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NW mudslides again


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#1 CHamilton

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 08:49 PM

I just got the dreaded call, and this is on Twitter
.
Service between Seattle & Vancouver BC disrupted until 4th June 6:00pm due to mudslide. Alternate transportation will be provided.

Amtrak Cascades Amtrak_Cascades

@

5:52pm - 2 Jun 12 via engage121

Anyone know more?
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#2 EMDF9A

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 09:20 PM

I just got the dreaded call, and this is on Twitter
.
Service between Seattle & Vancouver BC disrupted until 4th June 6:00pm due to mudslide. Alternate transportation will be provided.

Amtrak Cascades Amtrak_Cascades

@

5:52pm - 2 Jun 12 via engage121

Anyone know more?


Where is the slide? Its barely raining. The weather is half-way decent... Certainly not like last "Juneuary"

#3 CHamilton

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 09:27 PM


I just got the dreaded call, and this is on Twitter
.
Service between Seattle & Vancouver BC disrupted until 4th June 6:00pm due to mudslide. Alternate transportation will be provided.

Amtrak Cascades Amtrak_Cascades

@

5:52pm - 2 Jun 12 via engage121

Anyone know more?


Where is the slide? Its barely raining. The weather is half-way decent... Certainly not like last "Juneuary"

That's what I'm trying to find out. I was scheduled to go home from BEL to SEA tomorrow night, and don't relish the thought of doing the whole thing by bus. Hoping there will be a train at least to Everett.
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#4 Guest_Starlight_*

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 09:36 PM

I'm taking the coast starlight to from LA to Seattle this Wednesday...... There shouldn't be any disruptions for that route I hope??

#5 NorthCoastHiawatha

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 02:36 PM

I'm taking the coast starlight to from LA to Seattle this Wednesday...... There shouldn't be any disruptions for that route I hope??

No there shouldn't be.

Amtrak trains ridden: Adirondack (2) Cascades (35), California Zephyr (1) Capitol Limited (1), Coast Starlight (11), Downeaster (2) Empire Builder (6), Lake Shore Limited (2), Maple Leaf (1) Mount Rainer (1), NorthEast Regional (2) Pacific Surfliner (1), Silver Star (1), Southwest Chief (1) Sunset Limited (1)
Total Mileage: 29,177

Specials with Amtrak equipment: Seattle-Ellensburg, Seattle-Tacoma,Seattle-Leavenworth
Total Mileage: 587
VIA Rail Canadian (2) Malahat (2)
Total Mileage: 5,830
Mainline Steam Excursion: Southern Pacific 4449 (Portland-Pasco-Yakima-Auburn-Tacoma-Portland)

                                        Milwaukee Road 261   (Minneapolis - Duluth - Minneapolis)
Total Mileage: 854


#6 CHamilton

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 09:04 PM

Turns out the mudslide is at White Rock, BC, so I'll be on a bus all the way to Seattle. Sure would have been nice if they had been able to turn a train in Bellingham like they did before the second train was extended to Vancouver.
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#7 EMDF9A

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 09:35 PM

Turns out the mudslide is at White Rock, BC, so I'll be on a bus all the way to Seattle. Sure would have been nice if they had been able to turn a train in Bellingham like they did before the second train was extended to Vancouver.


Thanks for the update. I've been scouring the Seattle media all weekend & didnt see a thing. I was beginning to think it was a hoax. Sorry about your bustitution.

#8 CHamilton

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 10:31 PM

Thanks so much. We just left Bellingham about 25 minutes late. I'm told that there are three buses, and it took them a while to get across the border. Each bus will be making different stops, so we may make up time.

Asked one of the train crew who is riding the bus with us, and he says that the train and crew were brought down to Seattle last night, and they'll have to go back up to Vancouver tomorrow. He sounds pretty frustrated that they couldn't at least run from Bellingham to Seattle. He offered with everyone bottles of juice, which was nice. Not sure I want to have to use the facilities on the bus, though.
Amtrak can be better! Tell your local, state and national elected officials to support a more robust rail system. Join NARP and your local rail advocacy organization.
Where you'll find my posts: // All Aboard Washington (websiteFacebook) // Amtrak Unlimited Forum Group (Facebook) // Grow Trains (websiteFacebook, Twitter) // Restore the Pioneer Train (website, Facebook, Twitter) // Save the Seattle Waterfront Streetcar (Again) (websiteFacebook, Twitter) // Transit Riders of Puget Sound (Facebook) // Trains on FB (Facebook) // My Random Twitter Musings @HamiltonChas

#9 CHamilton

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 01:00 AM

We got into King Street Station about 10 minutes late, after stopping at Stanwood, Everett, and what was perhaps Amtrak's first stop at the Lynnwood Park & Ride. Other buses covered the other stations. Not bad, considering, but still...a bus.

I found out more about the delay at the border. Apparently all three buses were held up because US Customs found one contraband...banana.


This ridiculous inconvenience has to stop. It's so unnecessary, and will be even more unnecessary tomorrow. I feel sorry for everyone who will come into VAC Pacific Central Station at a miserably early hour tomorrow morning, only to be told that they'll be on a bus. Of course, most of the Americans won't have gotten the news, since most of them won't be answering their cellphones to avoid the sky-high Canadian roaming rates.

