Posts Tagged ‘Thanksgiving holiday travel’

Pacific Surfliners Are All-Reserved for Thanksgiving Travel

November 17, 2019

In a service advisory, Amtrak said during this period a ticket will only be valid on the train for which you are holding a reservation.

Amtrak said it is adding cars to select trains to provide more seating during the period.

Both Rail2Rail programs (Coaster and Metrolink) will observe a blackout period for the same dates of Nov. 27 through Dec. 2.

Reservations are not required for monthly and 10-ride ticket holders.

Hiawatha Trains Reserved for Thanksgiving Travel

November 5, 2019

Monthly and ten-ride ticket holders will not need reservations.

No Extra Amtrak Service to Michigan for Thanksgiving

November 1, 2019

Think Thanksgiving and images of turkey, dressing and pumpkin pie come to mind along with football games on TV and extra Amtrak trains to Michigan.

Well, you can scratch the latter from this year’s list of Thanksgiving traditions.

Amtrak will not be operating extra service to Michigan this year as it has in recent years.

The carrier said this week that rather than operate additional trains on its Pere Marquette (Chicago-Grand Rapids) and Wolverine Service (Chicago-Detroit) routes, it will instead assign additional coaches to existing trains.

Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari told Trains magazine that Amtrak made the decision to scrap the extra trains after reviewing ridership data from last year that found travel demand is spread out more evenly across more days than it has been previously.

The passenger carrier also decided to drop additional holiday service to Michigan because of poor on-time performance on host railroad Norfolk Southern in Chicago and northwest Indiana.

NS freight train interference accounted for 58 percent of the 20,143 delay minutes incurred by Amtrak trains traveling on the NS Chicago Line between Chicago and Porter, Indiana, where the routes to Michigan peel off.

About a quarter of the delays have been incurred by Wolverine Service No. 352, which departs Chicago at 1:20 p.m.

“If we try to put additional trains on those tracks and delays occur, this could have a cascading effect delaying outbound trains because inbound equipment didn’t arrive on time,” Magliari said.

So Amtrak will add an additional coach to all Wolverine Service trains operating between Nov. 27 and Dec. 1.

Other trains operating before and after that time period will also gain additional coaches.

Amtrak plans to add a coach to two Lincoln Service between Chicago and St. Louis round-trips, the Chicago-Carbondale, Illinois, Illini, and all Chicago-Quincy, Illinois, trains.

Extra trains will operate between Chicago and Quincy, and Chicago and Normal-Bloomington, Illinois, on Nov. 27 and Dec. 1.

But falling by the wayside are the additional Chicago-Holland, Michigan, and Chicago-Ann Arbor, Michigan, Thanksgiving holiday trains.

Pa. Thanksgiving Travel Will Require Reservations

November 1, 2019

Amtrak said in a service advisory that the change is being made to accommodate an increased number of travelers expected during the Thanksgiving holiday travel.

Reservations will not be required for monthly and 10-ride ticket holders.

On Thanksgiving Day, the Keystone Service trains will operate on a Saturday schedule.

Amtrak Performed Well Overall During Holiday Period

November 29, 2018

Amtrak performed reasonably well in winter weather conditions in Chicago during the Thanksgiving travel period, Trains magazine reported.

On the day before Thanksgiving 28 of the 32 trains departed on time with just one significant delay.

The Chicago to Carbondale, Illinois, Saluki was two hours tardy leaving from Union Station due to a mechanical problem with the equipment.

Trains reported that three other delayed trains were prompted by an ambitious turn of equipment arriving on late inbound trains.

Primarily, this occurred with extra holiday trains operating on the Wolverine Service, Pere Marquette, Lincoln Service and Chicago-Quincy, Illinois, routes.

On the Sunday after Thanksgiving Amtrak trains largely departed without incident despite blizzard conditions in Chicago.

The Illinois Zephyr left 26 minutes late when it’s equipment arrived later than scheduled on an extra move from Quincy.

A locomotive compressor failure that occurred on Lincoln Service train No. 304 near Dwight, Illinois, led to that train being combined with No. 306 to complete the trip to Chicago.

Amtrak extra cars to some trains. The Blue Water had six coaches and two business-class cars. The Texas Eagle operated with an additional coach between Chicago and St. Louis.

