• Amtrak Train Numbers

  • 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 STrRedWolf
 
Before I go too hog wild and condense the 2018 timetables for some silly statistical analysis for fun...

Pre-pandemic, did Amtrak use train number 81? The 2018 timetable says it's unusued... and I'm tempted to use it in the next train novel.
  by R36 Combine Coach
 
Might have been for a Virginia train. 78 was a "Friday only" than ran back from Newport News to Richmond
late evening.

76-78 and 82-88 have been for Virginia service.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Mr. Wolf, "Train 817" would be a "stub" of train #17. such as was #850, Hoosier State - a "stub" of The Cardinal. Amtrak has not had a #17 since November '71. For the period from A-Day to Nov 13, Amtrak simply assumed the railroad's previous train numbers and #17 was the ATSF "Super Chief".

#817, by this reasoning, is open.
  by STrRedWolf
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 8:30 pm Mr. Wolf, "Train 817" would be a "stub" of train #17. such as was #850, Hoosier State - a "stub" of The Cardinal. Amtrak has not had a #17 since November '71. For the period from A-Day to Nov 13, Amtrak simply assumed the railroad's previous train numbers and #17 was the ATSF "Super Chief".

#817, by this reasoning, is open.
Eight-one, not eight-one-seven.
  by RRspatch
 
Many years ago Amtrak's Florida trains were numbered in the 80 and 90 series. Trains 81/82 and 91/92 were the Silver Star. The section that went to and started at Tampa was 81/82 with the Miami section being 91-92. When Amtrak closed the crew base and yard at Tampa the Silver Star became just 91-92 complete with the back up move out of Tampa.

I'm guessing 81 wasn't assigned to a train back in 2018. Amtrak has generally made a complete mess of the NEC numbering system over the years.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
I see, Mr. Wolf, says the blind man. :P :wink:
  by STrRedWolf
 
So I spent a few hours with the 2018 national timetable, entering some basic info into a spreadsheet: Name, train number, days of operation, geographic direction, start and end stations, and type (1/2 night or blank). Some observations:
  • 21xx series: Acela weekday.
  • 22xx series: Acela weekend.
  • 1xxx series: Pacific Surfliner/San Joaquins Saturday service.
  • 8xx series: Heartland Flyer/Hoosier State
  • 7xx series: California Corridor (San Joaquins, Capitol Corridor, Pacific Surfliner)
  • 680-699: Downeaster
  • 600-679: Keystone
  • 520-599: California Corridor (Capitol Corridor, Pacific Surfliner)
  • 500-519: Cascades (Oregon/Washington State corridor)
  • 4xx: Split services (Texas Eagle/Lake Shore Ltd)
  • 3xx: Chicago-centric Corridors (Lincoln, Missouri River Runner, Carl Sandburg, Hiawatha, Wolverine, Blue Water, Pere Marquette, Illinois Zephyr, Saluki, Illini)
  • 2xx: New York State (NYP) Corridors (Empire Svc/Ethan Allen Express)
  • 1xx: Northeast Regional
  • 0xx: Mixed bag with LD's.
The numbering gets funky with the below-100's. It mixes some corridor service with daytrip and multi-day service. The only good thing is that you can shove all of the Regionals in the 100s.

Yeah, this is messy. Time to renumber some trains.
  by mtuandrew
 
8xx is more broadly extensions or partial coverage of LDs. 807/8 is the occasional Empire Builder CHI-MSP drop coach; maybe it’ll become the number for the Morning/Evening Twin Cities Hiawatha and a short-turn coach would get 827/828 instead. I thought the California Zephyr would have an 805/6 for a CHI-DEN short-turn, but today I’m seeing train number 1105 - I think that’s the entire train short-turning due to wildfire.
  by Arborwayfan
 
448/449 vs. 27/28 for the "smaller city" section of LD trains that divide en route. I guess they just doubled the first number on the Lakeshore, but with the single-digit western trains they added a number. The Pioneer was 24/26, the Desert Wind was 34/36. Were they numbering the branches westbound from Chicago, or did 2 mean "to/from Portland instead of main endpoint" and 3 mean "to/from LA instead of main endpoint"?

Of course, train numbers are not especially important to passengers, at least not compared to understanding the interstate highway numbering system so you don't get on I-195 expecting it to bring you back to I-95. I would guess that train numbering systems are also more or less irrelevant to crews, dispatchers, etc., on the 1-a-day routes, but maybe more important on 10+ a day routes where the numbers are the only identifiers and there are enough trains to get confused. (? asks members who are from the operating department of any passenger railroad).
  by justalurker66
 
Arborwayfan wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 12:20 pm Of course, train numbers are not especially important to passengers, at least not compared to understanding the interstate highway numbering system so you don't get on I-195 expecting it to bring you back to I-95.
You should expect I-195 to connect to I-95 - at one end. The odd numbered leading three digit numbers are expected to be spurs from the main line (195, 395, 595, 795, 995). The even number leading three digit numbers should be loops from the main line (295, 495, 695, 895). Sometimes an interstate isn't completed (such as the various missing segments of I-69 from Texas through Michigan). But that is the design of the system and it carries down below the interstate level.

I agree that Amtrak numbers are less relevant ... it is more important that there is a train running than what the number is. Although I did hear of a passenger who failed to get on Amtrak 30 a couple of weeks ago because the engine had a large painted 39 on the side and they did not think it was their train.

Now if someone can explain why Amtrak has 29/30 and 48/49 pairs instead of 30/31 for the Capitol. (In 1975 the National Limited used that pair with 430/431 being the connection between Harrisburg and DC while the main train ran Kansas City to New York.)
  by justalurker66
 
Arborwayfan wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 12:20 pm I guess they just doubled the first number on the Lakeshore,
I was looking through the 1975 timetable ... there were several 400 trains (430/431, 440/441 and 450/451) that were attached to their two digit counterparts.

I found that most west coast long distance (Chicago to the west) had odd west/south bound with even east/north bound one digit higher while most east coast trains (Chicago to the east) had even east/north bound and odd west/south bound one digit higher.
  by ExCon90
 
I suspect that may be a "heritage" holdover from pre-Amtrak days; the Chief was 19/20, the City of SF was 101/102, the CZ 17/18, etc., while the Broadway was 28/29, other PRR Chicago trains were 48/49, 58/59, 54/55, and the Spirit of St. Louis was 30/31 (but the Penn Texas, when they added it, was 3/4). I know the Century was 25/26, and I think the Capitol was 5/6 -- and the inconsistencies live on.
  by west point
 
Leaveit to others to explain trains 12 and 13 and relationship to Coast starlight.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Mr. West Point, #12 was the (compass) Southbound Starlight SEA to OAK; #13 was the (compass) Northbound Starlight LAX to OAK.

There was no Timetable North or South on the SP; all roads led to the Gods sitting at Olympus, aka 65 Market.

#12 & #13 were blanked in the Amtrak PTT; active within the SP ETT.

After the merger with the UP, that practice was discontinued, as the Gods now sat on Dodge Street. Those at Market were largely "dethroned" and sent to the pastures. Amtrak PTT and UP ETT showed #11 and #14 over the entire route; OAK just one more intermediate stop.

Amtrak did revive 12-13 for Wash-Springfield Mail Trains during the 90's, but that of course was miles away from the West Coast.
  by STrRedWolf
 
Sounds like I better share the spreadsheet. Here's the 2018 schedule number comparison.

Some openings in the under-100's to shake some memories: 9/10, 12/13, 15-18, 23-26, 31-40, 44-49, 60/61, 70, 72, 81.