Is freight train traffic down due to the economy
Posted 28 April 2009 - 09:33 PM
Last week I went to Spokane for some railfanning and the freight traffic was about as heavy as I remember it there.
Pre-Amtrak Routes Traveled: Empire Builder (Great Northern), North Coast Limited (Northern Pacific), Abraham Lincoln (Gulf, Mobile, and Ohio), City of Hinkle (Union Pacific) Panama Limited (Illinois Central)
Bustitutions: Portland-Spokane (EB),Galesburg-Bloomington (CZ/Lincoln Service )
Amtrak Miles: 85410
Pre-Amtrak Miles: 8478
Bustitution Miles: 450
Excursion trains ridden: Centralia and Chehalis Railroad, Mt. Hood Scenic Railroad, Alaska Railroad, 1880 Train (Black Hills Central RR) and trains at the Illinois Railway Museum, California Railway Museum, and the Monticello (IL) Railroad Museum.
Posted 28 April 2009 - 10:54 PM
Not to panic. If it gets in early, you will still have time to get off before the train leaves. Remember, unless you are at a departures only stop, the train can not leave before its published time.
I almost got caught with my pants down; # 2 was 48 minutes EARLY into Houston Sunday morning.
Quite a surprise at 4:45 a.m.
I know what you mean. The trains get back into my origin city at either 12:20 or 1:40 a.m. . I have the sleeper attendent wake me up an hour out and I take a shower in my sleeper. Sometimes I have found my hour wakeup was only 15 minutes when I am standing there dripping wet out of the shower and we pull into the station.
Posted 28 April 2009 - 11:19 PM
Posted 18 May 2009 - 10:54 AM
I just got back from a cross-country trip on Amtrak and NEVER had better on-time performance from the trains that I took. (#5, #11, and #422) On the California Zephyr, we kept getting into stops early the whole route providing for extra smoke stops and an arrival in EMY of about 40 minutes early. #11 did get into LA about 30 minutes late, but it was running 2 hours late in Oregon so it made up some time. AND #422 was running early the whole way... so much so we sometimes had to sit and "kill time" shy of reaching stations as not to block main roads through towns. We arrived into Chicago early as well... I was very shocked, but conductors say it was because of the low amount of freight traffic.
Your post was featured in Slate this week!
Posted 22 May 2009 - 12:42 PM
I'm a reporter with the environmental magazine Earth Island Journal (www.earthislandjournal.org) doing a story about the recent improvement in Amtrak on time performance due to the significant decrease in freight traffic.
I am very eager to interview any passengers or conductors who could share with me their experiences of recent months, and also compare that with past experience.
If you have noticed an improvement in Amtrak on-time performance, and would be willing to do a 10 min interview, please contact me at:
firstname.lastname@example.org or cal me at 510-859-9119.
Many thanks for your attention.
Earth Island Journal
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