Empire Builder disruption due to freight derailment (5/1/22)

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RalphCT

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Any word yet on a Bus bridge to Havre? Will 8 be turned at Havre and 7 at Minot?
 

Cal

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Rough! When I was on the EB back in October of 2020, we were delayed four hours due to the cleanup of a derailment I believe west of Glasgow. Got to pass by the derailment with cars still on their side slowly.
 

PaunchyPirate

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So it looks like they have “cancelled“ both directions of the already-underway Empire Builders (at Shelby and Minot). So what does Amtrak do with all the passengers on those trains now in Shelby and Minot? Do they bus them somewhere? If so, where?

I would assume they would bus them to the other “stopped“ location and then reverse the trains beck to their origin. But ”cancelled” seems to mean otherwise. And I would think they would first move the trains as close as possible if they did this.
 

Cal

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So it looks like they have “cancelled“ both directions of the already-underway Empire Builders (at Shelby and Minot). So what does Amtrak do with all the passengers on those trains now in Shelby and Minot? Do they bus them somewhere? If so, where?

I would assume they would bus them to the other “stopped“ location and then reverse the trains beck to their origin. But ”cancelled” seems to mean otherwise. And I would think they would first move the trains as close as possible if they did this.
I'm guessing they can't find buses in the middle of Montana and North Dakota to bus the passengers, so they might be refunding passengers and sending them off. That's only a guess, I'm not sure what they do int these situations.
 

Eric in East County

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So it looks like they have “cancelled“ both directions of the already-underway Empire Builders (at Shelby and Minot). So what does Amtrak do with all the passengers on those trains now in Shelby and Minot? Do they bus them somewhere? If so, where?

I would assume they would bus them to the other “stopped“ location and then reverse the trains beck to their origin. But ”cancelled” seems to mean otherwise. And I would think they would first move the trains as close as possible if they did this.
If Amtrak would transfer passengers from the stopped westbound train to the stopped eastbound train and vice versa, sleeping car passengers would be moving into recently vacated bedrooms and roomettes which, more than likely, will not have been cleaned first. Is this allowable, even if the passengers concerned don’t object to moving into previously used accommodations in order to complete their journey?
 

Trogdor

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If Amtrak would transfer passengers from the stopped westbound train to the stopped eastbound train and vice versa, sleeping car passengers would be moving into recently vacated bedrooms and roomettes which, more than likely, will not have been cleaned first.

Why would this be any different from any other en-route turnover of a room? The room doesn’t get cleaned. The linens get swapped out, and that’s about it.
 

AmtrakBlue

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If Amtrak would transfer passengers from the stopped westbound train to the stopped eastbound train and vice versa, sleeping car passengers would be moving into recently vacated bedrooms and roomettes which, more than likely, will not have been cleaned first. Is this allowable, even if the passengers concerned don’t object to moving into previously used accommodations in order to complete their journey?
What makes you think the SCAs won’t clean the rooms? Either they clean the rooms before they depart on the buses to the other train or they clean the rooms on the train they transferred to. Anyone boarding a train mid route is likely to be getting a previously occupied room - that the SCA prepares for the new passenger.
 

glensfallsse

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I hope they bus them to the other train. It would be brutal to just strand someone in Minot. The airport has two flights a day in small planes; there are virtually no other options for travel aside from Greyhound.
 
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Willbridge

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I hope they bus them to the other train. It would be brutal to just strand someone in Minot. The airport has two flights a day in small planes; there are virtually no other options for travel aside from Greyhound.
Greyhound doesn't serve Minot. There's a tri-weekly bus line between Minot and Bismarck. Jefferson Lines serves Bismarck on the lone transcon bus schedule between the Twin Cities and Seattle/Portland. It's not a through bus, but it's a through schedule pattern.

Souris Basin Transit > Areas Served > Minot
 

railiner

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I hope they bus them to the other train. It would be brutal to just strand someone in Minot. The airport has two flights a day in small planes; there are virtually no other options for travel aside from Greyhound.
Greyhound doesn’t go any where near Minot anymore, either…
 

WWW

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Airplanes small 50-70 passenger jets may work but would have to be chartered - may require 2 or more -
Since this is not like a few weeks ago weather related - the bus bridge would be the sensible answer - but certainly not same day service -
And this too would require a fleet of buses - Amtrak crews remaining with their existing train and couping a ton of overtime - what a
scheduling logistics dilemma -


EB Train #7 of April 30 is not visible on Track Your Train - EB #7/1May just arrived at MSP 2200 hours CDT
EB Train #8 of April 30 is also not visiible on TYT - EB #8/1May has departed Seattle

Where the exact derailment and fire is occurring hasn't been pinned down other than in the Burlington ND location
 

Willbridge

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GL served Minot long ago when Northland Greyhound, the GN subsidiary, ran twice daily service to the Twin Cities. In my August 1974 bus guide Minot was a lunchtime hub "Except Sundays and holidays" for Interstate Transportation Co. with lines to Bismarck, Williston, Crosby, and independent lines making connections for Jamestown, Hettinger, Selby, New Town, and Bottineau. On the main line to Bismarck there was a second trip that ran daily.

Burlington, ND was 15 minutes west of Minot with the 55 mph limit in effect in 1974 and had an agency station.
 
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JP1822

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The Empire Builder trains are running VERY full and have been for months. Coach has some availability but sleeper is pretty booked months out (and this includes using the Superliner Trans-Dorm Sleeper's roomettes). This is Amtrak's busiest long distance train in terms of total passengers hauled. Not sure what sleeper capacity, especially, any re-booking there would be UNLESS Amtrak adds capacity somehow. The Empire Builder has been longing for a second Seattle Sleeper since mid-March. Last year it didn't get the second Seattle Sleeper till July 1. Always had by May 1 pre-COVID. I don't think there was a bus-bridge, but can't say for certain. At least Amtrak learned how to run to Minot and Shelby and turn back, rather than just Twin Cities and Minot. They got a LOT of travelers and folks heading into Montana (especially Flathead Valley) and leaving them up there with no service is just going to create a huge backlog of passengers that likely can't find same "class" of re-booking. Car rentals are tight and airports small with not too much service availability/frequency across the Hi Line.
 
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