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Coast Starlight diversion between Klamath Falls and Eugene?

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For the last few days, running status for the northbound Coast Starlight shows it reaching Klamath Falls more or less on time (<1 hour delay most days), then no update for Chemult and Eugene, and reappears to continue further north with a 5 hour delay! You can check this trend for train #11 for 06/07, 06/08, 06/09.

 

So... what is going on here? Is the consist of Coast Starlight diverted over some alternate route between Klamath Falls and Eugene that ends up taking 4 hours more than usual route? Or are there two sets of independent Coast Starlights- one running south of Klamath and one running north of Eugene only?

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It is because of the issue with Tunnel 11 of the SP Cascades Subdivision. No service (for now) between KFS and EUG. Rumour has it that until June 18 or 19 that there will be no service between SAC and EUG, and I doubt it is a rumour anymore, as I have been told so by higher-ups. There are three different topics talking about this issue.






Union Pacific is also reporting on this



Edited by bmjhagen9426

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It is because of the issue with Tunnel 11 of the SP Cascades Subdivision. No service (for now) between KFS and EUG. Rumour has it that until June 18 or 19 that there will be no service between SAC and EUG, and I doubt it is a rumour anymore, as I have been told so by higher-ups. There are three different topics talking about this issue.
Union Pacific is also reporting on this

 

 

Yes I saw all three older threads but did not get a conclusive answer to my query- is the trainset of Coast Starlight traveling (sans passengers) over some detour route between Klamath Falls and Eugene? If not, what explains the Eugene-Seattle section of Coast Starlight running 4-5 hours late everyday? If it is an isolated trainset going back and forth between Seattle and Eugene, would it not be ready to depart on time?

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It is because of the issue with Tunnel 11 of the SP Cascades Subdivision. No service (for now) between KFS and EUG. Rumour has it that until June 18 or 19 that there will be no service between SAC and EUG, and I doubt it is a rumour anymore, as I have been told so by higher-ups. There are three different topics talking about this issue.

 

Most recent development: http://discuss.amtraktrains.com/index.php?/topic/73036-sleeper-car-has-been-removed-from-train-11-617/

Maintenance work goes wrong: http://discuss.amtraktrains.com/index.php?/topic/72974-cs-affected-by-tunnel-blockage-in-oregon-5-29-18/

Initial story: http://discuss.amtraktrains.com/index.php?/topic/72913-coast-starlight-service-advisory-528-529-64-65/

 

Union Pacific is also reporting on this

Recent development: https://www.up.com/customers/announcements/customernews/allcustomernews/CN2018-15.html

Original report: https://www.up.com/customers/announcements/customernews/allcustomernews/CN2018-13.html

 

Yes I saw all three older threads but did not get a conclusive answer to my query- is the trainset of Coast Starlight traveling (sans passengers) over some detour route between Klamath Falls and Eugene? If not, what explains the Eugene-Seattle section of Coast Starlight running 4-5 hours late everyday? If it is an isolated trainset going back and forth between Seattle and Eugene, would it not be ready to depart on time?

There are separate trainsets for the two distinct segments; the consist does not continue via an alternate route. The delay northbound is due to the fact that the 11 from Seattle is presently turning in Eugene to become the northern segment of the 14, so even if 11 is on time 14 will depart multiple hours late.

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I believe Third Rail said the bus connection was being discontinued and the Starlight will not run north of Sacramento and south of Eugene until the tunnel work is complete.

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That is what I heard also. That yesterday (6/10) was the last day of service temporarily between SAC and KFS, with no alternative service provided.

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It is because of the issue with Tunnel 11 of the SP Cascades Subdivision. No service (for now) between KFS and EUG. Rumour has it that until June 18 or 19 that there will be no service between SAC and EUG, and I doubt it is a rumour anymore, as I have been told so by higher-ups. There are three different topics talking about this issue.