Amtrak can be better! Tell your local, state and national elected officials to support a more robust rail system. Join NARP and your local rail advocacy organization.
Where you'll find my posts: // All Aboard Washington (websiteFacebook) // Amtrak Unlimited Forum Group (Facebook) // Grow Trains (websiteFacebook, Twitter) // Restore the Pioneer Train (website, Facebook, Twitter) // Save the Seattle Waterfront Streetcar (Again) (websiteFacebook, Twitter) // Transit Riders of Puget Sound (Facebook) // Trains on FB (Facebook) // My Random Twitter Musings @HamiltonChas

#10 yarrow

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 01:10 PM

Of course, most of the Americans won't have gotten the news, since most of them won't be answering their cellphones to avoid the sky-high Canadian roaming rates.


no kidding. i don't know if it is routine or not but we were on the cascades a couple months ago to vac and just before the peace arch the conductor warned people to turn off roaming on their phones or face the surprise when their bill came

amtrak miles-108,922
great northern miles-876
northern pacific miles-28
via rail canada kilometers-8,848


#11 fairviewroad

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 04:33 PM

We got into King Street Station about 10 minutes late, after stopping at Stanwood, Everett, and what was perhaps Amtrak's first stop at the Lynnwood Park & Ride. Other buses covered the other stations. Not bad, considering, but still...a bus.



I guess it was someone's lucky day assuming their car was at the Lynnwood Park & Ride to begin with...the bustitution must have saved them from having to get from Edmonds or Seattle over to the Park
& Ride.

#12 Big Green Chauvanist

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 06:22 PM

This is a continuing, very irritating issue. So all those going to US points had to take the bus even though the slide was north of the border. The train used to turn just fine in Bellingham. I know mine is a minority view (as most passengers seem to go to Vancouver) but since I don't travel to Canada but frequently do to Bellingham, I'd just as soon have the route end in Bellingham. Twice I have had to take the bus from Bellingham to Seattle due to what would be extremely late arrivals (well after midnight) back in Seattle, due to issues north of the border.

#13 CHamilton

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 11:08 PM

Big Green, I would think that there is a market for service to/from Bellingham and Seattle. According to the Amtrak Cascades 2010 Performance Report - February 2011 (pdf 471 kb), Bellingham ranks 6th in passengers among the Cascades stations.

Amtrak offers four Thruway buses each way north of Seattle, but only one of the four actually serves Bellingham. (I've heard that that's because of limitations of where Canadian buses are licensed to stop.) So Amtrak and WSDOT could create a third train frequency, which would improve options from Bellingham. Southbound, I would think there'd be a market for a 7 AM departure that would connect to the CS, or a 2:30 PM departure that would connect to Cascades 509 to PDX and EUG. Move it back an hour and it would connect with the EB.

Northbound is a bit trickier. Do we replace the 12:20 PM bus that connects from 500 and the EB, the 4:45 PM that connects from 506, the 9:15 PM that connects from the CS (and which might have to hold if the CS is late), or do we create something else?

Of course, while we're dreaming, let's take a couple of the Talgos being freed up by the ones Oregon is buying, plus a couple of (ahem) surplus ones from Wisconsin, and create a daytime version of the Empire Builder over Stevens Pass, or a new train over Stampede Pass. Some folks in the rail office at WSDOT talk seriously about such options, but there's no money unless they get a windfall from Bill Gates :)
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#14 fairviewroad

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 11:46 AM

Amtrak offers four Thruway buses each way north of Seattle, but only one of the four actually serves Bellingham. (I've heard that that's because of limitations of where Canadian buses are licensed to stop.) So Amtrak and WSDOT could create a third train frequency, which would improve options from Bellingham. Southbound, I would think there'd be a market for a 7 AM departure that would connect to the CS, or a 2:30 PM departure that would connect to Cascades 509 to PDX and EUG. Move it back an hour and it would connect with the EB.


I would argue for the 7 a.m. departure, or even 6:30. This would help make the train more viable for day-trips into SEA. Currently the earliest you can arrive
into SEA from Bellingham is 11 AM. You could simultaneously move the first rail departure from VAC back an hour or so to make it more attractive
to people than the current 6:40 a.m. departure while providing a better schedule balance for stations btw Bellingham and SEA.

Northbound is a bit trickier. Do we replace the 12:20 PM bus that connects from 500 and the EB, the 4:45 PM that connects from 506, the 9:15 PM that connects from the CS (and which might have to hold if the CS is late), or do we create something else?


I would argue that you could make 506 the train that continues to VAC (gives you a daylight run for more of the year than 516, while maintaining a nice schedule balance from the
morning departure up to VAC). Then, make 516 the train that ends in Bellingham (and would turn to become the new early departure s/b from Bellingham.)

I don't think promising a rail connection from the n/b CS is a good idea, but they really ought to offer a n/b bus service to Bellingham at that hour.

#15 CHamilton

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 11:00 AM

fairviewroad, I was looking at the Washington State Long-Range Plan for Amtrak Cascades - February 2006 (pdf 1.6 mb), and buried in Appendix A, page A-7 and A-8, there's a proposed timetable for three VAC-SEA trips -- two that correspond with the current 513 and 517 southbound, and plus another that's an extended version of 509, but pushed back about 90 minutes, so that it would leave VAC at 12:25pm, SEA at 4:05pm, and arrive PDX at 7:05pm. Northbound, the SEA departure times are 7:45am (510), 1:40pm, and 5:50pm (an hour earlier than 516).

Of course, this plan is six years old now, but it's interesting to see what the state was thinking at that time. I don't know how I feel about their ideas, but I do think your scenario makes sense if we couldn't do three R/T all the way from SEA to VAC.

BTW, you can get to these plans from http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Rail/Plans.htm which is sort of buried in the WSDOT website.


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