Posts Tagged ‘Amtrak trains’

Downeastern to Skip Woburn, Passengers to be Bused

June 20, 2017

Amtrak’s Downeaster Service will not serve Woburn, Massaschusetts on Saturday and Sundays on June 24 and 25, and July 22 and 23.

The service disruption is due to weekend track work being performed by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.

In a service advisory, Amtrak said Southbound trains will operate normally between Brunswick and Haverhill.

At Haverhill, customers will transfer to a bus that will operate nonstop to Boston North Station.

Northbound trains will be replaced with buses operating nonstop from Boston North Station to Haverhill.

At Haverhill, customers will transfer to Downeaster trains, serving all remaining stations on the route.

Amtrak said this information is subject to change without notice.

NB Saluki to Operate 2 Hours Earlier

June 19, 2017

Amtrak’s northbound Saluki will operate two hours earlier Monday through Friday between July 19 and August 4 in order to accommodate track work being undertaken by Canadian National.

No. 390 is scheduled to depart Carbondale, Illinois, at 7:30 a.m., but will now depart at 5:30 a.m., putting it just over two hours behind the City of New Orleans, which is scheduled to depart Carbondale at 3:16 a.m.

The early schedule will not apply to No. 390 on  Saturdays or Sundays.

 

Hickory Creek to Ride Rear of LSL

June 14, 2017

The Hickory Creek, the ex-Twentieth Century Limited tail car will be traveling to Chicago for the Nickel Plate Road 765 trips. It will leave New York City on the Lake Shore Limited on June 14. It will head back to NYC on the Lake Shore on June 19.

Photograph by Jack Norris

Amtrak Promoting Kids Travel to National Parks

June 14, 2017

Amtrak is working with the U.S. Department of the Interior to try to boost attendance at national parks and cultural attractions by extending its 75 percent discount to fourth-graders, with the purchase of one regular adult fare.

The discounted fare will be available through Aug. 31 for travel through Sept. 3.

The fares are being offered as part of the Every Kid in a Park program. Families are invited to visit the Every Kid in a Park website to obtain a pass for free entry for them and their families to more than 2,000 federally-managed lands and waters nationwide.

In a news release, Amtrak said it offers service to or near more than 260 national park lands, monuments and historic sites

These include the national parks of Glacier, Grand Canyon and Yosemite.  Amtrak and the National Park Service also work together as part of the Trails and Rails program.

The reduced fares for children require making reservations a minimum of three days before travel. Seats are limited and the offer is valid on all Amtrak trains except Acela Express and Auto Train. Terms and conditions apply.

6 Empire Service Trains Expected to use Grand Central

June 13, 2017

Six Amtrak Empire Service trains are expected to use Grand Central Terminal in New York City starting July 10 when track work begins at Penn Station.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority Interim Executive Director Veronique Hakim said MTA and Amtrak have reached an agreement for sharing Grand Central.

“They will be bringing a small part of their Empire Service into Grand Central,” she said. “We think they’re looking at six trains, three in or three out. That could provide some relief at Penn (Station) as well.”

Amtrak has still not said which Empire Service trains will use Grand Central, but has announced that it would do so soon. Amtrak plans to use Grand Central until Sept. 1.

Empire Service trains are funded by the State of New York. Most of the service operates between Albany-Rensselaer and New York City, but some trains originate in Niagara Falls, New York.

Amtrak has not used Grand Central since 1991 when it moved to Penn Station all trains using the former New York Central mainline into New York along the Hudson River.

Downeaster Fares May be Rising

June 7, 2017

Amtrak may raise fare on its Downeastern route. The Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority, which pays for the service, is seeking public comment on the proposed fare hike.

The increase would be $1 one way or all trains and would create a new fare structure for one-way fares on the connecting bus that operates between Boston and Exeter, New Hampshire.

The NNEPR is recommending a $20 increase in monthly pass fares to and from Boston.

The fare increase is expected to increase Downeaster revenue by $287,000 annually.

In part, the fare increase is a response to falling ridership and revenue, which peaked in 2014 at 520,000 passengers and $8.6 million in revenue.

Coments are being accepted through June 25 at info@nnepra.com or at the website www.amtrakdowneaster.com.

Amtrak to Inspect OKC-Kansas City Route

June 5, 2017

An Amtrak inspection train will operate on June 9 from Oklahoma City to Kansas City, Missouri, as part of a study of expansion of the Heartland Flyer.

