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

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Willbridge

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At least it exists. Here's the current status of the California Zephyr:

We don't have train service matching your request.
 

Amtrakfflyer

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What if they’re actually sold out though?

Im the article I posted a few replies up Amtrak admits they have stopped sales. They are “working on“ allowing customers to book trips. It’s the same theme everywhere. “We‘re working on allowing coach customers to eat in diner”, “We’re working on new bedding“, “we’re working on retrofitting diners”, Now it’s we’re working on allowing customers to buy tickets???? Really?

This should have nothing to do with the bridge burn out. Eliminating sales on the coastline from LAX-SMF and all points in between during summer peak is insane. More so considering they are running a full service train. They know what bookings were. Same goes for KFS to SEA. These aren’t short trips.


From article:

“Yet during the past week, those attempting to book the train at Amtrak.com between any two city pairs are either greeted with a “sold-out” message (where there are other Amtrak train or bus alternatives), or are told, “we don’t have train service matching your request” (where the Starlight is the only option).

Keeping revenue off the books and passengers off the train is temporary, according to Amtrak spokeswoman Olivia Irvin.”
 

joelkfla

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Im the article I posted a few replies up Amtrak admits they have stopped sales. They are “working on“ allowing customers to book trips. It’s the same theme everywhere. “We‘re working on allowing coach customers to eat in diner”, “We’re working on new bedding“, “we’re working on retrofitting diners”, Now it’s we’re working on allowing customers to buy tickets???? Really?
You left out timetables.
 

zephyr17

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Eliminating sales on the coastline from LAX-SMF and all points in between during summer peak is insane.
Amtrak does not serve Sacramento International Airport (SMF) even when bridges are intact and ticket sales are open.

Amtrak station code for Sacramento is SAC. While Amtrak uses 3 position codes for its stations, and some are common with airline codes, many are not (ORL not MCO, SFC not SFO, VAC not YVR as examples, as well as SAC). Amtrak station codes are a separate and distinct codeset.

I do agree that not selling space on the Starlight from points south to Sacramento is insane, though.
 

Trogdor

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Starlight is open for sale, but only a few days at a time. When I checked earlier, it was available through the end of this weekend but not beyond that.

Fine for walk-up sales, but not for anyone who does any kind of advance planning.
 
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Oreius

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It’s been about a month since the wildfire destroyed the trestle in Northern California. Can anyone provide a status update on repairs? 51 days until my trip…
 

Cal

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It’s been about a month since the wildfire destroyed the trestle in Northern California. Can anyone provide a status update on repairs? 51 days until my trip…
Should be done by early September
 

jis

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Please define “early September” I’m booked on 11 PDX-SAC and really nervous.
Currently Amtrak allows one to book a ticket from Emeryville to Portland, so they believe that the train will be running on September 11. That is about the most that one can learn, since no one can guess for sure what will actually happen beyond that.
 
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Blackwolf

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Please define “early September” I’m booked on 11 PDX-SAC and really nervous.
Since both UP and BNSF are both heavily impacted by the Siskiyou, Gateway and Feather River lines suffering substantial vegetation fire damage, you can be assured by one thing.

The Siskiyou line is the only one of the three major routes that is no longer on fire (the other two are physically still burning, and will be for many days to come as the Dixie Fire continues to grow). This makes it priority #1 for Omaha to rebuild... Out of the -entire- UP system network. It will be done in September, Wall Street demands it. The better question is when will the traffic backlog get to the point that UP allows Amtrak back on it's line again. 🤔
 

Sidney

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Currently Amtrak allows one to book a ticket from Emeryville to Portland, so they believe that the train will be running on September 11. That is about the most that one can learn, since no one can guess for sure what will actually happen beyond that.
I'm booked from Sea-Sac on Sept 12. It's part of a railpass,so if I have to be bustituted it will just be an inconvenience. If I had a sleeper I 'd be a bit annoyed
 

Brian Battuello

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I've been away for a week, so apologize if this has already been posted:


An interesting summary by UP about the damage to the bridge and their repair efforts.
 

zephyr17

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UP announced they now expect to have the Dry Canyon Trestle back in service in early August.

While it doesn't mention Amtrak at all, I wouldn't get my hopes up for an early resumption of Amtrak service. I am sure UP would be happy to not have to deal with Amtrak for 5 or 6 weeks while they clear backlogged trains and unscrew their traffic patterns. Since they have an announced date with Amtrak, September 8th, they really have no reason to move that up and every reason not to.

 

Cal

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UP announced they now expect to have the Dry Canyon Trestle back in service in early August.

While it doesn't mention Amtrak at all, I wouldn't get my hopes up for an early resumption of Amtrak service. I am sure UP would be happy to not have to deal with Amtrak for 5 or 6 weeks while they clear backlogged trains and unscrew their traffic patterns. Since they have an announced date with Amtrak, September 8th, they really have no reason to move that up and every reason not to.

Well I’m holding off officially canceling my trip anyway.
 

zephyr17

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That is consistent with the info posted on Trainorders.com. First UP train through likely Monday or Tuesday.

I wouldn't get my hopes up for the Starlight to resume early for a couple of reasons:
- Amtrak already announced annulment of the Starlight 8/8-8/23 for bridge work on the Coast Line. That bridge work is going forward in any case, and I don't think Amtrak and UP would replace it with a Tehachapi detour at this late date, when the service advisories have been published already and presumably passengers notified 🤞.
- I just don't think UP will want to resume Starlight service any earlier than they have to. They have a 9/8 date arranged with Amtrak already and don't have much reason to change it. This way they have lots of time to clear their freight backlogs and get their traffic patterns normalized. Also, they may be hosting BNSF detours since now the Inside Gateway's closed.
- Given the general inflexibility of Amtrak, it may be they just want to stick to their plans and not fiddle around with their inflexible systems any more. Shows the great deal of faith I have in Amtrak's competence.

I think the most optimistic view I would have is Amtrak might resume after the Coast Line bridge work is done on 8/23. That gives UP a few weeks to clear things up, and Amtrak time to adjust their reservations. Also means they don't have to keep paying for charter buses. I am not betting on that though. I think they'll stick to 9/8, but I hope I am wrong.
 
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