What train holds the record for latest arrival/longest delay on Amtrak?

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Manny T

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Jun 7, 2015
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The Southwest Chief that departed LA on Sunday, July 19, arrived in Chicago on Wednesday, July 22 at 8:19 AM, 17 hours and 29 mins late.

That leads me to wonder, what is the record for latest arriving Amtrak train ever -- anyone know?

Not interested in trains that are discontinued and never arrive at their final scheduled destination.

Thanks!
 

railiner

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Mar 20, 2009
Messages
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The Southwest Chief that departed LA on Sunday, July 19, arrived in Chicago on Wednesday, July 22 at 8:19 AM, 17 hours and 29 mins late.

That leads me to wonder, what is the record for latest arriving Amtrak train ever -- anyone know?

Not interested in trains that are discontinued and never arrive at their final scheduled destination.

Thanks!
Several years ago, I started this thread, but alas, there were no further postings...

That particular train finally arrived a day and a half late, but there have been a few others during floods, landslides, and other disaster's that arrived later...
What made the Cardinal story compelling at the time, was that there was no communication from the train, and the dispatcher's couldn't even tell for quite some time exactly where the train was stalled...almost like being on the "dark side of the moon"....
 

pennyk

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I believe the Sunset Limited, when it traveled between LAX and Florida may hold the record for lateness. Although the train has not been discontinued, the route has been shortened, post Katrina.
 

Sidney

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Jul 12, 2020
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I read a Coast Starlight was two days late due to all kinds of problems. Years ago I took the Texas Eagle to Chicago from LA. We were 13 hours late into San Antonio missing the train we were being attached to. Amtrak put us up in a nice hotel gave us a food voucher and put us on the next days Eagle. I was upgraded to a bedroom from a roomette. I didnt mind
 

Maglev

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The southbound Coast Starlight was stranded 36 hours in February 2019, but it returned to its origin.
 

Trogdor

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The Sunset Limited had numerous 24+ hour delays during the worst of the UP incompetence in the early 2000s (not quite as bad as the Via Canadian over the past couple of years, but close).
 

NativeSon5859

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I was on a 19 hour late California Zephyr in 2004 due to flooding in Iowa + a freight in front of us derailed on the detour route.
 

acelafan

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According to ASMAD the latest train in the Amtrak Status Maps records is #8 that departed Seattle on March 17, 2017 (we have data back to 2006).

At Williston, ND (WTN) #8 was 40 hours and 29 minutes late, but ended up arriving into Chicago just 39 hours late. So there is still recovery time even with an absurdly late train. :)

