Amtrak service cancellations and restorations (2022)

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AmtrakBlue

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I’ve noticed that, for whatever reason, if it’s a multi-segment trip and a portion of it has been canceled, it will only show the first segment of the trip as if it were direct. So here it would be 49 to CHI and 59 to NOL, but instead of showing as “Multiple Segments” like it usually would it only shows 49.

If you were to search NYP to CHI on a day where the Capitol Limited was canceled, it would show 91 by itself as an option rather than “Multiple Segments” since a portion of that trip was canceled.
The app shows it as two segments
EDC45916-DE0D-4131-9629-BADE2DE51B0A.png
 

GoAmtrak

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I'm not sure if that is the best thread, but I read Amtrak ridership further declined significantly from a historical loss to 16 million in 2020 to 12 million in 2021. I'm deeply concerned by that.

There might be different strategies to tacle the declining ridership. But generally, I support efforts to do everything trains can ride. If it's possible to ride with a slightly reduced personnel, do it. If not, let's hire unemployed people who are vaccinated on a temporary basis. Perhaps this could help.
I'm afraid if ridership doesn't recover quickly, the expansion plans might come under fire.

I don't know which way is the best concerning the Corona. Perhaps the government could try a spread of infection as the everyone had the chance to get the vaccine. But I don't know. Nobody can foresee the future. I guess this virus will stay and people must learn to deal with it without being in panic.
 
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Analysis: A closer look at the impact of Amtrak’s cancellations
Connections are broken and corridors shortchanged in latest reductions

The article has a table showing the changes.

 
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Inertia in large corporations is a hard thing to overcome. Even if Covid subsides, I will be surprised to see service return to normal levels earlier than announced - especially if the trains would run at low capacity since the booking window would be extremely short.

But I would love to be proven wrong!
 

jis

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Moderator's Notes: A number of posts pertaining to an incident on the Silver Star near Lakeland today (1/18/22) have been moved to its own thread, since they don't have much to do with Amtrak Cancellations. Please post further information on the incident in the following new thread:

 

Todd

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As I mentioned earlier in this thread, I'm doing Buffalo to Chicago (LSL), Chicago to Seattle (EB), Seattle to LA (CS), LA to NO (SL), and then NO to Buffalo (CONO/LSL) starting on 4/8....with 2 nights in each destination city (Seattle, LA, New Orleans)...

With new schedule, I'd have to leave a day later (which means a rescheduled EB) to leave on Saturday instead of Friday...which means only 1 night in Seattle...I'd also on the final segment have to spend a night in Chicago (unscheduled) to wait for LSL to get to Buffalo (can't now go on Wednesday)...

Currently I'm fine...the temporary schedule is only until the end of March, then back to normal...I have not yet been cancelled...but I am so afraid that Amtrak will wait until the first week of March to extend the "temporary schedule" through maybe June of something...if it is in the first week of March, I assume that most of the Saturday Empire Builder early in April (my current schedule is Friday as I mentioned) will be full and I won't get a full bedroom (which I currently have)...I can't change to Saturday yet because it would double my cost on that segment...I booked this trip almost a year in advance and now I don't know what to do...

Any recommendations other than cross your fingers? I'm thinking it is at least 70% that I'm screwed, anyone else feel better that my booked tickets are more likely to happen?

By the way, I'm currently scheduled on one ticket to go from NOL to Buffalo...current schedule means that I'd have to wait one night in Chicago to catch LSL...will Amtrak allow me to spend a night in Chicago and get same price (basically breaking up a straight trip) or will they force me to do a different NOL to Buffalo trip messing up my schedule in NOL...
 