 

Most recent development: http://discuss.amtraktrains.com/index.php?/topic/73036-sleeper-car-has-been-removed-from-train-11-617/

Maintenance work goes wrong: http://discuss.amtraktrains.com/index.php?/topic/72974-cs-affected-by-tunnel-blockage-in-oregon-5-29-18/

Initial story: http://discuss.amtraktrains.com/index.php?/topic/72913-coast-starlight-service-advisory-528-529-64-65/

 

Union Pacific is also reporting on this

Recent development: https://www.up.com/customers/announcements/customernews/allcustomernews/CN2018-15.html

Original report: https://www.up.com/customers/announcements/customernews/allcustomernews/CN2018-13.html

 

Yes I saw all three older threads but did not get a conclusive answer to my query- is the trainset of Coast Starlight traveling (sans passengers) over some detour route between Klamath Falls and Eugene? If not, what explains the Eugene-Seattle section of Coast Starlight running 4-5 hours late everyday? If it is an isolated trainset going back and forth between Seattle and Eugene, would it not be ready to depart on time?

Have just travelled Seattle - Emeryville. South bound train is terminated at Eugine and becomes northbound. There is an hour to transfer passengers to coaches and luggage to U-Haul. 3 hour coach trip to Klamath Falls, 1 hour transfer time to join northbound train which has been terminated and became southbound no 11. I am disabled and in wheel chair but coaches did have lift. Consequence was that missed evening meal and instead given a bag of junk food. Apparently an inspection and light repair was being carried out on the tunnel roof when 50' of it collapsed. Big mess. The train conducter also said there had been a rock slide near tunnel. No idea exact position or severity.

In the U.K. a diversion would have been in place but you obviously don't have the routes to do that here.

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In the U.K. a diversion would have been in place but you obviously don't have the routes to do that here.

 

 

It is incredible (and a bit scary) that the entire west coast of United States between Bay Area and Portland has only one, mostly single-track rail route with no alternates, vulnerable to major disruption due to intentional or unintentional damage.

 

I was checking OpenRailwayMap and looks like the nearest "diversion" route would be immensely long- from Sacramento continue east all the way to Ogden, UT, turn north to Pocatello, turn west on UP line that eventually goes north-west along the Columbia river and meets in Portland, OR!

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There's an alternative route that heads east out of Portland and comes down through Bend, joining near Chemult. According to a post on another board, an Amtrak inspection train just used the route to get where it needed to go.

Edited by TiBike

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There's an alternative route that heads east out of Portland and comes down through Bend, joining near Chemult. According to a post on another board, an Amtrak inspection train just used the route to get where it needed to go.

That route is a BNSF line that is already operating at capacity. Only one UP diversion allowed each day, from what I heard. I doubt Amtrak will be able to secure that as an alternative.

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There's an alternative route that heads east out of Portland and comes down through Bend, joining near Chemult. According to a post on another board, an Amtrak inspection train just used the route to get where it needed to go.

That route is a BNSF line that is already operating at capacity. Only one UP diversion allowed each day, from what I heard. I doubt Amtrak will be able to secure that as an alternative.

 

If it was feasible to detour the CS over that route, the CS should be given the priority over UP freight trains, which as mentioned, can go the longer, all-UP route via Odgen.

Bur the detour would probably just take too long for the CS, hence it is not being used.

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There are actually quite a few routes possible but most of them don't make sense because of track speed or capacity constraints.

 

1. The old Oregon Trunk line via Bend, OR is nearly at capacity already but it has decent speed.

 

2. The ex Southern Pacific Mainline before the Cascade Subdivision line was built in the 1900s that goes via the People's Republic of Ashland. That line however is incredibly slow with mostly a 10-15 mph speed limit. However very scenic.

 

The issue that really plagues the northwest is that there really aren't that many rail lines in the region and the ones that are there are all running at capacity. You have Stevens Pass which is limited to two trains an hour by the tunnel so it's 24 trains a day. Then you have Stampede Pass which also is near capacity.

 

Moving further south you have the Spokane, Portland, and Seattle route via the North Bank of the Columbia River which is largely single tracked but incredibly busy.

 

Don't forget that the three busy BNSF routes then converge into two to cross the Rockies with one going via Glacier Park and another further south that partially runs over a regional railroad.

 

Across the river on the Oregon Side you have the Union Pacific mainline from Portland to the Overland route. Largely single tracked and incredibly busy.

 

Going into California you have the Oregon Trunk and inside gateway route of BNSF which connects to the old Western Pacific now UP at Keddie, CA. I think this line only sees eight or so trains a day. It's not a lot.

 

Further west we have the Cascade Subdivision ex Southern Pacific that the Starlight itself runs. An incredibly busy line that is bogged down with freights. Definitely the largest player of the southward lines.

