Amtrak delays

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fdaley

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 25, 2020
Messages
468
Location
upstate New York
Not worth riding with the High Bucket Fares,Flex Food and No Sightseer Lounge as well as the Poor Timekeeping!
This is just how I feel about the Lake Shore at this point, at least for overnight travel. It's bad enough to have flex food for three meals at the LSL's high sleeper prices, but it somehow seems worse if you might be stuck on the train through an extra meal period or two. We did ride it from Boston to Albany on Monday, though, and it was right on time for that portion anyway. It's the eastbound run that's more prone to extreme tardiness.
 

zephyr17

Engineer
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
6,226
Location
Washington State
While the Eagle is off my list, right now I prefer the Lake Shore to the Capitol. The let you hang out in the Viewliner Diner and use it as a lounge and it is staffed a bit better, with the Boston cafe having its own LSA and the Diner LSA not having to do double duty. I used to like the Capitol for its Sightseer.

Just booked the LSL for November today, in fact. It dropped to low bucket for my date.
 

MikefromCrete

Engineer
Joined
Mar 24, 2009
Messages
2,797
Location
Crete, IL
An acquaintance of mine was on the SWC from Chi to ABQ on Tuesday (yesterday) and that train was 4 hours late into ABQ. My acquaintance said most of the delay was freight interference (in Kansas, I think she said), but also it was also delayed by the Rail Runner as they approached ABQ. She said it was because the Rail Runner owns the rails that they were both on during the interference. I haven't really paid attention to commuter train interference. May I assume it happens in other places also? Is there one side that usually "wins"?
Whoever owns and dispatches the track wins.
 
Joined
Mar 7, 2022
Messages
4
Location
Texas
What in the world is going on with the Texas Eagle (both 21 & 22) the past couple of days? Both have been...not just late... but LATE!!!! Anyone know the real scoop and not whatever line is being put out?

Oh... In addition we came into Chicago on 6/14 on the Eagle. Only...3 hours late. One "explanation" for the delays that we were "offered" was that it was due to the "heat" and thus we had to slow down....... Yeah right. That's why the trains crossing thru the hot western part of the Country only go 40mph.

Geez......
 

MccfamschoolMom

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Feb 28, 2020
Messages
352
Location
Dwight, IL
I was on that train. Your report is correct - Plus an additional i hour stop between stations to repower the engines. And, a two hour delay 12 miles from Chicago due to trees on the track - which also delayed BNSF freight and Metra as well as Amtrak. All told, we were 8:30 late. Every connecting passenger missed their connecting train.
My son's ride home from SIU-Carbondale on the Saluki was once several hours late due to trees on the track. His dad and I had time to watch a movie where we were waiting in Kankakee, while all of the Saluki passengers were put on buses for a while, then reboarded the train (or a train, at least) N of the track blockage.
 

chrsjrcj

OBS Chief
Joined
Mar 24, 2011
Messages
941
Location
West Palm Beach, FL
I've been telling people to avoid Amtrak. It's already borderline useless for travel in Florida, and canceling the Meteor has only made it worse.

Earlier this week the Star arrived Miami 16 hours late and caused the northbound Star to leave 6 hours late. It's beyond embarrassing that this state has no intercity rail. Brightline can't open and expand soon enough.
 

jruff001

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 23, 2020
Messages
350
One "explanation" for the delays that we were "offered" was that it was due to the "heat" and thus we had to slow down....... Yeah right. That's why the trains crossing thru the hot western part of the Country only go 40mph.
Speed restrictions for heat are definitely a thing. The rails can expand and buckle. Yes it can be engineered around, to a point and for a price, so that is usually limited to places that routinely get extremely hot. Elsewhere, the trains have to slow down in extreme heat.

Here is some more info: Excessive heat can impact rails

[M]main line railway tracks – infrastructure of rail, fasteners like spikes and plates, and ballast – are subject to extremes of both cold and heat, they sometimes buckle. These buckles are called “sun kinks” when they occur as a result of extreme heat. The resulting deformation of tracks can trigger derailments.

