Posts Tagged ‘California Zephyr’

Mudslides Block California Zephyr Route

August 3, 2021

Amtrak’s California Zephyr was suspended last weekend on part of its route due to mudslides in Glenwood Canyon near Glenwood, Colorado.

The mudslides also blocked adjacent Interstate 70, which precluded Amtrak from providing alternative transportation between Denver and Grand Junction, Colorado.

Trains already en route on Friday, Saturday and Sunday turned back at Denver and Grand Junction.

Passengers were given the option of returning to point of origin or waiting for the line to reopen.

Those who had not yet departed on their trip were offered assistance with rebooking their trip or receiving a refund of their fare.

A spokeswoman for host railroad Union Pacific said mudslides blocked tracks at 10 locations.

She said workers hoped to get the line open by early Monday but said that was contingent on weather conditions.

An Amtrak spokeswoman said Amtrak considered rerouting Nos. 5 and 6 through Wyoming but was unable to arrange that.

Passengers aboard trains departing on Sunday from Chicago and Emeryville, California, were told their train might not be able to pass through Glenwood Canyon on Monday.

Amtrak Tweeted early Tuesday morning that Train No. 5 was back on the move but running five hours, 35 minutes late due to earlier track closures between Denver and Grand Junction.

Amtrak ‘Day One’ Charger Heading East

July 19, 2021

Amtrak’s Day One tribute locomotive is making its way east from the Siemens factory in California.

ALC-42 No. 301 was in the motive power consist of the California Zephyr that left Emeryville, California, on Saturday.

That train was to arrive in Chicago on Monday afternoon but mechanic issues en route had it running more than seven hours late.

No. 301 is expected to leave Chicago on the Capitol Limited on Tuesday evening en route to Washington and eventually an Amtrak shop in Delaware.

The unit wears the one-off livery applied to a Penn Central E8A 4316 for a May 1, 1971, ceremony to mark the inauguration of Amtrak.

Amtrak has ordered 75 ALC-42s from Siemens to replace the GE-built P42DCs and P40s now pulling long-distance and certain corridor trains.

The Day One design is one of several liveries Amtrak created to mark its 50th anniversary.

Thus far only the Midnight Blue scheme applied to P42DC No. 100 is in revenue service. That locomotive has made several trips on the Lake Shore Limited in the past couple weeks.

One other ALC-42 has been accepted by Amtrak and is being tested.

Amtrak to Receive First ACL-42

June 12, 2021

The first Siemens ALC-42 locomotive built for Amtrak is expected to be released today and will head east on the California Zephyr.

Trains magazine quoted unnamed sources as saying Charger No. 300 will be handled by Train 6 departing Emeryville, California, today (June 12) and arriving in Chicago on Monday.

No. 300 is expected to be featured on Tuesday at a media event at the Amtrak Chicago maintenance facility and depart on June 16 for Washington in the motive power consist of the Capitol Limited.

The Trains report said Amtrak expects to receive a handful of Chargers over the next few weeks that will be tested.

Regular deliveries of the locomotive are expected to begin in the second half of this year. Amtrak has ordered 75 ACLC-42 locomotives for use in its national network.

They will replace aging P42DC units that have been the standard motive power on most national network trains since the middle 1990s.

Charger locomotives are already in revenue service for various operators around the country, including on Amtrak corridor routes in the Midwest.

The intercity carrier is expected to complete receiving its ALC-42 locomotives in 2024.

Parking Changes Made at Holdrege Station

April 15, 2021

Construction at the Amtrak station in Holdrege, Nebraska, has resulted in changes in parking.

Workers have completed rebuilding an interim accessible platform in Holdrege but passengers boarding trains there will need to park in the city parking lot north of the train station.

The lot can be accessed from 3rd Avenue with an entrance west of East Avenue. The lot is free and has no time limit.

Holdrege is served by Amtrak’s Chicago-San Francisco Bay California Zephyr.

Bill Introduced to Create Front Range District

April 15, 2021

A bi-partisan bill has been introduced in the Colorado state senate to establish the Front Range Passenger Rail District.

The district would plan, build, operate and maintain passenger service connecting the major cities along the east side of the Rocky Mountains as well as provide a connection service to Amtrak’s Southwest Chief and California Zephyr.

Senate President Leroy Garcia, one of the sponsors of the legislation, said in a statement that establishing rail passenger service along the Front Range has been a top priority of his since being elected to the legislature.

The legislation calls for cooperation with the Denver-area Regional Transportation District and says that if appropriate the two agencies should share capital costs on a portion of the route. District members would be appointed by April 1, 2022, with the first meeting the following month.

California Zephyr Hits Boulder in Utah

June 8, 2020

The westbound California Zephyr hit a boulder on Saturday night in Utah, delaying the train for more than 17 hours.

The incident occurred at 9:55 p.m. MDT. The stranded passengers were taken by the eastbound Zephyr to Helper, Utah, where they were placed aboard buses to continue their trip.

