Track Work Delays Expected this Month

Summer if the time of baseball, backyard barbecues and beach visits, and also the season for delays to Amtrak trains due to track rehabilitation.

Amtrak has been posting notices on its website about expected delays along various routes.

Perhaps the poster child for delays is the Chicago-Seattle/Portland Empire Builder.

A recent service advisory on the Amtrak website warned that “passengers traveling aboard Empire Builder trains can encounter significant delays due to very high volumes of freight train traffic along the route.”

Delays during May and June averaged between three and five hours. Trains are getting delayed o BNSF tracks west of St. Paul, Minn., because of work to expand the capacity of former Greater Northern Hi Line.

BNSF has experienced increased traffic due to the development of the Bakken Shield crude oil fields.

For the summer, the westbound Empire Builder is using a detour route that is normally freight only in an effort to mitigate the delays. That means that passengers for No. 7 to and from Grand Forks, Devils Lake and Rugby, N.D. are traveling by bus to those cities. The detours are expected to last through Oct. 1.

Delays of up to 45 minutes are expected through June 28 for trains traveling on CSX in New York State.

Affected are the Lake Shore Limited (Chicago-New York), Maple Leaf (New York-Toronto) and Empire Service Nos. 280, 281, 283 and 284 (New York-Niagara Falls). CSX is performing track work west of Albany, N.Y.

Missouri River Runner Trains 311 and 314 will be replaced by buses on part of their routes June 16 through the 21 as Union Pacific Railroad does track work in Western Missouri.

Amtrak is carrying passengers booked on the morning trains from St. Louis (westbound Train 311) and Kansas City (eastbound Train 314) on buses between Jefferson City and Kansas City on selected days.

Trains 313 and 316 will operate as scheduled the length of the route.

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