• Fires and Amtrak Western Trains

  • Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.
Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, mtuandrew, Tadman

  by Westernstar1
 
Has anyone heard if the fires in California, Oregon, and Washington have disrupted Amtrak LD trains, at least temporarily, in those states?

I'm sort of reluctant to take West Coast LD trains, any year, because of the predictable and devastating fires which seem to be an annual occurrence.

Richard
  by STrRedWolf
 
I haven't heard anything off of Amtrak's site, Twitter, or the national news. However, I'd avoid it until they get the fires taken care of and everything looks a bit less Bladerunner-esque dystopian.
  by Westernstar1
 
Yes, the fire situation is indeed dystopian. There have been home and structure fires, over the last 4 years, like I've never seen and I have lived here in Northern Calif. most all my life.

I don't see any relief from the annual fires until the impact of decades of forestry mismanagement is realized.. Not to mention until the so-called environmental organizations, such as the Sierra Club and the sacrosanct EPA, admit to their failings. The tremendous buildup of forest undergrowth, dead and diseased trees, has to be dealt with. If not, I don't think we will ever see an end to the problem.

Richard
  by electricron
 
Westernstar1 wrote: Mon Sep 14, 2020 3:29 pm Yes, the fire situation is indeed dystopian. There have been home and structure fires, over the last 4 years, like I've never seen and I have lived here in Northern Calif. most all my life.
I don't see any relief from the annual fires until the impact of decades of forestry mismanagement is realized.. Not to mention until the so-called environmental organizations, such as the Sierra Club and the sacrosanct EPA, admit to their failings. The tremendous buildup of forest undergrowth, dead and diseased trees, has to be dealt with. If not, I don't think we will ever see an end to the problem.
Richard
Keeping politics out of the discussion, local, state, and federal governments do not cut down trees, ill or well, large or small. The people who do are called lumberjacks who work for privately run lumber companies. They had a successful system managing forests before know nothing politicians jumped in telling them how to run a successful business, ruining it.

Forest fires have been around forever. Bambi was a movie made in the 1940s based upon a book published in the 1920s. Smokey Bear is based upon a real bear rescued after a forrest fire that happen in spring of 1950 in New Mexico. Forrest fires are not recent after effects of climate change.
  by Westernstar1
 
I didn't know that Smokey the Bear was a real bear.

I think Smokey the Bear should look at himself in the mirror and say "only you can prevent forest fires".

Richard
  by mtuandrew
 
electricron wrote: Mon Sep 14, 2020 4:09 pmKeeping politics out of the discussion, local, state, and federal governments do not cut down trees, ill or well, large or small. The people who do are called lumberjacks who work for privately run lumber companies. They had a successful system managing forests before know nothing politicians jumped in telling them how to run a successful business, ruining it.
I don’t think anyone is blaming small, private loggers, they’re blaming clearcutting - if private industry hadn’t gotten greedy, there wouldn’t have been government regulation.

And prior to white folk appearing in California, the Native peoples conducted controlled burns of forest and prairie. Can’t do that on a large scale today without potentially catching a McMansion subdivision on fire.
  by nkloudon
 
To Westernstar1:
FYI the critter's actual name is just "Smokey Bear". No "The".
  by wigwagfan
 
Westernstar1 wrote:Has anyone heard if the fires in California, Oregon, and Washington have disrupted Amtrak LD trains, at least temporarily, in those states?
The fires are generally in areas where there are no railroad tracks, so there's no additional disruption to Amtrak or the railroads. The most impacted railroads are a couple of shortlines - Oregon Pacific Railroad lost a SW-8 at the end of its line in Liberal, just outside Molalla, and the Albany & Eastern Railroad likely had some impact at the eastern end of its line to Mill City; most of the complete destruction - as in entire towns destroyed - was east of Mill City where the rails have already been gone for decades. A number of sawmills were lost.

Along the UP mainline, just a lot of smoke in the air. The Columbia Gorge has fortunately seen little fire activity this year as compared to the last few years, when I-84 (and the Union Pacific) was heavily impacted for quite awhile. The damage from those wildfires is still readily visible at Multnomah Falls and Bonneville Dam.
  by wigwagfan
 
Westernstar1 wrote: Mon Sep 14, 2020 3:29 pm Yes, the fire situation is indeed dystopian. There have been home and structure fires, over the last 4 years, like I've never seen and I have lived here in Northern Calif. most all my life.
Speaking from just outside the Portland Metro area, the situation just exploded last weekend with unusually strong east winds combined with 90 degree heat. Sunday night a week ago, literally everything happened all at once and in multiple places. A good number of the fires are human caused but officially most of them are "unknown". Unlike the midwest or even the eastern part of the state, we don't normally get too many thunderstorms or lightning-caused fires but it can happen. Couple it with the close proximity to the populated areas within Clackamas and Marion Counties, the strong east wind pushing those fires even closer to civilization in the Willamette Valley, and the lack of rainfall over several months...it was the perfect storm.
  by David Benton
 
Never thought I would see lack of rainfall and Oregon in the same sentence. Lol.
I don't know about the USA , but here it doesn't take much of a temperature and rainfall swing to dry things out quicker than normal. Trees store that effect over a year or longer The land of the long white cloud may have to change its name as the climate changes.
  by wigwagfan
 
David Benton wrote:Never thought I would see lack of rainfall and Oregon in the same sentence
Believe it or not, Oregon's rainfall is merely "average" and concentrated in the western part of the state, west of the Cascades. The rain season is typically October through April or May. June, July and August are generally very dry months so plenty of time for things to dry out.

Just one more stereotype of Oregon that isn't rooted in reality, albeit this one at least goes back much longer than most of the stereotypes.
  by BandA
 
The smoke conditions are supposedly pretty bad in many areas. You should consult air quality websites or locals in the area you plan to visit or travel through. Conditions could improve quickly too as fires are extinguished or it starts to rain.

Global Warming is probably a contributing factor, but more is the condition of the trees, grasses, shrubs. Invasive trees like Eucalyptus & plants are a huge problem. Building houses & power lines in fire-prone areas is another. Being from New England it is shocking how dry California is. Then they get a couple inches of rain and they have landslides and roads flooded with silty water. I can't understand why their storm drains can't handle two inches of rain. Do the railroads get flooded out when it rains in LA? I've also heard that the Forest Service was kinda slow dealing with some fires on federal land, compared to CA state land or municipal land.
  by STrRedWolf
 
Welcome to climate change. It's been a long time coming.

Listening to NBC Today show, some of the smaller airlines (Alaska Air) are canceling flights in Oregon due to visibility in the ash.
  by wigwagfan
 
STrRedWolf wrote:some of the smaller airlines (Alaska Air) are canceling flights in Oregon due to visibility in the ash.
Alaska Airlines is the only airline to significantly cancel/reduce service out of PDX and many of the smaller outstations in Washington and Oregon (however not Seattle), and its schedule is already very well pruned back due to COVID-19. Probably 80% of PDX is now Horizon or Skywest flights rather than mainline Alaska (737/A320 equipment).

Main reason is safety of ground crew working for long hours in the unhealthy air. However no other airline at PDX has cancelled a single flight.