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Tornadoes and Amtrak


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#1 Guest_Sue rout_*

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 07:43 PM

Has there any derailments caused bt tornadoes. Thank you

#2 VentureForth

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 08:35 PM

There hasn't been anything in the news about it.

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#3 Linda T

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 09:23 PM

Has there any derailments caused bt tornadoes. Thank you


Ever, or just in this week's storms? Dunno about either one, but I can tell you there have been major delays, in the past. When the tornadoes struck IN, KY and WV a couple months ago the 51 Cardinal sat safe in HUN station out of danger till it was safe to move on! It sat five hours! Course not only did the storms have to end, but the debris had to be cleared off the tracks. Safety first!

Edited by Linda T, 16 April 2012 - 09:23 PM.

San Francisco Zephyr [WY route] 1 (1980) Broadway Limited 1 (1980) didn't get serious till 2010 Cardinal 82 x through gorge (41 round trips), 5 times HUN-CHI not through gorge; Crescent 5; SWC 1; CS 3; CZ 1; TE 3; round trip Meteor RVR to FTL, thruway bus 2; LSL (TOL-CHI), Cascades 500 (VAN-SEA), Empire Builder (SEA-CHI) 1, trips cancelled by hurricane 2 (Irene and Sandy) = 48,261 lifetime miles so far, bustitution 319 (courtesy of the EB)! missed connection (California Zephyr to Cardinal) = 2 nights in CHI on Amtrak.
2014 fall trip HUN to NOL via Crescent and back via CONO.


#4 Gingee

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 09:26 PM

Gad, I was on the cruise site and they were talking rough waves and then I come here and they are talking tornadoes. In a few weeks I am taking a train to go to a cruise trip. Yikes. Tornadoes and rough waves etc.

#5 rtabern

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 09:32 PM

I and another forum member did a round-trip from Chicago to Carbondale (Trains #391 & #392) about this time last year and got caught in a Tornado Warning on the northbound return near the small town of Ashley, IL. I got some video on the tail end of events and posted it to You Tube. I am sure if you search You Tube you will be able to find it.

Pretty much nothing major happened on the train even though we saw the funnel not that far away up in the clouds. We just came to a stop on the CN mainline... the conductor and assistant conductor went up into the engine... while passengers just stayed in their seats or walked about the train looking out the windows. The cafe car guy just kinda sat down on his make-shift crate on the floor of the cafe car bar area.

Again, what can you do?

Because we had about 150 miles of Flash Flood Warnings ahead of us, we got into Chicago around 4-5 hours late... stayed at 25mph for most of the trip... and got in at like 2:30AM.

#6 Linda T

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 09:47 PM

Gad, I was on the cruise site and they were talking rough waves and then I come here and they are talking tornadoes. In a few weeks I am taking a train to go to a cruise trip. Yikes. Tornadoes and rough waves etc.


Where will you be traveling from by train? The odds are very very slim that your travel plans will involve tornadoes, but any form of transportation can be affected by them. Amtrak takes weather seriously (as do all forms of public transportation). I'll be traveling through part of tornado alley next week on Amtrak, and I have absolutely no worries about doing so.

San Francisco Zephyr [WY route] 1 (1980) Broadway Limited 1 (1980) didn't get serious till 2010 Cardinal 82 x through gorge (41 round trips), 5 times HUN-CHI not through gorge; Crescent 5; SWC 1; CS 3; CZ 1; TE 3; round trip Meteor RVR to FTL, thruway bus 2; LSL (TOL-CHI), Cascades 500 (VAN-SEA), Empire Builder (SEA-CHI) 1, trips cancelled by hurricane 2 (Irene and Sandy) = 48,261 lifetime miles so far, bustitution 319 (courtesy of the EB)! missed connection (California Zephyr to Cardinal) = 2 nights in CHI on Amtrak.
2014 fall trip HUN to NOL via Crescent and back via CONO.


#7 Guest_Sue rout_*

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 11:26 PM

Thanks for all the input. I will be on southwest chief end of may. Right thru tornado alley. Sheesh

#8 Linda T

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 12:47 AM

Thanks for all the input. I will be on southwest chief end of may. Right thru tornado alley. Sheesh


The thing is, tornadoes can happen any time, any where, no matter what form of transportation you're using (car, plane, train, bus, even ship!). Most tornadoes are tiny little things that do minimal damage, very few are the big F-3, 4 or 5. What I would do is just sit back and enjoy the scenery -- the Southwest Chief will take you through just about every form of scenery there is, from plains, to desert to mountains. There are some neat tunnels, and one or two piggytail curves. I suggest you have your camera handy as you'll see some of America that only those who travel Amtrak have the chance to see (except in pictures). If you're in a sleeper enjoy the meals, if not I'd recommend at least one meal on the train just for the experience, if you've never done so before. You're trip should be just fine. Do you have a connection to make from the SWC? For the most part over the last four weeks it's been averaging 8 minutes ahead of schedule, with one day it was 4 hours late, dunno why.

