Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

NEC Service to be Disrupted

February 22, 2019

Track work being done on the Mystic River bridge in Connecticut will affect Amtrak’s Northeast Regional and Acela Express trains on Feb. 23.

In a service advisory, Amtrak said minor schedule changes will be made ranging from two to 25 minutes between Boston and New York to accommodate the track work.

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Cascades To be Disrupted by Track Work

February 15, 2019

Amtrak has announced more service disruptions for its Cascades Service due to track work.

The work by host railroad BNSF will affect operations between Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia.

On Feb. 20 Train No. 519 may see minor delays while on Feb. 22 Nos. 516 and 519 will be canceled.

Alternate transportation will be provided on Thruway Buses 3516 and 4519, for all missed stops at Vancouver, Bellingham, Mount Vernon, Stanwood, Everett and Edmonds.

Norfolk Service to Expand on March 4

February 14, 2019

Amtrak has announced that its planned expansion of Northeast Regional service to Norfolk, Virginia, will begin on March 4.

The new schedule will have the Northeast Regional trains leaving Norfolk at 6:15 a.m. and 9 a.m. on weekdays.

Arrivals in Norfolk will be at 7:04 p.m. and 10:31 p.m. Amtrak will operate a Thruway bus connection for service from Norfolk to the Amtrak station in Newport News, Virginia.

The service is funded by the Commonwealth of Virginia. Amtrak returned to Norfolk in 2012.

AAR Appeals to U.S. High Court

February 4, 2019

The Association of American Railroads is again asking a court to invalidate a rule making process pertaining to on-time standards for Amtrak trains.

The railroad trade association last week asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn an appeals court decision issued last summer that upheld a federal law allowing Amtrak and the Federal Railroad Administration to set on-time standards for the carrier’s host railroads.

The 2-1 decision by the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit found that a lower court erred in invalidating parts of the 2008 Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act.

The appeals court agreed that the U.S. Surface Transportation Board can set and enforce on-time standards.

AAR took its appeal to the Supreme Court after the full DC Circuit Court of Appeals declined to review the decision by the three-judge panel.

The trade group has argued that Amtrak is a for-profit corporation and giving it authority to work with the FRA to set OTP standards gives it an unfair competitive advantage over its host railroads.

That interpretation gained currency when the Eighth Circuit interpreted the law as meaning that Amtrak “competes” with its host railroads for track space.

USDOT Awards $1.5B in BUILD Grants

January 18, 2019

Approximately $1.5 billion in transportation grants were announced this week by the U.S. Department of Transportation through its Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development program.

The grant money will be used to support rail, transit, road and port infrastructure projects.

BUILD is the successor to the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grant program introduced in 2009 by the Obama Administration.

In a news release DOT said the amount of funding sought by applicants far exceeded the grant money available by $10.9 billion.

The agency received 851 eligible applicants from all 50 states, U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.

It awarded 91 projects in 49 states and the District of Columbia.

Sixty-six percent — or $977 million — went to projects that have a freight component. Non-highway freight projects received 20 percent of the total funds.

MDOT Seeking Public Comment on Transportation Plan

January 3, 2019

A transportation plan to guide the state through 2045 is being developed by the Michigan Department of Transportation.

MDOT said that it is seeking public comment on the plan, known as Michigan Mobility 2045.

Those public views are being sought using public hearings as well as Metroquest, which is described as a technology designed to extend outreach to a larger and more diverse group of state residents via telephone town halls.

MDOT said the public response will be used to develop and release a final draft of the plan, which is expected in May.

Michigan helps fund three Amtrak routes that link Chicago with terminal points in the state in Grand Rapids, Port Huron and Pontiac (Detroit).

Increased Holiday Capacity Set for Pa. Trains

November 15, 2018

Amtrak will increase capacity of its Keystone Service trains as well as the New York-Pittsburgh Pennsylvanian to accommodate an expected increase in Thanksgiving week travel.

The carrier said all passengers traveling on those trains will need to make reservations for travel between Nov. 20-25.

Reservations will not be required for monthly and ten-ride ticket holders.

On Thanksgiving Day, Keystone Service trains will operate on a Saturday schedule.

PTC Operating on Capitol Corridor

November 15, 2018

Positive train control has been installed and tested on the route in California used by Amtrak’s Capitol Corridor trains.

The development was announced by the Capital Corridor Joint Powers Authority, Amtrak and Union Pacific Railroad

The segment extends for 170 miles between San Jose and Auburn, California.

Amtrak’s California Zephyr and San Joaquin trains also use portions of the route.

In a news release, the CCJPA said it received Federal Railroad Administration approval on Oct. 24 to begin implementation of PTC.

Testing of the PTC system on the route had begun in July and PTC was enabled on a limited number of trains that were rotated throughout shared fleets of the Capital Corridor.

In early October, Amtrak deployed PTC on four weekday trains to test PTC on the Capitol Corridor route.

Service Canceled Due to Hurricane Michael

October 10, 2018

Amtrak is canceling service in anticipation of the arrival of Hurricane Michael.

In a service advisory issued on Tuesday, the passenger carrier said that the Silver Star (Nos. 91 and 92) will operate between Miami and Jacksonville, Florida, effective Oct. 10.

No alternate transportation is being provided between Jacksonville and New York City.

The Palmetto (Nos. 89 and 90) will operate only between New York and Washington with no alternate transportation provided between Washington and Savannah. This change is effective Oct. 11,

Michael is to come ashore in the Florida Panhandle on Wednesday and turn east toward the routes used by the affected two trains.

Flooding earlier affected operations of two other routes.

The Southwest Chief detoured in Kansas due to the threat of flooding along the Little Arkansas River.

No. 3, which departed Chicago on Tuesday, and No. 4, which departed Los Angeles on Monday, traversed a former Rock Island line between Hutchinson and Topeka. Those tracks are now owned by Union Pacific.

Chartered buses served passengers traveling to and from Newton, which was the only missed station.

Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said the detour could continue for multiple days if needed.

The northbound Heartland Flyer was affected by a track washout in southern Oklahoma delayed passengers after heavy rainfall on Sunday afternoon damaged the tracks between Gene Autry and Davis.

The train was halted in Ardmore and passengers were transported by bus to all stops en route to Oklahoma City.

Many passengers aboard the Flyer had attended the annual Red River Showdown football game in Dallas between the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas.

SB Illini To Run Later on Weekdays

August 29, 2018

Train work being conducted by Canadian National will result in the southbound Illini operating 1 hour and 15 minutes later on weekdays between Sept. 4 and 21.

In a service advisory, Amtrak said the schedule change will be in effect for the length of the train’s route from Chicago to Carbondale, Illinois.

The schedule for Train 393 will not change on Saturdays and Sundays.