Travels with Trackwalker- Empire Builder 4/26/2021

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

TrackWalker

VP in charge of flex meals
AU Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 19, 2009
Messages
381
Location
Rural Pacific Northwet
Empire Builder #7 CHI-SEA
4/26/2021

2:14:45 CDT- Left Chicago 15 seconds early today. Off to a great start! Prior owner of my roomette even left a printed Empire Builder timetable for me. Great idea!

Straight run to Milwaukee pretty much 79 mph the whole way.

4:15 Come to a stop just west of Milwaukee. Conductor informs us there is a “ log jam” of trains ahead and expect not to move for about an hour.

5:15 We have not moved for an hour.

5:17 Announced that when we do move we will stop again to protect a crossing about a mile or two away.

5:20 On the move! Conductor walks by sleeper to head end to flag crossing.

5:30 stopped at crossing and then moving again

5:30-6:15 Enjoying the Wisconsin countryside during dinner at restricted speed. (Not to exceed 20mph) I still recommend the garlic and herb cod.

6:16 Up to approach medium speed now (not to exceed 40)
 
Last edited:

Cal

Conductor
Joined
Jan 23, 2021
Messages
1,783
Location
Socal
Oh yay! I always enjoy reading your reports.

Hope you make up the time to ensure the best views of Glacier!

You headed to Seattle or Portland?
 

TrackWalker

VP in charge of flex meals
AU Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 19, 2009
Messages
381
Location
Rural Pacific Northwet
Ending my Grand Tour back in Seattle where I started last Monday. 4/19/2021

Keep losing my Verizon WiFi. Did not realize Wisconsin was so remote.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Cal

TrackWalker

VP in charge of flex meals
AU Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 19, 2009
Messages
381
Location
Rural Pacific Northwet
Musings after dark-

Had a big smear on my roomette window on the inside. Informed my attendant and asked if he had any windex. He handed me the bottle. Good thing I carry my own paper towels with me.

Masks. Masks! Dammit, wear your masks! (Not an exact announcement quote)

Lounge snack bar closing soon announcements. Not, “I’m closed” like on another recent train.

Gaffer tape-‘nuff said.

Asked the dining waiter if the cod was flown in fresh. We both laughed. He then brought me my wine and a plastic dribble glass. I did not laugh.

Two coaches filled with Amish folken. Maybe Amtrak stands for Amish Track.

Baby on board! In the roomette right next to me. It’s getting to the point where I cannot tell if it is the locomotive blowing it’s horn or the baby.

If there are those who are not amused I recommend filling out the AU survey again and suggest an ignore thread button to management.
 
Last edited:

Michigan Mom

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 28, 2012
Messages
874
Location
MI
Well, you're experiencing some of the peaks and valleys of train travel for sure... so weird I'm reading your report and hearing a distant train whistle at the same time... there's no Wolverine service at this hour so it's one of the freight lines.
Still, wow, that sound and your report brings back the memory of our EB trip, February 10 years ago. Left Milwaukee in the evening, crossing the Mississippi in the dark.
 

TrackWalker

VP in charge of flex meals
AU Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 19, 2009
Messages
381
Location
Rural Pacific Northwet
4/27

6:09 Awoke to the faces of commuters stopped at Demers Ave crossing where according to my rv camping app is the location of the Grand Forks, North Dakota station.

According to my accuweather app it is 40 degrees. I did not know it was capable of reading my roomette temp. Just opened the door to the rest of the car and temp increased about 20 degrees. I may sleep with the hallway door open tonight.

My speedmeter app say we are doing 70mph.

Diner opens at 6:30 in four minutes. Must remember to get picture of my meal.

How primitive it must have been to travel before iPhones.
 
Last edited:

TrackWalker

VP in charge of flex meals
AU Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 19, 2009
Messages
381
Location
Rural Pacific Northwet
645D106E-D313-43A6-B990-5B529A6AD3DD.jpeg
Had the omelet for breakfast. I was taught if you have nothing good to say about something don’t say anything at all. The blueberry muffin was delicious.

BTW, someone did not get the memo to throw away the old menus dated 0720 and replace them with those dated 0221. Quite the mix in different roomettes.

Westward. Forever westward.
Looking forward to a curve at some point in ND.

Did not realize how many county roads are still only gravel.

Noticed the passenger across from me got off the train at some point in the night. Not too soon in my humble opinion. It was becoming very annoying having him glare at me every time I was trying to look out his window.


6E32691D-81D3-4559-99D0-DEBB2D796615.jpeg
 

TrackWalker

VP in charge of flex meals
AU Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 19, 2009
Messages
381
Location
Rural Pacific Northwet
10:01 Just west of Minot ties are marked for the upcoming tie gang. (And from the look of some of the ties, none too soon)

22212181-6F38-48C0-B657-43570914D930.jpeg
 
Last edited:

TrackWalker

VP in charge of flex meals
AU Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 19, 2009
Messages
381
Location
Rural Pacific Northwet
11:45 Local BNSF track inspector and surfacing crew foreman need to take turns riding the head end of Amtrak and make notes of the location of switches, crossing and bridge ends, and mud spots needing to be surfaced between east of Stanley and Williston.

Conductor had warned us to use a “wide stance” when walking the train through this stretch. He was right.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Dec 26, 2014
Messages
3,027
Is the coffee and hot chocolate lady still at Minot serving from her truck? Or did the pandemic stop that?

(Hope I’m thinking of the right town. It was somewhere we stopped for a long time for all that scheduled maintenance.)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Cal

Bob Dylan

Conductor
Joined
May 31, 2009
Messages
22,707
Location
Austin Texas
1:03- Noshua, MT Rolling pass with an eastbound oil train. Us on the siding but never stopped moving. Good dispatching!
So the Oil Trains are back on the High Line!?I guess the rising prices have jump started the Oil Biz after a Boom and Bust in that Oil Patch
 

TrackWalker

VP in charge of flex meals
AU Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 19, 2009
Messages
381
Location
Rural Pacific Northwet
So the Oil Trains are back on the High Line!?I guess the rising prices have jump started the Oil Biz after a Boom and Bust in that Oil Patch
I don’t believe oil trains ever stopped running as our local refineries on the coast keep getting them. The oil loading facilities I saw today were doing gang buster business loading several 7,000 foot unit oil trains.

8E1A0F76-F22D-4349-A04A-F7C914B068C4.jpeg
 
Last edited:
Top