Anybody know what's going on with the Boston-Albany route in June?

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by Francis45, May 6, 2019.

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  1. May 6, 2019 #1

    Francis45

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    Francis45

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    I've taken the Boston-Chicago Lake Shore Limited route many times. For some reason, right now in mid-June, I can get a sleeper from Albany-Chicago but all trains from Boston-Albany are "sold out." That train is NEVER sold out, especially if you just want coach, which we do.

    I know the Boston-Albany stretch of track has had a million problems, so I just called Amtrak customer service, which told me that they are only offering "limited" service on that route right now and have closed ticket sales.

    Agent was very apologetic and said that was all the info he had. He said to check back in a few days to see if anything opened up, but. It's pretty weird that there are plenty of seats on the 49 AND 449 (the 449 is the half of the Lake Shore that comes from Boston) from Albany-Chicago, but nothing on the 449 from Boston-Albany. Anybody have any additional information on this situation? They aren't even offering a bus, which they have done in the past when that route had issues.
     
  2. May 6, 2019 #2

    Thirdrail7

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    Thirdrail7

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    Track work is pending. The service plan is still being formulated.
     
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  3. May 6, 2019 #3

    Francis45

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    Great, thank you. I expect there will probably be a bus then if the train is not running.
     
  4. May 6, 2019 #4

    Seaboard92

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    When does the track work start. I’m taking 449 on the 24th of May. Am I affected?
     
  5. May 7, 2019 #5

    bratkinson

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    I'm currently booked both ways in late June from Springfield to Chicago. BUT...I always book 449/448 as business class or coach to Albany as the Boston sleeper is frequently $100 or more than the New York sleeper AND as of this past January or so, the BOS sleeper is directly adjacent to the locomotive and its blaring horn!

    Take the NY sleeper to get some peace and quiet, better price, and only a zero or one car walk to the boxed dogfood car formerly known as brand new Viewliner Diner.
     
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  6. May 7, 2019 #6

    Ryan

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    They are still selling tickets that day, so you appear to be safe:

    DFD14031-B556-46B2-92BC-9ACDE7A83B04.jpeg
     
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  7. May 17, 2019 #7

    Thirdrail7

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    The plan has been made public:

    https://www.amtrak.com/alert/lake-shore-limited-track-work.html

     
  8. May 19, 2019 #8

    John Santos

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    The 448 announcement says "Bus service will operate from Albany to Boston on Sundays during the above dates", but the dates listed are Sunday through Thursday each week. (The 449 announcement doesn't mention "Sunday".) Careful attention to detail, that's how to run a railroad.o_O
    I have a reservation on 449 on Aug 22, so I guess I'm okay, maybe.
     
  9. May 19, 2019 #9

    joemsc

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    Don’t be too sure about 8/22 with Anderson running the show?,
     
  10. May 19, 2019 #10

    Ryan

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    Anderson is in charge of CSX track work now, too?
     
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  11. May 25, 2019 #11

    NEPATrainTraveler

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    Does anyone know if 448/449 will still have the cafe car?
     
  12. May 25, 2019 #12

    KnightRail

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    448/449 have been running with two coaches and a cafe, no sleeper. The third(BOS) sleeper is in the NY section with the other two sleepers. So it appears no sleeper service again till this is over.
     
  13. May 26, 2019 #13

    Seaboard92

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    No business class either.
     
  14. May 26, 2019 #14

    NEPATrainTraveler

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    Thanks. I was curious about this.
     
  15. May 26, 2019 #15

    Rasputin

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    When it comes to 448 and 449, never assume you are okay until the end of your journey. they are the two trains in the Amtrak system which get the least respect.
     
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  16. May 27, 2019 #16

    Thirdrail7

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    I believe Keolis has added to this disruption in the past. As soon as CSX finished their work, Keolis began theirs, extending the bustitution.
     
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  17. May 28, 2019 #17

    John Santos

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    The last 2 years (2017 and 2018), the state was rebuilding a road bridge over I-90 (Mass Turnpike) and incidentally the tracks between Boston and Worcester (used by the MBTA commuter rail and Amtrak's LSL.) The tracks, to the best of my knowledge, belong to the MBTA. Keolis is the operator, and AFAIK has no responsibility for ROW maintenance. The bridge carries Commonwealth Ave, a major city street, and the Comm Ave branch of the MBTA Green Line trolleys.

    They rebuilt the East-bound bridge one year and the West-bound bridge the other. They shut down the commuter rail and LSL for 3 consecutive weekends each summer, and either closed I-90 or narrowed it to one lane each way for most of the weekends. Commonwealth Ave and the Comm Ave branch of the Green Line were closed or narrowed for longer.
    They built the new bridges in a handful of sections next to the highway over about a year, then during the 3 closures, they lifted the sections into place and joined them up. Using normal methods, Comm Ave, the Green Line, I-90 and the railroad would all have been closed for months, but this project did it in 6 weekends spread over 2 years. See https://www.bu.edu/capbridge/ (The bridge is right in the middle of Boston University.)

    As far as I know, they aren't planning anything similar this year.
     
  18. May 28, 2019 #18

    Rasputin

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    For whatever reason, major yard construction in Albany or track work in Massachusetts, the Boston section of the Lake Shore always seems to get messed up, sometimes for months and sometimes for years. Sleeper reservations get cancelled at the drop of a hat. It is the most unreliable train in the Amtrak system. I recommend it only to tolerant people who have stamina and a remarkable sense of humor. It can be an enjoyable and pleasant trip but I have had a number of experiences where it is really only a joke.

    That being said, I have really enjoyed the scenery in western Massachusetts from this train and always look forward to it (when the train runs). This scenery is the one hidden gem on this train.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2019
  19. May 30, 2019 #19

    Acela150

    Acela150

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    This goes to show how things work on the railroad folks. You would think that since the trains that goto Worcester use tracks owned by CSX and Keolis, that when Keolis is notified by CSX about the track work taking place they would perform theirs at the same time. Right? This is far from a perfect world.

    Perhaps and TR7 can give us more insight. But it’s entirely possible that the trackwork being performed by CSX is west of Worcester.
     
  20. May 30, 2019 #20

    Rasputin

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    Except for the passengers, Boston - Chicago Amtrak service is just not a priority for anyone, including Amtrak, so why would anyone want to do anything different.
     
  21. May 30, 2019 #21

    Acela150

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    Everyone's natural reaction these days is to blame him. Which isn't the best thing to do.

    Agreed and well said.
     
  22. May 31, 2019 #22

    Thirdrail7

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    Keolis maintains the infrastructure on behalf of the MBTA.
     

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