July Amtrak Report


I have read the July report and these are the items that I found interesting.

1) The report is dated September 6, 2013 but not posted until the 11th of September. The 6th would be on time, the 11th a bit late.

2) July was also a good month especially ridership, however, the yield per passenger appears to be slightly less than in June.

3) Amtrak operations for the period of October 2012 to July 2013 are now $33.2 million better than budget. When cash only items are considered, Amtrak is forecasting for the entire FY2013 a requirement of $370.1 million, which is $63.6 million less than the appropriation for FY2013. {See end for comments on FY2014 appropriations}

4) Amtrak has signed a contract with Virginia and published that information. They have apparently also signed contracts with Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, Wisconsin, Oregon and Washington. Twelve or thirteen states (if you include New Hampshire) remain unsigned. Still with little more than 2 weeks to the end of the fiscal year when all of these contracts should be in place, it is disheartening that more have not been announced.

Amtrak will be posting discontinuance notices on October 1, 2013 in all stations with state supported trains where no state contract has been signed.

5) The seven product lines with operational surplus remain the same:

Acela with $201.5 million, Northeast Regionals with $108.1 million, NEC Specials at $2.7 million, Washington-Lynchburg also at $2.7 million; Washington-Newport News at $2.1 million, the Adirondack at $1.5 million and Washington-Norfolk at $0.4 million.

The auxiliary services (such as commuter operations, real estate and freight railroad access fees) are showing a much smaller deficit in YTD for July than the YTD in June. Amtrak has probably revised the allocation of costs from those activities to the operation of its core passenger trains. Northeast Regionals for example showed virtually no increase in its operational surplus despite increased ridership over budget.

6) Amtrak employment shrunk by 3 during July to 20,181.

7) Cash on hand as of July 31, 2013 was $394.5 million, an increase of $109.1 million. Should there be a budgetary stall by Congress Amtrak should have sufficient cash on hand to proceed normally for several months safely. Restricted cash was reduced slightly to $7.263 million.

8) Net interest paid so far this year is $9.2 million better than budget and $37.3 million improved over last year.

9) In July, long term debt decreased by $26.579 million. Capital Leases decreased by $27.165 million and Equipment and other debt by $1.380 million. The RRIF loan grew by $1.967 million representing accrued interest on the existing loan.  Current maturities decreased by$11.924 million. Total debt is now $1.358 billion.

10) Authorized capital spending continues to be increased, but actual forecasted spending remains only slightly larger than the previous month. Of the projected capital spending only Engineering showed an increase. The rest of the departments showed decreases.

In actual spending for the Year to Date, $795.243 million has been spent. Major Bridges is now $15.535 million and Acquisitions increased by $28.670 million to $61.970 million. {Most likely the payments were made for the Electric Locomotives as several have been completed and awaiting testing}.

11) Ridership for the first ten months of FY2013 was 26,267,813; which is 283,931 ahead of last year for the comparative period. There are no product lines have an increase of more than 10% from the previous year.

12) Engineering completed 3 turnouts, 2 retimbered bridge decks, and renewed 3.6 more miles of catenary equipment. The signal cable installation showed some shrinkage of .8 miles to 59.2 miles in the year to date.

13) Mechanical overhauled 13 Amfleets, 7 Superliners, 3 Horizions, 1 Heritage Diner, 1 Viewliner, and 2 Surfliners.

14) At this time Congress is considering a continual resolution to fund all goverment activities through December 2013. For Amtrak this would be current levels, less the effect of greater sequestration (in English, slightly less than current levels). This would a significant improvement over the amounts in the House THUD bill that was pulled and is almost the amount in the Senate THUD bill, which was also pulled.

Amtrak looks like it will have a significant amount of its operational appropriation left over on October 1, 2013, which provides Amtrak with a safety net in FY2014.

The Electric Locomotives being built by Siemens are being field tested on the Northeast Corridor. Some should enter revenue service this fall.

There has been less information of the low-level long distance equipment, though a couple of them could be in service by the end of the next fiscal year.


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