Posts Tagged ‘Amtrak trains’

Amtrak Adding Extra Trains for Thanksgiving

October 17, 2017

Amtrak will add eight extra trains in Illinois and 10 in Michigan to handle Thanksgiving travelers.

In a news release, the carrier said it will operate every available passenger car during the holiday period.

On the route between Chicago and St. Louis, train No. 300 from St. Louis will operate 35 minutes earlier than scheduled.

Lincoln Service extra No. 309 will depart Chicago at 10:30 a.m. and make all scheduled intermediate stops en route to Normal, Illinois, where it will arrive at 12:58 p.m.

No. 308 will depart Normal at 1:15 p.m. and make all scheduled stops en route to Chicago, arriving at 3:41 p.m. These schedules are in effect on Nov. 22 and 26.

On the Chicago-Quincy, Illinois, route, Illinois Zephyr No. 383 will operate 31 minutes later than scheduled.

Carl Sandburg extra No. 385 will depart Chicago at 11:30 a.m. and arrive Quincy at 3:53 p.m., making all scheduled intermediate stops.

Extra No. 384 will depart Quincy at 1 p.m. and arrive in Chicago at 5:23 p.m. after making all scheduled intermediate stops.

These schedules are in effect on Nov. 22 and 26.

On the Wolverine Service route, Extra No. 356 will depart Chicago on Nov. 22, 25 and 26 at 9:30 a.m., stopping in Michigan at New Buffalo, Niles, Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, Jackson before arriving in Ann Arbor at 3:10 p.m.

Extra No. 359 will depart Ann Arbor on the same dates at 4:05 p.m. and make the same stops, en route to Chicago, arriving at 7:46 p.m.

On the Pere Marquette route, extra No. 372 will leave Chicago at 10 a.m. and make all stops en route to Holland, arriving at 2:11 p.m. It will depart Holland at 3:10 p.m. and make all scheduled stop en route to a 5:27 p.m. arrival in Chicago.

These schedules are in effect on Nov. 22 and 26.

Reservations will be required between Nov. 21 and 27 for travel aboard the Chicago-Milwaukee Hiawatha Service.

Amtrak said that in 2016 it carried 760,755 passengers throughout its national network during the Thanksgiving travel period and it expects similar patronage this year.

It plans to assign every available passenger car to its trains during the holiday travel period.

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This Was Once a Big Deal

October 13, 2017

The image above is a newspaper advertisement from 1971. Amtrak was a mere seven months old and just finding its footing.

Now it had something it felt was worth talking about. It was the era when the company’s slogan was “we’re making the trains worth traveling again.”

That, of course, suggests that until Amtrak came along train travel wasn’t something you  wanted to do. That was true in some places, particularly on Penn Central, but not everywhere. Nonetheless, Amtrak recognized the public perception of train travel at the time and that it had to overcome that.

Although not obvious, the timetable that the customer service representative is holding was a major milestone in Amtrak history.

The first two timetables that Amtrak issued were cut and paste jobs with a Spartan design. The Amtrak logo was featured on the covers and nothing else.

But the November 14, 1971, timetable was the first that Amtrak actually designed.

Among other things, the timetable featured airline style city listings. Airlines in the early 1970s were held in high esteem.

If you read the text of this advertisement carefully, you’ll note the effort of Amtrak to market itself like an airline.

Note how the schedule change for the Chicago-New Orleans train is pitched in airline marketing language, e.g., leave after the end of the business day, arrive in the morning in time for appointments.

The claim that some trains were receiving “new” equipment is borderline deceptive. There was nothing “new” about any equipment that Amtrak was using in November 1971.

It might have been refurbished and the type of equipment might have been “new” to that route or train, but the equipment itself was far from new.

But this was where Amtrak was in 1971. It was trying to get attention, trying to build patronage and trying to reframe how the public thought about rail travel.

Sometimes it is helpful to see where you’ve been to understand where you are at today. When was the last time that Amtrak touted giving Chicago better train service? Yup, it’s been a while.

NOLA Service Suspended Due to Hurricane Nate

October 9, 2017

Amtrak suspended service to New Orleans on all routes over the weekend due to the approach of Hurricane Nate.

In a service advisory, Amtrak said the Sunset Limited would terminate and originate in San Antonio with no alternate transportation available between San Antonio and New Orleans. Trains 1 & 2 normally operate three-days-weekly between Los Angeles and New Orleans.

The Crescent terminated and originated in Birmingham, Alabama with no alternate transportation available between Birmingham and New Orleans.

The City of New Orleans originated and terminated in Jackson, Mississippi, with no alternate transportation available between Jackson and New Orleans.

As of Monday morning, Amtrak had not announced on its website when service to New Orleans and other affected intermediate stations would resume.

Track Work to Disrupt LSL Boston Section

September 30, 2017

Track work being performed by CSX will affect operations of the Boston section of the Lake Shore Limited between Oct. 1 and 27.

In a service advisory, Amtrak said the work will affect Trains 448 and 449, on the dates indicated below:

Train 448 will not operate on Sundays through Thursdays while Train 449 will be affected on Monday through Friday.

