Update on Southwest Chief Train 4

March 15, 2016 5:49 p.m.

Amtrak would like to thank the citizens of Gray County and the city of Cimarron, along with Dodge City and Garden City, Kan., for their assistance this week. Responding agencies including the Gray County Office of Emergency Management, Gray County Rural Fire Department, Garden City Fire Department, Gray County Sherriff’s Office, Kansas State Patrol and the Red Cross responded swiftly and decisively to the derailment of the Southwest Chief early Monday morning, working with our employees to help those in need. We would like to extend a sincere “Thank You” to all those individuals who helped us that morning and over the next several days.

We are cooperating fully with the National Transportation Safety Board who is leading this investigation.

Amtrak would also like to thank BNSF Railway for its assistance. BNSF has restored the route and normal Southwest Chief service is resuming in Western Kansas.

22 comments
stosher
stosher

.. . Livefyre ® ONLY works with Firefox ® on Macs  . . . ..   4 pm HST Tuesday ,  Yeah , thanks to all the Local , State , and Federal employees who have assisted greatly in this matter .  The SW Chief will survive and it's a wonder that no body got killed .  http://www.ktvu.com/news/108157007-story  .   Accidents do happen .  We hope the survivors will cope okay .  PTSD is real . ..   http://katu.com/news/local/speed-limit-holds-back-faster-amtrak-trains      /s Dr. Steve Dosh and ohana , Hawai'i :)   UPDATE: Landslide closes tracks north of Seattle Alternate transportation provided through Wednesday March 15, 2016  8:30 a.m. PDT A second landslide on BNSF Railway tracks north of Seattle has led to an extension in the temporary track closure as BNSF has imposed the standard 48-hour moratorium on passenger trains between Seattle and Everett. Alternate transportation will be provided using chartered buses. Service south of Seattle is not affected. hth Ω  ;)  

stosher
stosher

@stosher . .btw - Every major National airline and National railroad line is subsidized in the known universe .  i am talking Europe , Japan , South America , Australia  China , Asia, India and every where else .  Ever fly Air Dubai , KAL , ANA, JAL , SAA ( Africa ) , Lufthansa or ride the rails in Europe ? Ever ride the Japanese bullet train ? http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-02-01/china-built-high-speed-rail-in-indonesia-gets-off-to-bumpy-start  .  in fact, VP Joe Biden is AMTRAK's greatest cheerleader http://blog.amtrak.com/2014/05/joe-biden-thinks-america-needs-amtrak/ l o l  Ω  5 pm HST Tuesday  ≠  ƒly United ® .  You'll - h a t e- it  • /s a former UA-CO airline employee back when we were the largest airline ( CO ) in the ƒree world '85 -'86  • 

scrouse
scrouse

Wow, here we are making excuses for the US Gov. that has permitted the RR system to degrade to this point. Further evidence of the 3rd world status of our infrastructure. I wonder who now running for Pres., has the awareness and ability to deal with this down hill slide ?  

Fleisch2
Fleisch2

Bernie Sanders. He's the only one talking about infrastructure.

Randall Brunts
Randall Brunts

@scrouse This track has been upgraded with a large infusion of state money to make the track more suitable for the 300 or so people who use it each day on Amtrak.  The US uses its rails for freight and highways and airports for passengers.  Europe uses its rails for passengers with highways dedicated to freight at night.  

Knee jerk economics isn't such a very good idea.  Unfortunately, we tend to think with our glands in this country.

Randall Brunts
Randall Brunts

@scrouse I rode the train in the opposite direction last year with my grandson.  I enjoyed it very much, and the whole line was very smooth - the eastern part much better than in earlier years.  I'd never been on the western part before.  I love the train.  But a little grade school arithmetic shows that this system will ALWAYS require enormous subsidy due to its inherently poor economics.  I have no practical use for it at all, even though I enjoy it.  I think the justification is small town connections.

scrouse
scrouse

@Randall Brunts @scrouse OK, I don't know the area, I live in CT. I do know , however, that our passenger RR's on the East Coast are underfunded and  are deteriorating. The bridges over water from NYC north to Boston, are 100 years old and speed is held to 40MPH. Have you ever been to a country with a modern RR system......

Randall Brunts
Randall Brunts

@scrouse @Randall Brunts I have used the railroads in Germany, France, England, China, Japan, Singapore, Switzerland, and Sweden.  I also know a bit about the various national transportation strategies, which vary for good and sometimes not so good reasons.  In the US, Northeast corridor tracks are much improved over earlier years.  I don't use them frequently, but the last time I did I saw massive improvements in right of way, especially track bed and ties.  Though still riddled with poor track section, many of those had new ties and heavy equipment staged.  I imaged a long term effort was underway.  

I also know northeast rail investment is mired in parochial politics and corruption.  Hugely expensive fixes are demanded where simple and cheap solutions are immediately available.  From the outside, this looks like political opportunism - placing personal advantage over public good.  Shocking, I know.

