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Coast Starlight Annulment (due to mudslidesJan 2018)?

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Nothing has been put out officially by Amtrak... Yet.

 

It would appear that today's #14 has been cancelled in its entirety between Los Angeles and Oakland, and that yesteday's #11 has been terminated in Oakland. The Coast Starlight route went into official "Service Disruption" sometime last night.

 

I am almost 100% certain that the tracks in Ventura County have been affected by the mudslides, seeing as they parallel US 101 and that major freeway has been completely shut down (and will remain so for at least two more days.)

 

Insight from those who have access to such information would be appreciated; I believe they're planning on turning all trains in Oakland and possibly arranging alternate transportation for all stations further south.

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There is a service disruption on the Amtrak site - but it just says between Santa Barbara & Oxnard. It was posted yesterday morning.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Amtrak Forum

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If you try to book between LAX and OKJ you’ll see sold out for the CS for tomorrow

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Amtrak Forum

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NBC4 Los Angeles... "The stretch of Highway 101 covered in debris and mud left behind by Southern California's first major storm of winter will remain closed until at least Monday."

 

That might provide a clue as to how long the Coast Line might be shut down.

https://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/101-Freeway-to-Remain-Closed-For-at-Least-48-Hours-Following-Deadly-SoCal-Storm-468600603.html

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Yesterday's service advisory (still posted) simply states "until further notice".

https://www.amtrak.com/alert/amtrak-service-disruption-between-santa-barbara-and-oxnard-california.html

That link is no longer valid.

 

I cannot find anything up to date on Amtrak.com. The only site that seems to have accurate, if limited, information is CalTrans:

 

 

SERVICE ALERT:

Track Closures Due to Mudslides: Tracks are still closed between Oxnard and Santa Barbara due to multiple mudslides. Trains will continue to operate between San Diego and Oxnard, and between San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara, until further notice, with no alternative transportation available. We are posting updates on Twitter as soon as information is available View Twitter.

 

 

I'm waiting for Amtrak to inform me of this, since I'm scheduled on #11 in Business Class in about 36 hours. :)

 

Luckily, I'm only going as far south as San Jose (curious to know if they're gonna kick me off in SAC or OKJ to transfer to a Capitol Corridor train.)

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That link still works for me.

Me too! You can also find the link on Amtrak's home page.

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Yesterday's service advisory (still posted) simply states "until further notice".

https://www.amtrak.com/alert/amtrak-service-disruption-between-santa-barbara-and-oxnard-california.html

That link is no longer valid.

 

I cannot find anything up to date on Amtrak.com. The only site that seems to have accurate, if limited, information is CalTrans:

 

 

SERVICE ALERT:

Track Closures Due to Mudslides: Tracks are still closed between Oxnard and Santa Barbara due to multiple mudslides. Trains will continue to operate between San Diego and Oxnard, and between San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara, until further notice, with no alternative transportation available. We are posting updates on Twitter as soon as information is available View Twitter.

 

 

I'm waiting for Amtrak to inform me of this, since I'm scheduled on #11 in Business Class in about 36 hours. :)

 

Luckily, I'm only going as far south as San Jose (curious to know if they're gonna kick me off in SAC or OKJ to transfer to a Capitol Corridor train.)

 

 

My understanding is that as long as the track is closed between Oxnard and Santa Barbara, 11 and 14 will operate as scheduled Emeryville to Seattle. Passengers bound to San Jose and Oakland will be transferred to Capitol Corridor in Emeryville. The CS equipment will be turned and serviced in Oakland yards. Just be aware that this is a day to day decision so Amtrak will not make a termination decision until it is in the Sacramento to Emeryville area.

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And since the OAkland Amtrak station is SOUTH of the Oakland Yard, and there is no other place to turn the Coast Starlight short of LA. All passengers on the southbound Starlight will be detrained at Emeryville and taken via alternate means to their final (previous) destination on the Starlight.

