An Eaglete day trip gone wrong

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Bob Dylan

50+ Year Amtrak Rider
AU Supporting Member
Joined
May 31, 2009
Messages
26,298
Location
Austin Texas
Part I:The Trip North

After a year of not riding Amtrak, I scheduled a Day Trip from Austin to Temple to Austin for Wed, 1/10.

After a Cold night( for here,), I awoke to a rising Sun and a Text Message from Amtrak that #21/#421, my ride home from Temple in the evening was stopped in East Texas outside Marshall due to a Broken Rail, and a 2 Hour Delay was expected!

Ate Breakfast, packed my Day Pack and headed for the Amtrak Station,which now opens @ 9AM for the 921AM Scheduled #22.

Track a Train told me there was a delay of 30 minutes due to UP Freight Congestion between San Marcos and Austin, which is SOP now on this Route.

Got my Free Parking Pass from the Friendly Long time Amtrak Agents (2) on Duty since UP owns the Station and Parking Lot( Now required to avoid towing since Parking in Downtown Austin is a Nightmare)

There were about 25 people waiting to board, with most outside under the Canopy,where 2 Lines are used to board, Sleepers to the Left, Coach to the Right.

At 9:50am, the Robo Boarding Announcement played, the Luggage Cart was brought out and #22 chugged around the bend from the Bridge where it crosses the Lady Bird Lake Trestle.( built in 1881)

I was glad to see that the Conductor was an old friend with whom Ive ridden many miles on the Sunset Ltd and the Eagle.(the AC with him was a Newbie )

We were asked our names by the Conductor,and he checked us off on his Scanner, e-tickets were not scanned as in the past.

The consist was the now usual 4 Car one pulled by 1 P-42( #53) and front to back had the Diner/Lounge( CCC), 2 Coaches and the Sleeper on the rear,!

We boarded, chose out own Seats( the Attendant had given us Seat Checks as we were scanned) listened to the Last Call for Breakfast announcement for Sleeper Passengers ,( still slinging Flex Food)and Last Call for the Cafe.( there are now 2 LSAs sharing the CCC, previously there was only 1 doing several people's jobs)

Both Coaches were rehabbed with the Faux Grey Leatherette Seats and Digital Lighting and Controls@( but the Bathroooms were still the Old style!)

The Coacheswere about 1/2 Full so had a Seat by myself( I was in the Coach/Bag Car next to the CCC.

At 10 AM, the All Aboard was called, the Horm tooted and we rolled out headed North!

Made the Stop @ Taylor where about 10 boarded , then rolled out about 1045AM headed for Temple.

Rolled into Temple about 11:45AM, only 20 minutes down, after a Smooth Trip!

Went into the Station to say HI to my friend the ex-Agent that is now a Route Manager and has heroffice there.

After a nice visit to catch up after a year, I headed for downtown( w Blocks away) to eat Lunch and check out the City.
 
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Maybe just boarding the Eagle, or getting anywhere near it, is the "Wrong" part. We will have to stay tuned.
Well, Here we are on he 11th, 22 doesn't show on any maps or trackers. AMTRAK Guest Rewards sez it never left SAS "equipment problems", and buse are headed for FTW, supposedly buses will arrive at 1400 and 22 will originate from FTW. No news on 21 Southbound.
However, comma, the website says it is stopped:
As of 9:45 am CT, Due to a disabled freight train blocking the tracks along the route, Texas Eagle Train 22 will originate in Fort Worth (FTW). For traveling assistance, please call or text 1-800-USA-RAIL.
Sounds like someone is having sport with us. I haven't found any references to a derailment thus far.
 
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Well, Here we are on he 11th, 22 doesn't show on any maps or trackers. AMTRAK Guest Rewards sez it never left SAS "equipment problems", and buse are headed for FTW, supposedly buses will arrive at 1400 and 22 will originate from FTW. No news on 21 Southbound.
However, comma, the website says it is stopped:
As of 9:45 am CT, Due to a disabled freight train blocking the tracks along the route, Texas Eagle Train 22 will originate in Fort Worth (FTW). For traveling assistance, please call or text 1-800-USA-RAIL.
Sounds like someone is having sport with us. I haven't found any references to a derailment thus far.
The Train that is broken down, not derailed,is a Rock Train that it is sitting by the Austin Station and is blocking the Single Track through downtown Austin!

Todays #21 is shown as on Time into Ft Worth with the usual Scheduled Stops South shown as "On Time" all the way to San Antonio where it's showing an Early Arrival of over 1 Hour!
 
