How to profit from no-show train passengers?

According to this NYT article, Amtrak is rolling out the system where conductors will be scanning passengers’ tickets with iPhones.

By late summer, 1,700 conductors will be using the devices on Amtrak trains across the country, the company said.

With the new system, passengers will be able to print tickets or load a special bar code on their smartphone screens for conductors to scan, and conductors will be able to keep track of passengers on board, Amtrak said.

A digitized check-in process for trains seems long overdue in a world of online concert tickets and flight reservations. But the industry faces a particular challenge in that passengers hop on and off at different platforms at different times, unlike at an airport, where people check in at one gateway to board a flight, and then stay there until the flight arrives.

Both airlines and railways profit from no-shows if they overbook. However, for a railway the above mentioned challenge of people hopping on and off at different stations might actually be a blessing in disguise, especially if one can track no shows in real time. That’s exactly what this new technology is doing.

Imagine a train departing from Boston to DC. Continue reading


How do you build a 737?

I’ve written before about the Boeing plant in Renton, WA. Here is a fascinating video about how an airplane is actually built, this one is for Russia’s S7 airlines. The 11 days of final assembly¬† compressed in 2 minutes (and they do have a conveyor belt for airplanes!)

After a little bit of research, the details on the assembly line:

Length of moving line: 742.5 ft. (226 meters)
Speed of moving line: 2 inches (5 cm) per minute (75 hours to go through the line)

Read on, the performance improvement numbers are fascinating –>

Continue reading