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Old January 2nd, 2006, 09:20 AM   #21
Frank J. Sprague
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rail Claimore


One of the things I cannot shut up and help but love about love Japan. They will profusely apologize if a train is even 1 minute late. Blizzards and earthquakes are the ONLY excuses for late trains.
I understand that if you are late because of the train the railway will give you a note for your employer. Otherwise it is not believable, kind of like "the dog ate my homework."

Last edited by Frank J. Sprague; January 4th, 2006 at 06:56 AM. Reason: grammar (forgot to end quote)
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Old January 2nd, 2006, 09:26 AM   #22
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The rail companies will pass out fliers when trains are late apologizing for being late and explaining to employers, just like Frank said.

There are times when the trains are quite late. I noticed it a lot when there were heavy rainstorms. Drunk Japanese businessmen would yell and yell at the conductors, poor things. There were times when the trains were two or three hours late...frustrating, but extremely rare.

Great question about alternative transport--why didnt Amtrak hire some buses and get people back to NY??
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Old January 2nd, 2006, 03:39 PM   #23
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The last time I took AMTRAK was a Boston->Albany direct route-
I only took it because the bus(3 1/2 hours @ 65 dollars) was more expensive than the train(4 1/2 hours @ 22 dollars)

It was no 4 1/2 hours! Shortly after departing Boston, we sat still just outside of Worcester Mass for 1 full hour, waiting for a CSX freight that had the right of way to come rolling thru.
Then near Pittsfield Mass, Track work had the rail down to 1 lane, and we again had to wait for a freighter to come thru.
My Uncle waited at Albany/Rensealler station for 2 1/2 hours for me. I felt terrible.

The return trip on the same route a few days later, proved no delays once we got rolling....Oh yah, but we started rolling 2 HOURS LATE BEACUSE THE TRAIN WASNT THERE.
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Old January 3rd, 2006, 12:08 AM   #24
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At least US has passenger trains throughout the country, in Brazil there are no passenger trains anymore, itīs disgusting.
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Old January 3rd, 2006, 12:53 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blink55184
The last time I took AMTRAK was a Boston->Albany direct route-
I only took it because the bus(3 1/2 hours @ 65 dollars) was more expensive than the train(4 1/2 hours @ 22 dollars)

It was no 4 1/2 hours! Shortly after departing Boston, we sat still just outside of Worcester Mass for 1 full hour, waiting for a CSX freight that had the right of way to come rolling thru.
Then near Pittsfield Mass, Track work had the rail down to 1 lane, and we again had to wait for a freighter to come thru.
My Uncle waited at Albany/Rensealler station for 2 1/2 hours for me. I felt terrible.

The return trip on the same route a few days later, proved no delays once we got rolling....Oh yah, but we started rolling 2 HOURS LATE BEACUSE THE TRAIN WASNT THERE.
That's the most serious problem Amtrak has, they don't own any track outside of the Northeast Corridor, they rely on freight tracks where the freight companies that own them have priority, even though the freight trains don't move anywhere near as fast as a passenger train, and the freight companies usually don't maintain their tracks very well because their trains never have to run very fast anyways. The northeast corridor is the only somewhat reliable Amtrak route in the country because Amtrak owns all the track except for the track between New Rochelle and New Haven, which has four tracks and the owner (Metro North) operates commuter trains on it, not freight trains.
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Old January 3rd, 2006, 03:02 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mopc
At least US has passenger trains throughout the country, in Brazil there are no passenger trains anymore, itīs disgusting.
But for a developed nation, ours is piece of shit.
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Old January 3rd, 2006, 06:45 AM   #27
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Amtrak Acela Express
by Tim Powaleny

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Old January 3rd, 2006, 06:52 AM   #28
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Amtrak's Silver Meteor
by Nick Suydam

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Old January 3rd, 2006, 10:45 AM   #29
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The Acela is a piece of shit. It barely averages more than 90 km/h

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Old January 4th, 2006, 06:40 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjfjapan
The rail companies will pass out fliers when trains are late apologizing for being late and explaining to employers, just like Frank said.