When repairing or laying new steel rails, structural and track engineers use complex mathematical equations that recognize the extreme historical temperature range at each location. They adjust the rail length before welding them together at joints by heating the two rail sections to a neutral rail temperature. This accounts for rail expansion at these joined track sections during extreme heat, as well as for possible rail contraction (pull aparts) on extremely cold days. Temperatures as high as 110° degrees are often outside the top range. When excessive heat occurs, railway track inspectors go to greater lengths to inspect tracks ahead of oncoming trains.

Railroad engineering departments and train operators coordinate “slow orders,” reductions in speeds in order to avoid derailments when air temperatures exceed 100°. At an air temperature of 110°, the temperature of the rails themselves can often reach 140°. Slowing down the trains can delay them by at least 30 minutes over a 50- to 70-mile track route.

Also, from Amtrak, but more about heat restrictions on Amtrak-owned tracks on the NEC: https://media.amtrak.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Extreme-heat-fact-sheet-7-17-19.pdf
 

City of Miami

Conductor
Joined
Jan 29, 2004
Messages
1,224
Location
Charlottesville VA
An acquaintance of mine was on the SWC from Chi to ABQ on Tuesday (yesterday) and that train was 4 hours late into ABQ. My acquaintance said most of the delay was freight interference (in Kansas, I think she said), but also it was also delayed by the Rail Runner as they approached ABQ. She said it was because the Rail Runner owns the rails that they were both on during the interference. I haven't really paid attention to commuter train interference. May I assume it happens in other places also? Is there one side that usually "wins"?
If NER 171 departs WAS more than 20 minutes late it's stuck behind Virginia Rail Express as far as Manassas making it later and later. In the past month late arrival in CVS every single day averaging half an hour late! Sad.
 

AmtrakBlue

Engineer
Gathering Team Member
Joined
May 6, 2011
Messages
14,045
Location
Delaware
If NER 171 departs WAS more than 20 minutes late it's stuck behind Virginia Rail Express as far as Manassas making it later and later. In the past month late arrival in CVS every single day averaging half an hour late! Sad.
I hope you’re not taking 171 today. It’s running over an hour late into Philly. :eek:
 

City of Miami

Conductor
Joined
Jan 29, 2004
Messages
1,224
Location
Charlottesville VA
I hope you’re not taking 171 today. It’s running over an hour late into Philly. :eek:
No, I'm home, AB. I'll bet it's a minimum of 2 hours late by the time it gets to cvs. Too bad, they're chasing off customers. There are still 60-100+ boarding every morning and there's already quite a load from Lynchburg & Roanoke; admittedly northbound does much better on the NS tracks than on NEC.
 

rs9

Service Attendant
Joined
Dec 26, 2021
Messages
141
Location
Chicago
Does anyone have a read on the current daily delays for the combined Lincoln Service/River Runner (319)? The past few weeks have been pretty brutal. I've done the CHI-STL segment but never the entire route to KCY. Are the delays building from the usual Union Pacific lack of cooperation on CHI-STL or are there other problems?
 

AmtrakBlue

Engineer
Gathering Team Member
Joined
May 6, 2011
Messages
14,045
Location
Delaware
Does anyone have a read on the current daily delays for the combined Lincoln Service/River Runner (319)? The past few weeks have been pretty brutal. I've done the CHI-STL segment but never the entire route to KCY. Are the delays building from the usual Union Pacific lack of cooperation on CHI-STL or are there other problems?
 
Joined
Jun 16, 2022
Messages
1
Location
Phoenixville PA
Hi, I am taking the California Zephyr in a couple weeks and I have a concern about how late it might be. We are going on an cruise the next day so I am nervous about catching a 2 hour flight, is this possible? I am hearing sometimes how long the Zephyr can be delayed.
 

pennyk

Amtrak Rider
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Administator
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Jul 5, 2009
Messages
13,760
Location
Orlando, FL
Hi, I am taking the California Zephyr in a couple weeks and I have a concern about how late it might be. We are going on an cruise the next day so I am nervous about catching a 2 hour flight, is this possible? I am hearing sometimes how long the Zephyr can be delayed.
I certainly would not expect to catch a flight 2 hours after the scheduled arrival of any train. Maybe I am reading your question incorrectly, but it is hard to predict how late a train may be.
 

