial wrote:
RIP Amtrak service. At least Anderson try to make Amtrak trains filled with more passengers. I'm afraid this will lead to cargo trains having the right of way over Amtrak.

What? Amtrak doesn't do freight trains. This makes no sense.
 
Iloveboeing
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Re: Richard Anderson steps down, Atlas Air Chairman appointed as next Amtrak CEO

Mon Mar 02, 2020 5:59 pm

I don’t understand why Anderson left DL and joined Amtrak in the first place. IIRC, he was an excellent DL CEO and accomplished a lot during his time there.

I would’ve stayed at DL had I been in his shoes. A much better career, IMO.
 
slvrblt
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Re: Richard Anderson steps down, Atlas Air Chairman appointed as next Amtrak CEO

Mon Mar 02, 2020 6:10 pm

Huh.

Richard Anderson, now an un-employed, but well-thought of CEO. And Doug Parker is on the ropes at AA.

Hmmmm.......
..everything works out in the end.
 
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Re: Richard Anderson steps down, Atlas Air Chairman appointed as next Amtrak CEO

Mon Mar 02, 2020 6:11 pm

aklrno wrote:
PHLspecial wrote:
RIP Amtrak service. At least Anderson try to make Amtrak trains filled with more passengers. I'm afraid this will lead to cargo trains having the right of way over Amtrak.

What? Amtrak doesn't do freight trains. This makes no sense.


Other than track in the Northeast which it owns, AMTRAK runs as a "guest" on the freight railroad network in the rest of the US.

While passenger trains are supposed to get priority, in reality the freight railroads tend to schedule high priority movements that often delay AMTRAK.
 
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Re: Richard Anderson steps down, Atlas Air Chairman appointed as next Amtrak CEO

Mon Mar 02, 2020 6:12 pm

Seems like a decent choice. Flynn has a lifelong resume of transportation experience from ships to airplanes and also rail with years at CSX

Iloveboeing wrote:
I don’t understand why Anderson left DL and joined Amtrak in the first place. IIRC, he was an excellent DL CEO and accomplished a lot during his time there.

I would’ve stayed at DL had I been in his shoes. A much better career, IMO.


Rumor at the time was since he was close to the Clintons he was angling for the Secretary of Transportation job and quit Delta to be free, but with Hillary losing, that obviously did not happen.
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Re: Richard Anderson steps down, Atlas Air Chairman appointed as next Amtrak CEO

Mon Mar 02, 2020 6:15 pm

aklrno wrote:
PHLspecial wrote:
RIP Amtrak service. At least Anderson try to make Amtrak trains filled with more passengers. I'm afraid this will lead to cargo trains having the right of way over Amtrak.

What? Amtrak doesn't do freight trains. This makes no sense.


Most of the track that Amtrak uses are owned by the freight train companies. Amtrak owns very little of the track they use. And well, if I am not mistaken those freight companies already have the right of way before he became CEO.
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PHLspecial
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Re: Richard Anderson steps down, Atlas Air Chairman appointed as next Amtrak CEO

Mon Mar 02, 2020 6:30 pm

aklrno wrote:
PHLspecial wrote:
RIP Amtrak service. At least Anderson try to make Amtrak trains filled with more passengers. I'm afraid this will lead to cargo trains having the right of way over Amtrak.

What? Amtrak doesn't do freight trains. This makes no sense.

Amtrak does not own that much rail besides the NEC and Pennsylvania lines. Kinda wished the government or independent owner would own the tracks so that both cargo trains and passenger trains have fair chance to complete on the track.
 
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Re: Richard Anderson steps down, Atlas Air Chairman appointed as next Amtrak CEO

Mon Mar 02, 2020 6:30 pm

zackary747 wrote:
aklrno wrote:
PHLspecial wrote:
RIP Amtrak service. At least Anderson try to make Amtrak trains filled with more passengers. I'm afraid this will lead to cargo trains having the right of way over Amtrak.

What? Amtrak doesn't do freight trains. This makes no sense.


