Empire Builder Operation Curtailed

Faced with severe timekeeping issues, Amtrak has decided to temporarily curtail operations of the Empire Builder by operating stub trains at both ends of the route on select dates this month.

Eastbound No. 8 will operate between Seattle and Spokane, Wash., only on Dec. 13 and 15. The trains will return to Seattle on Dec. 14 and 16.

Buses will substitute for train No. 8 on Dec. 11. Substitute bus service will operate between Spokane and Portland, Ore., on Dec. 11, 13, and 15.

Nos. 7 and 8 will operated Chicago and Minneapolis/St. Paul on Dec. 12 and 14. Train No. 8 will operate east of Minneapolis/St. Paul only on Dec. 13, 15, and 17.

Amtrak spokesman Mark Magliari said the reason for the service reduction is because of freight congestion on the BNSF route used by the Empire Builder.

He said the congestion has reached record levels and there are not enough crews or equipment to handle the volume.

Some of the increased traffic jam is the result of crude oil trains coming from North Dakota. Amtrak is contacting passengers to offer to reschedule their travel.


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