June Amtrak Report


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

1) The report is date July 26, 2013 and posted the next day on the Amtrak Web site. This is very early.

2) June was a very good month, as Amtrak was able to achieve several budgetary goals.

3) As a result Amtrak operations for the period of October 2012 through June 2013 is now $10.1 million better than budgeted. When cash only items are considered, Amtrak is forecasting for the entire FY2013 a requirement of $389.2 million for operations, which is $44.5 million less than appropriation for FY2013.  This is good news, but some of our "friends" will spin it as another example of excess appropriations which should be cut.

4) Amtrak has still not revealed whether or not any signed contracts have occurred with the State Corridors. {NOTE VIRGINIA HAS SINCE SIGNED AN AGREEMENT.} Last month Michigan showed a healthy profit for the Blue Water. While that product line is now back in the red, the Adirondack is now shown in the black. (New York may reach an agreement on that line).

5) There remain seven product lines that show an operational surplus: Acela at $191.1 million; Northeast Regionals $108.4 million, NEC Specials $3.5 million; Washington-Lynchburg $2.6 million, Washington-Newport News $2.2 million, Adirondack $1.5 million and Washington-Norfolk at $0.3 million. The NON-NEC Specials cover all expense except for OPEBs (Other Post Employment Benefits).

6) Amtrak employment shrunk by 27 during June to 20,184.

7) Cash on hand on June 30, 2013 was $285.4 million; a decrease of $32.6 million from the end of the previous month. Restricted cash rose slightly to $7.579 million.

8) Net Interest paid so far this year is $5.9 million better than budget and $34.8 million improved over last year.

9) In June, Long term debt decreased by $3.636 million. Capital Leases decreased by $17.306 million, Mortgages by $11.690 million and Equipment and other Debt by $139,000. However the RRIF loan for the new locomotives grew by $25.498 million. Current maturities also grew by $2.317 million. Total debt is now $1.397 billion.

10) Authorized capital spending continues to be increased, but actual forecasted spending decreased (for the entire year) by another $11.892 million from the forecast given last month. Expected spending is expected to be $1,107.070 million. Only two departments expected to increase their spending over the previous forecast were Transportation of $4.040 million and Amtrak Technologies of $1.740 million. On the other hand Engineering is expect to spend $2.165 million less, Mechanical $8.195 million less, NEC IID $3.212 million less, Marketing $2.889 million less and Emergency Management $1.407 million less.

In subprograms Major Bridges was pared by $.0961 million and Acquisitions $0.424 million less.

As of June 30, 2013 Amtrak had actually spent $676.208 million on Capital Projects of which $13.854 million was for the Major Bridges special project and $33.300 million for Acquisitions (an increase of $0.173 million).

11) Ridership for the first nine months of FY2013 was 23,359,619; an increase of 150,910 from the same period last year. June 2013 was a record June and almost set an all time monthly record. Amtrak is very likely to set another annual record when FY 2013 is complete.

Because of the large increases from previous years, and lack of no additional equipment, it is not surprising that none of the product lines had a ridership increase greater than 10% from the previous year.

12) Engineering completed 4 more turnouts and another 5.3 miles of new signal cable. Most of the new signal cable was on the New Haven to Springfield line where Amtrak is replacing all of the old signal cable in anticipation of double tracking the entire line.

13) Mechanical overhauled 14 more Amfleets, 4 Superliners, 1 Horizon, 1 Viewliner, and 1 Surfliner.

14) At this moment, {end of July 2013} both the full House and Senate are voting on provisions in their Transportation appropriations. The House bill already below the danger point for Amtrak continuity faces amendments eliminating all of its remaining operating and capital funding. There is also amendments by Rep. Mica to have third parties operate some of Amtrak lines and to eliminate any federal support for food and first class service. The second amendment mirrors efforts by Senator Flake in the Senate bill. There are also amendments to increase funding in both the house and bills.

Meanwhile the new Electric Locomotives built by Siemans are advancing through testing. It is becoming more likely that some of them will enter revenue service this fall.

The Amtrak reauthorization bill which was thought possible in this session of Congress is now more likely to be taken up next year.


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