A winter storm that forecasters say could dump record or near-record amounts of snow on the East Coast has left transportation companies, including Amtrak, cancelling service this weekend.
Affected will be the Chicago-Washington Capitol Limited and the Chicago-New York Cardinal, which operates via Washington.
No. 30 will operate from Chicago to Pittsburgh for trains originating on Friday and Saturday. The westbound Capitol Limited that was to originate today in Washington is canceled over its entire route. No. 29 will operate Pittsburgh to Chicago on Saturday and Sunday.
The eastbound Cardinal is canceled on Saturday and the westbound train that was to leave New York today has been canceled.
Thus far, the Chicago-New York Lake Shore Limited is expected to operate on its normal schedule.
Other long-distance trains that have been canceled or had their operations truncated are the Auto Train, Carolinian, Crescent, Palmetto, Silver Star and Silver Meteor. Visit the Amtrak website for further details.
Amtrak said that the Acela Express, Northeast Regional and other services between locations in Virginia and Boston, as well as Keystone Service between New York and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, will be operating throughout the weekend, but will have modified schedules.
Most Northeast Corridor service between Washington and Boston will operate as scheduled on Friday.
Passengers who have reservations on affected services are being contacted and accommodated on other trains with similar departure times or offered alternate travel dates.
Airlines are also taking similar precautions. News reports indicated that almost 2,400 arrivals and departures have been canceled on Friday at Eastern seaboard airports with a similar number of flights canceled on Saturday.
United Airlines said it would be shutting down operations Friday afternoon at airports in Washington, Baltimore and Philadelphia and hopes to get back into operation at those airports on Sunday.
American Airlines has canceled all flights to and from Charlotte, North Carolina, today, but will resume service there on Saturday.
It plans to begin reducing operations in Baltimore and Washington on Friday afternoon and in Philadelphia on Friday evening.
All flights to and from Baltimore, Washington and Philadelphia are canceled on Saturday.
American said it will cancel all American Eagle flights from New York area airports on Saturday and that mainline operations would be canceled after the departure of the last late morning flights.
Operations in New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington are expected to resume on Sunday.
A storm that dropped a mere inch of snow paralyzed Washington this week and the Washington Area Metro Transit Authority is closing the Metro rail system for the weekend. The nation’s second busiest mass transit system will shut down after 11 p.m. tonight.
During the storm, Metro transit cars will be moved out of the yards and into the tunnels used by Metro trains.
New York transit officials do not at present have any plans to shut down its subway system.
The National Weather Service has posted blizzard warnings for the Washington-Baltimore area that will be in effect between 3 p.m. Friday and 6 a.m. Sunday.
The storm is expected to deliver 60-mph wind gusts that could blow wet, heavy snow into trees, power lines and transformers, triggering widespread power failures from North Carolina to New England.
A full moon this weekend will swell tides and produce “moderate to major” coastal flooding from Maryland and Delaware to Connecticut.
Northeast Ohio is expected to escape the storm. The forecast for Cleveland at Intellicast.com is for overcast skies with a 20 percent chance of precipitation today and a 10 percent chance on Saturday. High temperatures will be in the upper 20s.