Quantcast

Accuracy of Amtrak's train status page?

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

Austruck

Service Attendant
Joined
Sep 28, 2016
Messages
184
Location
western Pennsylvania
Hi, gang!

Next week is my much-anticipated cross-country train journey! I'm beyond excited at this point.

A friend is picking me up at the Kansas City station one evening. Arrival time of the SWC is stated as 10:11 PM. I remember waiting to pick up friends for an extra hour when their train was late getting into Pittsburgh last summer, and I don't want my friend to get to the station too early.

How accurate is this Amtrak status page on the fly? Can she check it before leaving home (the way you can check on the arrival status of airplanes)? Or is there a way for me to get that info while I'm on the train and text her an arrival time?

https://m.amtrak.com/mt/tickets.amtrak.com/itd/amtrak?un_jtt_v_target=status
Thanks for any info that might keep my friend (who will have a toddler granddaughter in tow that night).
 

chakk

Conductor
Joined
May 26, 2011
Messages
2,555
Ask your conductor when you are 100 miles out when he or she expects arrival in KC. Then text that information to the party meeting you.

The party can also Ask Julie by telephoning 1-800-USA-RAIL and follow the audio prompts.
 

Devil's Advocate

Conductor
Joined
May 24, 2010
Messages
11,544
Location
Texas
The map that shows where the train is currently located is usually accurate to within a few minutes or so. Just check the time stamp to be sure. The time estimate for arrival at some future station can range from precise to wildly inaccurate, depending on the specific circumstances of that particular trip. America's rail dispatching is extremely simplistic and imprecise compared to air traffic control for airplanes. Trains become disabled and immobilized more often than aircraft and when one is impacted it's not uncommon for every train behind it to suffer a similar fate.
 

Lonestar648

Conductor
AU Supporter
Joined
May 17, 2015
Messages
2,693
Besides the location that is updated, the speed the train is traveling. If the train is stationary, it will show zero MPH. Now if the speed remains zero, you know that something is holding the train, and therefore most likely delayed.
 

JoeBas

Conductor
Joined
Dec 30, 2011
Messages
1,098
The map that shows where the train is currently located is usually accurate to within a few minutes or so. Just check the time stamp to be sure. The time estimate for arrival at some future station can range from precise to wildly inaccurate, depending on the specific circumstances of that particular trip. America's rail dispatching is extremely simplistic and imprecise compared to air traffic control for airplanes. Trains become disabled and immobilized more often than aircraft and when one is impacted it's not uncommon for every train behind it to suffer a similar fate.
This is the key. An airplane that is on schedule and 20 minutes from arrival, is likely going to arrive on time. A train that is on schedule and 20 minutes from arrival could suffer a dispatching whoopsie, broken airhose, mechanical, etc within SIGHT of the station, and spend hours waiting to actual arrive....
 

Austruck

Service Attendant
Joined
Sep 28, 2016
Messages
184
Location
western Pennsylvania
These options above are helpful. I'll send my friend a link to this discussion and will also make sure to see what info I can get while I'm on the train myself, as suggested.
 

Chatter163

OBS Chief
Joined
Aug 26, 2002
Messages
595
I use the Amtrak app whenever I'm on the train. Their status has almost always been completely accurate and up to date. I would assume the website and Julie would contain the same info.
 

VAtrainfan

Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 26, 2017
Messages
136
Location
Portsmouth, VA
My experience with the app while on the train has been about 50/50.

On a recent NER trip we left NFK (the train's origin) over 1 hour late due to a faulty track switch. We left about the time we were supposed to be pulling in to PTB. Obviously the app didn't update anything until we actually left NFK, and at that point it showed delayed arriving and leaving PTB. However it happily reported that we were on time into RVR (the next station) even long past the scheduled arrival into RVR. Downstream stations were all reporting a mix of on time and delayed all the way to WAS, while we were consistently 1 hour late arriving and leaving every station. Everything past WAS was showing on time until we actually left WAS, still 1 hour late.
 
Top