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Was there no train 28 departure today?

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Albi

Train Attendant
Joined
Aug 9, 2019
Messages
31
I just booked a roomette for train 28 in late January, and I decided I would start watching now how late the train gets. Basically to get an idea what to expect. I will likely fly out of Chicago and I wonder how safe it would be to book a flight for the same evening of the arrival.

What I found on the "watch your train" map by Amtrak is a train 8 on its way to Spokane from Seattle, but no train 28 from Portland.

I am puzzled because I thought there are always 2 trains leaving on the same day going east, so why is there no #28 today?

I tried googling but didn't find anything news wise.
 

Willbridge

OBS Chief
AU Supporter
Joined
Mar 30, 2019
Messages
643
Location
Denver
Ah, found it now, thank you!
Yes, at 9:11 p.m. Pacific Time it was reporting on the Amtrak website. And it darn well should be on time because they give it 43 minutes more than the SP&S took. Of course, some of that is due to abandonment of their more direct line.
 

WWW

Service Attendant
AU Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 18, 2018
Messages
104
Location
MSP
Your train # 28 junctions with #8 at Spokane #8 is the EB Origin Seattle and final destination Chicago.
You are smart to watch the timing on this thrice weekly trip.

Train #8 is notoriously late. Either the #28 or #8 leaves on time from the Pacific coast but by the time
is gets to the eastern end of Montana and starts across North Dakota it can be as much as 4 hours late
AND then sometimes BNSF snafu lets the EB ride thru fairly timely.

Use this link for checking on Amtrak trains:


Something you need to know the scheduled arrival in Chicago is 3:35 pm - Which airport is your planned Flight ?
O'Hara is about 18 some miles from Union Station - use the Blue Line
Midway is about 10 some miles from U.S. - use the Orange Line
Map for reference:


With the covid 19 virus the flights are drastically restricted in numbers and passengers so getting thru security upon arrival at the airport
is not a significant problem (it is ordinarily at Midway all the airlines use the same common TSA check Point
unlike O'Hara where each airline and terminal has an individual check point - and it does help to have TSA
Pre-Check or Global Entry or First Class Frequent Flyer Airline affinity) !

Getting back to that arrival at Chicago Union Station the Orange and Blue line Metro take a bit of
walking to connect to - think about 15 minutes for the blue and perhaps 20 for the orange.
Blue a 3-4 block walk and the Orange 5-6 crossing the Chicago River.
Time being of essence take a cab I don't have a fare quote - but it is not going to be cheap.
Early evening flights are a real problem connection to with that 3:35pm (on time) arrival -
Dream the impossible dream and go fight some windmills Don Quixote been there and done that !!!!!
Flights after 8 or 9 pm are more in the ball park - but even then #$&% !

You probably have a need to transit to Chicago for business a visit or something else -
if not would offer an alternative solution to get off the EB in St. Paul and fly to where ever from there.

Have rode the Friends of the 261 cars back and forth many times between Minneapolis/St Paul to Chicago
and am well versed in the pit falls of a late train #8 (#28) - train #7 (#27) westbound is not a problem.
The 261 Friends add cars to the EB consist to position for contracted charters for clients at Chicago or other points.
Sadly that is on a hiatus status for the present.

Any questions - give a reply back - - - - -
 

niemi24s

Conductor
Joined
Feb 11, 2015
Messages
2,425
One solution to the transfer from train to plane might be make that transfer at Milwaukee instead of Chicago. There's a bus every 20 minutes from the train station for a half hour ride to the airport. It's only a little over 100 yards from the Amtrak baggage claim to the bus and the Milwaukee airport is considerably smaller than O"Hare. Unfortunately, the EB (unlike the Hiawatha) doesn't make a stop at the airport.
 

niemi24s

Conductor
Joined
Feb 11, 2015
Messages
2,425
Train #8 is notoriously late.
I don't think a subjective assessment of lateness is too helpful. In the last year (since 28 Nov 2019) the EB has made 341 trips to CHI. While it certainly can be horribly late, it was late into CHI:

• less than 1 hour 81% of the time,
• less than 2 hours 88% of the time and
• less than 3 hours 91% of the time.

