Author Topic: Amtrak Profitable in 2020?  (Read 2839 times)

Steve

  • The Jaxson
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3183
Amtrak Profitable in 2020?
« on: December 04, 2019, 11:34:25 AM »
Interesting changes going on at Amtrak. Some love it, some hate it. Here's one article (but there are plenty out there):

https://usa.streetsblog.org/2019/11/11/amtrak-wants-to-compete-with-planes-and-roads/

The idea is to focus on city to city routes, not trips across the country. But, he's doing it through some pretty aggressive cost cutting, like more airline style meals versus what you typically see on a train.

Personally, I'm a fan of Richard Anderson (CEO). I watched his tenure at Delta and was beyond impressed with the job he did. It didn't
happen overnight, but he got the company where he wanted it to be and then some.

Only concern: Once profitable, he wants to use the federal funds for infrastructure investment. Logical, but what happens if folks in congress sees Amtrak as profitable on it's own and doesn't continue to authorize federal funding? Not ideal, but I'm sure this has been thought of.

Thoughts?

thelakelander

  • The Jaxson
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 30370
    • Modern Cities
Re: Amtrak Profitable in 2020?
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2019, 12:44:46 PM »
I don't know how things will pan out long term with congress but Amtrak placing a higher priority on shorter routes, city-to-city routes would be big for Jax and having them return downtown. Perhaps that Coastal Link plan gets fired back up or at least pushes Virgin Trains to explore an extension up Florida's East Coast faster.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

Josh

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 472
Re: Amtrak Profitable in 2020?
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2019, 03:27:58 PM »
A few months ago my family and I took the Amtrak Downeaster from Boston to Portland, Maine and I thought it was great; surprisingly comparable to my train experiences in Europe and Japan. The tickets were cheap, and the stations were easy to get in and out of while being ultimately close to our point of departure and destination. Obviously the the Northeast is where rail is most ideal and driving Amtrak's overall profits, but it would sure be nice to get a taste of decent intercity rail down here.

marcuscnelson

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 376
  • Generation Z - Totally Screwed
Re: Amtrak Profitable in 2020?
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2019, 03:34:11 PM »
I think it would be nice to see Amtrak expand to handle the every-single-station routes and give Virgin a chance to actually be High Speed Rail that focuses on the larger points. A Jacksonville-Orlando-Tampa-Miami network, that Amtrak fills the gaps of.

And despite it likely being a pipe dream, I would love to be able to take a train from UF to wherever in Florida.

Kerry

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1759
Re: Amtrak Profitable in 2020?
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2019, 05:26:52 PM »
Back in October we took Amtrak fyom Seattle to Oakland.  It was a great vacation within our vacation.  However, the route was about as inefficient as it can get.  It meandered all over the place.  While that was okay for leisure travelers like us it was woefully incapable of being a transit option.  They should just start running track diwn the medians of rural interstates.

This is the New Mexico Railrunner between Santa Fe and Albuquerque.

https://youtu.be/Tx_7K_W4A1I
Third Place

blizz01

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1632
Re: Amtrak Profitable in 2020?
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2019, 05:59:16 PM »
I have a two week global pass in Europe coming up.  It's just gonna piss me off when I get back.

ProjectMaximus

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3239
    • Firewalking Journey
Re: Amtrak Profitable in 2020?
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2019, 10:06:04 PM »
I've taken Amtrak between Mia-Orl twice this year. Decent enough...there are delays often and it ends up being about 50% longer than driving, but as long as I'm traveling alone and don't need a car when I'm in Orlando I'll take the longer ride over the shorter drive.

Kerry

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1759
Re: Amtrak Profitable in 2020?
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2019, 10:48:34 PM »
I have a two week global pass in Europe coming up.  It's just gonna piss me off when I get back.

Hopefully the strikes in France don't derail you.
Third Place

bl8jaxnative

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 312
Re: Amtrak Profitable in 2020?
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2019, 10:42:15 AM »
Interesting changes going on at Amtrak. Some love it, some hate it. Here's one article (but there are plenty out there):

https://usa.streetsblog.org/2019/11/11/amtrak-wants-to-compete-with-planes-and-roads/

Start of the article:

"
Amtrak could become profitable as soon as next year
"

I stopped there.  Anyone who takes serious the idea of Amtrak becoming profitable next year is talking out of their rear.   Willing to say most anything.

Amtrak's accounting is atrocious; possibly criminal.  Using proper accounting, last year Amtrak lost something more like $2.5 billion with revenues about around a billion and a quarter.



Steve

  • The Jaxson
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3183
Re: Amtrak Profitable in 2020?
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2019, 11:26:16 AM »
Using proper accounting, last year Amtrak lost something more like $2.5 billion with revenues about around a billion and a quarter.

Source? Amtrak's Auditor is Ernst and Young. I'm sure they'd like to know the source of your statement.

Between this and the Brightline/Virgin Trains comments, do you own material stock in a Bus company?

Tacachale

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7710
Re: Amtrak Profitable in 2020?
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2019, 01:12:44 PM »
Using proper accounting, last year Amtrak lost something more like $2.5 billion with revenues about around a billion and a quarter.

Source? Amtrak's Auditor is Ernst and Young. I'm sure they'd like to know the source of your statement.

Between this and the Brightline/Virgin Trains comments, do you own material stock in a Bus company?

Lol, "proper accounting" = "anonymous post on a forum."
Do you believe that when the blue jay or another bird sings and the body is trembling, that is a signal that people are coming or something important is about to happen?

Peter Griffin

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 169
Re: Amtrak Profitable in 2020?
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2019, 02:28:50 PM »
Using proper accounting, last year Amtrak lost something more like $2.5 billion with revenues about around a billion and a quarter.

Source? Amtrak's Auditor is Ernst and Young. I'm sure they'd like to know the source of your statement.

Between this and the Brightline/Virgin Trains comments, do you own material stock in a Bus company?

Lol, "proper accounting" = "anonymous post on a forum."

this entire site is people angrily shooting the breeze and making wild guesses

sanmarcomatt

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1649
  • Donut Enthusiast
Re: Amtrak Profitable in 2020?
« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2019, 02:51:06 PM »

this entire site is people angrily shooting the breeze and making wild guesses

You forgot blanket statements.

Peter Griffin

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 169
Re: Amtrak Profitable in 2020?
« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2019, 03:15:15 PM »

this entire site is people angrily shooting the breeze and making wild guesses

You forgot blanket statements.

I'm the guiltiest party of all ;)

bl8jaxnative

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 312
Re: Amtrak Profitable in 2020?
« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2019, 12:29:17 PM »
Using proper accounting, last year Amtrak lost something more like $2.5 billion with revenues about around a billion and a quarter.

Source? Amtrak's Auditor is Ernst and Young. I'm sure they'd like to know the source of your statement.

Between this and the Brightline/Virgin Trains comments, do you own material stock in a Bus company?


The issues with Amtraks' accounting are well documented and out there.  They're commonly pointed out by everyone in the industry, both those pro and against. 

It's a strong statement.   There's a lot to it.  To give you a taste, Amtrak doesn't use depreciation for it's capital.  Something that other companies can not legally NOT do and for good reasons.