Crossing America By Rail?

BarstowRick Mar 22, 2019

  1. BNSF FAN

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

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    I thought the bus was funny but the plane was even better. Good humor:ROFLMAO::D
     
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  2. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    Point 353, Just wanted to elaborate on the inconsistencies we all see. Good catch on your part.
    uhh...err what happened to the image of the bus? I'm not seeing it on my screen.

    LAX has for generations been the airport in Los Angeles. LAX the airport so named. Now how Amtrak ended up using it is beyond me. No Amtrak air-flights arriving there that I'm aware of. But then that would be to practical. I get it the former airline executive. Who made him ...:censored:...!! Well the X means terminal and perhaps that was the reason but in Los Angeles the train stations has always been known as LAUPT. I shrug my shoulders and walk away :confused:...LMAO :eek::LOL:.

    Yes, you are right about the notifications Amtrak puts out and what the math tells you is they managed to make up a couple of hours. Unless we are looking at train arrivals bridging the different time zones...possibly. Which isn't realistic and doesn't happen. You can also check the train at it's alleged present location and it's ETA at the next train station and you'll find it will be different then the station's ETA for the same train. The computers aren't talking to each other very well. Again something to Laugh at and shrug your shoulders at.:ROFLMAO:

    Now, yesterday I was monitoring on one screen the westward advance of #3 toward Barstow, Ca. Running over 11 hours late. Reporting it's approach on VR's Chatter Box. Talking the train in or was that walking the train in? We must be on a delay here in Idaho country as the train reports I was giving were ten minutes behind some of the locals reporting, of the same train. They kept telling me it had passed places I was reporting as being at, like Ludlow, Pisgah and Daggett. Even the train arrival on my viewing screen showed up ten minutes later then what the locals were reporting. Would of thunk in this age of technology, we wouldn't be seeing delays?o_O Even between the two screens I use there can be delays. Kind of like seeing the same train come through twice. If you get my drift. Miss it the first time then check out the other screen. Oh, there it is.;):rolleyes:

    I also noted on my screens that I need a "Keep Alive" as they can cancel themselves out and what you think you are looking at in real time has been buffered and delayed. Frustrate, frustrate, frustrate. :mad:

    Lately, getting into Track A Train courtesy of Amtrak, is a real problem. Nothing loads quickly and may be the reason I was way off on my train reports.

    Well...we, you and I can deal with it and still enjoy the fraternity of train watchers tuned in and chatting away. Then!!! Even the chat's can be delayed. Mine has on several occasions. In the meantime we usually talk ahout anything and everything that isn't trains. Go figure.

    Worst case scenario, a bunch of us up here got cut off from VR. Not sure why but wondering if bad weather had something to do with it.

    All in all. Look at the fun we are having.:cool:
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2019
  3. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    In keeping with the traditions we have established, all flights will either be delayed and/or seldom on time.

    Very good, you hit the nail on the head.:ROFLMAO::LOL:o_O
     
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  4. Point353

    Point353 TrainBoard Member

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    For whatever reason, the train positions shown on the track-a-train map are not always up-to-the-minute in real time.
    If you happen to watch the AutoTrain as it passes through Ashland VA, the map will often indicate that the train is still approaching the town when, in reality, it has already passed through.
    Same for the Pennsylvanian in the vicinity of Horseshoe Curve.
    Maybe the electrons think they aren't being paid enough and are engaging in some sort of "rule-book slowdown"?
     
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  5. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    Electrons? Now that is funny. LMAO:LOL::ROFLMAO::censored::p:Do_O
    Well played, well played.

    And that's the truth!
    As I sit in my oversized rocking chair.
     
  6. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    Ah, the bus image is back. Not sure why it disappeared the first time but thinking my "Dude your getting a Dell" is getting old. Right along with me. Sigh.
     
  7. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    Tonights Amtrak - tracking is providing an interesting line up. I'll be monitoring the old Santa Fe Route. The South Western Chief. Going and coming and going and coming. ;)

    LaPlata, MO. #3 SWC, ETA is 9:10 p.m. CT, One hour and 33 mins., late.
    Flagstaff, AZ #3 SWC, ETA is 12:10 a.m. AZ Mtn Standard time. 3 hrs and 38 mins. late.
    Barstow, CA #4 SWC, ETA is as scheduled for 9:38 p.m. PDT.
    Disclaimer, No idea how late that will eventually turn into. o_O

    I can't promise I'll be on board in the chatter box and will most likely be ZZZZZ'ing a cat nap before I go to bed. Watch for me or not. I'll most likely be making goofy remarks that mean nothing.

    All courtesy of Virtual Railfan.
    Thanks guys and gals for staying up so late and for those fine shots of the trains.:cool:
     
  8. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    There's a new twist to reporting or tracking Amtrak's trains.