Having said that, I very rarely plan or book something on the same arrival date of any LD train and get there a day early spending the $ for a hotel. Marvelous way to reduce anxiety and increase the enjoyment of the train ride.
 

Siegmund

Service Attendant
Joined
Nov 19, 2018
Messages
224
Location
northwestern Montana
Sorry, this is the correct one, above is another screenshot and I don't know how to delete it.
Your screenshot is timestamped 1159pm. What time zone are you in?

If you are in Pacific time, 28 had already arrived in Spokane by the time you looked for it, and disappeared from the map. (Scheduled arrival 1213am, but on a good day it can be half an hour or more early into Spokane - and yesterday it was.)

If you are farther east, just a glitch with the map.
 

Willbridge

OBS Chief
AU Supporter
Joined
Mar 30, 2019
Messages
643
Location
Denver
Your screenshot is timestamped 1159pm. What time zone are you in?

If you are in Pacific time, 28 had already arrived in Spokane by the time you looked for it, and disappeared from the map. (Scheduled arrival 1213am, but on a good day it can be half an hour or more early into Spokane - and yesterday it was.)

If you are farther east, just a glitch with the map.
When I also checked it should have been in the vicinity of Pasco. When I checked again it should have been going through the Greater Ritzville metro area.
 

Albi

Train Attendant
Joined
Aug 9, 2019
Messages
31
Your train # 28 junctions with #8 at Spokane #8 is the EB Origin Seattle and final destination Chicago.
You are smart to watch the timing on this thrice weekly trip.

Train #8 is notoriously late. Either the #28 or #8 leaves on time from the Pacific coast but by the time
is gets to the eastern end of Montana and starts across North Dakota it can be as much as 4 hours late
AND then sometimes BNSF snafu lets the EB ride thru fairly timely.

Use this link for checking on Amtrak trains:


Something you need to know the scheduled arrival in Chicago is 3:35 pm - Which airport is your planned Flight ?
O'Hara is about 18 some miles from Union Station - use the Blue Line
Midway is about 10 some miles from U.S. - use the Orange Line
Map for reference:


With the covid 19 virus the flights are drastically restricted in numbers and passengers so getting thru security upon arrival at the airport
is not a significant problem (it is ordinarily at Midway all the airlines use the same common TSA check Point
unlike O'Hara where each airline and terminal has an individual check point - and it does help to have TSA
Pre-Check or Global Entry or First Class Frequent Flyer Airline affinity) !

Getting back to that arrival at Chicago Union Station the Orange and Blue line Metro take a bit of
walking to connect to - think about 15 minutes for the blue and perhaps 20 for the orange.
Blue a 3-4 block walk and the Orange 5-6 crossing the Chicago River.
Time being of essence take a cab I don't have a fare quote - but it is not going to be cheap.
Early evening flights are a real problem connection to with that 3:35pm (on time) arrival -
Dream the impossible dream and go fight some windmills Don Quixote been there and done that !!!!!
Flights after 8 or 9 pm are more in the ball park - but even then #$&% !

You probably have a need to transit to Chicago for business a visit or something else -
if not would offer an alternative solution to get off the EB in St. Paul and fly to where ever from there.

Have rode the Friends of the 261 cars back and forth many times between Minneapolis/St Paul to Chicago
and am well versed in the pit falls of a late train #8 (#28) - train #7 (#27) westbound is not a problem.
The 261 Friends add cars to the EB consist to position for contracted charters for clients at Chicago or other points.
Sadly that is on a hiatus status for the present.

Any questions - give a reply back - - - - -
Thank you all for the great responses!

I am in PA so I assume the absence of the 28 in the map was a glitch.

Great idea to get off in Milwaukie or St Paul, I hadn't thought of it. I will have to check the rates from there. I can fly home for around $100 from Ord, and hotel rooms in Chicago are around $80 and up. If a flight home is $400 from Milwaukee or St Paul (haven't checked yet), then it makes sense to just get a room for the night (to protect my nerves) and fly out of ORD.