Most of the track that Amtrak uses are owned by the freight train companies. Amtrak owns very little of the track they use. And well, if I am not mistaken those freight companies already have the right of way before he became CEO.


This is accurate, Amtrak only owns approximately only 28% of the track they use (about 21K miles).
https://www.amtrak.com/content/dam/proj ... 8-0919.pdf

Some of the facts Amtrak calls out are very impressive.

The interesting part is that Amtrak does own the vast majority of the Northeast corridor, by far the most profitable and most used (passengers) of Amtrak.

IMHO, they have done a better job at revenue management, but they are limited what they can do on some markets since they do not own the track and they can't operate based on fully market demands. It is almost like they are on a slot-controlled airport (ie the tracks they run on for specific routes).
 
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Re: Richard Anderson steps down, Atlas Air Chairman appointed as next Amtrak CEO

Mon Mar 02, 2020 7:24 pm

I was not happy with what Anderson was doing to some of the long distance trains, particularly the Silver Star (there may be others that had the dining car removed, but I’m not aware of them). Removing the dining car from a long distance train is not a good idea. I understand that Amtrak loses money on the dining cars (and every route but the NEC), but letting passengers choose something that’s different than convenience store food...that’d keep me happy.

If they’re trying to get passengers from the airlines, then they need to play around with onboard amenities and pricing.

Marc
 
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Re: Richard Anderson steps down, Atlas Air Chairman appointed as next Amtrak CEO

Mon Mar 02, 2020 9:13 pm

slvrblt wrote:
Huh.

Richard Anderson, now an un-employed, but well-thought of CEO. And Doug Parker is on the ropes at AA.

Hmmmm.......

Good observation. Just like when he left Delta. Stepping down early, succession secured in a orderly fashion. Ready for the next appointment.
 
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Re: Richard Anderson steps down, Atlas Air Chairman appointed as next Amtrak CEO

Mon Mar 02, 2020 9:19 pm

And now AA is going to scoop up DL's ex CEO.

RIP Doug Parker
 
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Re: Richard Anderson steps down, Atlas Air Chairman appointed as next Amtrak CEO

Mon Mar 02, 2020 9:27 pm

Cadet985 wrote:
I was not happy with what Anderson was doing to some of the long distance trains, particularly the Silver Star (there may be others that had the dining car removed, but I’m not aware of them). Removing the dining car from a long distance train is not a good idea. I understand that Amtrak loses money on the dining cars (and every route but the NEC), but letting passengers choose something that’s different than convenience store food...that’d keep me happy.

If they’re trying to get passengers from the airlines, then they need to play around with onboard amenities and pricing.

Marc


Better to remove “long distance” from the trains that just the dining car. Other than fanboys who don’t want to ride the Trans-Sib who’d really want to spend 3-4 days on a train, dining car not? Yes, there are luxury trains, but that’s a cruise without the possibility of drowning.
 
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Re: Richard Anderson steps down, Atlas Air Chairman appointed as next Amtrak CEO

Mon Mar 02, 2020 9:42 pm

Why did he leave Delta, there were rumors at that time he will be the DOT Secretary.
 
PPVRA
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Re: Richard Anderson steps down, Atlas Air Chairman appointed as next Amtrak CEO

Mon Mar 02, 2020 9:46 pm

He didn’t leave delta for Amtrak. He retired from delta, then some time later left retirement for Amtrak.
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Re: Richard Anderson steps down, Atlas Air Chairman appointed as next Amtrak CEO

Mon Mar 02, 2020 9:47 pm

Cadet985 wrote:
I was not happy with what Anderson was doing to some of the long distance trains, particularly the Silver Star (there may be others that had the dining car removed, but I’m not aware of them). Removing the dining car from a long distance train is not a good idea. I understand that Amtrak loses money on the dining cars (and every route but the NEC), but letting passengers choose something that’s different than convenience store food...that’d keep me happy.

If they’re trying to get passengers from the airlines, then they need to play around with onboard amenities and pricing.

