Posts Tagged ‘Amtrak service cancelations’

Winter Storm Prompts Amtrak Cancellations

January 15, 2022

Amtrak has canceled several trains this weekend due to a winter storm. The service advisory said the move was being made “out of an abundance of caution for the safety of our customers and employees.”

Trains scheduled to depart on Saturday (Jan. 15) that have been canceled include the Crescent in both directions between New York and New Orleans; Silver Star in both directions between New York and Miami; Cardinal from Chicago to New York; Capitol Limited from Chicago to Washington; City of New Orleans in both directions between Chicago and New Orleans; and the Texas Eagle in both directions between Chicago and San Antonio.

Trains scheduled to depart on Sunday (Jan. 16) that have been canceled are the Cardinal from New York to Chicago; Capitol Limited from Washington to Chicago; Crescent in both directions; Northeast Regional 147 from Springfield, Massachusetts, to Roanoke, Virginia; Pennsylvanian from New York to Pittsburgh; Carolinian in both directions between New York and Charlotte, North Carolina; and Piedmonts 73, 74, 75, 76, 77 and 78 between Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina.

Trains scheduled to depart on Monday (Jan. 17) that are canceled are Northeast Regional 156 from Roanoke to New York; Keystone Service trains 660, 661, 662, and 615; Pennsylvanian from Pittsburgh to New York.

Also on Monday Keystone Service 667 will originate in Philadelphia.

Amtrak said it will waive charges for changes to reservations made because of the cancellations.

Amtrak to Reduce Service by 8%

January 15, 2022

Pandemic related staff shortages are prompting Amtrak to curtail service on most routes starting Jan. 24 for most routes and Jan. 18 on state-supported routes.

The service reductions, which Amtrak said will last through March 27, will affect 8 percent of its schedule. The passenger carrier indicated it might be able to restore service sooner on some routes depending on conditions.

In a statement, Amtrak said the service cuts were due to “staffing challenges resulting from Covid-19 pandemic and the highly active Omicron variant.”

Long distance train service frequency will fall to five days a week for the Southwest Chief, California Zephyr, Empire Builder, Coast Starlight, Crescent, Texas Eagle, Capitol Limited, Lake Shore Limited, and City of New Orleans.

The Silver Meteor will be suspended entirely during the 10-week period, but there will be no service reductions for the Silver Star, Palmetto, Auto Train, Cardinal, and Sunset Limited.

Amtrak said capacity will increase as dictated by demand on the Silver Star and Palmetto to offset some of the service cuts being made to the Silver Meteor.

In corridor services, 8 percent of Northeast Regional weekly departures will be suspended while 6 percent of state-supported weekly departures will be suspended.

Trains magazine reported on its website Friday that already some trains have seen spot cancellations.

The Southwest Chief did not depart Los Angles on Jan. 9 or 12 and did not depart Chicago on Jan. 12 and 15. Some trips of the Coast Starlight also have been cancelled.

Specific cancellations have yet to be announced or posted in the Amtrak reservation system as of Friday afternoon.

Amtrak said in a statement it will contact affected passengers and offer to rebook them for travel on remaining frequencies on all routes.

On routes where there are multiple train frequencies Amtrak said it will seek to offer same-day travel alternatives.

Those unable to travel on other days will be offered a full refund of their fare.

The statement said Amtrak has seen a 25 percent drop in bookings due to the surge in COVID-19 cases coupled with seasonal declines in travel.

The statement also said Amtrak is hiring and training new employees to address staffing shortfalls resulting from last year’s furloughs and early retirements.

The Trains report quoted Amtrak sources as saying 97 percent of its employees are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 but the workforce continues to be hit by COVID-19 infections and exposures.

The illness has affected not just on-board personnel but also backshop workers who maintain and get the trains ready for service.

Weather Still Disrupting Amtrak Trains

January 8, 2022

Adverse weather conditions have led to a spate of Amtrak train cancellations.

Heavy snowfall in West Virginia was cited by Amtrak for multiple cancellations of the Chicago-New York Cardinal this week.

Trains magazine reported on its website that on Tuesday night Train 50 was terminated after reaching Rennselaer, Indiana, with passengers returned to Chicago by bus.

The westbound Cardinal was cancelled on Wednesday and Friday. The eastbound Cardinal was canceled on Thursday.

On Saturday morning the Amtrak website was showing Train 50 as still set to depart Chicago later that evening for New York.

Amtrak could have operated the Cardinal Thursday night to Indianapolis and then had that equipment turn Saturday morning to return to Chicago. But it elected not to pursue that option.

