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Passenger Trains > Question on Zephyrs delays

Date: 01/22/23 15:53
Question on Zephyrs delays
Author: hippieelmo

On the delays Zephyrs encounter between Elko and SLC, would it at all help if it ran up to Ogden and across the causeway to Wells & Elko to reduce delays ??
Just a thought.

Posted from Android

Date: 01/23/23 06:31
Re: Question on Zephyrs delays
Author: steve4031

The delays are further west in eastern Nevada. There is directional running on two sets of single track railroad that run parallel. One alignment is the old western Pacific and the other is the old southern Pacific. Union Pacific runs long freight trains and they tend to break down in this area.

Posted from iPhone

Date: 01/23/23 07:19
Re: Question on Zephyrs delays
Author: JDLX

No, the OP is correct, the black hole tends to be on the old WP between Salt Lake City and Alazon (Just west of Wells). The paired track bidirectional running arrangement exists between Alazon and Weso (just east of Winnemucca). Implementation of PSR has resulted in monster trains on the old WP, UP has been attempting to add capacity to the line by radically extending the Shafter Siding in Nevada and maybe one in Utah, I haven’t paid enough attention to see if things have improved for Amtrak since at least the Shafter siding got placed in service last summer.

I really don’t know if going north to Ogden and then west on the old SP would really make things better. That line does have a lengthy segment of double track from roughly Valley Pass to Lucin, but otherwise it has the same issues as the old WP, outlandishly long trains with few places to pass. I also don’t know how congested the Salt Lake to Ogden line is, or if Amtrak would be able to get through Ogden in a timely manner.

Jeff Moore
Elko, NV

Posted from iPhone

Date: 01/23/23 07:49
Re: Question on Zephyrs delays
Author: dan

the SFZ used to run across the lake , but since then with rising lake in 96 the signals were taken out i believe, UP implemented PSR and shifted more of these train to SLC as well as not having any long sidings into SLC, last summer i think there are 2 now that can handle the long trains.  Broken knuckles are common  as well.   i would think Arnold loop maybe hard on PSR

Date: 01/23/23 11:07
Re: Question on Zephyrs delays
Author: MEKoch

The Utterly Pathetic is proving daily that they do not know how to operate a railroad, that formerly had no delays.  UP cut staff at all levels (train crews, extra boards, maintainers  of signals and track,etc.); increased train size substantially; result:  operations that have descended into the pit.  There is plenty of capacity from Salt Lake City/ Ogden to Reno, as it is mostly double track or two main lines.  But they still are clueless about disciplined operations.  

Look south to the Sunset Route and the STP watching closely their operation of a tri-weakly Sunset Ltd.  Suddenly UP seems able to run the train on-time.  What a miracle of modern technology............(sarcasm)

Date: 01/23/23 19:47
Re: Question on Zephyrs delays
Author: atsf121

While UP has fixed some of the problems on the ex-WP between Wells and Salt Lake, there are still operational problems caused by PSR.  And frankly, the delays on Donner from the past month just get worse for the eastbound Zephyr as it tries to get across Nevada.  I've seen trains that were only an hour late in to Reno lose additional time, some of it before Elko, and so they get into Salt Lake 2-3+ hours late.  As Jeff mentioned, shifting to the ex-SP will have some of the same issues that the ex-WP has.  Short sidings that only Amtrak can fit in while it waits for monster freights to pass are now different than the ex-WP route.  There's a lot of stack traffic on the ex-SP route across the lake (anyone know the train counts on each route?) so I think it could be worse for Amtrak.  Add in any delays getting from Ogden to Salt Lake - I've seen UP park trains along that route - and I don't think there's any viable reason to make the switch.  UP probably needs at least one more giant siding between Wells and Salt Lake to allow their extra large manifests to pass each other and give the dispatcher just a little more flexibility.  But that's asking for the moon.


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