Coast Starlight update

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jruff001

Lead Service Attendant
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I wonder why there will only be service between LAX and SAC (with nothing at all north of SAC) 7/31 - 8/3, and between SEA and KFS (and nothing at all south of KFS) 8/8 - 8/23?

And what a confusing way to explain that!
 

Cal

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I’m booked from LAX to SEA and back between August 8 and August 23, the Amtrak app doesn’t show it’s unavailable.😕
 

OBS

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I wonder why there will only be service between LAX and SAC (with nothing at all north of SAC) 7/31 - 8/3, and between SEA and KFS (and nothing at all south of KFS) 8/8 - 8/23?

And what a confusing way to explain that!
It's all about $$$$
 

CACharger262

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Feb 10, 2019
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Union Pacific is repairing the Narlon Bridge by Vandenberg AFB. They have a two week curfew from 8/9 to 8/23. Word was this has been scheduled for a while and the CS was originally going to be re-routed through the San Joaquin valley for 2 weeks. However, because the route is already truncated due to the bridge repair at Hotlum, the decision was made to cancel the train entirely south of Klamath for those two weeks, rather than deal with both the re-reroute between LA and Sacramento and the night bus bridge between SAC and Klamath
 

Cal

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Union Pacific is repairing the Narlon Bridge by Vandenberg AFB. They have a two week curfew from 8/9 to 8/23. Word was this has been scheduled for a while and the CS was originally going to be re-routed through the San Joaquin valley for 2 weeks. However, because the route is already truncated due to the bridge repair at Hotlum, the decision was made to cancel the train entirely south of Klamath for those two weeks, rather than deal with both the re-reroute between LA and Sacramento and the night bus bridge between SAC and Klamath
If the fire didn’t happen I would’ve been able to gone over the detour. Wow I’m disappointed.
 

Oreius

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I’m confused. Amtrak already stated they plan to resume service on 9/7–hopefully earlier. What has changed?
 

zephyr17

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I’m confused. Amtrak already stated they plan to resume service on 9/7–hopefully earlier. What has changed?
9/8 service resumption is unchanged in this announcement. What is a change is the suspension of all service south of Klamath Falls, both bus and stub train, 8/9-8/23.

The backstory, not in the announcement, but described in the this thread, is UP is doing planned, major repairs on the bridge at Narlon on the Coast Line. Apparently the original plan for this bridge work, had the Starlight been operating normally, would have been to detour the Starlight off the Coast Line and over Tehachapi Pass. This detour, if operated as it has in the past, would bypass all stops between Los Angeles and Oakland. Amtrak and UP apparently have chosen just to annul the stub Starlights south of Sacramento instead. The Starlight points between Sacramento and LA retain service via the Pacific Surfliners, Thruway buses, and the Capitol Corridor.
 
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west point

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All this possible bridge work may over extend even UP to a breaking point. Does UP even know what bridge work will need to occur on the inside gateway ?
 

zephyr17

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UP sold the formerly WP southern part of the Inside Gateway from Bieber to Keddie to BNSF a number of years ago. It is a wholly BNSF line now. Bridges on Inside Gateway aren't UP's problem.
 

Willbridge

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Well, back to studying Greyhound schedules. Not continuing the KFS<>SAC bus bridge will trigger cancellations all over the West, as SAC has lots of connections aside from the SAC<>LAX segment of the Coast Starlight. I am booked in coach during that period and so far have not received any message advising me to cancel my trip.
 

Oreius

OBS Chief
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That article was 13 days ago. This article from Yahoo on 7/27 states the bridge should be repaired by mid-August..

 

zephyr17

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UP publicly projected a September 1st completion date on UPRR.com on 7/12:


On Trainorders.com an observer on the ground reported on Tuesday that 16 of the 19 spans have been reinstalled, and decking and ballasting work is underway on the reinstalled spans:

 

Cal

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Well, back to studying Greyhound schedules. Not continuing the KFS<>SAC bus bridge will trigger cancellations all over the West, as SAC has lots of connections aside from the SAC<>LAX segment of the Coast Starlight. I am booked in coach during that period and so far have not received any message advising me to cancel my trip.
Me neither
 

Willbridge

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I discovered via the amtrak.com website that they have canceled the segments of my revised itinerary south of KFS, but not the PDX>KFS initial segment. I've visited K. Falls before and don't need to be dead-ended there. I hope they notify the abandoned customers so that they have a chance at getting airline or Greyhound space from their point of origin. Amtrak is the main intercity carrier in KFS, so I'm not being dismissive of an attractive town by using the term "dead-ended" when the bus bridge to SAC is annulled.
 
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Cal

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I discovered via the amtrak.com website that they have canceled the segments of my revised itinerary south of KFS, but not the PDX>KFS initial segment. I've visited K. Falls before and don't need to be dead-ended there. I hope they notify the abandoned customers so that they have a chance at getting airline or Greyhound space from their point of origin. Amtrak is the main intercity carrier in KFS, so I'm not being dismissive of an attractive town by using the term "dead-ended" when the bus bridge to SAC is annulled.
I’ll check in a few days when I’m off the Chief. Although I know what I’m in for. 😞😕
 

YourFoodSherpa

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I purchased a Rail Pass and booked a number of segments that begin in a few weeks. One of my segments is PDX-LAX on 8/23. Will Amtrak contact me, in advance, if they know that this routing may not happen on that date? Or, if I am a total worry wort, should I really try to come up with a suitable Plan B myself?
 

Willbridge

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More on the partial cancellation -- when the reservation agent called back (I didn't wait on the phone) she tried to charge me points for the PDX<>DAV cancellation service charge. I tried as calmly as I could and explained that Amtrak thought this up. She looked over the whole three segments and then saw that the second two were canceled by Amtrak. She apologized nicely and there was no charge.

They may change their excellent minds again and reinstate the bus bridge for the MOW period but waiting till the last minute in a $p$e$a$k$ travel period to see if sanity prevails is a big risk for customers. I've updated my itinerary in the August 2021 forum. If Greyhound Lines fails to make the dawn connection with the Thruway in Redding then I'll go to Plan C.
 

Willbridge

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I purchased a Rail Pass and booked a number of segments that begin in a few weeks. One of my segments is PDX-LAX on 8/23. Will Amtrak contact me, in advance, if they know that this routing may not happen on that date? Or, if I am a total worry wort, should I really try to come up with a suitable Plan B myself?
Under normal conditions I think they would. They even have paged me in connecting stations when something changed. However, now they're staging the "last train out of Paris" scene from Casablanca and you should start by contacting them.

Eugene is the furthest south Amtrak rail point with main line air service if you want to see part of the trip. Greyhound runs twice daily SEA>LAX via PDX, EUG, RDR, SAC, FNO which are all points where you could connect with Amtrak. In PDX and RDR the stops are adjacent.
 
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