24.11.15

SHORT TERM SHAREHOLDER VALUE, LONG TERM DECAY.

Two warnings for the railroads.

First, Fred Frailey of Trains calling out the freight carriers.
And yet, and yet . . . look at what a lousy job the Class I lines do today serving their customers. It’s a scandal, and preventable. In a race to see who can save the most money and achieve the lowest operating railroad, they are forgetting who really comes first: the customer. Serve the customer well, and more will follow, ultimately making the shareholders even richer. That’s classic business doctrine. But it requires patience, which investors (meaning, owners) have little of. So we get a railroad industry that has lost its way. Do I want the big railroads to get even bigger and compound the poor service already being offered? I wish that first, the Canadian Pacifics and Norfolk Southerns of this world would demonstrate they can manage the railroads they already have, before doubling in size and perhaps arrogance.
Second, Jim Loomis warning Amtrak to stop antagonizing the most dependable customers.
Regular Amtrak customers who travel in sleepers have only one question on our minds these days: What are they going to take away next?

Meanwhile, here’s the one question the Amtrak braintrust should be asking themselves: What happens when sleeping car passengers start thinking that a long-distance train ride is no longer worth the money?
Or perhaps it's a ploy, to sell all the sleeping car lines to Pullman Rail Journeys?  Their cars and food service already run as a gated cut in the City of New Orleans, where the rushed and etiolated morning breakfast being thrown at sleeping car passengers (and anyone in coach who can be seated) might be excused as a consequence of a relatively early arrival in Chicago, if the train is on time.

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