It is currently Mon Aug 20, 2018 3:17 am

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 109 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 8  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: Amtrak Special Moves and Charters Under Threat
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 2:51 am 

Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:40 pm
Posts: 788
JayZee wrote:
So does this mean slapping 3751 to the front of a sceduled Amtrak service is no longer allowed or adding historical passenger/support cars to that said train is no longer allowed?


That is exactly what it means.

Off the top of my head, the only mainline operations that would not be hurt by this are UP and the 261 group (both of which has it's own cars).


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Amtrak Special Moves and Charters Under Threat
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 8:28 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:19 pm
Posts: 1724
Location: Pottstown,Pa.
Lincoln Penn I think you're correct re: UP but wrong re: 261 as all the 261 trips run as ' Amtrak" special trains so as to come under Amtrak's insurance and operating contract with the railroad. Under this new policy Amtrak will no longer be willing to facilitate such special trips.

Unless amended or reversed its the end of mainline steam ( except for the UPRR operation) and for most PV moves.

Sad day.

Ross Rowland


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Amtrak Special Moves and Charters Under Threat
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 8:33 am 

Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2005 4:03 pm
Posts: 770
Whereas the Friends of the 261 have the option to operate off major Class 1 lines with their own passenger train, there is a lot of residual business in their charter trips and car leases. We all know the money isn't in running steam excursions...


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Amtrak Special Moves and Charters Under Threat
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 8:51 am 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 7:57 am
Posts: 2377
Location: Faulkland, Delaware
I'm not surprised. Remember that it was an excursion to a Congressional retreat that was most recently involved in an incident. The news reported it that Amtrak his a truck which didn't help. They don't report that a careless truck wrecked an Amtrak train.

_________________
Tom Gears
Wilmington, DE

If you can't fix it with a hammer, you've got an electrical problem.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Amtrak Special Moves and Charters Under Threat
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 10:12 am 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:02 pm
Posts: 1080
Location: Back in NE Ohio
Since Amtrak is a very political animal, I cannot imagine that this edict means they will no longer run the nearly annual Congressional specials for the party caucuses. That would probably be the ONE kind of special that they will still run, if they know what is good for their funding. If they do not run those then Amtrak's new leadership is clearly clueless as to what they have gotten themselves into.

In musing about this overnight, I have to wonder if this is a new hard-and-fast position, or the opening negotiating stance? PV owners as a group are not without resources, both political and legal. I would expect some kind of battle over this, be it in Congressional offices or in court. Amtrak is a quasi-public corporation with a public service mission, partly funded by us. We do have some kind of say in what they do.

My other thought on this is that most of the reason private operators turned to Amtrak to operate charters and excursions is that private insurance became prohibitively expensive. I think it's past time to revisit exploring the possibility of setting up some kind of non-profit mutual insurance association to cover liability insurance for excursions, and to spread out the costs include tourist/heritage railroading in general. The business has an excellent safety record. I've got to believe that between the resources of private equipment owners and those entities which help underwrite and support the work of groups like the Ft. Wayne Railroad HIstorical Society, a workable liability insurance plan can be formed. There probably also needs to be created a small pool of mainline-qualified, PTC and HEP equipped, fairly modern and reliable Diesel motive power, to pull said excursions in lieu of Amtrak locomotives, that can be shared by all of the groups that operate excursions. (Maybe like UP did with their E-units, take historic shells and put all-new guts in them. There's a few possibilities sitting derelict at LTEX.) It might be possible, with some mainline carriers, if excursion operators make it as operationally painless as possible for them, to operate excursions without any Amtrak support. It won't be cheap, and it will weed out marginal operators, but maybe, just maybe we can salvage the major excursions, like The New River Train, especially the ones like them, with a long track record of safe and efficient operations. It means they've got to professionalize everything they do. I would look to the example of how Ringling Bros. successfully operated their trains for over half a century, with their own traveling Train Master and support staff, that was fully-qualified to deal with every Class I, came from the ranks, and became almost just another train being operated by the railroad - at a profit. Excursions are never going to be that contained, but they can be a lot less of a pain.

