Amtrak routes

ChrisDante Apr 6, 2000

  1. ChrisDante

    ChrisDante TrainBoard Member

    A friend passed this on to me and I thought I would share it with you.
    In the recently released Market Based Network Analysis prepared
    by Amtrak
    for Congress, Amtrak analyzed each train (or train service/route)
    for that
    individual train's contribution to the bottom line. In other
    words, a
    calculation was made of how much net income Amtrak would lose (or
    gain) if
    that train were removed from the network of trains that Amtrak
    Since for this analysis it was assumed that certain fixed costs
    continue even though a particular train were eliminated, those
    fixed costs were not allocated to the individual trains, and thus
    numbers in the "contribution" analysis are not the same as in
    Route Profitability System (RPS) analysis (where all costs are
    proportionally to each train).

    The "contribution" is the total revenue for operating a route

    variable and attributable fixed and overhead costs. It does not
    include fixed and
    overhead costs that can not be attributed to a particular route,
    and which
    would continue even if that route were eliminated.

    Note that revenue does include "institutional support" and
    partnerships"; in other words, funds provided by states or other
    in support of train operations (but not federal subsidies).

    Here is how much each train/route/service is expected to
    contribute to the
    bottom line in FY 2002 ($ million). The list is sorted starting
    greatest contribution down to the route that has the greatest
    contribution. The routes/trains listed are as they are expected
    to exist in FY 2002.

    Acela Express 344.91 million dollars
    Acela Regional (NE Direct) 189.06
    SW Chief 32.18
    Auto Train 29.27
    Empire Service 16.68
    San Diegans 15.44
    San Joaquins 13.47
    Cal. Zephyr 11.93
    Carolinian 10.47
    Transcontinental 10.38
    Lake Shore Ltd. 10.06
    Cascades 9.30
    Silver Meteor 8.80
    Crescent 8.08
    KC-St Louis 6.81
    Hiawatha 6.25
    Acela Regional (Keystone) 6.12
    Empire Builder 5.90
    Capitols 5.84
    Acela Commuter (Clockers) 4.80
    Heartland Flyer 3.97
    Twilight Ltd. 3.95
    Vermonter 2.68
    Silver Star 2.58
    Coast Starlight 2.57
    International 2.11
    Illini 2.07
    Manhattan Ltd. 1.91
    St. Louis-Chicago 1.74
    Silver Palm 1.69
    Las Vegas-LA 1.65
    Piedmont 1.51
    Illinois Zephyr 1.17
    Aztec Eagle 0.55
    Pere Marquette 0.20
    Adirondack 0.07
    SF-Monterey 0.00
    KY Cardinal -0.02
    City of New Orleans -0.62
    Fond du Lac-Chicago -0.65
    Ethan Allen -0.80
    Janesville-Chicago -1.24
    Three Rivers -1.82
    Des Moines-Chicago -1.84
    Pontiac-Detroit-Chicago -1.89
    Capitol Ltd. -2.10
    Maine Service -2.86
    Toledo-Dearborn-Chicago -3.09
    Sunset Ltd. -3.76
    Pennsylvanian -3.81
    Cardinal -3.82
    Texas Eagle -6.62

    In the analysis, Amtrak looked at the effect of eliminating each
    of the
    trains that show a negative contribution on the overall bottom
    line of the
    full network of trains. In every case save one, elimination of
    the train
    caused a DROP in revenues on other trains greater than the loss
    generated directly by the train in question. In other words,
    because of the network
    effect, eliminating the "losing" train causes a greater loss to
    other trains
    than the amount directly saved by eliminating the train, because
    trains serve as "feeders" to the rest of the network.

    The one exception was the "Maine Service." Because this train is
    from the rest of the system (the lack of a rail connection in
    between the South and North Stations precludes the exchange of
    mail and express
    and discourages through passengers), eliminating the Maine
    Service train would
    improve the bottom line by the amount it loses: $2.86 million in
    FY 2002.

    However, the contract for the Maine Service stipulates that
    support (in the report, "institutional support" seems to be a way
    saying "state subsidy") will ensure that Amtrak will breakeven
    after three years.

    When in doubt, empty your magazine.
  2. Alan

    Alan Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    WOW! My head is spinning [​IMG]

    A very interesting set of statistics, especially to us this side of the Atlantic. I hadn't realised Amtrak ran so many routes.

    I heard that the 'International' was being discontinued, but I see that it is still in the list. We rode this train from Toronto to Flint, MI in 1985, and is the only Amtrak trip I have made, hence my interest.


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