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California Zephyr Winter 2017 Delays


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#1 RichardWSnow

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Posted 10 February 2017 - 11:59 PM

I held roomette reservations on 5(11), the California Zephyr,  from Chicago to Emeryville.  Amtrak notified me Friday afternoon that the train had been cancelled due to a track washout in Nevada.  I was told it was expected to be 5 days before service would be resumed.  I managed to book a room on the Southwest Chief, 3(11), to Los Angeles.  I'll rent a car and drive up to San Jose.  With any luck I'll get back home about the same time as I would have on the CZ... of course I'll be out the money for the rental car and the one-way car drop-off charge. 



#2 greatcats

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Posted 11 February 2017 - 12:03 AM

You would be a few hours later, but why not take the Ciast Starlight to San Josr and enjoy the ride?
I was a commuter railroad employee in NJ for many years until 2002, and have since been a tour guide at Grand Canyon National Park and Ketchikan, Alaska. Also, have been a National Park Volunteer at Hawaii Volcanoes and now Sunset Crater Volcano near my home. If not on Amtrak, also like long road trips, camping some of the time.

#3 greatcats

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Posted 11 February 2017 - 12:04 AM

Where in Nevada is the washout?
I was a commuter railroad employee in NJ for many years until 2002, and have since been a tour guide at Grand Canyon National Park and Ketchikan, Alaska. Also, have been a National Park Volunteer at Hawaii Volcanoes and now Sunset Crater Volcano near my home. If not on Amtrak, also like long road trips, camping some of the time.

#4 bmjhagen9426

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Posted 11 February 2017 - 12:19 AM

I believe it is somwhere east of Elko.


Just a 23 year old college student who likes to travel by train.

Trains taken (US): Coast Starlight, San Joaquins, Empire Builder, Southwest Chief, Hoosier State, SP4449 excursion 2015

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Current Amtrak mileage: 17251 miles plus 130 Ambus miles


#5 Alice

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Posted 11 February 2017 - 12:20 AM

Elko County, northwest of Wells. Dam failure. There are some pretty spectacular videos online.

#6 PRR 60

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Posted 11 February 2017 - 12:28 AM

Union Pacific Service Advisory



#7 greatcats

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Posted 11 February 2017 - 12:31 AM

Thanks. That would be a large problem.
I was a commuter railroad employee in NJ for many years until 2002, and have since been a tour guide at Grand Canyon National Park and Ketchikan, Alaska. Also, have been a National Park Volunteer at Hawaii Volcanoes and now Sunset Crater Volcano near my home. If not on Amtrak, also like long road trips, camping some of the time.

#8 Rover

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Posted 11 February 2017 - 01:48 AM

http://www.deseretne...es-to-Utah.html
 

I think it is absolute mythology that there's any national system that is profitable. And I think the naysayers just have to get over it. ~ Amtrak President Alex Kummant ~ June 2008

 

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~ The Empire Builder ~ The Coast Starlight ~ The Texas Eagle ~ The Sunset Limited ~

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#9 greatcats

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Posted 11 February 2017 - 07:34 AM

It sounds like the former Western Pacific line has reopened. Quite a mess. I love the references in the article about Amtrak ' commuter " trains running to Salt Lake City.
I was a commuter railroad employee in NJ for many years until 2002, and have since been a tour guide at Grand Canyon National Park and Ketchikan, Alaska. Also, have been a National Park Volunteer at Hawaii Volcanoes and now Sunset Crater Volcano near my home. If not on Amtrak, also like long road trips, camping some of the time.

#10 HenryK

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Posted 11 February 2017 - 07:57 AM

Sure hope that washout is fixed by March 1. I'm scheduled to head out on 5 from Chicago that date.



#11 PaulM

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Posted 11 February 2017 - 09:39 AM

It does appear that it is running as far west as SLC.

 

cz.jpg



#12 Thor

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Posted 11 February 2017 - 09:54 AM

I am supposed to be taking the Zephyr from Chicago to Reno frbruary 12. At first I received an email stating there is a service disruption and that alternate transportation is being provided. Called up and said we would get off in salt lake city and take a bus from there to Reno. Next day I get an email saying the train is cancelled and NO alternate transportation is being provided. So I was confused and called yet again and they told me same thing as before. Talked to a third rep hours later who said the same thing about the bus from salt lake to Reno. They arent sure why I got an email saying cancelled. I just don't want to get to chicago from new york and be told I have no train to get on.

