Posts Tagged ‘Amtrak Midwest Corridor trains’

Carl Sandburg to be Disrupted by Track Work

April 5, 2022

BNSF track work in Illinois will disrupt operations of Amtrak’s Carl Sandburg on Wednesday (April 6).

Train 381 will terminate in Galesburg with passengers being provided bus transportation to all stations between Galesburg and Quincy.

Train 382 will originate in Galesburg with bus transportation provided from all stations between Quincy and Galesburg.

The track work will not affect operations of the Illinois Zephyr on this date between Chicago and Quincy.

In a service advisory, Amtrak said Bus 3381 will operate on the schedule of Train 381 between Macomb and Quincy, holding at Galesburg for passengers off Train 381. Delays of 10-15 minutes can be expected.

Eastbound Bus 3382 will depart Quincy at 4:30 p.m. and operate 60 minutes earlier than the normal train schedule.

Venture Cars Pulled From Service

April 2, 2022

Two Venture coaches are shown in the consist of Lincoln Service Train 301 in Springfield, Illinois, on March 1.

Amtrak has temporarily withdrawn new Venture cars from operation on Midwest Corridor trains due to technical issues.

Trains magazine reported on its website Friday that magnets in the four-seat work tables in the coaches were disrupting operation of smart phones and laptops computers by causing them to shut down. The magnets are used to lock extensions on the tables.

The Trains report said Amtrak is eyeing a short-term fix of affixing brackets that prevent passengers from extending the outer flaps until correct-strength magnets can be installed.

Illinois Department of Transportation spokesman Scott Speegle said his agency is working with Amtrak and Seimens, which built the Venture cars, to solve the problem.

IDOT was the lead agency involved in the acquisition of the cars, which also will be used on corridor services in Missouri, Wisconsin and Michigan.

Venture cars began revenue service in February on the Chicago-St. Louis corridor.

Thus far only coaches have been delivered from Siemens to Amtrak, although three combination business class and coach class cars are in the process of being accepted.

The combination cars will have 36 business class seats, which is double the number available in existing Horizon and Amfleet equipment used in Midwest corridor service.

Venture cars to be used in California have also arrived in that state but the California Department of Transportation but have not yet been placed into service.

Trains said California officials wouldn’t say why that has been the case..

The article can be read at https://www.trains.com/trn/news-reviews/news-wire/siemens-equipment-delays-aggravate-amtrak-capacity-issues-special-report/

See the Horizon in Glenview

March 26, 2022

Milwaukee-bound Hiawatha Service No. 334 has an all Horizon equipment consists as it prepares to depart Glenview, Illinois. Note the differing liveries of the two coaches. On the point is a GE-built P32-8 locomotive.

Not Charging Today

March 13, 2022

Amtrak’s northbound Saluki had a surprise as it ripped through Arcola, Illinois, on Sunday, Feb. 20. A P42DC was on the point of the Chicago-bound train rather than the usual SC-44 Charger. I don’t know the reason for the motive power substitution. Perhaps the assigned Charger had mechanical difficulties and was swapped out the day before when the equipment went south as the Illini. Note that pulling the train is No. 58, which is the road number for the northbound City of New Orleans, which also uses these same former Illinois Central rails. The train is shown passing the former Illinois Central passenger station in Arcola.

Crossing East Scarritt Street in Springfield

March 9, 2022

Amtrak SC-44 No. 4615 and its Lincoln Service train are moments away from arriving at the station in Springfield, Illinois. Train 302 is crossing East Scarritt Street in a residential neighborhood on track once operated by the Gulf, Mobile & Ohio.

Union Pacific owns this track now and Train 302 is following a UP stack train that passed through here just a few minutes before Amtrak did. The Amtrak website showed No. 302 running a few minutes late but I can’t say for certain that that delay was due to freight train interference.

Whatever the case, No. 302 still has stops to make before it reaches Chicago Union Station shortly after noon. So it has no time to waste.

Some Wolverine Service Times to Change

March 4, 2022

Amtrak Wolverine Service No. 350 curves off the Chicago Line of Norfolk Southern onto Amtrak-owned track at Porter, Indiana, on Feb. 27, 2022.

Amtrak will modify the schedules of three Wolverine Service trains between Chicago and Detroit (Pontiac) effective March 7, 2022.

In a service advisory Amtrak said the scheduled changes are due to planned track work and other infrastructure projects being sponsored on the segment of the route owned by the Michigan Department of Transportation and Amtrak.

Train 350 will originate in Chicago 35 minutes earlier at 6:45 a.m. It is currently scheduled to depart Union Station at 7:20 a.m.

Train 352 will originate in Chicago 55 minutes later at 2:15 p.m. It is now scheduled to depart at 1:25 p.m.

Train 353 will originate in Pontiac 48 minutes earlier at 8:50 a.m. It now departs there at 9:38 a.m.

Times at en route stations will be adjusted accordingly and Amtrak advised passengers to check for the latest arrival and departure times at those cities.

