Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee
kevin_standlee

Welcome Back, Amtrak!

Amtrak normally runs two trains a day across northern Nevada: Numbers 5 and 6, the west- and east-bound California Zephyr. However, for the past several weeks, service has been suspended and the train's Chicago-Emeryville (for San Francisco) run has been truncated to Salt Lake City, due to various mudslides, washouts, and other weather-related disruption. This messed up gridlore and kshandra's plans to come to Reno, which is a shame on multiple levels.

I could find nothing on Amtrak's web site about the service disruption, other than when you tried to check the train's status, you got a "cannot provide status due to a service disruption; call us for more information." It would have been nice if they'd given us Westerners the same courtesy they do when the Northeast Corridor services are disrupted. I found out what was happening from a railroad fans message board.

Union Pacific and Amtrak finally got things back together, and two days ago, the first westbound Zephyr started for the west coast again.



I heard #5 on the radio scanner as the engineer acknowledged the signals at East Fernley putting it into the siding to allow for a meet with an eastbound local freight (the "Fernley Flyer"). Thus the train, which normally blows through on the main at the maximum allowed track speed of 70 mph, was coasting along on the siding. They were only delayed a few minutes, though, as the "Flyer" arrived just as Amtrak pulled up to West Fernley.

I'm not sure when eastbound service will be restored. The train that came through westbound this morning isn't visible on the Amtrak "track a train" map, and there's a train #6 showing eastbound between Fernley and Winnemucca that I didn't notice going by this morning. If it's really there and not a mistake on the Amtrak system, it might be a set of equipment deadheading to get equipment back where it belongs.
Tags: amtrak, nevada, trains, union pacific, weather
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