Marc

Competing with airlines would mean privatising and then converting everything to HSR. Why spend $200 to take the train for 2 days from Denver to Oakland when you can spend $100 and fly for 2 hours?
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Re: Richard Anderson steps down, Atlas Air Chairman appointed as next Amtrak CEO

Mon Mar 02, 2020 9:51 pm

TWA772LR wrote:
Cadet985 wrote:
I was not happy with what Anderson was doing to some of the long distance trains, particularly the Silver Star (there may be others that had the dining car removed, but I’m not aware of them). Removing the dining car from a long distance train is not a good idea. I understand that Amtrak loses money on the dining cars (and every route but the NEC), but letting passengers choose something that’s different than convenience store food...that’d keep me happy.

If they’re trying to get passengers from the airlines, then they need to play around with onboard amenities and pricing.

Marc

Competing with airlines would mean privatising and then converting everything to HSR. Why spend $200 to take the train for 2 days from Denver to Oakland when you can spend $100 and fly for 2 hours?

But you can't do that until the US government agrees to build new tracks for passenger trains like they build highways for cars and airports for trains. So many countries have done it except our own, and then the politicians have the audacity to complain about our crippling road infrastructure. Of course the road is crippling, we are way overstraining it
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Re: Richard Anderson steps down, Atlas Air Chairman appointed as next Amtrak CEO

Mon Mar 02, 2020 10:16 pm

So who allegedly offered him Secretary of Transportation, was it HRC while measuring drapes.
 
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Re: Richard Anderson steps down, Atlas Air Chairman appointed as next Amtrak CEO

Mon Mar 02, 2020 10:23 pm

UPlog wrote:
Varsity1 wrote:
Flew atlas into the ground, now gets to spend our tax dollars at Amtrak. Great.


Seems to me he did excellent.

Atlas Worldwide grew from 37 planes in 2007 to 123 at the end of 2019. Merged a bunch of airlines - Polar, Southern, Florida West, etc.

Probably helped build Atlas into the worlds premier ACMI large capacity freight operator imo.



Bought a bunch of hack job ACMI carriers with junk debt, still haven't fully merged to this day. Southern aka "sudden" air is still completely separate dumpster fire, can't staff the 737's which are being given away. Polar is a weird shell entity flown by a combined atlas/polar seniority list because Atlas management refuses to negotiate with Japan over the slot rights. Parking airplanes left and right because pilots won't work there to save their life.

Oh, and lost 293 million in 2019, the strongest economy in US history. Yeah GREAT JOB :lol:
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Re: Richard Anderson steps down, Atlas Air Chairman appointed as next Amtrak CEO

Mon Mar 02, 2020 11:09 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Cadet985 wrote:
I was not happy with what Anderson was doing to some of the long distance trains, particularly the Silver Star (there may be others that had the dining car removed, but I’m not aware of them). Removing the dining car from a long distance train is not a good idea. I understand that Amtrak loses money on the dining cars (and every route but the NEC), but letting passengers choose something that’s different than convenience store food...that’d keep me happy.

If they’re trying to get passengers from the airlines, then they need to play around with onboard amenities and pricing.

Marc


Better to remove “long distance” from the trains that just the dining car. Other than fanboys who don’t want to ride the Trans-Sib who’d really want to spend 3-4 days on a train, dining car not? Yes, there are luxury trains, but that’s a cruise without the possibility of drowning.


Interestingly, the 3 day train trips still have the dining car and excellent meals. It's the single overnight trains east of the Mississippi (NYC-Chicago, NYC-Miami, Washington DC-Chicago, etc.) that have had the "cooked on board" meals removed and replaced with the pre-prepared, heat and serve meals. I'll be trying them out this week on the Miami-NYC Silver Meteor to see how bad these new meals really are.
 
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Re: Richard Anderson steps down, Atlas Air Chairman appointed as next Amtrak CEO

Tue Mar 03, 2020 12:23 am

Varsity1 wrote:

Oh, and lost 293 million in 2019, the strongest economy in US history. Yeah GREAT JOB :lol:


Actually, they had a $98mil operating profit. The net loss was entirely due to non-cash charge write down of old assets.

