2019-2020 Winter Weather Delays / Reroutings / Cancellations

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by Rover, Oct 10, 2019.

Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

  1. Oct 10, 2019 #1

    Rover

    Rover

    Rover

    Lead Service Attendant AU Supporter

    Joined:
    May 13, 2015
    Messages:
    468
    Location:
    N. Texas
    SERVICE ADVISORY: Due to severe weather, Empire Builder Train 8/28 that departs Seattle (SEA) and Portland (PDX) on 10/9 and 10/10 will operate with a detour, missing stops Rugby (RUG), Devils Lake (DVL), and Grand Forks (GFK). No alternate transportation will be provided.
    6:05 PM · Oct 9, 2019

    https://mobile.twitter.com/AmtrakAlerts/status/1182069542245285888
     
  2. Oct 10, 2019 #2

    railiner

    railiner

    railiner

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    Messages:
    7,286
    Location:
    South Florida
    I'm surprised they don't offer alternate transportation for those missed stops...is this now the Company policy, for weather related detours?
     
  3. Oct 10, 2019 #3

    AmtrakBlue

    AmtrakBlue

    AmtrakBlue

    Conductor Gathering Team Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2011
    Messages:
    11,135
    Location:
    Delaware
    If the train can’t get there would you want to take a bus or van in that snow?
     
  4. Oct 10, 2019 #4

    railiner

    railiner

    railiner

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    Messages:
    7,286
    Location:
    South Florida
    If the road was open, then yes I would, if that was where I was coming from or going to.
     
    F900ElCapitan likes this.
  5. Oct 10, 2019 #5

    jebr

    jebr

    jebr

    Conductor Staff Member Administator Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2012
    Messages:
    3,614
    Location:
    "The Last Great City of the East," St. Paul, MN
    Currently Jefferson Lines has a weather waiver in that area as well, and I wouldn't be surprised to see some cancellations as well. I'm not surprised that Amtrak isn't finding (or can't find) replacement bus service for this.
    That said, given that it's eastbound only (and not westbound) I suspect BNSF is doing directional running through here due to the storm. Not sure if it's to help prevent frozen switches, simply make it easier to keep trains running, or something else. If someone needed to get to their destination ASAP and had an extra day on the front end, they could leave on that morning's 7/27, then transfer back to 8/28 in Minot.
     
  6. Oct 10, 2019 #6

    Devil's Advocate

    Devil's Advocate

    Devil's Advocate

    Conductor

    Joined:
    May 24, 2010
    Messages:
    10,746
    Location:
    Америка
    In prior eras these trains would have probably made the run despite the snow. Since that's no longer the case I would prefer to have the option to convert my ticket to a bus ride or flight instead of being handed a refund and told to pound snow.

    For several years now Amtrak has increasingly resorted to "no alternative transportation" even in cases that have nothing to do with the weather.
     
    daybeers and tricia like this.
  7. Oct 11, 2019 #7

    jebr

    jebr

    jebr

    Conductor Staff Member Administator Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2012
    Messages:
    3,614
    Location:
    "The Last Great City of the East," St. Paul, MN
    Sure, but in this instance it's simply not a viable option. At this point the ND DOT's Travel Information Center shows a "No Travel Advised" warning along US-2 west of Grand Forks to about Devils Lake, as well as along I-29 through and south of Grand Forks. I can't imagine any reputable bus company willing to risk travel on roads that the DOT has advised not to travel on.

    I'm hoping that the directional running works to keep trains running and the tracks clear. A bit of ingenuity (and transferring between trains) should allow most people to get to their destinations, albeit with a delay.

    EDIT TO ADD: ND DOT has closed US-2 on portions between Grand Forks and Minot, along with I-94 south of there, and a couple other highways.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2019
  8. Oct 11, 2019 #8

    tricia

    tricia

    tricia

    OBS Chief

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2011
    Messages:
    834
    Location:
    Spring Creek, NC
    I hope Amtrak is offering that as an option to passengers with reservations on the affected trains. "No alternative transportation" sounds like they're not.
     
  9. Oct 11, 2019 #9

    Barb Stout

    B

    Barb Stout

    Service Attendant

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2019
    Messages:
    147
    So what is the detour?
     
  10. Oct 11, 2019 #10

    jebr

    jebr

    jebr

    Conductor Staff Member Administator Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2012
    Messages:
    3,614
    Location:
    "The Last Great City of the East," St. Paul, MN
    The detour is for the eastbound (8/28) train only, and it's along the diagonal route between Minot and Fargo. BNSF will sometimes do this to allow for directional running (with westbound trains taking the normal route, including freight,) likely so that there's no need to operate switches which may get stuck. They've done it a few times in the past, usually due to either track work or flooding along Devils Lake.
     
    railiner and Rover like this.
  11. Oct 12, 2019 #11

    railiner

    railiner

    railiner

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    Messages:
    7,286
    Location:
    South Florida
    That “diagonal” route was the pre-Amtrak route of the GN Empire Builder. The secondary Western Star ran via the longer current EB route via Grand Forks...
     
    Rover likes this.
  12. Oct 12, 2019 #12

    Barb Stout

    B

    Barb Stout

    Service Attendant

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2019
    Messages:
    147
    Thanks for the explanation. I was wondering since there is plenty of snow all over the region, but possible frozen/stuck switches makes sense.
     
  13. Oct 13, 2019 #13

    Metra Electric Rider

    M

    Metra Electric Rider

    OBS Chief

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2016
    Messages:
    757
    Was there flooding before the snow (or potential for it) - I wonder if there was concern about flooding after the snow melted, assuming that the temperatures bumped back up a bit. There are still flood watches around the Chicago area (or were yesterday).
     

Share This Page

arrow_white