Canadians Were Best Amtrak Hosts in 2021

Amtrak handed out report cards this week to its host railroads for their ability to keep passenger trains on time during 2021.

The class leaders were Canadian Pacific and Canadian National, which both received A grades.

Other Class 1 host railroads included BNSF, B+; CSX, B; Union Pacific, C+; and Norfolk Southern, D-. 

It was the sixth consecutive years that CP has led the class in report card grades.

Amtrak said freight train interference caused nearly 900,000 delay minutes during 2021.

Federal Railroad Administration standards are that for a train to considered on-time that 80 percent of its passengers must arrive at their destination within 15 minutes of the scheduled arrival time.

Only one of Amtrak’s long-distance trains, the City of New Orleans (Chicago-New Orleans), met the FRA criteria. It ran on time 83 percent of the time.

The next best was the New York-Savannah, Georgia, Palmetto, which was on-time 62 percent of the time.

The worst were the Sunset Limited and Capitol Limited, which were on time just 28 percent of the time.  

More than half of the state-supported corridor routes fell below FRA standards for on-time performance.

The worst was the Cascades route between Vancouver, British Columbia, and Eugene, Oregon, via Seattle and Portland, which had a 57 percent on-time performance.

Leading state corridors was Hiawatha Service (Chicago-Milwaukee) at 95 percent on time.

The Hiawathas are hosted primarily by Canadian Pacific, which Amtrak honored in a short ceremony on Tuesday at Chicago Union Station.

Amtrak President Stephen Gardner presented CP President and CEO Keith Creel with an award recognizing the carrier’s A grade on Amtrak report cards.

Among the Class 1 hosts, NS has struggled the most with its grades since 2018, ranging from F to C.

CN has shown the most improvement going from a D- in 2018 to an A last year.

The Amtrak report cards can be read at http://media.amtrak.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Host-Railroad-Report-Card-2021-Final-v2.pdf

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