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what's going on with Crescent 19 on Mon. 3/12?


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#1 tricia

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 03:52 PM

Just got this email notice:

 

Our records indicate that you are scheduled to depart on Amtrak train number 0019 from Toccoa, Georgia at 6:15AM on Monday March 12 and arriving in New Orleans, Louisiana. 

That schedule has been cancelled due to a schedule change. There is no alternate service available. 

 

----------------------------------------------------

 

This is for a long-awaited brief vacation, for which I've booked hotels, arranged a farm-sitter. What the heck is going on that this is cancelled with only two days notice?

 



#2 greatcats

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 04:10 PM

I would really be incensed. Get in the phone and insist on speaking to Customer Relations, not Customer Service.


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I was a commuter railroad employee in NJ for many years until 2002, and have since been a tour guide at Grand Canyon National Park and Ketchikan, Alaska. Also, have been a National Park Volunteer at Hawaii Volcanoes and now Sunset Crater Volcano near my home. If not on Amtrak, also like long road trips, camping some of the time.

#3 brianpmcdonnell17

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 04:15 PM

It is most likely something between Alexandria and Charlottesville as all three southbounds are cancelled on March 11th as are two of the three northbounds (the exception being the Roanoke NER which is cancelled the next day instead).

Edited by brianpmcdonnell17, 09 March 2018 - 04:18 PM.

Routes Travelled: CL WAS-CHI, Card. CHI-WAS, Caro. CLT-RGH, CS SEA-LAX, CZ CHI-RIC, Cre. BAL-ATL, EB SEA-CHI, ES NYG/NYP-NFL, LSL BOS/NYP-CHI, ML ALB-NYP, NER FBG-RVR+WAS-BOS, PS LAX-ANA, Pen. NYP-PGH, Pie. RGH-CLT, SM ORL-NYP, SS MIA-NYP

#4 hastybob

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 04:32 PM

Amtrak is cancelling a number of trains on Sunday in advance of the next winter storm to hit the northeast. This is one - it comes out of New York.


Ponce de Leon, Piedmont(the Southern one!), Southern Crescent, Floridian, Crescent, Gulf Breeze, Silver Meteor, Silver Star, Champion, Palmetto, Montrealer, Adirondack, Broadway Ltd, Capitol Ltd, Lake Shore Ltd, City of New Orleans, Sunset Ltd, Coast Starlight, Southwest Chief, Rio Grande Zephyr, San Francisco Zephyr, California Zephyr, Desert Wind, International Ltd, North Coast Hiawatha, Cardinal, Pioneer, Lone Star, Colonial, Georgia Railroad Mixed (branch line)...... and numerous Corridor named and unnamed trains, plus a few Amtrak and LOTS of non Amtrak special trains.


#5 tricia

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 04:47 PM

Thanks for prompt replies. I've just spent 51 minutes on phone with Amtrak. Train is cancelled for only one day. I've changed res to day earlier, and hope I can adjust rest of our travel plans....



#6 greatcats

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 05:10 PM

Thank you, hastybob. If that is the case, why don’t they say so Instead of the stupid generic reason “ schedule change. “


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I was a commuter railroad employee in NJ for many years until 2002, and have since been a tour guide at Grand Canyon National Park and Ketchikan, Alaska. Also, have been a National Park Volunteer at Hawaii Volcanoes and now Sunset Crater Volcano near my home. If not on Amtrak, also like long road trips, camping some of the time.

#7 looshi

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 05:33 PM

I have a friend who was supposed to be on 51 WAS-CIN Sunday. I understand preemptive cancellation on the corridor when they are at least some trains running. However cancelling 19 and 51 for the entirety of their runs should be unacceptable.  Especially when 51 doesn't run again until Wednesday. There is precedent for turning them at Washington, where they forecast it to be 50 degrees and sunny on Sunday...

 

EDIT: It looks like the forecast has changed and they are calling for snow on Sunday. I'm going to back away from some of my outrage at this point. We'll see how things go.


Edited by looshi, 09 March 2018 - 05:59 PM.


#8 IndyLions

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 07:03 PM

Why should snow cancel a long distance train? Give me a break. If that were the case, the Empire Builder would be a seasonal train that would only run 6 months a year. What if there was a storm scheduled in CHI - would they cancel the Cardinal going the other direction? I think not. Amtrak on the East Coast needs to suck it up. At the very least, those trains need to originate in WAS. People north of there have a bunch of connection options. People south of there have approximately ZERO.


