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AMTRAK Sucks
7-22-14 | Me

Posted on 07/22/2014 11:23:07 AM PDT by Paul46360

On 21July2014 Amtrak Wolverine was due to arrive in New Buffalo Michigan at 8:10pm from Chicago. But it was over 2 hours late.

When my wife FINALLY talked with a REAL person she was told that AMTRAK's own dispatch center could NOTcontact the train and to call back in 10 min for update!!!!!!!!


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Local News; Miscellaneous; Travel
KEYWORDS: amtrak; chicago; lost; train
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1 posted on 07/22/2014 11:23:07 AM PDT by Paul46360
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To: Paul46360

The problem many times has to do with delays from freight, as Amtrak relies on running over some of those same tracks. Amtrak needs its own tracks!


2 posted on 07/22/2014 11:29:28 AM PDT by Star Traveler (Remember to keep the Messiah of Israel in the One-World Government that we look forward to coming)
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To: Paul46360

Freight traffic in Chicago has 100% preference on the rails and switches. Ain’t no way around it.


3 posted on 07/22/2014 11:29:29 AM PDT by Cletus.D.Yokel (Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Alteration: The acronym explains the science.)
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To: Paul46360

Couldn't even make the trains run on time.

4 posted on 07/22/2014 11:29:31 AM PDT by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: Paul46360

Needs more subsidy.


5 posted on 07/22/2014 11:30:25 AM PDT by Fresh Wind (The last remnants of the Old Republic have been swept away.)
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To: Paul46360

In 2014 railroad engineers don’t carry cell phones?


6 posted on 07/22/2014 11:30:39 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: Paul46360

Willie Green is deeply saddened.


7 posted on 07/22/2014 11:31:39 AM PDT by TADSLOS (The Event Horizon has come and gone. Buckle up and hang on.)
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To: Buckeye McFrog

The engineers I’ve known probably wouldn’t lower themselves to make that call.

One got mad at people honking at him for blocking a road with his train so he just stopped his train and refused to move it for a couple hours. He almost got arrested except it would have taken even longer to open the road back up.


8 posted on 07/22/2014 11:34:19 AM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: Buckeye McFrog
In 2014 railroad engineers don’t carry cell phones?

Railroad engineers and conductors are ABSOLUTELY FORBIDDEN to carry cell phones on the job. Apparently, they get distracted by texting etc. and then bad things happen.

9 posted on 07/22/2014 11:40:39 AM PDT by NorthMountain
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To: Paul46360

Riding AMTRAK cross country in 1994, using
Burlington Northern lines, all the latrines
backed up, even in the compartments!
This was during June on the high plains.
It was a long 18 hours.


10 posted on 07/22/2014 11:46:19 AM PDT by Terry L Smith
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To: TADSLOS

Willie Green is deeply saddened.

Poor Willie, He had all the answers, for the wrong questions though.


11 posted on 07/22/2014 11:46:27 AM PDT by mountainlion (Live well for those that did not make it back.)
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To: Paul46360

I live in NOVA and work in NYC and take AMTRAK weekly.

Service has been horrendous the last several weeks, and when my Acela was over an hour late last Thursday night into DC, I sent a complaint.

Today I get an acknowledgement of my complaint with a note that it may be as much as 6 weeks until I get a response.

Ugh.


12 posted on 07/22/2014 11:46:47 AM PDT by NOVACPA
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To: Paul46360
I don't wish to defend a government-run institution such as Amtrak. But delays are not their fault.

Other railroads own the tracks (capitalism - because they built or bought them).

Amtrak uses the tracks through the graces of the owners. Amtrak passenger trains have last priority.

One should always make schedule calculations based on this and adjust arrival times by 10 - 20% of the trip total.

13 posted on 07/22/2014 11:50:13 AM PDT by eCSMaster ("Your apathy is their power." - Sarah Palin Jul 19, 2014)
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To: Paul46360

Some of the comments here are interesting. From what I remember, Amtrak always had priority over freight trains, even on the rails it does not own. That may have changed within the past 15 years but I don’t think so. Usually, when an Amtrak train is delayed, its an issue with switching or a mechanical issue. And yes, these issues routinely can take several hours to fix if the train is in the middle of nowhere when the breakdown occurs. Its one of the downsides of rail travel.