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By the way, I'm currently scheduled on one ticket to go from NOL to Buffalo...current schedule means that I'd have to wait one night in Chicago to catch LSL...will Amtrak allow me to spend a night in Chicago and get same price (basically breaking up a straight trip) or will they force me to do a different NOL to Buffalo trip messing up my schedule in NOL...
In my case, I had planned on ABQ to CHI then overnight on my dime to take Cardinal. When the agent rescheduled, I told her the only option was two days later as the Cardinal only ran twice a week. She then saw that there would be a night in Chicago if she did that and asked me if I were paying for the night myself. I told her that that's what I had planned on the original trip to avoid missing the train and would do so after rescheduling. That was no problem to her and both changes were made at no cost increase. My guess is that if you're willing to pay for Chicago night, that wouldn't be a problem for a good agent.
 

Todd

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I am planning on paying for Chicago...so thanks...

It will offset the lost night in Seattle (though I'd like to spend a second night because I've never been there)...

I almost wish that they had cancelled through April, so I could make finalized plans...
 

Oreius

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The Keystones have also been reduced. Only 9 trains to Philadelphia plus the Pennsy. Of these, only 7 plus the Pennsy continue to NYP. This is for weekdays. On weekends, only 5 Keystones plus the Pennsy to Philadelphia. Of these, all 5 continue to NYP, plus the Pennsy.

Pre-Covid-19, there used to be 13 Keystones between Harrisburg and Philadelphia plus the Pennsy. Weekends had 8 Keystrones plus the Pennsy. Most continued to NYP.

Probably due to lack of demand. Most “Keystoners” were commuters between Lancaster and Philadelphia or Lancaster and Harrisburg and points between. Many companies in Philadelphia are still in the teleworking thing.

When I rode in February 2021, I was the lone schmuck who boarded at Elizabethtown! In the past, usually 10-20 other people would get on as well!
 

pennyk

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MODERATOR NOTE: Comments relating to the cancellation of the Meteor and the combined Star/Meteor train were moved to a new thread. Please post future comments to that thread. Thank you.

 

fdaley

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The Keystones have also been reduced. Only 9 trains to Philadelphia plus the Pennsy. Of these, only 7 plus the Pennsy continue to NYP. This is for weekdays. On weekends, only 5 Keystones plus the Pennsy to Philadelphia. Of these, all 5 continue to NYP, plus the Pennsy.

Pre-Covid-19, there used to be 13 Keystones between Harrisburg and Philadelphia plus the Pennsy. Weekends had 8 Keystrones plus the Pennsy. Most continued to NYP.

Probably due to lack of demand. Most “Keystoners” were commuters between Lancaster and Philadelphia or Lancaster and Harrisburg and points between. Many companies in Philadelphia are still in the teleworking thing.

When I rode in February 2021, I was the lone schmuck who boarded at Elizabethtown! In the past, usually 10-20 other people would get on as well!

It's the same story for Empire Service. Business travel to NYC is still way down, and people are working and conferencing remotely to the extent possible. Pre-pandemic, there were 13 weekday trains each way between NYP and ALB, but starting next week there'll be nine, with the cuts especially targeted at trains that carried people from upstate to NYC for the day. Pre-pandemic, there were six NYP-bound trains that left Albany before noon; now there'll only be three. Returning, there'll only be one NYP departure remaining after 6 p.m. compared with three before the pandemic. In terms of the service level, it's like going back to the 1980s.
 

TheTuck

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These 5x/weekly schedules are so poorly thought out, it will have numerous unintended consequences. This will likely outweigh any positive gains which are supposedly realized from the cuts; and I say supposedly because I do not know with certainty where these equipment/crew shortages exist. In fact, I don't think anyone knows, such is the nature of a virus. Amtrak could never possibly predict where its crew shortages may occur, yet it has predetermined what 2 days per week it won't have adequate staffing across the country.

There will inevitably be more cancellations and therefore more equipment and crews out of place, exactly what this "plan" was intended to prevent. Cancellations are on consecutive days, at BOTH originating points of a route: So on both Wed and Thurs, train 11 will not depart Seattle. Yet another train 14 will arrive on Wed resulting in two Starlights parked in Seattle until Fri and Sat. Meanwhile train 7's arrive Thu, Fri and Sat mornings with no #8 until Sat evening. As you might guess, this won't free up any equipment as numerous trainsets will remain parked 2 days a week across the system. OBS and T&E crews will have extra days added to their layovers or face lengthy deadhead trips; not the best plan for crew utilization either.