Another Snowstorm, More Cancellations

February 16, 2022

Here comes another winter storm and with it another round of Amtrak service cancellations.

In a service advisory, Amtrak cited “forecasted impacts from the winter storm and for the safety of our customers and employees.”

On Thursday (Feb. 17), Lincoln Service Nos. 304 and 305 (Chicago-St. Louis ) are cancelled. Lincoln Service trains 300, 301, 302, 303, 306 and 307 will operate as schedule.

Lincoln Service Nos. 300 and 301 are canceled on Friday (Feb. 18). Nos. 302, 303, 304, 305, 306 and 307 will operate as scheduled.

Also on Thursday, Missouri River Runner No. 313 is canceled from St. Louis to Kansas City, Missouri. Pere Marquette No. 370 is cancelled from Chicago to Grand Rapids, Michigan.

On Friday (Feb. 18), Missouri River Runner No. 314 is canceled from Kansas City to St. Louis. Pere Marquette No. 371 is cancelled from Grand Rapids to Chicago.

BNSF Track Work to Affect Carl Sandburg

February 12, 2022

Track work being conducted by host railroad BNSF will result in schedule changes to the Chicago-Quincy, Illinois, Carl Sandburg on Feb. 23.

Train 381 will terminate at Galesburg with alternate transportation being provided between Galesburg and Quincy. Train 382 will originate at Galesburg with alternate transportation provided between Quincy and Galesburg.

The Illinois Zephyr will operate that day as normal between Chicago and Quincy.

Thruway bus 3381 will operate on the schedule of Train 381 between Macomb and Quincy, holding at Galesburg for passengers off Train 381. Delays of 10 to 15 minutes can be expected.

Bus 3382 will depart Quincy at 4:30 p.m. and operate 60 minutes earlier than the normal train schedule.

First Venture Revenue Run was ‘Soft Opening’

February 4, 2022

Perhaps it was inevitable that something would go wrong during the first revenue service trip of the new Siemens Venture passenger cars in Amtrak Midwest Corridor service.

As reported by Trains magazine, when conductor Erik Newsom tried to make an announcement over the train’s public address system about the significance of the trip, the PA didn’t work properly.

Newsome was later able to advise the passengers of Lincoln Service No. 303 that they were the first revenue passengers for the new equipment.

And technicians were aboard to resolve any other problems that occurred.

The Trains report indicated that the trip on Tuesday (Feb. 1) from Chicago to St. Louis was a “soft opening” with the Illinois Department of Transportation planning an official “grand opening” in mid February.

Lincoln Service trains will be the first to get the new Venture cars before they are assigned to other Midwest routes.

Jennifer Bastian, IDOT section chief of passenger rolling stock said the cars will be placed into revenue service at the rate of eight cars per month, “if Siemens can support getting the coaches ready.”

There are 42 Venture cars in Chicago now with more yet to be released by Siemens.

Bastian said until all of those cars arrive Midwest corridor trains will have a mix of Venture coaches and Horizon or Amfleet food service cars with a business class section.

The Trains article contained photographs of the interiors of the Venture coaches and descriptions of how the cars to be used in Amtrak service differ from those used by Brightline trains in Florida since 2018.

It can be found at https://www.trains.com/trn/news-reviews/news-wire/first-look-siemens-venture-coaches-debut-for-amtrak/

Amtrak Updates Winter Storm Service Cuts

February 3, 2022

Amtrak has updated its list of service cancellations and modifications due to winter storm Landon. The update includes service changes set for Friday.

Today (Feb. 3) the following trains have been cancelled:

The Cardinal from Chicago to New York; the Capitol Limited from Chicago to Washington; the Saluki from Carbondale, Illinois, to Chicago; the Illini from Chicago to Carbondale; Lincoln Service Nos. 300 and 302 from St. Louis to Chicago; the Pere Marquette from Grand Rapids, Michigan, to Chicago; all Wolverine Service trains between Chicago and Pontiac, Michigan; the Blue Water in both directions between Chicago and Port Huron, Michigan; the Missouri River Runners in both directions between St. Louis and Kansas City, Missouri; the City of New Orleans in both directions between Chicago and New Orleans; and the Heartland Flyer from Oklahoma City to Fort Worth, Texas.

Some trains today will operate on modified schedules. They include the Vermonter, which will terminate and originate at New Haven, Connecticut; and the northbound Ethan Allen Express, which will terminate at Albany-Rensselaer, New York.

On Friday (Feb. 4) the Missouri River Runner is cancelled from Kansas City to St. Louis.

Also on Friday the Vermonter will terminate and originate in New Haven while the Ethan Allen Express will originate in Albany-Rensselaer.

In an unrelated development, the southbound City of New Orleans that departed Chicago on Monday was terminated south of Greenwood, Mississippi, on Tuesday.

Amtrak said alternate bus transportation was provided for the passengers. Amtrak said on Titter that the train halted south of Greenwood due to a vehicle incident.