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5-12 Hour Coast Starlight Delays Finally Make the Press

5-12 Hour Coast Starlight Delays Finally Make the Press

Old Aug 8, 06, 10:41 am
  #1  
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5-12 Hour Coast Starlight Delays Finally Make the Press

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...NGGTKD03A1.DTL
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Old Aug 8, 06, 10:59 am
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I put my Mom & her friend on the CS to Portland, and they arrived over 6 hours late. They weren't to happy with me for making that a part of their trip to the West

I noticed that the service bulletins in the Emeryville station mention delays in So Cal, but nothing about delays Emeryville and North.

Edited to add that a quick check of arrival stats for the past few days show that EVERY train to Portland was at least 6 hours late.

Last edited by OutOfOffice; Aug 8, 06 at 11:05 am
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Old Aug 8, 06, 12:12 pm
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Coast Starlight Should Not Be Used By Regular Travelers

Originally Posted by OutOfOffice
I put my Mom & her friend on the CS to Portland, and they arrived over 6 hours late. They weren't to happy with me for making that a part of their trip to the West

I noticed that the service bulletins in the Emeryville station mention delays in So Cal, but nothing about delays Emeryville and North.

Edited to add that a quick check of arrival stats for the past few days show that EVERY train to Portland was at least 6 hours late.
No one has any business in using this train unless you know exactly what you're doing. I would say it's the "equivalent" of travel to Beirut at the moment. The Coast Starlight simply is not a mode of transportation for the general public, and hasn't been for about a year. Most of the delay problem is between Sacramento and Eugene. Some trains have operated 17 hours late.
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Old Aug 8, 06, 12:40 pm
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Originally Posted by Reindeerflame
No one has any business in using this train unless you know exactly what you're doing. I would say it's the "equivalent" of travel to Beirut at the moment. The Coast Starlight simply is not a mode of transportation for the general public, and hasn't been for about a year. Most of the delay problem is between Sacramento and Eugene. Some trains have operated 17 hours late.
So I guess the Sunset Limited has passed the mantle.
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Old Aug 8, 06, 2:12 pm
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Are pax entitled to any compensation for those substantial delays which aren't weather related? An hour or 2 or 3 may be tolerable but those are biggies.
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Old Aug 8, 06, 6:10 pm
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Originally Posted by crankyusi
Are pax entitled to any compensation for those substantial delays which aren't weather related? An hour or 2 or 3 may be tolerable but those are biggies.
One can always request a partial refund, but there is no guarantee of any refund. In the past, Amtrak frequently has issued service credits...so one may try again and perhaps end up with a Starlight train running 24 hours late.
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Old Aug 13, 06, 7:27 am
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My brother is on it now.

11 hrs late and now they have to bus them from Santa Barbara to LA. They were not told ahead of time. They got to Santa Barbara and saw all of the buses then got the announcement.
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Old Aug 15, 06, 8:31 pm
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Could anyone tell me the busing schedule for the Coast Starlight route? Are they still busing from Santa Barbara to LA?

I would like to take this train leaving from SF to LA on Monday, August 21. I know all about the probable delays, however, would love to enjoy what I am told are some pretty amazing views. I have taken the San Joaquin along the same route before, albeit north and with the requisite bus connection to Emeryville.

My question is: is the extra time on the CS versus taking the SJ south from SF to LA going to be worth it?

I have no problem overnighting on trains having done it during my backpacking in Europe a great deal, but is a delay on the CS imminent?

I am from Boston myself but usually visit San Fran and LA once a year since I have buddies out there from school so I would love to take a nice day long train trip verus hopping on a plane again while there...just want to figure out the feasibility here.

Any info is greatly appreciated!
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Old Aug 15, 06, 10:42 pm
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Zooooom

The n.b. Coast Starlight scheduled to arrive in Seattle on 8/14 was only, if you can believe it, 1 hour and 34 minutes late. The 8/13 arrival n.b. CS was only 2 hours and 14 minutes late arriving in Seattle. Be still my heart.
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Old Aug 15, 06, 10:56 pm
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No views southbound

The southbound Coast Starlight is expected to travel along the coast south of San Luis Obispo between 9pm and midnight on most days, so your views would be limited.

Northbound, the train tends to operate within 1 to 2 hours of schedule between Los Angeles and the Bay Area, so that would be the preferred direction. Southbound, expect the train to operate 5 to 12 hours late, occasionally as much as 17 hours behind schedule. This situation is expected to persist until 2007.

To repeat, use of the Coast Starlight is not recommended.
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Old Aug 23, 06, 8:02 am
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Today, NPR's Morning Edition did a short segment on the train's chronic lateness.
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Old Aug 24, 06, 3:29 pm
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I'm trying to decide on a train trip for my kids early next summer. Since going transcon on award travel doesn't seem to make much sense (3 consecutive nights -- too much!), I was thinking of the Coast Starlight. Do people think it will be better by next summer, or is this just hopeless?
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Old Aug 24, 06, 9:05 pm
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Originally Posted by iahphx
I'm trying to decide on a train trip for my kids early next summer. Since going transcon on award travel doesn't seem to make much sense (3 consecutive nights -- too much!), I was thinking of the Coast Starlight. Do people think it will be better by next summer, or is this just hopeless?
From my understanding, it's a fine train trip; but it is usually significantly late because of freight congestion and other problems caused by the freight railroad which owns the tracks used by the Coast Starlight. So, if you are not on a schedule that requires you to be in a certain place at a certain time, you might consider this train. From my observation of the northbound from L.A. to Seattle over the last few weeks, it appears to be anywhere from about an hour and a half to 8 hours late for its scheduled 11:39 p.m. arrival in Seattle. A postive way to look at it as a train adventure is that if it's 8 hours late, thats an extra night on the train (and dinner, and maybe breakfast) for no extra charge.
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Old Aug 24, 06, 9:14 pm
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Originally Posted by OutOfOffice
I put my Mom & her friend on the CS to Portland, and they arrived over 6 hours late. They weren't to happy with me for making that a part of their trip to the West

I noticed that the service bulletins in the Emeryville station mention delays in So Cal, but nothing about delays Emeryville and North.

Edited to add that a quick check of arrival stats for the past few days show that EVERY train to Portland was at least 6 hours late.
This chronic lateness hasn't just been happening for the past year, it was occurring long ago. A friend took this train back in 2001 and not only was it late, but it stopped mid-track near a municipal dump on a hot day. She said the stench wasn't very plesant.
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Old Aug 24, 06, 9:57 pm
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Originally Posted by ohmark
From my observation of the northbound from L.A. to Seattle over the last few weeks, it appears to be anywhere from about an hour and a half to 8 hours late for its scheduled 11:39 p.m. arrival in Seattle. A postive way to look at it as a train adventure is that if it's 8 hours late, thats an extra night on the train (and dinner, and maybe breakfast) for no extra charge.
The problem, of course, is the logistics of dealing with a likely-delayed train that is already scheduled to get in very late at night (with a family, no less). Do you book a night in Seattle? (I usually use priceline, which would further complicate the matter). And it seems like the mostly likely result is arriving at 3 or 4 am, where NOTHING is a good option.
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