Posts Tagged ‘Coast Starlight’

Bus Bridge Operating Overnight For Coast Starlight Passengers

July 21, 2021

A fire that damaged a bridge in Oregon used by Amtrak’s Coast Starlight has left passengers having to ride a bus overnight between Sacramento and Klamath Falls, Oregon.

Trains 11 and 14 are operating between Los Angeles and Sacramento, and between Seattle and Klamath Falls.

However, the situation will change between July 31 and Aug. 3, when the bus bridge will be canceled due to track work by host railroad Union Pacific.

The damaged bridge is on UP’s Black Butte Subdivision. The fire occurred June 28 and the bridge isn’t expected to reopen until at least Sept. 1.

At present, Train 11 is operating between Seattle and Klamath Falls, then as Bus 3011 between Klamath Falls and Sacramento and then as Train 1011 between Sacramento and Los Angeles.

Train 14 is operating Train 14 from Los Angeles to Sacramento, then as Bus 3014 from Sacramento to Klamath Falls and then as Train 1014 from Klamath Falls to Seattle.

All of this will change between July 31 and Aug. 3. During that period, trains will operate between Los Angeles and Sacramento but there will be no service north of Sacramento.

In a service advisory, Amtrak said no alternative transportation is being offered between Seattle and Sacramento during that period.

Instead, Amtrak urged Coast Starlight passengers traveling between Seattle and Eugene, Oregon, to ride an Amtrak Cascades service train.

The operating pattern will change again on Aug. 4, when buses will resume operating between Sacramento and Klamath Falls and trains will resume between Seattle and Klamath Falls.

The service advisory said this will remain in effect through Sept. 7.

Checked baggage is not being handled on trains or buses between Eugene and Sacramento. Passengers will be limited to two piece of luggage per person.

Bicycles, pets and checked firearms will not be permitted on Buses 3011 and 3014 between Sacramento and Klamath Falls or on Trains 11 and 1014 between Klamath Falls and Eugene.

Buses 3011 and 3014 will make all intermediate station stops as well as a planned en route rest stop at a Pilot Travel Center with retail vendors offering food and beverages.

A report on the Trains magazine website said Amtrak has temporarily blocked passengers from making reservations for travel on the Coast Starlight at any time during the service disruption.

Those attempting to book travel through Amtrak.com were told that the service was either sold out or “we don’t have train service matching your request.”

An Amtrak spokeswoman told Trains that the blocking of new reservations was being done to ensure that passengers whose travel plans were affected by the service disruption are able to be accommodated.

She would not say when Amtrak plans to resume allowing new reservations to be booked for Coast Starlight travel.

The Trains report said would-be travelers had been able for a time to book travel on the Sacramento-Los Angeles segment where continues to operate with coach and business class cars, sleepers, “traditional” dining service for sleeping-car passengers, and a Sightseer lounge car.

Identical equipment has been assigned to trains operating between Seattle and Klamath Falls.

The Trains report said the blocking of reservations for any city pairs on the Coast Starlight route began early last week.

The Amtrak spokeswoman said Amtrak is working with those who already held reservations aboard Nos. 11 and 14 “to modify their reservation to their liking.”

She said four buses are being used between Sacramento and Klamath Falls with the option to increase or decrease that number as needed.

Track Work Disrupts Pacific Surfliners, Coast Starlight

April 15, 2021

Various temporary schedule changes will begin April 16 that affect Pacific Surfliner trains and the Coast Starlight due to track projects.

Between April 16 and May 1 the following changes will be in effect.

On April 15, 23 and 30, Train 796 will terminate at Solana Beach with alternate bus service being provided between Oceanside and San Diego on Bus 3284 and 3286.

Bus 3284 will not stop at Old Town but passengers may take the trolley from San Diego. Bus 3286 will drop off passengers at Old Town.

On April 17, 18, 19, 24, 25 and May 1 and 2, Trains 564, 580, 768, 774, 796, 1564 and 1584 will terminate at Solana Beach. Bus service will be provided from Oceanside to San Diego.

Trains 579, 593, 763, 767, 777, 785 and 1767 will originate at Solana Beach. Bus service will be provided from San Diego to Oceanside to connect with all trains.

Northbound buses will depart earlier than train schedules to allow on-time train departure from Oceanside.

Buses will not stop at Old Town but passengers may take the trolley to San Diego and board the Oceanside buses.

On April 17 and 18, track work being performed north of Los Angeles will result in changes to the following Pacific Surfliner Trains.

Train 763 will terminate at Los Angeles with Bus 4863 operating in its place to Oxnard and Train 1763 operating from Oxnard to Goleta. Regular connecting bus service will operate between Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo.

