From my experience on 14(Dec16) BUR-EMY booked in a Roomette last month, Amtrak both emailed and called me (automated message) on December 14th (as I was riding the San Joaquin south) to contact the re-accommodation desk by phone as they would need to re-accommodate me on alternate transportation due to a service disruption. I called and was given three options.
1) Change to the Bus/Train San Joaquin trip and receive the fare difference between my Roomette rate and the current San Joaquin Fare back
2) Re-book for another date in the future and maintain my same low bucket Roomette Rate
3) Cancel and receive a full refund back to my form of payment
I was told I needed to make the decision and it would be binding (no changes later). I could wait and call back, however the San Joaquin fare would most likely go up due to all the re-accommodations so it would be to my advantage to change sooner rather than later. Beyond that there would be no consideration or compensation for the lost meals (due to sleeper accommodations) or reduction of class of service. I made the change and moved around some of my other lodging and logistical reservations to reflect the travel change.
Fast Forward to the 15th... around 8pm as I was milling around Disneyland I noticed that 14(16) was now projected to run again. I called Amtrak to check on my reservation and I was told that train 14 would be running again on the 16th. I asked if I could change my reservation back and due to the train basically being empty as the majority of the passengers were re-booked they changed my reservation back to mirror my original reservation. We were the first Starlight northbound since service was suspended due to the fires. While it was a personal decision, I had to change some of my logistical and transportation reservations back (at an increased cost) to reflect my change in travel plans back to what they originally were.
The passengers who were on the train were A) Thankful the train was going through and B) Frustrated by the back and forth from Amtrak.
Moral of the story: Amtrak was trying to be proactive about a fluid situation by notifying us 36 hours in advance and it didn't work out as planned. I don't know if they are being more cautious this go around by not calling it as early so they don't have to go back on the decision but if there is a glimmer of hope that UP may let the train through they may be holding on to that instead this time instead of repeating what happened last month.
Moving to the current situation... I was told at the station and I believe to be true that the train has been turning in the Oakland yard similar as before with the crew using the San Joaquin/Bus combination to get to/from LA. From what I gather Passenger service may resume at some point tomorrow. This most likely won't be the first trains of the morning to allow some additional time for clean up. The Starlight may be a good candidate as it comes along late-morning, early-afternoon. In either regard it should hopefully be back up and running by Sunday pending any further issues. Should have a break in the major rain until Monday again. Can't predict the future but it looks to be in your favor
And as a side note... when we rode the train we could see all the traffic and cars getting turned back as 101 Northbound was still closed at Sea Cliff. Once again it looks like the rail line will be open before the highway. If you see the photos it's quite a mess out there. Just can't catch a break.
Edited by roadman3313, 11 January 2018 - 03:09 AM.