Effect of early January 2022 Virginia Snowstorm on Amtrak

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UserNameRequired

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This is exactly it. I keep protein bars, sugar-free Gatorade, and water rolled up in a winter-rated sleeping bag and then wrap a blanket around the sleeping bag. I also have a shovel and a small container of salt that works in frigid temps.

And if you run out of water, you can always grab some snow. :)
How do you keep the Gatorade and water from exploding when they freeze if this was for a car, or was this comment for Amtrak travel? I have heard of opening up drinks and pouring some out to leave headroom for expansion...
 

Zack

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Dec 6, 2021
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Tampa, FL
I see most of the Silver Service was canceled entirely today. I have a trip on 98 on Friday to WAS. Hoping it doesn't get canceled.
Looks like 97 for Friday has already been canceled. I booked flights just in case they do the same with 98.
 

joelkfla

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How do you keep the Gatorade and water from exploding when they freeze if this was for a car, or was this comment for Amtrak travel? I have heard of opening up drinks and pouring some out to leave headroom for expansion...
I know nothing about Gatorade, but I regularly freeze half-liter bottles of water for summer outings with no problem. You just have to be prepared for a little overflow if you open one while it's still partly frozen.

Anyway, @SarahZ said she keeps it inside a sleeping bag within a blanket, which would keep it from freezing except in extreme circumstances.
 

Michigan Mom

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So if the passengers were allowed to use the station facilities it's not such a problem that the train lavs were not operable... also presumably people could make other arrangements and just leave at their own expense - which I would be tempted to do in that situation.
 

JoshP

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The 98/92 out of Miami today is cancelled, that is why 97 is carrying double sets of trains. Also there is two 91 already running to Miami. This is why they are out of trainsets. So by means, when two 92 and 97 arrives MIA, they will be fully restocked and can go back to normal service starting Saturday.
 
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tgstubbs1

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How do you keep the Gatorade and water from exploding when they freeze if this was for a car, or was this comment for Amtrak travel? I have heard of opening up drinks and pouring some out to leave headroom for expansion...
I find that plastic bottles seem to expand. Diet drinks in aluminum cans burst because there's no sugar.
 

fdaley

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Jan 25, 2020
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I had tickets on train 176 from Lynchburg to New York departing Monday, Jan. 3, but a couple weeks ago we canceled the trip because of Covid concerns. I guess that wound up being a lucky decision. From what I could glean from Amtrak's site and reports in the Virginia papers, No. 176 left Lynchburg exactly on time at 7:39 a.m. but stopped somewhere between there and Charlottesville because of downed trees and power lines. The train eventually returned to the Lynchburg station around midnight and was annulled.

The northbound Crescent was already running late and arrived in Lynchburg about 1 p.m. It too continued north but wound up having to reverse direction back to Lynchburg, where at least some passengers detrained and went to hotels. The train reportedly did continue on its way north Tuesday afternoon, though I never saw any confirmation of its arrival in Washington or New York. No. 19 left New York that afternoon but was annulled at Washington. On Monday night, No. 20 never departed Atlanta (it was already canceled south of there). Southbound No. 171 (the Roanoke regional) also was annulled at Washington on Monday. No. 176 did not run north on Tuesday.

In news reports, some passengers reported conditions on board were bad, with some coach toilets full/overflowing, and there was a report of Amtrak staff yelling at people over the PA system to call the 800 number with their complaints. Even so, given the choice, I think I would prefer being stuck on the train than to be stuck on I-95 for 20-plus hours in my car.

Friends in the area told us Lynchburg got 3 or 4 inches of snow, which is enough to halt most road travel there. Some places around Charlottesville got 10 inches.
 
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I have frozen water and Gatorade and never had a problem with them exploding - they are not carbonated. Now carbonated drinks are another matter altogether.
I keep a bottle of water in my car during the Winter. Never had any issues with it exploding. I did have a bottle of wine in my trunk that I failed to remove for some time and discovered that the bottle had cracked and I had the delightful aroma of the wine in my car for some time.
 

chickpea

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Just piping in and perhaps should watch this thread: I joined today because I am about to take a trip west>east>south via the Zephyr, Cardinal and then Crescent. So I am a bit nervous about the weather and cancellations etc. I have done the Zephyr & Lakeshore Ltd at the same time of year without too much trouble, though varying weather issues have caused delays. Hoping these forums will keep me informed. (Even if I get stuck, I'd rather mentally prepare than be caught off guard!) Thanks to all of you for the excellent info, links, etc.
 

JoshP

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Just found out 97 left NYP today. Miami is gonna be flooded with TONS of trainsets. Boy, this is fun.
 