14 posted on 07/22/2014 11:56:08 AM PDT by Opinionated Blowhard ("When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.")
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To: Paul46360

Freight has priority


15 posted on 07/22/2014 11:56:38 AM PDT by svcw (Not 'hope and change' but 'dopes in chains')
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To: Paul46360

In my experience with AmTrak, it’s best to expect it to be late... and don’t use it if being late at your destination is a big problem.


16 posted on 07/22/2014 11:57:25 AM PDT by Rio (Proud resident of the State of Jefferson)
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To: NorthMountain

basic tracfone. not more distracting than a walkie-talkie.


17 posted on 07/22/2014 12:07:03 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man ( Gone Galt; Not averse to Going Bronson.)
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To: Paul46360

you just finding that out.Its the government whats left to say


18 posted on 07/22/2014 12:08:25 PM PDT by CGASMIA68
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To: Paul46360

You could have a 2+ hour delay taking any given flight, and day, just as easily.


19 posted on 07/22/2014 12:08:55 PM PDT by Attention Surplus Disorder (At no time was the Obama administration aware of what the Obama administration was doing)
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To: Secret Agent Man

OK ... I got that from a retired MARC/Amtrak conductor. FWIW.


20 posted on 07/22/2014 12:11:09 PM PDT by NorthMountain
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To: Attention Surplus Disorder

every ticket sold loses money for the taxpayers


21 posted on 07/22/2014 12:12:02 PM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
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To: Buckeye McFrog
In 2014 railroad engineers don’t carry cell phones?

In 2014, railroad engineers aren't allowed to carry cell phones - for same reason drivers shouldn't use them while driving. The California commuter train collision with a freight train was the direct result of the train's engineer texting instead of paying attention to the signals that told to stop ahead.

22 posted on 07/22/2014 12:13:49 PM PDT by Quality_Not_Quantity (Liars use facts when the truth doesn't suit their purposes.)
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To: Paul46360

I thought everyone knew that already about Amtrak.


23 posted on 07/22/2014 12:13:53 PM PDT by 9YearLurker
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To: NorthMountain

i believe you, i was just thinking a basic flip phone couldn’t be more distracting than a 2-way radio, and i would guess they have these for comm issues.


24 posted on 07/22/2014 12:14:46 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man ( Gone Galt; Not averse to Going Bronson.)
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To: Paul46360

A two hour late train is now worth a vanity on FR?


25 posted on 07/22/2014 12:17:25 PM PDT by dmz
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To: eCSMaster

I ride the Surfliner from San Diego to Los Angeles. Service is usually pretty good. I would rather be on the train drinking a cold beer as opposed to being on the freeway. Sometimes people commit suicide by sticking their heads on the train tracks and that screws things up. I wish they would not do that.


26 posted on 07/22/2014 12:18:02 PM PDT by forgotten man
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To: Secret Agent Man

When he was on the job, he carried a 2-way (VHF?) radio. I understood that was all he was permitted to carry. I also understand that cell coverage along rail routes can be very poor. The flip phone might not be distracting, but it might also not be very useful.


27 posted on 07/22/2014 12:19:54 PM PDT by NorthMountain
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To: Cletus.D.Yokel

Hey C Yokel..expected but that THEIR OWN DISPATCH CAN’T contact the train...


28 posted on 07/22/2014 12:26:37 PM PDT by Paul46360 (..)
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To: eCSMaster
I don't wish to defend a government-run institution such as Amtrak. But delays are not their fault.

Other railroads own the tracks (capitalism - because they built or bought them).

Amtrak uses the tracks through the graces of the owners. Amtrak passenger trains have last priority.

