November Amtrak Report


I have the November report and these are the items I found interesting:

1) The report is dated January 3, 2014 and posted on the web site on January 6, 2014. This is pretty much on time.

2) November did not set a record or even come close to the record set in November 2012.  On a cash operating basis, however, the core operations broke even for the first two months of the year. Amtrak ran a few more trains during Thanksgiving that it did the previous year, but the long distance trains were off enough to prevent an overall gain. For the first two months, Amtrak is still slightly ahead of the previous fiscal year.

3) Amtrak operations for the first two months of FY 2014 was $18.6 million better than budget. In figuring only cash items Amtrak is forecasting for the entire year it will need direct federal appropriations for operations of $344.2 million. {Congress has still not passed an omnibus funding appropriation yet, but presumably it will be more than that}.  On a GAAP basis, Amtrak is running $76.8 million ahead of the previous year.

4) Amtrak has included a new (to me anyways) reporting of Food & Beverage recovery. For the first two months of FY2014 this was 49.6%.

5) Eight Product lines are showing an operating surplus for the first two months: Acela $63.8 million, Northeast Regionals $36.1 million, Washington-Newport News $1.3 million, Washington-Lynchburg $0.8 million, Washington-Norfolf $0.5 million, Vermonter $0.4 million, San Joaquins $0.4 million, and Northeast Corridor Specials $0.2 million.

Three other product lines covered everything but OPEBs and IG: The Keystones, Hiawathas and Carolinian.

6) Amtrak employment shrunk by 10 to 20,178 during November, 2013.

7) Amtrak received most, if not all of the appropriations passed in October after the shut down. As a result cash on hand surged to $462.9 million, an increase of $279.5 million.  Restricted cash fell slightly to $5.949 million.


8) Net interest paid in the first two month was $9.7 million better than budget, however, because of the lease buyouts last year, it is running behind last yearby $9.8 million.

9) In November, long term debt decreased by $5.211 million, however, the breakdown shown in the report has a $79.0 million decrease in capital leases and a $68.922 million increase in the mortgage on Penn Station, NY.  Either some debt was reclassified, or a glitch took place in this report. Equipment and other debt increased by $3.966 million and $0.984 million on the RRIF Loan. The last item is capitalization of the interest accrued on the existing loan to purchase the electric locomotives.

Current maturities decreased by $0.892 million. Total debt is now $1.385 billion.

10) Authorized Capital Spending increased by $1.419 million and forecast spending by $14.77 million over what reported in the October report. The extra authorization was in the Mechanical Department.

Actual spending was on capital projects so far this year is $161.301 million. $26.030 million has been spent on the Gateway project and $0.012 million on Acquisitions. ADA expenditure so far this year have been $4.6 million.

11) Ridership was 5,176,531 for the year so far, and 20,621 more than last year. However, since October 2013  was a 97,317 improvement, the trend is not positive. Four product lines remain over 10% improved from FY2013: Special NEC Trains at 212.3%, Acela at 17.5%, Empire Corridor at 15.6% and Vermonter at 13.8%. It looks like the track improvement completed last year are having a positive effect on the Vermonter.

12) Engineering replaced 3 more turnouts, retimbered a bridge deck and installed 2.4 milles of signal cable.

13) Mechanical overhauled 12 Amfleet, 5 Superliners, 1 Heritage Diner and 1 Viewliner.


14) The new appropriations bill was supposed to have been released by this weekend to be voted on next week. However, it now appears that a short term continuous resolution of 3 additional days will be passed extending the deadline to January 18, 2014. The appropriators may post the full amounts for the year starting today (January 13, 2014).


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