Capitol Limited Getting Back on Track

A very late westbound Capitol Limited stops at Alliance to discharge passengers in December. (Photograph by Roger Durfee)

After being sidelined for a week due to winter weather in the East and a derailment on CSX, Amtrak’s Capitol Limited is set to resume operations this weekend. The first train will be No. 30 from Chicago to Washington tonight (February 12). The first westbound Capitol  (No. 29) will depart Washington on Saturday (February 13).

The Capitol Limited last operated on February 5 when the westbound train was terminated at Connellsville, Pennsylvania. The train had struck three downed trees that fell during the storm. One tree became lodged beneath the lead locomotive while another was stuck under a coach. The crew managed to remove the trees, but then had to go off duty due to the hours of service law after reaching Connellsville.  A replacement crew could not immediate reach the train due to the winter storm closing roads.

Passengers were stranded for 22 hours before being taken by bus to Pittsburgh where they boarded the trainset that had made up Friday’s eastbound Capitol and resumed their journey to Chicago.  

The weekend storm dumped more than two feet of snow, prompting Amtrak to cancel many of its trains serving Washington. 

Also affected by the storm has been the Chicago-Washington Cardinal, which operatesd via Cincinnati. It has operated only between Chicago and Huntington, West Virginia, since last Friday. Amtrak said today that a date for resumption of full service has not been determined. The Cardinal operates tri-weekly.  

The Chicago-New York Lake Shore Limited has been unaffected by the winter storms of the past week and has been operating normally.

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