After I posted my question, the next day I watched a trip report on YouTube about this very same trip someone had taken last January, and they were 7 hours late. So while that is of course unusual and rare, I wouldn't count it out as a possibility, so I decided it would be nerve wrecking to book a flight for the same day and hope for a timely arrival.

And just imagine I would need a cab to the airport - for likely the same price I might get a room for the night.

I am also hesitating to book a flight yet because I am still hoping there might be another stimulus package coming from DC. Don't know how realistic that is, but if it came within the next few weeks, I could take another train instead of the flight. I would prefer that, but it might not be in the cards this time.
 

Willbridge

OBS Chief
AU Supporter
Joined
Mar 30, 2019
Messages
643
Location
Denver
Eastern Washington resident here too. And I've never heard anyone refer to the Greater Ritzville Metro Area before either. 😂😂😂
That must be because the CIty of Hinkle bypassed it via the quaint boutique town of Ayer.;)
 

trainman74

Conductor
Joined
Apr 7, 2011
Messages
1,694
Location
Sherman Oaks, CA
That must be because the CIty of Hinkle bypassed it via the quaint boutique town of Ayer.;)
Some years back, one of the railroad magazines ran someone's story that involved him scheduling some 1960s train riding with an overnight stopover in Hinkle, assuming -- since it was in bold print in the timetables -- that it was a big enough town that he'd be able to find a cheap hotel room. Turned out he couldn't find any hotel room (the bold print was solely because it was a division point), but some crew members took pity on him and arranged it so he could stay in a spare crew room in the bunkhouse.

I see that in these modern times, there's a Comfort Inn at the Interstate exit not far away.
 

Bob Dylan

Conductor
Joined
May 31, 2009
Messages
21,294
Location
Austin Texas
Lots of times back in the day, I jumped off the Train as a Spur of the moment decision to explore some place that seemed interesting.

This was when Trains were much more frequent ( Pre- Amtrak), and of course there were no Cell Phones,Computers etc.

I utilized Atlases, Time Tables and Travel Books to plan my trips, and as a Single Traveler traveling "Light", was flexible as to my time frame and itenerary.

I found lots of interesting things on these stops, and only a few times was I fooled when there ended up being No There There, and had to wait for the next Train to continue my journey.( It was much easier to change/buy hand written tickets from the Conductor in those days, mostly in Coach, but a few fine times in Parlor/Lounge Cars.).
 

Willbridge

OBS Chief
AU Supporter
Joined
Mar 30, 2019
Messages
643
Location
Denver
Lots of times back in the day, I jumped off the Train as a Spur of the moment decision to explore some place that seemed interesting.

This was when Trains were much more frequent ( Pre- Amtrak), and of course there were no Cell Phones,Computers etc.

I utilized Atlases, Time Tables and Travel Books to plan my trips, and as a Single Traveler traveling "Light", was flexible as to my time frame and itinerary.

I found lots of interesting things on these stops, and only a few times was I fooled when there ended up being No There There, and had to wait for the next Train to continue my journey.( It was much easier to change/buy hand written tickets from the Conductor in those days, mostly in Coach, but a few fine times in Parlor/Lounge Cars.).
I met my future (and past) wife on an unscheduled stopover in Edmonton that way. In 1967 I was ticketed from St. Louis to Portland via Chicago, St. Paul, Hawley, Winnipeg, Vancouver, and Seattle. I was going to miss my connection in Vancouver and I had learned some interesting things about her and Edmonton. The conductor marked up my ticket for a stopover.

I also took a stopover in Newark on a trip from Red Bank to New York City in pre-NJT days. THAT conductor was not so flexible.
 

west point

Conductor
Joined
Jun 9, 2015
Messages
2,297
Had a friend do this . Booked an overnight stay ( refundable ) in CHI. When knew he was going to be on time in CHI called airline and talked it into a no change fee for flight same day . The flight that he got was not at same time but light on passengers.. With no change fees now that is a real possibility ?
 
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