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BNSF Derailment - Impact on Empire Builder


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#1 The Davy Crockett

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Posted 01 January 2014 - 07:18 AM

From Amtrak:


Empire Builder Trains 7/27/707 and 8/28/808

Effective through January 3, 2014

Please be advised that Trains and 7/27/707 and Trains 8/28/808 will encounter significant delays, particularly between Minot, ND and St. Paul-Minneapolis, MN, due to a freight train derailment near Fargo, ND.

 

The phrase "From insult to injury" comes to mind.  How times have changed.  UP seems a lot more friendlly to Amtrak than BNSF these days.


Edited by The Davy Crockett, 01 January 2014 - 07:18 AM.

I wish I was a headlight on a northbound train.

#2 PRR 60

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Posted 01 January 2014 - 01:47 PM

Since this directly concerns Amtrak, I moved the post above from the BNSF derailment topic in the General Rail Discussion forum to here for better visibility. 



#3 Jacob Goes By Jack

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Posted 01 January 2014 - 04:10 PM

I'm taking the Builder from Chicago to Seattle -- leaving tomorrow Jan. 2 -- so I hope this isn't too bad!  I went on Amtrak's website http://www.amtrak.com/home but there is no alert link there now, so I'm guessing/hoping they already cleared up the problem?  Or am I not looking in the right place...



#4 ScottRu

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Posted 01 January 2014 - 04:12 PM

Ugh.  Poor EB.  I love that train, but it has been severely compromised with all this new freight traffic.  Good luck on your venture, Jacob.



#5 Jacob Goes By Jack

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Posted 01 January 2014 - 04:16 PM

Yeah, when I got the ticket (and didn't get an airline ticket) last fall I was thinking that the problems were limited to summer.  Have since learned that's not the case, but now the air tickets are much more expensive to buy of course...

 

Seriously though, if I don't see an alert link on Amtrak's website does that mean the alert Davy found is already lifted?



#6 the_traveler

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Posted 01 January 2014 - 04:30 PM

No, this is partially due to the derailment that occurred a few days ago. While not directly on the route used by the EB, the increased congestion can cause more delays. Just look at it as more time on the train!
Take it easy .......

Take the train instead!

#7 The Davy Crockett

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Posted 01 January 2014 - 04:52 PM

Bill, 

Thanks for putting this where it really does belong!  :hi:

 

Jack,

I just checked and the alert is still there.  Either follow my link above in the original post, or go to Amtrak's website and look in the "Rider's Guide" column.  Click on "Service Disruptions" and scroll down to the link entitled "Empire Builder Trains 7/27/707 and 8/28/808"

 

Good luck and try to relax!

 

I wish I was a headlight on a northbound train.

#8 Jacob Goes By Jack

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Posted 01 January 2014 - 04:57 PM

Ah it's right there on the front page... somehow I never saw that "Service Disruptions" link.  Thanks very much Davy.  They used to be up top, in the horizontal blue bar above most of the text (I think.)

 

You'd think they could email everyone affected... not that many folks are going to go on the website and check so a lot of people will be unpleasantly surprised.  I personally am fine since I have no plans in Seattle after arrival, but I feel bad for anyone who does!



#9 PRR 60

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 03:32 PM

As stated in this topic in the Rare Amtrak Mileage forum, the Empire Builder that left Chicago yesterday - 7(01) - has been detoured between Fargo and Minot on the BNSF KO Subdivision via Casselton, Nolan and New Rockford. This was due to the normal route via Grand Forks being blocked by freight trains that had crews over the FRA on-duty time limit. This train would have passed the derailment site earlier today, so at least one track is open there.

 

The bad news, the EB is now about 10 hours late, and it is still on the KO Sub and no where near Minot.



#10 montana mike

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 03:53 PM

Update: Now almost 12 hours late--not moving anywhere at the moment--what a mess!!!!!!

My local BNSF folks shared the following with me:   "a wee bit of a disaster and totally chaotic in eastern ND at this time with almost complete gridlock".    


Edited by montana mike, 02 January 2014 - 03:55 PM.


#11 stan

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 04:05 PM

Guess we were lucky

 

Came through on 8 last night and it only added two hours to our delay.  Had the Seattle leg not been late due to a brake hose problem (fixed by duck tape and zip ties) we likely would not have been very late.  As it is connnection to the Cardinai will be iffy.

 

Still saw a lot of freight traffic on the high line on Jan 1st but the dispatchers were good to us and we had only a brief stop for the pass of 7.

 

Stan



#12 PRR 60

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 04:07 PM

Update: Now almost 12 hours late--not moving anywhere at the moment--what a mess!!!!!!
My local BNSF folks shared the following with me:   "a wee bit of a disaster and totally chaotic in eastern ND at this time with almost complete gridlock".

 
I hope the HEP stays on. It -9°F right now in Fargo.

#13 montana mike

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 04:13 PM

When I mentioned #7 was stuck between Fargo and Grand Forks and appears it will be almost 12 hours behind by the time it reached Minot he just shook his head and said he didn't think things were that bad and perhaps the Amtrak train had suffered a mechanical failure of some sort.   He said the delays for the BNSF freights were not running that far behind right now (more like 4-6 hours).   He said he would try to look into things to see if he could find out what had happened.

:-(

Update: Now estimated to arrive in MOT almost 14 hours behind!!!  Something must be terribly wrong here.  Today's #7 will catch up to this train if things keep unraveling.


Edited by montana mike, 02 January 2014 - 06:22 PM.


#14 PRR 60

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 06:45 PM

Report at Trainorders is that Amtrak crew went dead on the law, and #7 is waiting on a crew to arrive from Minot.

EDIT: Since it is now moving, the crew has arrived.

#15 montana mike

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 08:45 PM

Report at Trainorders is that Amtrak crew went dead on the law, and #7 is waiting on a crew to arrive from Minot.

EDIT: Since it is now moving, the crew has arrived.

Yes, I see that, now showing arrival in MOT 13 hours and 56 minutes late!!!! Ouch.

:-(



#16 PRR 60

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 09:10 PM

Ouch, Indeed! There's the stench of a Spokane turn in the air.

#17 SubwayNut

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 11:30 PM

I thought the EB had an extra trainset so they were now overnighting in the PNW? (They should be able to make the turn in 15 hours)


Check out my website SubwayNut.com decidated to pictures of subway, light rail and railroad stations including nearly 200 that Amtrak stop at!


#18 RRUserious

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 12:15 AM

Years in the future, let's say Bakken oil goes to Texas and Oklahoma via a pipeline.  I'm just wondering.  Will it help this situation at ALL?  I assume the eastbound oil trains are trying to find a southbound line that can take the trains down to the gulf.  But maybe that's wishful thinking.  And if the oil trains don't need these tracks, is there any chance they'll be improved if passenger  traffic becomes a more important use?  I wonder if there's any place where people are trying to answer these questions.



#19 Jacob Goes By Jack

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 12:37 AM

Well we just left Minneapolis on time ... stopped for ten minutes to let a freight go by but now slowly moving. Hope it's less of a mess by the time we make it up to Fargo!

#20 EB_OBS

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 01:44 AM

I thought the EB had an extra trainset so they were now overnighting in the PNW? (They should be able to make the turn in 15 hours)

 

Yes there is still a sixth trainset in the rotation so there won't be a termination at SPK. 

 

On-time buses to SEA and PDX will leave and meals will continue to be served on board the train until it reaches its final destinations.  So Subway, KFC and beef stew are on the menu for tomorrow.


Edited by EB_OBS, 03 January 2014 - 01:50 AM.




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