August Amtrak Report

I have read the August report and these are the items I found interesting:


1) The report is dated September 27, 2013 and was posted by September 28, 2013. This is very early.


2) August was a good month both in terms of finance and ridership.


3) Amtrak operations for the period of October 1, 2012 to August 31, 2013 are now $43.2 million better than budget. When cash only items are considered, Amtrak is forecasting for the entire FY2013 a requirement of $365.6, which is $68.1 million less than the federal operating support. This is a gain of $4.5 million over the forecast at the end of July.


4) Amtrak appears to have signed contracts or reach agreements with all states involved with corridors with the following exceptions: New York, Illinois, Indiana and 2 corridors in California (San Joaquin and Surfliner). Amtrak is hoping to complete the remaining states and agencies shortly. Even Indiana is talking not only about retaining the existing 4 times a week Hoosier State but expanding the service.


5) The seven product lines with operational surplus remain the same: Acela with $212.8 million; Northeast Regionals at $118.2 million; Washington-Lynchburg at $3.0 million; Northeast Corridor Specials at $2.7 million; Washington-Newport News also at $2.7 million; the Adirondack at $0.8 million and Washington-Norfolk at $0.4 million.


6) Amtrak employment shrunk by 54 during August to 20,127.


7) Cash on hand as of August 31, 2013 was $290.6 million a decrease of $103.9 million from the record high in July. Amtrak can easily get through October and probably November without any fresh appropriations from the government. Restricted cash increased slightly to $7.275 million.


8) Net interest paid so far this year is $11.4 million better than budget and $37.5 million improved over last year.


9) In August, long term debt increased by $15.631 million caused by further borrowings of $16.328 million for the RRIF (Railroad Infrastructure Financing) Loan offset by principal payments of $0.555 million on the Capital Leases and $0.142 million on the Equipment and Other Debt. Current maturities increased by $0.226 million. Total Debt is now $1.374 billion.


10) Authorized capital spending continues to increase, but actual forecast spending decreased over the month.  Mechanical shows a slight increase with the other departments showing decreases.


In actual spending for the Year to Date, $901.981 million has been spent. Major Bridges is $16.251 million and Acquisitions increased by $0.402 million to $62.372 million.


11) Ridership for the first eleven months of FY2013 was 29,119,792, which is 366,675 more than last year. Chicago-St. Louis had an increase of 11.0% over the same period last year, when track work forced the cancellation of several trains.


12) Engineering completed 2 Turnouts and 5 miles of signal cable installation.


13) Mechanical overhauled 13 Amfleets, 8 Superlines, 1 Heritage Diner and 1 Viewliner.


14) At this time it appears that the Senate Majority Leader will refuse to make any compromises on a short-term appropriation, as least at this time. NARP has informed its membership that Amtrak has enough cash on hand to go 6 weeks without an appropriation.


Also being holed up is the trackage between New Rochelle and Stamford, where the transmission cable has failed. Limited electric service is being provided, but most trains are either cancelled or being diesel locomotive towed through the affected area.



Rhode Island representative to the National Association of Railroad Passengers' Council of Representatives