History for Amtrak 8 originating 03/17/2017 (Fr)
* THIS TRAIN EXPERIENCED A SERVICE DISRUPTION.
* Empire Builder
* +---------------- Station Code
* | +----------- Schedule Arrival Day
* | | +-------- Schedule Arrival Time
* | | | +----- Schedule Departure Day
* | | | | +-- Schedule Departure Time
* | | | | | +------------- Actual Arrival Time
* | | | | | | +------- Actual Departure Time
* | | | | | | | +- Comments
* V V V V V V V V
* SEA * * 1 440P * 332A Departed: 10 hours, 52 minutes late.
* EDM * * 1 512P * 415A Departed: 11 hours, 3 minutes late.
* EVR * * 1 539P * 442A Departed: 11 hours, 3 minutes late.
LWA * * 1 800P PT
WEN 1 832P 1 842P PT
EPH * * 1 942P PT
* SPK 2 1240A 2 125A 1123A 115P Arrived: 10 hours, 43 minutes late | Departed: 11 hours, 50 minutes late.
* SPT * * 2 230A * 324P Departed: 12 hours, 54 minutes late.
* LIB * * 2 521A * 807P Departed: 38 hours, 46 minutes late.
* WFH 2 721A 2 741A 1118P 1133P Arrived: 39 hours, 57 minutes late | Departed: 39 hours, 52 minutes late.
* WGL * * 2 811A * 1201A Departed: 39 hours, 50 minutes late.
* ESM * * 2 850A * 1247A Departed: 39 hours, 57 minutes late.
* BRO * * 2 1005A * 231A Departed: 40 hours, 26 minutes late.
* CUT * * 2 1040A * 307A Departed: 40 hours, 27 minutes late.
* SBY 2 1128A 2 1133A 341A 347A Arrived: 40 hours, 13 minutes late | Departed: 40 hours, 14 minutes late.
* HAV 2 102P 2 122P 524A 541A Arrived: 40 hours, 22 minutes late | Departed: 40 hours, 19 minutes late.
* MAL * * 2 242P * 653A Departed: 40 hours, 11 minutes late.
* GGW * * 2 337P * 750A Departed: 40 hours, 13 minutes late.
* WPT * * 2 423P * 833A Departed: 40 hours, 10 minutes late.
* WTN * * 2 659P * 1128A Departed: 40 hours, 29 minutes late.
* STN * * 2 801P * 1226P Departed: 40 hours, 25 minutes late.
* MOT 2 927P 2 947P 119P 203P Arrived: 39 hours, 52 minutes late | Departed: 40 hours, 16 minutes late.
* RUG * * 2 1043P * 307P Departed: 40 hours, 24 minutes late.
* DVL * * 2 1137P * 359P Departed: 40 hours, 22 minutes late.
* GFK * * 3 102A * 517P Departed: 40 hours, 15 minutes late.
* FAR * * 3 218A * 625P Departed: 40 hours, 7 minutes late.
* DLK * * 3 315A * 725P Departed: 40 hours, 10 minutes late.
* SPL * * 3 414A * 822P Departed: 40 hours, 8 minutes late.
* SCD * * 3 519A * 927P Departed: 40 hours, 8 minutes late.
* MSP 3 743A 3 800A 1057P 1108P Arrived: 39 hours, 14 minutes late | Departed: 39 hours, 8 minutes late.
* RDW * * 3 854A * 1219A Departed: 39 hours, 25 minutes late.
* WIN 3 1004A 3 1011A 119A 124A Arrived: 39 hours, 15 minutes late | Departed: 39 hours, 13 minutes late.
* LSE * * 3 1047A * 157A Departed: 39 hours, 10 minutes late.
* TOH * * 3 1126A * 234A Departed: 39 hours, 8 minutes late.
* WDL * * 3 1208P * 312A Departed: 39 hours, 4 minutes late.
* POG * * 3 1227P * 328A Departed: 39 hours, 1 minute late.
* CBS * * 3 1257P * 355A Departed: 38 hours, 58 minutes late.
* MKE 3 207P 3 215P 457A 502A Arrived: 38 hours, 50 minutes late | Departed: 38 hours, 47 minutes late.
* GLN * * 3 312P * 617A Departed: 39 hours, 5 minutes late.
* CHI 3 355P * * 655A * Arrived: 39 hours late.
 

tim49424

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Dec 20, 2010
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I was on a 30 hour late Texas Eagle a few years ago. The delay was due to tornados and flooding near San Marcos. I did a travelogue and posted the details here.

 
Last edited:

Rasputin

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Jan 17, 2019
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Note that in the above Empire Builder example the train was already 11 hours late departing Seattle.

So to refine the question, what was the latest Amtrak train to arrive at its final destination after departing from its originating station on time?
 

tricia

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Aug 23, 2011
Messages
1,065
Note that in the above Empire Builder example the train was already 11 hours late departing Seattle.

So to refine the question, what was the latest Amtrak train to arrive at its final destination after departing from its originating station on time?
Or, if not departing on time: Which train took the most hours beyond its scheduled endpoint-to-endpoint running time?
 

Maglev

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Sep 4, 2016
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I've traveled widely on Amtrak but not very frequently. The most I have been delayed was four hours on a southbound Coast Starlight. We broke an air hose just after San Luis Obispo, then were face with speed restrictions due to flash flooding. As we neared LA, it was announced that the locomotive would need a 45-minute inspection before we could proceed, so we were reloaded onto a Pacific Surfliner at Moorpark that was traveling behind us (those who had checked baggage had to wait it out, as the baggage was not transferred). For some reason, the Surfliner was able to go at full speed.