 

 

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I'm taking the CS from LAX To EMY ON Sunday.

 

and then EMY to CHI on Monday.

Do you think it'll still be impacted? Will Amtrak let me change my train proactively without change fee due to this?

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I'm taking the CS from LAX To EMY ON Sunday.

 

and then EMY to CHI on Monday.

Do you think it'll still be impacted? Will Amtrak let me change my train proactively without change fee due to this?

If things are repaired in time for your Sunday trip north, you and I will be on the same #14. I am getting on in SJC (hopefully!)

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Update: Put a shout-out on Twitter and got the boilerplate answer from Amtrak with no information:

 

@Amtrak via Twitter

Currently, we do not have information for the Coast Starlight train traveling south of OKJ for Friday. We advise contacting us tomorrow as information will be updated.

 

 

But then I did get an informational answer from Capitol Corridor!

 

@CapitolCorridor via Twitter

Yes! Please visit a staffed station where an agent can help you transfer the ticket. You will transfer trains at OKJ. (OKJ is a staffed station & you can get your ticket transfer done there if you cannot reach a station prior to your departure)

 

It is similar to what I figured would occur. I'll get reimbursed for the Business Class fare I won't get to use, and have an amended ticket. Bright side is, maybe I'll get the chance to be pulled behind a new Charger for the first time.

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Just saw a post on Trainorders Western Board (posted this evening) that UP has re-opened the line...

The line is reopened, UP got the oil cans rolling south from SLO around 3:00.

 

If true, wonder when Amtrak will be allowed through.

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Wouldn't it be nice to have an Amtrak site that provides current and accurate info about delayed and "service disruption" messages?

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For what it is worth, the track a train is showing the 11(10) that departed Seattle with estimated times indicating that they expect to travel all the way to LAX tomorrow evening. 14 that departs Thursday morning will not show on track a train until the train has actually departed LAX. Looks like the tracks may be open for train travel Thursday(1/11).

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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

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For what it is worth, the track a train is showing the 11(10) that departed Seattle with estimated times indicating that they expect to travel all the way to LAX tomorrow evening. 14 that departs Thursday morning will not show on track a train until the train has actually departed LAX. Looks like the tracks may be open for train travel Thursday(1/11).

So... Those websites aren't always accurate. From what I see, 11(10) is still terminating are OKJ. 11(11) is planned to go to LAX however. And 14(11) will be from EMY, since that's where the equipment terminated yesterday.

 

What'll be interesting to see is where 14(12) originates, if 11(10) doesn't go to LAX.

 

Sent from my SM-G955U using Amtrak Forum mobile app

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From the Coast Starlight FB group page

 

Service for 11Jan will mirror the past two days:

Due to a landslide near Carpinteria, CA (CPN), train 11 that originated on January 10th will terminate at Oakland, CA (OKJ). A re-route is available via regularly scheduled San Joaquin service / California Coastal thruway buses depending on destination. January 11th, train 14 will originate at Emeryville, CA (EMY).

This information is current as of 7:14pm Pacific time on 10Jan and is provided as a courtesy only. Travel on Jan 12 or beyond depends on when the mud stops shifting and repairs can be made to the tracks. I will post an update here if time permits.

******This service disruption also means there will be no service in Pacific Parlour cars until the railroad is fully open again. As part of our winter operating plan, the Parlour cars are scheduled to operate on Thursday and Friday departures from Los Angeles and Saturday and Sunday departures from Seattle only. This is suspended for 11Jan and most likely 12Jan.******

If you are currently in transit or have plans to travel today please contact Amtrak at 800-872-7245.

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Tracks are now reported back open for passenger traffic by the Pacific Surfliner folks. 768 anticipated to be the first train through delayed approximately 2.5 hours to allow for final preparation, repositioning, and restoration. On time section of 768 will depart LA. Delays expected through the affected area but service is anticipated to operate through. As always this is subject to changes as conditions change.

