Posts Tagged ‘flooding’

CN Won’t Allow Amtrak to Extend Nos. 58/59

June 3, 2019

Amtrak has been pressing Canadian National without success to allow the City of New Orleans to operate as far south as Hammond, Louisiana, or Macomb, Mississippi.

For a few weeks Nos. 58 and 59 have been operating between Chicago and Jackson, Mississippi, after CN banned operation of the train over the Bonnet Carre Spillway near New Orleans.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has opened the spillway in an effort to mitigate the effects of flooding in the region.

However, CN freight trains have continued to operate over the spillway. This is not the first time that CN has not allowed Amtrak trains to operate over the spillway while it was open.

While the spillway is open Amtrak passengers bound for points south of Jackson have been riding a chartered bus.

The Rail Passengers Association said it has learned CN has denied Amtrak requests to allow the City of New Orleans to operate farther south.

However, the railroad has apparently agreed to allow Amtrak to operate the City to New Orleans and across the spillway if no passengers were on board.

Although CN has cited safety concerns for its not allowing the City to operate with passengers over the spillway while it is open, RPA speculated CN”s behavior might be rooted in negative public attention that it has received following Amtrak’s posting of report cars on its website in which it grades host railroads on their on-time performance.

RPA noted that CN received a D- on the latest report card.

In a service advisory posted on the Amtrak website, the carrier said the use of buses between Jackson and New Orleans would continue “until further notice.”

Flooding Leads to More Service Suspensions

June 2, 2019

Amtrak’s Texas Eagle has been canceled between St. Louis and Fort Worth, Texas, through June 7 due to flooding.

In the interim, Nos. 21 and 22 will continue operating between Fort Worth and San Antonio, Texas, and between Chicago and St. Louis.

In a service advisory, Amtrak said the flooding has increased freight traffic on host railroad Union Pacific. The same issue led to the suspension of Missouri River Runner service through June 2 between St. Louis and Kansas City.

No substitute transportation is being provided to the stations between St. Louis and Fort Worth although Amtrak said that Trinity Railway Express offers commuter train service between Fort Worth and Dallas.

Amtrak said some tickets are available for passengers wishing to travel an alternate routing between Illinois or Missouri and Texas using the Southwest Chief and Heartland Flyer  via an Amtrak Thruway Bus connecting Newton, Kan., and Oklahoma City (Routes 8903 & 8904).

Flooding Disrupts Amtrak Service in Missouri

May 25, 2019

Flooding has again disrupted Amtrak operations in Missouri.

The Missouri River Runner trains between St. Louis and Kansas City, and the Southwest Chief between Kansas City and Hutchinson, Kansas, were suspended as a result.

A service advisory posted on the Amtrak website on Friday said that Missouri River Runner passengers would be placed on chartered buses through today (May 25) because host railroad Union Pacific has diverted freight train traffic on the route used by Amtrak Nos. 311, 313, 314 and 316.

Amtrak said the buses will stop at all stations as close to the train schedules as possible, but delays are to be expected.

The suspensions are in effect through Thursday, May 23.

The Missouri River Runner service has been suspended because of increased freight traffic caused by diversion of Union Pacific traffic. The Southwest Chief suspension reflects a temporary track closure on the train’s BNSF Railway route. Chartered buses will substitute for rail service on both routes during the suspension.

The Southwest Chief has been restored to its normal operation in eastern Kansas and the Kansas City region.

Today’s No. 4 arrived in Kansas City 35 minutes late while No. 3 arrived in KC 2 hours, 15 minutes late. The lateness of No. 3 has ballooned to more than three hours by the time it reached Topeka, Kansas.

CONO Passengers Back on the Bus to NOLA

May 18, 2019

Passengers riding Amtrak’s City of New Orleans are back on board a bus due to flooding in the South.

In a service advisory Amtrak said passengers will ride a bus between New Orleans and Jackson, Mississippi, until further notice.

The advisory said Canadian National has closed the route used by Nos. 58 and 59 due to a planned emergency flood control endeavor.

It is the second time this year CONO passengers have had to ride a bus between New Orleans and Jackson due to flooding.

Amtrak said train service will be reinstated as soon as possible.

Affected are passengers traveling to and from the intermediate stations in Hazlehurst, Brookhaven, McComb, Mississippi; and Hammond, Louisiana.

Passengers departing from New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal are being advised to arrive at the station by 12:15 p.m. to board the charter buses.

CONO Passengers Riding Bus Due to Flooding

March 3, 2019

Passengers aboard Amtrak’s City of New Orleans are riding buses between New Orleans and Jackson, Mississippi, after host railroad Canadian Railroad closed the route due to flooding.

In a service advisory, Amtrak said the busing will continue until further notice and that rail service will resume as soon as possible.

The buses will stop at the affected intermediate stations of, Hazlehurst, Brookhaven and McComb in Mississippi, and Hammond, Louisiana.

Northbound passengers are being asked to arrive at New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal by 12:15 p.m. to board the buses, which will depart at 1 p.m.

No. 58 is scheduled to depart New Orleans at 1:45 p.m.

The City continues to operate normally between Chicago and Jackson with the equipment from No. 59 turning at Jackson to make up No. 58 on the same day.