Whatever a solution finally looks like is up to the operators. I'm just spit-balling from the sidelines, although I come at this as having been in the business for a lot of years, both on the Amtrak and freight sides.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Amtrak Special Moves and Charters Under Threat
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:45 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:19 pm
Posts: 1724
Location: Pottstown,Pa.
Worthy thoughts Paul and most of them sure look good on paper.

The bad news is that there's zero chance that a long range risk sharing pool is economically feasible. Without the Amtrak contract blanket coverage and liability limit the Class 1's will demand at least $ 500M in coverage with a very small deductible ( at best $ 100k ? ) and that amount of coverage for a 1 day excursion would demand a premium FAR,FAR above what the seats could sell for on the market.

The sad truth is that without the Amtrak mechanism to work with mainline excursions ( steam or diesel) are done.

Sad but true.

Ross Rowland


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Amtrak Special Moves and Charters Under Threat
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:52 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 10:49 am
Posts: 654
co614 wrote:
Worthy thoughts Paul and most of them sure look good on paper.

The bad news is that there's zero chance that a long range risk sharing pool is economically feasible. Without the Amtrak contract blanket coverage and liability limit the Class 1's will demand at least $ 500M in coverage with a very small deductible ( at best $ 100k ? ) and that amount of coverage for a 1 day excursion would demand a premium FAR,FAR above what the seats could sell for on the market.

The sad truth is that without the Amtrak mechanism to work with mainline excursions ( steam or diesel) are done.

Sad but true.

Ross Rowland


Okay, help me out with this. How much of a premium would this cost? 600K perhaps? If the coverage is spread between every big steam owner/operator and private car owner, the out of pocket costs per owner would be much lower, would it not? Would this also count as some sort of umbrella coverage?


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Amtrak Special Moves and Charters Under Threat
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 12:01 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:02 pm
Posts: 1080
Location: Back in NE Ohio
I'm talking about probably creating a new, non-profit company to be the insurance underwriter for the excursion/charter/heritage railroad industry, set up as a mutual insurance corporation, run and financed by the members. There have been many such insurance companies over the years. This needs to be discussed by people with far more finance expertise than I will ever have, but I don't think the possibility should be dismissed out of hand.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Amtrak Special Moves and Charters Under Threat
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 12:08 pm 

Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2005 4:03 pm
Posts: 770
FWRHS is postponing its ticket sales for the planned Joliet Rocket trips this September.

Our official statement: https://fortwaynerailroad.org/2018/03/joliet-rocket-ticket-sales-postponed-due-to-amtrak-policy

"While the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society (FWRHS) does not have any Amtrak charters planned in 2018, the privately-owned, historic cars included in our excursions commonly use Amtrak terminals for staging and use Amtrak trains to travel to different venues around the country.

The new Amtrak policy will undoubtedly disrupt the passenger consist or delay car movements for The Joliet Rocket, our own excursions planned for September 15th and 16th in Chicago with Metra.

To-date, over 1,862 people have indicated their interest in these events and ticket sales were scheduled to start early next week."

_________________
Kelly Lynch
Vice President
Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society, Inc
http://www.fwrhs.org


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Amtrak Special Moves and Charters Under Threat
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 2:16 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 7:52 am
Posts: 1419
Location: Strasburg, PA
PMC wrote:
The Winter Park Ski Train ... wanting to ... to run old F-9s and the like in the mountains west of Denver (altitude 9,000') using Amtrak crews and operating authority, and Amtrak put their foot down.

Run F9's on the Moffet Tunnel route? That's crazy talk!!

PaulWWoodring wrote:
PV owners as a group are not without resources, both political and legal. I would expect some kind of battle over this, be it in Congressional offices or in court.

I agree. The people with the kind of money to own a PV also have the money to bribe -er- I mean contribute, I mean lobby their congressman so that he will take notice. The rest of us are only important to the politicos on election day, if then, but cross their palm with silver and you are an important constituent.

Plus, there is nothing elected officials love more than extracting a pound of flesh from an unelected bureaucrat, if doing so makes them look good to their important constituents (see the paragraph above).

