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Coast Starlight gap in train numbers


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#1 denmarks

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Posted 15 February 2017 - 06:42 PM

Why is there a gap between train numbers 11 and 14 for the Coast Starlight?


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#2 Triley

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Posted 15 February 2017 - 07:14 PM

I would assume 12/13 were already taken when the train came in to existence with Amtrak...

Edit: Actually, I just had a conversation with a conductor about it last night. I don't know when these trains came in to existence, but we had trains 12/13 on the corridor. They were mail trains.

Edited by Triley, 15 February 2017 - 07:17 PM.

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#3 zephyr17

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Posted 15 February 2017 - 07:45 PM

It comes from the early Amtrak era when Southern Pacific and most RRs were still running by timetable and train order.  11 and 14 were assigned their train numbers right at the beginning when Amtrak started assigning their own train numbers (late 1971 or early 1972).  SP system direction definition (and therefore train number) was to or from San Francisco.  Amtrak trains were First Class scheduled trains in the RR timetables.  Generally, Amtrak and host RR train numbers were the same, and they were on SP.  Amtrak's numbers were assigned allowing for the SP train numbers to change at Oakland, as they had to.

 

So Amtrak 11 was SP 11 in the SP employee timetable from Portland to Oakland (westward, toward San Francisco) and SP 12 from Oakland to LA (eastward, away from San Francisco).  Likewise Amtrak 14 was SP 13 from LA to Oakland (westward) and SP 14 from Oakland to Portland (eastward).  After SP moved away from using timetable authority in the 80s and Amtrak trains neither had nor needed SP train numbers, Amtrak's own train numbers remained the same.

 

11 and 14 were original system trains.  They had those numbers from the start, no Amtrak numbers were "taken" before the Coast Starlight got them. 

 

Right at inception, like all Amtrak trains the Starlight (technically the Coast Daylight/Starlight then) appeared in the first Amtrak timetable with operating RR (SP) train numbers for the RR's train that Amtrak started picking up the tab for, in this case, the Coast Daylight's 98-99, and the Cascade's 11-12.  So the train was originally listed as 98-11 and 99-12.


Edited by zephyr17, 15 February 2017 - 08:09 PM.

SP Coast Daylight, AT&SF San Diegan, AT&SF Super Chief, D&RGW Rio Grande Zephyr, Southwest Limited/Chief, San Diegan/Pacific Surfliner, San Joaquin, Cascades, California/San Francisco Zephyr, Coast Starlight, Empire Builder, Sunset Limited (LA-Orlando), Desert Wind, Pioneer, City of New Orleans, Silver Star, Silver Meteor, Lake Shore Limited, Cardinal, Hoosier State (Amtrak),  Hoosier State (Iowa Pacific), Ann Rutledge, Adirondack, Maple Leaf, NE Regional, Capitol Limited, Via Canadian (CP route), Via Super Continental, Via Atlantic Limited, Via Hudson Bay, Via Skeena, Via Canadian (CN route), Via "Corridor" (Toronto-Montreal), BC Rail Cariboo Dayliner, Eurostar, Thalys, DB, Netherlands Rail, Austrian Railways, BR, Korail (conventional), Korail KTX


#4 bmjhagen9426

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Posted 15 February 2017 - 09:24 PM

Trains 12 and 13 were used for the Fast Mail, a train which carried mail and express freight, and in the case of #12 passengers as well. Shortly after 9/11 (sometime in 2002), they were discontinued. Here is the Wikipedia link about Trains #12 and #13 for your reference: https://en.wikipedia..._(Amtrak_train)


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#5 zephyr17

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 12:08 PM

Although that is not the reason those numbers were not used by the Coast Starlight.


SP Coast Daylight, AT&SF San Diegan, AT&SF Super Chief, D&RGW Rio Grande Zephyr, Southwest Limited/Chief, San Diegan/Pacific Surfliner, San Joaquin, Cascades, California/San Francisco Zephyr, Coast Starlight, Empire Builder, Sunset Limited (LA-Orlando), Desert Wind, Pioneer, City of New Orleans, Silver Star, Silver Meteor, Lake Shore Limited, Cardinal, Hoosier State (Amtrak),  Hoosier State (Iowa Pacific), Ann Rutledge, Adirondack, Maple Leaf, NE Regional, Capitol Limited, Via Canadian (CP route), Via Super Continental, Via Atlantic Limited, Via Hudson Bay, Via Skeena, Via Canadian (CN route), Via "Corridor" (Toronto-Montreal), BC Rail Cariboo Dayliner, Eurostar, Thalys, DB, Netherlands Rail, Austrian Railways, BR, Korail (conventional), Korail KTX


#6 jis

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 12:43 PM

Although that is not the reason those numbers were not used by the Coast Starlight.

