No Amtrak Long Distance Train Met FRA OT Threshold During the First Quarter of 2022

The Federal Railroad Administration reported that during the first quarter of 2022 no Amtrak long-distance train met the 80 percent on-time performance mark.

The FRA report said just 16 of Amtrak’s 43 routes met the 80 percent threshold.

The agency measures on-time performance, train delays, customer service, financial performance and public benefits.

The best Amtrak route for on-time performance was the Chicago-Milwaukee Hiawatha Service, which posted a rate of 95 percent. The worst was the Auto Train at 24.2 percent.

Other high performers included the Ethan Allen (93.3 percent) and Keystone Service (93.2) percent). Other low performers included the Capitol Limited (35.0 percent), and Sunset Limited (40.0 percent).

Eight long-distance trains rated at less than 50 percent with the best performance being turned in by the City of New Orleans at 79.9 percent, just below the FRA’s 80 percent threshold.

The FRA defines on time as no later than 15 minutes after the scheduled arrival time.

The first quarter report found Amtrak trains experienced 1.3 million minutes of delay during the quarter.

Freight train interference was the most common source of delay during the quarter, accounting for 299,252 minutes (22 percent) of total delay minutes. That was a 12 percent increase over the fourth quarter of 2021.

Freight train interference on Union Pacific was 84,000 minutes followed by Norfolk Southern (69,116 minutes), BNSF (69,079 minutes), and CSX (54,810 minutes).

Other significant causes of delay were unused recovery time, passenger train interference and slow orders.

The FRA report said passengers rated the majority of routes (31 of 41) as 80 percent or higher in overall satisfaction.

The only route falling below 70 percent passenger satisfaction was the Auto Train.

System-wide, Amtrak earned $672 million in adjusted operating revenue and incurred $823 million in fully allocated operating expenses, achieving a cost recovery ratio of 82 percent, the FRA report said.

Routes that operated with high cost-recovery ratios include the Auto Train (131 percent), Illini/Saluki (124 percent), Northeast Regional (115 percent), and Hiawatha (114 percent).

Ridership was up 7 percent to 5.5 million in the first quarter compared with the fourth quarter or 2021.

The highest ridership was reported by Northeast Regional (1,706,419 riders), Acela Express (478,441 riders), and Pacific Surfliner (349,304 riders).

The FRA report said during federal fiscal year 2021, which ended on Sept. 30, 12.4 percent of Amtrak trips included a connection to another route: 6.4 percent of Northeast Corridor trains, 16.6 percent of State-supported trains, and 17.7 percent of long distance trains.

Of all multi-segment Amtrak trips, 2 percent included a missed connection, with the highest number on the San Joaquins, Pacific Surfliner, and Southwest Chief routes.

In FY2021, Amtrak served 67,835 riders (0.56 percent of all riders) in areas not well-served by other modes of intercity transportation, “such as air or intercity buses.

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