Posts Tagged ‘Lake Shore Limited’

Albany Building Next to Amtrak Route Repaired

August 17, 2022

The emergency situation that forced a temporary suspension of Amtrak service through Albany, New York, has been resolved.

The city’s mayor said that a 12-story dilapidated building that officials feared might collapse in part onto tracks used by Amtrak has been repaired.

In late July Amtrak suspended the Lake Shore Limited, Ethan Allen Express and some Empire Service trains for a few days because officials feared a wall of the former Central Warehouse might collapse.

That action was taken following the completion of an engineering report.

Amtrak resumed operating past the structure on Aug. 1 although trains operated at restricted speed.

LSL Resumes Operating Through Albany

August 2, 2022

Amtrak resumed on Monday afternoon operating through Albany, New York, albeit at reduced speeds.

The passenger carrier last Thursday halted operations in Albany due to the danger of a wall of building near the tracks collapsing.

Pieces of the wall closest to the tracks of the 12-story Central Warehouse fell last week, which prompted the service suspension.

For three days Amtrak operated substitute bus service past the affected area for the Lake Shore Limited, Maple Leaf and Ethan Allen Express.

The bus bridge operated between Amtrak stations in Schenectady and Albany-Rensselaer. No substitute bus service was arranged for two Empire Service trains that operate to Niagara Falls, New York.

Amtrak trains will operate at restricted speed past the vacant former cold storage facility.

LSL Disrupted Due to Hazard in Albany

July 30, 2022

Amtrak is operating a bus over a portion of the route of the Lake Shore Limited due to a hazard near the train’s route in Albany, New York.

In a Tweet sent Friday night, the passenger carrier said passengers would ride a bus between Albany and Schenectady, New York.

The Boston section will originate and terminate in Schenectady with passengers riding a bus between there and Boston. The bus arrangement involving the New York and Boston sections is in effect through Aug. 5.

Amtrak No. 48 was cancelled on Thursday night and the train scheduled to depart on Friday night was shown as having a service disruption. No. 49 was cancelled Thursday and Friday.

The developments followed an earlier announcement by Amtrak that the Lake Shore Limited, Maple Leaf and other Empire Service trains were being suspended west of Albany, New York, because officials fear a building next to the tracks could collapse.

The structure is the Central Warehouse, a 12-story building built in 1927 and nearly vacant since 1990.

City officials cited a structural engineering report in declaring a state of emergency regarding the building because its southerly wall is in imminent danger of collapsing. That wall is the closest to the tracks.

“We are working closely with local, state, and federal partners and engineering experts to determine the extend to the structural failure and develop a plan to insure the safety of our residents and businesses, and get the trains running on time and interstate commerce back on track,” said Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan in a statement.

The cost of razing the warehouse, which has thick concrete walls, was put at more than $10 million. That figure also includes the cost of asbestos abatement would exceed $10 million.

On Friday night Amtrak issued a service advisory saying it would provide alternative bus service for the Lake Shore Limited, Maple Leaf and Ethan Allen Express.

The advisory said full service will continue between Albany and New York City.

Something Special on Amtrak No. 48

July 14, 2022

I saw online that Amtrak’s eastbound Lake Shore Limited had P42DC No. 108, the Phase VI livery leading on Tuesday morning.

This scheme has been described by Amtrak as “transitional” as well as a celebration of the passenger carrier’s 50th anniversary.

I got up early and went down to the Painesville station. No. 48 was reported to have left Cleveland on time at 5:50 a.m.

My camera showed a time stamp of 6:12 a.m. on my images.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

New York Cities Eyed as LSL Stop

June 27, 2022

New York officials are working with Amtrak to establish a passenger stop for the Lake Shore Limited in either Westfield or Dunkirk, New York.

Both communities are in Chautauqua County west of Buffalo.

Officials said Amtrak approached them more than a year ago about establishing the stop for the Chicago-New York/Boston train.

Although Amtrak would pay to create the station, funding to maintain it would be the responsibility of local officials.

Chautauqua County Executive P.J. Wendel said it is still to be determined whether the new station will be in Westfield or Dunkirk.