Correct. The use of 12/13 for Fast Mail came much much later. The story of why 11/14 is used for the Coast Starlight is accurately describe by zephyr.

 

The use of 12/13 for the Fast Mail was just an opportunistic use of numbers that were not in use.



#7 JoeBas

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 12:48 PM

So what did Amtrak do in cases where the host railroads originally had similarly numbered trains?  These weren't the only #11 and #14 trains that Amtrak took over nationwide, right?



#8 zephyr17

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 01:06 PM

Amtrak negotiated with the railroads and then implemented their numbers in coordination with the RRs pretty much all at once.  Especially since when they did it the RRs still had responsibility for almost all aspects of operating and supporting the trains, including ticket sales,onboard service,etc, etc.  Amtrak (NRPC) only did the marketing and paid the tab presented by the RRs then.

 

They didn't "take over" train numbers 11 & 14, those are Amtrak assigned numbers, as I pointed out, the SP train numbers for the trains Amtrak took and made into the Coast Starlight were 98/99 and 11/12.  About the only train that kept the rr train number in Amtrak's scheme was the Sunset Limited with both SP and Amtrak numbers 1/2.  The only conflict with RR train numbers were for freight trains, since Amtrak had all intercity passenger trains.  I don't know how they resolved it, but they did.  Amtrak's numbering scheme was and is nationwide (LDs had 1-2 digit numbers that increased from west to east and south to north, much like the Interstate Highway system numbering)  RR train numbers between carriers could conflict without an issue, because the numbers were local on that RR.  And there just were not that many passenger trains, so the conflicts to be resolved were probably pretty minimal.  RRs were used to coordinating numbering for through passenger trains.  The California Zephyr was 17/18 on all the CZ consortium RRs, WP, D&RGW, CB&Q, for instance.


Edited by zephyr17, 16 February 2017 - 01:24 PM.

SP Coast Daylight, AT&SF San Diegan, AT&SF Super Chief, D&RGW Rio Grande Zephyr, Southwest Limited/Chief, San Diegan/Pacific Surfliner, San Joaquin, Cascades, California/San Francisco Zephyr, Coast Starlight, Empire Builder, Sunset Limited (LA-Orlando), Desert Wind, Pioneer, City of New Orleans, Silver Star, Silver Meteor, Lake Shore Limited, Cardinal, Hoosier State (Amtrak),  Hoosier State (Iowa Pacific), Ann Rutledge, Adirondack, Maple Leaf, NE Regional, Capitol Limited, Via Canadian (CP route), Via Super Continental, Via Atlantic Limited, Via Hudson Bay, Via Skeena, Via Canadian (CN route), Via "Corridor" (Toronto-Montreal), BC Rail Cariboo Dayliner, Eurostar, Thalys, DB, Netherlands Rail, Austrian Railways, BR, Korail (conventional), Korail KTX


#9 chakk

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 12:24 AM

And the Capitol Limited on the Baltimore & Ohio was train 5 westbound and train 6 eastbound.

#10 ScouseAndy

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 01:56 AM

I was of the belief that the gap was because originally there was no train running LA SEA but LA OAK and then OAK SEA and that 12&13 related to those trains which originated in OAK, when the routes where combined to run all the way LA SEA they simply axed 12 & 13 and extend 11 & 14.

Is there any truth in this or is this just an urban myth?

#11 zephyr17

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 02:22 AM

Coast Starlight service started on AmDay, 5/1/71.  On that day, the former Coast Daylight was started going via Oakland and 3 days a week it ran through to Seattle (with a short lived through sleeper to San Diego).  It was re-routed via Oakland so it COULD run through to Seattle.  You are thinking about the SP trains running immediately prior to Amtrak, the Cascade (11/12) running Oakland-Portland 3 times a week and the Coast Daylight (98/99) running daily Los Angeles-San Francisco.  Amtrak never ran two separate trains LA-Oakland and Oakland-Seattle.  It was a through train at the outset, the first single train through service from LA to the Pacific Northwest since SP's "West Coast" (LA-Portland via the San Joaquin Valley) ceased service north of Sacramento which happened fairly early on (late 40s/early 50s?).  Amtrak touted the restoration of through LA-Pacific Northwest service as an example of "We're Making the Trains Worth Traveling Again!"

