#51 (5/23) late due to bridge fire?

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by Linda T, May 24, 2014.

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  1. May 24, 2014 #1

    Linda T

    Linda T

    Linda T

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    Anyone know about the bridge fire 1-800-USA-RAIL gave this evening as the reason behind 51 being 3.5 hours late? What bridge?
     
  2. May 24, 2014 #2

    Acela150

    Acela150

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    My guess is a bridge caught fire....
     
  3. May 24, 2014 #3

    Linda T

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    Yeah, I kinda figured that. :) I was just wondering if anyone knew what bridge, or how significant the damage was/is? Did they re-route the train? Will it be running in a few weeks (my guess is yes) when I go to WAS. It got through but I don't know if it had to get sent around some detour. I've always found this group to be a wealth of information.
     
  4. May 24, 2014 #4

    Green Maned Lion

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    Bridge fires rarely affect service for more than a few days.
     
  5. May 24, 2014 #5

    Linda T

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    Thanks. I just remember the phone call from Amtrak in 2011 when CSX wiped out the bridge near IND. That took several weeks, and we were the second PO51 to cross after the repairs. Initially, for the 2011 trip Amtrak said it was a no go, and we were going to have to find alternative transportation. However you guys were great in announcing the work was complete, I called our station and got changed all back around. I trust you guys for the most up to date info. :hi:
     
  6. May 24, 2014 #6

    Erin

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    Erin

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    I was on that train, we did not get through. The bridge was too burnt to pass, they took us all back to our original station or DC. They do not know if the bridge will be prepared by 05/25/2014 or take longer. I will say that the majority of Amtrak was completely rude to us during this whole ordeal, every staff member had a different version of what we were supposed to do. One staff member even announced that it was arson, whether it was or not who knows, because nobody told us anything. I have never felt more trapped and unsafe anywhere in my life, I will never be riding with Amtrak again. But we are all stuck in DC, some passengers have trains going out to Chicago today if that was their destination, some people they do not when they will be able to get home because of the bridge.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2014
  7. May 24, 2014 #7

    Linda T

    Linda T

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    Saturday's Train 50 will be terminating at IND. No info yet regarding Tuesday's, which is one of my short hops. Erin, I'm sorry to hear of your experience. I've never felt unsafe on an Amtrak train especially the Cardinal. I am a frequent traveler on 50 and 51.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 24, 2014
  8. May 24, 2014 #8

    andersone

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    i once was on the Cardinal when it ran out of fuel south of Indy,,, I have told that story before,,,,four hours of Indiana,,,,,,
     
  9. May 25, 2014 #9

    neroden

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    When there is a bridge fire these days, it's usually arson, or at least illegal fires left burning by very irresponsible people. They don't just spontaneously catch fire, after all. In the days of steam trains, it was usually smoky coal cinders from the locomotives catching the bridges on fire, but that practically never happens with modern diesel engines.

    The Amtrak crew was probably really frustrated and upset about this, just as bus drivers are frustrated and upset when someone has sabotaged a bridge on their route. Amtrak doesn't own the tracks the Cardinal runs on, and CSX (who does) doesn't communicate with Amtrak in a timely fashion. There is no longer any alternate train route to most of the locations on the Cardinal route, so Amtrak has no standard backup plan for bridges being out along the line. Erin, I hope you consider riding Amtrak again on a different route -- perhaps a Northeast Regional, which are much more reliable because the tracks are mostly under Amtrak's control. I certainly wouldn't recommend the Cardinal, which is one of Amtrak's most frustrating routes (I also wouldn't recommend the Sunset Limited or the Empire Builder).
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 25, 2014
  10. May 25, 2014 #10

    Guest

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    Guest

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    Erin - Where is the bridge? Did they back the train back to WAS or what? I hope you are better now - terrible to be stranded where you don't want to be!
     
  11. May 25, 2014 #11

    City of Miami

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    Apparently (per TO) it is just west of CVS - so not CSX RR but Buckingham Branch RR. I've heard nothing locally.
     
  12. May 25, 2014 #12

    Erin

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    They stopped us at the station in Staunton, VA and apparently the bridge was somewhere farther up. They did not tell us the name of the bridge.
     