Passengers on Train 448 who are traveling to Pittsfield, Springfield, Worcester, Framingham, and Boston (South Station) will get off the train at Albany on the Sunday through Thursday where they will board a bus to complete their journey to their destination.

On the weekdays indicated above, Train 449 will not operate between Boston (South Station) and Albany. Passengers boarding at Boston (South Station), Framingham, Worcester, Springfield, Pittsfield will travel by bus to Albany, where they will transfer to westbound Train 49, making all remaining stops on the route.

During this period, Trains 448 and 449 will not stop at Boston Back Bay, and bus service will not be provided.

Passengers can take MBTA commuter rail for travel to or from Boston South Station. Train 448 customers can also take the MBTA subway Orange Line to Downtown Crossing and transfer to the Red line to Boston South Station. Train 449 customers can use reverse directions.

Passengers at Boston South Station should go to the Amtrak Information Desk for instructions on boarding the buses.

Passengers at Framingham will board all buses at the drop-off/pick-up area at the Track 2 platform (at Waverly Street).

The Worcester station is not staffed so passengers should check with station security personnel for the location to board the bus, which is being provided by Premier Bus Lines.

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.

Track Work Disrupts Vermonter

September 27, 2017

Track work underway between New Haven and Springfield, Massachusetts, will affect some Northeast Regional, Springfield Shuttle and Vermonter service through the remainder of the year.

In a service advisory, Amtrak said the service disruptions will affect the stations of Wallingford, Meriden, Berlin, Hartford, Windsor, Windsor Locks and Springfield.

On Sept. 29 and Oct. 13 Northeast Regional Trains 136 and 148 will operate normally from Washington to New Haven. Passengers will be provided bus service at all stations from New Haven to Springfield.

On Sept. 30 and Oct. 14 Northeast Regional Trains 140, 143, 146 and 147 will operate normally between Washington and New Haven. Passengers will be provided bus service at all stations between New Haven and Springfield.

The Vermonter Train 54 will operate normally from Washington to New Haven. At New Haven all passengers will transfer to a bus that will make stops at Wallingford, Meriden, Berlin, Hartford, Windsor Locks and Springfield. At Springfield, Passengers will board the train to their destination.

Vermonter Train 57 will operate normally from St. Albans to Springfield. At Springfield, all passengers will transfer to a bus that will make stops at Windsor Locks, Hartford, Berlin, Meriden, Wallingford and New Haven. At New Haven, Passengers will board the train to their destination.

Springfield Shuttle Trains 401, 405, 450, 460, 463, 464, 467 and 488 will be cancelled, and bus service will be provided all stations on the route.

On Oct. 1 and Oct. 15, Northeast Regional Trains 143 and 157 will operate normally from New Haven to Washington.  Passengers will be provided bus service at all stations from Springfield to New Haven.

On Monday through Friday through Dec. 29, Springfield Shuttle Trains 470, 476, 479, 490, 493 and 495 will be cancelled, and bus service will be provided at all stops on the route.

SB Downeasters to Skip Woburn

September 27, 2017

On and Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 1, weekend track track work being performed by Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority will have the Downeaster trains detouring between Boston North Station and Haverhill.

In a service advisory, Amtrak said that service changes will occur on the weekend dates shown below

Service will be provided to or from Woburn but southbound trains will operate over a detour route and miss the station stop at Woburn.

Service will not be provided to or from Woburn.

Amtrak Restoring Southeast Service

September 18, 2017

Amtrak said on Monday that all trains to and from Florida will return to regular operations after service was temporarily disrupted due to severe weather stemming from Hurricane Irma.

The Silver Meteor from New York to Miami will resume scheduled service on Tuesday (Sept, 19) while its northbound counterpart will depart Miami for the first time on Wednesday (Sept. 20)

The Silver Star will will resume scheduled service between Jacksonville and Miami on Tuesday while its northbound counterpart will resume departing from Miami on Thursday (Sept. 21.) The Star is currently operating only between New York and Jacksonville.

No Word on Restoration of Amtrak SE Service

September 18, 2017

As of mid afternoon today, Amtrak has not said when full service will be restored to the Southeast.

The latest service advisory was posted on Friday afternoon and indicated that the Silver Star had been restored between New York and Jacksonville, Florida.

However, the Silver Meteor remains suspended over its entire route between New York and Miami, and the Silver Star is not operating south of Jacksonville.

The Auto-Train was to be fully restored today in both directions.

Southeast Amtrak Trains Still Suspended

September 13, 2017

In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, which at last report had been downgraded to a tropical depression, Amtrak service in the Southeast remains suspended

In a service advisory issued Tuesday night, Amtrak said the Silver Star and Silver Meteor between New York and Miami remain canceled through Sept.14.

The southbound Auto Train from Lorton, Virginia, to Sanford, Florida, is canceled through Sept. 14. The northbound Auto Train is suspended through Sept. 15.

The Palmetto from New York to Savannah, Georgia, is canceled through Sept. 13, while its northbound counterpart is suspended through Sept. 13.