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Part I:The Trip North

After a year of not riding Amtrak, I scheduled a Day Trip from Austin to Temple to Austin for Wed, 1/10.

After a Cold night( for here,), I awoke to a rising Sun and a Text Message from Amtrak that #21/#421, my ride home from Temple in the evening was stopped in East Texas outside Marshall due to a Broken Rail, and a 2 Hour Delay was expected!

Ate Breakfast, packed my Day Pack and headed for the Amtrak Station,which now opens @ 9AM for the 921AM Scheduled #22.

Track a Train told me there was a delay of 30 minutes due to UP Freight Congestion between San Marcos and Austin, which is SOP now on this Route.

Got my Free Parking Pass from the Friendly Long time Amtrak Agents (2) on Duty since UP owns the Station and Parking Lot( Now required to avoid towing since Parking in Downtown Austin is a Nightmare)

There were about 25 people waiting to board, with most outside under the Canopy,where 2 Lines are used to board, Sleepers to the Left, Coach to the Right.

At 9:50am, the Robo Boarding Announcement played, the Luggage Cart was brought out and #22 chugged around the bend from the Bridge where it crosses the Lady Bird Lake Trestle.( built in 1881)

I was glad to see that the Conductor was an old friend with whom Ive ridden many miles on the Sunset Ltd and the Eagle.(the AC with him was a Newbie )

We were asked our names by the Conductor,and he checked us off on his Scanner, e-tickets were not scanned as in the past.

The consist was the now usual 4 Car one pulled by 1 P-42( #53) and front to back had the Diner/Lounge( CCC), 2 Coaches and the Sleeper on the rear,!

We boarded, chose out own Seats( the Attendant had given us Seat Checks as we were scanned) listened to the Last Call for Breakfast announcement for Sleeper Passengers ,( still slinging Flex Food)and Last Call for the Cafe.( there are now 2 LSAs sharing the CCC, previously there was only 1 doing several people's jobs)

Both Coaches were rehabbed with the Faux Grey Leatherette Seats and Digital Lighting and Controls@( but the Bathroooms were still the Old style!)

The Coacheswere about 1/2 Full so had a Seat by myself( I was in the Coach/Bag Car next to the CCC.

At 10 AM, the All Aboard was called, the Horm tooted and we rolled out headed North!

Made the Stop @ Taylor where about 10 boarded , then rolled out about 1045AM headed for Temple.

Rolled into Temple about 11:45AM, only 20 minutes down, after a Smooth Trip!

Went into the Station to say HI to my friend the ex-Agent that is now a Route Manager and has heroffice there.

After a nice visit to catch up after a year, I headed for downtown( w Blocks away) to eat Lunch and check out the City.
Part II: A Nice Day in Temple

Upon leaving the Temple Station, I walked around downtown observing all the changes going on!

Lots of New Businesses open, some old ones Closed, and the 2 Old High Rise Hotels are being renovated, whether for Apartments or Hotels is still TBD!

my favorite Mom and Pop Go To Cafe, Bird Creek Brewing Company has moved a couple of Blocks to a much Bigger and Nicer Building, but is hard to get too due to tge Condtruction on the Hotels and Roadz around it!

Had a really good Chicken Fried Lunch( no Acohol due to my Meds), then walked the 2 Blocks to the really nice Public Library which is in a High Rise Building that used to be a Bank.

Its really a well equipped Library with a Large Periodical Section, which I spent the afternoon reading in a comfortable Easy Chair located in a Sunny nook overlooking downtown.

I monitored my ride home,(#21/#421,)progress thru East and North Central Texas, and saw that it had made up an hour and a half by the time it reached Ft Worth!( it was 2 1/2 Hours down due to a broken railwhile sitting outside Marshall this morning)

Amtrak kept sending texts updating the Trains status and I also tracked it on Track a Train using Goggle Maps.

With #21/#421 due into Temple an Hour Late @ 5:45pm, I went by the Dairy Queen @ 430pm, which is across the street (on the way to the Station) and had a Combo Supper, "Hunger Buster",Fries,and Soft Serve Ice Cream!

Arriving @ the old Santa Fe Station @ 530pm, I saw thst the Train was leaving McGregor, which is 30 minutes away, and visited with the Friendly Agent and the 8 people waiting to board.

