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weather cancellations for Midwest Jan 28-31, 2019

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I got notified that there was a problem with train 301 (CHI-STL) on 30Jan and my ticket was no longer valid.  I cancelled and refunded.  I see on Amtrak.com that the train is listed as sold out.  Poking around at other 6-7am departures, they are also showing sold out, though 1 Hiawatha is operating at 8am.

Guess that's the only way to cancel is to sell out the train so that people can't book it?  I suspect this is weather related.

 

 

 

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They usually will show Sold Out rather than Cancelled when they're not 100% sure that they'll need to cancel a train just so people don't book the train that has a good chance of being cancelled.

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Quote

 

Midwest Service Modified Due To Major Winter Storm - Most service planned to be maintained on Amtrak Midwest routes

January 27, 2019 06:45 PM ET

Predicted extreme winter weather is anticipated to reduce travel needs – and due to an abundance of caution – service frequencies are modified this week on some Amtrak MidwestSM routes in Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin.

Chicago-Carbondale corridor: Illini/Saluki & City of New Orleans

Trains 58 & 59 and Trains 391 & 392 are scheduled to operate. Train 393 is canceled on January 28, 29 and 30. Train 390 is canceled on January 29, 30 and 31.

Chicago-St. Louis corridor: Lincoln Service & Texas Eagle

Trains 21/321/421, 22/322/422, 300, 302, 303, 305 & 307 are scheduled to operate. Trains 301 & 304 are canceled on January 29, 30 and 31.

No changes on the Chicago-Quincy Carl Sandburg/Illinois Zephyr route, with Trains 380, 381, 382 & 383 scheduled to operate. 

Chicago-Detroit/Pontiac corridor: Wolverine Service

Trains 351, 352, 353 & 354 are scheduled to operate. Trains 350 & 355 are canceled on January 29, 30 and 31.

No changes on the Chicago-Port Huron Blue Water route and the Chicago-Grand Rapids Pere Marquette route, with Trains 364 & 365 and Trains 370 & 371 scheduled to operate. 

Chicago-Milwaukee corridor: Hiawatha Service

Trains 330, 331, 334, 335, 338, 339, 341 & 342 are scheduled to operate. Trains 329, 332, 333, 336, 337 & 340 are canceled on January 29, 30 and 31.

No changes are anticipated in Indiana and Missouri.

 

 

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It going to be a bit cold here in the greater Chicago area.  There thinking (-17) Tuesday morning with a high of (+5). Gets better on Wednesday low of (-20) and a high of (-12).  It does get worse further away from the city.

 

Not try to justify there actions, just given you the weather prediction.

 

Don't forget it (+118) in Australia.

Edited by Just-Thinking-51
Opps

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What will really make it "Killer Cold" is the Wind Chill! Predicted 60-70 MPH Winds across the Plains and Amtrak has already issued Cancellation notices for some of the Midwest Trains!:(

Stay warm and safe!;)

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Amtrak’s just making adjustments I think to protect equipment along with expected lower ridership during the bitter cold the Midwest is facing.

Metra and the South Shore Line are also running special limited weather weekday service schedules tomorrow and Thursday. The South Shore Line is busing all service between Michigan City and South Bend I think because they don’t want trains laying over at the exposed airport station and isn’t running any of the Gary short-turns I think for similar reasons for the siding there. To keep all trains running between Millenium and Michigan City where the SSL’s shops and yard are.

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36 minutes ago, SubwayNut said:

Amtrak’s just making adjustments I think to protect equipment along with expected lower ridership during the bitter cold the Midwest is facing.

Metra and the South Shore Line are also running special limited weather weekday service schedules tomorrow and Thursday. The South Shore Line is busing all service between Michigan City and South Bend I think because they don’t want trains laying over at the exposed airport station and isn’t running any of the Gary short-turns I think for similar reasons for the siding there. To keep all trains running between Millenium and Michigan City where the SSL’s shops and yard are.

Horizons have a nasty habit of freezing up in the cold. MI Service trains are doing 79 instead of 110 likely because of that (110 mph plus wind chill is gonna be an issue) and likely speed restrictions due to the extreme cold. 

