weather cancellations for Midwest Jan 28-31, 2019

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by penguinflies, Jan 28, 2019.

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  1. Jan 28, 2019 #1

    penguinflies

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    I got notified that there was a problem with train 301 (CHI-STL) on 30Jan and my ticket was no longer valid.  I cancelled and refunded.  I see on Amtrak.com that the train is listed as sold out.  Poking around at other 6-7am departures, they are also showing sold out, though 1 Hiawatha is operating at 8am.

    Guess that's the only way to cancel is to sell out the train so that people can't book it?  I suspect this is weather related.
     
  2. Jan 28, 2019 #2

    AmtrakBlue

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    They usually will show Sold Out rather than Cancelled when they're not 100% sure that they'll need to cancel a train just so people don't book the train that has a good chance of being cancelled.
     
  3. Jan 28, 2019 #3

    fairviewroad

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  4. Jan 28, 2019 #4

    Just-Thinking-51

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    It going to be a bit cold here in the greater Chicago area.  There thinking (-17) Tuesday morning with a high of (+5). Gets better on Wednesday low of (-20) and a high of (-12).  It does get worse further away from the city.

    Not try to justify there actions, just given you the weather prediction.

    Don't forget it (+118) in Australia.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 28, 2019
  5. Jan 28, 2019 #5

    Bob Dylan

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    What will really make it "Killer Cold" is the Wind Chill! Predicted 60-70 MPH Winds across the Plains and Amtrak has already issued Cancellation notices for some of the Midwest Trains! :(

    Stay warm and safe! ;)
     
  6. Jan 29, 2019 #6

    SubwayNut

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    Amtrak’s just making adjustments I think to protect equipment along with expected lower ridership during the bitter cold the Midwest is facing.

    Metra and the South Shore Line are also running special limited weather weekday service schedules tomorrow and Thursday. The South Shore Line is busing all service between Michigan City and South Bend I think because they don’t want trains laying over at the exposed airport station and isn’t running any of the Gary short-turns I think for similar reasons for the siding there. To keep all trains running between Millenium and Michigan City where the SSL’s shops and yard are.
     
  7. Jan 29, 2019 #7

    NSC1109

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    Horizons have a nasty habit of freezing up in the cold. MI Service trains are doing 79 instead of 110 likely because of that (110 mph plus wind chill is gonna be an issue) and likely speed restrictions due to the extreme cold. 
     
  8. Jan 29, 2019 #8

    VTTrain

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    Things also get real brittle in that amount of cold.  
     
  9. Jan 29, 2019 #9

    wwchi

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    not to mention I've been getting alerts of a LOT of mechanical and signal issues - it's been overall pretty cold here, not as bad as tomorrow and yesterday was about 30, but many days have been single digits.
     
  10. Jan 29, 2019 #10

    montana mike

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    I see Amtrak cancelled #7 and #8 for today and I would expect for the next couple of days as well due to the cold?    What a mess for the thousands of passengers of these trains. Will Amtrak try to accommodate all of these pax on later trains or just refund the money and tell them to find their own way?
     
  11. Jan 29, 2019 #11

    west point

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    It takes a special kind of steel to operate in those conditions.  The abortive Iceland proposed RR to haul ore had  one item was the extra costs for steel rails to maintain strength and flexibility in the cold temperatures of Iceland!
     
  12. Jan 30, 2019 #12

    Just-Thinking-51

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    Find there own way is standard for a winter delay.  One year the LSL was running very late, and it kick off the passenger in Ohio and continue to NYP with out them.  With out those stops the train made up a nice bit of time.  Passenger were not given alternate transportation.  Out you go, best of luck.
     
  13. Jan 30, 2019 #13

    penguinflies

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    Additional cancellations were just put in.  Some as sold out, others as cancelled.
     
  14. Jan 30, 2019 #14

    Thirdrail7

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    I don't think I've ever seen this before.

    https://www.amtrak.com/alert/service-disruption-all-service-originations-to-and-from-chicago-canceled1.html

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 30, 2019
  15. Jan 30, 2019 #15

    Thirdrail7

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    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 30, 2019
  16. Jan 30, 2019 #16

    Rover

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    How in the world does Canada keep their passenger trains rolling. Maybe Amtrak see themselves more as a seasonal service, like the Rocky Mountaineer, only operating from April to October. What's Next??

    "Out an abundance of caution, Amtrak now announces that Empire Builder service will now run April through October."

    The "Adventure" of Rail travel.
     
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  17. Jan 30, 2019 #17

    jebr

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    This weather would be pretty uncommon in the most densely populated areas of Canada. In the areas where this weather is more common, the rail network can support it. Given the relative lack of passenger rail service in Canada, the areas that would have this kind of weather don't have to worry about it as there's no trains anytime, or they're only having to push out one train every three days!

    Amtrak does seem to be a bit quick to cancel trains at times, but to somehow see this as Amtrak "going soft" is, frankly, ridiculous. They aren't delivering mail in Chicago tomorrow due to the extreme cold! I don't think it's a stretch to see that as potentially cancelling intercity service, especially if there's not adequate room to do all the work needed to assemble a train indoors.
     
  18. Jan 30, 2019 #18

    Rover

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    I see your point jebr. People have to eventually get off the train, and get to the train, and employees have to work outside in the dangerous wind chill. I pray everyone stays safe.
     
  19. Jan 30, 2019 #19

    Devil's Advocate

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    "Amtrak.  We're every bit as fast and dependable as the US Post Office!"
     
  20. Jan 30, 2019 #20

    NSC1109

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    Majority of the Chicago corridor services use Horizon coaches, which tend to freeze in the extreme cold. My guess is that any consist still in Chicago is in the deep freeze now, and I'd imagine it's the same across the Chicago network. 
     
  21. Jan 30, 2019 #21

    tricia

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    You know, at this point I think that'd be an improvement.
     
  22. Jan 30, 2019 #22

    VTTrain

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    On Monday the high temperature in Chicago is going to be 46 degrees.  That is a 58 degree difference from today's high temperature.  Pretty amazing.
     
  23. Jan 30, 2019 #23

    Devil's Advocate

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    You might be right.  All I know is that the USPS has been slower and/or more expensive than every other postal system I've encountered.  Which makes it sound almost exactly like Amtrak actually.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 30, 2019
  24. Jan 30, 2019 #24

    NorthShore

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    Oldtimer, who used to work in the Chicago yard (now retired) has posted in the past about the severe difficulty of dealing with cars when it is crazy cold; attempting to rewire things barehanded for a few minutes before frostnip numbness sets in, for instance.  They would be a worthwhile reflection to read in understanding the real challenges of keeping the trains running in weather not even as bad as we're experiencing.  Considering that this is the coldest it's been in Chicago in almost 35 years (Arctic cold, not just Canadian cold) and the coldest it has been for a three day period in a century, the annulment of services makes total sense. 

    Even Metra, which is running locally, has significantly reduced services. 

    It would be interesting to look back and see what happened the other four times in the last century when temperatures were in the -20s.  Not only how Amtrak handles it in the 80s, but what the steam roads did back in the day.

    Now, if only the stock footage of Amtrak trains which some Chicago news outlets are running actually showed trains at Union Station rather than on the East Coast...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 30, 2019
  25. Jan 30, 2019 #25

    NorthShore

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    South Shore and Metra Electric are now, also, not running due to catenary issues.
     

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