Two Amtrak Routes Disrupted in the Western U.S. Empire Builder & California Zephyr


June 29th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Officials with Amtrak say service on two routes in the Western U.S. are being affected by flooding, and passengers with travel plans on the Empire Builder & California Zephyr routes are urged to call 800-USA-RAIL, for additional information.

Empire Builder (Trains 7/27 & 8/28)

Amtrak Empire Builder service is temporarily suspended between St. Paul, Minn., and Havre, Mont., with no alternate transportation available between those points, until further notice. For those passengers traveling from Seattle and Portland, a combination of trains and chartered motorcoaches will provide service to Spokane, Wash., with the Empire Builder trains continuing east into Idaho and serving all Montana stops for Glacier National Park (including Whitefish, East and West Glacier and Essex), continuing east to terminate at Havre each afternoon. The trains will originate there to operate back west to Seattle/Portland.

For those passengers traveling west from Chicago, the Empire Builder trains will serve all their Wisconsin stops (including Wisconsin Dells), continuing west to terminate at St. Paul each evening. Each morning, the trains will originate there to operate back east to Chicago.

No other Amtrak service is available for these days in Minnesota (except Winona, Red Wing & St. Paul), in North Dakota and in Eastern Montana.

California Zephyr (Trains 5 & 6)

Amtrak California Zephyr service is temporarily suspended between Denver and Chicago for one day in each direction, affecting only the origination from Emeryville, Calif., (Train 6, eastbound) on June 29 and the scheduled origination from Chicago (Train 5, westbound) on June 30. This is due to railcar and train crew availability following Omaha area flooding.

Limited space is available for passengers via Amtrak Thruway Motorcoaches at Denver, and connections to the Amtrak Southwest Chief at La Junta, Colo. Daily Amtrak service is being maintained by other trains between Chicago and Galesburg, Ill.