Friday, January 27, 2006

How much do freight delays cost Amtrak?

In a Jan. 23 filing with its bankruptcy judge, Delta Air Lines claimed that delays cost it "$38 per minute per flight."

Now we don't know how much an en-route delay costs Amtrak. But we do know how many minutes Amtrak trains are delayed. They're in Amtrak's own Monthly Performance Reports.

In the month of September 2005, Amtrak incurred 309,000 freight-related delay minutes:
  • Amtrak operated nearly 1.76 million train miles over its major host railroads. Amtrak trains were delayed 1,594 minutes for every 10,000 train miles over this portion of its network. Total delay: 281,000 minutes.
  • Amtrak ran another 268,000 train miles over smaller host railroads in September, over which it was delayed 1,041 minutes per 10,000 train miles. That makes 27,900 more delay minutes.
Over the whole fiscal year? 3.84 million delay minutes. How much do they cost Amtrak? Enter a figure and click "Calculate."
Cost to Amtrak for each minute of delay: $
Total estimated cost: $ million
Whatever cost figure you choose, there should be no question about these points:
  • Delays cost Amtrak money.
  • 3.84 million minutes is a lot of delay.


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