They actually beat market expectations and their stock rose after posting them.
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Re: Richard Anderson steps down, Atlas Air Chairman appointed as next Amtrak CEO

Tue Mar 03, 2020 12:38 am

All the foamers are happy.
 
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Re: Richard Anderson steps down, Atlas Air Chairman appointed as next Amtrak CEO

Tue Mar 03, 2020 1:02 am

slvrblt wrote:
...Richard Anderson, now an un-employed, but well-thought of CEO. And Doug Parker is on the ropes at AA...


changes in market cap over the last nine years
airline, 20mar, 11mar, factor
DL, 30.2, 8.5, x3.6
WN, 24.3, 8.7, x2.8
UA, 15.2, 7.4, x2.1
AA, 8, 2.2,
US, ..., 1.3, x2.3
B6, 4.3, 1.6, x2.7
AS, 6.1, 2, x**
AX acquired in 2017 for 2.6b

https://centreforaviation.com/analysis/ ... rt-3-47249
https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/AAL?p=A ... c=fin-srch

two speculative options
secretary of DOT under.. Bloomberg?; the synergy of his expertise and his aspiration for the job, :bigthumbsup:
running AA; stakeholder upside makes this a pervasive conversation. Given health and quality of life costs, he would likely say...

Respecting Ed Bastian and wishing him success with the LATAM partnership, he has been taking bows for Richard Anderson's success some time now. Changes in Delta's corporate culture are becoming apparent in the teams decision making.
Last edited by amdiesen on Tue Mar 03, 2020 1:21 am, edited 2 times in total.
 
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Re: Richard Anderson steps down, Atlas Air Chairman appointed as next Amtrak CEO

Tue Mar 03, 2020 1:13 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Cadet985 wrote:
I was not happy with what Anderson was doing to some of the long distance trains, particularly the Silver Star (there may be others that had the dining car removed, but I’m not aware of them). Removing the dining car from a long distance train is not a good idea. I understand that Amtrak loses money on the dining cars (and every route but the NEC), but letting passengers choose something that’s different than convenience store food...that’d keep me happy.

If they’re trying to get passengers from the airlines, then they need to play around with onboard amenities and pricing.

Marc


Better to remove “long distance” from the trains that just the dining car. Other than fanboys who don’t want to ride the Trans-Sib who’d really want to spend 3-4 days on a train, dining car not? Yes, there are luxury trains, but that’s a cruise without the possibility of drowning.

:checkmark: :checkmark: :checkmark:
The most profitable routes are routes like LAX-SAN, STL-CHI, and NYC-DC. Short hop, low frills, high-density traffic. The "long-distance" trains are a ton of fun for a travel geek like us on this site, but they are a total waste of taxpayer money and impractical, considering the fact that the fare exceeds flying.
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Love how every "travel blogger" says they will never fly AA/Ethihad again and then says it again and again on subsequent flights.
 
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Re: Richard Anderson steps down, Atlas Air Chairman appointed as next Amtrak CEO

Tue Mar 03, 2020 1:24 am

Cadet985 wrote:
I was not happy with what Anderson was doing to some of the long distance trains, particularly the Silver Star (there may be others that had the dining car removed, but I’m not aware of them). Removing the dining car from a long distance train is not a good idea. I understand that Amtrak loses money on the dining cars (and every route but the NEC), but letting passengers choose something that’s different than convenience store food...that’d keep me happy.


