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Amtrak

NEWS
June 11, 1989 | By Jonathan Storm, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
October 8, 1989 | By Jonathan Storm, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
July 21, 2013 | Inquirer Staff Report
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.
NEWS
February 13, 2016 | By Jason Laughlin, Staff Writer
Bad weather and cheap oil are hurting Amtrak's bottom line, and its chief executive wants across-the-board cuts just four months into the fiscal year. A Feb. 9 letter obtained by The Inquirer from Joseph Boardman, Amtrak's president and CEO, to employees said that in January he requested cuts averaging 3.8 percent from the agency's department heads. It also said more significant cuts are ahead. "We are going to need to take more aggressive actions to reduce our costs," he wrote, "some of which may be painful to take.
BUSINESS
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.
BUSINESS
December 3, 2011 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
March 11, 2015 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
BUSINESS
April 20, 2016 | By Jason Laughlin, Staff Writer
Safety permissions designed to protect maintenance workers on the rails had been granted before a fatal train crash in Chester this month, according to a federal report released Monday. According to the National Transportation Safety Board preliminary report, a backhoe was being used in a 55-hour maintenance cycle scheduled to clean the rocks on the rail bed and clear mud spots from April 1 to 4. Amtrak controls four tracks in the area just south of Highland Avenue Station in Chester and the maintenance crew was working on Track 2 on April 3. The backhoe was positioned on Track 3 so it could perform work on Track 2. Track 2 had been removed from service entirely, and Tracks 1, 3, and 4 were granted "intermittent foul time," a safety designation that should prevent trains from being routed onto tracks where workers or equipment are present, to accommodate the backhoe.
NEWS
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.
NEWS
August 27, 2007 | By Suzette Parmley INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
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.
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