We got to LA at about 1 am, then there was only one cab serving the station so he would drop people off then come back for the next passengers. I didn't get to my hotel until well after 2 am, and canceled the jaunt I had planned to San Diego the next day so I could sleep in (I had a 3 pm checkout from the Bonaventure).

I did not enjoy the delay. It was at night, so there was no scenery to view. It is very frustrating to be on a train that is just creeping along, although it is much more frustrating to be on a train that is not moving at all.
 

Manny T

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Messages
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tim49424

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Dec 20, 2010
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Here's a good one: Pere Marquette left Chi at 5:58pm Sunday and arrived in Grand Rapids 16 hours later.
Scheduled time -- 4 hours.
Distance -- 176 miles.
This was the craziest situation I’ve ever heard of! They were stopped in the train yard about a mile after departing the station. I’ve always wondered that if the crew knew they were going to time out when they stopped at the station, why not do it there and wait for the new crew? I remember hearing about a few people who got tired of waiting and got off the train, made the short walk to US-31 and caught a ride to Grand Rapids....very dangerous and highly illegal!
 

lyke99

Service Attendant
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Aug 10, 2009
Messages
131
I was on a California Zephyr in early July 2018 that arrived to pick us up in Glenwood Springs, CO nearly 11 hours late due to heat-related speed restrictions in Utah and engine issues. Rather than 2 P42s, it had one and a freight engine. We dropped the freight engine in Denver and got 10-15 miles east of Ft. Morgan, CO when our single unit conked out. Local fire department watered the engine, crew got it restarted, and we backed up to Ft. Morgan. We had passed a westbound CZ shortly before our engine trouble so one of its units was dropped in Denver to serve as our rescue engine - it took the whole day to get the engine to us with a fresh crew and get underway again. We arrived in Chicago 24.5 hours late - the next CZ was about 45 minutes behind us.
 

Bob Dylan

Conductor
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May 31, 2009
Messages
20,004
In the Old Days before Katrina the Sunset Ltd. East ( "Temporarily Suspended")routinely was 12-24 Hours Late arriving into Florida from New Orleans!

But I'd rather be riding on a Train that was Late than to have No Train @ all!
 

willem

Conductor
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Aug 17, 2014
Messages
1,021
But I'd rather be riding on a Train that was Late than to have No Train @ all!
What he said.

I was on a southbound Coast Starlight in 2004 that delivered me (after the bus connection) to San Francisco over 17 hours late. I don't know if it lost more time after I departed.

That same trip, I heard that a contemporaneous westbound California Zephyr was over two days late due to snow near Donner's Pass. That led to some jokes, but I understand toilet holding tanks were more of a problem than food.
 

acelafan

OBS Chief
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May 24, 2009
Messages
900
Good point about the origin station already having a delay in the reply I posted earlier....I missed that.

It looks like this is the winner for the train departing on-time having the biggest delay:

History for Amtrak 1 originating 02/06/2012 (Mo)

