New Amtrak VP to Oversee Long-Distance Services

On the same day that Amtrak implemented its flexible dining service aboard all overnight eastern long-distance trains it also welcomed aboard a new vice president to oversee long-distance service.

Larry Chestler took the job after a career in the airline industry, most recently in marketing at Sun County Airlines. He also work at MLT Vacations.

He told Trains magazine that he is still too new to the post to have a clear sense of the dynamics of the Amtrak rout network, including how contributes to peak travel demand.

“The role I’m stepping into as the commercial leader is take all of the elements and look at what [the trains] need to be more successful — whatever that definition is,” Chestler said.

“My team should have enough knowledge about the traffic use and customer base of (each) train and what its role is in the national network to be able to clearly advocate what it brings.”

That includes studying travelers taking a route endpoint to endpoint versus those who travel only on a segment of a route.

He described himself as “keenly interested” in studying connections to long-distance trains from corridor service trains.

Chestler had little train riding experience before taking the job. He said he had ridden Amtrak long-distance trains before, including the Coast Starlight.

He views pricing and inventory management as key to marketing the long-distance services.

Chestler also view his role as being an advocate for long distance routes. However, he said that focusing on long-distance services won’t be the only facet of his position.

He doesn’t see corridor services as competitors or rivals but partners.

Shortly after going to work at Amtrak Chestler rode the Cardinal from Chicago to Washington to observe how the carrier’s flexible dining service is playing out.

He spent the night in a business class eat that he admitted as a good experience but one in which he got little sleep.

But he told Trains “it was good for me to experience the product as the majority of our customers do, in a seat.”

Chestler also concluded that the flexible dining food service was well-received by passengers and “the onboard staff did a nice job delivering the product.”

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One Response to “New Amtrak VP to Oversee Long-Distance Services”

  1. wildbillfromusa Says:

    Either Chestler is deaf or has already immersed himself with Amtrak’s propaganda.

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