Posts Tagged ‘Amtrak schedules’

Most Amtrak Long-Distance Trains Will Arrrive, Depart Chicago on Monday, Thursday, Saturday

August 14, 2020

Most of Amtrak’s long-distance trains will arrive and depart Chicago on Monday, Thursday and Saturday, thus enabling same-day connections on those days between Amtrak’s western and eastern long-distance trains once they move to tri-weekly operation in October.

Trains magazine reported on its website on Thursday afternoon the new schedules, which it said were contained in a message to employees that it obtained.

That schedule shows the reduction in frequency of service will be phased in on Oct. 5 on the California Zephyr, Capitol Limited, City of New Orleans, and Crescent.

On Oct. 12 the Coast Starlight, Lake Shore Limited, Southwest Chief, and Texas Eagle will move to tri-weekly operation.

The Empire Builder and Palmetto will assume tri-weekly schedules on Oct. 19.

If the schedule information presented by Trains is accurate, there will be no same-day connections from the Capitol Limited and Lake Shore Limited to the westbound Texas Eagle.

Nos. 29 and 49/449 are slated to depart their eastern endpoint cities of Boston, New York and Washington on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday, thus putting them into Chicago on Monday, Thursday and Saturday.

The Texas Eagle, though, is scheduled to depart Chicago on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday.

Nos. 30 and 48/448 are scheduled to leave Chicago on Monday, Thursday and Saturday.

The inbound Eagle will offer same-day connections with those trains on Thursday and Saturday.

The Capitol Limited and Lake Shore Limited will offer same-day connections on Monday and Saturday to the California Zephyr, Southwest Chief, Empire Builder and City of New Orleans.

There will be no westbound same-day connections from Nos. 29 and 49/449 to the California Zephyr on Thursday but there will be connections to Nos. 3, 7 and 59.

As for same-day eastbound connections to Nos. 30 and 48/448, the inbound California Zephyr, Empire Builder, Southwest Chief and City of New Orleans will make those connections on all three days.

The Cardinal already operates tri-weeky, reaching Chicago on the same days of the week that have been set for the Capitol Limited and Lake Shore Limited.

However, No. 50 departs Chicago on Tuesday and there will be no inbound connections to the Cardinal from any western long distance train on that day. The Cardinal also departs Chicago on Thursday and Saturday.

The schedule changes will not affect the Auto Train, which will remain daily.

The Sunset Limited already operates tri-weekly and frequency reductions were implemented in early July for the Silver Star and Silver Meteor.

Slower Than We’d Like

November 23, 2019

Shown is a schedule for Amtrak’s Broadway Limited from the mid 1970s. Penn Central was still the host railroad and its tracks west of Pittsburgh were not in great condition.

Therefore Amtrak placed a notice that the schedules were slower than PC was required to provide but faster scheduled were not possible at this this time.

Left unsaid was that PC was in bankruptcy proceedings and couldn’t afford to fix its tracks.

But even with these schedules Nos. 40 and 41 were still subject to delays, some of them major.

The symbol next to times at Canton and Crestline, Ohio, denoted that tickets could only be purchased for some or all trains at this station.

They were to be purchased either from the conductor or a travel agent. There was no cash penalty for buying your ticket aboard the train if no agent was on duty at train time.

The letter “e” for Canton and Johnstown, Pennsylvania, indicated that the train stopped on signal to pickup or drop off passengers.

The train would stop eastbound at Gary only to receive passengers and westbound to discharge them.

Amtrak Adds Padding to CONO, WB Lake Shore Limited

November 23, 2019

Amtrak has been quietly adding additional running time to some routes, including the City of New Orleans and Lake Shore Limited.

Most of the changes have involved endpoint terminals, but in some instances time has been added at intermediate stations.

Schedules posted on Amtrak’s website for the City of New Orleans effective Oct. 1 show that 20 minutes has been added to the northbound arrival time of in Chicago since May 2018.

Effective with the May 13 departure from New Orleans, No. 59’s arrival time in Chicago was changed from 9 a.m. to 9:15 a.m.

The Oct. 1 schedule change shows No. 58 is now scheduled to arrive in Chicago at 9:20 a.m.

The times at stations north of Mattoon, Illinois, for No. 58 also have been adjusted with the time at Champaign-Urbana moved from 6:10 a.m. to 6:15 a.m., Kankakee was changed from 7:13 a.m. to 7:18 a.m., and Homewood was changed from 7:44 a.m. to 7:49 a.m.

The arrival time in New Orleans for No. 59 has been lengthened by nine minutes, but times at intermediate stations are unchanged from their earlier schedules.

In fact, the times at intermediate stations for No. 59 are unchanged from Amtrak’s last printed national timetable, which was issued on Jan. 11, 2016.

