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Empire Builder delays


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#1 JayPea

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Posted 31 July 2007 - 11:02 PM

I've been noticing the Empire Builder has had an abysmal on-time record into Chicago the last few weeks---this from a train that has always had a good record. One day last week it was nearly 13 hrs. late. Anyone have any explanations????

Amtrak Routes Traveled: City of New Orleans, State House/Lincoln Service, Empire Builder, California Zephyr, Southwest Chief, Cascades, Crescent, Capitol Limited, Coast Starlight, Texas Eagle/Sunset Limited, Silver Meteor, Lake Shore Limited
Pre-Amtrak Routes Traveled: Empire Builder (Great Northern), North Coast Limited (Northern Pacific), Abraham Lincoln (Gulf, Mobile, and Ohio), City of Hinkle (Union Pacific)
Bustitutions: Portland-Spokane (EB)
Amtrak Miles: 52,566

Pre-Amtrak Miles: 8,482
Bustitution Miles: 362

Excursion trains ridden: Chehalis and Centralia Railroad, Mt. Hood Scenic Railroad, and trains at the
Illinois Railway Museum, Monticello (IL)Railroad Museum, and the California Railway Museum.


#2 AmtrakFan

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 02:26 PM

There were several late turns of Equipment plus several other things go wrong with Freight Trains, Engines in a STATE OF GOOD REPAIR. My Mom and Brother's 8(25) arrived over 8 Hours late due to a comedy of woes, all was well til they hit Stanley, ND, where a person decided it was her time to "expire" and had to call the corner in that took 3 Hours, then Twice the Crews ran out of Hours, then Freight Trains plus Signal Woes. It gave new mean to the word Poseidon Adventure, but it didn't take nearly as long as the 20 Years Poseidon trip took.

Edited by AmtrakFan, 01 August 2007 - 02:27 PM.

JOHN POSHEPNY BNSF CHICAGO SUB MP 21

#3 Foodman53

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 03:48 PM

My wife and I were on the #7-27 of July 14th. We went dead(both engines crapped out) in 100 degree heat near Havre, MT....and had to be towed the next 1,000 or so miles into Seattle by a BNSF freight unit, arriving over 9 hours late!

I think that the equipment for the #7 turns into the #8 in that same day. If on time, that's about a 7 hour turn around. Obviously, the #8 missed its slot because we were so late, and was annulled for that day. Now, that was over 2 1/2 weeks ago, but it could have started the problem for several days to come(??)

From the Florida Funnel(now back home)
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#4 MrFSS

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 03:53 PM

My wife and I were on the #7-27 of July 14th. We went dead(both engines crapped out) in 100 degree heat near Havre, MT....and had to be towed the next 1,000 or so miles into Seattle by a BNSF freight unit, arriving over 9 hours late!

Did the A/C stop when the engines died? That must have been miserable!!!

#5 Guest_Guest_*

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Posted 02 August 2007 - 09:22 AM

My family and I were on the EB from Seattle that arrived in Chicago
7 hours late on Friday, July 27. (11 pm versus 4 pm)

The root cause of that delay was that an elder passenger died
Thursday night. The train was stopped in Rugby ND for several
hours while the authorities sorted it out. (It is never a good thing
when there is a PA announcement asking if a doctor or an EMT
is on board...)

By breakfast, we were 4 hours late. Add another hour at a siding
in the "middle of nowhere" because the engineer turned into a
pumpkin at the end of his shift. :blink:

The remaining 2 hours were due to waiting for traffic in front
of us to clear.

#6 Foodman53

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Posted 02 August 2007 - 01:23 PM

In our case, the A/C kept running.....thank God!! The interesting thing was that on the EB, there are several "smoke stops" built in along the route. However when the train stopped, the PA told everyone not to get off because of being right next to BNSF's two track mainline.....and, because of "rattlesnakes"!!

Before that wait was over, I'm sure there were some smokers who would have opted to brave the rattlers :lol:


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#7 AmtrakFan

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Posted 02 August 2007 - 02:19 PM

My family and I were on the EB from Seattle that arrived in Chicago
7 hours late on Friday, July 27. (11 pm versus 4 pm)

The root cause of that delay was that an elder passenger died
Thursday night. The train was stopped in Rugby ND for several
hours while the authorities sorted it out. (It is never a good thing
when there is a PA announcement asking if a doctor or an EMT
is on board...)

By breakfast, we were 4 hours late. Add another hour at a siding
in the "middle of nowhere" because the engineer turned into a
pumpkin at the end of his shift. :blink:

The remaining 2 hours were due to waiting for traffic in front
of us to clear.

Yep that is correct, my Mom and Brother were on that train. They were just happy to get off that thing, when I saw them at home the next morning.

Edited by AmtrakFan, 02 August 2007 - 02:19 PM.

JOHN POSHEPNY BNSF CHICAGO SUB MP 21

#8 Guest_mary hansen_*

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 01:55 PM

The east-bound Empire Builder from 8/11-8/13/13 was 4 hours into Chicago late due to a 3 hour wait overnight somewhere in Montana while 3 west bound freights passed and heavy passenger loads boarding and getting off. Mary H



#9 montana mike

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 02:52 PM

#8 today in MN is now over 5 hours behind!

:-(



#10 zephyr17

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 05:07 PM

Amtrak and BNSF need to get together and establish a realistic schedule for this train, like UP and Amtrak did with Sunset a few years ago. It is better to have a slower schedule that can be met than a faster schedule but trains run hours late. And the upside is when things got better, UP and Amtrak revised the Sunset schedule to one pretty close to what it had been.

I know there are issues with that, specifically the connections in Chicago mean that most of the impact will probably be to the times at Seattle/Portland. The same day turnaround at the West Coast terminals would get squeezed, and it might mean that the 14/28 connection breaks in favor of keeping the Chicago connections. Still, it really seems time to face reality about this and reflect it in the schedule.
SP Coast Daylight, AT&SF San Diegan, AT&SF Super Chief, D&RGW Rio Grande Zephyr, Southwest Limited/Chief, San Diegan/Pacific Surfliner, San Joaquin, Cascades, California/San Francisco Zephyr, Coast Starlight, Empire Builder, Sunset Limited (LA-Orlando), Desert Wind, Pioneer, City of New Orleans, Silver Star, Silver Meteor, Lake Shore Limited, Cardinal, Hoosier State, Ann Rutledge, Adirondack, Via Canadian (CP route), Via Super Continental, Via Atlantic Limited, Via Hudson Bay, Via Skeena, Via Canadian (CN route), BC Rail Cariboo Dayliner, Eurostar, Thalys, DB, Netherlands Rail, Austrian Railways, BR, Korail (conventional), KTX



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