From the Economist

Hytec Apr 10, 2023

  1. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    Can “Train Daddy” help Amtrak?

    amtrak.jpg
    PHOTO: EYEVINE


    Andy Byford, a celebrated British public-transport executive, starts work as a senior vice-president at Amtrak, America’s passenger-rail system, on Monday. Mr Byford used to run the subway system for New York City, until he resigned in early 2020 after spats with Andrew Cuomo, the state’s then-governor. He improved dramatically the reliability of the subway: transport obsessives started referring to him as “Train Daddy”. On his last day dozens wearing masks of his face rode the train with him accompanied by, for some reason, a bagpiper.


    He may find such success harder to achieve in his new role. At Amtrak Mr Byford will be in charge of trying to develop a high-speed intercity train network, which will require grappling with freight-train companies, railway unions and messy Washington, DC politics. But with the presidency of Joe Biden—dubbed “Amtrak Joe” because he was a regular commuter and is a fan of rail—and huge sums of money available for capital investments, there has probably never been a better time to try.
     
  2. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I wish him the best of luck. I hope that he is the right person, at the right time!
     
  3. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    My concern is how will he handle Congress and Amtrak's politically appointed directors when he resigned after "spats" with New York's ex-governor Cuomo.
     
  4. mmi16

    mmi16 TrainBoard Member

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    Spats or Wars - without being directly involved we will never know. We do know Cuomo was forced from office.
     
  5. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Leading Amtrak in any capacity is an impossible assignment, with the handling of politicians continually taking precedent over the handling of passengers.
     
  6. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member

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    And we are gingerly, tiptoeing ever so delicately thru a "No politics" minefield here.
    We can spend all the $$ on goodwill and hope for a brighter future for passenger trains. However, until we can leverage freight carriers to hold their own gigantic, slumbering, money generating trains, for faster (depending on trackage) trains.
    Whats ironic here is, these same freight carriers delay and or park their traffic, for their own sometimes erroneous (crews) reasons for days without consequence or explanation.
    But let another reason appear (passenger traffic), then their "sky is falling", leading to doom and gloom for the country. I have lived it and seen it myself, just depends on how the delays are compartmentalized and costs budgeted.
    There is a reason they call it "getting railroaded".
    Just saying. And NO Politics heh?
     
  7. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

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    I don't suppose that's possible in the real world, almost a violation of the laws of physics. But what a wonderful world it would be where that is possible!
     
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  8. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I took a few minutes and looked up the Board of Directors. Only two of the seven seem to have some real experience in the heavy rail side of railroading. He may have a chore ahead. :(
     
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  9. Kurt Moose

    Kurt Moose TrainBoard Member

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    Kinda' sad when they pic corporate people from other areas other than railroading, just cause they turned a profit at another company.

    They're the one's that come in and start chopping at the core of the company to make numbers look better.
     
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  10. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    Welcome to the disaster caused by the ex-president of Delta Airlines.

    One the other hand, the best were the Claytor brothers. I could set my watch by the Crescent's timekeeping during the Claytor years.

    Granted, Graham Claytor was the immediate past CEO of SOU and was on a first-name basis with all upper management, including dispatching. Don't think they were gonna mess with their ex-boss. ;)
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2023
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  11. Kurt Moose

    Kurt Moose TrainBoard Member

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    Yup, last of the great true railroad bosses who was admired by all.
     
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