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not to mention I've been getting alerts of a LOT of mechanical and signal issues - it's been overall pretty cold here, not as bad as tomorrow and yesterday was about 30, but many days have been single digits.

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I see Amtrak cancelled #7 and #8 for today and I would expect for the next couple of days as well due to the cold?    What a mess for the thousands of passengers of these trains. Will Amtrak try to accommodate all of these pax on later trains or just refund the money and tell them to find their own way?

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It takes a special kind of steel to operate in those conditions.  The abortive Iceland proposed RR to haul ore had  one item was the extra costs for steel rails to maintain strength and flexibility in the cold temperatures of Iceland!

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3 hours ago, montana mike said:

I see Amtrak cancelled #7 and #8 for today and I would expect for the next couple of days as well due to the cold?    What a mess for the thousands of passengers of these trains. Will Amtrak try to accommodate all of these pax on later trains or just refund the money and tell them to find their own way?

Find there own way is standard for a winter delay.  One year the LSL was running very late, and it kick off the passenger in Ohio and continue to NYP with out them.  With out those stops the train made up a nice bit of time.  Passenger were not given alternate transportation.  Out you go, best of luck.

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I don't think I've ever seen this before.

https://www.amtrak.com/alert/service-disruption-all-service-originations-to-and-from-chicago-canceled1.html

Quote

All Service Originations To and From Chicago Canceled on Wednesday, Jan. 30

January 29, 2019 09:00 PM

Sub-zero temperatures result in two days of cancelations, including short distance routes, both Wednesday, Jan. 30, and Thursday, Jan. 31

Extreme weather conditions and an abundance of caution have led Amtrak to cancel all train originations to and from Chicago for Wednesday, Jan. 30, including short-distance corridor trains and long-distance overnight trains. Short-distance services are also canceled on Thursday, Jan. 31, and most long-distance services to or from Chicago are also not expected originate on Jan. 31.

Amtrak typically operates 55 trains daily to and from the Chicago hub. Those trains that originated on Tuesday, Jan. 29, or previously will complete their trips to or from Chicago.

The only Amtrak MidwestSM services now scheduled to originate this Wednesday and Thursday are the two Missouri River Runner round-trips between Kansas City and St. Louis.

Anyone planning to travel should check their train status on Amtrak.com or our smartphone apps.

Customers with reservations on trains that are being modified will typically be accommodated on trains with similar departure times or another day. Amtrak will gladly waive additional charges for customers looking to change their reservation during the modified schedule by calling our reservation center at 800-USA-RAIL. 

Anyone can subscribe to automated email or text message notifications if Amtrak trains are behind schedule at specific stations. Notifications can be given for up to six trains and stations by either text or email and delivered when you choose - on a single day, every day, or just certain days of the week. Create a subscription at Amtrak.com/DelayAlerts.

Customers with travel plans can review refund information on Amtrak.com. Service Alerts, Passenger Notices and other announcements are posted at Amtrak.com/Alerts.

Amtrak regrets any inconvenience. This information is correct as of the above time and date. Information is subject to change as conditions warrant.

 

Edited by Thirdrail7

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6 hours ago, montana mike said:

I see Amtrak cancelled #7 and #8 for today and I would expect for the next couple of days as well due to the cold?    What a mess for the thousands of passengers of these trains. Will Amtrak try to accommodate all of these pax on later trains or just refund the money and tell them to find their own way?

How in the world does Canada keep their passenger trains rolling. Maybe Amtrak see themselves more as a seasonal service, like the Rocky Mountaineer, only operating from April to October. What's Next??

"Out an abundance of caution, Amtrak now announces that Empire Builder service will now run April through October."

3 hours ago, Just-Thinking-51 said:

Find there own way is standard for a winter delay.  One year the LSL was running very late, and it kick off the passenger in Ohio and continue to NYP with out them.  With out those stops the train made up a nice bit of time.  Passenger were not given alternate transportation.  Out you go, best of luck.