Zack

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Just found out 97 left NYP today. Miami is gonna be flooded with TONS of trainsets. Boy, this is fun.
Would they have enough trainsets in Miami to run 92/98 on Friday? I may be wrong but I thought the 91 and 97 trains that left NYP today will be used for 92/98 on Friday? (I'm hoping so... don't want my 98 on Friday to be canceled)
 

JoshP

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Would they have enough trainsets in Miami to run 92/98 on Friday? I may be wrong but I thought the 91 and 97 trains that left NYP today will be used for 92/98 on Friday? (I'm hoping so... don't want my 98 on Friday to be canceled)
For now, I checked, Amtrak says 98/92 is running as of Thursday and Friday but we'll see.
 

west point

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Have to wonder if FRA gave crews on Amtrak trains permission to exceed HOS as no rescue possible. If Engineers had to go off duty, then there would not have been anyone to maintain the HEP. Then you would have possible passengers freezing with no possible rescue. Do you think government ( FRA ) would want that black eye?
 

Qapla

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While I can understand the anxiety people have while being stranded on the train - one could ask ... would you rather be stranded in a car (or, worse, a bus) on the Interstate, in a plane on the runway, in an airport because your flight was cancelled ~ or better yet, would you have rather just stayed home like the TV weather, DOT officials and others recommended when they forecast the storms?

There are more storms forecast for today/tomorrow - how many more will ignore the warnings and be stranded in some of these situations?
 

jis

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Have to wonder if FRA gave crews on Amtrak trains permission to exceed HOS as no rescue possible. If Engineers had to go off duty, then there would not have been anyone to maintain the HEP. Then you would have possible passengers freezing with no possible rescue. Do you think government ( FRA ) would want that black eye?
My understanding is that they cannot run the train. They do not have to abandon it and leave. There are no FRA rules saying they cannot keep the HEP going AFAIK. But of course I am happy to be corrected by folks on here who actually staff real trains, as opposed to just sit in an armchair in front of a computer like me ;)
 
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While I can understand the anxiety people have while being stranded on the train - one could ask ... would you rather be stranded in a car (or, worse, a bus) on the Interstate, in a plane on the runway, in an airport because your flight was cancelled ~ or better yet, would you have rather just stayed home like the TV weather, DOT officials and others recommended when they forecast the storms?
I will pick the airport when my flight is cancelled. At least the toilets there are not overflowing and there is usually plenty of food.
 
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My understanding is that they cannot run the train. They do not have to abandon it and leave. There are no FRA rules saying they cannot keep the HEP going AFAIK. But of course I am happy to be corrected by folks on here who actually staff real trains, as opposed to just sit in an armchair in front of a computer like me ;)
This has been my experience....
 
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joelkfla

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My understanding is that they cannot run the train. They do not have to abandon it and leave. There are no FRA rules saying they cannot keep the HEP going AFAIK. But of course I am happy to be corrected by folks on here who actually staff real trains, as opposed to just sit in an armchair in front of a computer like me ;)
I suspect that's true. If it's like rules for bus drivers, there's a difference between drive time and on-duty time. So it would count as on-duty time, possibly increasing the amount of rest time required before the next shift, and reducing the remaining on-duty time available during a given time period.
 
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There is an emergency exception to the HOS rules:
From 49 CFR § 228.403(a), when any of the following occur, 49 CFR 228, Subpart F does not apply.
o A casualty.
o An unavoidable accident.
o An act of God.
o A delay resulting from a cause unknown and unforeseeable to a railroad carrier or its officer or agent in charge of the employee when the employee left a terminal.
• This provision is commonly referred to as the “emergency provision” and FRA policy concerning the emergency provision is found at Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 228, Appendix A.
 
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Nine-year-old Isabella Thornton and her father, Sean, were caught in the snowstorm that wreaked havoc across Virginia, but they weren’t in a car — they were on an Amtrak train! Sean posted a video on their ill-fated journey inside a sleeper car from Atlanta to Charlottesville. What was supposed to be a 10-hour overnight trip ended up taking 40 hours to complete. Because the train was stranded, there was no food for the majority of the trip. Isabella and Sean spoke to Inside Edition.

 

ScottR

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Monterey
While I can understand the anxiety people have while being stranded on the train - one could ask ... would you rather be stranded in a car (or, worse, a bus) on the Interstate, in a plane on the runway, in an airport because your flight was cancelled ~ or better yet, would you have rather just stayed home like the TV weather, DOT officials and others recommended when they forecast the storms?

There are more storms forecast for today/tomorrow - how many more will ignore the warnings and be stranded in some of these situations?
Having experienced ALL of those situations on my Epic circle trip (LA…Chicago…Seattle…LA) between Christmas and New Years…the train in a roomette was the best of them!
 
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