Both Autotrains & Silver Meteor in Service Disruption

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Railroad Bill

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Something happening south of Florence as both Autotrains and Silver Meteor stopped in service disruptions. Hoping just a freight delay but odd that all three trains are halted.
 

HammerJack

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Website says it’s a disabled freight train. It’s single track where they’re bunched up, so you likely have a freight train with a mechanical problem that is blocking the only main.
 
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b243923

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UPDATE: Auto Train 52 that departed Sanford (SFA) on 5/5 is back on the move operating approx. 11hr 50min late following an earlier disabled freight train that was blocking the tracks south of Florence (FLO).
 

b243923

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UPDATE: Auto Train 53 that departed Lorton (LOR) on 5/5 continues to hold south of Florence (FLO) awaiting a crew change following an earlier disabled freight train that was blocking the tracks in the area. We will update once the Train is back on the move.
 

b243923

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UPDATE: Silver Meteor Train 98 that departed Miami (MIA) on 5/5 is back on the move operating approx. 12hr 30min late following an earlier disabled freight train blocking the tracks south of Florence (FLO).
 

John Bobinyec

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Wow. I can see taking 12 hours or more to clear up a derailment, but just a "disabled" freight train? Does anybody have any details on the freight?

Or is CSX running such monster long freight trains that it takes that long to clear up a minor problem?

jb
 

jis

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Wow. I can see taking 12 hours or more to clear up a derailment, but just a "disabled" freight train? Does anybody have any details on the freight?

Or is CSX running such monster long freight trains that it takes that long to clear up a minor problem?

jb
It is reported to be a derailment. Afterall in these days of obfuscation and judicious understating bureaucratese, a derailment is indeed a disabling thing. ;)
 
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NSC1109

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Wow. I can see taking 12 hours or more to clear up a derailment, but just a "disabled" freight train? Does anybody have any details on the freight?

Or is CSX running such monster long freight trains that it takes that long to clear up a minor problem?

jb

It’s probably the same language pulled from the OBSSM so it doesn’t panic passengers or anyone else.
 

b243923

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UPDATE: Auto Train 53 that departed Lorton (LOR) on 5/5 is back on the move operating approx. 14hr 30min late following an earlier disabled freight train that was blocking the tracks south of Florence (FLO) and a crew change.
 

MIRAILFAN

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UPDATE: Auto Train 53 that departed Lorton (LOR) on 5/5 is back on the move operating approx. 14hr 30min late following an earlier disabled freight train that was blocking the tracks south of Florence (FLO) and a crew change.
16 hr late now. Im guessing todays #52 s cancelled.
 
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16 hour delay?...awful! They might have been able to reverse direction to the points where the Star route diverges, and detour that way in less time...🤷‍♂️
 
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Seaboard92

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It was a derailment on the Sumter-Florence Local Freight. One of the freight cars had an axle break in half. Also hazmat was involved which made it a bit more difficult. It's a single track railroad where it happened. I'm surprised Amtrak didn't opt to detour the trains as there were two detour routes available that would have been only a three-four hour delay instead of these massive ones.

For the Northbound trains I would have taken the line via Sumter to Columbia. Up the Star's route to Hamlet and onto the Wilmington line to Pembroke to join back up with the A line. For the southbounds they could either have backed up to Dillon to Hamlet then down to Columbia and for the Auto Train down to Savannah, or for the Meteor to keep hitting Charleston back via Sumter.

Or they could have backed to Dillon then taken the old Seaboard East Carolina Main which was the freight main back in the streamliner era all the way into Charleston.

Both would have been viable reroutes and would have resulted in far less delays. The problem is you need a CSX Pilot crew, and I'm sure those were being used to move CSX freights.