 

At first it was called the Coast Daylight/Starlight.  When the Oakland-Seattle part of the run went daily, they dropped the "Daylight".

 

As I mentioned before, at first it used SP's Coast Daylight and Cascade train NUMBERS (98-11, 99-12), but it was always one train under Amtrak on the days it went through.  The origin of the Amtrak numbers 11(12)/(13)14 was as I described, to accommodate the 2 numbers SP's numbering system required to be used for a through LA-Portland-Seattle train.  Not sure how BN numbered it north of Portland, 11 and 14 or something else like 1011 and 1014 (which for some reason popped into my head, maybe some dim memory of it).

 

So there is a kernel of truth, there was no through train LA-Portland/Seattle, but that was prior to Amtrak.  Also, the original Coast Daylight/Starlight only ran through to Seattle 3 times a week while it was daily LA-Oakland.  But there was never a connection required under Amtrak.  And the LA-Portland connection under SP was actually at Martinez with the San Joaquin Daylight, not the Coast Daylight.

 

PS-this is not all purely academic information.  I rode the Coast Daylight/Starlight in Amtrak's early days, when everything was SP from the tomato stripe cars, to the conductor's uniforms, to the ticket stock.  About the only non-SP thing about it was it turned and serviced in Los Angeles at Santa Fe's 8th Street Coach Yard.  Oh, yeah, and on the through days it had a dining car, which was unlike late-stage SP service.


Edited by zephyr17, 17 February 2017 - 02:54 AM.

SP Coast Daylight, AT&SF San Diegan, AT&SF Super Chief, D&RGW Rio Grande Zephyr, Southwest Limited/Chief, San Diegan/Pacific Surfliner, San Joaquin, Cascades, California/San Francisco Zephyr, Coast Starlight, Empire Builder, Sunset Limited (LA-Orlando), Desert Wind, Pioneer, City of New Orleans, Silver Star, Silver Meteor, Lake Shore Limited, Cardinal, Hoosier State (Amtrak),  Hoosier State (Iowa Pacific), Ann Rutledge, Adirondack, Maple Leaf, NE Regional, Capitol Limited, Via Canadian (CP route), Via Super Continental, Via Atlantic Limited, Via Hudson Bay, Via Skeena, Via Canadian (CN route), Via "Corridor" (Toronto-Montreal), BC Rail Cariboo Dayliner, Eurostar, Thalys, DB, Netherlands Rail, Austrian Railways, BR, Korail (conventional), Korail KTX


#12 bmjhagen9426

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 03:08 AM

Train #1011 and #1014 are not regularly used today. It is used on the CS stub service instead (which was used in early 2008 between SEA and EUG during the Oakridge landslide, and occasionally used during trackwork between PDX and EUG).


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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
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#13 CCC1007

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 10:50 AM

10xx numbers on BN were used because BN was assigning 1xxx series numbers to the passenger trains on their territory for the internal timetable and radio communications.

#14 zephyr17

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 12:15 PM

Train #1011 and #1014 are not regularly used today. It is used on the CS stub service instead (which was used in early 2008 between SEA and EUG during the Oakridge landslide, and occasionally used during trackwork between PDX and EUG).

I never said they were Amtrak numbers.  I said they might have been BN numbers for the Portland-Seattle portion of the CS' run.  CCC1007 confirmed that BN indeed did use those numbers, although I don't know if they were related to the very early Amtrak era we were discussing (partly because I have no idea of how that popped into my head).


Edited by zephyr17, 17 February 2017 - 12:18 PM.

SP Coast Daylight, AT&SF San Diegan, AT&SF Super Chief, D&RGW Rio Grande Zephyr, Southwest Limited/Chief, San Diegan/Pacific Surfliner, San Joaquin, Cascades, California/San Francisco Zephyr, Coast Starlight, Empire Builder, Sunset Limited (LA-Orlando), Desert Wind, Pioneer, City of New Orleans, Silver Star, Silver Meteor, Lake Shore Limited, Cardinal, Hoosier State (Amtrak),  Hoosier State (Iowa Pacific), Ann Rutledge, Adirondack, Maple Leaf, NE Regional, Capitol Limited, Via Canadian (CP route), Via Super Continental, Via Atlantic Limited, Via Hudson Bay, Via Skeena, Via Canadian (CN route), Via "Corridor" (Toronto-Montreal), BC Rail Cariboo Dayliner, Eurostar, Thalys, DB, Netherlands Rail, Austrian Railways, BR, Korail (conventional), Korail KTX





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