CHICAGO—Flooding in eastern Nebraska, western Iowa, and northwest Missouri has caused delays, truncations and outright cancellations to the Chicago-Emeryville, Calif., California Zephyr and two state-sponsored Missouri River Runner round-trips between St. Louis and Kansas City, Mo.
Today’s eastbound Zephyr is cancelled entirely out of California; Amtrak has blocked sales east of Denver until at least Thursday, March 21. Originations after that are dependent on when BNSF Railway trackage can be restored.
In Missouri, service is cancelled today with no alternate transportation provided and as of 1 p.m. CDT Monday is blocked for sale through Friday, though Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari says trains on the route might resume earlier.
The Southwest Chief remains unaffected; however, the train is sold out in coach departing Chicago until Wednesday, owing to Amtrak’s “right-sized” reduced consist policy.
Heavy western snowstorms began inflicting serious delays on the Zephyr in the middle of last week, when the eastbound train due into Chicago on Thursday, March 14, actually arrived at 2:46 a.m. on Saturday, March 16, 35 hours late, after rolling into Denver only 47 minutes off the advertised on March 14.
The Zephyr set to arrive into Chicago on Sunday, March 17, backtracked to Omaha, then to Denver; trains due into Chicago on Monday and Tuesday were terminated at Denver, where westbound Zephyrs have been originating through the track outages.