Timekeeping on 19/20

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GaSteve

OBS Chief
Joined
Feb 13, 2010
Messages
506
For the past few months, timekeeping on 19/20 has been awful. In May it was on time 6.5% of the time.

Part of the problem of course is Norfolk Southern, but, since the schedule change on 19 account NYP track work, part of it now goes back to Amtrak.

Twice so far 20 has been very late arriving WAS and twice 19 has been late departing. I realize that time is needed to turn and service the train and that is likely the reason for 19 being late, but why can't Amtrak keep a protect train set at WAS for just such occasions? Such sets exist because the original schedule with termination at NYP could not be done with 4 train sets.
 

west point

Conductor
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Jun 9, 2015
Messages
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Appears Amtrak doled out the extra Crescent set to other trains but have no definite proof.
 

west point

Conductor
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2,111
The timekeeping problems have been evident way before the NYPS work. there are 2 segments that are the problem

1. Meridian < BHM > Anniston loosing 1-2 hours. Several posts on other sites might indicate that freight trains are backing up due to Norris yard ( BHM ) being overload due to the Chattanooga hump being downgraded ? Delays of 2-1/2 hours each way occasionally on that segment.

2. the other problem is more insidious Anniston <> ATL due to CSX fouling its intersection with NS about 1 - 2 miles south of the ATL station. CSX freights are too long to enter the Tilford yard and foul the NS crossing. When that happens Amtrak can be a much as 3:00 late going either way although best time between ATN & ATL can be :35 under schedule. Unfortunately Amtrak codes this as freight train interference charged to NS even though NS has no means to change it. NS does code it as other RR freight train interference so maybe the lack of holding CSX responsible is lost in a paper work black hole ?

The only thing for reducing late trains is often # 20 northbound can make up as much as an hour from Gastonia - Lynchburg. Southbound to New Orleans not good. May - 2017 #19 no on time or within 30 minutes some on times in June but now ? ?
 

offroad437

Service Attendant
Joined
Jul 14, 2014
Messages
131
The last week 19 has an average arrival time of 1am 4 hours later than the current 9pm schedule. That puts 20 with a delay for departure due to crew rest.
 

GaSteve

OBS Chief
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Feb 13, 2010
Messages
506
The last week 19 has an average arrival time of 1am 4 hours later than the current 9pm schedule. That puts 20 with a delay for departure due to crew rest.
Take a look. 20 departs NOL no later than 20 minutes late all week.
 

DennisInGeorgia

Train Attendant
Joined
Oct 28, 2008
Messages
78
On quite a number of trips, 20 arrives ATL near or after 9:00 pm. Isn't that when the diner closes? We're going ATL-WAS next month so unless the diner crew stays late, we may have to pack a sandwich along. Can't believe no one knows how to hold CSX feet to the fire.
 

GaSteve

OBS Chief
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Feb 13, 2010
Messages
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On quite a number of trips, 20 arrives ATL near or after 9:00 pm. Isn't that when the diner closes? We're going ATL-WAS next month so unless the diner crew stays late, we may have to pack a sandwich along. Can't believe no one knows how to hold CSX feet to the fire.
Yep, diner last seating will be at 9pm. Lounge stays open until 11. You may have to wait until breakfast.

CSX doesn't care and has no reason to.
 

west point

Conductor
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Jun 9, 2015
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unfortunately CSX was there first. Remember the great loco chase ? Western and Atlantic RR pre civil war. SOU RR ?
 

Thirdrail7

Conductor
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It's being referred to as the Meridian triangle! :)
 
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Thirdrail7

Conductor
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For the past few months, timekeeping on 19/20 has been awful. In May it was on time 6.5% of the time.

Part of the problem of course is Norfolk Southern, but, since the schedule change on 19 account NYP track work, part of it now goes back to Amtrak.

Twice so far 20 has been very late arriving WAS and twice 19 has been late departing. I realize that time is needed to turn and service the train and that is likely the reason for 19 being late, but why can't Amtrak keep a protect train set at WAS for just such occasions? Such sets exist because the original schedule with termination at NYP could not be done with 4 train sets.
This was answered in the Work at New York Penn thread.
 