Amtrak schedules and freight schedules are exactly the same as the trains of the 20's, 30's, 40's, 50's and 60's prior to Amtrak taking over all passenger operations. Their New York to/from Florida passenger service is exactly the same, to the minute, as the Seaboard Airline's Orange Blossom Special and Atlantic Coast Line's The Champion.

Those timetables were established to allow passenger trains prime use of the tracks with freight taking over odd hours when the mile long freight trains would most benefit from reduced crossing traffic allowing for faster freight movement. Speed limits for freight are higher during off hours than during daylight hours.

Amtrak, through inefficient central planning and bureaucratic bungling cannot follow the timetables as private passenger trains used to do and thus freight takes precedent as they cannot allow their schedules to be disrupted by the inept operations of a government boondoggle.

Passenger trains, including Amtrak, have always been given the best time schedules for their needs and freight only takes precedent when passenger cannot operate on a regular time schedule.

To blame Amtrak delays on freight traffic is on a par with Obama blaming Bush for everything Obama's ineptitude has caused.

29 posted on 07/22/2014 12:32:35 PM PDT by N. Theknow (Kennedys-Can't drive, can't ski, can't fly, can't skipper a boat-But they know what's best for you.)
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To: Paul46360

That’s by design.

And you think ^I’m^ the yokel?
:-)


30 posted on 07/22/2014 12:34:56 PM PDT by Cletus.D.Yokel (Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Alteration: The acronym explains the science.)
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To: dmz

+1


31 posted on 07/22/2014 12:40:36 PM PDT by stormer
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To: NorthMountain

good points.


32 posted on 07/22/2014 12:42:42 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man ( Gone Galt; Not averse to Going Bronson.)
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To: Paul46360

Yes, they did this just to annoy you. Sheesh.


33 posted on 07/22/2014 12:43:39 PM PDT by Kirkwood (Zombie Hunter)
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To: N. Theknow
Bingo.

Track time is scheduled in advance to allow for the efficient fleeting of traffic by the owning railroad. If Amtrak were to remain within its allotted time slot, it would operate on time. The problem is, Amtrak can't operate with anything approaching the sort of efficiency necessary to stay within its slot, so once its window closes, it has to run against the flow of traffic.

34 posted on 07/22/2014 12:47:02 PM PDT by Mr. Lucky
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To: Star Traveler; Paul46360

That may be part of the problem but the real problem is that Amtrak needs to just go away and let the market dictate need.

Amtrak is a pleasant, quaint but expensive thing that is heavily subsidized today. It is inefficient and a waste of money. On routes where ridership is high enough someone will provide the service.

A couple of years ago I looked into taking the train from Houston to Raleigh... waste of time. You could walk from Charleston to Raleigh in the time of the layover to catch the next train.

Amtrak should have been gone a long time ago and this comes from a minor train buff.


35 posted on 07/22/2014 12:48:23 PM PDT by Sequoyah101
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To: eCSMaster
Amtrak uses the tracks through the graces of the owners. Amtrak passenger trains have last priority.

Perhaps you define "graces" differently than I do. They pay to use those rails and are therefore at the mercy of the contract they sign, not the good graces of the owner.

Rail cargo is not generally high-priority stuff, but they do have to pay to have the train underway.

Rail lines do have to be repaired and up north summer is the time for doing it.

36 posted on 07/22/2014 12:48:59 PM PDT by SampleMan (Feral Humans are the refuse of socialism.)
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To: Sequoyah101

If it went away ... It would be really really late then ... LOL ...


37 posted on 07/22/2014 12:51:38 PM PDT by Star Traveler (Remember to keep the Messiah of Israel in the One-World Government that we look forward to coming)
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To: Sequoyah101

It was Charlotte not Charleston. But you could still walk to Raleigh from there faster.


38 posted on 07/22/2014 12:53:01 PM PDT by Sequoyah101
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To: Paul46360
On 21July2014 Amtrak Wolverine was due to arrive in New Buffalo Michigan at 8:10pm from Chicago. But it was over 2 hours late.

Fly out of Chicago some time. You're lucky if you're only two hours late leaving.

