Required turn around time in Seattle for delayed arrival of Amtrak 7 Empire Builder?

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by Tennessee Traveler, Sep 19, 2019.

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  1. Sep 19, 2019 #1

    Tennessee Traveler

    Tennessee Traveler

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    Because of mechanical and other issues the Empire Builder 7(9/17) lost 9 plus hours in Montana and is now continuing on beyond Spokane(normal emergency turn around point) and will not arrive Seattle until after 5 PM. That train has to be serviced and turned around to be Empire Builder 8(9/19) which was scheduled to depart 4:40 PM. What is the minimum time needed to service and turn this train around in Seattle? Amtrak has not estimated a departure time as of early this afternoon. I will be boarding this train at East Glacier Park on Friday. I know it will not arrive by the scheduled 9:45 AM but wonder how many hours later the train will arrive and also how late the train will arrive in Chicago on Saturday.
     
  2. Sep 19, 2019 #2

    Seaboard92

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    Probably between 4-7 hours depending on how fast they can turn it.
     
  3. Sep 19, 2019 #3

    Maglev

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    I was on a #8 when the #7 arrived late at 2 pm. Our train departed at about 6 pm.
     
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  4. Sep 20, 2019 #4

    OBS

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    Agree...
     
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  5. Sep 20, 2019 #5

    Sauve850

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    I asked an agent last month just out of curiosity and he said it can be done in four hours. That included service and turn around as 7 had arrived at 12:30 pm that day. We left a minute late that afternoon.
     
  6. Sep 20, 2019 #6

    JP1822

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    Although a shorter train - #7/8 has to stock and clean the diner in Seattle, whereas Portland just has to service the Sightseer Lounge Car. The Seattle section in Jan/Feb is usually down to Superliner Trans Dorm/Sleeper, one full revenue Sleeper, Diner, and one or two coaches. So that consist is much easier to turn, than probably what they have right now:

    - Superliner Trans Dorm/Sleeper (crew car)
    - Superliner Reg Sleeper
    - Superliner Reg Sleeper
    - Diner
    - Coach
    - Coach

    Smaller consist, but not as small as what emerges in the winter........... I've seen the train arrive at 5 pm at Seattle and its out by 9 pm - about five hours late. Four hour turnaround is doable.

    Portland Section is three hours down heading back east toward Chicago. But less of a train set in general to turn as the second Portland sleeper is no longer in the consist, but it's still carrying regular load with coaches and Superliner Sightseer Lounge.

    Seattle section #8 not posted yet for departure.
     
  7. Sep 20, 2019 #7

    F900ElCapitan

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    My in-laws are in Seattle waiting to board #8 tonight. Evidently they got the train turned and cleaned but they are having major locomotive issues. So far they are on their 3rd engine to try and dispatch the train. From what I’ve heard its hard to say when they’ll actually get on their way.
     
  8. Sep 20, 2019 #8

    Palmetto

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    How possible is it to do engine maintenance on long distance trains in a place other than Chicago? It seems that's the bugaboo with maintenance, and it's a problem that seems irresolvable.
     
  9. Sep 20, 2019 #9

    F900ElCapitan

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    I think it depends on the station. Somewhere like Seattle that is also a regional train (Cascades) base with multiple engines based there would have some way to do maintenance.

    I did hear that they got underway at 1045pm and have a BNSF engine in the lead. I also found out that Amtrak tried to terminate the train in Spokane, but they weren’t able to secure enough busses to get the pax to Seattle and Portland.
     
  10. Sep 20, 2019 #10

    west point

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    Amtrak just opened a new loco maintenance facility in SEA. Maybe in a few weeks SEA will have a spare loco(s) that will improve loco availability ? With Chargers coming on line that probably will allow for spare loco(s) at SEA ?
     
  11. Sep 21, 2019 #11

    F900ElCapitan

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    F900ElCapitan

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    I sure hope so. So in watching todays #8 at Skykomish, two days in a row the train has had a BNSF engine leading the train. Anderson may be able to get Amtrak to a cash neutral position but the LD rolling stock/locomotives are taking a hit.
     

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