Amtrak trains pass each other every day on every route, so the practice is common. It can be tricky, though, to know where two trains are going to pass on any given day.
Yes, you can determine the likely meeting places based on schedules and how the trains are operating that day. That’s easier to do on single track territory with a set number of passing sidings, but calculating a meeting point can be complicated on a double-track mainline.
Back in early August 2008 I was in Mendota, Illinois, to photograph the westbound Carl Sandburg and the eastbound Illinois Zephyr, which were scheduled into there seven minutes apart.
The Zephyr was running late and the Sandburg reached the station first. No. 381 had scarcely came to a halt when No. 380 came around the curve.
Perhaps this type of meet happens frequently in Mendota, but it was a lucky break for me.
Tags: Amtrak, Amtrak in Illinois, Amtrak locomotives, Amtrak P42 locomotives, Amtrak photographs, Amtrak stations, Amtrak trains, Amtrak's Carl Sandburg, Amtrak's Illinois Zephyr, Illinois Amtrak routes, Illinois Amtrak trains, Illinois Zephyr, Mendota Illinois