In order to combat continuing delays being experienced on congested freight networks along the Empire Builder line, Amtrak has announced the immediate availability of a new transportation service along the corridor from the Pacific Northwest to Chicago, developed under a “skunk works” joint venture with Amazon.com. The new service, Point-to-Point Person-in-Package PrimeAir Program (P2P PiP PAP), promises to prompt pickup and delivery of travelers from home to destination, without the need to stop at intermediate stations.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos stated, “Amtrak came to us and said they wanted to ‘pull an Apple’ and bring Star Trek technology to life. Touch screens have been done, and teleporter technology isn’t quite ready yet, but researchers uncovered an example of personal transportation which used hollowed-out photon torpedoes to secretly send people around the galaxy. In an analog of using military hardware for personal transportation services, we decided to scale up our drone delivery program to carry people rather than small parcels.”
“Skies will soon be buzzing with human direct-delivery vehicles”, said Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari. “They will offer on-demand transportation that even PRT [personal rapid transit] systems can’t hope to achieve. We believe we’re leaping ahead of the game.” When asked about the investments being made in train stations and other fixed infrastructure, Magliari stated, “We hope to offer both home delivery as well as station pickup services for a modest discount, as station agents are able to more tightly pack travelers into their individualized containers.”
To start, pricing is expected to be $0.10 per mile, with Amazon Prime members receiving a modest discount. A surcharge will be applied based on customers’ body mass index. Each P2P PiP PAP customer is offered a personal pan pizza (PPP) for food service before being sealed in. Pepperoni is optional.
Host railroads on the Empire Builder line, BNSF and Canadian Pacific, could not be reached for comment.