Jump to content




Help Support AmtrakTrains.com by donating using the link above or becoming a Supporting Member.

CA Zephyr Late at SLC?


16 replies to this topic

#1 Guest_DrRonDrRonDrRon_*

Guest_DrRonDrRonDrRon_*
  • Guests

Posted 05 July 2018 - 02:36 PM

I'm riding the CA Zephyr from DEN to SLC for the first time in a couple of weeks.

I've been checking the Train 5 schedule performance lately and really scared myself.

Scheduled arrival at SLC is 11 PM and actual performance has been from 11 minutes to 3.5 hours late.

And not just once but several times lately.

What's the problem with this train route?

I'm taking my wife out there for her birthday and need some reliable hotel reservations and shuttle scheduling.

Any help?

Thanks...



#2 Maglev

Maglev

    OBS Chief

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 416 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Orcas Island, Washington
  • Interests:Trains, environmental science, planetary volcanism.

Posted 05 July 2018 - 02:51 PM

I'll confess that I am not intimately familiar with this train's on-time performance, but 3.5 hours late is not unusual for Amtrak.  I would think it would be difficult to schedule a shuttle pick-up when using Amtrak's long-distance trains.  Is it too far to take a taxi or Uber?


Edited by Maglev, 05 July 2018 - 02:51 PM.

  • cpotisch likes this

Northeast corridor Heritage, Metroliner, Amfleet and Acela, CN Super Continental, Broadway Limited, Lone Star, Sunset Limited, Coast Starlight, San Joaquin, Southwest Limited, National Limited, Champion, California Zephyr, Capitol Limited, Wolverine, Crescent, Empire Builder, Cascades, Lake Shore Limited, Silver Meteor, Cardinal. 


#3 cpotisch

cpotisch

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,824 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Brooklyn, NY
  • Interests:Planes, Trains, Cooking, Politics

Posted 05 July 2018 - 02:59 PM

In the past two months, the CZ has been an average of 1h 35m late into Salt Lake City. By long distance train standards, that’s not even that bad by long distance train standards. The freight railroads own the tracks, so delays are to be expected. I wouldn’t book anything for right after the train is scheduled to arrive, but if you see that you’re due to arrive late, if need be give your hotel a heads up.
Routes Traveled: Silver Meteor, Silver Star, CrescentLake Shore LimitedCalifornia Zephyr, Sunset Limited, Texas EagleEthan Allen Express, Empire Service, Maple Leaf, AdirondackAcela Express, Northeast RegionalKeystone Service
 
Wish List: Cardinal, CONO, Empire Builder, Southwest Chief, Crescent (overnight), Adirondack w/ Great Dome, Downeaster

#4 cpotisch

cpotisch

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,824 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Brooklyn, NY
  • Interests:Planes, Trains, Cooking, Politics

Posted 05 July 2018 - 03:01 PM

Is it too far to take a taxi or Uber?

Agreed! If possible, having a taxi/Uber/Lyft/etc makes a lot more sense when you’re coming in on an LD.


Routes Traveled: Silver Meteor, Silver Star, CrescentLake Shore LimitedCalifornia Zephyr, Sunset Limited, Texas EagleEthan Allen Express, Empire Service, Maple Leaf, AdirondackAcela Express, Northeast RegionalKeystone Service
 
Wish List: Cardinal, CONO, Empire Builder, Southwest Chief, Crescent (overnight), Adirondack w/ Great Dome, Downeaster

#5 Maglev

Maglev

    OBS Chief

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 416 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Orcas Island, Washington
  • Interests:Trains, environmental science, planetary volcanism.

Posted 05 July 2018 - 03:06 PM

As far as the hotel goes, it is a good idea to advise them that you may be late checking in so they hold your room and in case there are any special procedures (eg, a certain door to use after hours).


  • cpotisch likes this

Northeast corridor Heritage, Metroliner, Amfleet and Acela, CN Super Continental, Broadway Limited, Lone Star, Sunset Limited, Coast Starlight, San Joaquin, Southwest Limited, National Limited, Champion, California Zephyr, Capitol Limited, Wolverine, Crescent, Empire Builder, Cascades, Lake Shore Limited, Silver Meteor, Cardinal. 