The change was inevitable. Most of Amtrak's leadership has long promoted it, but attempts to modernize the food and dining options were blocked by the previous CEO, who was an outlier in that he was pro-long distance trains (LTD). I enjoy the dining car experience as much as anyone, and I'll be disappointed to see it go, but I understand the change: dining car employees are highly compensated (unionized), stay/sleep on the train and require hotel rooms+per diem between turns. And hauling dedicated dining cars and related equipment around is expensive, as is maintaining the stock (for the interim, the actual dining cars remain, although much of the equipment has been removed). The airline-style meals are nothing new -- Amtrak's been using them for years on the Empire Builder split that goes onward to Portland; they've also experimented with them as the dinner option on the first night of the Southwest Chief, among other routes. Amtrak's also experimented with a continental-style breakfast buffet (restricted to sleepers, usually) on the arrival day of Western LDT. So again, nothing new, and definitely pre-Anderson.

But I fully agree that Amtrak needs to completely overhaul its food options. Amtrak's technology is in the stone ages - they should allow sleeper passengers to pre-select their meals, and coach passengers to pre-order a meal, which would minimize waste and allow for greater options for everybody. That said, their "cafe" options have come a long ways in recent years -- on the trains that originate in Los Angeles (Surfliner, Starlight, Chief, Eagle/Sunset), they now sell bakery-liked fresh pastries for the same (outrageous) price as the former dollar store-style pastries. But I'd like to see something other than the infamous supermarket freezer-style $10 Angus Cheeseburger or DiGiorno personal pizza.

Amtrak did recently change from Pepsi to Coke -- maybe Anderson's Atlanta connections? :)

If they’re trying to get passengers from the airlines, then they need to play around with onboard amenities and pricing.


A couple problems with this: Amtrak's leadership wants to kill LDT (the Chief got a last minute reprieve after Congress stepped in), and there's a government mandate that Amtrak break even on food and beverage. Again, given the unionized labor costs (food and beverage employees ride the train, then turn it around a couple days later), this is difficult to achieve, in spite of the overpriced food. Prices are better on the NEC and some state supported routes, like in California.

Remember... LDT are highly subsidized, and most passengers are tourists looking for an experience rather than transportion.

N62NA wrote:
Interestingly, the 3 day train trips still have the dining car and excellent meals.


For now. But I'll bet that within a few years, the dining and baggage cars will a thing of the past, sent to Indiana to be re-purposed to something else. What a waste, given that most dining cars are young, and Amtrak's currently taking delivery of new baggage cars.
 
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Re: Richard Anderson steps down, Atlas Air Chairman appointed as next Amtrak CEO

Tue Mar 03, 2020 10:52 am

janders wrote:
Varsity1 wrote:

Oh, and lost 293 million in 2019, the strongest economy in US history. Yeah GREAT JOB :lol:


Actually, they had a $98mil operating profit. The net loss was entirely due to non-cash charge write down of old assets.

They actually beat market expectations and their stock rose after posting them.


Expectations are low because they're being driven into the ground. Read the investor calls. Some were insane.

Special charges are a BS excuse.

How can we forget the 767 crash that happened on his watch? Entirely a product of being cheap and putting pilots in the cockpit who would otherwise never be there, if Atlas weren't so cheap.

Starting pilot pay at Atlas is $1,600 a month, to a fly a 747.
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Re: Richard Anderson steps down, Atlas Air Chairman appointed as next Amtrak CEO

Tue Mar 03, 2020 7:54 pm

Good riddance! Under his leadership he increased the pleasantries for premium cabin passengers and made riding in Y much more unpleasant. He did the opposite at Amtrak. Riding in coach changed very little but he cut the perks for the premium passenger who spent FAR more money. The "contemporary" meals on the Lake Shore Limited are terrible. I read in Trains magazine he cut the sleeping car meals to appeal to millennials. Such a load of crap. I have NEVER seen a millennial an Amtrak sleeping car. It's all baby boomers and Gen Xers who are there for the experience. We sleeping car passengers are paying double or triple what we would pay in airfare in get to the same destinations. We pay for the experience, not for convenience. That is something somebody outside of the railroad business will never understand. The western trains especially get a lot of foreign tourists who are there to see the sights. A few years ago when I rode the California Zephyr I met people in my sleeping car who were Japanese, Russian, Irish, English, German and Spanish. They weren't there as part of a group (most were couples) they came to ride trains and see the USA. You see stuff on the train you'll never see driving. The train goes through the world's backyard while the road goes through the front yard. In 2018 I rode the entire Route of the Canadian from Vancouver to Toronto. It was great and I met people from all over the world. The trip was five days on the train and I wasn't bored at all. I flew Windsor-Toronto-Vancouver on my way out and did it in just a few hours. I spent a lot less on the airfare too, but the train ride was for the experience and to sight see. The train had 20 revenue cars on it and was full of people. I spent $5000 for three people on the train and there were people who paid far more (for a higher level sleeping car). The airfare was less than $2200. Every person in the sleeping cars could have bought a airline ticket to Toronto, but didn't. If you're not a railroad guy you can't understand it. The train ride is part of the vacation, while flying (for most people) is something you have to put up with to go on vacation.

