Severe Weather Results in Empire Builder Cancellations

Some sections of Amtrak’s Empire Builder were canceled this week in the wake of severe winter weather that closed host railroad BNSF in the Pacific Northwest.

Amtrak issued a service alert that the rain that departed Chicago on Jan. 13 would turn at Spokane, Washington. The train departing Chicago on Jan. 14 was also expected to turn at Spokane.

However, a check of the Amtrak website indicated that the depart status for both of those dates was unavailable due to a service disruption.

A later update indicated that alternative service was to be provided for Empire Builder passengers between Chicago and St. Paul, Minnesota.

Amtrak also said in a service alert that alternative transportation is being provided between Spokane and Seattle and Portland.

Trains 7 and 27 scheduled to depart today (Jan. 15) from Chicago have been canceled. The Amtrak website said the status for Nos. 7 and 27 for Jan. 16 to 20 through  is unavailable due to a service disruption.

An online report said Nos. 8/28 did not arrive in Chicago on Jan. 14th and will not arrive today.

A service alert said Nos. 8/28 on Jan. 16 and 17 will originate in Spokane.

The BNSF mainline across Washington State saw heavy snow trigger snowslides and downed trees.

At one point the Scenic Subdivision between Seattle and Wenatchee had more than 250 trees fall across its rails.

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