3.5.17

TOUGH WEATHER FOR THE ALL-WEATHER MODE.

Avalanche of delays hit Amtrak.  Not literally avalanches, but heavy rain washed out the Missouri Pacific, forcing the Texas Eagle to detour between Poplar Bluff and St. Louis; in addition there was a scheduled detour in North Texas, and a planned detour on the Chicago and Eastern Illinois as part of the continuing upgrades of the Alton Route.  There's a bridge out in the Shasta Range; for the next few weeks there will be two parts of the Coast Starlight running, between Los Angeles and Sacramento, as well as between Seattle and Portland, but no bus bridge.  That's not the way to make the case that continued funding of Amtrak is in the public interest.  A snowstorm disrupted operations of the Southwest Chief in Kansas -- trains getting snowbound there can be a real thing, this one got through.  A freight train collision led to the annullment of the City of New Orleans south of Memphis, with a bus bridge.  No old Casey Jones route to use as a detour any more.  For a day or so, the Empire Builder detoured on Union Pacific's Spokane International between Spokane and Sandpoint.  (As if that train isn't overpurposed enough already, the delays encountered there would disrupt local travel plans at Glasgow or Fargo or Red Wing.)

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