COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic: Amtrak-related Discussion

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Thirdrail7

Conductor
AU Supporter
Joined
Jul 9, 2014
Messages
4,488
The Hiawatha train service has been replaced with reserved buses.

Buses temporarily replacing Amtrak Hiawatha trains between Milwaukee and Chicago


In response to lower ridership demand because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Amtrak, in partnership with the Wisconsin and Illinois state transportation departments, is temporarily substituting daily Amtrak Thruway Buses for Amtrak Hiawatha Service trains between Milwaukee and Chicago.

As of Friday, Bus 3332 has been operating in place of Hiawatha Service Trains 330 and 332. The bus leaves the Downtown Milwaukee Intermodal Station at 7:55 a.m. and arrives at Chicago Union Station at 9:54 a.m. Also as of Friday, Bus 3339 is operating in place of Hiawatha Service Train 339, originating in Chicago at 5 p.m. and arriving at the Milwaukee Intermodal Station at 6:59 p.m.
 

Devil's Advocate

Conductor
Joined
May 24, 2010
Messages
11,423
There is at least one car blocked off completely. There are people in almost every row (3 feet apart) that is being made available to us. Sad the way the crews are brainwashed.
Some dogs simply refuse to learn new tricks.

The Hiawatha train service has been replaced with reserved buses. Buses temporarily replacing Amtrak Hiawatha trains between Milwaukee and Chicago
Although it makes sense right now I really hope this doesn't become a trend long term.

I'd rather make an honest living shoveling manure, than to work for CNN
I'd rather hear who you do trust than who you don't.
 

Thirdrail7

Conductor
AU Supporter
Joined
Jul 9, 2014
Messages
4,488
I would have normally started another thread for this tidbit of information but I think it is related.

Over the next few weeks, track work along the CSX route will hinder the operation of trains going past PTB. As usual, the Palmetto will not operate past WAS on MON-THU. The Carolinian would normally operate RGH-CLT during this trackwork period. However, it is canceled in its entirety.

This brings us to the Silver Star.

Normally, we'd see the northbound train operate on a later schedule, with a designation of train 1092. The southbound is typically unaffected. However, starting next week(and I'm looking at @acelafan and @John Bobinyec for confirmation) the Silver Star is canceled in its entirety from MIA-NYP on SUN-WED and from NYP-MIA on MON-THU. I don't recall this ever happening.

I suppose with the numbers being so low, they just decided to not run it.
 

John Bobinyec

Conductor
Joined
Sep 18, 2009
Messages
1,747
Thirdrail7,

That looks about right. I got the following from someone who keeps close tabs on these things with the railroads themselves:

"91 and 92 will be canceled for track work in North Carolina as follows:

May 3 through May 20: 92 canceled Sun, Mon, Tue and Wed

May 4 through May 21: 91 canceled Mon, Tue, Wed, Thur"

I checked it out for the first full week in May and it checks out.

jb
 

ET2020

Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 28, 2020
Messages
127
Back to trains please.
Yes, Railroad Bill, sorry for the tangential comments.
Any recent experience with the effects of "social distancing" on the Auto Train??
I'd like to know how the Auto Train has been impacted.
ET:)

I'd rather hear who you do trust than who you don't.
Devil's Advocate;
I align my trust with our U.S. Currency:
"In God We (I) Trust" - All others pay CASH!
ET 😀
 

Thirdrail7

Conductor
AU Supporter
Joined
Jul 9, 2014
Messages
4,488
Thirdrail7,

That looks about right. I got the following from someone who keeps close tabs on these things with the railroads themselves:




I checked it out for the first full week in May and it checks out.

jb
I apologize for the poor phrasing. I know the trains are cancelled and I know why. What I am wondering is if this is the first time the Star (or any other LD train) has been cancelled in its entirety, multiple days in a row for track work. I don't recall this happening. Usually, they push back the Star's departure time 4 hours and 91 isn't typically impacted.
 

John Bobinyec

Conductor
Joined
Sep 18, 2009
Messages
1,747
I apologize for the poor phrasing. I know the trains are cancelled and I know why. What I am wondering is if this is the first time the Star (or any other LD train) has been cancelled in its entirety, multiple days in a row for track work. I don't recall this happening. Usually, they push back the Star's departure time 4 hours and 91 isn't typically impacted.
Right. I only have east coast records going back to 2006 and elsewhere after that. I don't recall it happening either.
jb
 

MARC Rider

Conductor
Joined
Apr 5, 2011
Messages
1,984
As I detrained this morning in Greensboro, it became obvious to me what was going on in the car I was riding. I regret not getting a picture, but will make an attempt at describing what I saw. When I detrained, about 1/3 of the rear of the car was "blocked off" as seen in thread #612...except for one row on the right-hand side, in the middle of the said area. That seat was being occupied by a conductor and being used as a "work area" as a bag of destination tags was present on a seat-back tray and the seat was covered by some kind of sheet. That is when it hit me...the conductor had "quarantined" herself away from passengers, by at least two empty rows in all directions. A total disregard for those paying to be on the train. Pitiful.
Sorry, I have to take the side of the conductor. Look at it this way: Suppose there's a "hot zone" (like an Amtrak car) where the evil virus is lurking, and there's a 1% chance of catching it. Say the hot zone holds 99 passengers and a conductor (I know, that's a humongous Amtrak car, but let's just stipulate it for this example.) Now, if 99 passengers board, each one only has a 1% chance of catching the virus on that trip. On the other hand, the conductor is riding in the car, interacting with every passenger, not only on that trip, but on all his or her trips of the day, every day. After 100 trips, the conductor would have a 100% chance of catching the virus unless he or she did something to reduce his or her risk. This is not even counting for the fact that more people get off and on at intermediate stations, which might increase the exposure some to a passenger making one trip, but really increases the risks to the conductor, who is making trips every day, possibly multiple trips per day.