    Last night I noted #3 with a reverse arrow. As though it was returning back to Chicago. The chatter box had it that the lead unit had failed and a BNSF unit was now in the lead and the GPS had been turned off.

    This morning I check in to see what's happened and you can't find the arrow indicator for #3. Some station checks with arriving and departing trains indicates #3 passed through Fort Madison, LaPlata and Kansas City. But you won't find an arrow indicator on Amtrak's Track A Train.

    Edited update: #3 is west of Kansas city, running over 11 hours late and does have an arrow indicator. So everything normal, all... I think you can finish it .

    Looking toward the west I noted the lead or other #3 left Flagstaff in the wee hours of the morning. It's running almost 9 hours late and may get into Barstow Mid Day or later.

    The odd and unusual is beginning to look like the norm.

    Ride Amtrak for the adventure of your life.
    We never know what is going to happen next.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2019
  9. Point353

    Point353 TrainBoard Member

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    Picturesque sunrise arrival of "last night's" #3 from Chicago, running 10 hours off the advertised, at La Plata MO this AM.
    Only one Amtrak loco for motive power - no BNSF helper.
    Rewind to 05:31 CDT on the VR youtube channel to see it.
     
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  10. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    Here's transportation news you really want to hear. I had a cat transport and barf up a fur ball on my key pad. What? You couldn't do that on the floor? So, it's out of commission until the circuits dry out and the WD40 disperses the moisture. For now, my "Dude your getting a Dell," mid-sized screen computer isn't very useful. I grabbed my Toshiba lap-top and it's doing the job nicely. The key board cramps my style but it works. I know my bad!

    Here's some real transportation updates.
    Crossing America By Rail:

    Looks like the LaPlata construction for the new whatchamacallit is all but done. They used it last night as #3 SWC rolled in westbound. No more double stops to let passengers off and on. That should speed things up. Do you think?

    A salute to the construction crew is due here.
     
  11. Point353

    Point353 TrainBoard Member

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    Treat yourself to a new keyboard: https://www.logitech.com/en-us/product/k120
    Target sells it for $10 and Staples will match that price.

    How long until they rip it up and start over to move the edge of the platform closer to the track?
    Compare the new construction with the existing "high-level" section of the platform.
     
  12. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    Point 353, I did treat myself to a new keyboard. Works faster and more sensitive to my pounding on it. Well, I don't pound on it, don't have to. On my older one I had some sticky keys. The four legged fur ball bearing monster may have done me a favor.

    I noted your comment about the platform construction at LaPlata, MO. I watched on the West Cam, last night, as a conductor stepped off the train without the help of the foot stool and he didn't seem to have a problem. Not that much of a stretch was needed to board the train. On the east cam, with the aide of a foot stool, noted passengers boarding and de-boarding without any problems. Not sure there is one at this point.

    On the chatter box they were talking about wider passenger and freight cars sometime in the future. I scratched my head over that one. Huunh? Is my typical response when I hear things like that. Speculation is what we all seem to do best.

    I love it when self proclaimed train experts gives out wrong information. Then the Rails tuned in attempt to correct them and the word slinging fight is on. Gosh, those moderators have their hands full. One participant kept pushing back and bothering one of the moderators. Someone suggested the best advice out there is, "Don't poke the bear." I wouldn't of said that, would I?

    I witnessed as a Amtrak test train went through LaPlata, MO. That was few days ago. The new locomotive looked like a Chinese designed dragon. You know the ones they use in parades. Then last night #3 through LaPlata had a lone Genesis on the front followed by a Chinese Dragon locomotive and a type of view-liner. Thinking if that's what it's come to, as replacement for the high liners. There goes the quality of the long distance trip. Most of the tour videos on You Tube, of the view-liners, all report the quarters are cramped and noisy. Just a thought.

    Loram Rail Grinder just went through LaPlata, MO. I wondered what was up with the siren and funny horn. #4 SWC is due in shortly.

    That's the news with the news and to add to the frustrations how about this disclaimer: It may include plenty of false news to go around for everyone. LOL

    Have a good Monday.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2019
  13. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    I perhaps need to disclose this. I'm an old hard hat who thought the world of the Santa Fe, Union Pacific, Western Pacific, Great Northern and Southern Pacific passenger trains. The amenities and services were far better then what we get today.

    The use of the High-liners on Amtrak was a hold over from Santa Fe's El Capitan. Adding sleeper cars, comfortable coaches and those high visibility lounge cars was an added improvement. Obviously, an improvement on what Santa Fe had done. With the exception of the Auto Carriers and Double Stacks it gave you better visibility over most trains of the time. Never mind that riding in the upper births is quieter. If the high-liners disappear off the long distance trains. Well, wish I could predict what will happen. Guessing older ridership isn't going to be pleased with it.

    I'm not a proponent for or against Amtrak. I would like to see them do it right and the hosting railroads make an effort to assist them with keeping a tight schecule. Predictability with traveling is everything. I would hope the same for the airlines. Things aren't flying right with them most of the time. Pun intended.
     
