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NSC1109

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If the comments in the article are at all accurate, it appears that much of the delay (perhaps up to 9 hours) was caused by locomotive problems.
believe it or not, locomotives having issues isn’t always in the control of the railroad. If you have an unexpected breakdown of your car despite taking it in regularly to get service, is that your fault? No, it’s just unfortunate. Not a perfect comparison but it’s the same general idea. You can do all the preventative maintenance you want (and you should be, don’t get me wrong), but some things are still going to go wrong, especially with computers being in everything now.

On Reddit it was mentioned by a passenger on that train that it kept dumping every time they tried to move. From my experiences with BNSF, that sounds like a computer error forcing an emergency application. The conductor (if they were any good at their job), would’ve checked the angle cocks, brake pipe seating, emergency application handles in the cars, and the automatic handle in the locomotive being towed to be sure it was in “Handle Off”.

Amtrak needs to get David Gunn back, and fast, to get a handle on these issues, but you aren’t gonna prevent every single one. Glitches happen. What they need to do is start putting locomotives on both ends of the train again. The leader dying leaves the 2nd one available for HEP and honestly it should be able to limp the train to where it needs to be. That’s how you prevent these incidents from become 19 hour dramas that end up on the local news.
 
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These unfortunate incidents seem to happen periodically on Amtrak (some might say regularly) but I get the impression from many articles that Amtrak seems to react as if each such incident is the first time such an incident has ever happened so it does not seem to have a reaction that inspires confidence.

Something is seriously wrong.
 

NSC1109

OBS Chief
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These unfortunate incidents seem to happen periodically on Amtrak (some might say regularly) but I get the impression from many articles that Amtrak seems to react as if each such incident is the first time such an incident has ever happened so it does not seem to have a reaction that inspires confidence.

Something is seriously wrong.
I don’t disagree. These issues seem to be happening more frequently ever since Gardner took over. I can’t say for sure it is because of him or his policies (correlation/causation etc) but Amtrak’s rep is being seriously damaged by these issues.

If rumors are to be believed, the Chicago Maintenance Facility is little more than a joke. There is step number 1. Get your maintenance facilities in order with a solid equipment maintenance plan with spare parts and sufficient numbers of carmen/electricians/machinists/laborers etc.
 

Manny T

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Don't understand why Amtrak isn't on scene ASAP whenever this happens with personnel, water, food, blankets, a method of evacuation, transportation, portable sanitation, whatever it takes to make passenger safety, health and well-being its first priority. Why aren't there local contacts at every interval along the routes to call upon in case of emergencies of this nature? Seems like a logical thing to do. They would respond when needed. Not speaking of fire departments and hospital ambulances, but more of care-givers who could ameliorate a 9 hour delay without heat, electricity, or working bathrooms.
 
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Mike G

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Southaven, MS
sunset Limited #1 8 hours49 minutes late to Tucson

UP 6179 AC4400CW was leading and not refueled.

Looks like #51 had no exhaust discharging and was not refueled.

#151 was refueled.

Numerous flats of Krispy Kreme delivered to the Dining Car.tempImagesyJBbW.jpg
 

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Willbridge

50+ Year Amtrak Rider
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Amtrak needs to get David Gunn back, and fast, to get a handle on these issues, but you aren’t gonna prevent every single one. Glitches happen. What they need to do is start putting locomotives on both ends of the train again. The leader dying leaves the 2nd one available for HEP and honestly it should be able to limp the train to where it needs to be. That’s how you prevent these incidents from become 19 hour dramas that end up on the local news.
It isn't just the local news. Before I signed on here, I read two different versions from national websites, and I skipped the Washington Examiner's gloating coverage.
 

GDRRiley

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Amtrak needs to get David Gunn back, and fast, to get a handle on these issues, but you aren’t gonna prevent every single one. Glitches happen. What they need to do is start putting locomotives on both ends of the train again. The leader dying leaves the 2nd one available for HEP and honestly it should be able to limp the train to where it needs to be. That’s how you prevent these incidents from become 19 hour dramas that end up on the local news.
There aren't any amtrak CEOs in the last 30 years I'd want back. We just need to find someone from Europe or Asia who actually knows how to run a railroad.
there aren't enough working P42 or overall SC-44 to do that.
1/2 locos running on a short local train really isn't a big deal.
The midwest chargers have had many more issues than the 32 on the west coast.
Don't understand why Amtrak isn't on scene ASAP whenever this happens with personnel, water, food, blankets, a method of evacuation, transportation, portable sanitation, whatever it takes to make passenger safety, health and well-being its first priority. Why aren't there local contacts at every interval along the routes to call upon in case of emergencies of this nature?
even transit orgs who run buses often struggle to get buses and support to a heavily delayed train.
Seems like a logical thing to do
its expensive to have a bunch of supplies stored and a good plan pre made for every area.

From trains: amtrak-wolverine-to-chicago-delayed-more-than-13-hours
The train’s Siemens Charger SC44 locomotive became disabled 19 miles west of Ann Arbor, Mich. The operating crew was unable to restart it or put it on standby to provide head-end power. Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliar

A decision was made to have the following westbound Wolverine, No. 353, couple to No. 351 and bring both trains to Chicago, but crews encountered difficulties in combining the two trains. Although 353 left Ann Arbor at 10:32 a.m., three hours behind 351, the combined trains didn’t arrive at Jackson, Mich., 38 miles away, until 3:30 p.m.