He indicated that Amtrak still need to reach an agreement with CSX to establish the station.

The City of Dunkirk is paying for a study to determine the viability of establishing the stop there.

Westfield said it has yet to be determined how much it would cost to maintain the station once it’s established and who would pay that cost.

The maintenance cost would also include hiring a station caretaker.

CSX Track Work Affects Boston LSL Section

June 22, 2022

The second phase of a CSX track work program that began this week is affecting operations of the Boston section of Amtrak’s Lake Shore Limited.

Nos. 448 and 449 will not operate between Albany-Rensselaer, New York, and Boston on Monday through Thursday through July 21.

Trains will operate as normal on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays during the construction period. The trains also will operate as normal on July 4.

Alternative transportation is being provided by bus to the Massachusetts stations of Pittsfield, Springfield, Worcester and Boston South Station. No alternate transportation is being provided to the missed stop of Framingham.

Passengers ticketed to Back Bay will be bused to Boston  South Station and take an Amtrak or MBTA commuter train to Back Bay.

In a service advisory, Amtrak said passengers at Boston South Station should go to the Amtrak Information Desk for instructions on boarding the buses.

Passengers at Worcester will board the bus at the main entrance in front of the station. Boarding will not occur at the Bus Terminal.

CSX Track Work Disrupts Boston LSL Section

June 16, 2022

Track work being performed by CSX in Massachusetts is disrupting operations of the Boston section of the Lake Shore Limited through June 26.

The disruptions are occurring Monday through Thursday and seeing Nos. 448 and 449 originate and terminate at Albany-Rensselaer, New York.

Alternative transportation is being provided to Pittsfield, Springfield, Worcester and Boston South Station.

No alternate transportation is being provided to Framingham and passengers going to or from Boston Back Bay station are being advised to take another Amtrak train or an MBTA commuter train between Back Bay and South Station.

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

Passengers boarding at Worcester will board their bus at the main entrance in front of the station. Boarding will not occur at the Bus Terminal

Amtrak Eyes New Entrance to Chicago

June 13, 2022

Amtrak is seeking funding to develop a new entrance to Chicago for its trains from the East Coast and Michigan.

Trains magazine reported on its website that the proposal is multiple pronged and involves using tracks of the South Shore Line in Northwest Indiana, acquiring Canadian National’s lightly used Lakefront Line and constructing a direct connection from the St. Charles Air Line to Amtrak-owned tracks leading into Chicago Union Station.

The project, if funded, would cost an estimated $418.5 million.

The Chicago-New York/Boston Lake Shore Limited and Chicago-Washington Capitol Limited would leave their current route on Norfolk Southern’s Chicago Line at a connection from NS to the South Shore near the current Amtrak station in South Bend, Indiana.

Amtrak trains from Michigan would get onto the South Shore in Michigan City, Indiana. From there Amtrak would take the South Shore to Kensington in Chicago before switching to the CN Lakefront Line, which was formerly the mainline of the Illinois Central.

Amtrak trains using the former IC between Chicago and New Orleans currently use the St. Charles Air Line over its entire length.

But this requires a backup move on BNSF’s busy Chicago-Aurora line to reach Union Station.

Building a direct connection from the Air Line to Union Station would cost an estimated $146.5 million.

The proposed project also would route the Chicago-New York Cardinal over the under construction West Lake Corridor line of the South Shore between Dyer and Hammond, Indiana.

At Hammond, Nos. 50 and 51 would then continue in or out of Chicago via the South Shore mainline.

The advantages of the project would be to get passenger trains off the busy NS Chicago Line, where Amtrak operations have been frequently subject to delay.

The Trains report indicated Amtrak is eyeing grants from the National Infrastructure Project Assistance program.

Also known as the Mega Program, Amtrak would seek $251.1 million in federal grants that it would match with $83.7 million from its own budget.

The passenger carrier would also seek equal amounts from a combination of state and local agencies, including transportation departments of Illinois, Michigan, and the City of Chicago; commuter rail agency Metra; and Cook County, Illinois.

Amtrak also has proposed double-tracking its Michigan Line for 16 miles between Niles and Glenwood, Michigan.

