Jump to content




Photo

Empire Builder On Time Train Status


5 replies to this topic

#1 jmbgeg

jmbgeg

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,164 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:spokane

Posted 13 December 2008 - 05:27 AM

I am traveling roundtrip the week after next on the EB Spokane-Chicago and have been watching the Eastbound on-time performance so I can gauge a reasonable time to get together with friends upon arrival. The train has reflected good OTP. I noticed a distinction between trains 8 and 7 in how Amtrak appears to report the train status on line on their website. I travel EB Westbound from Spokane to Seattle frequently, and Amtrak either posts an on time arrival or estimated arrival if the Westbound train is late. Recently, watching the Eastbound train status to Chicago it appears to default to "5 minutes early" status and rarely moves off that posting. I have watched the Westbound fluctuate with some frequency so I know this routing is subject to delays and buffer time, but why does the Eastbound OTP status on line not appear to regularly fluctuate. Yesterday, train 8 was showing 5 minutes early, and then upon arrival posted 2 hours and 4 minutes late. My concern is how to keep friends updated on my arrival status when the system appears not to reflect Eastbound delays until arrival. Anyone else discern this pattern or am I wrong?
jmb<br /><br /><span style='font-family: Palatino Linotype'>Select Plus Traveling the Empire Builder, Coast Starlight, Cascades, California Zephyr, San Joaquins, Capitol Limited, Southwest Chief and Lakeshore Limited</span>

#2 the_traveler

the_traveler

    Engineer

  • Global Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 20,831 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The Penthouse Suite - here & there
  • Interests:Planning my next trip

Posted 13 December 2008 - 11:32 AM

Every time I've taken the EB, it has either been early or on time. But if you're on the train, I would check the time every so often and if it is running late (like that 2 hours late), I would CALL my friends and tell them it's 2 hours late. True, not everywhere can you get a cell phone signal, but in October, I could get a signal most times.
Take it easy .......

Take the train instead!

#3 jmbgeg

jmbgeg

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,164 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:spokane

Posted 13 December 2008 - 01:17 PM

Every time I've taken the EB, it has either been early or on time. But if you're on the train, I would check the time every so often and if it is running late (like that 2 hours late), I would CALL my friends and tell them it's 2 hours late. True, not everywhere can you get a cell phone signal, but in October, I could get a signal most times.


One of the problems with checking status by phone from a train (even if you can get a signal) is that the background noise makes it hard to use the train status voice prompts on the Amtrak customer service line. Accordingly, I will need my friends to check from Chicago.
jmb<br /><br /><span style='font-family: Palatino Linotype'>Select Plus Traveling the Empire Builder, Coast Starlight, Cascades, California Zephyr, San Joaquins, Capitol Limited, Southwest Chief and Lakeshore Limited</span>

#4 Montanan

Montanan

    Conductor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 543 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Bozeman, Montana

Posted 13 December 2008 - 01:28 PM

I've been on a couple of extremely late editions of the CZ in recent years, and some of us would amuse ourselves by hanging out in the lounge car and repeatedly calling Julie, just to say what she said about our train. The consensus was that Julie was frequently full of it, especially when it came to providing accurate arrival estimates for stations that were still a few stops away.

Best advice is to monitor your train's status yourself, talk to the train crew, and call your friends directly.

#5 the_traveler

the_traveler

    Engineer

  • Global Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 20,831 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The Penthouse Suite - here & there
  • Interests:Planning my next trip

Posted 13 December 2008 - 01:28 PM

Every time I've taken the EB, it has either been early or on time. But if you're on the train, I would check the time every so often and if it is running late (like that 2 hours late), I would CALL my friends and tell them it's 2 hours late. True, not everywhere can you get a cell phone signal, but in October, I could get a signal most times.


One of the problems with checking status by phone from a train (even if you can get a signal) is that the background noise makes it hard to use the train status voice prompts on the Amtrak customer service line. Accordingly, I will need my friends to check from Chicago.

What I meant was IF you're on the EB, and it gets to Minot at 9:52 and it was scheduled to arrive at 9:22, YOU know it's running 30 minutes late and YOU could notify your friends with a phone call! And if it gets to MSP at 8:30 instead of 7:05, YOU know it's running 1 hour 25 minutes late, and YOU could notify your friends! :rolleyes:
Take it easy .......

Take the train instead!

#6 rrwx

rrwx

    Train Attendant

  • Newbie
  • Pip
  • 3 posts

Posted 14 December 2008 - 01:26 AM

Best advice is to monitor your train's status yourself, talk to the train crew, and call your friends directly.



I'll second that, monitor where you are, and that should work pretty well if you're heading into Chicago. It doesn't always work though....from my experiences on the Capitol Ltd, most of the time from when we left Cumberland till I got off at Connellsville there was no cell signal with which to call and update on our status.



Reply to this topic



  


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users