February 2017 Empire Builder Weather Cancellations

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Thirdrail7

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We are supposed to head home tomorrow (02/05) on EB #7 out of Chicago, anyone have any ideas as to why today's #7 is stuck at CUS?
Let's just say there was an equipment problem that had to be corrected prior to leaving. Some changes to the consist are being made.

Looks like they are 5 hours and 30 minutes late leaving CUS.
That is an estimate. It could get better...or worse.
 
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The EB has 5 consists so 5 days in a row a different consist departs Chicago. On each consists third day out they arrive in the morning for an afternoon return in either Seattle or Portland. Those leaving the west coast Wednesday afternoon may see a delay if today's train has additional delays.
 

bmjhagen9426

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The EB has 5 consists so 5 days in a row a different consist departs Chicago. On each consists third day out they arrive in the morning for an afternoon return in either Seattle or Portland. Those leaving the west coast Wednesday afternoon may see a delay if today's train has additional delays.
Or passengers west of Spokane will get a dreaded bus bridge to Spokane, if it ends up more than 5 hours late (of course, if Amtrak can secure buses at Spokane, Portland, and/or Seattle). If not, delays will eat into the turn-around time before leaving Seattle and Portland.
 

Karl1459

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Expect a bustitution in Spokane... or even a motel room. Severe winter weather warnings for the Marias pass area, up to 24" new snow predicted. Pack an extra book and enjoy.
 

Thirdrail7

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It's made up 2'10" so far. Hopefully, it can continue to chip away at the ITD, enabling it to continue to SEA. As for the OP's train, it seems to have arrived MKE 9" early. Hopefully, the rest of your trip remains uneventful.
 
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Riverviewer

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Per the Amtrak status map, no EB's are running today (2/6)...both 7's and both 8's are listed as having a service disruption.
 

jis

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Yup. Avalanche in Marias Pass near Essex MT. Per BNSF rule the line is shut down for at least 48 hours for passenger traffic, maybe more.

I guess if Rt. 2 survived the avalanche unscathed and they can find enough buses maybe there will be a bus bridge. Otherwise be ready for delay of a day or two perhaps. The situation is very fluid and hard to predict, with enormous amounts of new snow predicted over the next 24 hours.
 
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bmjhagen9426

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Yup. Avalanche in Marias Pass near Essex MT. Per BNSF rule the line is shut down for at least 48 hours for passenger traffic, maybe more.

I guess if Rt. 2 survived the avalanche unscathed and they can find enough buses maybe there will be a bus bridge. Otherwise be ready for delay of a day or two perhaps. The situation is very fluid and hard to predict, with enormous amounts of new snow predicted over the next 24 hours.
In that case, where does it make a turn back to Chicago. I believe US-2 is not that far, and might also have been hit.
 

jis

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US 2 is closed too.

Here is some info on the msot current state for at least one of the disrupted #7s from a Facebook post by a passenger (David Braithwaite)on that train:

I'm on the 7 that made it to East Glacier last night. Through the night we backed up to Cut Bank where they just moved us onto a siding. Later today we may back up to Shelby where there more services. US2 is also closed so busing is not an option at this time. Some passengers are taking a bus to Great Falls to catch a plane!
Abe Zumwalt and Malcolm Kenton are apparently on one of the #7s and have not been heard from for a while.

Apparently 50" to 60" (5 feet) of snow is projected for today up in Marias Pass.
 
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jis

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Train2104

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Our Amtrak friends can probably verify this, but the #7 that departed CHI yesterday was apparently a stub train for a short turn at MSP, sans Sleepers.
7 (5) has made it to MOT, and given Amtrak's alert, is probably not going further.
 

KnightRail

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7(4) Returned and held @ Shelby, MT

8(4) Returned and held @ Whitefish, MT

7(5) Terminated @ Minot, ND to become a 'make-up' section of 8(5)

8(5) Held @ Spokane, WA. 'make-up' section operating Minot thru Chicago.

7(6) Operated Chicago thru St. Paul only

8(6) Operates St. Paul thru Chicago only (Feb 8th)

This is a fluid frozen situation.
 

jis

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Here is the situation on US-2 according to the Montana Highway department as of around 10am MST of Feb 7, 2017:

Code:
WEST GLACIER TO PINNACLE

        ROAD CLOSED AT ESSEX, MILE 180

        Snowing

        Snowcover

        Road Closed

PINNACLE TO DEVIL CREEK

        ROAD IMPASSABLE DUE TO DRIFTING

        Road Closed

7 MILES WEST OF MARIAS PASS OVER MARIAS PASS

        Snowing

        Blowing and Drifting

        Snow and Ice

        Road Closed

EAST SIDE OF MARIAS PASS TO EAST GLACIER

        Snowing

        Snow and Ice

        Road Closed
 
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