 

Even further west we have the old Siskiyo Line which runs via the People's Republic of Ashland. Incredibly scenic route but now it's a shortline and the speeds are dreadfully slow. But there is a higher population along this route. It connects back into the main Southern Pacific line near Weed, CA.

 

Other lines going into the Northwest area include the Canadian National route into Vancouver which as everyone knows is exploding with Trains and majorly messing up the Canadian on a regular basis. Even though I think most of the new traffic comes from Prince Rupert on the skeena route. But I think everyone knows this line is at capacity of not over.

 

The next route east is the Canadian Pacific mainline which is approaching capacity if it isn't a little over. It's situation isn't as dire as the one on Canadian National.

 

You also have the former British Columbia Railway now Canadian National that I'm not really sure what uses this route. But I'm sure knowing the rest it's near capacity.

 

Formerly there was an additional route into the Pacific Northwest that I am sure the people at BNSF and Union Pacific are regretting that they didn't buy and that is the former Milwaukee Road Pacific Extension. Which in itself is a hot bed issue for debate on another thread. But that would have given another route over the Cascades which is badly needed. With the Port of Seattle being one of the closest to the Orient market it makes a lot of sense for why rail traffic is so tight here.

 

And don't forget the equally constrained line from Seattle to Portland that both class one railroads use. The big reason though for this traffic boom is trade with the Orient. And it's not going to go away. We need more sidings, double track, and more options in the area.

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There are actually quite a few routes possible but most of them don't make sense because of track speed or capacity constraints.

 

1. The old Oregon Trunk line via Bend, OR is nearly at capacity already but it has decent speed.

 

.

 

Going into California you have the Oregon Trunk and inside gateway route of BNSF which connects to the old Western Pacific now UP at Keddie, CA. I think this line only sees eight or so trains a day. It's not a lot.

 

.

 

 

Not sure I am following this...is it just the line south of Klamath Falls, that is not too busy? From Klamath Falls to Chemult, where it is always a joint BNSF operation over the UP, it should be about the same as before. Only from Chemult Jct. north to O.T. Jct., Or., or Wishram, Wa. would there be the extra traffic. Then there would be the two routes to choose from to Portland...

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There are actually quite a few routes possible but most of them don't make sense because of track speed or capacity constraints.

 

1. The old Oregon Trunk line via Bend, OR is nearly at capacity already but it has decent speed.

 

.

 

Going into California you have the Oregon Trunk and inside gateway route of BNSF which connects to the old Western Pacific now UP at Keddie, CA. I think this line only sees eight or so trains a day. It's not a lot.

 

.

 

 

Not sure I am following this...is it just the line south of Klamath Falls, that is not too busy? From Klamath Falls to Chemult, where it is always a joint BNSF operation over the UP, it should be about the same as before. Only from Chemult Jct. north to O.T. Jct., Or., or Wishram, Wa. would there be the extra traffic. Then there would be the two routes to choose from to Portland...

I believe the challenging part of it is north of bend. I'm not quite sure that's not my part of Oregon. I know Portland and the gorge.

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...that goes via the People's Republic of Ashland.

Why is Ashland called the People's Republic of Ashland anyway? Something to do with politics?

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Why is Ashland called the People's Republic of Ashland anyway? Something to do with politics?

 

Apparently:

 

 

 

 

Historically, Ashland has been something of a political outlier in southwest Oregon.[31] In the presidential election of 1860, Ashland favored Abraham Lincoln while its neighbors strongly preferred pro-slavery candidates.[31] In the early 1900s, Ashland voters supported women's suffrage and prohibition, generally out of step with the rest of the region.[31] In more recent elections, liberal Ashland has supported tax levies and environmental regulations opposed by voters elsewhere in Jackson and nearby counties.[31] Critics sometimes refer to the city as the People's Republic of Ashland.[31]

 

source

 

 

 

 

Despite the high cost of living, Ashland has become one of the most religiously (if not ethnically) diverse communities in the region. With its legacy of counter-culture eccentricities, its municipally owned services—hospital, utilities, cemeteries, and a fiber-optic cable network—and its liberal politics, the city is notably different from other towns in southwestern Oregon. Sneeringly referred to as the People's Republic of Ashland by some, the town often runs contrary to the region's prevailing political tide, voting down social-conservative initiatives that prevail elsewhere and passing tax levies for schools, libraries, and parks.

 

source

Edited by Thirdrail7

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I mostly call it that because I somewhat admire it's outlier in the region. And the fact I took sixteen hours in classes on the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics so to me it's a fun little joke. And what I generally have referred to the region for years.

