• Amtrak Alerts

  • 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 ohioriverrailway
 
My apologies if this horse has been flogged before.
What drives the Amtrak Alerts? There doesn't seem to be any uniformity in the reporting. On some corridors...and I'm thinking trains out of CHI...if it's 20 minutes late, it gets an alert.
Other places....thinking 29 and 30 specifically....they can be 2 or 3 hours late and there's no alert.
  by STrRedWolf
 
From watching the two Twitter feeds (@amtrakalerts and @amtraknecalerts), it's probably a few humans who don't have a good monitoring system in place.
  by ohioriverrailway
 
Then there was this alert from 8/4:
Amtrak Alerts

Capitol Limited Train 29 which departed Washington (WAS) on 8/4 is currently stopped at Pittsburgh (PGH) due to late arrival of inbound equipment. Updates to follow as more information becomes available.

What inbound equipment??
Arrived 7 minutes early; left 78 minutes late
  by STrRedWolf
 
The Pennsylvanian 43 was 5h 23m late. I bet there was a passenger transfer on 43 to 29, and thus 29 was told to wait for 43 to get to Pittsburgh so they could transfer them over.

Why was 43 late? AmtrakNECAlerts has that answer.
UPDATE: Pennsylvanian Train 43 is stopped east of Huntington (HGD) due to several down trees on the tracks ahead. We will provide updates as more information becomes available.
  by west point
 
Hurricane Iasisa was the culprid. Lots of delays yesterday for the LD trains out of NYP.
  by ohioriverrailway
 
43 had a number of storm-related problems. And if they in fact did hold for passengers, good for them! I'd wondered if their was some PV on 43 that they didn't want to have sitting in PGH for a day.
On the eastbound trips, they rarely hold 42....folks get to finish their trip on a bus.
  by STrRedWolf
 
I think Amtrak has a "hold up to 3 hours" policy on transfers. Normally 43 will come in at 8pm, and 29 at 11:50p. 5 hour delay puts 43 in at 1am, so within the hold window.
  by Tadman
 
STrRedWolf wrote: Fri Aug 07, 2020 9:47 am I think Amtrak has a "hold up to 3 hours" policy on transfers. Normally 43 will come in at 8pm, and 29 at 11:50p. 5 hour delay puts 43 in at 1am, so within the hold window.
That is bat*** nuts to hold a train with 200-300 people aboard for a handful of folks on the Pitt train. If connections are so important, what does that do to the connectors in Chicago? Assuming they're not, you're just P-O'ing NS for no good reason.
  by STrRedWolf
 
Tadman wrote: Sun Aug 09, 2020 4:32 pm That is bat*** nuts to hold a train with 200-300 people aboard for a handful of folks on the Pitt train. If connections are so important, what does that do to the connectors in Chicago? Assuming they're not, you're just P-O'ing NS for no good reason.
I don't know. Huntington is in NS territory, and I would assume 43 had to wait for NS to clear the track with their personnel. So pissing off NS? That's nature's doing, throwing trees across the entire line, not Amtrak.

I bet NS got advance word from Amtrak about the passenger transfer, and it was within the operating window as well for 29.

Besides, where would you put them to overnight in Pittsburgh? The most direct hotel, the Westin at Convention Center, is closed until September 1st, as is the Omni. The Drury Plaza (next closest) is open at $160/night. It was probably cheaper to have 29 hold that hour and change.

(By the way, I never claimed Amtrak or NS was ever rational to begin with. I just know some of the dispatch behavior)
  by STrRedWolf
 
mtuandrew wrote: Mon Aug 10, 2020 9:06 am Run a shuttle bus to Cleveland, I dunno. Be smart about it.
1am in the morning? Amtrak would have to ask Greyhound (within two blocks of the station!) for a shuttle to follow bus 1607, which left at 12:30am... and what about stops along the track?

So it's ether pay for one of the few hotels that are still open and probably not have a deal with Amtrak for (at $160/person), pay for a special Greyhound bus (probably more expensive), or delay 29 (and deal with NS). It probably was smarter to delay with 29.

And before someone suggests "Maybe 30 was bearing down..." that train comes to Pittsburgh at 5:05a.
  by mtuandrew
 
STrRedWolf wrote: Mon Aug 10, 2020 12:11 pm1am in the morning? Amtrak would have to ask Greyhound (within two blocks of the station!) for a shuttle to follow bus 1607, which left at 12:30am... and what about stops along the track?

So it's ether pay for one of the few hotels that are still open and probably not have a deal with Amtrak for (at $160/person), pay for a special Greyhound bus (probably more expensive), or delay 29 (and deal with NS). It probably was smarter to delay with 29.

And before someone suggests "Maybe 30 was bearing down..." that train comes to Pittsburgh at 5:05a.
It’s not *that* expensive to rent a minibus! Has to be cheaper than holding up a full train and assuming NS will be willing to forward it to Chicago on time.
  by STrRedWolf
 
mtuandrew wrote: Mon Aug 10, 2020 5:18 pm It’s not *that* expensive to rent a minibus! Has to be cheaper than holding up a full train and assuming NS will be willing to forward it to Chicago on time.
AT 1 AM IN THE MORNING?!?

Seriously. While they may have a few buses at Pittsburgh's depot, I doubt Greyhound would have a driver sitting around at o'dark-thirty that knows the route up to Cleveland, AND service the few Amtrak stations along the way... and that is the worst case scenario. I would think Greyhound would have a driver on call for their Chicago-bound bus that left an hour earlier, but that driver's gone and on the road. Plus... is Greyhound's call center 24/7?

I also doubt Amtrak or a third party would have the resources in place to handle that scenario... even though it was likely under six passengers. Yes, they could of used a shuttle bus. There is not one at the station. How would you secure one near midnight?

It's all those factors that MARC's Operations desk run through when trains break down or storms cause a disruption. I would believe Amtrak is little different (in which it's actually 24/7).
  by mtuandrew
 
Who said anything about Greyhound? There has to be several hotels with their own pair of airport shuttle buses :minibus: :minibus: where Amtrak could hire one, even at 1am. Same with limo companies.

If there are lots of passengers transferring, like 30+, then consider holding a train.
  by STrRedWolf
 
mtuandrew wrote: Tue Aug 11, 2020 6:42 am Who said anything about Greyhound? There has to be several hotels with their own pair of airport shuttle buses :minibus: :minibus: where Amtrak could hire one, even at 1am. Same with limo companies.

If there are lots of passengers transferring, like 30+, then consider holding a train.
Not really. The big hotels are shut down currently (points above) and the small ones like the Drury don't have them. The closest is SuperShuttle, and even then with any limo company, it is dependent on local traffic/licensing laws to cross state boundaries... and those require a few days of lead time outside of an airport. (Yes, I've used SuperShuttle in Pittsburgh) Oh, and some of the shuttles are limited to 6-7 people plus luggage.

That said, I've never seen a hotel shuttle in Pittsburgh in over 13 years. Most refer you to SuperShuttle.

Adding back the situation, you have to do this on the fly. It's possible to do, but hard to pull off, and needs a lot of prep knowing what companies can provide the service.

Constrained to what's reasonably available in Pittsburgh at that time (with what I know), the only group that can cross state boundaries is... Greyhound. It's bus depot is "across the street" from the Amtrak station (look it up on Google Maps!). Plus, Amtrak Thruway service from Pittsburgh to Harrisburg is via Greyhound (it's in their schedules), so there's already a relationship there.

"How about BoltBus?" That's Greyhound, actually, and they suspended all BoltBus operations. "How about MegaBus?" Doesn't go to Chicago or Cleveland from Pittsburgh.