There are two different kinds of people on long distance overnight trains. There are people who are riding in coach because they don't have much money and they need to get somewhere. There are people in the sleeping cars who have plenty of money (demonstrated by how much they paid for the ticket) and who are in no hurry to get to their destination. Every sleeping car paid passenger has the means to travel by air, but they don't; at least on that particular trip. There needs to be some value for being a premium passenger. Amtrak needs a railroad person running it. Too bad Graham Claytor is dead; he did a good job with Amtrak.

People knock on Amtrak because it's publicly funded and airlines are private. How much would the airlines earn if they weren't using facilities owned by the public? How many major airports in the US are private vs public owed? Imagine if all the air traffic control was done by the airlines? How much would that cost them? Sure they pay taxes and fees to help cover costs, but a lot of infrastructure costs for airlines are paid for by tax payers.
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slider
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Re: Richard Anderson steps down, Atlas Air Chairman appointed as next Amtrak CEO

Tue Mar 03, 2020 8:01 pm

Richard is also 64. Maybe the guy just wants to retire and chill. He's earned it, I should think--what a career.

But if he's still got the fire, I'm sure he'll have NO challenges finding a gig. He's proven adept at turnarounds.

Hmmm, Harley-Davidson's CEO just stepped down and they need someone like him.
 
jetwet1
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Re: Richard Anderson steps down, Atlas Air Chairman appointed as next Amtrak CEO

Tue Mar 03, 2020 10:03 pm

slider wrote:
Richard is also 64. Maybe the guy just wants to retire and chill. He's earned it, I should think--what a career.

But if he's still got the fire, I'm sure he'll have NO challenges finding a gig. He's proven adept at turnarounds.

Hmmm, Harley-Davidson's CEO just stepped down and they need someone like him.


The first part shouldn't be understated, there does come a point where you wake up and say "I don't need this s##t" anymore. He has made enough money where he can do just about anything he wants to do and, as I am sure many on here will agree with me on, you get to an age where your most precious commodity is time, so I wouldn't be surprised to see him fade away from public life and enjoy his time with family and friends.

If he has decided to carry on working, I don't see it at AA, he built something at Delta, turning AA around would mean damaging his legacy there, maybe something in the public service field ?
 
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Re: Richard Anderson steps down, Atlas Air Chairman appointed as next Amtrak CEO

Wed Mar 04, 2020 12:09 pm

slvrblt wrote:
Huh.

Richard Anderson, now an un-employed, but well-thought of CEO. And Doug Parker is on the ropes at AA.

Hmmmm.......


I can't believe I had to scroll through 7 posts before this came up. lol.
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PHLspecial
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Re: Richard Anderson steps down, Atlas Air Chairman appointed as next Amtrak CEO

Wed Mar 04, 2020 1:18 pm

TWA772LR wrote:
Competing with airlines would mean privatising and then converting everything to HSR. Why spend $200 to take the train for 2 days from Denver to Oakland when you can spend $100 and fly for 2 hours?

That's the problem Amtrak is running other private rail owned by freight companies. The idea is building Amtrak with city pairs or towns that are within 500 miles eachother. For example Vancouver-Seattle-Portland. Or Atlanta to it's surrounding cities notably Charlotte. Philadelphia- Pittsburgh - and the ohios.
 