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There are actually quite a few routes possible but most of them don't make sense because of track speed or capacity constraints.

 

1. The old Oregon Trunk line via Bend, OR is nearly at capacity already but it has decent speed.

 

2. The ex Southern Pacific Mainline before the Cascade Subdivision line was built in the 1900s that goes via the People's Republic of Ashland. That line however is incredibly slow with mostly a 10-15 mph speed limit. However very scenic.

 

Thanks for the details listing on lines in the west. If my observation of the map (see below) is correct, there is still a section between Klamath Falls and Chemult that has only one rail route that can support mainline operations (the other being the long windy slow line through People's Republic of Ashland), correct?

 

hX5mW4A.png

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That's what he is saying. The section between K Falls and Chemult always has all the thru train traffic from both the owner UP, and the tenant BNSF. So the closure doesn't really affect that portion. What is affected is the BNSF line that is open between Chemult and the Columbia River, where UP wants to detour its freights to reach Portland. The UP trains would get back onto home rails at O.T. Jct., where the BNSF trains would cross the Columbia to Wishram, Wa. and then run on their side of the river to Vancouver, Wash....

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To my knowledge, the segment between CMO and KFS has only the UP mainline but that is not the problematic part. The segment between CMO and EUG is the problem. BNSF trains going north out of KFS towards Bend are still running. However the BNSF routing through Bend between CMO and the south Gorge are highly used, not to mention the extra hours added to the schedule due it having a longer routing to Portland, as well as missing EUG, ALY, and SLM. Not a great compromise, even if BNSF were to permit that move. And then again, we have a very fluid situation as to when the problematic segment between EUG and CMO, as the reopen date keeps shifting day to day.

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You would be correct that section is just one railroad. The line in Bend on the OT is fairly busy. And don't forget to get over to Portland you have to swing down either side of the gorge to find a formidable wall of trains. I want to say you can access the UP side from the Oregon Trunk but it's been awhile since I've been to that part of the Gorge.

 

And both the UP Main there and the SP&S are incredibly busy stretches of line.

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This is sad:

https://www.amtrak.com/services/contentService.alerts.routealerts.departDate-20180624.routeName-Coast-Starlight.html

 

 

Track Work Affects Coast Starlight Trains 11 & 14Effective Until Further Notice

Track work being performed by Union Pacific Railroad will affect Coast Starlight service until further notice.

Beginning Monday, June 11
  • Train 14 will operate Los Angeles to Sacramento, only. No alternate transportation will be provided to missed stops at Chico, Redding, Dunsmuir, Klamath Falls, Chemult, Eugene, Albany, Salem, Vancouver, Portland, Kelso, Centralia, Olympia-Lacey, Tacoma and Seattle.
    • Passengers with origin and destination points between Eugene and Seattle may book travel on other Amtrak Cascade Service trains and their connecting Amtrak Thruway buses.
  • Train 11 will originate at Sacramento as of June 12. No alternate transportation will be provided to missed stops at Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia-Lacey, Centralia, Kelso, Vancouver, Portland, Salem, Albany, Eugene, Chemult, Klamath Falls, Dunsmuir, Redding and Chico.
    • Passengers with origin and destination points between Seattle and Eugene may book travel on other Amtrak Cascade Service trains and their connecting Amtrak Thruway buses.
No Sleeping or Dining Car

Until further notice, Trains 11 and 14 will not have sleeping car or dining car accommodations.


First bookable date is now Sunday 6/24.

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This is sad:

https://www.amtrak.com/services/contentService.alerts.routealerts.departDate-20180624.routeName-Coast-Starlight.html

Track Work Affects Coast Starlight Trains 11 & 14 Effective Until Further Notice

Track work being performed by Union Pacific Railroad will affect Coast Starlight service until further notice.

...

 

First bookable date is now Sunday 6/24.

If Amtrak is playing the Indef game (my jargon for "effective until further notice"), how can a 6/24 onwards can be booked? I think there might be an inconsistency between the notice (infinite) and the reservation system (finite). Don't know how the reservation system works on a disruption that notes the expiration date of infinite. I know how Amtrak works to some extent, but not the exact inner workings of the reservation system.

 

Also FYI, I was told that you can't find this on the standard alerts page, but instead buried inside the CS information page, which requires some level of digging.

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