BNSF Seattle to Portland

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Oreius

OBS Chief
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Jun 5, 2012
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Is a very congested line. My scanner is going off frequently, and we’ve had to hold clearance. We were also following a freight that was putsying!
 

Willbridge

50+ Year Amtrak Rider
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It's always busy but perhaps there is maintenance underway. Usually with double-track CTC they're able to go around slow freights.
 

zephyr17

Engineer
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Jul 22, 2009
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Washington State
It's always busy but perhaps there is maintenance underway. Usually with double-track CTC they're able to go around slow freights.
Yeah, a lot of the time it seems like trains I am on switch mains at almost every crossover to run around freights.

BNSF usually does a great job of handing Amtrak there.
 

Maglev

Conductor
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Sep 4, 2016
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Orcas Island, Washington
This is from Jan 26, 2017, aboard Cascades train 516:

We're now an hour and twenty minutes late. The conductor said we met 46 freight trains between Portland and Seattle. We stopped four times in the last mile before King Street Station. I will be arriving at my hotel in Bellingham after the front desk closes, so I will be using their late check-in procedure.
Sections of this line are now triple-tracked.
 

choochoodood

Service Attendant
Joined
Jul 25, 2013
Messages
130
Location
Ohio
Yeah, a lot of the time it seems like trains I am on switch mains at almost every crossover to run around freights.

BNSF usually does a great job of handing Amtrak there.
I've not had any delays when riding the Cascades. BNSF seems to do a great job with dispatching (unlike NS, which is abysmal).
 

amtrakp42

Train Attendant
Joined
Mar 2, 2014
Messages
18
I've not had any delays when riding the Cascades. BNSF seems to do a great job with dispatching (unlike NS, which is abysmal).
I believe Amtrak took UP to federal court for not complying with the contract, and the judge made it a court order. If UP is found not conforming to the court order then someone from UP will be called to the court and if the judge isn't satisfied of situation then someone from UP may be jailed till court order is complied with. Sounds harsh, but Judges do have their ways!
 

neroden

Engineer
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Feb 23, 2014
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8,780
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Ithaca, NY
I've not had any delays when riding the Cascades. BNSF seems to do a great job with dispatching (unlike NS, which is abysmal).
Yes... ....and I'm not really sure how we're going to get NS to comply. The evidence is that NS has created the problem in a nontraditional manner. Traditionally, dispatchers were instructed to illegally delay passenger trains; we know the procedure for stopping that with the courts, the STB, etc.

NS has simply ordered dispatchers to use a computer program and defer to the program, and the computer program is officially programmed to prioritize passenger trains, ***but the program is incompetent***. It's delaying freight as well as passengers. There's no specific law requiring a railroad to be *competent*. The STB has some generic powers which might be applied, but...
 
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zephyr17

Engineer
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Jul 22, 2009
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5,290
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Washington State
The STB has specific power now to measure and take action on passenger delay. The metrics are all passengers arriving at their destinations more than 15 minutes late, not trains arriving late at their terminals or specific intermediate points. The implementating regs and metrics went into effect in December 2020. The authority for the FRA and STB to enforce passenger delay measures was granted by PRIIA in 2008, but the railroads spent years litigating it (and lost).
 

Oreius

OBS Chief
Joined
Jun 5, 2012
Messages
557
Before Portland, the tracks travelled right down the median of I-5!! I thought it was weird—3 lanes of traffic on either side of the train!
 

Willbridge

50+ Year Amtrak Rider
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Before Portland, the tracks travelled right down the median of I-5!! I thought it was weird—3 lanes of traffic on either side of the train!
I think that's because there wasn't room for the Interstate to be built entirely on one side of the long-existing rail line.
 

Cal

Foamer
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Jan 23, 2021
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Socal
Before Portland, the tracks travelled right down the median of I-5!! I thought it was weird—3 lanes of traffic on either side of the train!
Have you seen Metrolink on the I-10?
1632355405498.png\

Or the Texas Eagle just north of Austin?
(Go to 6:30 of this video)
 

Willbridge

50+ Year Amtrak Rider
AU Supporter
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Mar 30, 2019
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Denver
Also several Chicago "L" lines, built during the 1950's or '60's, I think.
View attachment 24510

And I believe plans still call for Brightline to run down the I-4 median to Tampa.
I'm open to correction but my understanding is that a separate city department builds transport infrastructure, keeping CTA's hands clean. That leads to the idea of joint highway-rail projects.
 
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