Intercity Passenger Rail: Amtrak Needs to Improve Its Decisionmaking Process for Its Route and Service Proposals
In recent years, facing the continuing deterioration of its financial condition and its attempt to eliminate its need for federal operating assistance by Dec. 2002, the Nat. Railroad Passenger Corp. (Amtrak) undertook a number of actions intended to improve its financial condition., including planning to implement new routes and expand services (called the Network Growth Strategy) on the freight railroad tracks over which Amtrak operates. This report examines: (1) the status of the Network Growth Strategy, (2) Amtrak's estimates of expected mail and express revenue, and (3) Amtrak's success in obtaining freight railroads' agreement to allow it to expand service over their tracks. Charts, tables and map.
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According to Amtrak agreement with freight Amtrak disagreed Amtrak estimated Amtrak expected Amtrak officials told Amtrak operate Amtrak overestimated Amtrak's plans Amtrak's route system Appendix capital costs capital funding capital investment Comments Crescent Star December decided to implement Eliminated Estimate Ridership Ethan Allen Express express business express revenue federal Financial Performance Fiscal Year 2001 Florida freight railroad tracks frequency increased Frequency reduced GAO's Growth Strategy Route Heartland Flyer intercity passenger rail issues Kansas City Southern Kentucky Cardinal Launched mail and express market-based approach MBNA million National Railroad Passenger negotiations Network Growth Strategy NGS proposals NGS Report Norfolk Southern Northeast Corridor operating losses Operating Profit Pacific Surfliner planned route potential Profit Loss Project proposed route Railroad Passenger Corporation reach agreement route actions route and service route or service service actions service changes Service Proposals Silver Meteor Sunset Limited Texas Eagle Twilight Shoreliner U.S. Postal Service Union Pacific Railroad
Page 1 - in December 1994, at the direction of the administration, Amtrak established the goal of eliminating its need for federal operating assistance by December 2002 (called "operational self-sufficiency").
Page 3 - ... nearly $24 billion for capital and operating needs through fiscal year 2001. About 22 million passengers in 45 states ride Amtrak's trains each year (about 60,000 passengers per day, on average). Amtrak operates a 22,000-mile passenger rail system, primarily over tracks owned by freight railroads. (See fig. 1.) Amtrak owns 650 miles of track, primarily in the Northeast Corridor...
Page 28 - March 15,2002 Ms. JayEtta Z. Hecker Director, Physical Infrastructure Issues US General Accounting Office Washington, DC 20548 Dear Ms. Hecker: Set forth below are Amtrak's comments on GAO Report No. GAO-02-398, entitled "Intercity Passenger Rail: Amtrak Needs to Improve Its Evaluation of Route and Service Proposals.
Page 36 - It was also a vision of how Amtrak's national network could be reshaped so as to extend its reach and reduce operating losses, but without significant federal capital investment and with a statutory deadline for "operational self-sufficiency
Page 8 - Amtrak estimated express revenue largely on the basis of an analysis of a database of commodities being shipped nationally. Amtrak estimated the portion of this business that it thought it could obtain. An Amtrak official said that it now focuses more on determining existing customers...
Page 37 - ... expensive and time consuming studies of the physical characteristics of each line, and of the number, type, and schedules of the trains that operate over it.
Page 26 - Finally, it uses the estimated ridership with the assumed fare structures to estimate the passenger-related revenue that would result from a proposed route.
Page 2 - According to Amtrak, this overestimation occurred because (1) it had no empirical basis for its revenue estimates and (2) express shippers were reluctant to enter into contracts for service that did not yet exist.
Page 7 - Summer 2000 In planning Aztec Eagle Summer 2000 Cancelled Texas Eagle (restore daily service) Summer 2000 Implemented in 2000 Twilight Limited Fall 2000 Cancelled Luxury Transcontinental Fall 2000 Cancelled International (reroute) Fall 2000 Cancelled Chicago-Des Moines (Hawkeye) Fall 2000 Cancelled Silver Service restructuring in Florida (including service on Florida East Coast Railway) Fiscal year 2001 In planning Sunset Limited (reroute in Texas) Fiscal year 2002 Cancelled Kentucky Cardinal extension...