Train 777 will terminate at Los Angeles with Bus 4877 operating in its place from Los Angeles to Oxnard and Train 1777 operating from Oxnard to San Luis Obispo.

Train 785 will terminate at Los Angeles with Bus 4885 operating in its place from Los Angeles to Oxnard and Train 1785 operating from Oxnard to Goleta. Regular connecting bus service will be provided between Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo.

Buses will depart all stations earlier than the normal schedule. Trains traveling north of Oxnard will depart later than the normal schedule.

Train 768 will originate at Los Angeles. In place of Train 768, Train 1768 will operate from Goleta to Oxnard and operate as Bus 4868 from Oxnard to Los Angeles. Regular connecting bus service will be provided between San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara.

Train 774 will operate as Train 1774 from San Luis Obispo to Oxnard as Bus 4874 from Oxnard to Los Angeles and as Train 774 from Los Angeles to San Diego.

Train 796 will originate at Los Angeles. In place of Train 796, Train 1796 will operate between Goleta and Oxnard and Bus 4896 will operate from Oxnard to Los Angeles. Regular connecting bus service will be provided between San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara.

No alternate transportation will be provided to the missed stations of Glendale, Burbank Airport, Chatsworth, Simi Valley, Moorpark and Camarillo.

Buses will depart all stations earlier than the normal schedule. Trains traveling north of Oxnard will depart later than the normal schedule.

On April 18 the southbound Coast Starlight that departed Seattle the day before will be cancelled between Oxnard and Los Angeles, missing intermediate stops at Simi Valley, Van Nuys and Burbank.

Bus 4011 will hold at Oxnard for connecting passengers from the Starlight and provide alternate transportation (drop-off only) at Simi Valley, Van Nuys, Burbank and Los Angeles.

Coast Starlight to Resume Operating Full Route

March 3, 2019

The Coast Starlight will resume operating over its full route starting with trains departing Los Angeles and Seattle today (March 3).

The Starlight has been operating only between Los Angeles and Sacramento, California, after host railroad Union Pacific closed the train’s route in Oregon due to heavy snow and fallen trees.

The southbound Starlight had become stranded between Sunday, Feb. 24 and Tuesday, Feb. 26 near Oakridge, Oregon.

Passengers were finally taken back to Eugene, Oregon, after UP crew plowed the rails.

Also affected was Amtrak’s Cascades Service between Portland and Eugene, but it resumed normal operation last Thursday.

UP Reopens Tunnel on Coast Starlight Route

June 21, 2018

Amtrak’s Coast Starlight is expected to resume service soon over its entire length after Union Pacific reopened a tunnel that had been blocked by a cave-in in Oregon on the railroad’s Cascade Subdivision.

Service had been suspended for nearly a month although Amtrak for a time was taking passenger by bus around the closed section of track.

The tunnel collapsed on May 29 while maintenance work, which affected 40 to 50 feet of track.

UP said it will take several days for traffic flow in the area to return to normal.

Coast Starlight Route Remains Severed, Amtrak Stops Busing Passengers Around the Site of UP Tunnel Colapse

June 18, 2018

Amtrak has stopped providing bus service to Coast Starlight passengers seeking to travel around the site of a collapsed Union Pacific tunnel in Oregon.

It means that the Coast Starlight for now is operating only Los Angeles and Sacramento, California.

Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said the passenger carrier found it unsustainable to bus people overnight between Sacramento and Eugene.

The tunnel collapsed on May 29 near Oakridge on the Cascade Subdivison. This is a former Southern Pacific route.

The tunnel collapse affected 40 to 50 feet of track and was triggered by maintenance work being done on the tunnel. No one was injured.

UP has said that earliest that service will be restored in the affected area is June 23.

In the meantime, Amtrak said no alternate transportation is being provided to missed stops at Chico, Redding, Dunsmuir, Klamath Falls, Chemult, Eugene, Albany, Salem, Vancouver, Portland, Kelso, Centralia, Olympia-Lacey, Tacoma and Seattle.

Passengers traveling to points between Eugene and Seattle are being directe to Amtrak Cascade Service trains and their connecting Amtrak Thruway buses.

During the service disruption, Nos. 11 and 14 will not have sleeping or dining car service.

 

Track Work to Disrupt Coast Starlight

May 22, 2018

Union Pacific track work will disrupt the operations of Amtrak’s Coast Starlight late this month and early next month in Oregon.