Joined
Dec 31, 2011
Messages
9
Riding on 19 right now just off of Lake. A little late leaving Atlanta and some delays in west Georgia but started making it up until had to sit about 45 minutes in north of Livingstone, Alabama. That said, this baby has been flying since and will only be 30 something late instead of the hour plus late we were at Meridian. Anyway, speaking with the crew today, they said they are short now and having to do quick turn arounds in DC as Amtrak took a train and a crew off. That's why the train is scheduled to leave later out of DC then before (they have to flip it there and switch crews).

Re traffic: Basically anywhere from Charlotte to Bham can be a problem. Some days no issues, other days NS parks a train in Brookwood Station and says their crew is maxed out. (Had that happen when I rode last year). Apparently it happened this past week. Agree with previous poster about CSX to blame for blocking Howell Interchange a bit. (Good spot to watch in Atlanta btw)

I was at first bummed to hear no breakfast after boarding in Atlanta but they opened it for the sleeping car passengers that just boarded. Fired it right up for us. Then when lounge said closed well before Slidell, the dining crew found me coffee (they knew I needed it after that bottle of wine with dinner.) The steak and shrimp combo was great btw!! Kudos to the dining crew today for being on top of it and caring!!
 

GaSteve

OBS Chief
Joined
Feb 13, 2010
Messages
506
"That's why the train is scheduled to leave later out of DC then before"

Also so that can connect with 97 for pax with checked bags.
 

Anderson

Conductor
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Nov 16, 2010
Messages
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The extra set of equipment being reallocated for summer surprises me absolutely zilch. I seem to recall speculating on that possibility when this whole mess got announced. If nothing else, IIRC that's four coaches, two sleepers, and a diner. You can mothball the Heritage diner or use this as a chance to do work on several of the remaining ones (shopping 3-4 for two weeks each). Those coaches and sleepers are money, however, since the sleepers could be used to cover for the extra Cardinal sleeper in summer and/or paired off with a third to give the LSL an extra sleeper (or done alongside the Cardinal's cars being reallocated to give an extra one to the Meteor). Four coaches? That's an extra coach on any of the Amfleet LD trains, or onto the Adirondack, Pennsylvanian/Palmetto, etc. (with two of those three trains potentially generating car rental income). Four idle coaches versus four active coaches could easily be worth a quarter million dollars to Amtrak in revenue.
 

twropr

Train Attendant
Joined
Apr 29, 2017
Messages
47
I believe the protect sleeper was used on CAPITOL LIMITED #29 last Sat. due to one the Superliner sleepers having been bad-ordered. Fortunately the consist had a transition dorm so the Viewliner was placed ahead of the Supers. This is the first instance I am aware of for a low level car to be placed in revenue service with Superliners.

As to the CRESCENT, I continue read about high dwell times at NS' Norris Yard (Birmingham), which implies that trains being held out of the yard are probably contributing to delays on 19 & 20. Have never been able to figure out why the Meridian-Tuscaloosa segment has been such problem for these trains.

Andy
 

Triley

Conductor
Joined
Dec 14, 2008
Messages
1,391
I believe the protect sleeper was used on CAPITOL LIMITED #29 last Sat. due to one the Superliner sleepers having been bad-ordered. Fortunately the consist had a transition dorm so the Viewliner was placed ahead of the Supers. This is the first instance I am aware of for a low level car to be placed in revenue service with Superliners.

As to the CRESCENT, I continue read about high dwell times at NS' Norris Yard (Birmingham), which implies that trains being held out of the yard are probably contributing to delays on 19 & 20. Have never been able to figure out why the Meridian-Tuscaloosa segment has been such problem for these trains.

Andy
I thought for sure you were mistaken, but...I just checked the consist for 29(22), and you're right! Viewliner 62005 was ahead of transdorm 39044, and the bad ordered sleeper 32112 brought up the rear of the train. The Viewliner deadheaded back in the same position on 30(24).
 

GaSteve

OBS Chief
Joined
Feb 13, 2010
Messages
506
I believe the protect sleeper was used on CAPITOL LIMITED #29 last Sat. due to one the Superliner sleepers having been bad-ordered. Fortunately the consist had a transition dorm so the Viewliner was placed ahead of the Supers. This is the first instance I am aware of for a low level car to be placed in revenue service with Superliners.

As to the CRESCENT, I continue read about high dwell times at NS' Norris Yard (Birmingham), which implies that trains being held out of the yard are probably contributing to delays on 19 & 20. Have never been able to figure out why the Meridian-Tuscaloosa segment has been such problem for these trains.