  14. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    I mentioned a Loram Rail Grinder passing through LaPlata, MO. WRONG! It was a ballast cleaning expedition of highly skilled M.O.W. Rails. My bad!
     
  15. Point353

    Point353 TrainBoard Member

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    That "Chinese Dragon" locomotive was designed by a German company, uses a Cummins diesel engine and was built in Sacramento.
    The mutant Viewliner was one of the new baggage-dormitory cars.
    https://www.railpictures.net/showimage.php?id=489034
     
  16. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    German designers? Oh wow. That doesn't change my opinion of them. I and possibly others of you might of thought it would look more like a Mercedes. I clearly don't like them. You won't find me applauding the new ones.

    Aero dynamic? We've done better in the past.

    Truth is I wasn't in favor of the Genesis design as it reminded me of a Hoover Vacuum cleaner.
    My first impression when I saw these new units, it reminded me of a Chinese Dragon, the type you see in parades.

    I saw a video of these motors being picked up by Amtrak. At the time I thought they might work well in commuter type of traffic. Might work back east. I was hoping they had something else in mind for the long distance trains. Even then I didn't like the design as it looks to European or Asian for my taste.

    In my not so humble opinion, bring back the PA or F style of design. Here again no one asked me. Looks like it wasn't a democratic thing and we didn't get to vote on it.

    Enjoy! Whatever, it is you enjoy and make the best of it.

    Well, that's my thoughts.
    My two cents.
     
  17. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    Last night, the German Designed, California Built, Cummins powered, "Chinese Dragon" motors passed through Barstow, CA., headed easterly. The mutant combine baggage and viewliner dorm car in tow. You should be able to catch them on the Flagstaff, AZ and LaPlata, MO., Virtual Railfan's Cams as they move through those locations.

    Information provided about the new motors courtesy of Point 353. Nick name is my contribution.

    Why do I think they look like a Chinese Dragon? Well, honestly they don't if you look at them head on, it's when you look at the lit up sides of the motors that brings me to think of them as such. Head on they look like a...well...heck. Not pretty in my eyes.

    Reflecting on the past. I can think of other American made trains and automobiles that resembled things Chinese or Oriental objects. As well as something in terms of a monster, fins of a shark comes to mind. All from the sea or deep lagoon... on track, the road or in the air.

    You can call them what you want. I think we still have some freedom of speech left in America.

    If you don't like me calling them that, that's okay. After all that's what makes us America, is the right to disagree.

    Railfans have always had nick names for various pieces of train equipment. So have the Rails. The same goes for other enthusiast when it comes to airplanes and automobiles.

    Clearly, admittedly, without a doubt I don't like the design of these new movers.:confused::eek:o_O
    But who said I had to?:LOL::cool:
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2019
  18. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    I occasionally use that feature to see if our nocturnal Silver Star is running in daylight for a photo. I've found that you must allow the main page to fully load before you click on Track A Train. If you hurry it (as I am prone to do), the Track A Train feature will appear, but uselessly freeze and you must start all over again. Nice.

    Interestingly, CSX track work has created a Silver Star photo op for the next six weeks or so. The northbound Star (only the northbound) is temporarily running exactly four hours late Mon=>Thu over its entire route and carries a special train number 1092 (instead of 92) on these days.
     
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  19. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    Track A Train or Track Your Train courtesy of Amtrak, has been noted in some travel videos as lacking real time information. Some have referred to it as a joke. Like any other website it to can experience overload.

    It freezes up on me as well. Grrrrr:mad::eek:!!
     
  20. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    Friday night and I'm watching #4 come in to Barstow on my smarter then me phone screen. On my computer screen I'm watching #3 come in to Flagstaff. I just love it when both screens start buffering at the same time and my live feature losses it.

    Turns out the stop in Barstow was predictable and basically a smoke stop. In and out on schedule.

    On the other hand in Flagstaff, a different story. The Cushman vehicle used to deliver baggage to the baggage car pooped out on them. The only choice was to handle an excessive amout of luggage both on and off the old way. Amtrak stopped the baggage car right in front of the station and took a considerable amount of time handling the goods. Then it pulled up to allow those in the sleepers to depart and new passengers to board, trash unloaded, coach passengers a chance to depart and new boarders. One of the longest stops I've seen in Flagstaff.

    Even one of the chatter box participants got her momma on board and we all wished here a good trip.

    Those Chinese Dragon motors should be back into Chicago by now. Still not sure what to make of them. Yuck, comes to mind. But that's just my opinion which isn't worth much. Hey, they didn't ask me. See what you get. LOL

    If you don't tune into Virtual Railfan, you could be missing out. Or not.
    It's all about the love of trains.
    And sometimes Amtrak.
    The anything but on time passenger trains.

    As we say on the chatter box: Gnite !!
     

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