Posts Tagged ‘New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal’

End of Track at NOUPT

June 24, 2019


Depending on your perspective, this is either the end of the route of Amtrak’s City of New Orleans or the first few feet of the route north to Chicago.

The view is from the rear car on No. 58, which is boarding at New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal.

The photo was made in March 2012.

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.

Train Time in New Orleans

June 30, 2018

Three times a day, Amtrak personnel announce the boarding of a train at New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal, the terminus of the City of New Orleans, Crescent and Sunset Limited.

The latter operates only three days a week, departing on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday, but the City and Crescent depart daily.

Of the three trains, the City of the New Orleans is the only one to depart NOUPT in the afternoon.

In the photo above, it is March 2012 and passengers are waiting for the boarding announcement of No. 58 to Chicago and all intermediate stops.

Reminder of a Past Discarded Business Plan

May 9, 2018

I’m not sure why Amtrak hung onto these two express cars. I spotted them at New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal in March 2012.

Amtrak got out of the mail and express business in the early 2000s and sold or otherwise disposed of many of the cars devoted to that service.

Perhaps these cars have not yet been sold and were awaiting a decision on what to do with them.

I recall a time when cars such as these were common sights on many long-distance trains.

Boarding CONO in New Orleans

March 16, 2018

The first call for boarding of Amtrak No. 58, the City of New Orleans, has been made at New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal and the sleeper class passengers are the first allowed onto the platform to board their train.

They will shortly be in their assigned rooms, which are in the last car on the train today.

Further down the platform, station workers are stocking the dining and lounge cars. The first meal to be served will be dinner with initial seating coming somewhere in Mississippi. Passengers will watch the Illinois prairie roll by as they have breakfast the next morning.

Transition Time in New Orleans

February 3, 2017


It is a time of transition for Amtrak at New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal although that is not necessarily apparent in this image.

A year earlier the Chicago-New Orleans Panama Limited began showing up with a consist of Amfleet equipment. That was the first sign that Amtrak was moving to head-end power.

But the New York-New Orleans Crescent still has steam-heated equipment as does the the Los Angeles-New Orleans Sunset Limited.

I am at NOUPT on a December morning in 1978 to ride the Crescent to Washington, D.C. All of the station tracks visible in this image contain streamliner era equipment.

Some of that equipment will be rebuilt for HEP and last into the early 2000s as part of Amtrak’s Heritage Fleet, but much of it will be retired from Amtrak service.

The rolling stock that can be seen wears the Phase I livery that Amtrak applied used in the early 1970s. That will soon be giving way to a slightly new look.

But only those who follow the affairs of Amtrak closely will recognize that what they are seeing is the final years of an era.

The City of New Orleans in New Orleans

October 17, 2016


It is boarding time at New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal for Amtrak’s City of New Orleans. It is not the only train to serve New Orleans nor is it the only train with a New Orleans angle to its name.

The New York-New Orleans Crescent also serves the Crescent City although it’s difficult to get a stronger connection than with the name the City of New Orleans.

Train No. 58 will depart at 1:45 p.m. and reach Chicago Union Station just over 19 hours later.

I’ve ridden Nos. 58 and 59 a few times in recent years. On some trips the sleeping car was at the end of the train but at other times it was behind the locomotive. On this trip the sleeper was toward the front.

Amtrak Expanding Polar Express Trains

October 10, 2016

Amtrak continues to expand its involvement in operating Polar Express trains, this time by offering the service in New Orleans.

Amtrak 3The New Orleans Polar Express will feature half-hour trips Union Passenger Terminal Dec. 10 through Jan. 1 with between two and five daily departures on select days of operation.

Children and their families will hear the story the book The Polar Express by author Chris Van Allsburg.

Amtrak locomotives and rolling stock will be used as the trains traverse downtown New Orleans.
The trips were announced on Oct. 5 and Jamie Ryan, marketing and events manager at Rail Events said they are 90 percent sold out.
Amtrak offered Polar Express trips from Chicago Union Station in 2015 and plans to offer that service again this year.

Those one-hour trips will operate between Dec. 3 and Jan. 1 and are 70 percent sold out.

Rail Events specializes in rail-related special events, including the Polar Express and is a wholly owned subsidiary of American Heritage Railways.