Watching the Weather from a train

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ScottR

Train Attendant
Joined
May 24, 2021
Messages
69
Location
Monterey
I’ve always wanted to be on a train during inclement weather. The sound of the rain hitting the car, the snowy vistas, etc etc etc…I live in Monterey,CA now so weather is 60F and foggy for most of the year and I’ve never experienced anything more than a light rain or a snow flurry on the Starlight up and down the coast and from there the EB, CZ, SWC, SL going East. I’ve also been on about 50 trips on the CS and never experienced a missed connection on the Starlight…so with this post I have damned myself forever on my future trip😀

Who has been on the train during a blizzard, a hail storm, thunder and lightning , heavy rain, a fire, or some other big natural event. What about an earthquake…couldn’t imagine that one!

what was it like?
 

Cal

Foamer
Joined
Jan 23, 2021
Messages
3,150
Location
Socal
I have experienced none, so, like you, I am curious to see people's responses! Although my local weather doesn't even grant us fog for the majority of the time!
 

Mr.Technician

Train Attendant
Joined
Jul 30, 2021
Messages
31
Location
Minnesota
I don't remember any significant weather on past trips, but I do remember the westbound EB breaking down somewhere in Idaho or Montana when I was 10 or so. I remember BNSF had to bring out a freight locomotive to get us moving again. :p
 

TinCan782

Engineer
Joined
Jan 15, 2012
Messages
3,330
Location
LAX
Southwest Chief #3 in 2015 - between Raton and Las Vegas. You could hear the rain hitting the top of the car.
Flash flood warning was transmitted to engineer by the dispatcher (its nice to have a scanner).
Normally dry washes were surging with muddy water.
https://flic.kr/p/CzT5UB
 

JayPea

Engineer
AU Supporter
Joined
Sep 9, 2006
Messages
4,149
Location
Colfax, WA (CFX)
I was on the CZ when a rainstorm hit at Mt. Pleasant, IA. Sheets and sheets of rain poured down....it was the cleanest the windows had been in awhile! 😂 It seems every time I've been on the CZ there have been thunderstorms during the nighttime run through Nebraska as well. I enjoy getting up in the middle of the night and going to the Sightseer Lounge to watch those. Another time on the EB just before pulling into Whitefish a thunderstorm hit, with heavy rain and hail. Above the noise of the train you could hear the thunder and the rain and hail hitting the car's roof. Still another time, on the SWC, a hailstorm hit near Las Vegas, NM. At the height of it we were passing a ranch, and there was a corral full of horses. They were jumping and kicking around. I felt sorry for them; it couldn't have felt good being outside and being pelted with hail like that!
 

danasgoodstuff

Service Attendant
Joined
Jun 23, 2021
Messages
227
Location
PDX
I have been on the Canadian National RR between Saskatoon and Vancouver in extremely cold weather so the vestibules between cars were heavily frosted and we were much delayed because nothing runs right at 40 below.
 

pennyk

50 year Amtrak Rider
Staff member
Administator
Moderator
Gathering Team Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2009
Messages
11,738
Location
Orlando, FL
I love to watch weather from the train.

I have been in a hailstorm at night that was a bit scary and have experienced lots of rain storms while on the train.

When riding the Canadian in the winter, the train traveled through a lot of snow and this Floridian really enjoyed walking through the snow in the vestibules going to and from the Park Car (where I spent most of my time), my cabin and the dining car.

My avatar is a photo from the railfan window in December 2019 (either from California Zephyr in the Sierras or the Empire Builder in the Rockies).

The attached photo was taken from the window in my room on the CZ in December 2019.
450.JPG
 

ScottR

Train Attendant
Joined
May 24, 2021
Messages
69
Location
Monterey
going to do the Canadian New Years Eve
I love to watch weather from the train.

I have been in a hailstorm at night that was a bit scary and have experienced lots of rain storms while on the train.

When riding the Canadian in the winter, the train traveled through a lot of snow and this Floridian really enjoyed walking through the snow in the vestibules going to and from the Park Car (where I spent most of my time), my cabin and the dining car.

My avatar is a photo from the railfan window in December 2019 (either from California Zephyr in the Sierras or the Empire Builder in the Rockies).

The attached photo was taken from the window in my room on the CZ in December 2019.
View attachment 24526
i hope I can see that on my trip
 
Last edited:

crescent-zephyr

Engineer
Joined
Oct 21, 2015
Messages
3,918
I’ve been on the Starlight with snow through the Cascades, and the zephyr with snow through the Rockies. Both felt like being inside a snow globe!

I’ve been on several trains with heavy rain, and lightning. Once on the city of New Orleans we had to stop for a tree that had fallen and we could hear tornado sirens.
 