At 5:45pm, the Agent called the Train, took the Bag Cart out to the Platform and #21/#421 came chugging around the Corner and spotted @ the Gate with the usual 4 Car Consist.( 1 P-42 pulling the CCC, 2 Coaches/1 Coach Bag and the #421 Coach) and the Sleeper was on the Rear.( this Train hasn't had a Bag Car, Transition Sleeper or Sightseer Lounge in over 2 years!!)

The Conductor, a Newbie to me,did Scan our Tickets, the Coach Attendant gave us Seat Checks and told us to pick out a Seat!

Again, both Coaches were rehabs with the Faux Leathet Seats, New Lighting and Controls bit still the Old Style Bathrooms!

The P-42 and Cars were Filthy on the outside, looked like they hadn't been washed for a long time!🤬( my Car Attendant, an Old Timer told me this is common on the Chicago originating Trains )

at 6pm, the All Aboard sounded, the Engineer tooted the Horn, and we rolled out headed for Taylor and Austin with projected Arrival times of 1 Hour Late,!

What could possibly Go Wrong?
 
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Part III" The Eagle is Grounded!

We were rolling down the Track towards Taylor @ 70-79 as people headed to/from the Diner and Cafe for Supper.

scheduled for a one hour arrival into Temple and Austin, I quit tracking the Train and read my emsil/texts etc and caught up with the days News!( mostly Famous Coaches retiring and upcoming NFL Games chatter).

We made our stop @ the Taylor Station ( Picnic Tables under a Shed Roof) @ 645pm, some passengers detained afew boarded) and rolled out headed for Austin.

After 10 minutes on cruising,we pulled into the siding @ Coupland ,( between Taylor and Hutto) and the Conductor announced that we had to wait for Freight Traffic to clear, then would proceed to Austin!

30 minutes went by before a North Bound Freight passed us on the Main.( a Regular occurrence on this Route now)

After sitting still for another 20 minutes or so, we started getting messages from Antrak ( mine was via text)saying that there was a Dissbled Freight by the Austin Station ( Single Track through town) and there would be a 4 Hour Delay!😱

Finally after about 20 more minutes the Conductor announced that we would be backing up to the Taylor Station and that Buses would arrive about 1030pm to Transport us to Austin,San Marcos and San Antonio, the remaining stops on this Route.

We backed into the Taylor Station( about 8 miles), stopped, and were told we couldn't get off the Train unless we were going to end our journey in Taylor and get alternate transportation.(itwas now about 9:30PM.)

This was OK with most, as it was getting Cold and was very dark by the Station, and we had Power so had Lights and Heat on the Train.

The Crew started passing out Snack Packs and water to everyone,( No AmStew😄).

about 10:10PM 3 Charter Buses rolled up to the Side of the Station and the Conductor announced that one bus was for those going to Austin and San Marcos, and the other 2 were for those going to San Antonio.( it was a #421 Day with connections to the Sunser Ltd in SAS)

And that we were to take all our Belongings with us and that the checked Bags would be loaded on to the Buses by the Crew.

I picked up my pack, detained and walked over to the 3rd Bus where the Asst Conductor was saying "Austin/ San Marcos, all others go to the other 2 Busses for San Antonio".

We boarded, about 20 on my Bus so everyone had a Seat for themselves on the Newish, Comfortable Bus.

At10:20PM we rolled out headed for Austin using the Tolll Roads, and arrived @ the Downtown Austin Station @ 1100pm.

The Rock Train that was broken down was sitting in front of the Station and back around the Curve to the Trestle that crosses the Lake just South of the Station.

The Austin Agent brought out some checked Baggsge to the Bus for SAS, and about 5 people got on to the Bus headed for San Antonio.

I jumped in my Car, and considering that it was 110ppm on a Wed night. was home by 11:15pm since the traffic was so light!( the trip to the Station during rush hour usually takes 30-45 minutes).

So alls well that ends well! 😊

Compliments to Amtrak and the Crews that managed this situationAmtrak will hear from me about their great Work!

I did hear a few " Never again !" comments from passengers on the Train, but since this wasn't my First Rodeo, I wasn't among them! ( just no LD No Sleeper Trips on the Eaglete till the Sightseer Lounge,2nd Sleeper and Traditional Dining 😴 are returned to my home Train!😉)

Update: Today's #22 Passengers ( 1/11)between San Antonio and Cleburne were bused to Ft Worth where #22 originated today for Chicago!
 
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Part III" The Eagle is Grounded!

