Meeting Report April 30, 2009. and a retirement salute to Marguerite Monahan
Reported by Bruce Jenkins, RailPAC Director
The San Joaquin Valley Rail Committee met in Martinez April 30, 2009.
1. Chairman Pedrozo reported that he and a few members of the committee met with Amtrak CEO Joe Boardman. He said the meeting was very positive (and that Amtrak is very aware of the clean restroom problems on board the trains).
2. Bill Bronte of CALTRANS Division of Rail (DoR) reported that 14 Comet cars are forthcoming but are in need of repairs e.g. brake work. Bombardier of Salt Lake City is doing the work and will store the cars there. The “lien” issue has yet to be resolved.
DoR has no position at this time, on expediting thru trains over Altamont to San Francisco.
An $11mil bond sale is in the works, Amtrak and DoR are signing on for an order of bi-level cars.
3. Marguerite Monahan (DoR) announced a “Point of Sale” (pilot project) on Surfliner set for January ’10. This will include a rollout of new items. Recycling bins (at each end of the car) will be added to the Cafe Cars.
This writer regrets to report that Marguerite (Photo right, at one of her famous menu testing sessions which RailPAC regularly attended to evaluate new items for food service on board California trains) will retire from DoR May 29. Her fine work will be sorely missed.
4. Rick Depler of BNSF reported that all of Amtrak on BNSF has an 86.7% OTP and that the San Joaquin corridor OTP is very pleasing.
BNSF is still working on ATMS (Automatic Train Mgmt System), California is no.1 priority.
5. Jerry Wilmoth of UPRR reported that OTP for 1/08 thru 3/08 is 97% or higher due to lower traffic and track maintenance. All corridors are seeing high OTP.
6. In the interest of cost savings DoR will discontinue the composite corridor Time Table.
7. Mike Hamilton of Amtrak California Train Operations reported that OTP has steadily increased to 92% and the Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) is at 90%.
The Bay Area has the most service disruptions due to accidents compared to The Valley.
8. Ric Peterson of Amtrak Bus Operations reported that there has been some bus curtailment due to non compliance with state law regarding the break even point e.g. the Las Vegas Bus from Bakersfield.
There has been an increase in sanitation effort and measures concerning H1N1 Flu are being instituted.
The next SJVRC meeting is tentatively set for Bakersfield, on June 30.