It is the third time in the past four years that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has opened floodgates on the Bonnet Carre Spillway south of Hammond to enable waters from the Mississippi River to flow into Lake Pontchartrain.

CN crosses the spillway on a wood trestle and has closed the bridge as a precaution against times when open floodgates release heavy flows of water.

The Mississippi River isn’t expected to crest until mid-March due to extensive snow melt from the north.

With the Corps of Engineers planning to open more spillway gates, the busing of passengers for Nos. 58 and 59 could continue for some time.

In previous years Amtrak has turned the City at Hammond, but has chosen Jackson because it saves operating costs from not having to pay a crew to operate the train between Jackson and Hammond.

Service Canceled Due to Hurricane Michael

October 10, 2018

Amtrak is canceling service in anticipation of the arrival of Hurricane Michael.

In a service advisory issued on Tuesday, the passenger carrier said that the Silver Star (Nos. 91 and 92) will operate between Miami and Jacksonville, Florida, effective Oct. 10.

No alternate transportation is being provided between Jacksonville and New York City.

The Palmetto (Nos. 89 and 90) will operate only between New York and Washington with no alternate transportation provided between Washington and Savannah. This change is effective Oct. 11,

Michael is to come ashore in the Florida Panhandle on Wednesday and turn east toward the routes used by the affected two trains.

Flooding earlier affected operations of two other routes.

The Southwest Chief detoured in Kansas due to the threat of flooding along the Little Arkansas River.

No. 3, which departed Chicago on Tuesday, and No. 4, which departed Los Angeles on Monday, traversed a former Rock Island line between Hutchinson and Topeka. Those tracks are now owned by Union Pacific.

Chartered buses served passengers traveling to and from Newton, which was the only missed station.

Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said the detour could continue for multiple days if needed.

The northbound Heartland Flyer was affected by a track washout in southern Oklahoma delayed passengers after heavy rainfall on Sunday afternoon damaged the tracks between Gene Autry and Davis.

The train was halted in Ardmore and passengers were transported by bus to all stops en route to Oklahoma City.

Many passengers aboard the Flyer had attended the annual Red River Showdown football game in Dallas between the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas.

Flooding Disrupts Capitol Limited

June 5, 2018

Flooding over the weekend caused Amtrak to operate the Capitol Limited only between Chicago and Pittsburgh with passengers sent by bus between Pittsburgh and Washington.

The flooding occurred on CSX tracks between Cumberland, Maryland, and Martinsburg, West Virginia, with the most severe flooding occurring near Great Cacapon, West Virginia.

Eastern West Virginia Regional Airport in Martinsburg reported that about 2 inches of rain fell between Saturday and Monday.

Heavy rain occurring over the previous two weeks had already left the ground saturated and streams nearly overflowing.

The eastbound Capitol Limited that left Chicago on Saturday evening was the first train to be effected, terminating in Cumberland on Sunday morning.

Amtrak deadheaded its consist to Pittsburgh where it left later that night for Chicago.

No. 30 which left Chicago Sunday night terminated in Pittsburgh.

Hiawatha Service Restored Wednesday Afternoon

July 12, 2017

Amtrak restored Wednesday afternoon its Chicago-Milwaukee Hiawatha Service after it had been canceled earlier due to flooding.

In a service advisory, Amtrak said that service resumed with the departure of Train 338 from Milwaukee at 3 p.m. and Train 337 from Chicago at 3:15 p.m.

The flooding occurred after heavy rain fell along tracks in both directions from Rondout, Illinois.

The tracks in the area are used by Amtrak, Metra and Canadian Pacific and are located in Kenosha County, Wisconsin, and Lake County, Illinois.

Metra temporarily suspended service on its Milwaukee District North Line between Chicago Union Station and Fox Lake, Illinois.

Metra said the interlocking plant was flooded at Rondout. Ballast was washed away and a downed tree blocked tracks just west of Libertyville.

The commuter rail agency sent ballast cars and machinery to the location of the washout to lay a new track structure.

The Milwaukee District North Line serves 22,900 passengers a day on 60 trains. Also using the route is Amtrak’s Chicago-Seattle/Portland Empire Builder.

Vermonter Resumes Running to St. Albans

July 6, 2017

Amtrak’s Vermonter on Wednesday resumed operating the full length of its route after repairs were made to the tracks that it uses.

Last weekend heavy rains washed out portions of the New England Central’s Roxbury Subdivision, which led Amtrak to terminate the train in Windsor, Vermont, and send passengers north of there by bus.

The first southbound train operated today from the northern terminus at St. Albans, Vermont.

Flooding Cancels Vermonter

July 5, 2017

Flooding in Vermont last weekend forced cancellation of Amtrak’s Vermonter north of Windsor, Vermont.

The flooding was triggered by storms that brought more than 6 inches of rain on Saturday and damaged the roadbed of host railroad New England Central.

New reports said that the northbound No. 55  departed Bellows Falls, Vermont, with the warning to watch for flood damage and to operate at restricted speed.

Track inspectors found washouts and washovers on the train’s route at White River Junction between mileposts 15 and 18.

Amtrak annulled the train at Windsor and passengers were put on buses to complete their journey.

Passengers were still being bused as of early this week.