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Sunset Limited Arrival in Los Angeles

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DesertDude

Train Attendant
Joined
Sep 18, 2014
Messages
79
I'm considering taking the SL from Yuma to LA, and then flying out from LAX. The SL's scheduled arrival time in LA is 5:35 am. The times I've looked at the SL's status on the live map, it looks like the SL is almost never more than 2 hours late.

So my question is this: is it a pretty safe bet to assume that the SL would roll into LA no later than 8 am? I would hate to take the train, only to find out I can't get to LAX in time for my flight.

Thanks in advance for responses from anyone familiar with the SL.
 

FrensicPic

Conductor
Joined
Jan 15, 2012
Messages
3,105
Location
LAX
"SL is almost never more than 2 hours late." What if "never" happens on the day of your trip? You don't say what time your flight is. Don't forget transit time from LAUS to LAX (Flyaway Bus?) during the morning rush hour. The last two arrivals I've had on the SL have been closer to the 7-7:30 time-frame.
 

rusty spike

OBS Chief
Joined
Jun 22, 2012
Messages
501
Location
Arizona
"almost never" is your key phrase here...

It's probably a safe bet (not knowing what your flight time is out of LAX), but as you probably know---on any given day, "sh*t happens".
 

Ryan

Conductor
Joined
Apr 14, 2008
Messages
17,050
Location
OTN
What time is your flight?

What are the consequences of missing it? Are there other flights to your destination later in the day?
 

Devil's Advocate

Sarcastic Misanthrope
Joined
May 24, 2010
Messages
12,110
Location
Texas
After two decades of use I can say with absolute confidence that Amtrak's LD network is entirely unsuitable for time sensitive arrivals.
 
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Bruce-C

Service Attendant
Joined
Nov 19, 2010
Messages
201
Location
Northern Arizona
There are several Yuma - LAX flights daily. They are more expensive than Amtrak coach fares. But I would favor the airline for OTP.
 

DesertDude

Train Attendant
Joined
Sep 18, 2014
Messages
79
Thanks for the replies. Nothing is even booked yet, I'm just planning for a possible family visit at some point in the future. If this is the option I decide on, I'll make sure the flight out of LA is scheduled for the afternoon.
 

afigg

Conductor
Joined
Jun 8, 2009
Messages
5,896
Location
Virginia
I'm considering taking the SL from Yuma to LA, and then flying out from LAX. The SL's scheduled arrival time in LA is 5:35 am. The times I've looked at the SL's status on the live map, it looks like the SL is almost never more than 2 hours late.

So my question is this: is it a pretty safe bet to assume that the SL would roll into LA no later than 8 am? I would hate to take the train, only to find out I can't get to LAX in time for my flight.
You can use the new website Amtrak Status Maps Archive Database to get a summary of the arrival/departure times for any Amtrak (as long as the data is available in the Status Maps archive). The SL takes 2 days and covers 1995 miles going from New Orleans to LA. It takes only 1 freight train breakdown, grade crossing incident, passenger medical emergency, major freight traffic congestion or some problem along the long route to cause the SL to get to LA 3, 4, 5 hours late. Most trips that does not happen, but it does sometimes.
I used the database to dump the arrival times and on-time results of all SL #1 arrivals at LAX (the train station natch) since the beginning of July. Out of 34 arrivals, 6 were more than 2 hours late. Of those, three were at least 3 hours late. Despite the very late arrivals, the SL is doing far better for OTP than it used to.

