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Passenger Trains > Empire Builder Cancellation


Date: 01/13/20 00:25
Empire Builder Cancellation
Author: sethamtrak

Empire Builder 8/28 out of Seattle/Portland the evening of the 12th cancelled due to weather related issues. Train 7(10) was 9 hours late and there wasn’t even equipment to turn to go East. Perhaps Gene can add more to the post.



Date: 01/13/20 05:46
Re: Empire Builder Cancellation
Author: GenePoon

There was a major winter storm and associated commercial power outage in northern Washington.

Posted from Android



Date: 01/13/20 06:00
Re: Empire Builder Cancellation
Author: milepost180

The WSDOT has a notice out this morning.  US 2 is closed eastbound from Gold Bar to Skykomish and westbound from Stevens Pass to Gold Bar.  Numerous trees and powerlines down and it's too dark to access the damage.  Travelers, in the Skykomish area should make arrangements to stay.  Will #7 make it over the mountain this morning?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/13/20 07:21 by milepost180.



Date: 01/13/20 08:13
Re: Empire Builder Cancellation
Author: GenePoon

7 is on the way, 1 1/2 hr. Late at Leavenworth, estimating 2-3 hrs delay to Everett. 27 is on the way, estimating an hour to VAN.



Date: 01/13/20 10:50
Re: Empire Builder Cancellation
Author: sagehen

Apparently, the Seattle section was unable to get to Seattle in time to be turned to go east.  I guess if the Seattle section can't run, neither can the Portland section.  I hope photographers out there take pictures of extra long trains as they send the equipment from the cancelled trains back east.

Stan Praisewater



Date: 01/13/20 15:54
Re: Empire Builder Cancellation
Author: GenePoon

It appears that 7 didn't arrive at Seattle today, either.  Last OS was at Leavenworth.  Availability on 8(13) and 28(13) now blanked due to service disruption.



Date: 01/13/20 18:43
Re: Empire Builder Cancellation
Author: mundo

[b]Amtrak Alerts[/b]‏Verified account @[b]AmtrakAlerts[/b] 3h3 hours ago   UPDATE: Empire Builder Train 7 which departed Chicago (CHI) on 1/11 passengers will be provided alternate bus transportation between Wenatchee (WEN) and Seattle (SEA). We will update as more information becomes available.



Date: 01/13/20 21:31
Re: Empire Builder Cancellation
Author: jp1822

Ever since the BNSF derailment at Bonner's Ferry in Idaho on New Year's Day, the Empire Builder has not had good timekeeping or good luck in running over its entire route!
  • Train 7/27 for Jan 13 - Departed Chicago; Will likely turn back at Spokane. 
  • Train 7/27 for Jan 14 - Scheduled to depart Chicago; Will likely turn back at Spokane. 
  • Train 7/27 for Jan 15 - Cancelled out of Chicago - Amtrak says due to "severe weather conditions." But where exactly is the sever weather conditions? The main problem is Chicago won't have a regular Empire Builder equipment/train set and I guess they are not going to "make one up" even though they could, especially with a generally reduced consist in place. For example, Amtrak has, and could, do a same day "run-through" with the Capitol Limited and City of New Orleans train sets. It's a rob Peter to pay Paul to do a "run-through."  This pinch hitting was done in the past, particularly during the Warrington years as a way to maximize fleet utilization. And I doubt outright cancellation would have happened done a few years ago. A "make-up" consist would have been put together. But this will lead to a poor performance for the Empire Builder in first quarter....The Empire Builder was running with sold out status before New Year's and after New Year's with no additional coach or sleeper considered for operation. Instead Amtrak pulled them OFF earlier to get the reduced winter consist in place! Various attendants were furloughed starting Jan 6th. 
  • Train 7/27 for Jan 16 - Cancelled out of Chicago - Amtrak says due to severe weather conditions. Still? Where? Just curious. Same as above. main problem is Chicago won't have equipment, or is being conservative for a potential tight turn of equipment. So they are cancelling the entire train over the route when the problem is really really West of Spokane, as far as I can tell. Corridor traffic between Chicago and Twin Cities left high and dry! Not even an effort to run a "Baby Builder" between Chicago and Twin Cities Jan 15 and 16.
**UPDATE - Amtrak will NOW provide alternate transportation for train 7/27 between Chicago and MSP (Twin Cities). Not sure if this will be in the form of a train or bus!
  • Train 8/28 for Jan 13 - Cancelled in its entirety out of Seattle/Portland. Inbound equipment from Train 7 got delayed and never made it to Seattle. Train 7 got held up and pulled back to Wenatchee to await buses to get to Seattle.
  • Train 8/28 for Jan 14 - Buses out of Seattle/Portland, and train will originate in Spokane
  • Train 8/28 for Jan 15 - Buses out of Seattle/Portland, and train will originate in Spokane
  • Train 8/28 for Jan 16 - Buses out of Seattle/Portland, and train will originate in Spokane
  • Train 8/28 for Jan 17 - Buses out of Seattle/Portland, and train will originate in Spokane

So the Empire Builder train sets won't be operating normally till at least Jan 18th. In general the Empire Builder operates with a pretty good passenger load - a combined train with three Superliner sleepers and four Superliner coaches in peak season, which has even operated with an additional Portland sleeper (thus four in total) AND corridor coach between Twin Cities and Chicago. 

Consist equipment is supposed to be (at this time of the year):

Locomotive (2 to 3)
Seattle - Baggage
Seattle - Superliner Trans Dorm Sleeper
Seattle - Superliner Sleeper
Seattle - Diner
Seattle - Coach
Portland - Sightseer Lounge
Portland - Coach/Baggage
Portland - Coach
Portland - Superliner Sleeper


LESS ONE SEATTLE SLEEPER AND LESS ONE COACH RIGHT NOW IN WINTER SEASON. 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/14/20 20:44 by jp1822.



Date: 01/14/20 20:45
Re: Empire Builder Cancellation
Author: jp1822

Some updates appeared late today on the Empire Builder - train 7/27 will operate with alternative transportation on 1/16/2020 between Chicago and MSP (Twin Cities) ONLY! Train or bus - not sure! 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/14/20 20:46 by jp1822.



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