Then we have the other issue that the Auto Train had the crew ran on law which caused an issue. Consider that the southbound normally leaves Florence around 11 PM that crew is valid till 11 AM and with the traffic backed up they didn't get to go that far before they ran against the law. The northbound crew comes out of Sanford at 4 PM probably on duty more like 3 PM something so they went on law at 4 AM and would have had to have been recrewed. Which means you need rested crews but Florence had several furloughs thanks to Covid meaning not enough crews to move the trains with a depleted extra board.

So you are dealing with a double whammy unfortunately. The Meteor wasn't in that problem because they swap at Savannah so they had a few hours left on them.
 

Michigan Mom

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Sea, you are now going to get to be part of the wonderful world of flight crews timing out...
 
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Sea, you are now going to get to be part of the wonderful world of flight crews timing out...
Yes...and unlike Amtrak OBS crews, airline flight attendants are governed by hours of service regs, just like the pilots are...:)
 

Seaboard92

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The funny thing when I was reading up on the labor contract between the airline and the Union it actually references the Railway Labor Act. So in a way I'm sorta still at home to a degree. CSX has occasionally ran the Star over the line via Sumter up to the A line before. So that was a doable detour. I couldn't tell you the last time a passenger train took the EC south of Dillon might be when the Boil Weevil was discontinued in the mid 50s. Amtrak has frequently used the northern part from Dillon to Hamlet to bypass problems between Dillion and Selma, and on the S line Hamlet and south.
 

Michigan Mom

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Railway worker legislation was in place before we had airlines, I would really have to do some research to get more up to speed, but the NRLA covers both railroad and airline employees.
 

Allypet

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UPDATE: Auto Train 53 which departed Lorton (LOR) on 5/5 is currently operating approximately 20hrs late into Sanford (SFA).
 

me_little_me

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It was a derailment on the Sumter-Florence Local Freight. One of the freight cars had an axle break in half. Also hazmat was involved which made it a bit more difficult. It's a single track railroad where it happened. I'm surprised Amtrak didn't opt to detour the trains as there were two detour routes available that would have been only a three-four hour delay instead of these massive ones.

For the Northbound trains I would have taken the line via Sumter to Columbia. Up the Star's route to Hamlet and onto the Wilmington line to Pembroke to join back up with the A line. For the southbounds they could either have backed up to Dillon to Hamlet then down to Columbia and for the Auto Train down to Savannah, or for the Meteor to keep hitting Charleston back via Sumter.

Or they could have backed to Dillon then taken the old Seaboard East Carolina Main which was the freight main back in the streamliner era all the way into Charleston.

Both would have been viable reroutes and would have resulted in far less delays. The problem is you need a CSX Pilot crew, and I'm sure those were being used to move CSX freights.
On the other hand, CSX was probably rerouting its freights the alternate ways and would likely have put the Amtrak trains in sidings for many hours to keep them out of the way of its freights ala NS.
;)
 

chrsjrcj

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It's surprising to me that there isn't more concern that a CSX train with hazmat can derail on a mainline that is shared with 3 other daily Amtrak services. Just imagining if this happened on a section of double track with a passenger train passing by at the same time.
 
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frequentflyer

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It's surprising to me that there isn't more concern that a CSX train with hazmat can derail on a mainline that is shared with 3 other daily Amtrak services. Just imagining if this happened on a section of double track with a passenger train passing by at the same time.
That's railroading. An Amtrak train is passing a two mile rolling Chernobyl multiple times a day. And you are right, its fortunate it has not happened yet.
 
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SubwayNut

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The funny thing when I was reading up on the labor contract between the airline and the Union it actually references the Railway Labor Act. So in a way I'm sorta still at home to a degree. CSX has occasionally ran the Star over the line via Sumter up to the A line before. So that was a doable detour. I couldn't tell you the last time a passenger train took the EC south of Dillon might be when the Boil Weevil was discontinued in the mid 50s. Amtrak has frequently used the northern part from Dillon to Hamlet to bypass problems between Dillion and Selma, and on the S line Hamlet and south.
You don't qualify for the Railroad Retirement Board working for an airline though?
 
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