#6 pennyk

pennyk

    Engineer

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,552 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Orlando, FL

Posted 05 July 2018 - 03:23 PM

I have taken that route, and I recall the train being late.  It was after midnight when we arrived in SLC.  In advance of arrival, I phoned the hotel to inform them that I would be late.  I also asked about shuttle and was told that the shuttle runs all night and to phone when the train arrived.  The hotels that provide shuttles to the train station know that the train is often late.  If I remember correctly, the hotel was Hilton Garden Inn.


  • cpotisch likes this

Amtrak miles: 236,632; 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, 2015, 2016, 2017, Empire Service, Sunset Limited, San Joaquin, Capitol Corridor, Pennsylvanian, Illinois Zephyr, Carl Sandburg, Ethan Allen Express, AEM-7 Excursion, Pacific Surfliner, Palmetto.  VIA miles: 4,584; Routes: The Canadian, Ocean; Alaska RR Denali Star: 356 miles


#7 Guest_Guest_*

Guest_Guest_*
  • Guests

Posted 05 July 2018 - 05:34 PM

OK, I'm confused...

 

Looking at the train status menu for arrival at DEN from CHI I can only get info back to June 30.

But the schedule shows July info available out to July 10, of course with no actual info available past today.

Why would Amtrak not retain past status info instead of showing dates a week ahead, with no info available?

 

Anyway, looks like the arrival at DEN from CHI is where the problem lies.

Over the last 6 days, the DEN arrival has been within .5 hour of scheduled 3 times.

The other 3 days it was 2.5 to 3.5 hours late.

 

Hard to make up time going over the Continental Divide.

Actually, looks like there's no attempt to get back on schedule.

What happens to crew shifts when a 15 hour leg runs so much longer?

What are the safety rules applying?

Do they always bring fresh engineers on in DEN?

How long are the standard shifts?

 

At this point my issue is not so much a late arrival in SLC as sitting in Union Station for 2 or 3 hours at 8 AM.

Do they send out delay notices to customers?

 

Sorry, but I really am a newbie here.



#8 cpotisch

cpotisch

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,824 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Brooklyn, NY
  • Interests:Planes, Trains, Cooking, Politics

Posted 05 July 2018 - 05:46 PM

OK, I'm confused...

 

Looking at the train status menu for arrival at DEN from CHI I can only get info back to June 30.

But the schedule shows July info available out to July 10, of course with no actual info available past today.

Why would Amtrak not retain past status info instead of showing dates a week ahead, with no info available?

Amtrak doesn't show you on time performance past a certain point, so I get my on time performance statistics from this site. Great resource, that.

 

 

What happens to crew shifts when a 15 hour leg runs so much longer?

What are the safety rules applying?

Do they always bring fresh engineers on in DEN?

How long are the standard shifts?

 

At this point my issue is not so much a late arrival in SLC as sitting in Union Station for 2 or 3 hours at 8 AM.

Do they send out delay notices to customers?

 

Sorry, but I really am a newbie here.

 

I'm going to answer these questions in order:

  1. At a certain point they have to get a fresh crew. However, for any normal kind of delay, that's won't be necessary.
  2. I don't quite understand the question, but I can assure you that it's completely safe for the train to make up time.
  3. Don't know. Not very knowledgeable about that kind of thing.
  4. Not sure about that either
  5. It depends on how severe the delay. If it's significant enough that it counts as a service disruption, they might post it on the site or on Twitter.

Routes Traveled: Silver Meteor, Silver Star, CrescentLake Shore LimitedCalifornia Zephyr, Sunset Limited, Texas EagleEthan Allen Express, Empire Service, Maple Leaf, AdirondackAcela Express, Northeast RegionalKeystone Service
 
Wish List: Cardinal, CONO, Empire Builder, Southwest Chief, Crescent (overnight), Adirondack w/ Great Dome, Downeaster

#9 Guest_Guest_*

Guest_Guest_*
  • Guests

Posted 05 July 2018 - 06:30 PM

Thanks,

My Chrome browser won't allow me access to your site for unsecure connection.

