• All things Pennsylvanian AND Keystone West

  • 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

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  by ExCon90
 
Don't know for sure, but I've heard that PennDOT regards on-time departures as more important than protecting the western connection at Pittsburgh. And they're paying the piper ...
  by west point
 
Could we suspect that the state does not care whether out of state passengers make connections?
  by gp80mac
 
STrRedWolf wrote: Sun Jun 23, 2019 7:34 am
Yes, I'm taking it again this year, July 3rd going up and July 9th coming back.

I feel for you. Looks like the Keystone line got hit hard with storms last night and is shut down right now (July 3rd).
  by STrRedWolf
 
They're doing overhead line repairs now; diesel service only from what I can tell. SEPTA to Thorndale looks good -- they must of gotten that up first. Pennsy will be 1-2 hours delayed. I'm taking that train and will report from the ground.
  by gp80mac
 
STrRedWolf wrote: Wed Jul 03, 2019 7:50 am Pennsy will be 1-2 hours delayed. I'm taking that train and will report from the ground.
Hopefully you get through. Sounded like a mess last night: cat down, signals out, and none of the nocturnal passenger or freight trains were able to run.
  by STrRedWolf
 
From what I'm seeing on Amtrak's tracking map is some signaling and tracking issue between Harrisburg and Philly. As I say, more when I'm there in the thick of it.
  by STrRedWolf
 
On 43(3) now at PHL. Sold out train! Delayed getting everyone on board. They’re even seating folks in the cafe car, and double-checking tickets. Have not set off yet.

Was able to talk to a track engineer — heard one track is open with power and there’s signal issues. 15 minutes & counting.
  by STrRedWolf
 
Overheard: 43 delayed at PHL, power out between here and Harrisburg, single tracking Paoli & Lancaster.

That doesn’t jive with SEPTA. Power is likely out west of Paoli to Harrisburg, unless SEPTA dusted off their diesels.

Update 1:45p: Amtrak realizes that SEPTA is running and asked folks going between here and Paoli to take SEPTA.
  by STrRedWolf
 
Just posted: https://twitter.com/AmtrakNECAlerts/sta ... 5778531330
Service Advisory: Trains traveling on the Keystone Service route may experience a delay due to single tracking between Downingtown (DOW) and Parkesburg (PAR). We will update as more information becomes available.
  by STrRedWolf
 
Heard that Amtrak is running a test train through the Keystone line now. May have a 2-3 hour delay total.

Reason? Storms took a pole down and Amtrak had to replace 70 miles of caternary.
  by STrRedWolf
 
3 hour delay on the 43 because of the above issues. Single tracking west of Thorndale.
  by TheOneKEA
 
Was the 138kV transmission system ever interrupted during the storms? Or was the catenary the only thing affected? I’m curious because of the age of the catenary supports. If the catenary lines parted because of the storm, could the sudden unloading of the support poles cause them to weaken?
  by STrRedWolf
 
My guess is yes, if the signal system is tied to it. From what I heard, the storm knocked out one pole that took out all the caternary, and affected signaling. The tracker has a dead zone between Harrisburg & Philadelphia.
  by JoeG
 
Maybe someone can enlighten me. How is it that one pole getting knocked down can disable 90-odd miles of multi-track traction power, and also knock out the signal system? I can't imagine that the Pennsy designed such a fragile system. Has Amtrak screwed it up?
I would suspect that the problem was "user error," so to speak, where Amtrak managers preemptively canceled service instead of trying to run as many trains as possible, kind of like when they preemptively canceled Keystone service days in advance of what turned out to be a minor storm.

In a small example, on Monday afternoon there was apparently a fire that broke out in a piece of work equipment on the NEC near Trenton. (I found this out from Railway Age, not Amtrak.) I was at NYP awaiting a Keystone train. On the departure board, numerous NJT and Amtrak trains were posted as delayed and several NJT trains were posted as canceled. No announcements about the cause were posted. I did however get several contradictory emails from Amtrak. One talked about delay. One said the train was canceled. One said the train would end in Philadelphia and I could get the next train to Harrisburg. I went to the customer service and the clerk said she heard there was a fire somewhere.
About an hour and a half late they posted my train. I boarded and asked the AC in my car what was going on. He said, "Well, this train is officially canceled." I showed him my email about PHL being the end point of the train. He said he would try to clarify and went away. He came back and said he couldn't find out but he suspected the train would continue to Harrisburg.
He was right. The train got a little later but made it to Harrisburg. Incidentally, the status screen in the Amtrak app said that the train had arrived in Harrisburg at the time we were actually near Paoli.

I don't know what to make of all this, plus the recent screwups with the Pennsylvanian. Paranoid minds might wonder if Mr Anderson is trying to do in Amtrak by showing that it can't manage the most ordinary railroad problems. Or, are various layers of Amtrak management so demoralized and/or incompetent that they have given up trying to run the railroad?

A.J. Cassatt must be spinning like a top in his grave, considering the depths to which his Broad Way has sunk.
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