Thursday, March 15, 2012

Really Amtrak, seriously?

Canadian National has responded to Amtrak's STB filing regarding CN's dispatching and Amtrak's statutory preference. Included in the filing was this gem:
As a result of Amtrak failing to properly fuel its locomotives, this has been a recurring problem, particularly in the area of Champaign, IL. [For example, on September 4, 2011 Train #58 (New Orleans to Chicago) was delayed for half an hour in Champaign while it was refueled after it left Carbondale, IL, with insufficient fuel to make it to Chicago. Similarly, on July 5, 2011, Train #391 (Chicago to Carbondale) ran out of fuel on a single-track segment just south of Delrey (between Chicago and Champaign), causing more than 15 hours of delay to itself, another Amtrak train, and four freight trains.

For the record, that's about a one hundred mile distance from Chicago where it ran out of fuel. Admittedly, not quite as bad a situation as the Gimli Glider, but still absolutely ridiculous and completely without any excuse whatsoever.


  1. Note to Amtrak: If you are going to file a claim, make sure that the Class I railroad is actually in the wrong! Sheesh!

  2. I have strong suspicions that CN is basically lying. We'll see when Amtrak's response comes out, but remember that diesel trains use fuel when they idle.

    So if you fuel up with enough fuel to get the entire distance, and then CN shunts you into a siding, you may proceed to run out of fuel later.

    In other words, I would lay bets this "running out of fuel" is actually CN's fault.