Amtrack uses other company rail lines. They're at the mercy of their schedule and if any of their freight trains run late that'll delay the passenger train.

39 posted on 07/22/2014 12:53:32 PM PDT by DoodleDawg
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To: Paul46360

Yep, slower than driving costs more than flying, worst of both worlds.


40 posted on 07/22/2014 12:54:50 PM PDT by discostu (Villains always blink their eyes.)
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To: Paul46360

Why would they call the train for you? If a plane is late, you can’t call customer service and have them call the pilot.

Delays will happen in travel. I rode Amtrack from Glenwood Springs, Colorado to San Francisco and then from San Francisco to Seattle and had a great time.


41 posted on 07/22/2014 12:54:58 PM PDT by arbitrary.squid
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To: Star Traveler

Then you could really walk anywhere faster couldn’t you?


42 posted on 07/22/2014 12:56:43 PM PDT by Sequoyah101
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To: Paul46360

Amtrak is government run much like the Post Office so what do you expect? I was fortunate to experience train travel in the early 1960s when service was still top notch. I rode the California Zephier to California and back to Omaha on the UP.


43 posted on 07/22/2014 12:57:30 PM PDT by The Great RJ
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To: Quality_Not_Quantity; Buckeye McFrog
In 2014 railroad engineers don’t carry cell phones?

In 2014, railroad engineers aren't allowed to carry cell phones - for same reason drivers shouldn't use them while driving. The California commuter train collision with a freight train was the direct result of the train's engineer texting instead of paying attention to the signals that told to stop ahead.

That could be easily solved by keeping a cell phone in a sealed box. If the seal is broken after your shift you either have good explanation or get fired.

There is no excuse to be without emergency communication today.

44 posted on 07/22/2014 1:00:32 PM PDT by TangoLimaSierra (To win the country back, we need to be as mean as the libs say we are.)
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To: Attention Surplus Disorder

Yes, but the Airlines are not run by the government. If Dagny Taggart ran the railroads, they would run on time.


45 posted on 07/22/2014 1:02:06 PM PDT by sportutegrl
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To: Paul46360

Why don’t we just use Amtrak trains to runs these illegals right on up into Canada, just like Mexico does to us.

You know, with NAFTA and all. Caring, sensitive, socialist Canada should welcome the poor dears.


46 posted on 07/22/2014 1:02:37 PM PDT by polymuser ( Enough is enough.)
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To: SampleMan
They pay to use those rails and are therefore at the mercy of the contract they sign, not the good graces of the owner.

Part of that contract specifies that if the passenger train doesn't make its time window, the freight is coming through. Passenger service just has to wait.

47 posted on 07/22/2014 1:05:31 PM PDT by NorthMountain
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To: martin_fierro

Love that graphic.


48 posted on 07/22/2014 1:05:37 PM PDT by logi_cal869
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To: Paul46360

There was an industrial fire in Oregon that delayed the Cascades for over an hour.

It happens, I guess.

But one would think they could contact the train or at least know where it is. A few cities come to mind that run subways that always know where the trains are...seems odd.


49 posted on 07/22/2014 1:10:15 PM PDT by logi_cal869
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To: Paul46360
I've been riding the trains for many years, and passenger trains have historically always been late. My Dad was a track foreman with the New York Central, and my oldest son was a dispatcher with Conrail.

If you take a train, expect it to be late. Not that long ago I was returning from a trip to NY City. We sat on the track for several hours because some doofus decided she was going to walk in front of the earlier train. We had to wait for all those passengers to be transferred to our train, and for them to clear the tracks so we could proceed. You wouldn't believe the things that end up on the tracks.

On another trip back from NY City, it was raining very badly. We stopped because the tracks were flooding, and it was causing problems with the signal lights. We had to wait until they could get someone out to the tracks to check things out.

If all I had to do was wait 2 hours for a train, I'd consider myself very lucky.

50 posted on 07/22/2014 1:16:49 PM PDT by mass55th (Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway...John Wayne)
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