New England Weather Plays Havoc With Amtrak


Sources in Western and Central Massachusetts have reported a rock slide in Palmer MA has stopped the October 30’s Lake Shore Limited from reaching Boston. This has been confirmed through the Chicago Tribune. The Tribune reports 48 (somewhat ironic being the train is numbered 48 west of Albany) passengers were aboard and the train did not loose power or heat during the incident. Amtrak provided free food and drink to customers and buses arrived at 11am to get customers to their final destinations.

This is the second major incident relating to New England from this snow storm. On Saturday night, falling trees damaged the Vermonter forcing it to stop in Amherst and spend the night until being backed to Palmer and returned to Springfield.

Fortunately for passengers neither train lost power or heat and Amtrak was able to provide refreshment allowing customers to make the best of a bad situation. These conditions remind this reporter of an incident in Flagstaff Arizona. On a vacation there, a blizzard struck the day I was leaving. All flights were grounded and the Arizona Highway Patrol closed all roads out of Flagstaff heading south, east and west. Despite two feet of snow, BNSF freight trains were running at track speed when no other mode of transit could even move.

New England is an area also prone to bad weather. Railroads must do a better job of assuring their lines are weather proofed as best as possible. Not only does it provide for more reliable service, it prevents the railroads from paying costly overtime to clean up after a storm.


  1. Losing power for train and crossing signals and switches is one thing; and falling trees are another. This summer the Hiawatha was delayed 5 hours for a crew to proceed ahead of the train to remove 8 trees blown down across the tracks in a storm. Fortunately the train and NPCBU did not derail or sustain damage hitting the first tree.

Comments are closed.