The effect of the potential rail strike on Amtrak

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Jack Davis

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And here it is, no surprise:

“Amtrak said it would suspend all long-distance train services on Thursday to avoid disruptions from a potential strike by freight rail workers, as negotiations between railroads and labor unions approach a Friday deadline.”
This baffles me: When the freight trains aren't running (i.e. on Thanksgiving for example) the AMTRAK trains were running on time. Now that the freight trains will not run, AMTRAK is 'afraid' to drive them on the tracks owned by the freight lines? AMTRAK will probably run 'on time' and that's good! But, I suppose, there could be some yahoo out there that might believe, since the freight trains aren't running, no one else can use their track? Good grief.
 
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This baffles me: When the freight trains aren't running (i.e. on Thanksgiving for example) the AMTRAK trains were running on time. Now that the freight trains will not run, AMTRAK is 'afraid' to drive them on the tracks owned by the freight lines? AMTRAK will probably run 'on time' and that's good! But, I suppose, there could be some yahoo out there that might believe, since the freight trains aren't running, no one else can use their track? Good grief.
Sigh. That is ridiculous....
 
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This baffles me: When the freight trains aren't running (i.e. on Thanksgiving for example) the AMTRAK trains were running on time. Now that the freight trains will not run, AMTRAK is 'afraid' to drive them on the tracks owned by the freight lines? AMTRAK will probably run 'on time' and that's good! But, I suppose, there could be some yahoo out there that might believe, since the freight trains aren't running, no one else can use their track? Good grief.
If the dispatchers, who are freight railroad employees outside the NEC and a few commuter lines, either strike or honor other rail workers' strike, Amtrak can't run on the freight lines even if there aren't any freight trains in Amtrak's way.
 

Kbyrdleroydogg

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Thursday is the 15th.
I got it all wrong. Its next Thursday the 22nd and the return is the 24th. But with this rail strike that is going on with the freight workers, Amtrak has begun canceling their own long-distance trains and mine is from CHI-NYC. Should I wait this out or just cancel m
 

trimetbusfan

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This baffles me: When the freight trains aren't running (i.e. on Thanksgiving for example) the AMTRAK trains were running on time. Now that the freight trains will not run, AMTRAK is 'afraid' to drive them on the tracks owned by the freight lines? AMTRAK will probably run 'on time' and that's good! But, I suppose, there could be some yahoo out there that might believe, since the freight trains aren't running, no one else can use their track? Good grief.
Amtrak can’t run if there are no train dispatchers or if there are no signal and track personnel to fix issues in the field. They also can’t run if the host railroad can’t assist if a train breaks down. They also do not want people to be stranded for hours or days on a train stuck in the middle of nowhere.
 
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I got it all wrong. Its next Thursday the 22nd and the return is the 24th. But with this rail strike that is going on with the freight workers, Amtrak has begun canceling their own long-distance trains and mine is from CHI-NYC. Should I wait this out or just cancel m
You've got a week. If your (non-Amtrak) travel plans are flexible (change without penalty) you could probably ride it out.
If Amtrak cancels you will be entitled to a full refund; If you cancel, maybe not.
 

zephyr17

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This baffles me: When the freight trains aren't running (i.e. on Thanksgiving for example) the AMTRAK trains were running on time. Now that the freight trains will not run, AMTRAK is 'afraid' to drive them on the tracks owned by the freight lines? AMTRAK will probably run 'on time' and that's good! But, I suppose, there could be some yahoo out there that might believe, since the freight trains aren't running, no one else can use their track? Good grief.
🤦‍♂️
 

zephyr17

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I got it all wrong. Its next Thursday the 22nd and the return is the 24th. But with this rail strike that is going on with the freight workers, Amtrak has begun canceling their own long-distance trains and mine is from CHI-NYC. Should I wait this out or just cancel m
Wait it out. Maybe put a Plan B in place.

This episode of the saga will likely be over in a week with Congressional action if not settled.
 

zephyr17

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This baffles me: When the freight trains aren't running (i.e. on Thanksgiving for example) the AMTRAK trains were running on time. Now that the freight trains will not run, AMTRAK is 'afraid' to drive them on the tracks owned by the freight lines? AMTRAK will probably run 'on time' and that's good! But, I suppose, there could be some yahoo out there that might believe, since the freight trains aren't running, no one else can use their track? Good grief.
In addition to dispatchers, this. The MOW people that do it will be out, too.

Class 4 Track​

Type: Freight/Passenger
Maximum Freight Speed: 60 MPH
Maximum Passenger Speed: 80 MPH
Minimum Track Inspection Frequency: Must be inspected twice weekly, with a continuous search for internal defects in the rail after 40 million gross tons passes over it, or once a year, whichever happens first. Each switch must be inspected every 3 months.

Notes: Most track in the US is Class 4.

