Thursday, February 12, 2009

Feds to Crack Down on Freight-Related Amtrak Delays

Memo to Freight Railroads:

If you cause too many Amtrak trains running on your tracks to arrive late at their destinations it could cost you. Bloomberg reports that under legislation passed last year the Surface Transportation Board has been given authority to levy fines on railroads that delay Amtrak trains.

Freight railroad-related delays were the number one cause of tardiness for Amtrak last year, according to its chief operating officer, William Crosbie. Federal officials want Amtrak to get its on-time performance rate up to 80 percent.

On the Northeast Corridor, Amtrak considers a train on time if it reaches its final destination within 10 minutes of its scheduled time. Off the corridor, it allows 30 minutes. According to spokesman Clifford Black, so far this year Amtrak has a system-wide 77 percent on-time rate, but outside the Northeast Corridor the rate is below 70 percent.

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