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Why is the Southwest Chief, in both directions, running consistently late?

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Joined
Jul 12, 2019
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11
I'm due to take the #3 in a few weeks out of Albuquerque. I see that a few days ago it was 11 hours late into LAX, with no explanation of what happened. #4 was about 5 hours late into Chicago a few days ago. Not once recently has either run on time. What a way to 'kill a train' with passengers vowing 'never again' and spreading that message to prospective riders thru reviews and negative recommendations. These huge delays can't all be weather related, so what is going on? Thanks
 

Just-Thinking-51

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Rivers are still flooding. Maintaining good tracks required good drainage. Once the water weaken the track base, you have to let it dry out before working on it. So tracks may have slow orders even after the water has uncovered the tracks.
 
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chrsjrcj

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Mar 24, 2011
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The train #3 that was 11 hours late started off late due to equipment issues in Chicago. Apparently it also had engine issues in New Mexico. Of course, once a train starts late and falls out of its slot, all bets are off the rest of the way and "a late train only gets later."

I too am booked on #3 next month, and also scheduled to do the transfer to #14 at LAX. I'm fully expecting to get bustituted up to Bakersfield, and take in the scenic Central Valley over the blighted California coastline. I have ridden #14 before, so won't be that disappointed. Unfortunately, spending a night in LA resulted in considerably higher prices on either train, so I decided to bite the bullet and risk missing the connection.
 

amtkstn

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Another reason is due to the extreme heat when the host RR lowers the max speed limit to avoid damages from sun kinks.
 

Barb Stout

Lead Service Attendant
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Mar 13, 2019
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The positive side of running way late like that is that you get to see the beautiful scenery in AZ that an on-time train goes through in the dark of night.
 

Skyline

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The positive side of running way late like that is that you get to see the beautiful scenery in AZ that an on-time train goes through in the dark of night.
Good point. When there is a choice, it's often better to view the "glass half full" -- especially if there's nothing you can do about it anyway.
 
Joined
Jul 12, 2019
Messages
11
And yesterday it was about 8 hours late into LAX; and at this time, it's due into Flagstaff about 12 hours late - - who knows when it will arrive in LAX? This train REALLY has some serious problems and I feel for all the folks who have missed connections, vacation plans, weddings, birthdays, anniversaries. I doubt seeing extra scenery is going to make up for this kind of consistent, awful lateness. I've just canceled my reservation and will fly instead.
 
Joined
Jul 12, 2019
Messages
11
Just about every long distance train on this status map https://www.amtrak.com/track-your-train.html is running a little to a lot late. Seems like it is a lot worse than it used to be. I see they no longer even post a % of late arrivals by route. For example, in the past, they might say 39% of #3 arrivals were on time over a six month period. If they did it now, it would probably be close to 0% on time for some trains like #3 and 4. I really liked taking the train, but I've missed way-too-many connections and events over the years.
 
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