The conductor is at a much greater risk of infection than any passenger, so I totally 100% support what this conductor did. By the way, when all this started, the WHO said that 3 foot (1 meter) social distancing was fine. This is what I used when I rode home from Boston on March 10, and I suspect I may have been exposed to some risk when the New York passengers boarded the train. I haven't gotten sick yet, so either the New Yorkers who boarded weren't infected or the 1 meter social distancing was sufficient to reduce my risk. I think that the car attendants and conductors had more to worry about than I did as a passenger, even if I wasn't able to maintain 6 ft. social distancing.

Of course, if I were a conductor or other onboard staff, I'd be wearing a mask, or maybe Amtrak should be tricking them out with level 4 biohazard suits. And all passengers should be wearing masks.

And if it really bothers you about that car where the conductor provided himself an extra safety zone that he needed, there are other cars on the train without conductors, no? Or you could stay home, like CDC is telling us to do unless we have a REALLY good reason.
 

IndyLions

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Nov 6, 2016
Messages
326
Sorry, I have to take the side of the conductor. Look at it this way: Suppose there's a "hot zone" (like an Amtrak car) where the evil virus is lurking, and there's a 1% chance of catching it. Say the hot zone holds 99 passengers and a conductor (I know, that's a humongous Amtrak car, but let's just stipulate it for this example.) Now, if 99 passengers board, each one only has a 1% chance of catching the virus on that trip. On the other hand, the conductor is riding in the car, interacting with every passenger, not only on that trip, but on all his or her trips of the day, every day. After 100 trips, the conductor would have a 100% chance of catching the virus unless he or she did something to reduce his or her risk. This is not even counting for the fact that more people get off and on at intermediate stations, which might increase the exposure some to a passenger making one trip, but really increases the risks to the conductor, who is making trips every day, possibly multiple trips per day.

The conductor is at a much greater risk of infection than any passenger, so I totally 100% support what this conductor did. By the way, when all this started, the WHO said that 3 foot (1 meter) social distancing was fine. This is what I used when I rode home from Boston on March 10, and I suspect I may have been exposed to some risk when the New York passengers boarded the train. I haven't gotten sick yet, so either the New Yorkers who boarded weren't infected or the 1 meter social distancing was sufficient to reduce my risk. I think that the car attendants and conductors had more to worry about than I did as a passenger, even if I wasn't able to maintain 6 ft. social distancing.

Of course, if I were a conductor or other onboard staff, I'd be wearing a mask, or maybe Amtrak should be tricking them out with level 4 biohazard suits. And all passengers should be wearing masks.

And if it really bothers you about that car where the conductor provided himself an extra safety zone that he needed, there are other cars on the train without conductors, no? Or you could stay home, like CDC is telling us to do unless we have a REALLY good reason.
I know on some Amtrak equipment there are dedicated offices (yes they are tiny) that I’ve never actually seen a conductor use. This Covid 19 situation might actually cause them to get used...
 

crescent-zephyr

Conductor
Joined
Oct 21, 2015
Messages
2,549
Sorry, I have to take the side of the conductor. Look at it this way: Suppose there's a "hot zone" (like an Amtrak car) where the evil virus is lurking, and there's a 1% chance of catching it. Say the hot zone holds 99 passengers and a conductor (I know, that's a humongous Amtrak car, but let's just stipulate it for this example.) Now, if 99 passengers board, each one only has a 1% chance of catching the virus on that trip. On the other hand, the conductor is riding in the car, interacting with every passenger, not only on that trip, but on all his or her trips of the day, every day. After 100 trips, the conductor would have a 100% chance of catching the virus unless he or she did something to reduce his or her risk. This is not even counting for the fact that more people get off and on at intermediate stations, which might increase the exposure some to a passenger making one trip, but really increases the risks to the conductor, who is making trips every day, possibly multiple trips per day.

The conductor is at a much greater risk of infection than any passenger, so I totally 100% support what this conductor did. By the way, when all this started, the WHO said that 3 foot (1 meter) social distancing was fine. This is what I used when I rode home from Boston on March 10, and I suspect I may have been exposed to some risk when the New York passengers boarded the train. I haven't gotten sick yet, so either the New Yorkers who boarded weren't infected or the 1 meter social distancing was sufficient to reduce my risk. I think that the car attendants and conductors had more to worry about than I did as a passenger, even if I wasn't able to maintain 6 ft. social distancing.