Andy
The ATN-BHM delays are a relatively new thing, while the TCL-MEI has been long term. Even the crews refer to it as the Bermuda Triangle. Seems to be due to two single track bridges and the fact that 19 and especially 20 get tucked into sidings behind freight and have to back out to return to the main. And there are a couple of stub end sidings.
 

GaSteve

OBS Chief
Joined
Feb 13, 2010
Messages
506
I believe the protect sleeper was used on CAPITOL LIMITED #29 last Sat. due to one the Superliner sleepers having been bad-ordered. Fortunately the consist had a transition dorm so the Viewliner was placed ahead of the Supers. This is the first instance I am aware of for a low level car to be placed in revenue service with Superliners.

As to the CRESCENT, I continue read about high dwell times at NS' Norris Yard (Birmingham), which implies that trains being held out of the yard are probably contributing to delays on 19 & 20. Have never been able to figure out why the Meridian-Tuscaloosa segment has been such problem for these trains.

Andy
I thought for sure you were mistaken, but...I just checked the consist for 29(22), and you're right! Viewliner 62005 was ahead of transdorm 39044, and the bad ordered sleeper 32112 brought up the rear of the train. The Viewliner deadheaded back in the same position on 30(24).
I'll bet it was interesting re-booking from one to the other, given the difference in room configurations and quantity. I know some folks leaving ATL several months ago who were re-booked from sleeper to BC coach account a bad ordered sleeper on 20. They were told ahead of time and refunded the fare difference.
 

west point

Conductor
Joined
Jun 9, 2015
Messages
2,111
Sorry but ATL - Anniston (ATN) have been a long time problem with the extra long CSX freights blocking 19 & 20 traversing Howell CP 2 miles south ( actually west ) of the ATL station. Of course HH's making trains longer and with fewer HP / ton is not helping. Now the ATN <> BHM delays seem to be just since the NS Chattanooga hump was closed and Norris yard near BHM has been overloaded backing up freights on the main lines to BHM..
 

Anderson

Conductor
Joined
Nov 16, 2010
Messages
9,564
I believe the protect sleeper was used on CAPITOL LIMITED #29 last Sat. due to one the Superliner sleepers having been bad-ordered. Fortunately the consist had a transition dorm so the Viewliner was placed ahead of the Supers. This is the first instance I am aware of for a low level car to be placed in revenue service with Superliners.

As to the CRESCENT, I continue read about high dwell times at NS' Norris Yard (Birmingham), which implies that trains being held out of the yard are probably contributing to delays on 19 & 20. Have never been able to figure out why the Meridian-Tuscaloosa segment has been such problem for these trains.

Andy
I thought for sure you were mistaken, but...I just checked the consist for 29(22), and you're right! Viewliner 62005 was ahead of transdorm 39044, and the bad ordered sleeper 32112 brought up the rear of the train. The Viewliner deadheaded back in the same position on 30(24).
I'll bet it was interesting re-booking from one to the other, given the difference in room configurations and quantity. I know some folks leaving ATL several months ago who were re-booked from sleeper to BC coach account a bad ordered sleeper on 20. They were told ahead of time and refunded the fare difference.
It was done back in the 1980s. You know, I would have very much enjoyed a Viewliner room on the Cap, given the choice.
 

GaSteve

OBS Chief
Joined
Feb 13, 2010
Messages
506
OK, real time. I'm on #20 right now. At Livingston, AL, we were put in the hole to allow 3 freights to pass, then backed out because there was another one ahead of us on the same siding. Then we were put in the hole again to allow another freight to pass (at least we didn't have to back out). Next stop TCL, estimated 1.5 hours down after 30 minutes down out of MEI.

Update: in the hole one more time just short of TCL, Now backing out again account of freight ahead of us on the same siding. Finallt arrived TCL 1:50 down.
 
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DennisInGeorgia

Train Attendant
Joined
Oct 28, 2008
Messages
78
Sounds like NS, CSX, and AAR have been feeling their oats lately. Is it time to start calling our Congresscritters?
 

west point

Conductor
Joined
Jun 9, 2015
Messages
2,111
If 19 $ 20 are having to do a lot of backing out then maybe baggage needs to be back on the front to give conductor a better location for backing ?
 

GaSteve

OBS Chief
Joined
Feb 13, 2010
Messages
506
If 19 $ 20 are having to do a lot of backing out then maybe baggage needs to be back on the front to give conductor a better location for backing ?
Fail to see the difference between conductor standing in the door of a bag vs the door of a sleeper.
 
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