Amtrak obviously rushed this decision, as its rollout was done impressively bad. The decision was made late last week, and the schedule reductions were placed in the reservation system right away. Amtrak didn't bother issuing any notices to customers (or employees) until this Tuesday. In those 4 days, forums and online groups like this one had become the only sources of reliable information. Amtrak leadership dropped the ball so hard on this one. Many of its loyal customers and even employees may lose any remaining faith they had in Amtrak's ability to run its company.
 
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These 5x/weekly schedules are so poorly thought out, it will have numerous unintended consequences. This will likely outweigh any positive gains which are supposedly realized from the cuts; and I say supposedly because I do not know with certainty where these equipment/crew shortages exist. In fact, I don't think anyone knows, such is the nature of a virus. Amtrak could never possibly predict where its crew shortages may occur, yet it has predetermined what 2 days per week it won't have adequate staffing across the country.

There will inevitably be more cancellations and therefore more equipment and crews out of place, exactly what this "plan" was intended to prevent. Cancellations are on consecutive days, at BOTH originating points of a route: So on both Wed and Thurs, train 11 will not depart Seattle. Yet another train 14 will arrive on Wed resulting in two Starlights parked in Seattle until Fri and Sat. Meanwhile train 7's arrive Thu, Fri and Sat mornings with no #8 until Sat evening. As you might guess, this won't free up any equipment as numerous trainsets will remain parked 2 days a week across the system. OBS and T&E crews will have extra days added to their layovers or face lengthy deadhead trips; not the best plan for crew utilization either.

Amtrak obviously rushed this decision, as its rollout was done impressively bad. The decision was made late last week, and the schedule reductions were placed in the reservation system right away. Amtrak didn't bother issuing any notices to customers (or employees) until this Tuesday. In those 4 days, forums and online groups like this one had become the only sources of reliable information. Amtrak leadership dropped the ball so hard on this one. Many of its loyal customers and even employees may lose any remaining faith they had in Amtrak's ability to run its company.
Unfortunately, this type of Management has gone on for many years. It is frustrating but not surprising to employees.....
 

Mailliw

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And here it is in full form:

Capitol Limited Sunday - Thursday
Lake Shore Thursday - Monday
Empire Builder - Saturday - Wednesday
Coast Starlight Friday - Tuesday
CONO Monday - Friday
Chief Wednesday - Sunday
Zephyr Tuesday - Saturday
Texas Eagle Friday - Tuesday
Two consecutive non-serice day? ***. I was going to take the Capitol Limited back from Chicago in March, but not anymore. Just got a cancelation notice.
 

fredmcain

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Northeastern Indiana
Two consecutive non-service day? ***. I was going to take the Capitol Limited back from Chicago in March, but not anymore. Just got a cancelation notice.

HEY ! Me too! I had two coach seats reserved on train #30 Chicago-Elkhart on March 18 and just received a cancellation notice by e-mail supposedly from Amtrak that the train has been cancelled "due to service disruptions"? HOW is this possible? That is nearly two months away! Are they cutting back on daily service again like they did back in 2020 and just calling it "service disruptions"?

Any ideas on this?
 

daybeers

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Just saw this posted on Amtrak Alerts. I guess they posted it at 8:30AM for cancellations same day. Ridiculous.

Due to inclement weather conditions and for the safety of our customers and employees, Amtrak has made the following temporary service adjustments between Friday January 21 – Saturday January 22:

Friday January, 21:
• Northeast Regional train 93 (operating between Boston and Norfolk, Va.) is canceled
• Northeast Regional train 85 (operating between New York and Richmond, Va.) is canceled
• Northeast Regional train 125 (operating between New York and Newport News, Va.) will terminate in Richmond, Va.

