Fire stops Coast Starlight. Bridge burned (6/29/21)

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Amtrakfflyer

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Try to book anything on the CS this summer and it’s either listed as sold out or “no service offered” as of yesterday. These guys are unbelievable. They finally got 2 prime corridors thrown in their lap and don’t even want to run them. Lax-smf and Sea-KFS. I can’t book my lax sjc trip I wanted to do.
 

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Cal

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A trestle has been damaged beyond repair and so a bus bridge is in between Sacramento and Klamath Falls which is why it’s showing train 1011 and no service for your Seattle search. There’s already a thread about it which has many replies. Unfortunately I’m on mobile and it’s hard to link it, I’ll try.
 

Amtrakfflyer

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Look at what I posted. You can’t book ANYTHING at all as of yesterday. Lax to San Jose or Sacramento or anything isn’t for sale all summer. These have nothing to do with the bus bridge. The stub trains aren’t bookable.
 

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AmtrakBlue

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Try to book anything on the CS this summer and it’s either listed as sold out or “no service offered” as of yesterday. These guys are unbelievable. They finally got 2 prime corridors thrown in their lap and don’t even want to run them. Lax-smf and Sea-KFS. I can’t book my lax sjc trip I wanted to do.
Did you try calling to book? The trains are running, but they may not be selling additional seats, at least online, at this time due to the service distruption.
It's also possible that they haven't updated the computer system with the new train/bus numbers. Their computer system is really old....
 

Oreius

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On another note:
Oreius hope your Alaska travels have some portion on the Alaska RR in GOLD STAR class in the bi-level dome cars - - -
Unfortunately, we’re not planning on taking the Alaska RR. I could ask my parents if they want to take it to Seward through that big-ass road/rail tunnel…
 

Alice

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Location of UP bridge.
Siskiyou line heads off to the Northwest from Weed, CA.

View attachment 23596

UP Update 7/12
UP now also has a fire train in the Feather River Canyon helping with the Dixie Fire. As an aside, when this fire was still small, they had to cancel air support two different times on account of drones. Various local vigilante types would very much like to get ahold of those pilots.
 

WWW

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A trestle has been damaged beyond repair - - -
Photo (copy) from post #199

1626679485048.png

Any updated progress ?
Last I heard (read-viewed) was the bridge deck had been removed and the foundation structure was still standing
That has to be a plus not having to lay a new foundation and build from scratch
 
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Danib62

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Well I got tired of waiting to what Amtrak was going to do with my reservation that was only a week away so I called up and cancelled. Got my AGR points credited back to my account, no questions. Super disappointed this trip didn't work out, it was supposed to be part of our honeymoon but instead of we're spending an extra night in PDX and flying to SFO.
 

Amtrakfflyer

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Confirmed Amtrak not selling seats on Starlight. Running full service trains that can’t be booked cost some $$$. How long is temporary? Only management knows. How is it possible they don’t know if there’s rooms or seats from Lax to SJC? Or the other 50ish city pairs affected?

“Keeping revenue off the books and passengers off the train is temporary, according to Amtrak spokeswoman Olivia Irvin. She says, “To ensure prioritization for customers who have had their reservation impacted by this change in service, sales on some segments of the Coast Starlight have been paused while the re-accommodation process is completed. This includes all itineraries on the overnight segment that will be served by a bus. We are not able to share a projected completion timeline at this time.”
 

Bob Dylan

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Well I got tired of waiting to what Amtrak was going to do with my reservation that was only a week away so I called up and cancelled. Got my AGR points credited back to my account, no questions. Super disappointed this trip didn't work out, it was supposed to be part of our honeymoon but instead of we're spending an extra night in PDX and flying to SFO.
Have a Wonderful Honeymoon anyway! 😊
 
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Can anyone help me know how the bussing around the bridge trestle affected by the Lava Fire is impacting the arrival times of the Coast Starlight Train 11? I have friends with reservations leaving September 4 from Portland at 1425. We understand they will be bussed from Klamath Falls and then put back on the train in Sacramento. This is an overnight journey for them to Emeryville (Oakland), ordinarily predicted to arrive at 0800 on Sept 5. They have a flight home to Europe from San Francisco Airport that same day, departing at 1910. Will they be able to make their airplane connection?
Thanks.
 