  13. May 25, 2014 #13

    City of Miami

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    I saw a CSX coal train of empties heading west toward Staunton on BBRR midday today - wonder how it got across that bridge?
     
  14. May 25, 2014 #14

    Acela150

    Acela150

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    It flew... Which lead to the train Crash Smashing and Xploding..
     
  15. May 25, 2014 #15

    Martha

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    Anyone have an update for Sun., May 25? Still cancelled?
     
  16. May 25, 2014 #16

    Acela150

    Acela150

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    Call 1-800-USA-RAIL and ask for an Agent. My guess is it will run IND-CHI only.
     
  17. May 25, 2014 #17

    Phil S

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    Phil S

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    Yesterday's #50 was "disrupted". For a while the "track a train" followed it (past Dyer at least) but this morning it had disappeared. Did it turn and return to CHI due to the bridge? Just curious since it's my favorite.
     
  18. May 25, 2014 #18
    Cardinal still out today. Must require a large repair to fix, Hope that they can get the route running again soon.
     
  19. May 25, 2014 #19
    Report i heard is train 51 is headed for Chicago
     
  20. May 25, 2014 #20

    dlagrua

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    If the bridge fire was on the Buckingham Branch RR it would have to be between Staunton and Clifton Forge.. That is the segment over which Amtrak runs. The BBRR is a pretty busy short line that handles all kinds of freight interchange traffic with NS and CSX and serves a long list of large industrial customers. If its the bridge that I am thinking of it is a double span steel girder bridge. If this is the case then the fire just destroyed some wood ties on the tracks. If my assumption is correct then figure that service will be back in a few days. Anyone have any further info?
     
  21. May 25, 2014 #21
    I was on the ill-fated 51 westbound on Friday also. I too felt trapped and lied to and frightened. I called the emergency dispatcher in Staunton and they heard nothing about any fire so they gave me the number two BBRR. The train inspector that answer the phone of BBRR was just as rude as all the Amtrak employees. He did not give me any information about the state of the track or the bridge but told me the reason we were stopped in Charlottesville for 2 hours was that the conductor got off and we were waiting the replacement conductor. I also called the Amtrak 800-number and talked to three different operators during that time and they were all rude and giving me different stories too. It was obvious all Amtrak employees were told how to handle things and how to be evasive because every last one of them treated us with the same rudeness and that's what made the whole ordeal so creepy. The 800 operators all told me the train was going back to New York even when the employees on the train insisted we were all going to DC and getting each individual passengers destination resolved. When we got off at DC and then were told to get back on the train to New York I refused to get back on the train. If we were told the truth in Staynton I would've got off there and have a family member from Maysville Kentucky come and pick me up. The Reason I didn't get off there is because we were threatened that "we were on our own" if we got off the train there. We were also told by the exiting conductor that in DC all our issues would be resolved. He stated that if there were not enough buses to take us all to our destinations they would provide a train the next day if the bridge was passable. The funny thing is he also said that he did not think the damage to the bridge was that bad and we could've made it. How could he have seen the Goshen bridge? When he left the train the conductor on the back of the train is the one that came up and announced that it was definitely arson. The funny thing is I just got off the phone with BB SS today and that tractor inspector said he never heard of any fire to any bridge. He was is baffled as is everyone that I tell this story to. I also would say that I was so threatened that in DC I called 911 and told them that Amtrak was holding us hostage. They transferred me to Amtrak security who asked if I was a representative for them was on site and I said yes. The security man for Amtrak was just as evasive as all of the other employees. I was told to get back on the train and go back to my point of boarding that morning (which was New York). I told them no way was I getting on the train and getting even further from home when it was obviously there was going to be no help from them in getting me home. When I got to the DC station service booth no one would offer any help. No one even acknowledged me or said they were sorry. I had to go to greyhound and get a ticket home on my home. The people at the Greyhound counter said even they had heard of the incident 4 hours earlier. The two people manning the station service center actually we're not in the booth, they were a couple hundred feet away trying to hide from all the passengers. We were made to feel like criminals and like we had done something wrong. All Amtrak employees were in solidarity and looking out for themselves. Not one single person was looking out for the passengers. I am still shaking my head in disbelief!
     