* THIS TRAIN EXPERIENCED A SERVICE DISRUPTION.
* Sunset Limited
* Eng: 90
* +---------------- Station code
* | +----------- Schedule Arrival Day
* | | +-------- Schedule Arrival time
* | | | +----- Schedule Departure Day
* | | | | +-- Schedule Departure Time
* | | | | | +------------- Actual Arrival Time
* | | | | | | +------- Actual Departure Time
* | | | | | | | +- Comments
* V V V V V V V V
* NOL * * 1 1155A * 1155A Departed: on time.
* SCH * * 1 125P * 131P Departed: 6 minutes late.
* NIB * * 1 251P * 319P Departed: 28 minutes late.
* LFT * * 1 319P * 351P Departed: 32 minutes late.
* LCH * * 1 450P * 536P Departed: 46 minutes late.
* BMT * * 1 643P * 710P Departed: 27 minutes late.
* HOS 1 913P 1 950P 956P 1016P Departed: 26 minutes late.
* SAS 2 300A 2 540A 424A 543A Departed: 3 minutes late.
* DRT * * 2 835A * 558P Departed: 33 hours and 23 minutes late.
* SND * * 2 1110A * 842P Departed: 33 hours and 32 minutes late.
* ALP * * 2 124P * 1034P Departed: 33 hours and 10 minutes late.
* ELP 2 415P 2 440P 125A 140A Departed: 33 hours late.
* DEM * * 2 611P * 319A Departed: 33 hours and 8 minutes late.
* LDB * * 2 706P * 407A Departed: 33 hours and 1 minute late.
* BEN * * 2 911P * 610A Departed: 32 hours and 59 minutes late.
* TUS 2 1040P 2 1130P 716A 754A Departed: 32 hours and 24 minutes late.
* MRC 3 1247A 3 1257A 928A 1140A Departed: 34 hours and 43 minutes late.
YUM * * 3 344A MST
PSN * * 3 454A PT
ONA * * 3 646A PT
POS * * 3 656A PT
* LAX 3 830A * * 757P * Arrived: 35 hours and 27 minutes late.



And here is the train that had the most delays enroute (35 hours, 42 minutes) after subtracting the initial 14 minute late departure.

History for Amtrak 6 originating 03/12/2019 (Tu)

* THIS TRAIN EXPERIENCED A SERVICE DISRUPTION.
* California Zephyr
* +---------------- Station Code
* | +----------- Schedule Arrival Day
* | | +-------- Schedule Arrival Time
* | | | +----- Schedule Departure Day
* | | | | +-- Schedule Departure Time
* | | | | | +------------- Actual Arrival Time
* | | | | | | +------- Actual Departure Time
* | | | | | | | +- Comments
* V V V V V V V V
* EMY * * 1 910A * 924A Departed: 14 minutes late.
* RIC * * 1 922A * 935A Departed: 13 minutes late.
* MTZ 1 954A 1 954A 1000A 1004A Arrived: 6 minutes late. | Departed: 10 minutes late.
* DAV * * 1 1036A * 1046A Departed: 10 minutes late.
* SAC 1 1058A 1 1109A 1102A 1113A Arrived: 4 minutes late. | Departed: 4 minutes late.
* RSV * * 1 1135A * 1140A Departed: 5 minutes late.
* COX * * 1 1221P * 1240P Departed: 19 minutes late.
* TRU * * 1 238P * 253P Departed: 15 minutes late.
* RNO 1 356P 1 406P 348P 407P Arrived: 8 minutes early. | Departed: 1 minute late.
* WNN * * 1 708P * 708P Departed: On time.
* ELK 1 931P 1 931P 908P 933P Arrived: 23 minutes early. | Departed: 2 minutes late.
* SLC 2 305A 2 330A 248A 330A Arrived: 17 minutes early. | Departed: On time.
* PRO * * 2 435A * 435A Departed: On time.
* HER * * 2 637A * 640A Departed: 3 minutes late.
* GRI * * 2 759A * 808A Departed: 9 minutes late.
* GJT 2 1011A 2 1023A 1008A 1025A Arrived: 3 minutes early. | Departed: 2 minutes late.
* GSC * * 2 1210P * 1232P Departed: 22 minutes late.
* GRA * * 2 312P * 353P Departed: 41 minutes late.
* WIP * * 2 350P * 431P Departed: 41 minutes late.
* DEN 2 638P 2 710P 725P 424A Arrived: 47 minutes late. | Departed: 9 hours, 14 minutes late.
* FMG * * 2 825P * 621A Departed: 9 hours, 56 minutes late.
* MCK * * 3 1249A * 346A Departed: 3 hours, 57 minutes late.
* HLD * * 3 154A * 846P Departed: 19 hours, 52 minutes late.
* HAS * * 3 242A * 950P Departed: 20 hours, 8 minutes late.
* LNK 3 320A 3 326A 1133P 1244A Arrived: 20 hours, 13 minutes late | Departed: 21 hours, 18 minutes late.
* OMA 3 459A 3 514A 1127A 1223P Arrived: 30 hours, 28 minutes late | Departed: 31 hours, 9 minutes late.
* CRN * * 3 704A * 537P Departed: 34 hours, 33 minutes late.
* OSC * * 3 740A * 626P Departed: 34 hours, 46 minutes late.
* OTM 3 900A 3 909A 810P 820P Arrived: 35 hours, 10 minutes late | Departed: 35 hours, 11 minutes late.
* MTP * * 3 954A * 1004P Departed: 36 hours, 10 minutes late.
* BRL * * 3 1036A * 1036P Departed: 36 hours late.
* GBB 3 1141A 3 1141A 1153P 1203A Arrived: 36 hours, 12 minutes late | Departed: 36 hours, 22 minutes late.
PCT * * 3 1233P CT
* NPV * * 3 153P * 211A Departed: 36 hours, 18 minutes late.
* CHI 3 250P * * 246A * Arrived: 35 hours, 56 minutes late.



