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Snow in Glacier National Park? EB okay?


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#1 Mystic River Dragon

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 06:07 PM

It looks like they are having a snowstorm up in those mountains. I will be traveling on the Empire Builder in exactly a week. If they have one or two feet of snow up there, will it be cleared and okay to travel by then?

 

Much more important, I hope if any of you are on that route today, that you are safe and fine and come through the mountains with no problem.



#2 pennyk

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 06:09 PM

The snow is beautiful


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#3 Mystic River Dragon

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 06:12 PM

I love snow, too, but from my living room window. You must be on the EB now, then? It's getting through okay?



#4 oregon pioneer

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 07:45 PM

Snow is not a problem on the EB. It's a regular happening, every day, every winter. You will enjoy the view from the comfort of your room or the SSL.

Attached File  AU1.jpg   71.08KB   26 downloads


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I'm a "little Old Lady in Tennis Shoes" (LOLITS) from Eastern Oregon. I love to travel by train, though I live way out in the toolies, far from the nearest Amtrak station (Chemult). My station would have been Baker City, but they cancelled the Oregon Pioneer just before I took my first long-distance train trip as an adult. I've taken most trains in the West, but I'm still exploring new routes in the east.


#5 jebr

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 07:55 PM

The Empire Builder is extremely used to snow. I would not worry at all about the snow - trains handle snow much better than cars. :)

#6 Mystic River Dragon

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 08:03 PM

Okay--thanks. That does make me feel better.



#7 CAMISSY55

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 08:05 PM

Mystic River Dragon, you have just made my day! I'll be on my first trip on the Empire Builder this this weekend. I am so thrilled to hear there will be snow in the mountains.

The SWC is my normal route to Southern California. And the most beautiful, memorable trip was the week between Christmas and New Year's Day. The snow was magical. And the relatively minor delays, were not from track which would plague later trips, but were when crew members had to go out and manually "unfreeze" a couple of switches.

Enjoy your trip!

#8 oregon pioneer

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 08:49 PM

The SWC is my normal route to Southern California. And the most beautiful, memorable trip was the week between Christmas and New Year's Day. The snow was magical. And the relatively minor delays, were not from track which would plague later trips, but were when crew members had to go out and manually "unfreeze" a couple of switches.
 

 

I have been on a train in an ice-storm, where they had to manually thaw and throw the switches. We ended up five hours behind, before we left the ice storm area. But that only happened on one of my many winter trips on the EB. Most have gone off without any delays caused by weather. Back in the day, most of the delays were caused by the many oil trains we had to wait for on the prairie, LOL!

 

Now I am really looking forward to my February trip on the EB and LSL to see the relatives back east!


Jennifer

 

I'm a "little Old Lady in Tennis Shoes" (LOLITS) from Eastern Oregon. I love to travel by train, though I live way out in the toolies, far from the nearest Amtrak station (Chemult). My station would have been Baker City, but they cancelled the Oregon Pioneer just before I took my first long-distance train trip as an adult. I've taken most trains in the West, but I'm still exploring new routes in the east.


#9 AmtrakBlue

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Posted 03 October 2017 - 05:16 AM

MRD, I don’t think you need to worry about snow when you head east next week. Looks like temps will be in the 50’s, at least at Havre, later this week


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#10 jis

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Posted 03 October 2017 - 06:46 AM

The Empire Builder is extremely used to snow. I would not worry at all about the snow - trains handle snow much better than cars. :)

Except when the drifts are 15-20 feet high! ;) I was once stuck at Cut Bank for several hours while the plow worked up in Marias Pass to clear the tracks. Eventually we did pass through the drifts, the tops of which were way above the roof line of our Superliner. It was quite an experience.

 

Anyway, it is too early in the season for something like that to happen.



#11 Mystic River Dragon

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Posted 03 October 2017 - 11:35 AM

Drifts and frozen switches? Yikes. When I started this thread, I forgot that I might get way too much information from all of you experts! :) I refuse to worry about it for the next few days, when I will be complaining about the heat in Sacramento. :P

 

I have a week for it to all melt, although it's supposed to snow up there again on Saturday.  I think we go through Glacier National Park exactly a week from today. It will be 11 degrees overnight the night before, but sunny and a high of 29 degrees the next day.

 

If it is breakfast time, and they are thawing out switches, I will concentrate hard on my omelet and try not to think about it. I do wish I was brave enough to look out the window for animals, though. I saw mountain goats and black bears at the Oregon Zoo and would love to see them in their natural environment.

 

I just got a coupon for 15 percent off my first purchase at Fannie May in Chicago, so you know where I will be going as a reward when we finally get there! :)


Edited by Mystic River Dragon, 03 October 2017 - 11:49 AM.


#12 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 03 October 2017 - 11:45 AM

The Empire Builder can handle snow just fine.  It's the Chicago yards and maintenance you need to worry about.   :ph34r:

 

If you're traveling Eastbound on the EB then you should be fine.  ^_^


We've got provisions and lots of beer. The key word is survival on the new frontier. 


#13 Mystic River Dragon

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Posted 03 October 2017 - 11:53 AM

Okay--thanks, DA. :)



#14 Rail Freak

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Posted 03 October 2017 - 12:08 PM

https://www.nps.gov/...edia/webcams.ht

 

 Since my trip to Glacier, I love this site to reflect & remember my favorite train vacation!!! The web-cams are live.