MccfamschoolMom

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Feb 28, 2020
Messages
352
Location
Dwight, IL
Hi, I am taking the California Zephyr in a couple weeks and I have a concern about how late it might be. We are going on an cruise the next day so I am nervous about catching a 2 hour flight, is this possible? I am hearing sometimes how long the Zephyr can be delayed.
When would your flight to the cruise's origin port take off? From what I've heard about potential delays on the Zephyr, I would arrange things so that your connecting flight to the cruise port would be the day after your scheduled arrival in Emeryville. (My husband and I plan to ride the CZ round-trip next year, and I plan to book an overnight hotel stay in-between. Whether or not we get a full night's sleep will depend on how much the westbound CZ is delayed by the time we arrive in Emeryville.)
 

cirdan

Engineer
Joined
Mar 30, 2011
Messages
3,022
There was no electrical power for some time and the dining car could only serve cold cereal for breakfast and the cafe car was cash only.
I wonder if that also meant the refrigerators stopped working, which would mean much of the food would have to be trashed.

Or is there a backup power source for that?
 

fdaley

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 25, 2020
Messages
468
Location
upstate New York
Chicago Mechanical Department strikes again. Amtrak really needs to get a mechanical department at Chicago which is competent, and staffed up, enough to get the trains out on time.
That particular run lost time the whole way, arriving in ALB a few minutes before 11 p.m. and reaching NYP at the attractive time of 2:55 a.m. The Boston section reached South Station at 5:56 a.m.

The next night's 48, which was held at CHI till after 11:30 p.m. for delayed trains from the west, made it to Albany by 8 p.m. and Boston at 2:04 a.m. last night.

The next one is only 20 minutes late out of Cleveland this morning, though.
 

Amtrak709

Service Attendant
Joined
May 6, 2021
Messages
159
Location
Columbus, GA
Amtrak seems to be having a rough time these past few days ref long delays and disruptions. I wonder what time the Silver Star 92-15 got to NYP this morning?? It was running 10+ hours late the last time I checked last night.
 

fdaley

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 25, 2020
Messages
468
Location
upstate New York
Amtrak seems to be having a rough time these past few days ref long delays and disruptions. I wonder what time the Silver Star 92-15 got to NYP this morning?? It was running 10+ hours late the last time I checked last night.
6:39 a.m. at NYP on a two-night haul from Florida
 
Joined
Jan 17, 2019
Messages
1,329
That particular run lost time the whole way, arriving in ALB a few minutes before 11 p.m. and reaching NYP at the attractive time of 2:55 a.m. The Boston section reached South Station at 5:56 a.m.
This happens to 448 every so often and it is so pathetic that it is laughable. 448 was so late to Boston (9 hours 24 minutes) arriving at 5:56 a.m. that any connecting passengers to Maine missed the first Concord bus to Maine which departs at 5:45 a.m. and had to wait for the next bus to Maine.

At least the passengers were on the train for the night instead of getting a hard bench or floor at South Station for a bed. As I understand it the next morning's arrival at 2:04 a.m. did get the bench.
 

fdaley

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 25, 2020
Messages
468
Location
upstate New York
This happens to 448 every so often and it is so pathetic that it is laughable. 448 was so late to Boston (9 hours 24 minutes) arriving at 5:56 a.m. that any connecting passengers to Maine missed the first Concord bus to Maine which departs at 5:45 a.m. and had to wait for the next bus to Maine.

At least the passengers were on the train for the night instead of getting a hard bench or floor at South Station for a bed. As I understand it the next morning's arrival at 2:04 a.m. did get the bench.

Yeah, in some ways I'd rather have 448 be nine hours late than 4-5 hours late, especially if I have a sleeper room. At least Boston is functioning at 6 a.m. At 2 a.m., it's mostly closed, and an unplanned night's stay at one of the hotels is godawful expensive.
 
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