Posts Tagged ‘Amtrak Northeast Regional service’

Pennsylvanian, Keystones to be Restored June 1

May 22, 2020

Amtrak announced this week that the New York-Pittsburgh Pennsylvanian will resume service on June 1.

On the same day Amtrak will begin restoring Keystone Service between Philadelphia and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Keystone service will initially be nine weekday roundtrips with six roundtrips operated on weekends.

There will be no Keystone Service between Philadelphia and New York for now as there was before the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Amtrak said all trains will operate at less than full capacity to allow for social distancing.

Other service restorations set for June 1 include restoration of Acela service with three weekday roundtrips.

Northeast Regional service will increase from eight to 10 roundtrips in the Northeast Corridor.

CSX Track Work to Affect Norfolk Service

May 16, 2020

CSX track work will result in Northeast Regional Train 94 operating on a modified schedule on May 19 and 20.

The train will depart Norfolk, Virginia, for Boston on those dates at 6:15 a.m., which is two hours and 45 minutes earlier than normal.

It will operate on this earlier schedule at all stations, arriving in Boston at 7:35 p.m.

Amtrak Thruway Bus 6094 will operate on an earlier schedule, departing Virginia Beach at 5:15 a.m. and arriving in Norfolk at 6 a.m.

Bus 6394, which normally operates between Newport News and Norfolk, will be canceled. Passengers may book travel on Train 174 from Newport News or choose an alternate date of travel.

Court Rules Amtrak Engineer Can be Tried on Charges Stemming From Fatal Derailment

May 15, 2020

A Pennsylvania appeals court has ruled that an Amtrak locomotive engineer involved in a 2015 derailment that left eight dead can be tried criminally for the deaths and injuries.

Charges against Brandon Bostian had been dismissed last July but a state Superior Court Judge on Thursday ruled that that dismissal was based on fact-finding that should happen during a trial.

A Common Pleas Court judge last year ruled Bostian’s behavior before the crash did not rise to criminal recklessness.

The trial court judge had accepted a contention by the defendant’s attorney that Bostian had become confused about where he was when he accelerated the speed of his train without realizing a curve was ahead of him.

However, Superior Court Judge Victor Stabile said that contention should be evaluated in a trial, not by a judge in a pretrial hearing.

Stabile ruled that a trial court judge’s role in a pre-trial proceeding is to determine whether the state presented enough evidence to warrant a trial.

The appeals court judge ruled that prosecutors had met that burden.

An attorney for Bostian said he would appeal the ruling enabling his client to go to trial on criminal charges.

Investigators have said Northeast Regional No. 188 was traveling at 106 mph, more than twice the posted speed limit, into a curve in Port Richmond north of Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station.

The subsequent derailment resulted in more than 150 injuries.

The Pennsylvania Attorney General has filed 216 counts of reckless endangerment, one count of causing a catastrophe, and eight counts of involuntary manslaughter against Bostian. Stabile’s ruling reinstates those charges.

The National Transportation Safety Board report on the derailment said Bostian had no alcohol or drugs in his system and was not using his cell phone at the time of the derailment.

The Amtrak engineer told NTSB investigators that he couldn’t remember why he didn’t slow the train as it approached the curve.

Amtrak to Reinstate Some Trains June 1

May 10, 2020

Amtrak corridor services in Michigan and Pennsylvania that have been suspended during the COVID-19 are set to return to operation on June 1.

This includes the Chicago-Grand Rapids, Michigan, Pere Marquette, the New York-Pittsburgh Pennsylvanian, and New York-Philadelphia-Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Keystone Service.

Also planned to be reinstated on that date is some modified Acela Express service in the Northeast Corridor and the New York-Charlotte Carolinian.

Although Amtrak has not announced the return of the state corridor services, tickets are now for sale on its website for June 1 and beyond.

Keystone Service starting June 1 will only operate between Philadelphia and Harrisburg after being suspended on March 18. There will be nine roundtrips.

The Pere Marquette and Pennsylvanian have been suspended since March 19 while the Carolinian has been idle since April 6.

In the Northeast Corridor, Amtrak said it will operate three Acela roundtrips and increase the number of Northeast Regional roundtrips from eight to 10.

Amtrak Makes More Service Cuts in the East

March 15, 2020

Amtrak will be making additional service cuts in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Effective on March 15, the Maple Leaf will temporarily cease operating between Toronto and Niagara Falls, New York.

Nos. 63 and 64 will continue to operate between New York and Niagara Falls.

The Adirondack will cease operating north of Albany-Rensselaer, New York, but will continue to operate between New York City and Albany.

Effective March 16 service in the Northeast Corridor will be reduced to a typical Saturday schedule on a daily basis.

In a service advisory, Amtrak said it will continue to maintain frequent service by Acela and Northeast Regional trains to Boston, New York, Washington and Virginia points.

The service reductions in the Northeast Corridor will extend through March 29.

Amtrak earlier had announced reduction of service in the Keystone Corridor to a typical Saturday schedule with service suspended to Ardmore, Pennsylvania.

That service cut does not affect daily operation of the New York-Pittsburgh Pennsylvanian.

Also starting March 15 service on the Harford Line and the Valley Flyer will operate on a Saturday schedule on a daily basis.

Track Work Affects Northeast Corridor Schedules

March 13, 2020

Amtrak said track and infrastructure work will result in changes to the operations of some trains in the Northeast Corridor effective March 16.

The scheduled departure and arrival times of Acela and Northeast Regional trains may change by three to 15 minutes in both directions between Boston, New York and Washington.

