Tag: Amtrak

Amtrak Service South of Seattle Stops After Derailment

Amtrak Service South of Seattle Stops After Derailment

(Updated at 9:45 a.m. PST, Thursday, December 21, 2017)

Amtrak service south from Seattle was interrupted on Monday, December 18, 2017, after one of its  “Cascades” trains derailed between Tacoma and Olympia sending train cars crashing onto vehicles in the southbound lanes of Interstate 5.

News media were reporting at least three fatalities among passengers on the train, plus numerous injuries to passengers and apparently also to some highway travelers.

In its live updates, the Seattle Times said that the number of fatalities were at least six, but later revised the number back to three. Over 100 people were sent to hospitals. The train’s engineer and conductor survived the crash.

Until Monday, Amtrak trains traveling to and from Seattle from Oregon and points south were routed along the shores of Puget Sound south of Seattle.

(Photo Courtesy of Amtrak)

The “Cascades” train derailment happened on a new route to the east of Puget Sound that opened Monday.

Amtrak Service South From Seattle

On Thursday morning, December 21st, the Amtrak Website indicated that with the exception of minor delays of 3 to 5 minutes in the departure time for some trains, southbound trains had left or were expected to leave Seattle  on-time.

At 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, the Website said that:

“Until further notice, all Cascades and Coast Starlight Service trains will detour between Olympia-Lacey -Tacoma, operating out of the original Tacoma Station located at 1001 Puyallup Avenue, Tacoma, WA 98421. Please note that customers traveling on this detour may experience a 10 to 15-minute delay.

“Beginning Dec. 20, Cascades Service from Eugene to Portland, OR will be operating with substitute equipment and limited amenities, including no food service, checked baggage service, business class or bikes. Pets will still be allowed on board. Additionally, Trains 505 and 508, which were scheduled to operate as thru service between Eugene and Seattle, will now operate only between Seattle and Portland. New Trains 515 and 510 will be introduced on the segment between Portland and Eugene and will be a cross platform connection at Portland for passengers traveling north of Portland. “

Interstate I-5 Lanes South of Tacoma Reopen

I-5 southbound lanes closed after the train derailment have now all been reopened.

The Washington State Department of Transportation Blog states that:

“As of 9:47 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 20, all lanes of southbound I-5 at Mounts Road (milepost 116) have reopened to traffic.

“Crews were able to complete remaining work activities in the right lane and reopen that third and final lane ahead of schedule.

“The Mounts Road on-ramp to southbound I-5 has also reopened.

“There are no remaining closures following the Monday, Dec. 18, train derailment.”

A Perfectly Providential Day

A Perfectly Providential Day

I hadn’t ever planned to go there, nor did I know anything about the place that would have piqued my interest in making a visit, but an act of travel providence sent my wife and I from our home on the West Coast to the East Coast and dropped us out of the sky on onto its doorstep.

The doorstep of Providence, Rhode Island, that is.

And here’s how we, and you following in our footsteps, can spend a perfectly providential day in the capital city of the smallest of the original thirteen United States.

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Amtrak: A Time and Cost Competitive Mode of Travel?

Amtrak: A Time and Cost Competitive Mode of Travel?

I’ve ridden trains back and forth across Europe. Doing so has been easy, comfortable, and reasonably affordable.

But train travel in the U.S. is problematic. Few passengers trains run to few places all too few times a day or week. And all are operated by Amtrak.

Amtrak Carriage
(Francis Storr Flickr Photo)

Nevertheless, sometimes you do have the option of taking the train as well as driving or flying, so I sat down to figure out which was best for visiting one of my favorite destinations.

Here’s what I learned.

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