AmtrakBlue

Engineer
Gathering Team Member
Joined
May 6, 2011
Messages
13,167
Location
Delaware
This past Thursday on a regional between Wilm, DE and Baltimore, MD. I got dripped on as I passed through the cars to & from the cafe car. Since this is a route I’ve traveled often I was reading a book rather than looking out at the dreary weather.
97CCB78A-4A80-42CC-9A84-53FAFE272A49.png
 

20th Century Rider

Conductor
Joined
Jan 26, 2020
Messages
1,932
Location
Oregon Coast
I’ve always wanted to be on a train during inclement weather. The sound of the rain hitting the car, the snowy vistas, etc etc etc…I live in Monterey,CA now so weather is 60F and foggy for most of the year and I’ve never experienced anything more than a light rain or a snow flurry on the Starlight up and down the coast and from there the EB, CZ, SWC, SL going East. I’ve also been on about 50 trips on the CS and never experienced a missed connection on the Starlight…so with this post I have damned myself forever on my future trip😀

Who has been on the train during a blizzard, a hail storm, thunder and lightning , heavy rain, a fire, or some other big natural event. What about an earthquake…couldn’t imagine that one!

what was it like?
This is something I've always looked forward to... but even in February on the EB it is unseasonably warm and sunny! For some reason it weather is always great when I take the train... whether it be cross country or up and down the East and West coasts... so I too am hoping to travel through some snowy rainy weather and cozy up in my chair... gazing out the window!

Holiday-Amtrak-Train-Away-Winter.jpg

21FA3889-3EF7-4BA1-B754-B87BDFC4885F.jpg
 

NS VIA Fan

Conductor
Joined
Sep 24, 2011
Messages
1,975
Location
Nova Scotia
Here's a link to a ride through a snow storm on the Ocean

 

ScottR

Train Attendant
Joined
May 24, 2021
Messages
69
Location
Monterey
This is something I've always looked forward to... but even in February on the EB it is unseasonably warm and sunny! For some reason it weather is always great when I take the train... whether it be cross country or up and down the East and West coasts... so I too am hoping to travel through some snowy rainy weather and cozy up in my chair... gazing out the window!

View attachment 24535

View attachment 24536
Ha ha me too….glorious weather and the trains always on time.
 

Josh M

Train Attendant
Joined
May 30, 2015
Messages
71
Location
Ferndale, MI
The only real inclement weather I've experienced so far was on the Vermonter in August 2019. I was riding from New Haven to Montpelier, and there was moderate to heavy rain from just south of Hartford all the way up to about White River. The sound of the rain hitting the top of the car and the windows was very intense. The cloud deck was also very low, with lots of mist and fog; it made for some great pictures.

On my EB trip in 2018, we were actually behind a line of severe thunderstorms as we crossed Montana and North Dakota heading to Chicago. Watching the lightning ahead of us from the SSL was amazing. (Less amazing was the 8+ hour delay the storms ultimately caused us.)
 
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Tom Booth

Service Attendant
Joined
Jul 5, 2019
Messages
205
Location
Jersey City
I’ve always wanted to be on a train during inclement weather. The sound of the rain hitting the car, the snowy vistas, etc etc etc…I live in Monterey,CA now so weather is 60F and foggy for most of the year and I’ve never experienced anything more than a light rain or a snow flurry on the Starlight up and down the coast and from there the EB, CZ, SWC, SL going East. I’ve also been on about 50 trips on the CS and never experienced a missed connection on the Starlight…so with this post I have damned myself forever on my future trip😀

Who has been on the train during a blizzard, a hail storm, thunder and lightning , heavy rain, a fire, or some other big natural event. What about an earthquake…couldn’t imagine that one!

what was it like?
I was on the CZ from Chicago when Amtrak was the only way one could get from Reno to Emeryville. Snow came up to 2nd deck on our car. All roads and air traffic closed. We had snow all trip Denver on but the UP plows kept us moving. Arrived in Emeryville about 30 minutes early. I believe this was January, 2017. Great trip all the way from Penn Sta in Newark,NJ.
 

Cal

Foamer
Joined
Jan 23, 2021
Messages
3,150
Location
Socal
I’ve been on the Starlight with snow through the Cascades, and the zephyr with snow through the Rockies. Both felt like being inside a snow globe!

I’ve been on several trains with heavy rain, and lightning. Once on the city of New Orleans we had to stop for a tree that had fallen and we could hear tornado sirens.
I am jealous of both of you. The only snow experience I've had was on the EB last October (it's coming up on a year already, wow). I remember hoping for snow (as a southern Californian, I go to big bear for snow and even then it's light). On the second morning on the EB as we were approaching Whitefish I saw a few tiny areas of snow and my heart jumped. Then after Whitefish there was a considerable amount of snow on the ground and I was so happy.

I have a CS trip in mid December, I am really hoping for snow.

1632594458920.png

From the EB (we also had 157 leading our train)
 

Dakota 400

Engineer
Joined
Mar 5, 2014
Messages
3,237
Raining in Seattle when the Empire Builder departed for Chicago on a chilly January afternoon. Shortly after turning East and heading into the Cascades the rain changed into a heavy snow fall. That continued throughout the night. The next morning, it was a winter wonderland outside my roomette's window! Traveling through Glacier NP that day was a scenic delight!
 

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