In a service advisory, Amtrak said that on May 28 and 29 and on June 5, Train No. 11 will terminate at Eugene. Buses will transport passengers between Eugene and Klamath Falls, stopping at Chemult.

The train may be delayed between 30 and 60 minutes departing Klamath Falls.

On the same dates, Train No. 14 will terminate at Klamath Falls with buses operating between Klamath Falls and Eugene, stopping at Chemult.

A connection to Train No. 28, the eastbound Empire Builder, at Portland will be made via Bus 5528 at Eugene.

On the days of service disruptions, Train No. 14 may be delayed between 6 and 7 hours.

On June 5, Train No. 14 will not depart Klamath Falls until 10:45 a.m.

Amtrak to Build New Engine Facility in Seattle

June 15, 2017

Amtrak will build a $28 million locomotive service facility in Seattle to serve two long-distance trains and the state-funded Cascades service.

Construction is expected to begin this month and be completed in two years. The first step will be demolition of the site’s existing buildings, utilities, tracks and other structures.

Workers will then construct a new 31,000-square-foot locomotive shop that will have a new 125-ton drop table being funded by the Washington State Department of Transportation and a 55-ton overhead bridge crane.

Seattle is the western terminus of the Empire Builder from Chicago and the Coast Starlight from Los Angeles. The Cascades trains operate to Portland and Eugene, Oregon; and to Vancouver, British Columbia.

Coast Starlight Disrupted until Mid-May

May 2, 2017

Amtrak has announced that the Coast Starlight will not operate between Sacramento, California, and Seattle through mid-May due to bridge damage on its Union Pacific Railroad route.

Nos. 11 and 14 will run on their normal schedule between Los Angeles and Sacramento, but Pacific Parlour Car service will not be available.

Coast Starlight passengers traveling between Seattle and Eugene are being referred to Cascades trains between those points.

Likewise, Coast Starlight customers traveling between Seattle and Eugene who are connecting to or from the Empire Builder in Seattle or Portland will be re-accommodated aboard the Amtrak Cascades.

Passengers ticketed for travel to or from Chico, Redding, Dunsmuir, California; or Klamath Falls and Chemult, Oregon should contact Amtrak at 800-USA-RAIL for further information and options, as there is no service at these cities.

During the duration of the service disruption, Redmond Airport-Cheult, Oregon, Thruway bus service Nos. 6111 and 6211 are suspended.

Thruway buses 6114 and 6214 will stop at Klamath Falls and Chemult, but there will not be a train connection in Klamath Falls.

The Coast Starlight service disruption was triggered by a UP freight train derailment on April 25 that damaged a bridge near Redding, California.

Amtrak said in a service advisory that UP is repairing the bridge and will restore service.

What Made the Coast Starlight Unique

March 10, 2017

In the Superliner era of Amtrak, the western long distant trains have all looked alike and offered pretty much the same service.

Over the years there have been a few tweaks, such as varying menu fare in the dining car by route, but otherwise there are no significant differences among the trains.

One exception has been the Los Angeles-Seattle Coast Starlight. During the 1990s a product line manager for Amtrak had former Santa Fe cars remodeled into the Pacific Parlour Cars that became the train’s signature service for sleeper class passengers.

In June 1999 I was at the Amtrak station in Sacramento, California, waiting for a excursion train to arrive that was being operated for members of the National Railway Historical Society. NRHS was holding its annual convention in Sacramento.

But the first order of business was the arrival of the southbound Coast Starlight. A few of us were standing near a doorway to the Pacific Parloir Car and we asked an Amtrak employee if we could go inside and take a look.

Sacramento is a service stop for Nos. 11 and 14 so we knew we had time. “Sure, come on up,” was the response.

So I got a glimpse inside something that made the Coast Starlight unique.

Amtrak Back on Track in the Northwest

February 11, 2017

Amtrak is expecting to restore service today in Washington State that was disrupted by landslides.

Amtrak logoBNSF, which hosts Amtrak trains serving Seattle and Portland, Oregon, had declared a 48-hour moratorium on rail traffic after the landslides occurred on Thursday.

Affected with the Cascades trains, the Empire Builder and the Coast Starlight.

The Cascades were canceled between Seattle and Portland, but operated north of Everett, Washington, and south of Portland.

Amtrak was providing alternative transportation between Seattle and Everett, but not between Seattle and Portland.

In a related development, BNSF has reopened its Hi Line used by the Empire Builder through Glacier National Park in Montana. That route was closed by avalanches twice this past week.

The line was initially closed on Sunday at Marias Pass, but reopened on Tuesday. Two days later the route was closed again due to avalanches blocking the tracks near Essex, Montana.