 

As you can see, no significant snow yet!


Edited by Rail Freak, 03 October 2017 - 12:24 PM.

A Rookie No More! But Still A Lot Of Track To Travel !!!
Silver Meteor #97(6) & #98 (4), Silver Star #91 (2), Capitol Limited #29 & #30(6), Empire Builder #7,#8,#27(2) &#28(4) Coast Starlight #11 (6) & #14(5), California Zephyr #5 (2) & #6 (5), Cascades #506, City of New Orleans #58, #59 (2), South West Chief #3 (4), Lake Shore Limited #49, Maple Leaf #63, San Joaquin #714, Pacific Surfliner #774, Texas Eagle #422 (2), Cardinal #50, Crescent #19, Sunset Limited #1. Approx. 60,169 miles & 41 states!

 


#15 Metra Electric Rider

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Posted 03 October 2017 - 12:10 PM

We've been having a drought (which seems to be ending today) and far above average temperatures in Chicago - after the (or one of the) coldest Augusts ever. Next week is predicted to be average or slightly above average again. So, no snow worries, let alone ice, for a few more months.


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#16 PRR 60

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Posted 03 October 2017 - 12:21 PM

A major issue for BNSF through the Glacier Park area in winter is avalanches and avalanche threats.  That had the Empire Builder shut down for about a week last winter.



#17 zephyr17

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Posted 03 October 2017 - 12:34 PM

Drifts and frozen switches? Yikes. When I started this thread, I forgot that I might get way too much information from all of you experts! :) I refuse to worry about it for the next few days, when I will be complaining about the heat in Sacramento. :P

 

I have a week for it to all melt, although it's supposed to snow up there again on Saturday.  I think we go through Glacier National Park exactly a week from today. It will be 11 degrees overnight the night before, but sunny and a high of 29 degrees the next day.

 

If it is breakfast time, and they are thawing out switches, I will concentrate hard on my omelet and try not to think about it. I do wish I was brave enough to look out the window for animals, though. I saw mountain goats and black bears at the Oregon Zoo and would love to see them in their natural environment.

 

I just got a coupon for 15 percent off my first purchase at Fannie May in Chicago, so you know where I will be going as a reward when we finally get there! :)

Just for the heck of it let's throw in broken rails, too.  And the weight of ice from ice storms bringing down the code lines (which is not much of a concern any more as code lines are mostly gone in favor of code transmission through the rail).  Some years ago I was on an EB trip where all of that happened in North Dakota.  Pilot hi-rail preceded the train to find broken rails, found one.  Had to wait for an MoW crew to fix that (must have been fun in sub-zero weather).  Then the code lines (coated in ice) failed and we had to run at restricted speed flagging every dark signal on the Hillsboro Sub between Grand Forks and Fargo.

 

However, that was only one trip.  For many years I took the EB regularly in December with the major problems being delays from the oil train traffic.

 

PS - See's beats the heck out of Fannie Mae.


Edited by zephyr17, 03 October 2017 - 12:41 PM.

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#18 oregon pioneer

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Posted 03 October 2017 - 03:46 PM

The animal you are most likely to see is elk, on the way up to Marias Pass.

 

"Brave enough to look out the window..."?? You will be warm and cozy inside a train which has a wonderful record in snow-covered country. The train crew is there to assure your safety and comfort. All you have to do is enjoy the view, and believe me, it is wonderful!


Jennifer

 

I'm a "little Old Lady in Tennis Shoes" (LOLITS) from Eastern Oregon. I love to travel by train, though I live way out in the toolies, far from the nearest Amtrak station (Chemult). My station would have been Baker City, but they cancelled the Oregon Pioneer just before I took my first long-distance train trip as an adult. I've taken most trains in the West, but I'm still exploring new routes in the east.


#19 west point

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Posted 03 October 2017 - 09:39 PM

Remember the EB route is very heavily traveled by BNSF freights thru the mountains.  Each freight's engine will help keep the tracks clear.  Now if February or March there are a couple areas that might have landslides.  More likely is the possibility of a mudslide from Everett - SEATTLE causing busing between those 2 stations.



#20 Dakota 400

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Posted 04 October 2017 - 03:13 PM

 

The SWC is my normal route to Southern California. And the most beautiful, memorable trip was the week between Christmas and New Year's Day. The snow was magical. And the relatively minor delays, were not from track which would plague later trips, but were when crew members had to go out and manually "unfreeze" a couple of switches.
 

 

I have been on a train in an ice-storm, where they had to manually thaw and throw the switches. We ended up five hours behind, before we left the ice storm area. But that only happened on one of my many winter trips on the EB. Most have gone off without any delays caused by weather. Back in the day, most of the delays were caused by the many oil trains we had to wait for on the prairie, LOL!

 

Now I am really looking forward to my February trip on the EB and LSL to see the relatives back east!

 

 

Several years ago, I had the same experience on The Cardinal going to Chicago.  Ice storm during the night in Indiana, some signals were out, and some switches were frozen.  At one site where the tracks crossed each other in a North to South and East to West fashion, some of the crew had to leave the train and walk up the tracks in each direction to stop any other train so we could safely cross that junction.  To top it all off, as we approached Union Station (it was in sight), we were delayed again because of a just-happened derailment ahead of us.  Arrived very late, but I still was able to make my connection.






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