Saturday January 22:
• Northeast Regional train 152 (operating between Washington, D.C. and New York) is canceled
• Northeast Regional train 164 (operating between Richmond, Va. and Boston) is canceled
• Northeast Regional train 82 (operating between Norfolk, Va. and Boston) will originate in Washington, D.C.
canceled
• Northeast Regional train 194 (operating between Newport News, Va. and Boston) will originate at Richmond, Va.

Amtrak needs to get their (stuff) together and not post these so late.
 

AmtrakBlue

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HEY ! Me too! I had two coach seats reserved on train #30 Chicago-Elkhart on March 18 and just received a cancellation notice by e-mail supposedly from Amtrak that the train has been cancelled "due to service disruptions"? HOW is this possible? That is nearly two months away! Are they cutting back on daily service again like they did back in 2020 and just calling it "service disruptions"?

Any ideas on this?
Due to staff shortages (aka COVID)

AmtrakLDTimesheet_2022-01-17.jpeg
 

AmtrakBlue

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Just saw this posted on Amtrak Alerts. I guess they posted it at 8:30AM for cancellations same day. Ridiculous.

Due to inclement weather conditions and for the safety of our customers and employees, Amtrak has made the following temporary service adjustments between Friday January 21 – Saturday January 22:

Friday January, 21:
• Northeast Regional train 93 (operating between Boston and Norfolk, Va.) is canceled
• Northeast Regional train 85 (operating between New York and Richmond, Va.) is canceled
• Northeast Regional train 125 (operating between New York and Newport News, Va.) will terminate in Richmond, Va.

Saturday January 22:
• Northeast Regional train 152 (operating between Washington, D.C. and New York) is canceled
• Northeast Regional train 164 (operating between Richmond, Va. and Boston) is canceled
• Northeast Regional train 82 (operating between Norfolk, Va. and Boston) will originate in Washington, D.C.
canceled
• Northeast Regional train 194 (operating between Newport News, Va. and Boston) will originate at Richmond, Va.

Amtrak needs to get their (stuff) together and not post these so late.
Hmm, maybe the weather reports weren't as bad earlier???
 

jebr

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Amtrak needs to get their (stuff) together and not post these so late.

And if they cancelled the trains earlier and the storm didn't materialize there'd be people bringing out their pitchforks angry that Amtrak cancelled the trains for no reason. Frankly, I'd rather Amtrak wait and see what a forecast will be close-in before deciding to cancel a train due to weather; forecasted storm tracks aren't an exact science, especially further out.

What I would like to see Amtrak do is issue weather waivers when it looks like a storm may impact travel. Airlines do this - usually a couple days out airlines will issue a waiver for cities that appear to likely be impacted by a storm or other event, and affected passengers can proactively change their flight. Usually there's a short window (a few days to a week) where changes incur no cost (not even fare difference) and then a larger window (often as far as they've released their schedule) where there's no change fees but fare difference applies. For those with somewhat flexible plans, being able to proactively move their trip can be a huge help and save Amtrak time and money by not needing to figure out what to do with as many passengers suffering a last-minute cancellation.
 
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daybeers

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Omg that's not what I meant, just that 8:30AM seems a little late for these to be announced. It's sad a lot of the time these days trains aren't as reliable during winter weather as they used to be.
And if they cancelled the trains earlier and the storm didn't materialize there'd be people bringing out their pitchforks angry that Amtrak cancelled the trains for no reason. Frankly, I'd rather Amtrak wait and see what a forecast will be close-in before deciding to cancel a train due to weather; forecasted storm tracks aren't an exact science, especially further out.
Ah, that is true. I agree with your interest in weather waivers, that makes a lot of sense. Probably something Amtrak IT can't do at the moment, but would certainly save a lot of time and headache being able to change without a fee or fare difference without calling and waiting on the phone.
 
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