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 operates. Since for this analysis it was assumed that certain fixed costs would continue even though a particular train were eliminated, those continuing fixed costs were not allocated to the individual trains, and thus the numbers in the "contribution" analysis are not the same as in Amtrak's Route Profitability System (RPS) analysis (where all costs are allocated proportionally to each train). The "contribution" is the total revenue for operating a route less 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 "business partnerships"; in other words, funds provided by states or other entities 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 the greatest contribution down to the route that has the greatest negative 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 of 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 those trains serve as "feeders" to the rest of the network. The one exception was the "Maine Service." Because this train is isolated from the rest of the system (the lack of a rail connection in Boston 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 institutional support (in the report, "institutional support" seems to be a way of saying "state subsidy") will ensure that Amtrak will breakeven after three years. ------------------ When in doubt, empty your magazine.