Dawdling in St. Louis on #22

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by rtabern, Apr 25, 2016.

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  1. Apr 25, 2016 #1

    rtabern

    rtabern

    rtabern

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    I am not sure what all is done service-wise on the northbound Texas Eagle (Train #22) in St. Louis, but it seems like maybe a re-fuel and a change of engineer/conductors and that is all. Shouldn't really be more than a 20-30 minute stop, I'd imagine. It is built in the schedule for a 36 minute stop... 7:19 to 7:55AM. There is also a lot of pad coming into STL. A potential good stop to make up some time after a long stretch of single track through the Ozarks between Poplar Bluff and St. Louis.

    Anyway, regardless, it seems like crews there take their time... almost on purpose.

    Yesterday (4-24-16), when we rode, the train pulls in 32 minutes early at 6:47AM... and sits... and sits... and sits. The new conductors don't even begin boarding until 5-10 minutes before the scheduled departure (despite them standing around and guarding the doors and escalators down)... and we leave at 8:06AM... 11 minutes late. How does a train arrive 32 minutes early --- need to sit for 1 hour and 19 minutes --- and leave 11 minutes late?? This should be questioned. STL service work should not take over an hour.

    This is a regular thing too (over 1+ hour sitting in STL) I have noticed. Look at today (4-25-16)... train arrives at 7:59AM (40 minutes late) and dawdles around to 9:06AM (1 hour and 11 minutes late).

    No state trains were extremely late over the weekend -- so I don't think it was a crew rest issue.
     
  2. Apr 25, 2016 #2

    KmH

    KmH

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    Is this heaven? No. It's Iowa.
    Perhaps they were waiting for the dispatcher to give them permission to move.
     
  3. Apr 25, 2016 #3

    JayPea

    JayPea

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    I have twice been on trains where we had to wait half an hour or more when Amtrak couldn't get a hold of the dispatcher in the first place much less get permission to proceed.
     
  4. Apr 25, 2016 #4

    Thirdrail7

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    Thirdrail7

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    Um...both stops are fuel stops. Additionally, there is a car added and/or cut at St. Louis, which takes time. Speaking from all of your experience, how long should it take for all of this to occur, on someone else's busy line?
     
  5. Apr 25, 2016 #5

    niemi24s

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    niemi24s

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    Gosh, I wonder who should do the questioning. Let's see, maybe...uh...no, that's no good. How about good old...nah...too old. Uh, maybe. . . . . . .
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2016
  6. Apr 25, 2016 #6

    frequentflyer

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    frequentflyer

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    1. Trains may arrive early but cannot leave a station early.

    2. Many times the Eagle makes us time at STL by expediting the service stop. A lot things behind the scenes can delay a train too. Go down to the pawn shop and pickup a scanner. You will be amazed and entertained what happens behind the scenes.
     
  7. Apr 25, 2016 #7

    KmH

    KmH

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    Is this heaven? No. It's Iowa.
    Absolutely.

    And the entity you would most likely want to question is BNSF.

    While you're at it ask them why their dispatchers so often fail to honor their agreement with Amtrak to give Amtrak passenger trains #1 priority.

    You could also question your elected federal representatives about the nickle and dime funding allocated to our National Railroad Passenger Corporation - A.K.A. Amtrak.

    There is routine service and unexpected service.

    Various subsystems get checked at a service stop. If an issue is discovered during the inspection more than routine service may be needed.

    That's one way listening in on a scanner radio can give you a clue what's up with the train you're on.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2016
  8. Apr 25, 2016 #8

    amtrakpass

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    amtrakpass

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    Experienced the same feeling as the original poster when traveling through st louis myself earlier this year. And i agree with his sentiments. And i should know. To add or subtract and car and refuel and recrew should not take long most days. But to know how to hustle through a move while keeping it safe is why you have yard crews who do it all the time. If there is not enough work to have local yard crews which is the case for a all but a few places on amtrak, a road crew should be able to make a simple move like this quickly but it helps if supervisors would have the background to encourage their employees to get things done quickly. But there are probably almost zero railroad supervisors either freight or passenger with a lot of personal yard switching experience anymore. Most are probably straight out of college or the ones with rr exp are usually road guys so how do you tell someone with confidence to hurry it up when you've never done the job yourself? Just my opinion.
     
  9. Apr 25, 2016 #9

    Kenneth

    Kenneth

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    I have had 3 trips into STL from the south on the TE. We arrived late every trip. Latest was arriving around 10:40 am.
     
  10. Apr 25, 2016 #10

    Bob Dylan

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    I go with the dispatcher thing Rob!

    I've been on the Eagle through STL too many times to count. #22/#422 arrives Early lots of days but I can't ever remember leaving on the scheduled time.

    Most trips I eat breakfast in the Diner coming into STL and finish during the Station stop,then walk around the platform and before they stopped giving them out, would snag a St.Louis paper and read it before we rolled out heading for CHI.

    Also the alternate route across the Merchants bridge is slower than the regular route due to freight traffic across the Mississippi.

    #21/#421 is a different story, if on time from CHI, it's a quick stop with last call for Dinner coming as the train rolls out headed for Texas!
     
  11. Apr 26, 2016 #11

    MikefromCrete

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    What's the BNSF got to do with this? Maybe the UP or Terminal Railroad of St. Louis have a hand in any delays.
     
  12. Apr 26, 2016 #12

    KmH

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    Is this heaven? No. It's Iowa.
    OK. Ask UP or Terminal Railroad of St. Louis or whoever else it might be that owns the tracks east of St. Louis.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 26, 2016
  13. Apr 26, 2016 #13

    KauaiJohn

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    I would sure enjoy a free hour around the St, Louis station.
     
  14. Apr 26, 2016 #14

    Lonestar648

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    Crossing the Mississippi into Illinois in the morning is a lot more congested than departing St. Louis in the evening for Arkansas. I agree, the knowledge gained listening to a scanner is really eye opening.
     

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