How likely to make a Capitol Ltd/SWC connection?

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by mitako, Jul 14, 2019.

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  1. Jul 14, 2019 #1

    mitako

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    mitako

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    I'm in the planning stages of a cross-country trip. One leg would be Capitol Ltd from DC to Chicago, where I will catch the SWC back home to Los Angeles. Is the CL normally on time into Chicago? Would you consider this a safe enough connection? We'll already have spent a couple of days in Chicago on the trip east, so I'd prefer not to book a hotel there on the way home if possible. Current schedule calls for CL arriving in Chicago at 8:45 AM and SWC departing Chicago at 2:50 PM.
     
  2. Jul 14, 2019 #2

    bratkinson

    bratkinson

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    Is the CL normally on time into Chicago? Rarely. But the times I've ridden #29 into CHI over the past 10 years or so, I've never been more than an hour or so late.

    As for making the connections, I just checked the online historical database https://juckins.net/amtrak_status/a...f6=1&df7=1&buffer_mins=5&sort_dir=DESC&dfon=1 for #29 to #3 at CHI from Jan 1 this year to today, and the connection was missed only twice. So, unless there's really bad weather or a freight derailment blocking the way, you should be able to catch #3 with no problems.
     
    dogbert617 likes this.
  3. Jul 14, 2019 #3

    Sauve850

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    Think its a safe bet you will make it.
     
  4. Jul 14, 2019 #4

    FrensicPic

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    I don't even consider making a same day connection anymore. I always schedule an overnight hotel stay in connecting cities such as Chicago, Seattle, Portland, etc.
     
  5. Jul 14, 2019 #5

    Michigan Mom

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    It depends on your appetite for risk. Would I consider that a safe connection, absolutely not. I build in the overnight for Chicago every time.
     
  6. Jul 14, 2019 #6

    shelzp

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    I’ve taken that route many times and never had a problem plus I figure if Amtrak issues me the ticket all the way through (meaning don’t buy it in segments-have your ticket issued as one trip from WAS-LAX) it will turn out ok because then I’m in their hands. I know things can go wrong from time to time but I’m saying what my overall thinking is. And when I say have the ticket as one trip I mean in each direction, not issued as a round-trip, because if you miss any little segment they might cancel your ticket. I don’t have any experience with that particular problem but have seen it discussed here.
     
  7. Jul 14, 2019 #7

    dogbert617

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    dogbert617

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    I expanded your juckins.net search to include all days from 1/1/18 and beyond, and only saw 4 missed connections. So I suspect mitako, will be able to make the #29 to #3 connection going west fine. And in general, Southwest Chief(#4 going east) is less delayed getting into Chicago, vs. the California Zephyr (#6 going east).

    Be glad you aren't transferring from train #6, and trying to connect to any train before the last 2 of the day (City of New Orleans/#59 at 8:05pm, and Lake Shore Limited at 9:30pm). Other than those 2, I'd be wary about connecting from train #6 to any train in Chicago (except #59 and #48/448), with how late train 6 often is into Chicago. No wonder some years back for the Chicago-Quincy Illinois schedule, that Amtrak stopped showing as an option on such timetables (and also in their reservation system) to board #6 at Galesburg, to travel east into Chicago. This is correct, if you're in Galesburg and trying to go east, now you only can ride either of the 2 IL trains that started in Quincy, or take #4 Southwest Chief from LA to Chicago. Train #6 going east is no longer an option for Galesburg passengers trying to get to Chicago, due to how VERY late train #6 often is getting into Galesburg!
     

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