June 11, 1989 |
BOOM TIMES. It looks like another record summer for Amtrak, straining some of its cars to capacity. "There's plenty of coach space on most of our routes nationwide," says Amtrak spokeswoman Patricia Duricka, "but most of our long-distance routes are experiencing (a shortage of) first-class sleeping accommodations. " People wanting beds on a train this summer should check every day, and people wanting them next summer should start reserving in August, Duricka advises. The Amtrak computer can hold reservations for 10 months, and there is no penalty if you change your plans.
October 8, 1989 |
FAIR FARES. Last Sunday, Amtrak cut the cost of its All Aboard America fares to $179, $229 and $259 for a 180-day period of travel with three stopovers, with the price depending on distance. The tickets had cost $189, $269 and $309, and had been good for only a 45-day period. The rates will go up again in May. In addition, Amtrak instituted $7 return fares on most routes on which the regular round-trip rate is $65 or more. Under the plan, which does not apply on the Metroliner or Auto Train, travelers pay a one-way fare plus $7 for a round-trip ticket, through May 24. COLORS OF AUTUMN.
July 21, 2013 |
Amtrak says it anticipates imposing speed restrictions on Northeast and Keystone Corridor trains because of the heat. Riders on Amtrak as well as SEPTA and N.J. Transit trains that operate on the two corridors should expect 10-20 minute delays, Amtrak said. Amtrak said speed restrictions are implemented when internal rail temperatures - not ambient temperatures - exceed 120 degrees. Amtrak engineers monitor track temperatures in real-time via electronic probes attached to the rails.
March 6, 2013
The federal subsidy for Amtrak has dropped to 12 percent of operating costs - about $466 million a year, said Amtrak president Joseph Boardman. But Amtrak needs more federal money for capital costs, such as new vehicles, bridges, signals and other equipment, he said. Boardman also told a House subcommittee Tuesday that Amtrak's biggest money-losers, its long-distance routes, are important to rural and elderly populations who are losing bus and air service. Amtrak carried a record 31.2 million passengers in the fiscal year that ended last Sept.
March 11, 2015 |
The U.S. Supreme Court sided Monday with Amtrak in a dispute with freight railroads over priority of passenger trains on freight tracks. A 2008 law directed Amtrak to work with the Federal Railroad Administration to create standards that let Amtrak keep priority over freight trains. But a federal appeals court sided with the freight railroad industry, which said Amtrak was a private organization that could not regulate competitors' actions. The Supreme Court reversed, saying Amtrak is like a government entity given the reality of federal controls.
June 26, 2002
Amtrak has an unbroken 31-year history of losing money. That dismal financial record has been matched by congressional and White House failures to realistically define Amtrak's role. Thanks to congressional mandates, for instance, Amtrak has opted to maintain long, unprofitable routes along slimly populated corridors. No business could hope to survive managing its affairs that way. Neither can Amtrak. . . . Without continued and increasing federal subsidies, Amtrak would have gone belly up years ago. Enter Congress again.
December 3, 2011 |
Amtrak may lay off nonunion workers to cut costs and increase funding to such projects as an upgraded reservations system, a spokesman said. Amtrak last month offered voluntary buyouts to management employees and is still reviewing the results. If the railroad decides it needs additional savings, it will begin "involuntary separations" for some management employees, spokesman Steve Kulm said. The railroad has about 3,000 nonunion workers in its 20,500-person workforce. Although Amtrak ridership has set records for eight of the past nine years, federal funding for rail operations was cut by Congress for the fiscal year that started Oct. 1. And all money for high-speed rail projects in the fiscal year was eliminated.
August 27, 2007 |
Technical glitches that prevented customers from buying Amtrak tickets at station kiosks or online all day Saturday have been fixed, an Amtrak spokeswoman said. Just before 1 p.m. today, the reservation system was fully restored, Amtrak spokeswoman Vernae Graham said yesterday. "We had sporadic [problems], but it didn't affect travel operations," she said. Graham said the ticketing problems began Saturday morning and persisted throughout the night. On Saturday night, the cause was identified as recently installed computer software.
July 2, 2012
Amtrak said it will operate a modified schedule on Northeast Corridor trains Sunday because of damage, debris and delays leftover from the storms of Friday night and early Saturday morning. Service between Philadelphia and Washington was stopped for a time on Saturday because of trees falling on tracks and power lines, but service was restored later in the day. Repairs and debris removal will continue Sunday, so passengers should expect delays, especially between Baltimore and Washington.
January 2, 1996 |
If Amtrak's creaky coaches, cranky conductors and laughable punctuality standards aren't warning enough, I'll take this opportunity to point out something obvious: The American taxpayer is being taken for a train ride. Though Amtrak likes us to think its train rides are smooth, speedy and picturesque, the railway is on a collision course with disaster. This year, 1.2 million people boarded Amtrak for the holidays. But if last year's numbers are any indication, travelers again faced aggravating delays, rode in decrepit cabins and encountered crew members as cold as Scrooge himself.