Employees were never able to get No. 353’s locomotive to operate the electrical system on No. 351’s passenger cars.

Amtrak spokesman Jason Abrams told MLive that a medical emergency, sticking brakes, and battery problems contributed to cascading delays along the way, followed by a lengthy stop on Norfolk Southern’s busy, multi-track main line, waiting for an Amtrak relief crew to take the combined trains into Chicago.
This whole thing sounds like a chain of bad events.
 

Manny T

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even transit orgs who run buses often struggle to get buses and support to a heavily delayed train.
its expensive to have a bunch of supplies stored and a good plan pre made for every area.
No excuse. Some level of local management needs to be empowered to go outside normal procedures and channels to mitigate an emergency. Move heaven and earth.
 

Gary Behling

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Mar 28, 2019
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I actually like it when the train is late because I get to spend extra time in my bedroom watching movies on my computer in an altered state of mind. But this route thru Tucson (where I live) is a different deal. Riding the Train from Tucson to Chicago --- or the exact reverse is a big big issue. I had to get off the train at San Antonio once and ride a bus, to Fort Worth or something and THEN Amtrak coach the rest of the way to Chicago. I pay big money for a deluxe bedroom and I am not riding coach or a bus. Instead of taking their bus, I checked in to a nearby hotel, called Amtrak and got a Deluxe bedroom to Chicago 3 days later.

NOW I am super "gun shy" over riding this train. It used to be so much fun. On the trip from Chicago to Tucson, I'd get off my car in San Antonio, get a cab and go to a really nice Mexican restaurant for a big plate of take-out Enchiladas, rice and beans plus 8 flour tortillas. Then the cab driver and I would go get a six pack of Mexican beer and back to the train station where I would go back to my Deluxe Bedroom sitting on the siding, get drunk and eat my excellent food. But not anymore. Now I go to Los Angeles and take the Southwest Chief to Chicago. I sure hope Amtrak can straighten this Texas Eagle business out.
 
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Saddened by the stories about the Wolverine delay, for the passengers and employees. This type of scenario should quite frankly not happen. People are understanding about things like hurricanes, floods, snowstorms... all the engine issues causing delays and then a chain of events like this one is not going to be met with understanding by passengers and it's really unfair to put employees in the situation of having to cope with it. The Wolverine service is still reduced due to equipment and staffing issues. If they can't operate the route on a nice day with only 2 departures there is a management issue and that's what they are paid big bucks to solve.
I'd have been among those who jumped out.
 

RebelRider

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America's Railroad
A switch failure may mean something wrong with mechanism that conductor could not over ride?

That was exactly the problem. The switch failed and the crew attempted to handle the switch manually. It still would not lock into position properly. They had to wait for a signal maintainer to arrive and literally fix the switch. Been there, done that.
 

west point

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Thisposter has complained for over a year about the many delays of both direction Crescents south of ATL. However the last couple months time keeping has been excellent except fot TCL. Both directions into TCL schedule is too short most times but next station has been plenty of slop. Have seen #20 make up an hour from TCL to BHM.
 

jis

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The continuing saga of Wolverine 351


What is astounding is the comment about consolidating control center in Delaware. I was under the possibly mistaken impression that CNOC was the national control center. Perhaps it is the case that it only controls the operation of LD trains and the NEC, and now the Midwest Regionals will be brought under its control? Where exactly were they controlled from until now? Chicago? That in itself might explain a lot ;) But still, who would have thunk that the Amtrak controlled Michigan Corridor is not controlled out of CNOC? The other possibility is that they are simply trying to baffle us with BS.

If they actually terminate trains with non working HEP and accommodate people in safe habitable places if they cannot find alternate transportation immediately that would be a huge improvement. We keep reading about how children should not be left in cars and description of how temperatures inside rise, and yet the same dictum does not appear to apply to Amtrak somehow.

The bottom line is, as I have said before, there is a dire need for a passengers' Bill of Rights for rail in the US.
 
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Will be interesting to see what results. It does sound like concrete changes of some sort are being put forth. And for that situation to have even happened, it needed to be.
Although, I am personally not a big fan of passenger "bill of rights" as it can set up situations that wind up being worse for passengers, which I have seen from an airline perspective many years ago. It's a bit hard to explain here but I'm also not in favor of creating rules that essentially pit employees and customers against one another. Common sense needs to start from the top, much easier said than done of course. I am completely ignorant of the control center logistics and what that means.
 

AmtrakBlue

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What is astounding is the comment about consolidating control center in Delaware. I was under the possibly mistaken impression that CNOC was the national control center. Perhaps it is the case that it only controls the operation of LD trains and the NEC, and now the Midwest Regionals will be brought under its control? Where exactly were they controlled from until now? Chicago? That in itself might explain a lot ;) But still, who would have thunk that the Amtrak controlled Michigan Corridor is not controlled out of CNOC? The other possibility is that they are simply trying to baffle us with BS.
 
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