I don't know about the condition of bridges.  They may need to be replaced in the Northeast - and elsewhere for all I know.  I do know that where I live (Indiana) major bridges and viaducts are being replaced just about everywhere.  It started when we got an excellent Governor (Daniels - R) and has begun to stagnate now that he is gone.  Good politicians are such a rarity.  They are the missing ingredient in public infrastructure - far more than money.

Randall Brunts
Randall Brunts

@scrouse @Randall Brunts Oh, and Amtrak has to subsidize the western trains for various reasons.  One is that, if they don't, Western congressmen won't vote subsidies for the Eastern trains.  But I must ask, with all the train traffic on the east coast, why do they need subsidies at all?  I suspect i know the answer, but I hate to be so cynical.  

scrouse
scrouse

@Randall Brunts @scrouse So which one is the "good" politician running for Pres..................Maybe John Kasich has ridden in a train but not Hilery or "The Don'. 


The Mgt and RR Unions here in NY area and Northeast are a big problem.............you often see 10 workers on a rail job and 2 are working while the others watch. I blame Mgt., they don't know how to manage.  


cglrcng
cglrcng

I rode that same exact train (Southwest Chief Train #4 Eastbound- L.A., CA to Chicago, IL), from Kingman, AZ to Flagstaff, AZ (just 3 hrs. in Coach), just last Wednesday morning 2:28~5:31 AM.

It was a very smooth ride except for a few worrisome bridge crossings. On those it rocked and rolled pretty badly. (Car in front rocking opposite our car in a whipping action repeatedly.....that action causes many easy train derailments).

google4
google4

I read the entire page to the bottom where it said "Buy Tickets." But I do like to ride this route.

CameronLatchford
CameronLatchford

God, this is why I wish the private rail firms didn't own the tracks! They don't properly maintain them!

JoeTrudo
JoeTrudo

I arrived at Martinez, CA March 13 on the California Zypher from Chicago and from Altoona, PA to Chicago and found the tracks owned by the freight railroads very smooth. I do not agree that privately owned tracks that Amtrak trains use are poorly maintained. Each raroads has a quality control department and all are subject to FRA inspections of their tracks and operation.

andybuzz2u
andybuzz2u

@CameronLatchford  The BNSF transcontinental or "Transcon" as we call it, is the most heavily traveled railroad mainline in the world. I seriously dought track defects will be found. Freight train speeds are regularly 70MPH and 89MPH for Amtrak trains. The line runs from Chicago, IL to Los Angeles, CA.

rszucco
rszucco

@andybuzz2u @CameronLatchford this derailment did not happen on the Transcon. !!  The route of the SW Chief uses the Lajunta Sub west of newton ks and bnsf only maintain s this route between newton, ks and la junta, co for speeds of 40mgph freirgh and 60mph passenger...The route is being rehabbed finally after several years of haggling and finally some money appropriated by Kansas Colorado and New Mexico....it is sad that this happened now that the track will finallly be upgraded back to 79mph.....

ScottySmith2
ScottySmith2

@CameronLatchford  the track is actually being maintained very well they are doing upgrades to the whole track in Kansas and not more then two weeks ago was doing that strip where it derailed


andybuzz2u
andybuzz2u

@rszucco @andybuzz2u @CameronLatchford  Unless things have changed in the 20 plus years ago I worked the Lajunta Sub when it was Santa Fe, helping coal trains and sometimes Amtrak trains on a helper between Raton and Trinidad, CO. It's still the Transcon. They build some new track to get across the Rockies or what? I missed that event.

Arnold Harris
Arnold Harris

@CameronLatchford 


Public ownership and maintenance of railway right-of-way is a national transportation policy option that I have thought about for the past 35 years. While carrying out research for the multi-state and federal river basin commission on the Upper Mississippi, the role of the US Army Corps of Engineers, which manages the extensive chain of locks and dams, along with dredging and other waterway maintenance, of that river north of Alton, Illinois, came to my attention, along with that agency's work n elsewhere in the federally-maintained channels in the US Inland Waterway System.. 

I have no doubt that the Corps of Engineers could be assigned maintenance and upgrading work where needed on the United States rail system, with usage fees paid for by the private rail freight companies and by Amtrak for their passenger trains.

Arnold Harris, Mount Horeb WI

stosher
stosher

@Arnold Harris @CameronLatchford 

@Arnold Harris @CameronLatchford . .Yeah √ Write or e-mail  your Congresspersons about all this , especially Republican House members and vote Democrat this fall or we're stuck with this  -  c r a p p y  -  and dangerous situation for the next eight ( 8 ) years at least /s, Dr. Dosh , Hawai'i  • Just a suggestion .  The President proposes and Congress disposes  . .https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Recovery_and_Reinvestment_Act_of_2009   •  <- Money for AMTRAK ® and other <-- strategic assets <--