All Acela trains will depart Washington 10 minutes before the hour except Nos. 2124, 2126, and 2128 which will depart 10 minutes after the hour.

Weekday Northeast Regional trains will increase stops at Westerly, Rhode Island, and Mystic, Connecticut.

Virginia Rail Service Set Record in December

February 15, 2020

Amtrak Northeast Regional routes serving Virginia saw record ridership of 100,511 passengers in December 2019, a 27 percent increase over the December 2018 ridership levels.

A news release credited the increased ridership to holiday season travel.

Amtrak serves Virginia on four routes, some of which also have long-distance service to Florida, Chicago and New Orleans.

Northeast Regional service links the Virginia cities of Norfolk, Newport News, Richmond, Lynchburg and Roanoke with Washington with some trains continuing on to New York and Boston.

The news release noted that since 2009, Amtrak service in Virginia has grown from one to four routes with multiple daily round-trip trains.

Track Work Affects Trains Serving Richmond

February 3, 2020

On Monday through Thursday, No. 66, will not operate between Newport News and Richmond Staple Mill station. It will instead originate in Richmond en route to Boston.

Alternate transportation will be provided via Bus 6166 between Newport News and Richmond, making the intermediate stop at Williamsburg. There will be no service to Richmond Main Street.

Train 67 will terminate at Richmond Staples Mill station with alternate transportation being provided by Bus 6167 between Richmond and Newport News, making the intermediate stop at Williamsburg. There will be no service to Richmond Main Street.

One bus will operate as Buses 6066 and 6166, operating 30 minutes earlier than the train schedule.

Trains 66 and 67 will operate on a normal schedule on President’s Day, (Feb. 17) and could see delays up to 30 minutes beginning January 27.

Virginia Governor Supports Extending Amtrak to Bristol But Says It Won’t be Happening in the Near Future

January 11, 2020

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is supportive of expanding Amtrak service to Bristol, Virginia, but said it won’t be happening anytime soon.

Northam has proposed a $3.7 billion passenger rail expansion plan that includes increased Amtrak service but does not superficially mention extending existing service to Bristol.

The city of nearly 18,000 on the border with Tennessee, which also has a city named Bristol, has been seeking for a decade to get intercity rail passenger service.

Bristol has not had scheduled rail passenger service since 1971.

“I’m very interested in that topic [passenger rail],” Northam told the editorial board of the Bristol Herald Courier.

“We have a significant logjam between Virginia and Maryland,” he said in reference to the span over the Potomac River between Virginia and Washington.

“The Long Bridge, right now, there are only two tracks so all the rail that travels along the East Coast has to come across the Long Bridge, and it is a true logjam.”

The Virginia passenger expansion plan includes funding to build new bridge for the use of passenger trains.

Virginia transportation officials have said there can be no Amtrak expansion in the state until the crossing of Potomac is increased.

Another stumbling block has been the refusal of host railroad Norfolk Southern to continue talking about the use of its tracks for service to Bristol.

A 2019 study said track improvements costing an estimated $30 million are needed on NS tracks between Bristol and Roanoke, Virginia.

NS indicated at the time that it withdrew from the talks that it was preoccupied with a restructuring of its freight network, an initiative known as Top21.

Service to Bristol would likely be an extension of an existing Amtrak Northeast Regional train that now originates and terminates in Roanoke.

Northam said he sees Amtrak expansion to Bristol as beneficial.

“It will really open up the Southwest for business opportunities but also for tourism,” he said. “It’s a beautiful area of Virginia, you have great tourist attractions.

Northam said Virginia needs to talk with surrounding states, including Tennessee, about working together to expand passenger rail service.

He described extending Amtrak service to Bristol as a “logical step.”
Virginia is also eyeing bringing Amtrak service to to Hampton and to Christiansburg and Blacksburg.

The governor said expansion to Bristol or other cities won’t happen overnight.

A May 2019 Community Transportation Association of America predicted that extending Amtrak service to Bristol could draw 23,600 annual riders from a Bristol stop, 16,800 at Wytheville and 40,200 at Christiansburg.

Storm Damage leads to Cancellations Friday in East

November 2, 2019

Severe weather in the East led Amtrak to cancel and modify some services on Friday.

Most of the affected trains operate in New York State on the Empire Corridor and north of New York City.

Canceled were Boston-New York Acela Express No. 2190; Empire Service trains 280 (Niagara Falls-New York) and 243 (New York-Albany; and Springfield shuttle trains Nos. 451-490 (Springfield, Massachusetts, andNew Haven, Connecticut).

The westbound Boston section of the Lake Shore Limited was cancelled between Boston and Syracuse, New York, and the New York section was canceled between New York and Syracuse.

Passengers were taken by bus to Syracuse to catch No. 49.

The eastbound Lake Shore terminated at Syracuse and the equipment turned to become No. 49.

Some Acela Express and Northeast Regional Service did not operate between New York and Boston.

The New York to Toronto Maple Leaf was cancelled between Albany and Niagara Falls.

Likewise, Empire Service Nos. 284 and 218 were cancelled between Niagara Falls and Albany, but did operate between Albany and New York.

Amtrak’s website on Saturday morning did not indicate if any services were being cancelled or modified today.

However, the eastbound Lake Shore Limited was running several hours late after departing Chicago at 2:16 a.m. rather than its scheduled time of 9:30 p.m.

No. 48 arrived in Cleveland today at 12:22 p.m., nearly seven hours late.