News reports indicated that No. 6 also was delayed due to debris on the tracks of host railroad Union Pacific.

On Sunday night No. 6 was reported to be running nearly 13 hours late.  On Monday morning No. 6 was projected by Amtrak to arrive into Chicago at 2:27 a.m. CDT.

CZ Detouring Due to Flooding in Iowa

March 22, 2019

Flooding along its regular route has led to the California Zephyr having to detour over the former Chicago & North Western mainline in Iowa.

The detour began on March 21 between Chicago and Omaha, Nebraska, on a route owned by Union Pacific.

The train’s normal route on BNSF between those two cities is closed due to flooding in western Iowa.

There is no alternative service being offered to the intermediate stations in Iowa of Burlington, Mount Pleasant, Ottumwa, Osceola and Creston.

It is unclear how long the detour will last. Amtrak has used this route in past years when the normal route was closed.

No stops are being made at intermediate cities between Chicago and Omaha.

UP crews are serving as pilots for the Amtrak trains and locomotives equipped with an automatic train control system are expected to be assigned to Nos. 5 and 6.

The Zephyr will be departing from the north side of Chicago Union Station and switching from Metra to UP tracks at Western Avenue.

California Zephyr Schedule to be Modified

September 2, 2017

Amtrak has announced temporary schedules for the California Zephyr during a period of Union Pacific track work on the train’s route in Colorado. The modified schedules are in effect starting Sept. 4.

The westbound California Zephyr will depart Chicago at 3:35 p.m., one hour and 35 minutes later than the current schedule.

In Denver, the train will remain in the station for four hours and 30 minutes, departing at 12:35 p.m. It will arrive in Emeryville, California, at 8:40 p.m.

These schedule changes affect westbound Train 5 that departs Chicago from Sept. 4 through Sept. 14, and Sept. 23 through Sept. 29, arriving in Emeryville two days later.

The eastbound California Zephyr will depart Emeryville at 10:40 a.m., one hour and 30 minutes later than the normal schedule.

At Grand Junction, Colorado, No. 6 will remain in the station until departing at 12:30 p.m., two hours and seven minutes later than the normal departure time.

The train will depart all remaining station according to the later schedule through its arrival in Chicago at 4:57 p.m.

This schedule change affects trains that depart Emeryville from Sept. 4 through Sept. 14, and Sept. 23 through Sept. 29, arriving in Chicago two days later.

 

Amtrak Passenger’s Death Remains Mystery

May 31, 2017

Colorado authorities are still searching for the cause of death of a woman who was found unconscious aboard an Amtrak train in Denver last September.

That has frustrated Denver Chief Medical Examiner Dr. James Caruso, who said, “We sort of feel like we failed. The autopsy for us is the deceased person trying to tell us their story. How’d they end up in our suite?”

What is known is that the deceased is 28-year-old Marina Placencia, of Racine, Wisconsin.

Her death was being investigated by Denver police because Placencia had suffered blunt force trauma injuries.

An autopsy found 35 instances of injuries, including a large number of contusions, bruises, 10 broken ribs and bleeding in her stomach.

Police said Placencia had suffered physical abuse from a boyfriend in Wisconsin.

Witnesses and available public records showed that Placencia bought an Amtrak ticket and traveled from Milwaukee to Denver, changing trains in Chicago.

Tickets show Placencia and her four children were with her on California Zephyr.

A passenger who was not identified in a Denver Post story said that she boarded No. 5 in Holdrege, Nebraska, and didn’t hear any disturbances.

However, as the train approached the Denver station, “over the speaker, I heard somebody saying, ‘Is there a doctor?’” she said.

“I saw her [Placencia] in the aisle on the floor. Nobody was around her. I assumed she had already passed away,”

Paramedics tried to resuscitate Placencia before police arrived.

“They said they were waiting for the detectives and make sure nobody had killed her on the train. Their words not my words. They just wanted to make sure. Have an investigation,” the passenger said.

Caruso told the Post that he has continued to question the case even after the “undetermined” ruling was made of the death.

“There’s all kinds of red flags in the history here,” Caruso said. “We knew that going in. We’d like nothing more than to come up with another manner of death in this case.”

Caruso said he supported the cause of death as unknown because none of the bruises, contusions or broken bones were likely fatal.

However, he didn’t rule out further investigation as new facts become available.

“If new information comes about, I am certainly willing to change my opinion,” Caruso said.

Colfax Thruway Bus Stop Moved

February 28, 2017

The Amtrak Thruway bus stop in Colfax, California, is being moved a half block east across the Union Pacific tracks from the Amtrak station to Roy Tom’s Plaza 33 on Grass Valley Street.

Amtrak 4In a service advisory, Amtrak said the temporary change is due to road restrictions preventing buses from accessing the station.

Amtrak trains will continue to stop at the Colfax train station on Railroad Street.

Serving Colfax are the Chicago-Emeryville California Zephyr, and some Capitol Corridor trains.