The Flyer, which is funded by the states of Oklahoma and Texas, might be extended to Newton, Kansas, to connect with the Chicago-Los Angeles Southwest Chief. Currently, the Heartland Flyer runs between Oklahoma City and Fort Worth, Texas.

The route to be examined is owned by BNSF and until early October 1979 hosted Amtrak’s Chicago-Houston Lone Star.

The inspection train is scheduled to depart from Oklahoma City at 7:45 a.m. and reach Kansas City at 5:30 p.m. It will pass through the Oklahoma cities of Guthrie, Perry, Ponca City and Ark City; and the Kansas cities of Wichita, Newton, Emporia and Topeka. The train will pause briefly in each of these cities.

CSX Track Work Affects Richmond Service

June 2, 2017

Amtrak said there will be temporary service cancellations through June 7 in the Richmond, Virginia, area due to CSX track work.

One track will be out of service 24 hours a day and another track will be closed between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. daily.

In a service advisory, Amtrak said train service will be canceled on segments of the route as described below and alternate transportation will not be provided. Customers can contact Amtrak for alternate train service options.

  • Trains 65, 66 and 67, which normally operate between Newport News and Boston, will operate between Washington and Boston only. Trains will not operate between Newport News and Washington.
  • Trains 82 and 174, which normally operate between Richmond and Boston, will operate between Washington and Boston only. Trains will not operate between Richmond and Washington.
  • Trains 85 and 87, which normally operate between New York and Richmond, will operate between New York and Washington only. Trains will not operate between Washington and Richmond.
  • Trains 89 and 90, which normally operate between New York and Savannah, will operate between New York and Washington only. Trains will not operate between Washington and Savannah, and alternate transportation will not be provided.
  • Schedule Change: Trains 94, 96 and 194, which operate between Newport News and Boston, will depart Newport News at 7:40 am, one hour and twenty minutes earlier than the normal schedule, and operate one hour and twenty minutes earlier at all remaining stations on the route.

Other trains not listed above may be delayed for up to 90 minutes arriving at and departing from Richmond.

From the Vestibule Aboard the National Limited

May 31, 2017

In the early days of Amtrak, crew members often said little to nothing if you made photographs from the windows of the vestibule doors.

I’m sure there were crew members who would chase you out of the vestibule if they saw you standing there, but I had some good luck in being able to make images while the crew either looked the other way or gave their tacit approval.

The conductor of Amtrak’s westbound National Limited fell into the latter category along with the rear brakeman. In fact the brakeman talked to myself and another passenger at length and even led us to the vestibule window at the rear of the train.

In the photograph above, No. 31 is arriving at Indianapolis Union Station on a Saturday morning in April 1977. Those Amtrak passenger cars on the other tracks might be waiting to go to the Beech Grove shops. At the time Nos. 30 and 31 were the only Amtrak trains serving Indianapolis.

The bottom photograph was made as No. 31 was going around a curve in East St. Louis, Illinois, to cross the Mississippi River over MacArthur Bridge and enter St. Louis.

On the point of No. 31 are a pair of freight diesels, Penn Central SD35 No. 6029 and Conrail SD40 No. 6319, both former Pennsylvania Railroad locomotives. That seemed appropriate given that much of the route of the National Limited across Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois was former PRR trackage. The exception was the track between Indianapolis and Terre Haute, Indiana, which was former New York Central.

I do not know where these freight units were put on. They were on  the train when it rolled in Dayton, Ohio, where I boarded. I can only guess that Amtrak E8A No. 477 had mechanical problems en route. By coincidence, No. 477 was also a former PRR diesel, No. 5790.

There were limits to the crew’s tolerance. After we crossed the Mississippi, the conductor came back and shooed us into the coach. I remember him saying, “I let  you ride [in the vestibule] across the river.”

Indeed he had and I was grateful for that. I returned to my seat where I remained for the rest of the journey to Kirkwood, Missouri.

Downeasters to Skip Woburn June 10-11

May 30, 2017

Amtrak Downeaster Service will not be serving Woburn, Massachusetts, on June 10 and 11 due to weekend track work being performed by Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.

In a service advisory, Amtrak said southbound trains will operate normally between Brunswick, Maine, and Haverhill, Massachusetts. At Haverhill, customers will transfer to a bus that will operate nonstop to Boston North Station.

Northbound trains will be replaced with buses operating nonstop from Boston North Station to Haverhill. At Haverhill, customers will transfer to Downeaster trains, serving all remaining stations on the route