What's the latest with 8/28? Weather, equipment, staff and other disruptions

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oregon pioneer

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I saw on facebook that there was a disabled freight blocking the track near Cheney (WA?), and they canceled last night's #28 east bound. I heard later that the freight was actually derailed, and that the track would be blocked for quite a while. I see that Amtrak also has no info available about either #7 or #27 after Spokane today, so I am assuming they canceled one or both. Does anyone have any more info about this incident, and a timeline for resumption of the #28?

And while I'm asking questions, have they cleared the slide north of Seattle that was causing the #8 to make the turnaround at Everett? And how is the staffing situation right now?

#28 had arrived several hours late in Portland, and was going to be a late departure anyway. Someone who was waiting at Pasco (PSC) last night reported that they sent her a couple of texts delaying her departure till as late as 4am, and then finally at almost 10pm they sent her one saying her train was cancelled with no alternative transportation provided. She's trying to re-book, and I am hoping that they get the mess cleared up by Sunday when I am supposed to board #28 at Wishram (WIH).

I am just starting a new thread because there seems to be a theme here, and the previous thread about EB weather issues has dropped off the first few pages (mods, feel free to combine with the old thread if appropraite). Seems like there is a need this winter for an ongoing discussion... trains have been problematic since the weather deteriorated and Omicron hit.
 

AmtrakBlue

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@Acela150 is on 7 stuck in Wenatchee due to heavy snow & the fact that a freight derailed in a tunnel ahead of them.
The 27 cars are still on 7 due to the derailment along the 27/28 route. I think the plan for the 27 pax is for them to take a Cascades train - if they ever reach Seattle. Don’t know how the pax who were headed to points between Spokane & Portland were to be accommodated.
 

AmtrakBlue

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And, those 27 car pax may not be able to take the Cascades to PDX when they ever do reach Seattle. There's a landslide in Centralia. The PNW has not been nice to the EB's this season.
 

fritz

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I have friends that had their #7 of Jan 9 departure from Chicago (for Essex) cancelled (notified today) already due to "service disruption". Seems way far in advance to anticipate impacts of the present situation like that! Any updates from @Acela150 or elsewhere on the current Empire Builder situation?
 

AmtrakBlue

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I have friends that had their #7 of Jan 9 departure from Chicago (for Essex) cancelled (notified today) already due to "service disruption". Seems way far in advance to anticipate impacts of the present situation like that! Any updates from @Acela150 or elsewhere on the current Empire Builder situation?
It could be because of COVID short staff or short staff because of late trains (Conductors and Engineers have a set amount of time they need to rest). Or it could be because the equipment needs a "reset" (time to get all the cars to their end points and serviced).
 

AmtrakBlue

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I have friends that had their #7 of Jan 9 departure from Chicago (for Essex) cancelled (notified today) already due to "service disruption". Seems way far in advance to anticipate impacts of the present situation like that! Any updates from @Acela150 or elsewhere on the current Empire Builder situation?
This cancellation is probably because today’s 8(6) was cancelled because 7 is still stuck in Wenatchee, WA.
 

oregon pioneer

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It's a funny way of phrasing it, because they said "8/28" but did not mention Portland... and I see that this morning's #27 is actually headed west towards Pasco, while they appear to be holding #7 in Spokane pending clearing the tracks through the Cascades.

I wonder, how many trainsets are they going to end up with on the western end of the route? They have to start going eastbound at some point (and I hope it's Sunday...).
 
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All of which is why I don't book Amtrak trips in the winter months. I would love to sometime but weather here and elsewhere is too fickle for a Nervous Nellie for me. I'm glad other folks have a relaxed attitude and can go with the flow. I wish I were more like that.🙁 I just booked a Pacific Northwest loop trip for June. I don't think weather should be a factor then.😀
 

oregon pioneer

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7 (1/5) is on the move near Krupp, as is 27 near Wishram, that began moving today. The other 7, past Coles Corner is showing Service Disruption.
The 7 past Cole's Corner is still sitting there. The one near Ephrata started moving slowly backwards, and has now disappeared form the transitdocs map. Someone on facebook said they were sending them both back to where they had started earlier today (SPK and WEN). 27 made it to Portland, and 28 left eastbound just before it got there.

Going to be really interesting to see what happens next...
 

igor

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I'm on 27(7). We're sitting in Minot. They're planning on turning the train and having it become 8/28 this evening.

I think they're trying to figure out what to do with the passengers on the train. Sending everyone back to Chicago doesn't make much sense, but they can't just kick everyone off in Minot.
 

jis

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I'm on 27(7). We're sitting in Minot. They're planning on turning the train and having it become 8/28 this evening.

I think they're trying to figure out what to do with the passengers on the train. Sending everyone back to Chicago doesn't make much sense, but they can't just kick everyone off in Minot.
They could offer flying out as an option :) Delta and United have flights on Regional Jets, Delta to MSP and United to DEN. But I would be surprised if that happens.
 
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I'm on 27(7). We're sitting in Minot. They're planning on turning the train and having it become 8/28 this evening.

I think they're trying to figure out what to do with the passengers on the train. Sending everyone back to Chicago doesn't make much sense, but they can't just kick everyone off in Minot.
They could dump you there in Minot. However with recent snow storm in Virginia that has gotten the attention of Congress it very unlikely.
 

igor

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They could dump you there in Minot. However with recent snow storm in Virginia that has gotten the attention of Congress it very unlikely.
We've had a handful of people bail. Thee conductor says they're taking the rest of us back to Chicago this evening, but that seems unprecedented. I can't remember Amtrak sending a train full of passengers back to their originating stations, and then saying "good luck" before.

That said, I think the transportation options from Chicago are probably better than from Minot. Either way, it's going to be an adventure.
 
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