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Amtrak On Time Routes


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#1 Traveler2017

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 02:23 PM

After my City of New Orleans trip, I would consider taking Amtrak again.   We would be leaving out of Chicago and the possible routes that interest me are:

 

Texas Eagle (Chicago to Dallas)

Southwest Chief (Chicago to ABQ)

California Zephyr (Chicago to Denver)

 

However, I've been reading about lengthy Amtrak delays (especially on the CZ). I was wondering if anyone had any experience on these routes and could give me a little insight on what to expect.

 

Thanks!



#2 Steve4031

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 03:06 PM

The delays are for a variety of reasons. The worst delays occur when derailments, rock slides, flooding, etc happen. These cannot be predicted. Other delays occur because of freights etc.


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#3 Milw6166

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 03:57 PM

Just completed Chi-Abq RT. 9/22 &  10/08. Got lucky on rock slides. No problem either trip. On #4, one hour late at trinidad due to slow running in slide area and met a Railrunner at Bernalillo NM, half hour late into Chi.



#4 KmH

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 03:59 PM

Yep. It's pretty much a crap shoot, because as mentioned there are lots of things that can put an Amtrak train behind schedule.

Many of those things are not in Amtrak's control.

 

The last time I rode the CZ, a year ago, it was early to most stations.

The same the last time I rode the SWC - last May - when I was actually hoping the westbound SWC would be running about 3 hours late the last morning so we would have daylight approaching and going over Cajon Pass.


Edited by KmH, 12 October 2017 - 04:03 PM.

1963U. S. Congress - underground trolley system • Disneyland train (1968/various other dates) • Old Tucson steam train (1969)

Amtrak: California Zephyr Coast Starlight •  Southwest ChiefSunset LimitedTexas Eagle • Illinois Zephyr

. . . . . . . Amtrak miles - 16,383, so far.

 

 

 

 

 


#5 niemi24s

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 04:10 PM

Spotty anecdotal information will do little or nothing to answer your basic question.  The historic information available here...  https://juckins.net/  ...will provide complete data for the past.  For the future?  Your guess will be just as good as anybody else's.  



#6 KmH

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 10:37 PM

Unfortunately, the provided link does not say why any particular train was late.
 
It should also be noted that there is time padding between various stations that aids a late train recovering some of any time it has lost.
But again, whatever has caused a delay often also affects a trains ability to regain some of the lost time.
Note too that for the most part Amtrak trains cannot leave a station early, so passengers departing from that station don't get to the station on time to find the train left early.

Edited by KmH, 14 October 2017 - 11:38 AM.

1963U. S. Congress - underground trolley system • Disneyland train (1968/various other dates) • Old Tucson steam train (1969)

Amtrak: California Zephyr Coast Starlight •  Southwest ChiefSunset LimitedTexas Eagle • Illinois Zephyr

. . . . . . . Amtrak miles - 16,383, so far.

 

 

 

 

 


#7 chakk

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Posted 14 October 2017 - 07:52 AM

And any trains that are allowed to leave a particular station early are clearly marked as such in the timetable.


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#8 PaulM

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Posted 14 October 2017 - 09:59 AM

The delays are for a variety of reasons. The worst delays occur when derailments, rock slides, flooding, etc happen. These cannot be predicted. Other delays occur because of freights etc.

 

You forgot to mention engine failure followed by the T&E crew timing out.



#9 KmH

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Posted 14 October 2017 - 11:45 AM

A complete list would be quite lengthy.
Another sad but regularly recurring cause of late Amtrak trains are ROW (Right Of Way) trespass incidents that result in pedestrian or vehicle occupant injury or death.

The key takeaway is that because trains are restricted to running on rails one's travel plans have to allow for the possibility they will arrive late at a connecting point or a destination.


1963U. S. Congress - underground trolley system • Disneyland train (1968/various other dates) • Old Tucson steam train (1969)

Amtrak: California Zephyr Coast Starlight •  Southwest ChiefSunset LimitedTexas Eagle • Illinois Zephyr

. . . . . . . Amtrak miles - 16,383, so far.

 

 

 

 

 





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