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 Post subject: Re: Changes at Iowa Pacific
PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2017 9:07 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:45 am
Posts: 458
More Iowa Pacific news:
Quote:
Saratoga & North Creek Railway has scrapped plans to run a winter snow train to North Creek with sleeper cars after ticket sales languished, and the company is laying off its seasonal staff.

The decision to pull the plug on the overnight trips also comes after the company was the subject of complaints that at least some of the people who worked on its seasonal Polar Express trains weren’t paid promptly. The company’s manager said Thursday that all have been paid.

Link to full article: PostStar.com - Railroad pulls plug on winter snow trains to North Creek (January 19, 2016)


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 Post subject: Re: Changes at Iowa Pacific
PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2017 2:51 pm 

Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 10:08 pm
Posts: 253
Location: Amherst, Oh
Termite7 wrote:
And furthermore...nobody is going to want that circus equipment. That stuff is just a lot of shells and random parts. Nothing historical there at all...we are talking old commuter coaches and baggage cars tubed out to the walls. So do not fret about he market being flooded with cars that museums will want or need.
T7


I'd love for our tourist railroad to have a tube. I've even opened conversations about gutting one of our current cars - if we could get one already gutted but in decent running condition for cheap I think we absolutely would.


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 Post subject: Re: Changes at Iowa Pacific
PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2017 9:06 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
Posts: 2431
Chris Webster wrote:
More Iowa Pacific news:
Quote:
Saratoga & North Creek Railway has scrapped plans to run a winter snow train to North Creek with sleeper cars after ticket sales languished, and the company is laying off its seasonal staff.


No big surprise there.

It was going to run every weekend between Jan. 13 and March 26, and ticket prices for a weekend were to start at $795 per couple, with double occupancy in a sleeper car room and meals included.

I understand it's all about the train ride, but that's roughly an hour's drive and it was advertised as a ski train. Now I realize that resorts are expensive, but I'm betting I could get something bigger than a Pullman room for $300 a night, leaving $100 for meals.


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 Post subject: Re: Changes at Iowa Pacific
PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2017 4:42 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:10 am
Posts: 2332
As a snowboarder and rail geek, this service sounded awesome for couples looking for a getaway. There were, however, two issues.

1) for New Yorker's it was not a single seat ride. Amtrak offers single seat service to Vermont ski areas

2) it wasn't marketed well. I work in NYC and am friends with folks who would love this (and not grimace at the fare) but the message was not adequately delivered.

Rob

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The long memory is the most radical idea in this country. It is the loss of that long memory which deprives our people of that connective flow of thoughts and events that clarifies our vision, not of where we're going, but where we want to go. B. Phillips


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 Post subject: Re: Changes at Iowa Pacific
PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 6:02 pm 

Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2016 9:35 pm
Posts: 67
... And now they're gonna start with the bike trail crap in NY.

http://poststar.com/news/local/supervisors-question-railroad-s-future-after-snow-train-cancellation/article_d816fe4b-5c9b-54d5-810c-a8c35877ed5a.html


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 Post subject: Re: Changes at Iowa Pacific
PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2017 2:42 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:45 am
Posts: 458
According to an Amtrak Service Alert, the Hoosier State will transition from Iowa Pacific to Amtrak on March 27, 2017:
Quote:
Hoosier State Trains 850 and 851 Transitions to Amtrak Equipment

The Hoosier State, which operates four days per week between Indianapolis and Chicago, will transition to railcars, locomotives and on-board services supplied by Amtrak beginning Wednesday, March 1, 2017. No action is required from ticketed customers.

The Indiana Department of Transportation and communities along the route will continue to fund the service, which will include Wi-Fi and Business Class seating. Once contracts with Amtrak are amended, Amtrak will advise booked customers of available on-board services prior to their travel date. Indiana is one of 18 states that contract with Amtrak to provide short-distance, intercity passenger rail services.

Under the amended agreements, Amtrak will continue to provide train crews, ticketing and reservation services, and also coordinate with the private freight railroads that own the tracks over which the Hoosier State operates. Intermediate stops will continue to be Crawfordsville, Dyer, Lafayette and Rensselaer.

Train 851 will continue to run north on Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday mornings, with Train 850 operating south on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings. On the other days, the communities along the route will be served by the Cardinal (Trains 50 and 51), which operates between New York City and Chicago. Together, the Hoosier State and the Cardinal provide daily Amtrak service between the important Midwestern cities of Indianapolis and Chicago.

We appreciate your patronage. For reservations and information, visit Amtrak.com, use our free mobile apps, speak with station personnel or call 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245).

Thank you for choosing Amtrak.

PSN 0117-05


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 Post subject: Re: Changes at Iowa Pacific
PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2017 2:58 pm 

Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2008 12:58 pm
Posts: 1195
Location: Chicago USA
They were really only providing the equipment, with Amtrak running the trains, ticketing, and providing on-board services, correct? This change must have been a result of IP saying they were withdrawing. Things must be very difficult if they cannot continue to supply & maintain the train.