The Trains report said about 8 inches of snow fell in the region around Charleston, West Virginia, on Thursday and four more inches was expected in Northern Virginia on Friday morning.

Heavy snow that downed tree limbs across tracks led to operational issues that led to passengers being marooned for hours aboard trains in Virginia earlier this week.

Elsewhere, Amtrak cancelled the Chicago-Seattle/Portland Empire Builder trains that were to have departed Thursday from Portland and Seattle.

Stalled BNSF freight trains were blocking the route and also prevented the westbound Empire Builder on that day from getting through.

Saturday morning Amtrak posted on Twitter that today’s westbound Empire Builder from Chicago has been canceled due to severe weather.

The Empire Builder that was to have originated in Seattle on Friday instead originated in Spokane, Washington.

Mudslides near Kelso, Washington, prompted Amtrak to cancel all service between Seattle and Portland on Thursday through Saturday. The cancellations did not affect trains operating between Portland and Eugene, Oregon.

In the east, Northeast Regional 171 to Roanoke, Virginia; No. 93 to Norfolk, Virginia; and train 85 to Richmond, Virginia; were canceled on Friday along with their counterparts from the same destinations, trains 176, 84, and 86.

The Silver Meteor from Miami to New York was canceled on Friday along with the southbound Meteor that was to have departed New York on Friday.

Eight additional Northeast Regional trains were cancelled Friday. Trains that did operate were subject to hours-long delays between Washington and Richmond.

Amtrak Cancelling Trains due to COVID-19 Surge Among Employees

January 1, 2022

Amtrak is mirroring the airlines by canceling trains due to an increase in COVID-19 cases among its workers.

Through Jan. 6 the passenger carrier said it will cancel about 1.5 percent of its scheduled trains with many of those cancellations occurring on the East Coast.

Amtrak said about two dozen trains will be affected including four long-distance routes.

Some long distance trains scheduled to depart from Chicago on Friday were cancelled including the City of New Orleans, Empire Builder and California Zephyr.

No trains serving Northeast Ohio have thus far been affected by the cancellations.

The Amtrak announcement also cited bad weather in some areas of the country.

 “Amtrak regrets any inconvenience,” the passenger carrier said in a statement. “We are continuing to monitor changing conditions and will make any further adjustments as required.”

Since Christmas Eve airlines have cancelled thousands of flights.

Amtrak Service Cuts Eyed for January

November 30, 2021

Amtrak now expects to announce this month if it will need to impose service reductions in the wake of crew shortages that may occur if not enough employees are vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine.

Trains magazine reported Monday on its website that employees received a letter stating that they are expected to have received their first vaccination shot by Dec. 8 and to be fully vaccinated by Jan. 4.

Amtrak has said employees who failed to meet the Jan. 4 deadline will be terminated. Those who miss the Dec. 8 deadline will be allowed to remain in service until early January before being let go if they remain unvaccinated.

Unions representing Amtrak workers have sued the passenger railroad over the issue.

Any service reductions will be detailed in mid December and become effective in January.

Amtrak has indicated service cuts may be needed on routes that lack enough operating personnel to move the trains.

As of Nov. 22, 88.2 percent of Amtrak workers have received at least one shot.

The schedule expected to be released this month will be based on vaccination status of operating personnel at that time.

The article can be read at https://www.trains.com/trn/news-reviews/news-wire/amtrak-limits-track-friday-sale-service-reductions-possible-in-january-as-unions-file-suit/

Harsh Winter Hinders Amtrak in Midwest

February 18, 2021

Harsh winter weather continued to lead to delays and cancellations for Amtrak on Wednesday, including in the Midwest.

Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said a week of temperatures near zero caused a series of “weather-related equipment issues.”

A Chicago-Port Huron, Michigan, Blue Water round trip was cancelled on Wednesday as a result.

The same day the Chicago-bound Pere Marquette, which originates in Grand Rapids, Michigan, was terminated at its first intermediate stop in Hollard, Michigan, due to equipment problems.

Passengers were transferred to a bus to complete their journey to their destination.

Several corridor and long-distance trains that did operate on Tuesday and Wednesday encountered lengthy departure delays from Chicago.

That included the eastbound Cardinal to New York via Indianapolis and Cincinnati, which didn’t depart Chicago Union Station until 7:21 p.m.

The scheduled departure time for Train 51 is 5:45 p.m.

After a late Tuesday arrival in Chicago from Carbondale, Illinois, the Saluki was canceled on Wednesday and its counterpart to Carbondale, the Illini, was cancelled that day. Both trains were cancelled on Wednesday.