The intermediate times for No. 58 are unchanged since 2016 from New Orleans to Mattoon.

It is not clear if the recent changes to the schedules of the City of New Orleans are linked to a battle Amtrak has been having with host railroad Canadian National over what Amtrak believes is poor dispatching.

Amtrak has asked the U.S. Surface Transportation Board to intervene, but thus far the STB has urged the two sides to continue in mediation.

The current schedules posted on the Amtrak website for Chicago-Carbondale, Illinois, corridor trains the Illini and Saluki, which use the same tracks as the City of New Orleans show no changes in schedules.

Those schedules were last updated on Sept. 13, 2017. That schedule also continues to show No. 58 scheduled to arrive in Chicago at 9 a.m.

As for the Lake Shore Limited, the only change in the schedule dated Nov. 11 is to change the Chicago arrival time of No. 49 to 9:50 a.m. It had been 9:45 a.m.

Times at intermediate stations served by No. 49 remain unchanged as does the schedule of eastbound Train No. 48.

The Nov. 11 schedule for the Lake Shore Limited continues to show that café car service remains unavailable on Nos. 48 and 49 between New York City and Albany-Rensselaer, New York.

Amtrak has also posted new schedules for the Cardinal, Crescent, Capitol Limited and Silver Meteor that show no schedule changes but reflect the inauguration of flexible dinning service for sleeping car passengers.

S.W. Chief Travel Time Being Cut

August 1, 2018

Even as a fight is going on about the future of Amtrak’s Chicago-Los Angeles Southwest Chief, the passenger carrier is decreasing the travel times of Nos. 3 and 4.

Starting July 31, No. 4 will depart Los Angeles 10 minutes earlier at 6 p.m. and arriving earlier in Chicago.

No. 3 will depart Chicago 10 minutes earlier at 2:50 p.m. and arrive earlier in Los Angeles.

Amtrak has yet to post the new schedules on its website.

In a passenger advisory, Amtrak said the faster travel time was made possible by increased speeds in Kansas and Colorado.

 

Surfliners Change for Del Mar, Comic-Con

July 11, 2018

Starting July 18 some Pacific Surfliner schedules will change to accommodate passengers traveling to Del Mar racetrack and the Comic-Con being held in the area.

In a service advisory, Amtrak said the two events are expected to stimulate heavy ridership between July 21 and Sept. 3.

Amtrak said Train 568 will operate as an extra round trip between Los Angeles and San Diego July 18 through 20.

Train 593 will operate as an extra round trip between San Diego and Los Angeles July 18 through 22.

Train 1568 will operate as an extra round trip between Los Angeles and San Diego July 21 through 22.

Trains 572, 583, 591, 768 and 796 will have schedule modifications on weekends between July 18 and Sept. 3. Specific details are available at Amtrak.com.

Wolverines Get New Schedules

July 11, 2018

Amtrak has changed the schedules of some Wolverine Service trains in an effort to improve their connections with other Midwest trains. The changes are effective July 16.

Train 352 will operate 45 minutes later to allow new connections from Trains 300 (Lincoln Service) and 334 (Hiawatha Service).

Train 353 will operate 45 minutes earlier to allow new connections to Train 393 (Illini).

Train 355 will also begin operating 15 minutes later.

Skeds of 2 Hiawatha Trains to Change

June 11, 2018

Two Hiawatha Service trains are getting new schedules on June 18.

Train 333 will depart Chicago Union Station 45 minutes later at 11:05 a.m. while Train 336 will depart Milwaukee five minutes later at 1:05 pm.

In a service advisory, Amtrak said the schedule changes are being implemented to provide better connecting times in Chicago from trains 351 (Wolverine Service) 380 (Illinois Zephyr) and 49/449 (Lake Shore Limited).

Amtrak Posts New National Sked Few Changes Made to Heartland Train Schedules

January 22, 2018

Amtrak has a new national timetable posted online and only a few changes have been made to the schedules of its trains that serve the nation’s heartland, many of them minor.

Most  of the changes affect the six Wolverine Service trains between Chicago and Detroit (Pontiac). The running times on the route are being shortened

Effective Jan. 22, No. 350 will depart Pontiac 5 minutes earlier and arrive in Chicago 15 minutes earlier than the current schedule. No. 353 will leave Pontiac 10 minutes earlier and arrive in Chicago eight minutes earlier. No. 355 will depart Pontiac 20 minutes earlier and arrive in Chicago 32 minutes earlier. Times at stations en route have been adjusted.

