Some Amtrak California Zephyr Service to Resume

Trains 5 & 6 to operate between California and Colorado this weekend

Reported by Amtrak and Gene Poon

CHICAGO – Daily service by the Amtrak California Zephyr between San
Francisco Bay Area and Denver will resume this weekend, effective with
the departure of eastbound Train 6 from Emeryville, Calif., on Sept. 3,
and the westbound Train 5 from Denver on Sept. 4.

Direct train service between Denver and Chicago will continue to be
suspended between Fort Morgan, Colo., and Burlington, Iowa, until a date
to be announced later this month. The BNSF Railway Co. continues to make
repairs to massive flood damage near Omaha that had led to a detour
route resulting in lengthy delays to Amtrak service across Nebraska and

Amtrak service for the full California Zephyr route has been suspended
since Aug. 26, when a portion of a construction crane at a grain
elevator obstructed the BNSF Railway Co., tracks and caused an Amtrak
train to become disabled near Benkelman, Neb. That suspension allowed
Amtrak to deploy equipment and crews to resume this limited California
Zephyr service.



Comment: Some truth, some not.

The restoration of service over at least part of the route is good news.

The “detour route” around Omaha did not result in the “lengthy delays”
which can be attributed instead to extreme freight congestion over the
entire Lincoln NE-Galesburg IL route, where BNSF freight traffic that
usually uses routes now flood-damaged has been rerouted.

Although it is true that the service has been suspended since the Zephyr
was wrecked (“disabled” is such a politically correct word) at
Benkelman, the last paragraph may appear to attribute the suspension of
service to the wreck, when it was the “lengthy delays” referred to
earlier that were the real cause. The disruption in service, the second
attempt that has been made in an effort to get the delays under control,
was already planned when the Zephyr was wrecked at Benkelman.

Note: This report first appeared on Trainorders.

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