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Hurricane Irma and Amtrak


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#141 RichieRich

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 10:16 AM

Caught the last train outta Orlando (#52) on Friday! By shear coincidence already had 2 rooms reserved on it. Three weeks prior...no indication of any storm out there. Seemed to happen fast AND shifted from the East Coast to the West Coast of FL. I AutoTrain down about 9 times-a-year. Felt very very lucky to get out just ahead of it...and sorry for those with Saturday+ reservations (canceled).



#142 VentureForth

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 01:01 PM

 

Since this thread includes Harvey, too, it's worth mentioning (again?) that EB SL leaves LA today, and will be turned in NOL as the first WB on Saturday.

Did Savanah and you weather the storm OK?

 

Yes, sir.  Much fewer issues than Matthew, thanks to it veering left.  Thankful to be on the right.  LOL

 

Our home had a tree come down, missing everything important.  It's gonna be a pain to remove.


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#143 jis

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 01:42 PM

OTOH we had more issues with Irma than with Matthew in Brevard County, even though the eye of Matthew was much closer to us, simply because this time we fell on the so called "dirty" side of the eye, and were treated to extraordinarily violent feeder bands, placing us under almost continuous Tornado Warnings over eight hours, with numerous Tornado touchdowns (fortunately only EF0s), and squall winds upto 90+mph a hundred miles away from the eye. We had none of that with Matthew, for which the eye wall passed by us 15 miles off shore, but we were on the clean side.



#144 AmtrakBlue

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 01:59 PM

We just never know which side of the tracks we'll find Jis on. :P


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2012: Apr: WIL=>WAS=>WIL (NER) // May(NTD): WIL=>PHL=>WIL (NER) / PHL=>PAO=>PHL (Keystone) // Aug: WIL=>WAS (NER) / BWI=>WIL (NER) // Oct(Gathering): PHL=>WIL (NER) / PHL=>HAR=>PHL (Keystone) / SEPTA, NJT, PATCO, River Line, Princeton Dinky
2013: May(NTD): WIL=>WAS=>WIL (NER)  // Oct (Gathering): WIL=>CHI (Card) / CHI=>MKE=>GLN=>CHI() / CHI=>JOL=>CHI () / CHI=>WIL(CL=>NER) / CTA, Metra. SEPTA (WIL=>NRK) // Nov:  PHL=>PHL (Autumn Express) 
2014: May(NTD):  WIL=>PHL=>WIL(NER) // May:  WIL=>BOS=>WIL(NER) day trip

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#145 Caesar La Rock

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 03:33 PM

To go in depth on what I experienced, Irma was indeed much more potent then Matthew. Tornado warnings were going off like fireworks on the fourth of July. I counted over a dozen tornado warnings before I lost power over the course of three and half hours. When I saw four tornado warnings all at once, that was crazy.

 

There was tornado damage not far from my location in Winter Springs apparently. As far as I know, no damage to houses, just large trees down from that one. Flooding in areas like Bithlo and Pine Hills to name the few did happen and some people were rescued from the flooding.

 

I have a friend who lives in Bithlo have water come into his garage and laundry, but it didn't get in his house thankfully. I was concerned about the flooding myself, but since there were breaks in the rain after 20 or so minutes, the water receded.

 

It was one hectic night I gotta say and even after the storm that was tough, especially with no service in the area at all. The curfew was lifted early in Seminole County, but no one could get service through their phones regardless of where they went.

 

When night came on Monday, it was like walking into the woods with no street lights anywhere. I had to point my flashlight to the ground just so I didn't lost my way or turn into the wrong area. The only place that had food was the one chinese restaurant open in the area with a long line, but got food nonetheless.

 

Despite the store being dark, they did alright and served everyone. People were really civil and considerate of others, so for all the negatives that came from this storm, something good happened. It brought people together in this tough time. :) Thanks for all the wishes from everyone by the way.



#146 Metra Electric Rider

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 03:58 PM

 

I hope our Floridians are OK as well. Given the power outages in the state, it may be awhile before they can post.


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Power outage? What power outage. I never lost power for more than 15 seconds. :) Those power grid changeover glitches happened many times. Never lost my Fiber internet connection either.

 

Now I am on a mission to equip my place with UPS's to bridge over those short changeover gaps.

 

 

 

Glad all you guys weathered the storm ok!

 

My friend in DT St. Pete who evacuated said that his neighborhood didn't lose power, but they did lose internet, which is just inhumane (oh, the horrors). His workplace was built after Andrew and to quote him, is a bunker, with 2" thick glass in the windows, yet light, open and airy. They were going to reopen today, iirc, or tomorrow.