Code:
History for Amtrak 1 at LAX
Origin Date	Sch AR                	Act AR	Comments	Data File
09/15/2014	09/17/2014 5:35 AM	5:51AM	Arrived: 16 minutes late.	X
09/13/2014	09/15/2014 5:35 AM	4:55AM	Arrived: 40 minutes early.	X
09/10/2014	09/12/2014 5:35 AM	6:24AM	Arrived: 49 minutes late.	X
09/08/2014	09/10/2014 5:35 AM	4:26AM	Arrived: 1 hour and 9 minutes early.	X
09/06/2014	09/08/2014 5:35 AM	7:15AM	Arrived: 1 hour and 40 minutes late.	X
09/03/2014	09/05/2014 5:35 AM	5:52AM	Arrived: 17 minutes late.	X
09/01/2014	09/03/2014 5:35 AM	4:22AM	Arrived: 1 hour and 13 minutes early.	X
08/30/2014	09/01/2014 5:35 AM	6:12AM	Arrived: 37 minutes late.	X
08/27/2014	08/29/2014 5:35 AM	5:06AM	Arrived: 29 minutes early.	X
08/25/2014	08/27/2014 5:35 AM	4:17AM	Arrived: 1 hour and 18 minutes early.	X
08/23/2014	08/25/2014 5:35 AM	6:09AM	Arrived: 35 minutes late.	X
08/20/2014	08/22/2014 5:35 AM	8:21AM	Arrived: 2 hours and 46 minutes late.	X
08/18/2014	08/20/2014 5:35 AM	10:33AM	Arrived: 4 hours and 58 minutes late.	X
08/16/2014	08/18/2014 5:35 AM	6:31AM	Arrived: 56 minutes late.	X
08/13/2014	08/15/2014 5:35 AM	5:23AM	Arrived: 12 minutes early.	X
08/11/2014	08/13/2014 5:35 AM	6:39AM	Arrived: 1 hour and 4 minutes late.	X
08/09/2014	08/11/2014 5:35 AM	4:58AM	Arrived: 37 minutes early.	X
08/06/2014	08/08/2014 5:35 AM	4:41AM	Arrived: 54 minutes early.	X
08/04/2014	08/06/2014 5:35 AM	7:55AM	Arrived: 2 hours and 20 minutes late.	X
08/02/2014	08/04/2014 5:35 AM	8:34AM	Arrived: 2 hours and 59 minutes late.	X
07/30/2014	08/01/2014 5:35 AM	5:41AM	Arrived: 6 minutes late.	X
07/28/2014	07/30/2014 5:35 AM	6:44AM	Arrived: 1 hour and 9 minutes late.	X
07/26/2014	07/28/2014 5:35 AM	5:25AM	Arrived: 10 minutes early.	X
07/23/2014	07/25/2014 5:35 AM	5:47AM	Arrived: 12 minutes late.	X
07/21/2014	07/23/2014 5:35 AM	5:00AM	Arrived: 35 minutes early.	X
07/19/2014	07/21/2014 5:35 AM	2:55PM	Arrived: 9 hours and 20 minutes late.	X
07/16/2014	07/18/2014 5:35 AM	5:51AM	Arrived: 16 minutes late.	X
07/14/2014	07/16/2014 5:35 AM	5:38AM	Arrived: 3 minutes late.	X
07/12/2014	07/14/2014 5:35 AM	6:04AM	Arrived: 29 minutes late.	X
07/09/2014	07/11/2014 5:35 AM	4:36AM	Arrived: 59 minutes early.	X
07/07/2014	07/09/2014 5:35 AM	5:40AM	Arrived: 5 minutes late.	X
07/05/2014	07/07/2014 5:35 AM	5:11AM	Arrived: 24 minutes early.	X
07/02/2014	07/04/2014 5:35 AM	6:32AM	Arrived: 57 minutes late.	X
06/30/2014	07/02/2014 5:35 AM	8:47AM	Arrived: 3 hours and 12 minutes late.	X
 

Dakota 400

Conductor
Joined
Mar 5, 2014
Messages
2,584
What happens if the SL arrives quite early? Do they want the sleeping car passengers off the train soon after arrival or may they remain on the train until its published arrival time?
 

FrensicPic

Conductor
Joined
Jan 15, 2012
Messages
3,105
Location
LAX
Printed in the the SL schedule, "- Sleeping car passengers arriving at Los Angeles are welcome to occupy

their accommodations until 6:30 a.m."

They specify a clock time, not an amount of time after of arrival.
 

Yumacool

Train Attendant
Joined
Oct 3, 2014
Messages
64
Location
Arizona
My eyes popped when I read this because I had no idea that another Amtrak Unlimited member lived in Yuma, Arizona, where I reside!

My wife and I have taken the Sunset many times between Yuma and LA, most often to connect to the Coast Starlight. We have never had a connection problem. Several times we have transferred to the Los Angeles airport, but definitely leave several hours for that. It takes time to take the bus connection, plus, it's better to leave some extra time in case the train is late.

Flights from Yuma to LA are expensive and this is a cost effective way to go. Now we just have to make the Sunset a daily train -- triweekly makes planning difficult at times ...
 

neroden

Conductor
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
8,008
Location
Ithaca, NY
Get a much later flight.

It's a minimum of an hour from Union Station to the airport, and it can be longer. If connecting from the Sunset Limited, I wouldn't book a flight leaving earlier than 1 PM.
 
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