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Re: Richard Anderson steps down, Atlas Air Chairman appointed as next Amtrak CEO

Wed Mar 04, 2020 2:48 pm

And oddly the Empire Builder, roughly paralleling US Route 2 from Seattle to Chicago goes through 'flyover' country and may be the only/or best long distance travel available for a lot of people. We did the trip and there were loads of oil workers who used the train some 15 years ago. The specs times and reliability have degraded over the last 15 years. Amtrak is also critically short of equipment, especially sleeper cars. Charge for the cheapest sleeper now can often be $700, a decent lower bunk, the upper is problematic for many older people. Were the schedule more reliable, and two trains a day available it would be our 'go to' means of getting to the east.

Some years ago we went Seattle to Chicago to New Orleans to Los Angeles to Seattle. Stay a couple days in each town. One of our most fantastic vacations ever.
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TTailedTiger
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Re: Richard Anderson steps down, Atlas Air Chairman appointed as next Amtrak CEO

Wed Mar 04, 2020 5:15 pm

Iloveboeing wrote:
I don’t understand why Anderson left DL and joined Amtrak in the first place. IIRC, he was an excellent DL CEO and accomplished a lot during his time there.

I would’ve stayed at DL had I been in his shoes. A much better career, IMO.


Rumor is he was going to be Hillary's Secretary of Transportation. That's why he left Delta. But it didn't work out that way.
 
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DIRECTFLT
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Re: Richard Anderson steps down, Atlas Air Chairman appointed as next Amtrak CEO

Thu Mar 05, 2020 2:31 am

Amtrak wasn't supposed to succeed. Air travel would replace LD trains and other routes. The money for infrastructure for dedicated cross country passenger rail lines was never going to happen, a "Defense Rail Highway System" that the public could use. The US is a large country, compared to EU nations. America has the greatest freight rail system in the world. That will never be overshadowed by passenger rail. If you want to enjoy great nationwide passenger rail, then you'll need to move to another nation, like Japan.
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Re: Richard Anderson steps down, Atlas Air Chairman appointed as next Amtrak CEO

Tue Mar 24, 2020 7:39 pm

DIRECTFLT wrote:
Amtrak wasn't supposed to succeed. Air travel would replace LD trains and other routes. The money for infrastructure for dedicated cross country passenger rail lines was never going to happen, a "Defense Rail Highway System" that the public could use. The US is a large country, compared to EU nations. America has the greatest freight rail system in the world. That will never be overshadowed by passenger rail. If you want to enjoy great nationwide passenger rail, then you'll need to move to another nation, like Japan.

Right LD trains not the best but it does connect people in smaller towns. We need trains that connect cities that are close to each other. Trains are more efficient at move people short distances. Hence why you see a ton of train service between DC and NY. I don't to many people fly from NY to DC if they are not catching a connecting flight.
 
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Re: Richard Anderson steps down, Atlas Air Chairman appointed as next Amtrak CEO

Tue Mar 24, 2020 7:58 pm

Passenger rail is mostly an antiquated, irrelevant technology in the US. It has a few use cases where it can compete effectively with air travel or car travel. But very few, and the value add is very small.

It's a cool hobby, but hobbies do not justify tens of billions of dollars of grants from hardworking taxpayers.

There is also a sizeable peanut gallery of rail boosters who think it is somehow progressive, or environmentally friendly, or futuristic, or all three. These rail boosters are essentially never transportation professionals (shipping, airline, bus, taxi, mobility, trucking, mass transit OR rail). Pros would understand that the cost per passenger of heavy rail is totally unfeasible. California HSR, just one example, out of a thousand others we could look at.
 
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einsteinboricua
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Re: Richard Anderson steps down, Atlas Air Chairman appointed as next Amtrak CEO

Tue Mar 24, 2020 8:03 pm

PHLspecial wrote:
Right LD trains not the best but it does connect people in smaller towns. We need trains that connect cities that are close to each other. Trains are more efficient at move people short distances. Hence why you see a ton of train service between DC and NY. I don't to many people fly from NY to DC if they are not catching a connecting flight.

