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» RAILforum » Passenger Trains » Amtrak » zephyr tardiness usual?

   
Author Topic: zephyr tardiness usual?
sojourner
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Does anyone know why the Zephyr is so crazy late the past 3 days? Is it the snow, or is this typical?

I am thinking of taking it again in May, but a friend wants to meet me in Emeryville, and I cannot be arriving in the middle of the night.

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Ocala Mike
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Dear sojourner:

We know you're very busy traveling, but you really need to take a little time out to keep up with the news, especially as regards a very severe winter snowstorm with blizzard-like conditions over the midwest part of 5/6's route last week. Might I recommend The Weather Channel or even a good national newscast?"

Keep on truckin', but do check for weather advisories, especially at this time of yesr.

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smitty195
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The Zephyr has been doing quite well for at least a year now, oftentimes arriving earlier than scheduled. But the severe storms these last few days have really slowed it down.
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a meyer
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sojourner
I have been tracking the Southwest Chief for the past couple weeks and noticed the lateness due to the weather earlier this week for a few days. (Since I will be taking it later this month)

The Chief (to ABQ) has been okay for the past few days after the midwest storm.

But, as you note, the Zephyr is still estimated as 3 hours late as of today? 9 hours yesterday??

I don't know if they are "back logged" from the weather in the midwest on Mon. & Tues. or if something else is going on.

Andy

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palmland
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The UP has said they will route more freight (double stack container trains) over the Donner pass route, but I'm sure the recent delays are weather related. Time will tell if the additional freight freight traffic will make any difference.

UP recently let Amtrak adjust the schedule for earlier arrival in the Bay area as they have finally completed an on going track program. You never know when your train will be the unlucky one, but chances are pretty good now that it will be within an hour or two of schedule.

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sojourner
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Sorry, Mike, I knew there was snow earlier in the week but was surprised there were so many days of over 10-hour delays. What I should have typed was "is it JUST the snow or is this typical?" I thought someone following the Zephyr lately could tell me more.

Anyway, thank you, everyone, for your info. I see the Zephyr was only 3 hours late yesterday. That would be no problem for my friend picking me up; in fact, up to 6 hours would be no problem. So I am going to assume--at least for now--that the really bad delays were snow related, and book to come in to Emeryville.

Then I'll just have to keep looking closer to when I travel. What I don't want is to make my friend go out at 2 in the morning to get me. So if super-late trains are typical on the Zephyr again (as a few years ago), I'll either have to book to stay back in Sacramento, as initially planned, and come in on a Capitals early next morning; OR book to stay in a hotel in Emeryville & have my friend pick me up in the morning (I think the latter would be more costly).

Thanks again for all your help.

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Gilbert B Norman
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#5(11) was "late out of the gate' departing CHI 149ML (ML - Minutes Late - official Amtrakese). As of a few moments ago, according to Train Status it remains about the same late.
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Dakguy201
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As of 9am Central, yesterday's westbound Zephyr is about 1 hour late in Colorado, and the previous westbound about 2 hours late in central Nevada.
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dns8560
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Was weather such a dilemma back in the glory days of railroads? Didn't heads roll if name trains like the 20th Century arrived late, no ifs and buts?

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Everybody has to believe in something. I believe I'll take the train!

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notelvis
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Sojourner, Bailing on a very late #5 in Sacramento is always a viable option. If you travel with a cellphone you might even want to have a standing reservation with the Vagabond which you could cancel from Winnemucca or Reno if you're reasonably close to on-time.

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David Pressley

Advocating for passenger trains since 1973!

Climbing toward 5,000 posts like the Southwest Chief ascending Raton Pass. Cautiously, not nearly as fast as in the old days, and hoping to avoid premature reroutes.

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Gilbert B Norman
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Mr. Sommer, yes heads could roll for delays to passenger trains "once upon a time". But with passenger trains all now within the public sector, and in the case of the LD's operating over someone else's right-of-way, that is diminished.

I can recall slogans in the past of "Center to Center All Weather Service" (New Haven) and "Your trip is weatherproof when you go Lackawanna", but we must remember the world is a bit more litigous nowadays. This is why it seems as if when a snowflake falls, CSX has embargoed Amtrak trains.

During the 1952 Donner Pass 'stranding" of SP 101, even if I wasn't there, passengers simply "made the best of it' until they were rescued. Nowadays, ambulance chasing lawyers would be spamming anyone with a mobile e-mail device drumming up a little business.

Finally, we also must remember that once there were many more "alt routes" for a passenger train to take in the event of a line blockage. Once many moons ago, there was a "West Shore" all the way to Buffalo on the South side of the Mohawk and Erie Canal. Also, I can recall hearing "stories' from the NYC agent at Millerton NY (on the Harlem Div; I went to school near there 1954-56) how once The Century and the rest of the Steel Fleet went through there account a Hudson Div derailment. I guess The Century was likely about three hours late that day.

Posts: 9388 | From: Clarendon Hills, IL USA (BNSF Chicago Sub MP 18.71) | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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