Here's an honorable mention...it left the origin 1 hour, 22 minutes late:

History for Amtrak 5 originating 06/26/2015 (Fr)

* THIS TRAIN EXPERIENCED A SERVICE DISRUPTION.
* California Zephyr
* +---------------- Station Code
* | +----------- Schedule Arrival Day
* | | +-------- Schedule Arrival Time
* | | | +----- Schedule Departure Day
* | | | | +-- Schedule Departure Time
* | | | | | +------------- Actual Arrival Time
* | | | | | | +------- Actual Departure Time
* | | | | | | | +- Comments
* V V V V V V V V
* CHI * * 1 200P * 322P Departed: 1 hour, 22 minutes late.
* NPV * * 1 234P * 402P Departed: 1 hour, 28 minutes late.
* PCT * * 1 344P * 513P Departed: 1 hour, 29 minutes late.
* GBB 1 438P 1 438P 622P 654P Arrived: 1 hour, 44 minutes late. | Departed: 2 hours, 16 minutes late.
* BRL * * 1 525P * 905P Departed: 3 hours, 40 minutes late.
* MTP * * 1 559P * 941P Departed: 3 hours, 42 minutes late.
* OTM 1 653P 1 653P 1128P 646P Arrived: 4 hours, 35 minutes late. | Departed: 23 hours, 53 minutes late.
* OSC * * 1 809P * 909P Departed: 25 hours late.
* CRN * * 1 841P * 1213A Departed: 27 hours, 32 minutes late.
* OMA 1 1055P 1 1105P 517A 606A Arrived: 30 hours, 22 minutes late | Departed: 31 hours, 1 minute late.
* LNK 2 1208A 2 1214A 716A 754A Arrived: 31 hours, 8 minutes late. | Departed: 31 hours, 40 minutes late.
* HAS * * 2 147A * 926A Departed: 31 hours, 39 minutes late.
* HLD * * 2 234A * 1019A Departed: 31 hours, 45 minutes late.
* MCK * * 2 343A * 1125A Departed: 31 hours, 42 minutes late.
* FMG * * 2 505A * 145P Departed: 32 hours, 40 minutes late.
* DEN 2 715A 2 805A 322P 529P Arrived: 32 hours, 7 minutes late. | Departed: 33 hours, 24 minutes late.
* WIP * * 2 1007A * 830P Departed: 34 hours, 23 minutes late.
* GRA * * 2 1037A * 915P Departed: 34 hours, 38 minutes late.
* GSC * * 2 153P * 104A Departed: 35 hours, 11 minutes late.
* GJT 2 357P 2 410P 256A 313A Arrived: 34 hours, 59 minutes late | Departed: 35 hours, 3 minutes late.
* GRI * * 2 558P * 504A Departed: 35 hours, 6 minutes late.
HER * * 2 720P MT
PRO * * 2 926P MT
* SLC 2 1105P 2 1130P 950A 1013A Arrived: 34 hours, 45 minutes late | Departed: 34 hours, 43 minutes late.
* ELK 3 301A 3 303A 151P 159P Arrived: 34 hours, 50 minutes late | Departed: 34 hours, 56 minutes late.
* WNN * * 3 540A * 540P Departed: 36 hours late.
* RNO 3 825A 3 836A 814P 855P Arrived: 35 hours, 49 minutes late | Departed: 36 hours, 19 minutes late.
* TRU * * 3 937A * 954P Departed: 36 hours, 17 minutes late.
* COX * * 3 1148A * 1225A Departed: 36 hours, 37 minutes late.
* RSV 3 1255P 3 1257P 141A 143A Arrived: 36 hours, 46 minutes late | Departed: 36 hours, 46 minutes late.
* SAC 3 213P 3 225P 207A 221A Arrived: 35 hours, 54 minutes late | Departed: 35 hours, 56 minutes late.
* DAV 3 244P 3 246P 237A 239A Arrived: 35 hours, 53 minutes late | Departed: 35 hours, 53 minutes late.
* MTZ 3 326P 3 332P 321A 323A Arrived: 35 hours, 55 minutes late | Departed: 35 hours, 51 minutes late.
* RIC * * 3 359P * 406A Departed: 36 hours, 7 minutes late.
* EMY 3 410P * * 415A * Arrived: 36 hours, 5 minutes late.
 