The "Adventure" of Rail travel.

Edited by Rover

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11 minutes ago, Rover said:

How in the world does Canada keep their passenger trains rolling. Maybe Amtrak see themselves more as a seasonal service, like the Rocky Mountaineer, only operating from April to October.

This weather would be pretty uncommon in the most densely populated areas of Canada. In the areas where this weather is more common, the rail network can support it. Given the relative lack of passenger rail service in Canada, the areas that would have this kind of weather don't have to worry about it as there's no trains anytime, or they're only having to push out one train every three days!

Amtrak does seem to be a bit quick to cancel trains at times, but to somehow see this as Amtrak "going soft" is, frankly, ridiculous. They aren't delivering mail in Chicago tomorrow due to the extreme cold! I don't think it's a stretch to see that as potentially cancelling intercity service, especially if there's not adequate room to do all the work needed to assemble a train indoors.

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3 minutes ago, jebr said:

This weather would be pretty uncommon in the most densely populated areas of Canada. In the areas where this weather is more common, the rail network can support it. Given the relative lack of passenger rail service in Canada, the areas that would have this kind of weather don't have to worry about it as there's no trains anytime, or they're only having to push out one train every three days!

Amtrak does seem to be a bit quick to cancel trains at times, but to somehow see this as Amtrak "going soft" is, frankly, ridiculous. They aren't delivering mail in Chicago tomorrow due to the extreme cold! I don't think it's a stretch to see that as potentially cancelling intercity service, especially if there's not adequate room to do all the work needed to assemble a train indoors.

I see your point jebr. People have to eventually get off the train, and get to the train, and employees have to work outside in the dangerous wind chill. I pray everyone stays safe.

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4 minutes ago, jebr said:

Amtrak does seem to be a bit quick to cancel trains at times, but to somehow see this as Amtrak "going soft" is, frankly, ridiculous. They aren't delivering mail in Chicago tomorrow due to the extreme cold!

"Amtrak.  We're every bit as fast and dependable as the US Post Office!"

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7 hours ago, Rover said:

How in the world does Canada keep their passenger trains rolling. Maybe Amtrak see themselves more as a seasonal service, like the Rocky Mountaineer, only operating from April to October. What's Next??

"Out an abundance of caution, Amtrak now announces that Empire Builder service will now run April through October."

The "Adventure" of Rail travel.

Majority of the Chicago corridor services use Horizon coaches, which tend to freeze in the extreme cold. My guess is that any consist still in Chicago is in the deep freeze now, and I'd imagine it's the same across the Chicago network. 

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8 hours ago, Devil's Advocate said:

"Amtrak.  We're every bit as fast and dependable as the US Post Office!"

You know, at this point I think that'd be an improvement.

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On Monday the high temperature in Chicago is going to be 46 degrees.  That is a 58 degree difference from today's high temperature.  Pretty amazing.

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3 hours ago, tricia said:

You know, at this point I think that'd be an improvement.

You might be right.  All I know is that the USPS has been slower and/or more expensive than every other postal system I've encountered.  Which makes it sound almost exactly like Amtrak actually.

Edited by Devil's Advocate

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Oldtimer, who used to work in the Chicago yard (now retired) has posted in the past about the severe difficulty of dealing with cars when it is crazy cold; attempting to rewire things barehanded for a few minutes before frostnip numbness sets in, for instance.  They would be a worthwhile reflection to read in understanding the real challenges of keeping the trains running in weather not even as bad as we're experiencing.  Considering that this is the coldest it's been in Chicago in almost 35 years (Arctic cold, not just Canadian cold) and the coldest it has been for a three day period in a century, the annulment of services makes total sense. 

 

Even Metra, which is running locally, has significantly reduced services. 

 

It would be interesting to look back and see what happened the other four times in the last century when temperatures were in the -20s.  Not only how Amtrak handles it in the 80s, but what the steam roads did back in the day.

Now, if only the stock footage of Amtrak trains which some Chicago news outlets are running actually showed trains at Union Station rather than on the East Coast...

 

 

Edited by NorthShore

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