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#9 Thirdrail7

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 08:31 PM

I have a friend who was supposed to be on 51 WAS-CIN Sunday. I understand preemptive cancellation on the corridor when they are at least some trains running. However cancelling 19 and 51 for the entirety of their runs should be unacceptable.  Especially when 51 doesn't run again until Wednesday. There is precedent for turning them at Washington, where they forecast it to be 50 degrees and sunny on Sunday...

 

EDIT: It looks like the forecast has changed and they are calling for snow on Sunday. I'm going to back away from some of my outrage at this point. We'll see how things go.

 

 

Why should snow cancel a long distance train? Give me a break. If that were the case, the Empire Builder would be a seasonal train that would only run 6 months a year. What if there was a storm scheduled in CHI - would they cancel the Cardinal going the other direction? I think not. Amtrak on the East Coast needs to suck it up. At the very least, those trains need to originate in WAS. People north of there have a bunch of connection options. People south of there have approximately ZERO.


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Just out of curiosity, imagine you're a tenant railroad on a conference call with the host railroad. They advise you that they will curtail operations due to a projected storm. They also advise if you choose to run, they will "attempt" to operate your train to the best of their ability....but....if anything goes wrong or your train needs support,it is likely they will not be in the position to respond.

 

This includes infrastructure support like switch failure or a signal outage.

 

This includes right away support such as grade crossing failures or trees across the tracks.

 

This includes mechanical assistance if your train hits a tree, refueling if your train is delayed or if your old engine just fails on its own. It is unlikely there will be assistance.

 

In short, the host has basically stated "if you choose to run,we'll get to you when and if we get to you."

 

Are you still willing to run 1000 people into that red flag? (I say 1000 because there are other trains that are cancelled too.)


Edited by Thirdrail7, 09 March 2018 - 08:32 PM.

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#10 IndyLions

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 10:08 PM

Sorry - I still don’t buy it. If those trains originate in WAS how far will they have to travel south to get out of the “snow zone” ? 50 miles? 150 miles? So 1-3 hours away from your own National HQ. Doesn’t sound like much of a risk to me.


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#11 Thirdrail7

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 10:33 PM

Sorry - I still don’t buy it. If those trains originate in WAS how far will they have to travel south to get out of the “snow zone” ? 50 miles? 150 miles? So 1-3 hours away from your own National HQ. Doesn’t sound like much of a risk to me.


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Who said anything about snow? It wasn't "snow" that decimated operations last week.  You see, there are things like wind that blows down trees, particularly when the ground is saturated from weeks of bad weather. There are thing such as flood warnings (which dramatically reduces the speeds)
 
It was a wind driven tree through the windshield of one Amtrak train and into the path of another Amtrak train (disabling the train) that caused the host to suspend Amtrak operations last week. It had NOTHING to do with the snow.
 
Again, you still haven't answered the question.
 
The host has told you that if you run your train, they will NOT be in the position to assist you if things go bad as they are focusing on their issues.
 
Are you sending people into it?

Edited by PRR 60, 09 March 2018 - 10:37 PM.

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#12 Triley

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Posted 10 March 2018 - 12:30 AM



Sorry - I still don’t buy it. If those trains originate in WAS how far will they have to travel south to get out of the “snow zone” ? 50 miles? 150 miles? So 1-3 hours away from your own National HQ. Doesn’t sound like much of a risk to me.


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Who said anything about snow? It wasn't "snow" that decimated operations last week.  You see, there are things like wind that blows down trees, particularly when the ground is saturated from weeks of bad weather. There are thing such as flood warnings (which dramatically reduces the speeds)
 
It was a wind driven tree through the windshield of one Amtrak train and into the path of another Amtrak train (disabling the train) that caused the host to suspend Amtrak operations last week. It had NOTHING to do with the snow.
 
Again, you still haven't answered the question.
 
The host has told you that if you run your train, they will NOT be in the position to assist you if things go bad as they are focusing on their issues.
 
Are you sending people into it?

There was a tree taken down that caused a minor derailment for the MBTA this week as well.

I'm sure we could come up with plenty of examples and some still won't be happy.

There was an employee calling the railroad "sissies" for shutting down the corridor, even after two (CSX) freight cars were blown off a bridge on the corridor in to a river during the last storm.

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#13 IndyLions

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Posted 10 March 2018 - 08:43 AM

I’ve already told you what I would like to see them do. I would start those two trains in DC, which would minimize the amount of time the train would spend in predicted bad weather. It would not eliminate all risk, but reduce it significantly. We can agree to disagree.