Amtrak elected not to add a fifth coach to the Empire Builder between Chicago and St. Paul, Minnesota.

Reservations Needed for Holiday Travel on Some Trains

November 15, 2018

Reservations will be required for travel on Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner trains between Nov. 19-25 during the Thanksgiving holiday period.

Reservations will also be needed for travel aboard the San Joaquin trains between Nov. 18-26.

In a service advisory, Amtrak said a ticket aboard these trains will only be valid if the passenger has a reservation.

Multi-ride tickets are valid during this holiday period but do not guarantee a seat without a reservation.

Train Capacity to Grow During Thanksgiving Holiday

October 19, 2018

Amtrak will again offer additional capacity for the Thanksgiving holiday travel period to its trains in the Northeast Corridor, and on Midwest and West Coast corridor routes.

The passenger carrier plans to add additional cars to many of those trains.

In the Northeast Corridor, Acela Express and Northeast Regional trains will operate full and extended schedules with additional frequencies and added capacity during the Thanksgiving week.

Additional trains will also be assigned to the Keystone Corridor between New York and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Reservations in advance of travel will be required for all trains.

Reservations will also be required for travel on Hiawatha Service trains between Chicago and Milwaukee between Nov. 20 and Nov. 25.

Additional capacity is planned for the Capitol Corridor, San Joaquin and Pacific Surfliner routes.

Travelers in the Pacific Surfliner corridor must have reservations between Nov. 21 and Nov. 25 while San Joaquin trains will require reservations between Nov. 18 and Nov. 26.

Amtrak Set Revenue Record in November

December 14, 2017

Amtrak said this week that it garnered record revenue in November of $204.7 million in system-wide adjusted ticket revenue, the best month in the company’s history.

In a news release, Amtrak said that Thanksgiving continued to be its busiest week of the year with a record 777,897 riders riding the train and generating $61 million in gross ticket revenue.

“More customers are choosing Amtrak as it is simply the smarter way to travel. We look forward to providing the Amtrak experience to more customers over the December holidays,” said Amtrak Co-CEO Charles “Wick” Moorman in a statement.

Amtrak said it is encouraging passengers to make their reservations now for Christmas season travel because it expects its trains to carry heavy crowds this month.

Passengers can save up to 25 percent on tickets, as 7-day and 14-day advance purchase saver fares are still available, the carrier said.

Extra Helping of Wolverines for Thanksgiving

November 28, 2017

Amtrak in cooperation with the Michigan Department of Transportation operated 10 extra trains to handle Thanksgiving travelers this year.

That included an extra section of the Pere Marquette that ran on two days between Chicago and Holland, and an extra section of the Wolverine Service that operated on three days between Chicago and Ann Arbor.

I ventured up to Ann Arbor for the opportunity to catch three Amtrak trains in a single day during daylight hours.

Shown is eastbound No. 356, the extra section of the Wolverine, crossing the Huron River in Barton Park on the northwest side of Ann Arbor.

In the top photo, the head end of the train is crossing the river. In the middle is part of the consist, which was a mixture of Amfleet and Horizon equipment.

In the bottom photograph, P42DC No. 33 brings up the rear. Unlike the regularly scheduled Wolverines that operate between Chicago and Detroit (Pontiac), the Wolverine Extras operated with locomotives on each end due to the lack of turning facilities in Ann Arbor and a turnaround time of 51 minutes.

No. 356 arrived into Ann Arbor about 12 minutes late on the day that I saw it.

Amtrak Boosting Capacity on California Routes

November 9, 2017

Amtrak said it will add additional equipment and capacity to its Pacific Surfliner route in Southern California for the Thanksgiving travel season.

Reservations will be required for travel on Pacific Surfliner trains between Nov. 22 and 26.

In a service advisory, Amtrak said the Rail 2 Rail program will be suspended during this time, and Metrolink and COASTER passes will not be accepted onboard Pacific Surfliner trains.

Amtrak is also boosting capacity on its San Jaoquin and Capitol Corridor routes in Northern California.

Seats will be added to the Capitol Corridor service beginning Nov. 20 and extending through Nov. 26. Additional capacity is being added to the San Joaquins.