<SNIP>

Update: Today's #22 Passengers ( 1/11)between San Antonio and Cleburne were bused to Ft Worth where #22 originated today for Chicago!
Thanks for the details. I used to commute FTW-AUS on a weekly basis. Never had one his bad, but I know that bottleneck in Austin is a major delay just waiting to happen. I'm Jonesing for another trip, either to CHI (Will wait for Spring thaw), or out to LAX. Probably March.
I sure wish they would quit treating our poor Eagle like a rented mule.
 
Part II: A Nice Day in Temple

Upon leaving the Temple Station, I walked around downtown observing all the changes going on!

...[A]t 6pm, the All Aboard sounded, the Engineer tooted the Horn, and we rolled out headed for Taylor and Austin with projected Arrival times of 1 Hour Late,!

What could possibly Go Wrong?

Like any good scriptwriter he makes us wait for Part III...

Perhaps he spent those public-library hours perusing the Victorian triple-decker novels that I love so much (viz. Trollope), most of which were published serially and thus left the readers hanging.
 
So far, so good for me. In 7 recent years of riding, all my trains have gone through. Never yet lost a sleeper space or been bustituted, but there is, I guess always a chance these days.
After a near 2023 moratorium on trains (just a round trip Petersburg to Newark NJ - Newark NJ to Petersburg), I've got tickets for the Eaglette to go north from Austin to Chicago (stay the night in Aurora, eat at an Irish pub) on the 14th/15th of March, then the Cardinal to NYC on the 16th/17th. On the 21st NE Regional to Boston, on to Brunswick (Just why am I going to coastal Maine in March?). Back to Boston on the 23rd, then Lake Shore back to Chicago (stay the night in Aurora, eat at an Irish pub), then home on the Eaglette on the 25th/26th. What could go wrong? (Rhetorical question: this is Amtrak we are speaking of).
 
Part III" The Eagle is Grounded!

We were rolling down the Track towards Taylor @ 70-79 as people headed to/from the Diner and Cafe for Supper.

scheduled for a one hour arrival into Temple and Austin, I quit tracking the Train and read my emsil/texts etc and caught up with the days News!( mostly Famous Coaches retiring and upcoming NFL Games chatter).

We made our stop @ the Taylor Station ( Picnic Tables under a Shed Roof) @ 645pm, some passengers detained afew boarded) and rolled out headed for Austin.

After 10 minutes on cruising,we pulled into the siding @ Coupland ,( between Taylor and Hutto) and the Conductor announced that we had to wait for Freight Traffic to clear, then would proceed to Austin!

30 minutes went by before a North Bound Freight passed us on the Main.( a Regular occurrence on this Route now)

After sitting still for another 20 minutes or so, we started getting messages from Antrak ( mine was via text)saying that there was a Dissbled Freight by the Austin Station ( Single Track through town) and there would be a 4 Hour Delay!😱

Finally after about 20 more minutes the Conductor announced that we would be backing up to the Taylor Station and that Buses would arrive about 1030pm to Transport us to Austin,San Marcos and San Antonio, the remaining stops on this Route.

We backed into the Taylor Station( about 8 miles), stopped, and were told we couldn't get off the Train unless we were going to end our journey in Taylor and get alternate transportation.(itwas now about 9:30PM.)

This was OK with most, as it was getting Cold and was very dark by the Station, and we had Power so had Lights and Heat on the Train.

The Crew started passing out Snack Packs and water to everyone,( No AmStew😄).

about 10:10PM 3 Charter Buses rolled up to the Side of the Station and the Conductor announced that one bus was for those going to Austin and San Marcos, and the other 2 were for those going to San Antonio.( it was a #421 Day with connections to the Sunser Ltd in SAS)

And that we were to take all our Belongings with us and that the checked Bags would be loaded on to the Buses by the Crew.

I picked up my pack, detained and walked over to the 3rd Bus where the Asst Conductor was saying "Austin/ San Marcos, all others go to the other 2 Busses for San Antonio".

We boarded, about 20 on my Bus so everyone had a Seat for themselves on the Newish, Comfortable Bus.

At10:20PM we rolled out headed for Austin using the Tolll Roads, and arrived @ the Downtown Austin Station @ 1100pm.

The Rock Train that was broken down was sitting in front of the Station and back around the Curve to the Trestle that crosses the Lake just South of the Station.

The Austin Agent brought out some checked Baggsge to the Bus for SAS, and about 5 people got on to the Bus headed for San Antonio.

I jumped in my Car, and considering that it was 110ppm on a Wed night. was home by 11:15pm since the traffic was so light!( the trip to the Station during rush hour usually takes 30-45 minutes).