Today the westbound Capitol Limited reached Cleveland more than an hour late but the westbound Lake Shore Limited was reported to have arrived on time.

Winter Storm Disrupts Amtrak Service

February 1, 2021

A winter storm on Sunday prompted Amtrak to cancel several services in the East.

Among them was the New York-Pittsburgh Pennsylvanian. Keystone Service between New York and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, via Philadelphia operated on a limited schedule.

Also operating on limited or modified schedules was Northeast Regional Service between Boston and Virginia, and Empire Service between New York and Albany-Rensselaer, New York.

All Acela service between Boston and Washington was canceled.

LSL Boston Section Canceled by Track Work

July 3, 2020

Track work being undertaken by MBTA in Massachusetts will result in the cancellation of the Boston section of the Lake Shore Limited between Boston and Albany-Rensselaer, New York, next week.

Between July 5 and July 11, passengers about Train No. 448 traveling to the intermediate stations in Massachusetts of Pittsfield, Springfield, Worcester and Boston (South Station) will get off the train at Albany and ride a bus to their destination.

No alternative transportation is being provided to Framingham or Boston Back Bay station.

Passengers for Train 449 at the same intermediate stations will board a bus between July 6 and 12 to travel to Albany-Rensselaer, where they will board the train to continue their journey.

No alternate transportation will be provided from Boston Back Bay station or Framingham.

Passengers boarding at Boston South Station should go to the Amtrak Information Desk for instructions on boarding the buses.

Worcester passengers will board their bus at the main entrance in front of the station and not at the bus terminal.

No business class or sleeper class service will be provided for passengers traveling on Nos. 448 and 449 will be offered between Boston and Albany-Rensselaer.

VIA Makes More Service Cuts

March 31, 2020

VIA Rail Canada said that beginning March 31 it will further cut service on most routes.

The new schedule calls for only one train per day on all routes in the Quebec City-Windsor, Ontario, corridor.

All trains will stop at every station on all routes.

Montreal-Jonquiere, Quebec; Montreal-Senneterre, Que; and Sudbury-White River, Ontario, routes will operate with one round trip per week.

The Winnipeg-Churchill, Manitoba, train is no longer offering Sleeper Plus service.

Other operations, including the Canadian and Ocean, have been suspended through May 1.

VIA said carry-on baggage assistance offered by employees is temporarily suspended on all trains across the network.

However, it said it will continue to offer the same level of assistance to passengers with disabilities and/or limited mobility.

Checked baggage service has been temporarily suspended on all routes except Sudbury-White River and Winnipeg-Churchill.

In the United States, Amtrak and CTrail Hartford Line trains have begun operating on an even more reduced schedule with a combined 11 round trips (six CTrail, five Amtrak) on weekdays and revised weekend schedules on Amtrak’s Hartford line between New Haven, Connecticut, and Springfield, Massachusetts.

Amtrak Trims More Service, Brightline Suspended

March 26, 2020

Additional Amtrak service reductions have been announced and Florida intercity rail passenger operator Brightline has suspended all service.

The latest Amtrak cancellations include reducing the level of service of Missouri River Runner service effective March 30

The two daily roundtrips between St. Louis and Kansas City will be cut to one with trains leaving Kansas City at 8:15 a.m. and St. Louis at 4 p.m.

The St. Louis-Kansas City corridor was the last in the Midwest to be unaffected by the COVID pandemic-induced service reductions.

Effective today Vermont Gov. Phil Scott has ordered all Amtrak in that state to be suspended.

The Vermonter, which normally operates between Washington and St. Albans, Vermont, will not operate north of New Haven, Connecticut.

On its reduced schedule, the Vermonter will not operate on Sundays.

The Ethan Allen Express, which normally operates between New York and Rutland, Vermont, will not operate north of Albany-Rensselaer, New York.

Scott said he took the action after consulting with Amtrak. He also issued a stay-at-home order for residents of his state and directed the closure of in-person, nonessential businesses in order to minimize unnecessary activities outside of homes.

In Florida, Brightline, which is owned by Virgin Trains USA, laid off 250 of its more than 300 South Florida workers this week.

Brightline said on Wednesday that it was suspending all service in the wake of the pandemic.

The layoffs included Bob O’Malley, vice president of corporate development.

In a statement, Brightline said it hoped to rehire most of its workers once service resumes, but said it could not say when that might be.

A report in the Miami Herald said more than 700 construction workers on a project to extend Brightline track to Orlando remain employed.