AmtrakBlue

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Can anyone help me know how the bussing around the bridge trestle affected by the Lava Fire is impacting the arrival times of the Coast Starlight Train 11? I have friends with reservations leaving September 4 from Portland at 1425. We understand they will be bussed from Klamath Falls and then put back on the train in Sacramento. This is an overnight journey for them to Emeryville (Oakland), ordinarily predicted to arrive at 0800 on Sept 5. They have a flight home to Europe from San Francisco Airport that same day, departing at 1910. Will they be able to make their airplane connection?
Thanks.
I'm guessing that the train won't leave Sacramento until the busses arrive. If that is the case, then you can keep track of the on-time performance of the train here (use 1011 for train # and EMY for station):

 

zephyr17

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The buses should actually be faster than the train, so there shouldn't be a problem with leaving Sacramento on time.

PS it is generally a bad idea to schedule a transfer to a different carrier on same day as the arrival of any North American long distance train. Especially such a critical one as an international flight.
 

WWW

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The buses should actually be faster than the train, so there shouldn't be a problem with leaving Sacramento on time.

PS it is generally a bad idea to schedule a transfer to a different carrier on same day as the arrival of any North American long distance train. Especially such a critical one as an international flight.
Connections be they train to train or train to plane or whatever floats your boat should not be taken for granted -
A sufficient cushion of connection time should be factored in - - -
That train to plane connection is compounded by the train ending on the Oakland side of the Bay and the plane connection on the opposite side.
You don't have a simple A connects to B - you have an A (train) to Bart or Bus connection and thence to a C and even then a shuttle from the
Bart Bus stop to the airport terminal. An another alternative an expensive taxi ride/fare.
At least you don't have the Phileas Fogg (Around the World in 80 Days) factor and have a date line to cross.

It is no doubt too late to think about making that international connection at Seattle instead of San Francisco as an alternative.

Don't cha just love us Monday morning quarterbacks - shoulda coulda woulda hada better idea timely connection without that MISSED connect ?

Fortunately that Bus Bridge operation is a blessing - a painful one getting on and off one transport to another during sleepy time hours - but it works.

Good Luck !
 

Trogdor

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Can anyone help me know how the bussing around the bridge trestle affected by the Lava Fire is impacting the arrival times of the Coast Starlight Train 11? I have friends with reservations leaving September 4 from Portland at 1425. We understand they will be bussed from Klamath Falls and then put back on the train in Sacramento. This is an overnight journey for them to Emeryville (Oakland), ordinarily predicted to arrive at 0800 on Sept 5. They have a flight home to Europe from San Francisco Airport that same day, departing at 1910. Will they be able to make their airplane connection?
Thanks.
Despite all the doom-and-gloom, I think the connection will be more than safe, provided the buses actually make it through (and I have not heard of any problems with that, but in theory another fire could spark and shut down all travel again, including roads).

If the bus arrives anywhere in the neighborhood of on time, they should be fine. They could also try asking to use their ticket to board the Capitol Corridor in Sacramento, which runs every hour or two. That will take them to Oakland, Emeryville (Emeryville has the connecting Amtrak buses to downtown San Francisco), or Richmond. If they got off at Richmond, they could take the BART Red Line, then transfer to the Yellow Line at pretty much any stop between downtown Oakland and Daly City in San Francisco. The Yellow Line goes directly to SFO Airport. (If they were planning on taking BART anyway, they should note that the Amtrak stations in Emeryville and Oakland aren’t really that close to BART; if they are planning on taking the Amtrak bus to San Francisco, from the north those typically leave from Emeryville).
 

Trogdor

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and even then a shuttle from the
Bart Bus stop to the airport terminal.
I don’t know what “Bart Bus” they will be taking, but the BART train stops directly at the international terminal at SFO. I’ve gotten off BART and walked directly into the terminal numerous times. Granted, it can be a hike to get over to the domestic terminals, but if they’re going to Europe, the international terminal is where they’re probably going anyway.
 

joelkfla

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If they got off at Richmond, they could take the BART Red Line, then transfer to the Yellow Line at pretty much any stop between downtown Oakland and Daly City in San Francisco. The Yellow Line goes directly to SFO Airport.
It's a Sunday, so they would need to board a Berryessa train and transfer at MacArthur. Trains run every 30 minutes, so the whole trip could take up to 2 hours.
If they were planning on taking BART anyway, they should note that the Amtrak stations in Emeryville and Oakland aren’t really that close to BART
But if they get off at Emeryville, and walk the bridge across the tracks, the free Emery-Go-Round circulator bus goes to the MacArthur station, where they could board a BART directly to SFO. But it's a 30-minute bus ride, so it would probably all come out about the same.
 
