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Home / News & Reviews / News Wire / No long-distance routes meet FRA on-time standard in latest Amtrak stats

No long-distance routes meet FRA on-time standard in latest Amtrak stats

By | May 17, 2022

Quarterly report also details delays, customer satisfaction numbers

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Passenger train passing station
Passenger train passing station
A southbound Amtrak Hiawatha hurries through Deerfield, Ill., on a frigid Feb. 26, 2022. The Hiawatha had the best on-time performance of any Amtrak service during the first quarter of 2022. (Trains: David Lassen)

WASHINGTON — Sixteen of 43 Amtrak routes — none of them long-distance operations — met the 80% customer on-time performance threshold established by the Federal Railroad Administration in first-quarter 2022 statistics released Tuesday by the FRA.

The latest quarterly stats are the first to use all of the metrics established by the FRA [see “FRA publishes final rule …,” Nov. 16, 2020]. They measure on-time performance and train delays, customer service, financial performance, and public benefits. Most of the stats had been included in the report on the fourth quarter of 2021 [see “FRA report details Amtrak delays …,” News Wire, Feb. 15, 2022].

“Customers deserve high quality, reliable passenger rail service without interference from freight trains that can cause substantial delay,” FRA Administrator Amit Bose said in a press release. “This report provides a meaningful tool for everyone — including customers, communities, and other stakeholders — to review comprehensive data on passenger rail performance.”

The best on-time performance for any Amtrak route during the first quarter belonged to the Chicago-Milwaukee Hiawatha service, which recorded 95.1% customer on-time performance. The worst was Auto Train, with an on-time rate of just 24.2%. Eight long-distance trains recorded on-time performance of less than 50%; closest to the 80% FRA standard among long-distance trains was the City of New Orleans, missing by the narrowest of margins at 79.9%.

The reports also break down delay minutes by responsibility (Amtrak, host railroad, or third party); host-railroad delays by type; customer satisfaction by route; cost recovery by route; and average ridership, among other statistics. The report detailing those numbers is available here; the full set of documents is available here.

10 thoughts on “No long-distance routes meet FRA on-time standard in latest Amtrak stats

  1. Why am I not surprised at Auto Train’s record. CSX’s A-Line is mostly single track, with antiquated short sidings that can’t hold the ridiculous three-mile long trains they are running, so there’s no way A. T. can get around, and in many cases, past, them.

    1. Does it help that the B-Line (if that’s what the former SAL is called) is downgraded?

  2. Interesting how the salient issues continue to be avoided, such as:
    1) Given the persistent delays on top of schedule padding, how is the bonus program structured for Amtrak to pay the Class 1s? Or, is it like what Woody Allen once said, “just showing up is 80%.”
    2) Schedules are far worse now than 1971, which makes certain overnight trains undesirable (e.g., eastbound “Lake Shore” and “Capitol”; southbound/northbound “City of New Orleans”).
    3) Such padded schedules+delays impact acceptable asset utilization. No longer are only 2 consists required to cover overnight trains. The Q used to turn “Twin Cities Zephyrs” back to Chicago; GM&O and Wabash used to turn in Chicago back to St. Louis the “Abraham Lincoln” and “Blue Bird.”

    Beyond the NEC, Amtrak cannot be depended upon for speed and reliable schedules.

  3. Gotta wonder if Amit Bose has take the time to get out where the steel wheel meets the steel rail and ridden any of the LDs. I suspect not. He went to give a pep talk in the Great Hall CUS to tell Midwesterners what great service expansions/improvements they could expect if the IIJA was passed. We can be sure he didn’t get to CUS on Train29. And we can be sure he didn’t go west on an LD. And we can be sure he didn’t return to DC on #48 and the NEC or the RPA would have been shouting that from the rooftops. To it’s “Trains for thee but not for me”. And he seems to say nothing about maybe we need to restore all or most of the mainline track capacity that has been pulled up on those routes in order for a win-win for the freight and the passengers. Mr. Bose hasn’t a clue about rail operations and the infrastructure needed to support it and neither does SecTrans Buttigieg.

    1. Send Pete Buttigieg to eastern Europe where the rails evacuated countless hundreds of thousands of refugees from Ukraine to Poland and Germany. Here in America (or worse, Canada) we’d be scratching to scrape together the first available consist.

      Pete just doled out $5 Billion in traffic safety improvements to the states and locals. I have to wonder if $4,999,999,999.99 of that went into the pockets of far-left advocacy groups.

      Geraldo described our President as an “Ivy League a##hole”. I have no idea where Pete went to college, but the description fits Pete perfectly. An Ivy League grad myself, I can just see Pete sitting in the lecture hall with his tailored suit, smarmy smile and empty cranium, vacuuming up the professors’ approval while the other students wonder where next semester’s tuition money will come from.

      1. I know this is hopeless, Charles, but we can do without you political screeds and crazy speculation about the money, especially with the graft of the last administration.

        1. Amen to that, Jeffery!

          When Charles sticks to railroading, he is truly a font of knowledge. His screeds, on the other hand….

  4. I do not understand Charles thinking. He is not a serious railfan at all
    Charles looks at the airlines as the best there is. I hate the airlines and especially the EAS, eastrntial air services. Biggest waste of taxpayer money. If you are on this web site we should do WHATEVER WE CAN TO SUPPORT AMTRAK AOND THE RAILROADS.PERIOD

  5. My observations are limited to the Eagle passenger trains. I don’t understand why anyone rides it with its lousy on time record.
    A pet peeve of mine is Amtrak’s locomotive fuel capacity. It robs Amtrak’s ability to have a long range train on time when it takes a long time to refuel in route.

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