Like I said, sit back relax and enjoy the moving picture called "America." :giggle: Please do report back after your trip and let us know how it went.

Edited by Linda T, 17 April 2012 - 12:49 AM.

San Francisco Zephyr [WY route] 1 (1980) Broadway Limited 1 (1980) didn't get serious till 2010 Cardinal 82 x through gorge (41 round trips), 5 times HUN-CHI not through gorge; Crescent 5; SWC 1; CS 3; CZ 1; TE 3; round trip Meteor RVR to FTL, thruway bus 2; LSL (TOL-CHI), Cascades 500 (VAN-SEA), Empire Builder (SEA-CHI) 1, trips cancelled by hurricane 2 (Irene and Sandy) = 48,261 lifetime miles so far, bustitution 319 (courtesy of the EB)! missed connection (California Zephyr to Cardinal) = 2 nights in CHI on Amtrak.
2014 fall trip HUN to NOL via Crescent and back via CONO.


#9 jebr

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 01:21 AM

Thanks for all the input. I will be on southwest chief end of may. Right thru tornado alley. Sheesh


I wouldn't worry too much about it. Lots of people live in Tornado Alley and go through their normal lives throughout the summer. While there are days with severe weather outbreaks, they're not daily (or even close to that.) Plus, the general region is usually known beforehand by the Storm Prediction Center, and they release risk maps a few times a day. They also release watches when severe weather seems likely in a given area. Amtrak takes those, along with any warnings that are issued, into account, and makes sure passengers are safe if severe weather does strike.

It'd be similar to avoiding/worrying about going anywhere on the East Coast or Gulf region from July until October-November because there's a risk of a hurricane. While there may be a couple of people that do, it'd be silly to do so, because they don't hit all that often and are known beforehand if they do. While there isn't as much lead time for a particular tornado, there is lead time for a severe weather breakout which may lead to a tornado. Tornadoes also damage a much smaller area, and Amtrak will make sure its passengers are safe should severe weather strike a route.

Frankly, I wouldn't worry about it any more than I worry about driving away from my dorm room/apartment throughout the summer (which I don't.)

Edited by jebr, 17 April 2012 - 01:26 AM.


#10 fillyjonk

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 07:55 AM

I have twice been on the TE when there were tornado warnings along the route. Both times, they stopped and held the train as far away from the area with the tornadoes as possible until the bad weather was safely past. (In one case they held us at a station stop and I presume if things got really bad we'd have been moved to a shelter.)

I think the fact that in this day and age, we generally have fairly long advance warning (I am old enough, and grew up in Ohio, so I remember the horrible deadly outbreak of 1974, which had fairly little warning), and precautions can be taken.

#11 Gingee

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 08:46 PM

We are taking the train from Champaign, Illinois to New Orleans.

#12 ParrotRob

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 08:52 PM

Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image
http://thefloridakey...urricane351.gif


#13 EMTDON

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 06:55 PM

There was a YouTube video of an amtrak getting hit by one a few yrs ago in Illinois.

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#14 Gingee

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 08:32 PM

Yikes. No tornadoes or any disasters.

#15 Swadian Hardcore

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 11:35 PM

Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image
http://thefloridakey...urricane351.gif


Where'd that happen?

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#16 Snoozer

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 09:46 AM

No derailment, but took this picture last August on the westbound Lakeshore LImited, in the Sandusky Bay area.

Posted Image

#17 Shortline

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 09:50 AM

No derailment, but took this picture last August on the westbound Lakeshore LImited, in the Sandusky Bay area.

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That is a very cool picture-

Broadway Limited, Ann Rutledge, Misouri Mule, Misouri River Runner, San Diegan, Surfliner, Empire Builder, Sunset Limited, Crescent, Texas Eagle, Blue Water, Hiawatha, Heartland Flyer, California Zephyr, Lake Shore Limited, Silver Star, Silver Meteor, Downeaster, City of New Orleans, City of New Orleans via Pullan Rail Journeys.


#18 WellTrained

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 10:18 AM

Then there's this classic:




Well worth watching once. But, again, Amtrak doesn't run these sorts of risks.

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#19 ParrotRob

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 09:33 PM


Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image
http://thefloridakey...urricane351.gif


Where'd that happen?


It wasn't a tornado, it was a hurricane. The labor day hurricane of 1935 that blew the FECRR away in Islamorada, Florida, ending the 23 year service on the overseas railroad.

#20 EMTDON

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 10:05 AM

Either way that stinks..wow

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