#13 jis

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Posted 11 February 2017 - 10:29 AM

I would under these circumstances believe the agent on the phone. Amtrak's IT system is not known for its accuracy too much, and random messages have been known to emanate from its bowels from time to time.

Worst case is you'll get to Salt Lake City and Amtrak's world class Customer Service will change its mind, though quite unlikely. In that case I would ask for a cash refund from Amtrak and then take a bus on my own to Reno.

Edited by jis, 11 February 2017 - 10:29 AM.


#14 RichardWSnow

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Posted 11 February 2017 - 11:58 AM

I just arrived at CUS, and they told me the bus bridge was on (again).  Nobody seems to be sure why I and others received both a phone call and an email saying 5(11) was cancelled.  There still seems to be some confusion and uncertainty about the bus bridge and all, so I've decided to stick with the Southwest Chief and the rental car.  I should have considered the Coast Starlight, but at this point I'm disinclined to start making phone calls (with their inevitable long waits) and changing plans yet again.



#15 Karl1459

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Posted 11 February 2017 - 12:06 PM

Put on your hip waders folks, this type of flooding is going to be the norm this spring and early summer. Those nice deep canyons that haven't had water in them for 100 years will get flushed out and cut deeper. The moisture content in and on the soils of the inter mountain west is very high this year. As the snow melts on already saturated ground the water has to go somewhere. There are large areas that are in basins that do not drain to an ocean (Humbolt sink in Nevada, Salt Lake Valley). Go back a 100 years or so... The Humbolt River in Nevada flooded out the SP and WP lines for weeks (and took out the narrow gauge Eureka and Palisade). The avalanches in Montana will likely cause continuing damage as the snow melts and the Flathead river floods.



#16 HenryK

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Posted 11 February 2017 - 12:41 PM

I hear from Amtrak personnel in Denver that 5 is going CHI-SLC only and that there are no bus bridge plans.

 

So I cancelled my March 1 departure on the Zephyr to Emeryville and rebooked on No. 3 to L.A. and 14 to Emeryville. Things might improve before then but better safe than sorry.



#17 chakk

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 11:10 PM

Hoping for you that the CS does not also get washed out, else you might have fly or bus it fron LA to San Jose.

#18 bmjhagen9426

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 11:29 PM

Hoping for you that the CS does not also get washed out, else you might have fly or bus it fron LA to San Jose.

From what I heard, there is a possibility that the CS will be held before it enters the danger zone.


Just a 23 year old college student who likes to travel by train.

Trains taken (US): Coast Starlight, San Joaquins, Empire Builder, Southwest Chief, Hoosier State, SP4449 excursion 2015

Commuter/Transit Rail (US): Metra, TriMet, SoundTransit, Muni, LA MetroRail

Trains/Transit taken (Outside US and Canada): KNR, SMSC, SMRT, IRTC, DJET, DX LINE, EVERLINE, HUMETRO, METRO9

Ambus trips: BFD-LAX, EMY-SFC

Current Amtrak mileage: 17251 miles plus 130 Ambus miles


#19 Bigval109

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 12:52 PM

I'm have gone through the same thing. The misinformation on the train was just as bad. First I was told that a bus would be waiting for us in SLC . Then onboard the train it was announced that the train would end there with no alternative transportation provided. Well I called Amtrak and was told that there will be a bus . When I arrived in SLC there was the bus waiting for us. Today I got a call from Amtrak saying that there would be no bus in Reno to take me back to SLC. I would have to take a greyhound bus to Provo Utah where the train would be waiting to get me home . I called Amtrak again and the agent told me that there will be a bus to take me to SLC where the train will be waiting. This whole thing has been a royal mess. I always say that train travel is an adventure, well it certainly has been this time around.
When in doubt take the train.

#20 greatcats

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 01:13 PM

This type of bad information is inexcusable. Granted, there is a major disruption due to a flood, but Amtrak needs to gets its act together and provide the proper information and not makes excuses and apologies later.
I was a commuter railroad employee in NJ for many years until 2002, and have since been a tour guide at Grand Canyon National Park and Ketchikan, Alaska. Also, have been a National Park Volunteer at Hawaii Volcanoes and now Sunset Crater Volcano near my home. If not on Amtrak, also like long road trips, camping some of the time.




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