 

He hadn't left for home yet since his planned route (non-Interstate from Illinois) backl was still riddled with some closures in Florida and he was concerned about the route being bedeviled with ongoing gas shortages.

 

I'm letting my cousin be since if they don't have power yet there is no need to waste valuable battery life on my texts when his siblings can convey info on...


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#147 neroden

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 07:20 PM

 

Maybe that totally incompetent fool Hunter Harrison will reconsider his plan to move all the train dispatchers back to Jacksonville.  Having one central dispatch center is all very well, but UP's is in Omaha and BNSF's is in Fort Worth.  Jacksonville is a *bad location*.  (Atlanta would probably be a better choice.  Or Indianapolis.  CSX has dispatching centers at both locations.)
 
I'm pretty sure Harrison's reputation for competence is completely undeserved.  The man is an idiot.  I suspect he has been coasting on other people's accomplishments.  His only talent seems to be convincing board members to give him money.  Admittedly, that's a talent I lack, since I'm not a con man -- but with no railroading experience, I could run any railroad better than that idiot.


Don't confuse lacking a core competency with idiocy. I don't like Harrison any more than you do. But the job of a CEO, according to Wall Street and most Shareholders is to maximize investor return- and the focus on this has been increasingly short term focused. I disagree with this trend, but in his ability to exploit the desires thereof, E. Hunter Harrison is not an idiot; he's highly competent.

He's a terrible railroader, and Eddie Lambert is an incompetent retailer. But both are very good at accomplishing what they set out to do.

 

Mmmm.  Good point.  But... bear with me here...

 

In railroading -- and any other capital-intensive business -- you can always temporarily increase *apparent* return over the short term by deferring maintenance.  Of course, you end up decreasing return later on when you have to catch up on the maintenance.  This is an old stock market manipulation trick which many railroaders have done since the 19th century.  Given that enough investors are idiots who don't understand this, for a long time, you could fairly reliably profit from cyclical trading of any railroad stock based on this -- buying during periods of high maintenance expense (and low price) and selling during periods of low maintenance expense (and high prices)

 

While this trading style still seems to be somewhat effective, at some point, quite a lot of investors got wise to it -- specialist railroad stock analysts actually watch the maintenance funding now, and treat low numbers as bad.  Enough traders are buying stock on high maintenance expense and selling on low maintenance expense to flatten out the former price boost from deferred maintenance.  So deferring maintenance is a less effective stock market scam now.

 

I suspect Hunter has only a short list of scams he knows, and he's running *old* scams.  The thing about this is that old scams can stop working after a while.  I consider it a signifier of a general lack of intelligence to keep running the same scams when the marks are wise to those scams.  The smart con man switches to a new scam.


Edited by neroden, 13 September 2017 - 07:21 PM.

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#148 Train2104

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 07:43 PM

Update from Amtrak:

 

https://www.amtrak.c...d=1251656525365

 

89 resumes tomorrow, 90 resumes Friday, 91/92 resume NYP-JAX on Friday, 52/53/97/98 remain suspended. 



#149 JRR

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 07:49 PM

I was just advised by the Amtrak robo call that my 97 from Wilmington Del to Deerfield Beach on Friday 15th is cancelled. After talking to the agents and checking schedules, it appears that services to and from Miami on the Silver Service trains is cancelled at least until Monday the 18th.

#150 jis

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 07:04 AM

Looks like FEC has restored skeletal service along its route. They ran at least one train on Wednesday all the way from Bowden Yard (JAX) to Miami at 30mph using track warrants, since many signals are still out.

 

FPL has brought down the power outage customer numbers to 93,000 from a high of around 250,000 near the end of the storm,in Brevard County. They still claim that they will have power restored to everyone in Brevard County by the end of the upcoming weekend (except small areas that have total destruction of property (e.g. in Palm Bay where the EF0 Tornado touched down).

 

At least it would be nice to have all the traffic lights back in operation.

 

TriRail has stated that their recovery efforts are hampered by lack of commercial power. Also they have numerous large trees blocking their tracks that are being removed.  The Golden Glades station has been damaged beyond immediate repair and will be bus bridged across (their words, don't know what that means) when service starts in a day or two. This may have some implications for Amtrak - don't know what  at present.

 

The FECRS Annual Convention is still on for weekend after next in Miami (by the Airport). The hotel has confirmed that they are good to go.

 

People had asked about Brightline. Reports from Brightline are that their stations and their equipment and maintenance facilities came through fine.

 

Haven't heard anything about SunRail yet, except that they are still down.


Edited by jis, 14 September 2017 - 07:07 AM.


#151 neroden

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 03:48 PM

I'm guessing that Amtrak won't run to Sanford or Orlando until SunRail comes back up (duh, I guess).


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#152 jis

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 05:12 PM

Some more related stuff. ...

Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex is reopening on the 15th. But there will be no KSC bus tour at least until the 18th since KSC itself is not reopening until the 18th.


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#153 Train2104

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 07:28 PM

CSX update: https://www.csx.com/...-into-tampa-fl/

 

Jacksonville to Tampa is open, but via Ocala, not the route Amtrak uses. Tampa to Okeechobee is open, with service further south awaiting Tri-Rail.



#154 FormerOBS

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 01:56 PM

 

 
Were both Auto Train equipment sets brought north before the storm (else there won't be anything to run 53 on Saturday)?  Didn't think there was space at Lorton for that.  


Yes, both sets are crammed into Lorton hence why 53 must resume service a day before 52.


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Latest word is that Auto Train service will not resume before Sunday. 

 

Tom



#155 jis

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 02:12 PM

Which makes sense since the scuttlebutt is that SunRail might be up and running by Monday. But of course we won't know for sure until it actually happens.


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#156 pennyk

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 02:16 PM

Which makes sense since the scuttlebutt is that SunRail might be up and running by Monday. But of course we won't know for sure until it actually happens.


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I hope the scuttlebutt is correct.  Here in Orlando, there are still areas without power, but most of them are further "out."  The power to the downtown YMCA was restored this morning and it felt good to do my "regular" workout.  


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#157 pennyk

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 06:23 PM

Looking at Amtrak.com for trains between ORL and NYP:

 

9/18:  91 and 97 have coach seats available; 92 and 98 canceled

9/19:  91 and 97 have coach seats and at least one room available; 98 has coach seats and roomettes available; 92 canceled

9/20:  91 and 97 have coach seats and roomettes available; 92 and 98 have coach seats and rooms available.

 

I hope to travel on 9/24 and I hope the above reflects accurate information that does not change for the worse.


Amtrak miles: 216,828; Routes: Silver Meteor, Champion, Silver Star, Auto Train, Capitol Limited, Empire Builder, Lakeshore Limited, Adirondack, Vermonter, Cardinal, California Zephyr, Coast Starlight, Texas Eagle, Missouri River Runner, Acela Express, Southwest Chief, Cascades, Crescent, City of New Orleans, Hiawatha Service, Maple Leaf, Keystone Service, NE Regional, Downeaster, Piedmont, Carolinian, Lincoln Service, Autumn Express 2013, Empire Service, Sunset Limited, San Joaquin, Capitol Corridor, Pennsylvanian, Illinois Zephyr, Carl Sandburg, Autumn Express 2015, Ethan Allen Express, AEM-7 Excursion, Pacific Surfliner, Autumn Express 2016, Palmetto.  VIA miles: 4,584; Routes: The Canadian, Ocean; Alaska RR Denali Star: 356 miles


#158 AmtrakBlue

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 06:25 PM

Looking at Amtrak.com for trains between ORL and NYP:

 

9/18:  91 and 97 have coach seats available; 92 and 98 canceled

9/19:  91 and 97 have coach seats and at least one room available; 98 has coach seats and roomettes available; 92 canceled

9/20:  91 and 97 have coach seats and roomettes available; 92 and 98 have coach seats and rooms available.

 

I hope to travel on 9/24 and I hope the above reflects accurate information that does not change for the worse.

They're making you sweat it out, Penny.  I have confidence 98 will be running on the 24th.  You gotta believe.  :)


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2012: Apr: WIL=>WAS=>WIL (NER) // May(NTD): WIL=>PHL=>WIL (NER) / PHL=>PAO=>PHL (Keystone) // Aug: WIL=>WAS (NER) / BWI=>WIL (NER) // Oct(Gathering): PHL=>WIL (NER) / PHL=>HAR=>PHL (Keystone) / SEPTA, NJT, PATCO, River Line, Princeton Dinky
2013: May(NTD): WIL=>WAS=>WIL (NER)  // Oct (Gathering): WIL=>CHI (Card) / CHI=>MKE=>GLN=>CHI() / CHI=>JOL=>CHI () / CHI=>WIL(CL=>NER) / CTA, Metra. SEPTA (WIL=>NRK) // Nov:  PHL=>PHL (Autumn Express) 
2014: May(NTD):  WIL=>PHL=>WIL(NER) // May:  WIL=>BOS=>WIL(NER) day trip

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2016: Mar: WIL=>WAS=>WIL (NER)  // Oct:  WIL=>NYP=>NYP=>WIL (Autumn Express) 


#159 Train2104

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 06:26 PM

Tri-Rail reopens tomorrow.

#160 jis

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 10:37 AM

 
I hope to travel on 9/24 and I hope the above reflects accurate information that does not change for the worse.


One current unknown is what course of action Maria might decide to take.


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