Everything loses it Class 4 status by early next week at the latest. It then effectively reverts FRA Excepted and illegal to run passenger trains on.

This in addition to not having anyone there to give permission to occupy track.
 

jebr

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This baffles me: When the freight trains aren't running (i.e. on Thanksgiving for example) the AMTRAK trains were running on time. Now that the freight trains will not run, AMTRAK is 'afraid' to drive them on the tracks owned by the freight lines? AMTRAK will probably run 'on time' and that's good! But, I suppose, there could be some yahoo out there that might believe, since the freight trains aren't running, no one else can use their track? Good grief.
Some freight trains run on Thanksgiving.

This is also an apples to hamburgers comparison. There's still some staff at the railroads to dispatch trains, run the signals, etc. on holidays. With the strike there won't be any of those staff, so Amtrak won't even be able to run on the tracks safely or legally.
 

Michigan Mom

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I saw the Silver Star was cancelled today, per the Departure Board in Washington. As we were leaving Washington, I saw them backing a set of Superliners, presumably the Capitol Limited, into the Station.
So the Cap is going to hang out in Washington, not Chicago, it sounds like.
 
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So the Cap is going to hang out in Washington, not Chicago, it sounds like.
Looks like the Capitol Ltd left Washington on time at 4:05. Yet the LSL was canceled??

Only reason I can think is that the the eastbound LSL wouldn’t arrive NYP until tomorrow evening. Same situation as the Star. A very delayed train could be affected by the witching hour at midnight tomorrow. They wanted to have both eb and we consists safely at their home terminals before then.
 

zephyr17

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Looks like the Capitol Ltd left Washington on time at 4:05. Yet the LSL was canceled??

Only reason I can think is that the the eastbound LSL wouldn’t arrive NYP until tomorrow evening. Same situation as the Star. A very delayed train could be affected by the witching hour at midnight tomorrow. They wanted to have both eb and we consists safely at their home terminals before then.
As I said in a prior post, today's trains were weird. All long distance departures for today were cancelled except for the Capitol Limited and the westbound Cardinal. I can sort of understand the Cardinal, equipment would have been out of position otherwise, since it isn't running daily.

The LSL comes off CSX controlled track at Hoffmans west of Schenectady. It is scheduled into Schenectady at 2:15 pm, well before midnight. From there on to New York it is Amtrak and Metro North controlled rail. Of course, the Boston section is back on CSX after getting off the Post Road branch, and does not arrive until 8:32, which is starting to cut it close, but they could have bustituted that. They do that often enough anyway.
 
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OK, here's what was posted on CNN (presumably, they got this directly from Amtrak)


The passenger rail carrier said it would only operate trains this week that it "can ensure will have enough time to reach their final destinations by 12:01 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 16."

. . .

Suspended services starting Tuesday, September 13:
• Southwest Chief
• Empire Builder
• California Zephyr
• Train #421 portion of the Texas Eagle

Suspended services starting Wednesday, September 14:
• City of New Orleans
• Coast Starlight
• Crescent
• Lake Shore Limited
• Silver Star
• Sunset Limited
• Texas Eagle

Suspended services starting Thursday, September 15:
• Auto Train
• Capitol Limited
• Cardinal
• Palmetto (south of Washington)

So, it's true, the Capitol Limited, Cardinal, and Palmetto ran today. (I rode down to Washington of the Palmetto, and it was continuing to Savannah.) They won't be running tomorrow, though. I would suppose that although some of the trains that were cancelled today are scheduled to get to their destinations before 12:01 AM on Friday, Amtrak couldn't be sure, given the lousy on-time performance, and so decided not to take the risk.
 

NorthShore

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Metra's current update (of of 8:00 PM CST, 14.09.2022):


Looks like they are going to be able to run more than was expected earlier on local news reports, which is good news for Chicago-area commuters (unless you wanted to use that as an excuse for WFH on Friday).

I was wondering if this would end up as the case, especially considering that Metra operates the service, itself, on these lines.
 

MontanaJim

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Nov 14, 2011
Messages
157
Amtrak Vermonter canceled starting Friday for all pts north of New Haven Per website of Vermont Agency of Transportation.
 

Devil's Advocate

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So, let them strike ! ! ! (I've got toilet paper, thank you!!)
Translation: "Never let a disaster go to waste when there's a score to be settled!"

This baffles me: When the freight trains aren't running (i.e. on Thanksgiving for example) the AMTRAK trains were running on time. Now that the freight trains will not run, AMTRAK is 'afraid' to drive them on the tracks owned by the freight lines? AMTRAK will probably run 'on time' and that's good! But, I suppose, there could be some yahoo out there that might believe, since the freight trains aren't running, no one else can use their track? Good grief.
This post reminds me of a word problem in math class where a relatively minor misunderstanding at the beginning snowballs into a string of increasingly severe miscalculations.
 
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