There are times when the trains are quite late. I noticed it a lot when there were heavy rainstorms. Drunk Japanese businessmen would yell and yell at the conductors, poor things. There were times when the trains were two or three hours late...frustrating, but extremely rare.
There is a lot of good to be said about Japanese Railways but also a lot of not-so-visible bad. An example would be one operator affecting the service of a partner operator (due to through services), so even if there's an accident on a line you are not using, your train could be late.
There's also the nuance/nuissance of local/express operations on 2-track corridors (they need to be 4-track (some of the smarter operators are doing good work on fixing that)). It works, sorta, but I'd still say it is bad management.
Trains also can't satisfy demand in Japan, as is well known. What isn't as well-known is that this applies off-peak as well, but the stupid management doesn't run more trains even during high-use off-peak periods that are well-known for being packed (most notably last-trains, but there are others too).
The biggest plus though, is that all (*I think all, there might be rare exceptions) passenger operators in Japan own their track, it's the freight companies that rent from the passenger lines here. North America is extremely slow to catch onto this. Freight trains mean dick, goods don't get impatient as inaminate objects, but people do.
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Old January 4th, 2006, 07:16 AM   #31
Frank J. Sprague
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRZ
There is a lot of good to be said about Japanese Railways but also a lot of not-so-visible bad. An example would be one operator affecting the service of a partner operator (due to through services), so even if there's an accident on a line you are not using, your train could be late.
There's also the nuance/nuissance of local/express operations on 2-track corridors (they need to be 4-track (some of the smarter operators are doing good work on fixing that)). It works, sorta, but I'd still say it is bad management.
IIRC one of the lines in Tokyo actually tunneled beneath its 2 track mainline to create a 2 track expess line! I am very impressed with how the Japanese are able to operate such frequent local and express service on a 2 track line with many grade crossings.
Quote:
Trains also can't satisfy demand in Japan, as is well known. What isn't as well-known is that this applies off-peak as well, but the stupid management doesn't run more trains even during high-use off-peak periods that are well-known for being packed (most notably last-trains, but there are others too).
I've experienced that in Singapore too, you want to avoid the MRT on a Sunday night, they thin out the timetable so you wait a long time for a train and when one does show it is packed to the gills. You're better off taking the bus.
Quote:
The biggest plus though, is that all (*I think all, there might be rare exceptions) passenger operators in Japan own their track, it's the freight companies that rent from the passenger lines here. North America is extremely slow to catch onto this. Freight trains mean dick, goods don't get impatient as inaminate objects, but people do.
The freight railways are more important in the US than other nations due to geography, but it is for hauling bulk goods that are not time sensitive. I think the large number of lines which have been abandoned would allow us to create a parallel rail system for passengers and fast freight.
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Old January 6th, 2006, 06:38 AM   #32
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That wasn't the Silver Meteor. That was a double-decker Superliner-equipped train, and the Silver Meteor operates with single-level Viewliner, Amfleet and Heritage equipment. I don't recognize the skyline however. It's certainly larger than any city south of Washington D.C. And it's not north of D.C. since there are no overhead electric wires.

The Acela Express operates at an average speed of 130-150 k/h, or 80-90 mph, not 90 k/h, with a top speed of 150 mph in Rhode Island. Its slowest section is between New York City and New Haven, offering 75-90 mph speeds, and owned by MetroNorth and Connecticut DOT, not Amtrak. On the Amtrak owned portions every else on the Northeast Corridor, Acela hauls ass (except for tunnels in Baltimore).
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Old January 6th, 2006, 07:03 AM   #33
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The United States needs to pull it's resources together and revitalize it's transportation network. If Japan can have their trains on time, why can't the United States do it? We have money to fight wars but no money to have trains on time or to eliminate traffic on our freeway system.
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Old January 6th, 2006, 07:15 AM   #34
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If you're poor or cheap enough to use Amtrak instead of flying... wait, I take that back. It doesn't matter who you are, you know when you book Amtrak, you're buying assurance you'll get to your destination. The times given are just fictional sets of numbers designed to make you feel better.

What are these people complaining about?

Last edited by Kai Tak; January 6th, 2006 at 07:20 AM.
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Old January 6th, 2006, 01:41 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LtBk
But for a developed nation, ours is piece of shit.
Yeah, but you have affordable air fares and great roads. Though trains are always a better option.
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Old January 28th, 2006, 05:43 AM   #36
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Amtrak Expands Discount for Acela, Metroliner Trains

Amtrak expands discount for Acela, Metroliner trains
By DONNA DE LA CRUZ
27 January 2006

WASHINGTON (AP) - Amtrak said Friday it will offer discounts of as much as 15 percent for some tickets on its Acela Express and Metroliner premium trains that run between Washington and Boston, expanding on a discount program already offered for some of its regional train services.

Amtrak described the Feb. 6 pricing change, which also will including boosting prices by 15 percent for some peak travel periods on Acela and Metroliner, as part of its plan to cut costs and restructure its operations.

Revenue management systems are used by many industries, from airlines to Broadway theaters, as a way of pricing tickets to get the most profit by looking at booking patterns, said Bob Harrell, president of the New York-based Harrell Associates, a travel consulting firm which tracks airline fares.

The railroad began using revenue management last October on its regional trains that run between Boston and Newport News, Va.

"There are pluses for both Amtrak and its passengers," said Amtrak spokesman Cliff Black. For example, in addition to the three current prices for Acela walk-up one-way fares between Washington and New York -- $135 off peak, $152 midday and $168 peak -- new discount $115 and premium $193 fares would be added to the pricing mix.

The new pricing is separate from negotiated discounts that many corporate travel departments negotiate with Amtrak.

"The fares will not be driven strictly by time of day, or day of week, although we will loosely follow that," Black said. "They will be driven by the number of advance reservations and are keyed to times of day, to some extent."

Black added that Amtrak will not charge a fee for changing a ticket.

"Revenue management is utilized because it works," Harrell said. "You might have three prices, low, medium and high, and what you want to do is can charge the highest price on those departures where you have the greatest demand."

Amtrak's load factor -- the proportion of seats that carrier manages to fill with paying customers -- for Acela Express and Metroliner trains was not immediately available.
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Old January 28th, 2006, 05:02 PM   #37
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Interesting but what would it take for the U.S. Government to pull it's resources together and build a real high speed train between Washington, DC and Boston? It seems like our politicians are more interested in fighting wars and appointing judges than revamping our transportation infrastructure.
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Old January 28th, 2006, 05:43 PM   #38
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How much of the Boston-NY, Boston-DC, and NY-DC travel market does Acela and Amtrak hold?
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Old January 28th, 2006, 06:01 PM   #39
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Ridership Press Release : http://www.amtrak.com/servlet/Conten...2Copy&ssid=181
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Old January 28th, 2006, 09:43 PM   #40
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Very stupid that there aren't good high speed rail services like europe in the USA I think.
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