News & Reviews News Wire Amtrak long-distance trains set to resume

Amtrak long-distance trains set to resume

By | September 16, 2022

Website shows trains under way or scheduled to depart today

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Passenger train on curve
The Texas Eagle heads south near Blum, Texas. Amtrak long-distance trains will resume operation today after being suspended in anticipation of a freight rail work stoppage. David Lassen

All Amtrak long-distance trains will apparently resume operations today (Friday, Sept. 16), although the most recent message on the passenger carrier’s website, posted Thursday evening, continues to say only that the company recommends passengers “check their ticket and confirm their train status on or the Amtrak app.”

The passenger operator had cancelled all long-distance operations in stages beginning Tuesday in anticipation of a freight rail work stoppage that could have begun today. A tentative agreement Thursday avoided that disruption.

A spot check using the “train status” feature the Amtrak website shows both directions of the California Zephyr, Empire Builder, and Southwest Chief — the first trains to be suspended, on Tuesday, Sept. 13 — are all shown with on-time departures today.

Similar checks yield similar reports of on-time departures today from points of origin for Auto Train, the Capitol Limited, the westbound Cardinal, the City of New Orleans, the Coast Starlight, the Crescent, the Lake Shore Limited, the Palmetto, the Silver Star, the eastbound Sunset Limited, and the Texas Eagle.

In a Thursday message, Amtrak CEO Stephen Gardner thanked customers “for their patience and understanding, and we look forward to welcoming them back on the rails starting today and tomorrow.”

10 thoughts on “Amtrak long-distance trains set to resume

    1. Supposed to be back in early October. Amtrak’s web site is selling space on it. For what that’s worth.

  1. Re chemical toilets, at first Conrail crews working on the jointly operated “Thorobred” Service on the Lurgan line refused to accept NS locos, and it was shortly thereafter that PA mandated chemical toilets on any locos operating in the state. Bye-bye potty bags! That was prior to the bust-up.

  2. There was a little guy in the LIL ABNER comic who had a raincloud over his head and always feared the worst. I was reminded of him when reading three predictions that the long distance trains would never resume operation. These naysayers should now admit that they were wrong.

    1. Yeah, so I was probably one of those three. But let’s remember that Stevie and Tony already have one LD discontinued, the Silver Meteor. And yeah I firmly believe these two have no intentions of bringing it back. There seems to be zero outcry from passengers or more importantly the Congresscritters whose districts/states it used to run through. And the Capitol and Eagle are still operating with Sightseer Lounges. And one sleeper will be or already has been yanked from the Southwest Chief and California Zephyr (not sure about the Builder) with pax unceremoniously bumped to coach seating and among other thinks unable access the diner. And the with the Sunset and Cardinal no efforts to take them to daily operation. So maybe a hollow victory.

  3. Biden, regarding AMTRAK service should have threaten to federalize all/any
    employees involved with AMTRAK operations. John Lewis [UMW] threatened in
    1948 to shut down coal production. In return, President Truman threatened to
    federalize coal miners. RESULT>Lewis returned to the bargaining table.

    Yes, Biden is beholding to the rail unions especially with the coming mif-term

    Yes, companies still have medieval rules. Do the NSC engines now have restrooms or still using ‘potty bags’ that were discarded along the tracks ? Or did the unions
    inform the EPA of the practice resulting in restrooms ? I assume that with the number of female conductors and engineers that this issue is moot.

    Bill Grant
    Cold., Aohio

    1. It was the Conrail takeover that led to real commodes on NS locomotives. Apparently there were some state laws to have real toilets where CR ran.

    2. Yes. NS engines couldn’t lead on Conrail because they didn’t have working toilets. Also, I remember the 55-gallon barrels at NS’s Lamberts Point terminal in Norfolk VA. that were used to burn the toilet bags from the engines. Ever smelled a burning sewer?

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