Thoughts?



#10 pennyk

pennyk

    Engineer

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,552 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Orlando, FL

Posted 05 July 2018 - 06:32 PM

Thanks,

My Chrome browser won't allow me access to your site for unsecure connection.

Thoughts?

If you are the OP, try signing in as a member.


Amtrak miles: 236,632; 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, 2015, 2016, 2017, Empire Service, Sunset Limited, San Joaquin, Capitol Corridor, Pennsylvanian, Illinois Zephyr, Carl Sandburg, Ethan Allen Express, AEM-7 Excursion, Pacific Surfliner, Palmetto.  VIA miles: 4,584; Routes: The Canadian, Ocean; Alaska RR Denali Star: 356 miles


#11 cpotisch

cpotisch

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,824 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Brooklyn, NY
  • Interests:Planes, Trains, Cooking, Politics

Posted 05 July 2018 - 06:51 PM

 

Thanks,

My Chrome browser won't allow me access to your site for unsecure connection.

Thoughts?

If you are the OP, try signing in as a member.

 

I'm pretty sure AU just isn't technically a secured site. I could personally care less, but perhaps Chrome doesn't feel the same way in this case. Whatever be the case, the OP is now a member of AU.


Routes Traveled: Silver Meteor, Silver Star, CrescentLake Shore LimitedCalifornia Zephyr, Sunset Limited, Texas EagleEthan Allen Express, Empire Service, Maple Leaf, AdirondackAcela Express, Northeast RegionalKeystone Service
 
Wish List: Cardinal, CONO, Empire Builder, Southwest Chief, Crescent (overnight), Adirondack w/ Great Dome, Downeaster

#12 DrRon

DrRon

    Train Attendant

  • Newbie
  • Pip
  • 2 posts

Posted 05 July 2018 - 08:29 PM

Actually, I have no issue with AU.

It's the Juckins site it doesn't like....



#13 cpotisch

cpotisch

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,824 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Brooklyn, NY
  • Interests:Planes, Trains, Cooking, Politics

Posted 06 July 2018 - 10:54 AM

Actually, I have no issue with AU.

It's the Juckins site it doesn't like....

Try another browser or try tinkering with your settings. I'm not having any difficulty accessing it in in Chrome, so I imagine it would work with the appropriate settings.


Routes Traveled: Silver Meteor, Silver Star, CrescentLake Shore LimitedCalifornia Zephyr, Sunset Limited, Texas EagleEthan Allen Express, Empire Service, Maple Leaf, AdirondackAcela Express, Northeast RegionalKeystone Service
 
Wish List: Cardinal, CONO, Empire Builder, Southwest Chief, Crescent (overnight), Adirondack w/ Great Dome, Downeaster

#14 zephyr17

zephyr17

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,560 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Washington State

Posted 06 July 2018 - 02:29 PM

OK, I'm confused...

 

Looking at the train status menu for arrival at DEN from CHI I can only get info back to June 30.

But the schedule shows July info available out to July 10, of course with no actual info available past today.

Why would Amtrak not retain past status info instead of showing dates a week ahead, with no info available?

 

Anyway, looks like the arrival at DEN from CHI is where the problem lies.

Over the last 6 days, the DEN arrival has been within .5 hour of scheduled 3 times.

The other 3 days it was 2.5 to 3.5 hours late.

 

Hard to make up time going over the Continental Divide.

Actually, looks like there's no attempt to get back on schedule.

What happens to crew shifts when a 15 hour leg runs so much longer?

What are the safety rules applying?

Do they always bring fresh engineers on in DEN?

How long are the standard shifts?

 

At this point my issue is not so much a late arrival in SLC as sitting in Union Station for 2 or 3 hours at 8 AM.

Do they send out delay notices to customers?

 

Sorry, but I really am a newbie here.