No. 350 will leave Chicago at its current scheduled time, but arrive in Pontiac 24 minutes earlier. No. 353 will depart Chicago 10 minutes earlier and arrive in Pontiac 27 minutes earlier. No. 354 will leave Chicago 10 minutes earlier and arrive in Pontiac 14 minutes earlier.

The eastbound Blue Water will depart Chicago at its current time, but will be scheduled to arrive in Port Huron, Michigan, seven minutes earlier. There are corresponding changes at intermediate stations.

There are no changes in the schedules of the westbound Blue Water or the Pere Marquette in both directions.

Effective Jan. 8, the Pennsylvanian began arriving in Pittsburgh from New York six minutes earlier.

There are no changes in the schedules of the Capitol Limited, Lake Shore Limited or eastbound Cardinal. The westbound Cardinal is now scheduled to arrive in Chicago five minutes earlier, but there are no changes in time at intermediate stations.

No changes were made in any schedules of trains operating in the Chicago-Carbondale-New Orleans corridor. Likewise, all Lincoln Service schedules between Chicago and St. Louis and Missouri River Runner trains between St. Louis and Kansas City, Missouri, remain the same.

Hiawatha Service between Chicago and Milwaukee has not changed.

The Illinois Zephyr and Carl Sandburg are scheduled to arrive one minute earlier in Quincy, Illinois, but the rest of the schedules on the route are unchanged.

The counterparts of the same trains will arrive in Chicago two minutes earlier without any changes in times at intermediate stations.

The westbound Southwest Chief is departing Los Angeles five minutes earlier but its Chicago arrival time is unchanged. Some times have changed at intermediate stations. This change became effective last November.

There are no changes in the schedules of the westbound Southwest Chief, or the California Zephyr, Empire Builder or Texas Eagle.

The Heartland Flyer arrives in Oklahoma City from Fort Worth, Texas, four minutes earlier, a change that took effect last October. The southbound Heartland Flyer schedule is unchanged.

Amtrak has not printed a national timetable since January 2016, but has posted one at its website since then.

The latest timetable features an image of the Maple Leaf traveling through snowstorm.

Missing from this timetable is a letter from Amtrak’s president, which had been a standard feature of previous timetables.

The typography is largely the same as in the previous timetables, but the schedule headings have been tweaked. The schedules were compiled before Amtrak said it was discontinuing the Pacific Parlour Car on the Seattle-Los Angeles Coast Starlight.

The Challenge of Penn Central

November 3, 2017

Amtrak faced many challenges in its early years, one of which was operating over track owned by Penn Central.

Years of deferred maintenance by PC predecessors New York Central and the Pennsylvania Railroad took a toll in slow orders, derailments and greatly delayed trains.

With Penn Central in bankruptcy proceedings, the prospect of things improving were not that great.

What Amtrak could do was to warn passengers of what they were getting into.

Shown above is a schedule for the Chicago-New York/Washington Broadway Limited that was published in 1975. Notice the note about how these schedules are slower than Penn Central is supposed to provide.

A similar notice appears with schedules of the New York-Kansas City National Limited.

Earlier versions of this notice warned that Nos. 40/41 and Nos. 30/31 were subject to delay west of Pittsburgh. With those delays unlikely to go away due to poor track conditions, Amtrak simply adjusted its schedules to make them slower.

NB Coast Starlight Schedule Change to Affect Connections with EB Empire Builder in Portland

September 30, 2017

A later schedule for the northbound Los Angeles to Seattle Coast Starlight will affect that train’s connections to the eastbound Empire Builder.

Track work being performed by Union Pacific will have Train No. 14 operating an hour later between Oct. 1 and 8.

In a service advisory, Amtrak said that No. 14 will depart Los Angeles and operate as scheduled through its arrival at Klamath Falls, Oregon, at 8:07 a.m. the following day.

No. 14 will sit in Klamath Falls for up to two hours, departing at 10:17 a.m., operating two hours later at all remaining stations on the route.

The schedule change affects Train 14 that originates in Los Angeles on Sept. 30 through Oct. 7 and arrives in Klamath Falls between Oct. 1 and Oct. 8.

To accommodate the later schedule, service adjustments have been made for passengers connecting to Empire Builder No. Train 28 at Portland, Oregon:

  • October 1 through October 6: Passengers on Train 14 who are connecting to Train 28 at Portland will detrain at Klamath Falls where bus service will be provided to Pasco, Washington. At Pasco, passengers will board eastbound Train 28.
  • October 7 and 8: Connections at Portland from Train 14 to Train 28 will not be available on Saturday and Sunday, October 7 and 8.
  • October Customers boarding at Eugene, Albany or Salem who are connecting to Train 28 from Train 14 will, instead, take Amtrak Cascades Thruway Bus 5528 to Portland and transfer to Train 28.