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Skimmy

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East Lansing
So, just did the Coastal Starlight from San Francisco to Portland then Empire builder to Pasco. First, unbelievable that the bus stop in SF is on the darkened street in front of the Chase Bank. 555 Mission. I travelled alone and was not/did not feel threatened, but I'd not want my daughter or wife to do this trip at 9PM at night like i did. (Last train to Emeryville for the 10:04 Coastal to Sacramento) I got dropped off at Salesforce looking for the Amtrak sign; nicely lit up, security guard......finally asked the guard where AMtrak picked up and she directed me to Mission street. Walked up there not believing it could be where she said, but there was an Amtrak sign on a sign post. I was the only one there for 10-15 minutes. A security guard came by and I verified that I was in the right place. He said yes and we both shook our heads.
Train trip to Sacramento uneventful; attendants were good. Getting on the bus everyone was directed. 5 buses as there were different buses for the individual destinations that the starlight normally went to along the way. Thought this was a smart thing to do. Crew came with us. The not so good- Bus left after midnight but AMtrak didn't want the buses at Klamath falls for 2 hours before anyone got there (I think the train was there 10PMish the night before). So we would bus for an hour and a half then stop at a truck stop for an hour......get out and stretch, get something to eat then back in for another 1.5 hours and stop again at a truckstop for an hour. Then in to Klamath falls Amtrak. 7:15 AM. Not much moving and I believe the staff did everything they could to make things go as smoothly as possible. vendor outside at a table set up coffee and donuts for people that wanted. Took quite a bit of time to get into our sleeper car. I think we were the last one to get in. Ticket said 1431, the car said a different # that I can't remember now....The conductor came by and told us it was our car.
Finally got into the car. Issues with locomotives taking a while to load computer and getting administrative permission to move. Then dispatch permission to switch off the siding and get on the main track. All understandably took time. Room attendant and all staff were good. AMtrak did offer breakfast sandwiches to all travellers after Starlight got going in the observation car.
We ran behind and at one point didn't think I was going to make my Pasco/Empire builder connection, but conductor said they would wait for us and they did. Had switched to coach seats Portland to Pasco and found the seats really comfortable and spacious. All in all, staff did all the right things with the natural disaster handed to them. 7 hours on a bus though made sightseeing the next day less enjoyable and I had the bed turned down and slept until 1PM. The 'Allnighter' did me in. Scenery good, don't know what I might have missed Scenery on The builder from Portland along the river is really good. Just a note on the Portland-Pasco section: No diner car until Spokane. (Is what I heard as I was now Coach) snack bar open in observation car.
 

Skimmy

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The buses should actually be faster than the train, so there shouldn't be a problem with leaving Sacramento on time.

PS it is generally a bad idea to schedule a transfer to a different carrier on same day as the arrival of any North American long distance train. Especially such a critical one as an international flight.
Just a note: The reverse direction has the buses 'holding up' at truck stops twice for an hour so they don't get to Klamath Falls too soon (Before 7:15 AM). Just did this. It appeared to me that starting up a 'cold train' takes more time than you might think and hopefully staff the night before left the cars in good shape. While we were late getting into POrtland, The Empire waited.
 

Amtrakfflyer

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Update as of today still no bookings allowed all summer on these full service diner, sleeper equipped trains from LAX to SMF a 14 hour trip, or SEA to KFS a 12 hour trip. Not to mention you can’t book LAX to SEA with the bus bridge If you were so inclined.

I don’t understand why there is no outrage that they are at this point deliberately ”keeping revenue off the books and passengers off the trains” in the busy summer season (Amtraks words not mine, from the memo). They know what bookings were and how many seats/rooms were available from lax to oak or any other city pair before the bridge burned. I just remember Coscias letter to me a couple years ago the gist was, “we have to be good stewards of federal funds”. I guess it’s only if it serves their purpose.
 

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