 

Starlight should be back to normal today. 11 departed Oakland on time at 850am. Tickets are available for both 11 and 14 at low bucket rates (on 14 at least) as I presume most folks were already re-accomodated. Seems like a similar situation to what I experienced last month. Last minute operational change. We shall see how it goes.

Edited by roadman3313

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Tuesday morning pics.. Before and after photos, on a nice day and Tuesday morning. Olive Mill Road overpass at 101, guardrail completely gone. South of 101 at the tracks.

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For what it is worth, the track a train is showing the 11(10) that departed Seattle with estimated times indicating that they expect to travel all the way to LAX tomorrow evening. 14 that departs Thursday morning will not show on track a train until the train has actually departed LAX. Looks like the tracks may be open for train travel Thursday(1/11).

So... Those websites aren't always accurate. From what I see, 11(10) is still terminating are OKJ. 11(11) is planned to go to LAX however. And 14(11) will be from EMY, since that's where the equipment terminated yesterday.

 

What'll be interesting to see is where 14(12) originates, if 11(10) doesn't go to LAX.

 

Sent from my SM-G955U using Amtrak Forum mobile app

 

 

Please note that 11(10) is proceeding all the way to Los Angeles arriving tonight and 14(11) did depart Los Angeles an hour late and is north of Santa Barbara. Looks like the Amtrak Status maps were correct.

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For what it is worth, the track a train is showing the 11(10) that departed Seattle with estimated times indicating that they expect to travel all the way to LAX tomorrow evening. 14 that departs Thursday morning will not show on track a train until the train has actually departed LAX. Looks like the tracks may be open for train travel Thursday(1/11).

So... Those websites aren't always accurate. From what I see, 11(10) is still terminating are OKJ. 11(11) is planned to go to LAX however. And 14(11) will be from EMY, since that's where the equipment terminated yesterday.

 

What'll be interesting to see is where 14(12) originates, if 11(10) doesn't go to LAX.

 

Sent from my SM-G955U using Amtrak Forum mobile app

Please note that 11(10) is proceeding all the way to Los Angeles arriving tonight and 14(11) did depart Los Angeles an hour late and is north of Santa Barbara. Looks like the Amtrak Status maps were correct.

Leave it to us to not update internal resources

 

Sent from my SM-G955U using Amtrak Forum mobile app

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As I write sitting two blocks from the Santa Barbara station, I can hear the train horns.

 

I was booked for yesterday on 11 (9) from Sacramento to SBA. The day before my departure, I began noticing that train status was saying service disruption, although I never received any communication from Amtrak. I called the 800 number and was told it was sold out, which was what Amtrak.com was saying. No, I didn't say great; I already have my ticket! knowing that Amtrak doesn't always know the difference between canceled and sold out. When I suggested this, the agent was adamant that it was sold out.

 

Remembering it was an AGR reward trip, I called them. The agent agreed to check and came back with the report that a decision would be made later at 5:00PM. At this point the best option seemed to be a San Joaquin to Bakersfield and Ambus to SBA.

 

When I called back after five, the decision to truncate at Oakland had been made; and the SJ-bus option was now sold out. I didn't for a minute believe it was actually sold out. But my only choice was a Capitol Corridor to San Jose and a much longer bus ride.

 

Later, out of curiosity I checked availability for the SJ-bus option for the next day and day after. It is now listed as canceled, implying to me that the road from Bakersfield to SBA is also closed. Checking the schedule, I see that it calls at Oxnard, Ventura, and Carpenteria before reaching SBA. In other words it back tracks on the 101 (as Califorios would say). Ad an aside, Google maps shows the Bakersfield to Santa Barbara route to approach it from the north. Why not take the shorter route during the emergency?

 

Incidentally, the 101 is now projected to be opened Tuesday, five days after the rail line opened. The UP must run a lot of freight over the line. Or a more likely explanation is that the highway, which is inland and above the tracks acted as a damn, protecting them from the muck.

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