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FW: Erosion of Amtrak bike access  Kenyon Karl
 Jun 11, 2002 14:31 PDT 


-----Original Message-----
From: Miller, Charlie [mailto:Charlie-@state.vt.us]
Sent: Tuesday, June 11, 2002 4:30 PM
To: 'Kenyon-@mail.com'
Cc: John Boyle; Bell, Amy
Subject: RE: Erosion of Amtrak bike access


The Vermonter uses both the older Amfleet equipment and some of the upgraded
"Capstone" coaches. I have had discussions with Amtrak about the removal of
the baggage car from this train but it will not be done until   replacement
equipment is identified. These baggage cars have the same problems with the
trucks as do the ones that were used on the Ethan Allen but they are used
significantly more than those on the Ethan Allen. The service between
Washington and NYC would improve between 35 and 45 minutes without the
baggage cars. North of NYC there is not a significant savings.
Hope this was of some help to you.



-----Original Message-----
From: Kenyon Karl [mailto:ken-@getglobal.net]
Sent: Tuesday, June 11, 2002 3:39 PM
To: Miller, Charlie
Cc: John Boyle; Bell, Amy
Subject: RE: Erosion of Amtrak bike access


I appreciate your quick and thoughtful reply. I have also redistributed your
message to a long list of bicycle folks and rail-trail folks as I have
contact with - in an effort to head off similar misunderstandings.

I gather that the Ethan Allen is using the same Amfleet Coaches as the
Vermonter. If so, should we expect an equivalent loss of the bike-baggage
car on the Vermonter with the graceful accommodation of bicycles in the
coaches?

Finally, the Downeaster has a somewhat different problem with its bicycle
accommodation (beyond the unbelievable unwillingness to learn from the
experience of Vermont) in that many of the BRAND NEW station platforms are
just too short to allow passenger access to the 'Cabbage Cars' that contain
the bike racks. Even worse some trains have a Genesis locomotive on each end
gue to a growing paranoia about the reliability of their locomotives.
Accordingly, graceful accommodation of bicycles in the coaches could
likewise immediately resolve their 'bike handling' problems.

Kenyon F. Karl
Webma-@new-england-public-transit.org
http://www.new-england-public-transit.org

Kenyon F. Karl
Webma-@new-england-rail-trails.org
http://www.new-england-rail-trails.org



-----Original Message-----
From: Miller, Charlie [mailto:Charlie-@state.vt.us]
Sent: Tuesday, June 11, 2002 12:31 PM
To: 'Kenyon-@mail.com'
Cc: Bell, Amy; ste-@bikemap.com
Subject: RE: Erosion of Amtrak bike access


Yes, the Ethan Allen no longer has a baggage car.

NO, it was not due to the State of Vermont cutting funding. See the attached
email:

-----Original Message-----
From: Miller, Charlie [mailto:Charlie-@state.vt.us]
Sent: Tuesday, June 11, 2002 10:45 AM
To: 'David.Ja-@uvm.edu'
Subject: RE: [Fwd: Amtrak Bike Baggage Car]


David, the baggage car on the Ethan Allen service has been discontinued
effective last month. Amtrak assured me that bicycles can be accomodated in
one of the passenger cars in an area designated for luggage and bicycles.
The reasons the baggage car was discontinued were:

1. There was very little use of the baggage cars for ANY use, including
bicycles.

2. Due to their age, the cars needed some expensive work on the trucks and
the State would have been required to pay for those repairs.

3. Due to the baggage car's older design, the speed that it could travel was
limited. This caused the speed to be reduced, even in the Penn
Station-Albany corridor, where higher speed could be achieved.

4. Amtrak had a shortage of these cars and felt that they could be better
utilized on one of their "longer" services.

Due to the above reasons, I agreed with them and the car was removed. If you
need further information, I can be reached at the below number.

-----Original Message-----
From: David Jacobowitz [mailto:David.Ja-@uvm.edu]
Sent: Tuesday, June 11, 2002 10:25 AM
To: Miller, Charlie
Subject: [Fwd: Amtrak Bike Baggage Car]


Charlie Miller,

Shaun suggested that maybe you could clear up the impression that Amtrak is
discontinuing the bicycle baggage car service.

Thanks,
Dave J.
Vermont Bicycle & Pedestrian Coalition
--
David.Ja-@uvm.edu 802.656.2539
http://www.vtbikeped.org
http://www.uvm.edu/~djacobow

-----Original Message-----
From: Kenyon Karl [mailto:ken-@getglobal.net]
Sent: Tuesday, June 11, 2002 12:19 PM
To: Miller, Charlie
Cc: Bell, Amy; ste-@bikemap.com
Subject: FWD: Erosion of Amtrak bike access


Charlie Miller:

Please confirm the loss of the bike-baggage car from the Amtrak Ethan Allen
due to funding cuts.

This change is rather surprising since the bike-baggage car is shown in the
printed Spring-Summer 2002 Amtrak Northeast Timetable!

Kenyon F. Karl
Webma-@new-england-public-transit.org
http://www.new-england-public-transit.org

Kenyon F. Karl
Webma-@new-england-rail-trails.org
http://www.new-england-rail-trails.org



-----Original Message-----
Date: Mon, 10 Jun 2002 05:33:50 -0700
From: jo-@bikemap.com
Cc: bikea-@topica.com, ste-@bikemap.com
Subject: Erosion of Amtrak bike access


I just wanted to bring to everyone's attention that some bike access has
been lost on eastern Amtrak trains in the past few months. In April, 3
trains discontinued carrying bikes

1 - The Cardinal from Washington DC to Chicago
2 - Piedmont from Charlotte to Raleigh NC
3 - Ethan Allen from NYC to Rutland VT.

The first train lost bike service because its cars were reassigned to
the Auto Train to Florida after the recent derailment. The Auto Train
cars have been fixed, but it remains to be seen if the bike service will
be restored, its been poorly marketed despite that fact that it offered
unboxed bike service to the midwest from the NE Corridor.

The second two trains lost bike service because the states that
sponsored the trains (NC and VT) cut funding for the baggage cars.

The result of this is that Amtrak now has 5 baggage cars retrofitted
with bike racks that have been randomly absorbed into the Amtrak
network.

It would make good business sense for Amtrak to assign these
bike/baggage cars to a specific route. This Amtrak crosses many of our
home turfs, this may a unique opportunity to flex our collective muscle
to either A - assign the baggage car to at least 1 long distance train
or B - convince Amtrak to spend the to retrofit the every baggage car.

John Boyle
The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia
www.bicyclecoalition.org
	
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