3.2.15

IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE AN ALL-WEATHER MODE.

In the latest round of climate chaos February to fall on Chicago, Amtrak held up better than it did last year.
Unlike January 2014, when many trains got out of the gate hours late or not at all, only 8 of 28 departures left the Windy City on Monday more than 10 minutes late. None of those were more than 35 minutes tardy except for a breakdown affecting one Hiawatha Service train, which precipitated significant cascading delays on the Chicago-Milwaukee corridor into the evening.

Pre-season modification of P42 locomotive traction motors, winterizing of freeze-prone Horizon cars, revised inspection building procedures for train servicing at Chicago, and reducing the number of instances where engines trail a consist may have helped maintain better reliability.

Superliner coaches selectively pulled from overnight trains through February have been pressed into service on Michigan Wolverines Nos. 350 and 355, Chicago-Quincy, Ill., Nos. 380 and 381, plus a Chicago-Carbondale, Ill. round-trip on Nos. 390-393. Where consists are turned at their destinations, Amtrak has been running locomotives at the front of each train to minimize traction motor snow ingestion.
The Hiawatha set that failed was one of the push-pull sets with a cabbage car on the Chicago end.  It was pushed in by a follower, and Amtrak was able to assemble a replacement train to cover the 5.08 departure from Chicago that returned from Milwaukee behind the pusher and pushee.

The Way of the Zephyrs between Chicago and Galesburg was closed account heavy snow, which led to cancellation of the morning trips for and from Quincy, but the transcontinental trains got through.

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