Two things:

1. Conservatives here will tell you that folks who live in small towns should move to larger ones if they want modern day conveniences like interstate access, and air and train travel. They rail against the EAS subsidies for those small towns with airports. Imagine their outrage if there's a proposal to keep Amtrak having service to small towns.

2. There's a false equivalence in your statement. You speak of trains being efficient to connect SMALL towns, yet you compare two metro areas like DC and NY. A much better analogy would be connecting Fargo, ND with Grand Forks, ND, or Whitefish, MT with Sandpoint, ID...I really don't think there's demand to connect those two towns with each other. Small towns to big(ger) towns? You can do that with air travel.
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PHLspecial
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Re: Richard Anderson steps down, Atlas Air Chairman appointed as next Amtrak CEO

Tue Mar 24, 2020 8:16 pm

einsteinboricua wrote:
PHLspecial wrote:
Right LD trains not the best but it does connect people in smaller towns. We need trains that connect cities that are close to each other. Trains are more efficient at move people short distances. Hence why you see a ton of train service between DC and NY. I don't to many people fly from NY to DC if they are not catching a connecting flight.

Two things:

1. Conservatives here will tell you that folks who live in small towns should move to larger ones if they want modern day conveniences like interstate access, and air and train travel. They rail against the EAS subsidies for those small towns with airports. Imagine their outrage if there's a proposal to keep Amtrak having service to small towns.

2. There's a false equivalence in your statement. You speak of trains being efficient to connect SMALL towns, yet you compare two metro areas like DC and NY. A much better analogy would be connecting Fargo, ND with Grand Forks, ND, or Whitefish, MT with Sandpoint, ID...I really don't think there's demand to connect those two towns with each other. Small towns to big(ger) towns? You can do that with air travel.


I will bite on 2. Trains are good for connecting two city pairs or a chain of cities together. So like a train to Detroit and Chicago. Philly and Pitt to Cleveland. Atlanta to its surrounding cities.
 
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einsteinboricua
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Re: Richard Anderson steps down, Atlas Air Chairman appointed as next Amtrak CEO

Tue Mar 24, 2020 8:47 pm

PHLspecial wrote:
I will bite on 2. Trains are good for connecting two city pairs or a chain of cities together. So like a train to Detroit and Chicago. Philly and Pitt to Cleveland. Atlanta to its surrounding cities.

Again, notice the scale of the cities. Chicago and Detroit? Comparable. Philly and Pitt? Yes. Atlanta to Charlotte/Raleigh or Knoxville/Nashville? Yep. SD-LA-SJ-SF in CA? Plausible. Portland to Seattle? Sure. KC to STL and on to Chicago? Sure.

All these are major cities. Makes total sense to offer one more method of transportation (though I get the feeling that air travel will always still be the more popular and economic option).
"You haven't seen a tree until you've seen its shadow from the sky."
 
PHLspecial
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Re: Richard Anderson steps down, Atlas Air Chairman appointed as next Amtrak CEO

Wed Mar 25, 2020 12:57 am

einsteinboricua wrote:
PHLspecial wrote:
I will bite on 2. Trains are good for connecting two city pairs or a chain of cities together. So like a train to Detroit and Chicago. Philly and Pitt to Cleveland. Atlanta to its surrounding cities.

Again, notice the scale of the cities. Chicago and Detroit? Comparable. Philly and Pitt? Yes. Atlanta to Charlotte/Raleigh or Knoxville/Nashville? Yep. SD-LA-SJ-SF in CA? Plausible. Portland to Seattle? Sure. KC to STL and on to Chicago? Sure.

All these are major cities. Makes total sense to offer one more method of transportation (though I get the feeling that air travel will always still be the more popular and economic option).

I don't see people flying from PHL to BWI or MDT for O/D. They only do that for connecting flights.

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