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  1. Siegmund

    Parallel vs perpendicular sleeper berths?

    One more perpendicular person here. The side-to-side rocking in a roomette makes me feel like I am falling out of the bed; I have to either sleep leaning against the outside wall of the car, or make a pile of pillows/luggage between myself and the inside wall of the roomette. I'd happily try a...
  2. Siegmund

    spokane to glacier park. yea or nay.

    I posted this in the general Glacier Park destinations thread, but will add it here too: The Blackfeet announced today that the east side of Glacier is staying closed for the season. Blackfeet close eastern border of Glacier for remainder of 2020 season
  3. Siegmund

    Glacier National Park, and nearby towns (Whitefish, Essex, East Glacier, West Glacier)

    East side of Glacier Park will not open at all for 2020: Blackfeet close eastern border of Glacier for remainder of 2020 season Make plans accordingly if you intend to get off the Builder in East Glacier this year (will they even keep the stop at East Glacier rather than Browning?). The west...
  4. Siegmund

    about the black bear at SPUD

    The Yellowstone bears are being seen in their usual numbers this year. Lots of folks posting daily pictures of "Bear 399" who had 4 cubs rather than the usual 1 or 2 this spring.
  5. Siegmund

    Restore Passenger Service to Southern Montana?

    I will be surprised if I live to see this new Big Sky Passenger Rail Authority actually run a train... but a second county has now committed to joining Missoula in tilting at this windmill. (Former NCH stop Glendive is in Dawson County.)...
  6. Siegmund

    Service Reductions effective October 1

    If you go back even further, you'll find long stretches in the early 70s where the San Francisco Zephyr ran only 3 times a week west of Denver, the Builder only 3 times a week west of Minneapolis, the Coast Starlight only 3 times a week north of Oakland. But those were different, in that they...
  7. Siegmund

    spokane to glacier park. yea or nay.

    Given how fast cases have increased in MT in the past two weeks I would not bet the farm on the Blackfeet Reservation opening in July. So far the rest of the state hasn't shown any willingness to re-close, though there has been a modest uptick in people willing to wear mask.
  8. Siegmund

    spokane to glacier park. yea or nay.

    If you are worried about mask compliance, you can be glad you are headed for East Glacier rather than West, and you can be assured the people on the train will take it more seriously than the rest of western Montana does. The Blackfeet Reservation (East Glacier) is taking the virus seriously...
  9. Siegmund

    The Olympian Hiawatha, The Empire Builder, The North Coast Limited

    They did go through less desirable and less inhabited territory, but a) had less-steep grades (but more of them) than NP did, and b) operated all-steam for about five years before the first electric section opened.
  10. Siegmund

    The Olympian Hiawatha, The Empire Builder, The North Coast Limited

    The Milwaukee had far and away the longest electrified sections of any US railroad (but not quite the whole western extension - two separate districts totaling over 600 miles.) The Great Northern had a very short electric district centered on the Cascade Tunnel in steam days. The appeal was in...
  11. Siegmund

    Draft Reauthorization bill (TRAIN act) release by House Transportation and Infrastructure Committeee

    Now is probably as good a time as we're likely to ever see for a favorable Amtrak bill. We get a tiny bit of selfish benefit from our congress anxious to bail out every corporation in sight. As for the endless spending - I am not a fan of that either. I agree now is the time for it... but...
  12. Siegmund

    The Olympian Hiawatha, The Empire Builder, The North Coast Limited

    All four were before my time, but having driven along all their routes a number of times...would give the scenery vote to NCL. The scenery is at least interesting (along the Yellowstone River) starting between Billings and Columbus, and exceptional from Homestake Pass westward. Ironically...
  13. Siegmund

    #7(28) hits sprayer tractor

    It is I agree that'd be wise - but I can't say I've seen it done regularly with farm machinery. (And re the last bit - I am not aware of any jurisdiction that holds farmers to anything like commercial-vehicle standards for training and safety. In Montana and several other western states...
  14. Siegmund

    #7(28) hits sprayer tractor

    I've not seen anywhere post an exact location, but given the 'mile 653' comment in several of the articles, I gather the accident was likely on "Road 1013" some 6 miles west of Bainville and 4 miles west of where the branch to Plentywood and Redstone crosses US-2.
  15. Siegmund

    #7(28) hits sprayer tractor

    Some additional photos are now up on the Billings Gazette site: 1 dead, others injured in Amtrak train crash on Hi-Line in Montana I don't imagine any of the equipment will require extensive repair except the nose of the lead unit.
  16. Siegmund

    #7(28) hits sprayer tractor

    Beat me to the site by a few minutes! Apparently happened late this morning, train shows as on time out of Williston, but didn't make it onto any of our news sites here in MT until an hour ago. News is reporting 10 cars derailed - which is surprising for hitting a vehicle, to me - that has to...
  17. Siegmund

    Bucket List trip May 2020: trains 421, 4 and 50

    If you happen to have a photo of the outside of the consist, you may see the car number of your sleeper (the 5-digit permanent number, not the '0430' or whatever assigned to it for boarding.) The Superliner Is are 32000-32069, the IIs are 32070-32108. I would not bet the farm on all of the...
  18. Siegmund

    Number of Train Sets Used for Each Long Distance Train?

    44 hours out, 8 hours in Seattle, 44 hours back, and 24 hours in Chicago still only requires 5 trainsets. A sixth trainset - presumably held in Chicago as a spare - can only be insurance against a catastrophe, or a plan to have 1/6th of the fleet out of service for long term heavy maintenance at...
  19. Siegmund

    COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic: Amtrak-related Discussion

    It may change by the 28th -- but right now, the Montana National Guard will meet your flight, take your temperature, and ask you where you are planning to serve your 14-day quarantine (though they won't actually check up on you to see if you do; there was generally no enforcement action in...
  20. Siegmund

    Number of Train Sets Used for Each Long Distance Train?

    There are a few cases where a casual observer can notice Amtrak does things differently than their predecessors did: 6 sets for the Empire Builder, for instance, when GN and NP did fine with five from the 1947 equipment order onward, on a similar running time to the present one. Illinois...
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