_________________
"It was not easy to convince Allnutt. All his shop training had given him a profound prejudice against inexact work, experimental work, hit-or-miss work."
C. S. Forester

Strasburg Rail Road Mechanical Department


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Amtrak Special Moves and Charters Under Threat
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 3:10 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:19 pm
Posts: 1724
Location: Pottstown,Pa.
Paul I wasn't dismissing it out of hand. When we were working on the Greenbrier Express project in 2012 we got into the whole liability insurance issue in depth with both Amtrak and CSX.

Trust me,... to purchase $ 500M in general public liability coverage with a $ 100k deductible you'd be looking at an estimated premium of at least $200k for EACH day it ran. Plus, the only way that amount can be gotten is through an underwriting pool in which 6-10 underwriters share the risk including members of the Lloyds pool in London, UK.

The railroads will only accept coverage written by well established underwriters who have the wherewithal to pay off in case of a bad accident.

Again, without the Amtrak umbrella to work through special mainline excursion trains ( steam or diesel ) are finished.

Sad but true.

Ross Rowland


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Amtrak Special Moves and Charters Under Threat
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 3:21 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 4:00 am
Posts: 175
Location: Philadelphia, Pa.
While the thought of no mainline trips is tragic, this just makes places like Grand Canyon, Steamtown and Western Maryland etc. which all have decent sized portions of track more appealing. NS has said that ferry moves could still happen on a case by case basis. Mainline trips may be out but there are still places to run.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Amtrak Special Moves and Charters Under Threat
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 3:37 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:02 pm
Posts: 1080
Location: Back in NE Ohio
Mr. Rowland;

OK, I know you have a great deal of experience operating excursions and special moves. However, I'm hoping that in creating an entirely new non-profit entity that would be set up to cover a large number of operators and operations that it would be possible to bring down the costs to a manageable level. My limited understanding of the current insurance situation is that there is one, maybe two, private, for-profit companies that handle this type of insurance, operator-by-operator, and tourist railroad by tourist railroad. I'm hoping that by the industry setting up it's own internal, membership provided insurance, it could be done for much less. Again, I don't know all of the ins and outs, but let's not throw in the towel without extensive discussions first, probably not in this forum and certainly not for public consumption. For all I know, the first PM's and phone calls trying to find a solution have already been made (at least I hope so).


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Amtrak Special Moves and Charters Under Threat
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 3:46 pm 

Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:07 pm
Posts: 1035
Location: Leicester, MA.
PaulWWoodring wrote:
Mr. Rowland;

OK, I know you have a great deal of experience operating excursions and special moves. However, I'm hoping that in creating an entirely new non-profit entity that would be set up to cover a large number of operators and operations that it would be possible to bring down the costs to a manageable level. My limited understanding of the current insurance situation is that there is one, maybe two, private, for-profit companies that handle this type of insurance, operator-by-operator, and tourist railroad by tourist railroad. I'm hoping that by the industry setting up it's own internal, membership provided insurance, it could be done for much less. Again, I don't know all of the ins and outs, but let's not throw in the towel without extensive discussions first, probably not in this forum and certainly not for public consumption. For all I know, the first PM's and phone calls trying to find a solution have already been made (at least I hope so).


You know, I really do think that Paul might be on to something... I think the other side of it would be knowing what concerns the host railroads overall want to see addressed. As far as my optimistic viewpoint is concerned, I do believe that it's doable... The question becomes who would be willing to sit down and take the time to help hash out specifics of such an idea.

_________________
Dylan M. Lambert


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Amtrak Special Moves and Charters Under Threat
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 4:14 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:19 pm
Posts: 1724
Location: Pottstown,Pa.
I don't know how to say it more plainly without sounding rude. It is NOT POSSIBLE mathematically to set-up a start-up insurance pool ( or underwriter) with the financial muscle needed to provide credible liability policies in the $ 500M amount (with a small deductible) that the Class 1's would accept. There just aren't enough operations that would subscribe to the service to make the numbers work....not even remotely close.

Again, and for the last time.....without the Amtrak umbrella,.... mainline excursions ( steam or diesel ) are dead.

Ross Rowland


Offline
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 109 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 8  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


 Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Brian Norden, Google [Bot] and 36 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to: