Is there padding in the CZ schedule?

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chakk

Conductor
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May 26, 2011
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6(13) departed EMY today 6 hr, 15 min late. The Amtrak website forecasts that it will arrive Chicago on Tuesay just 34 minutes late.

Go figure...

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neroden

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Feb 23, 2014
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Ithaca, NY
There is padding in every Amtrak schedule. Honestly, there probably actually is that much padding in the schedule. The total schedule is 53 hours 40 minutes. This would mean 5 hrs. 41 minutes of padding which is 10% of the schedule. This sounds perfectly likely.

But to achieve this result, everything would have to go absolutely perfectly for the entire rest of the trip (no dispatching delays, perfect train handling, no slow orders, no station delays) -- which it won't, especially with the flooding at the Mississippi River.
 
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kbmiflyer

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Mar 30, 2013
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There is definately padding in the schedule. You can see this by comparing the eastbound and westbound timetables. For example, Sacremento - Roseville westbound is schedule for 26 minutes, but eastbound is schedule for an hour and fifteen minutes. Likewise, eastbound from naperville to chicago is schedule for 1 hour and 7 minutes, while westbound is only 34 minutes.

I think there is padding into Denver from both directions also.

That being said, I will be very surprised if #6 is less than 5 hours late into CHI on Tuesday.
 

Anderson

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There's padding and there's padding. Basically...there's time built into schedules for recovery (what we think of as padding) and there's additional time built in for expected train meets, time projected to be behind slower freights, etc. I've heard stories of trains making up several hours on Christmas Day (for example) because not only were they able to make up recovery time, but they were also able to dodge a bunch of scheduled meets 'cause the freight they were supposed to run into had the day off.
 

afigg

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That being said, I will be very surprised if #6 is less than 5 hours late into CHI on Tuesday.
Very unlikely that #6(13) will be only 5 hours late into CHI. #6(12) departed Denver only 20 minutes late, but is shown as departing Omaha 4 hours and 6 minutes late. Checking the Amtrak website OTP stats, the CZ endpoint OTP was 5% in June. Which turns out to be 10% OTP for #5 and 0% for #6. The CZ has become a companion to the EB for running very late. I would venture that the managers in CHI are expecting #6(13) to be 9 to 10 or more hours late arriving in CHI.
 

strangebrew

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Caught a glimpse of #6 leaving late this morning. I have no hope of being ontime for my august trip.
 

Tennessee Traveler

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Dan O, No. 5 arrived over 12 hours late around 4am Sunday morning. This is the turnaround train set for the next No. 6 and my experience last year in October was that the same OBS crew returns on that number 6. So the OBS as well as the train set required the almost 12 hours rest and restocking, etc. time thus the no. 6 departed over six hours late in the 3pm time instead of at 9am.
 

shelzp

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May 26, 2012
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I don't know when Amtrak updates to show realistic arrival times. Recently I was on the Empire Builder and my brother was picking me up at Glenview. He was following along to see the estimated arrival time and on the first and second day out he texted me that we should get there 'about ten minutes late'. I told him I'd be happy if it turned out that way but didn't expect it to and asked him to be sure to check before going to the station. We arrived more than seven hours late and had been running behind from the beginning of the trip.
 

Green Maned Lion

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There is so much padding in the CZs schedule that you could drop it off the Empire State Building, and then drop an anvil on it from the same height, and it wouldn't notice.
 

railiner

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Palm Beach County
Back in the SFZ days, No. 6 would regularly arrive an hour or two late at Ogden, after a troublesome run on the SP. Then the UP would take it over, and running at well over the then 90 mph speed limit for most of the distance, heroically deliver it to the BN at Denver on, or close to schedule. Those days are gone with the wind....
 

chakk

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May 26, 2011
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Actually, 6(13) is running closer to the times of the original CZ (whuch I rode in 1969) with a morning departure from SLC. Only this current CZ won't make Dener till affer midnight.

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Anderson

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Actually, 6(13) is running closer to the times of the original CZ (whuch I rode in 1969) with a morning departure from SLC. Only this current CZ won't make Dener till affer midnight.

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A morning departure from SLC (0300, while technically morning, doesn't qualify here) would be good if you could improve runtimes east of there and maintain connectivity with the system at CHI. The problem is maintaining that connectivity...*sighs*
 

PJnVA

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Jul 7, 2012
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Woodbridge, VA
I will be on the CZ #6 on the 24th from Davis to Chicago connecting to the #50 Cardinal to Alexandria. If we miss our connection and the #30 Capitol Limited is booked or we miss that too I guess I will get a free overnight in Chicago. This happend to us on our first train trip ever in March 2010 when the Empire Builder was over 5 hours late into Chicago on St Patricks Day. We just roll with the flow...I I miss an extra day of work it's not my fault. You can't control the trains.
 
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