March 1st, 2019

Watch for Train Traffic

Freight Moving, but Not Passenger

Last night, a bunch of eastbound freight trains started rolling through Fernley, which was a sign that Union Pacific must have gotten their line over Donner Pass open. Freight traffic is moving through again, although not to what seems like the usual level. Amtrak came through westbound only a few minutes late today, but disappeared from the Amtrak map after Reno again, so apparently they aren't yet running the California Zephyr through yet. As I write this at 4:30 PM, I see the unusual sight on Amtrak's train tracker of eastbound #6 slowly (15 mph) moving west, presumably on its deadhead backup move from Sparks Yard to Reno before the short-turned CZ heads for Chicago.

I wish Amtrak and UP could have found a way to divert the Zephyrs through the former Western Pacific from Winnemucca to Sacramento. They would have had to miss their stops in between (including Reno), but I bet there would have been a run on tickets for Winnemucca-Sacramento. Had I heard of such a move, I would have taken a couple of days off from work and Lisa and I would have drove to Winnemucca to get a trip through the Feather River Canyon, route of the original California Zephyr. It would have been worth the vacation days to get such a rare-mileage trip.