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#14 AmtrakBlue

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Posted 10 March 2018 - 09:22 AM

I’ve already told you what I would like to see them do. I would start those two trains in DC, which would minimize the amount of time the train would spend in predicted bad weather. It would not eliminate all risk, but reduce it significantly. We can agree to disagree.


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Minimize time in bad weather.  Don't think so.  The bad weather is south & west of DC.

 

https://accuweather....ntic-mar-10.jpg


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#15 IndyLions

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Posted 10 March 2018 - 09:50 AM

Ok - I’ll stand corrected.

After re-reading the forecast, what I see is there will probably be a storm, it won’t likely be as bad as either of the last two, and it might have strong winds and snow that affects the east coast, or it might not.

Seems a shame to cancel service because of what might happen. I guess by doing that they are giving their customers more time to make alternate plans, since they don’t have any other significant options to offer their customers, except waiting a day or several days for the next train they are scheduled to run.


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#16 Thirdrail7

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Posted 10 March 2018 - 01:08 PM

Seems a shame to cancel service because of what might happen.


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At the risk of preaching and getting on a high horse, it is shame that the railroads no longer seem to care about...railroading....which is providing a service. They'd rather cut and run.  Screw the people (customers and passengers) that have made plans or need their materials delivered.

 

Railroading has given way to being all about the line. What are the costs of keeping the railroad running? Years ago, the railroader thought it was worth the costs and therefore, had the appropriate manpower in place to ride out these storms and keep the operation fluid. Granted, a lot of restrictions have been added, people are quick to sue, most railroads don't want the bad press of leaving stranded equipment and you can forget about hiring day or short term labor in a pinch.  However, I do long for the days when they at least WAITED for bad weather instead of giving up before the first snow flake, breeze or rain drop is even two days out.

 

A sign of the times for dinosaurs like myself.

 

 


There was an employee calling the railroad "sissies" for shutting down the corridor, even after two (CSX) freight cars were blown off a bridge on the corridor in to a river during the last storm.

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Those cars blew off a bridge that was two bridges upstream from the Amtrak bridge.  Here is a short video of the bridge and the Amtrak bridge.

 


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#17 tricia

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Posted 10 March 2018 - 05:26 PM

OP here again. Amtrak has booked us for the same itinerary 2 weeks later, no change in price or points. (This was an AGR redemption.)

 

Main gripe I have with them about all this (assuming the cancellation was in fact unavoidable) is the cryptic nature of the cancellation notice, and the inordinate amount of time it took the agents I called (as the cancellation notice instructed) to figure out what the cancellation was for, and when trains would be running again. 

 

Thanks to all who noted the cause of the cancellation, well before Amtrak ticketing staff themselves were notified.



#18 AmtrakBlue

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Posted 10 March 2018 - 05:40 PM

There was an employee calling the railroad "sissies" for shutting down the corridor, even after two (CSX) freight cars were blown off a bridge on the corridor in to a river during the last storm.

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http://www.baltimore...otogallery.html


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#19 Don Newcomb

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 08:27 AM

......, it is shame that the railroads no longer seem to care about...railroading....which is providing a service. They'd rather cut and run.  Screw the people (customers and passengers) that have made plans or need their materials delivered.
......

At one time railroads were the preferred mode for time-critical deliveries. Fresh fruit, vegetables, express packages (REA), passengers and mail, went by train. That was then, this is now. Today, if it has to be there on time it goes by air or truck. With a few exceptions (e,g, commuter rail) trains are for moving things that can wait a day or two without loss. Sadly, this seems to include people. 



#20 Thirdrail7

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 11:14 AM



 Sadly, this seems to include people.

 

 

It is a tough position. Look at Tricia. She had vacation plans, hotels and various other arrangements in place. I'm on the board with her so she is not faceless. However, if I wasn't on the board, perhaps those thoughts wouldn't even be considered. This is the reason I still hang out here. It is to remind me there are people involved. Too many companies and corporations have taken the "human perspective" out of the equation.

 

However, it has to be weighed against the current operational reality.

 

Is it better to shut things down in advance so people can make other arrangements or should we as Helena Williams said, "run and rescue?".

 

This is particularly tough when reinforcements  aren't available. The trees may come down and the host stated you're a low priority. You can't even count on buses since conditions may be treacherous. Do you send it out and risk running out of options like  the passengers and crew in the Amtrak's westbound Cardinal stranded since Friday thread?  

 

I think it is better to shut it down.


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