  22. May 25, 2014 #22

    Guest

    G

    Guest

    Guest

    AMTRAK

    there was a concerted solidarity on the part of Amtrak against the passengers.

    I was on the ill-fated 51 westbound on Friday also. I too felt trapped and lied to and frightened. I called the emergency dispatcher in Staunton and they heard nothing about any fire so they gave me the number two BBRR. The train inspector that answer the phone of BBRR was just as rude as all the Amtrak employees. He did not give me any information about the state of the track or the bridge but told me the reason we were stopped in Charlottesville for 2 hours was that the conductor got off and we were waiting the replacement conductor. I also called the Amtrak 800-number and talked to three different operators during that time and they were all rude and giving me different stories too. It was obvious all Amtrak employees were told how to handle things and how to be evasive because every last one of them treated us with the same rudeness and that's what made the whole ordeal so creepy. The 800 operators all told me the train was going back to New York even when the employees on the train insisted we were all going to DC and getting each individual passengers destination resolved. When we got off at DC and then were told to get back on the train to New York I refused to get back on the train. If we were told the truth in Staynton I would've got off there and have a family member from Maysville Kentucky come and pick me up. The Reason I didn't get off there is because we were threatened that "we were on our own" if we got off the train there. We were also told by the conductor that in DC all our issues would be resolved. He stated that if there were not enough buses to take us all to our destinations they would provide a train the next day if the bridge was passable. The funny thing is he also said that he did not think the damage to the bridge was that bad and we could've made it. How could he have seen the Goshen bridge to make that assumption? When he left the train the conductor from the back is the one that came up and announced that it was definitely arson. The funny thing is I just got off the phone with BBRR today and that track inspector said he never heard of any fire. He was as baffled as is everyone that I tell this story to. I also would say that I was so threatened that in DC I actually called 911 and told them that Amtrak was holding us hostage. They transferred me to Amtrak security who asked if there was a representative for them on site and I said yes. The security man for Amtrak was just as evasive as all of the other employees. I was told to get back on the train and go back to my point of boarding that morning (which was New York). I told them no way was I getting on the train and getting even further from home when it was obviously there was going to be no help from them in getting me home. When I got to the DC station service booth no one would offer any help. No one even acknowledged me or said they were sorry. I had to go to greyhound and get a ticket home on my own. The people at the Greyhound counter said even they had heard of the incident 4 hours earlier. The two people manning the station service center actually we're not in the booth, they were a couple hundred feet away trying to hide from all the passengers. We were made to feel like criminals and like we had done something wrong. All Amtrak employees were in solidarity and looking out for themselves. Not one single person was looking out for the passengers. I am still shaking my head in disbelief!
     
  23. May 26, 2014 #23

    Linda T

    Linda T

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    A friend on FB who lives near STA said that it was the bridge at Goshen, and that it was now repaired. However, according to USA-RAIL Saturday's 50 still terminated at IND, but the Cardinals are expected to be back on track on Tuesday. I'm hoping to be able to make it to STA Wednesday, and if so will be watching for the bridge.
     
  24. May 26, 2014 #24

    afigg

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    Amtrak Status Map shows 51(5/25) making its way to Chicago. #50(5/24) had a service interruption. May be that because #51(5/23) did not make it to Chicago, that Amtrak did not have the equipment to send out #50 on Saturday night for an overnight run to NYP.

    Would be nice if Amtrak were to clearly state what was the reason for the service interruption for 50 on Friday. As for the rude employees and poor handling of the service disruption, not that surprising unfortunately. I would urge the guest posters who felt they were treated rudely to contact Amtrak customer service and complain. Loudly. Sending an email with their post to Amtrak management might at least make them aware of how poorly the crew handled the situation and the passengers.
     
  25. May 26, 2014 #25

    Phil S

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    Phil S

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    #50 did indeed go out. It was listed as "disruption" almost immediately (if not sooner). As I said earlier it showed up on "Track a Train" as having passed Dyer and I might have seen it past Lafayette. Linda T quoted a news article saying that it was turned in IND. But I'm still curious, did it go back from IND on Sunday as the Hoosier State, sleeper included?
     

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