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 Post subject: Re: Changes at Iowa Pacific
PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2017 5:58 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 8:29 pm
Posts: 318
I think IPH was also providing the food service car and staff. When Amtrak had food service on the train they had a self-serve pump-pot of coffee and a basket of muffins (sometimes). Also IPH people worked on the equipment...trying to keep it all clean and warm/cool.
Rumors are that IPH will shrink...a lot. I still do not see it as relevant to this board. But...whatever.
T7


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 Post subject: Re: Changes at Iowa Pacific
PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2017 6:09 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
Posts: 2431
Termite7 wrote:
Rumors are that IPH will shrink...a lot. I still do not see it as relevant to this board. But...whatever.
T7


If you don't think it's worth talking about here, then why do you keep talking about it here? SMH!


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 Post subject: Re: Changes at Iowa Pacific
PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2017 10:12 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
Posts: 2431
The announcement on the Hoosier State website.

(It says pretty much the same thing, but it seems to be the official announcement by Iowa Pacific)

January 30, 2017 Announcement

Iowa Pacific Holdings announced today that its enhanced services on the Hoosier State® train between Chicago and Indianapolis will end on February 28, 2017.

The Hoosier State passenger train will transition to railcars, locomotives and on-board services supplied by Amtrak beginning Wednesday, March 1. No action is required from ticketed passengers as Amtrak will continue to provide ticketing and reservations.

“We are certainly grateful to INDOT for providing the opportunity to demonstrate that service enhancements can drive improvements in customer satisfaction, revenue and ridership, and we wish INDOT well as they transition to a different service model,” said Ed Ellis, President of Iowa Pacific.


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 Post subject: Re: Changes at Iowa Pacific
PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2017 10:57 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 8:29 pm
Posts: 318
Hey BobHarbison...
Somebody has to keep you foamers in check.
T7


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 Post subject: Re: Changes at Iowa Pacific
PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 1:19 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:45 am
Posts: 458
An article dated January 31, 2017: Progressive Railroading - Iowa Pacific withdraws from Hoosier State Train service
The article concludes with this line:
Code:
Iowa Pacific chose to end its involvement in the Hoosier State service because the company is "reducing marginal business units to focus on its core business," Ellis said in a subsequent email.


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 Post subject: Re: Changes at Iowa Pacific
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 3:33 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:51 pm
Posts: 1483
Location: Southern California
Trains Magazine "News Wire" of Feb. 1, has a report about the change from Iowa Pacific Holdings to Amtrak.

It seems like the payment package from the State of Indiana was not fully understood when it was signed. Apparently the State's payment is split between Amtrak for the operation of the train and IPH for its portion.
Quote:
Amtrak and Iowa Pacific signed separate contracts with INDOT. Amtrak would bill the state for fixed operating costs plus “estimated third party costs,” that included maintenance of way charges and “performance incentives” paid to CSX for running the train on time.

INDOT paid Iowa Pacific the difference between what it paid Amtrak and a fixed monthly amount, some $254,000, that the state budgeted for the rail service, according to spokesman Will Wingfield.
The better the performance (running on time) the small the portion available to IPH was. An attempt by IPH to renegotiate its payment was unsuccessful.

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 Post subject: Re: Changes at Iowa Pacific
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:31 am 

Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:45 am
Posts: 458
There's some more information in this article: WYPI: Financial Missteps Lead Iowa Pacific To Give Up On Hoosier State Line

A key detail:
Quote:
...Iowa Pacific’s CEO says a quirk in the contracts between his company, INDOT and Amtrak doomed the partnership.

Ed Ellis says his firm’s compensation from the deal decreased each time on-time performance improved.

“The way the contracts worked, we ended up getting less money as the train ran more on time,” Ellis says.

That’s due in part to a contract stipulation that INDOT paid Amtrak before Iowa Pacific when there was any profit. It meant Amtrak got deposits totaling almost $4 million in 2016, but Iowa Pacific got just $500,000.


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 Post subject: Re: Changes at Iowa Pacific
PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2017 3:22 am 

Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2016 2:04 pm
Posts: 4
JasonA wrote:
The problem this time is there is nothing left to sell to raise cash. Out of all the remaining railroads they have left, CTM would be the only one that might be worth something. There is no Arizona Eastern left to sell to raise cash.

I have been to or worked on all of these except the MS operations. It's going to get real tough if the rumors are true.

Jason


I doubt CTM is worth much. The only bit they actually own is the ex Milwaukee steet trackage. There was hardly any traffic left on that line, and now thanks to copper thieves, the swing bridge is oos isolating all of that trackage. The Bensenville and Elk Grove operations are leased from CP/UP and all operated with leased power. They do store slot of passenger equipment there though.


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