1.  Operating crew, conductors and engineers responsible for the safe operation of the train, work between set points.  I don't know the exact points on the CZ, but my guess is it is Denver-Grand Junction, and Grand Junction-SLC.  By LAW the operating crew can be on duty no more than 12 hours.  If the crew exceeds 12 hours, the train stops right where it is, as it is illegal for the crew to remain in service.  That is known as being "dead-on-the-law".  A replacement crew is sent by van in those circumstances.  Dispatchers work closely with train crews and know the service time limits of the crew, as the dispatcher does not want a train that is dead on the law plugging up his railroad.  If the train is late into a crew change station, the on duty time for the new crew is often pushed back so the new crew won't die on the law.  The crew change points are set so the timing between those stations is well under 12 hours.  By union agreement, if a run is scheduled for less than 6 hours, only one engineer is required in the cab.  Anything over 6 hours requires two qualified engineers in the cab.

2.  The number of safety rules on railroads are huge.  Most western RRs adhere to GCOR (General Code of Operating Rules).  All those rules are in force regardless of whether or not a train is late.  That includes speed restrictions.  Engineers are forbidden to exceed speed restrictions regardless of the circumstances.  Engineers can be and are terminated for exceeding speed restrictions.   BTW, generally the top speed allowed is 79 mph, that is by FRA regulation that designates absolute top speed based on track conditions and signaling method.  Places where trains are allowed to go faster have things like automated train stop systems and/or cab signalling.

 

"Making up time" is not done by speeding, the train is probably going the same speed regardless of whether or not it is late when allowed to go track speed.  "Making up time" is really just consuming the schedule padding, technically called "recovery time" that is built into the schedule.  For short distance train, there is recovery time at the terminal stations.  For long distance trains, major intermediate stations have padding as well as the terminals.


  • cpotisch likes this
Pre Amtrak: SP Coast Daylight, AT&SF San Diegan, AT&SF Super Chief, D&RGW Rio Grande Zephyr; Amtrak: Southwest Limited/Chief, San Diegan/Pacific Surfliner, San Joaquin, Cascades, California/San Francisco Zephyr, Coast Starlight, Empire Builder, Sunset Limited (LA-ORL), Desert Wind, Pioneer, City of New Orleans, Silver Star, Silver Meteor, Lake Shore Limited (NY Section), Cardinal, Hoosier State (Amtrak),  Hoosier State (Iowa Pacific), Ann Rutledge, Adirondack, Maple Leaf, NE Regional, Capitol Limited, Crescent, Acela Express, Lake Shore Limited (Boston Section)
Via Rail Canada: Via Canadian (CP route), Via Super Continental, Via Atlantic Limited, Via Hudson Bay, Via Skeena, Via Canadian (CN route), Via "Corridor" (Toronto-Montreal); 
Other: BC Rail Cariboo Dayliner, Alaska Railroad, Eurostar, Thalys, DB, Netherlands Rail, Austrian Railways, BR, Korail (conventional), Korail KTX

#15 Tennessee Traveler

Tennessee Traveler

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,154 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Franklin, TN

Posted 07 July 2018 - 06:55 PM

I have no problems accessing Amtrak Unlimited on my Chrome Browser.  There are a number of possible reasons including using the Adblock App or the way your Intivirous in set.  



#16 chakk

chakk

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,244 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 08 July 2018 - 03:18 PM

The CZ has some recovery time built into its schedule between Glenwood Springs and Grand Junction, and between Provo and Salt Lake City, for example. Not enough to make up 3 hours, but possibly 30 minutes of delay out of Denver.

#17 DrRon

DrRon

    Train Attendant

  • Newbie
  • Pip
  • 2 posts

Posted 09 July 2018 - 06:14 PM

OK, I can't get on the Juckins site any way...

 

But just working with the Amtrak site I've got these latest numbers:

  • 6/30 Den -2.0 hr
  • 7/1  Den -3.5
  • 7/4  Den -3.5
  • 7/6  Den -2.0
  • 7/7  Den -2.5
  • 7/8  Den -2.0
  • 7/9  Den -3.2

The most it made up to SLC was 1 hour on 7/4

It lost an additional .5 hour on 2 of these days.

 

Again, I understand the issue with who owns the tracks.

And I see I will get a delay alert if the delay is projected to be over 20 minutes.

I'm not sure how early the alert will come.

 

Yes, I still look forward to the experience, etc.

But breakfast at Union Station can only last so long...





Reply to this topic



  

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users