Commentary

MORE UNACCEPTABLE SERVICE FAILURES ON PACIFIC SURFLINER 12/05/09: Letter to Amtrak

RAIL PASSENGER ASSOCIATION OF CALIFORNIA
1017 L Street PMB 217, Sacramento, CA 95814
www.railpac.org
5th December, 2009
Mr. Joseph H. Boardman
President and Chief Executive Officer
NATIONAL RAILROAD PASSENGER CORPORATION
60 Massachusetts Avenue NE
Washington DC 20002
Dear Mr. Boardman:
Once again I must write to you about the catastrophic service failures on the Pacific Surfliner service.

As I write hundreds of passengers are stranded by the locomotive failure of train 769 at San Diego. As a result I have been told that 796 from Goleta will be covered by buses this evening even though it would be possible to deadhead a crew to cover the service.

This is a repeat of the disaster of the day before Thanksgiving when you should have had every available manager and every piece of rolling stock in service. Instead passengers waited for hours for trains that were as much as 6 hours late. There is no excuse for the lack of action by Amtrak. We demand that you:

· Make arrangements with the commuter operators Metrolink and Coaster to make standby trains available to you, with extra crews available to operate them.

· Hire in some of the hundreds of idle freight locomotives and put a freight and a passenger locomotive on every train until you have put your own equipment in a state of good repair.

· Negotiate a power pooling arrangement with the commuter operators. Many of their locomotives operate only about 30 hours per week.

We are tired of excuses and inaction. We will be asking for a congressional hearing and state hearings to find out why California is paying so much to Amtrak for corridor service and getting so little in return.

We look forward to your early response.

Yours faithfully,
ORIGINAL SIGNED
Paul J. Dyson
President
pdyson@railpac.org
cc RailPAC Board , LOSSAN Board, Bill Bronte, Division of Rail

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