Of course, if I were a conductor or other onboard staff, I'd be wearing a mask, or maybe Amtrak should be tricking them out with level 4 biohazard suits. And all passengers should be wearing masks.

And if it really bothers you about that car where the conductor provided himself an extra safety zone that he needed, there are other cars on the train without conductors, no? Or you could stay home, like CDC is telling us to do unless we have a REALLY good reason.
Your siding with the conductor or coach attendant for putting passengers lives in danger? Unbelievable.
 

Rasputin

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 17, 2019
Messages
717
Kind of amazing to me that you could find a conductor on an Amtrak train. On many long distance trains that I have been on in recent years they seem to make themselves pretty invisible for long periods of time or so it seems to me. Didn't used to be that way years ago.
 

brianpmcdonnell17

Conductor
Joined
Mar 5, 2016
Messages
1,354
Sorry, I have to take the side of the conductor. Look at it this way: Suppose there's a "hot zone" (like an Amtrak car) where the evil virus is lurking, and there's a 1% chance of catching it. Say the hot zone holds 99 passengers and a conductor (I know, that's a humongous Amtrak car, but let's just stipulate it for this example.) Now, if 99 passengers board, each one only has a 1% chance of catching the virus on that trip. On the other hand, the conductor is riding in the car, interacting with every passenger, not only on that trip, but on all his or her trips of the day, every day. After 100 trips, the conductor would have a 100% chance of catching the virus unless he or she did something to reduce his or her risk. This is not even counting for the fact that more people get off and on at intermediate stations, which might increase the exposure some to a passenger making one trip, but really increases the risks to the conductor, who is making trips every day, possibly multiple trips per day.

The conductor is at a much greater risk of infection than any passenger, so I totally 100% support what this conductor did. By the way, when all this started, the WHO said that 3 foot (1 meter) social distancing was fine. This is what I used when I rode home from Boston on March 10, and I suspect I may have been exposed to some risk when the New York passengers boarded the train. I haven't gotten sick yet, so either the New Yorkers who boarded weren't infected or the 1 meter social distancing was sufficient to reduce my risk. I think that the car attendants and conductors had more to worry about than I did as a passenger, even if I wasn't able to maintain 6 ft. social distancing.

Of course, if I were a conductor or other onboard staff, I'd be wearing a mask, or maybe Amtrak should be tricking them out with level 4 biohazard suits. And all passengers should be wearing masks.

And if it really bothers you about that car where the conductor provided himself an extra safety zone that he needed, there are other cars on the train without conductors, no? Or you could stay home, like CDC is telling us to do unless we have a REALLY good reason.
1. I understand blocking off a few rows for the employee, but blocking off half the car is excessive especially if it results in passengers too close together. Most LD trains are also running with only one of two coaches, so changing cars is not necessarily possible.

2. While your general point is valid, a conductor who travels on 100 trains, with each train carrying an infection probability of 1%, would not have a 100% chance of getting the virus. The actual chance would be about 63.34%.

3. The six foot recommendation is only a guideline. Just because you are within six feet of someone with the virus does not mean you will get it; in fact the average infected person in a scenario without specific precautions will pass it on to only 2-4 others. Spread is also possible beyond six feet, although the probability decreases drastically with increased distance.
 
Joined
Mar 10, 2016
Messages
974
I want to know how busy the train was? If there were only a dozen passengers that seems reasonable. They could have done what Metra did and run full trains to allow social distancing.
 

crescent-zephyr

Conductor
Joined
Oct 21, 2015
Messages
2,549
I want to know how busy the train was? If there were only a dozen passengers that seems reasonable. They could have done what Metra did and run full trains to allow social distancing.
The original post said 1 whole car was blocked off and there were people in “almost every row that was made available to us”

Amtrak’s website says “ To help maintain CDC recommendations for physical distancing onboard our trains, we are temporarily reducing coach class and business class sales to 50% capacity.”

I think you would have to be mentally challenged and not fit for the job of train service or knowingly going against the point of reducing coach capacity. I honestly don’t see how anyone could defend this action but these boards always surprise me in how some members will defend Amtrak employees.
 

MARC Rider

Conductor
Joined
Apr 5, 2011
Messages
1,984
1. I understand blocking off a few rows for the employee, but blocking off half the car is excessive especially if it results in passengers too close together. Most LD trains are also running with only one of two coaches, so changing cars is not necessarily possible.
The original poster didn't say that half the car was blocked off, only a third of the car, which would make sense if the car was an Amfleet II, which has 15 rows and 5 rows were blocked. If it were an Amfleet I, with 19 rows, only about a quarter of the car would have been blocked off. This is assuming that the conductor was blocking off the seats on the other side of the aisle, too. This wasn't clear from they original post.

I suspect that if each passenger has a seat pair to themselves and that everybody is wearing masks, the risk would be pretty low. If passenger pairs are living in the same household and haven't gotten sick yet, they can probably safely sit next to one another. If it's more crowded than that, then, yes, Amtrak probably needs to attach another coach to the train. But the criticism should be directed to Amtrak's management, not the poor front-line worker who's putting his life on the line to make sure the train can operate.
 
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