This would eliminate delays that occur when scheduled trains run late and miss their planned meets at the existing sidings.

No timeline has been given for these projects and it is unclear if CN would be willing to sell to Amtrak its Lake Front Line in Chicago. Nor has Amtrak yet held discussions about using the South Shore with that rail operator’s parent, the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District.

The new Chicago entrance proposal is similar to one studied several years ago involving creating a dedicated passenger route in Chicago and Northwest Indiana on no-longer used right of way that once belonged to the New York Central that runs parallel to the former Pennsylvania Railroad mainline that Amtrak and NS use today. That proposal died due to lack of funding.

The Trains report can be read at https://www.trains.com/trn/news-reviews/news-wire/amtrak-unveils-infrastructure-plan-to-transform-chicago-operations/

Capitol Limited Capacity Expanded This Week

May 26, 2022

Amtrak has increased the capacity of its Chicago-Washington Capitol Limited. Nos. 29 and 30 are now operating with two sleeping cars, three coaches and a food service car, all of it Superliner equipment.

Also added to the consist was a Viewliner baggage car. The trains continue to be pulled by a single P42DC locomotive.

The train’s consist earlier this year shrunk to four cars, a sleeper, food service car and two coaches. In recent weeks the consist has been five cars with the extra car being a coach.

The Capitol Limited still is without a Sightseer lounge. Earlier reports blamed the lack of a lounge car on a car shortage prompted by a shortage of mechanics who can get cars that were stored during the pandemic back into operating condition.

As the pandemic sent Amtrak ridership plummeting, the passenger carrier reduced the consists of trains, sidelined dozens of cars, and reduced the frequency of operation of most long-distance trains to less than daily.

In late 2020 and early 2021, most long-distance trains fell to tri-weekly operation. Although daily operation was restored to those trains last summer, most trains began operating five days a week in late January.

At the time, Amtrak cited crew shortages for the service reductions. The Capitol Limited was restored to daily operation in late March.

In a related development, the Chicago-New York/Boston Lake Shore Limited resumed daily operation this week.

Nos. 48/49 and 448/449 had been operating five days a week, not departing its endpoint cities on Tuesdays or Wednesdays.

The makeup of the Lake Shore is two P42DC locomotives, three Viewliner sleepers, a Viewliner dining car for sleeping car passengers, an Amfleet food service car, four to five Amfleet coaches and a Viewliner baggage car.

Amtrak to Restore LSL to Daily Operation in May

April 19, 2022

Amtrak will restore daily operation to four long-distance trains the week of May 23, Trains magazine reported Tuesday.

Resuming daily operation will be the Chicago-New York/Boston Lake Shore Limited, the Chicago-Los Angeles Southwest Chief, the Chicago-Seattle/Portland Empire Builder, and the Chicago-San Francisco Bay California Zephyr.

Starting May 2 Amtrak will end a joint equipment sharing plan involving the Chicago-Washington Capitol Limited and the Chicago-San Antonio Texas Chief.

Consequently, the Texas Chief will resort to its previous schedule because there will no longer be a need for a long layover in St. Louis to inspect the equipment.

However, Trains reported, the New York-Miami Silver Meteor will remain suspended through Sept. 11. The Chicago-New Orleans City of New Orleans and the New York-New Orleans Crescent also will remain five-day-a-week trains for now.

The Chicago-New York Cardinal will get a marginal boost in capacity when unused sleeping car accommodations in a crew car will begin being sold to the public.

Those accommodations are in a dorm-baggage car that runs on the rear of the train.

The southbound Chicago to Carbondale, Illinois, Saluki, and northbound Carbondale to Chicago Illini will remain suspended through Sept. 11. Both trains were suspended in late January.

The Trains report cited a planning document that it obtained.

That document also indicated there will be additional trains added in the Northeast Corridor.

The document said some train consists are being adjusted to account for lower than expected passenger car availability and continued onboard service worker shortages.

In a statement provided to the magazine, Amtrak acknowledged the additional services and cited increased demand for business and leisure travel.

To read the article visit https://www.trains.com/trn/news-reviews/news-wire/amtrak-to-restore-four-long-distance-trains-to-daily-service-in-late-may/