So alls well that ends well! 😊

Compliments to Amtrak and the Crews that managed this situationAmtrak will hear from me about their great Work!

I did hear a few " Never again !" comments from passengers on the Train, but since this wasn't my First Rodeo, I wasn't among them! ( just no LD No Sleeper Trips on the Eaglete till the Sightseer Lounge,2nd Sleeper and Traditional Dining 😴 are returned to my home Train!😉)

Update: Today's #22 Passengers ( 1/11)between San Antonio and Cleburne were bused to Ft Worth where #22 originated today for Chicago!
Leave it up to you to make lemonade.
 
actually the DQ ul
There HAD to be a better burger joint nearby than DQ!

Great report, so fun to read.
😄Actually the DQ in Temple is quite good, especially their Burgers and Steak Finger Baskets!

Whataburger and In and Out are on I-35, too far to walk from downtown, but I patronize both in Austin!🥰
 
Part III" The Eagle is Grounded!

We were rolling down the Track towards Taylor @ 70-79 as people headed to/from the Diner and Cafe for Supper.

scheduled for a one hour arrival into Temple and Austin, I quit tracking the Train and read my emsil/texts etc and caught up with the days News!( mostly Famous Coaches retiring and upcoming NFL Games chatter).

We made our stop @ the Taylor Station ( Picnic Tables under a Shed Roof) @ 645pm, some passengers detained afew boarded) and rolled out headed for Austin.

After 10 minutes on cruising,we pulled into the siding @ Coupland ,( between Taylor and Hutto) and the Conductor announced that we had to wait for Freight Traffic to clear, then would proceed to Austin!

30 minutes went by before a North Bound Freight passed us on the Main.( a Regular occurrence on this Route now)

After sitting still for another 20 minutes or so, we started getting messages from Antrak ( mine was via text)saying that there was a Dissbled Freight by the Austin Station ( Single Track through town) and there would be a 4 Hour Delay!😱

Finally after about 20 more minutes the Conductor announced that we would be backing up to the Taylor Station and that Buses would arrive about 1030pm to Transport us to Austin,San Marcos and San Antonio, the remaining stops on this Route.

We backed into the Taylor Station( about 8 miles), stopped, and were told we couldn't get off the Train unless we were going to end our journey in Taylor and get alternate transportation.(itwas now about 9:30PM.)

This was OK with most, as it was getting Cold and was very dark by the Station, and we had Power so had Lights and Heat on the Train.

The Crew started passing out Snack Packs and water to everyone,( No AmStew😄).

about 10:10PM 3 Charter Buses rolled up to the Side of the Station and the Conductor announced that one bus was for those going to Austin and San Marcos, and the other 2 were for those going to San Antonio.( it was a #421 Day with connections to the Sunser Ltd in SAS)

And that we were to take all our Belongings with us and that the checked Bags would be loaded on to the Buses by the Crew.

I picked up my pack, detained and walked over to the 3rd Bus where the Asst Conductor was saying "Austin/ San Marcos, all others go to the other 2 Busses for San Antonio".

We boarded, about 20 on my Bus so everyone had a Seat for themselves on the Newish, Comfortable Bus.

At10:20PM we rolled out headed for Austin using the Tolll Roads, and arrived @ the Downtown Austin Station @ 1100pm.

The Rock Train that was broken down was sitting in front of the Station and back around the Curve to the Trestle that crosses the Lake just South of the Station.

The Austin Agent brought out some checked Baggsge to the Bus for SAS, and about 5 people got on to the Bus headed for San Antonio.

I jumped in my Car, and considering that it was 110ppm on a Wed night. was home by 11:15pm since the traffic was so light!( the trip to the Station during rush hour usually takes 30-45 minutes).

So alls well that ends well! 😊

Compliments to Amtrak and the Crews that managed this situationAmtrak will hear from me about their great Work!

I did hear a few " Never again !" comments from passengers on the Train, but since this wasn't my First Rodeo, I wasn't among them! ( just no LD No Sleeper Trips on the Eaglete till the Sightseer Lounge,2nd Sleeper and Traditional Dining 😴 are returned to my home Train!😉)

Update: Today's #22 Passengers ( 1/11)between San Antonio and Cleburne were bused to Ft Worth where #22 originated today for Chicago!
If you had long delays on problems on Amtrak you can call 1800 USA Rail and they will give you a partial voucher for a future trip.
 
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