railiner

Conductor
Joined
Mar 20, 2009
Messages
7,957
IIRC, on a couple of occasion's when the Empire Builder was experiencing severe delays, the next day's train caught up to it, and the two were combined into one long train for its last 'lap' into Chicago..
 

siberianmo

Service Attendant
AU Supporter
Joined
Oct 24, 2012
Messages
167
Thought I would chime in with an unusual late arrival - actually two - that took place several years ago whilst making a same-day round trip between Kirkwood, MO and Kansas City, MO. This itinerary, if one can call it that, was my way of getting a "train fix" whilst not having to be away overnight from bride 'n puppy (aka: man's best friend - guess which?).

The Missouri River Runner's morning train (311) was doing fine until we broke down somewhere in the vicinity of Pleasant Hill, MO (not a stop). After at least 2hours of sitting on the single-track main, we wound up being pushed into a siding by a two UP locos that had been dispatched from Jefferson City (east of us), then one did a run-around to lash-up as our lead loco. Scheduled arrival in KCY was about 4 hours late - no real stop at KCY, just ran the WYE, departing passengers went their way, boarding passengers climbed aboard and off we went aboard the renumbered River Runner.

Just when one got to thinking that all was right with the world, the train came to a stop just after Independence, MO - sat for another 2 hours. Why? Not one, but two freights ahead of us had mechanical problems. It was a slow go for the remainder of the way to Jefferson City and double-tracks.

Business Class attendant bought the brew - at least a few, as I recall. Conductor picked up the tab as I was told and all truly was well with the world. I suppose it "paid" to be a regular.

By the time we arrived back at Kirkwood, it was nearing 1 am; schedule had us there around 9 pm. Long, long day aboard the train, which never is a bother to me. But one of those "memorable" rail trips not to be soon forgotten!

Cheers!
 
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Gary Behling

Train Attendant
Joined
Mar 28, 2019
Messages
47
The Southwest Chief that departed LA on Sunday, July 19, arrived in Chicago on Wednesday, July 22 at 8:19 AM, 17 hours and 29 mins late.

That leads me to wonder, what is the record for latest arriving Amtrak train ever -- anyone know?

Not interested in trains that are discontinued and never arrive at their final scheduled destination.

Thanks!
Your question here prompted me to start thinking about something else in the "What's the most" train of thought. I think it would make for an interesting pair of "threads" or whatever they are called here. Are there any places here to find something like "My most interesting Amtrak Stories" Positive and "My most interesting Amtrak stories" Negative Is there such a thing here?
 
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