Train from ATL to New Orleans normally on time?

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Train from ATL to New Orleans normally on time?

Postby ajl1239 » Wed Sep 12, 2018 8:23 pm

I was thinking of trying to take the train from Atlanta to New Orleans in a couple weeks, but I don't want to do it if the train is going to be hours late. Is this train normally on time departing Atlanta for New Orleans in the morning? Thanks!
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Re: Train from ATL to New Orleans normally on time?

Postby Backshophoss » Wed Sep 12, 2018 8:35 pm

You may want to read the Crescent thread in this forum,seems to be an ongoing issue at the NS/CSX crossing in Atlanta.
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Re: Train from ATL to New Orleans normally on time?

Postby ajl1239 » Wed Sep 12, 2018 8:37 pm

Ok, I'll post there. But as a non-expert -- what's your take on the situation? Estimated delay?

Also, do you think it's a pretty ride?
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Re: Train from ATL to New Orleans normally on time?

Postby ChesterValley » Wed Sep 12, 2018 8:38 pm

Here's a link to the lateness over the past year: https://juckins.net/amtrak_status/archive/html/historychart.php?train_num=19&station=ATL&date_start=08%2F13%2F2017&date_end=09%2F12%2F2018&sort=d_dp&chartsize=2&smooth=0

Amtrak has historically given the operator, Norfolk Southern, an F on its report card with an OTP of 67%. https://media.amtrak.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Amtrak-Host-Railroad-Report-Card_FAQ_Route-Detail-2018-05-31-1.pdf A shame too for this once proud train.
The Scheduled 11:30 R5 Local to Malvern Next To Arrive on track 4 Section B
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Re: Train from ATL to New Orleans normally on time?

Postby Bob Roberts » Wed Sep 12, 2018 8:46 pm

In my experience you should consider yourself fortunate if the train is less than two hours late into New Orleans.

In terms of scenery, its mostly Southern pine forest. It has its charms but don't expect anything particularly noteworthy other than the Atlanta skyline and some nice views of decaying steel mills in Birmingham (which I really like). The ride over Lake Ponchatrain is also nice, but it will crtainly be dark on the Southbound trip.
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Re: Train from ATL to New Orleans normally on time?

Postby ajl1239 » Wed Sep 12, 2018 8:51 pm

Thanks. I might just pass on this. Flying Spirit is cheaper anyway...
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Re: Train from ATL to New Orleans normally on time?

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Thu Sep 13, 2018 6:29 am

Spirit; isn't that the airline where it's "pay for potty"?

Well, it's just that at the several Hbf's I've had occasion to be in while in Austria - €,50.

Otherwise, considering Crescent's timekeeping of late and the "if you've seen one Pine Tree, you've seen 'em all", scenery, I don't think Amtrak is worthy of your business.

However, as I recall, there is one "notable feat" of railroad engineering between Slidell and NO - the longest curve in the US, which goes around Lake Ponchartrain (source: AAR "Quiz: American Railroads"). Obviously, the curve is very slight.
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Re: Train from ATL to New Orleans normally on time?

Postby slchub » Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:03 am

ajl1239 wrote:Thanks. I might just pass on this. Flying Spirit is cheaper anyway...
Surely you can do better than Spirit. I'm sure if you look at Southwest and Delta you'll find comparable fares with much better results in passenger comfort and pocket book savings. Don't just look at the fare. You have to look at the junk add on fees after the fare is quoted to you.
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Re: Train from ATL to New Orleans normally on time?

Postby east point » Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:20 am

For your information. 19 yesterday (Wednesday ) left Atlanta 5 minutes late over 5 hours late NOL
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Re: Train from ATL to New Orleans normally on time?

Postby lordsigma12345 » Thu Sep 13, 2018 6:57 pm

I enjoyed my recent trip on the Crescent, although my recent roundtrip was on the northern half - New York - Atlanta. I always enjoy the experience of taking the train but I will also go to great lengths to avoid flying as I have a fear of flying and detest the modern experience of being stuffed in like sardines on airlines. If on time performance is a show stopper than Atlanta to New Orleans is probably not the train ride for you.
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Re: Train from ATL to New Orleans normally on time?

Postby 2-C+C-2 » Thu Sep 13, 2018 7:11 pm

The delays at Howells (just west of Atlanta station where NS crosses CSX is a relatively minor factor in the Crescent's history of delays.
The majority arise between Meridian, MS and Austell, GA due to several factors:
1. The KCS Meridian Speedway joins at Meridian and the additional traffic, combined with inadequate capacity between there and Tuscaloosa regularly add a minimum of one hour of delay to both the 19/20 (and often even more).
2. The Birmingham area is congested and both CSX and NS (the 19/20 use both railroads as they snake through the area) back ups at their yards slow all traffic through the area (this has been improving lately).
3. The East End District Birmingham-Austell is a curvy single track mainline just packed with traffic. NS has made capacity enhancements on the Austell end meant primarily to get traffic on to and off of the Atlanta Terminal district quickly, but this doesn't help much for the rest of the subdivision.
4. NS' decision to close the old CofG from Birmingham to Columbus to all but local traffic (since reversed) drove more traffic through the Atlanta terminal district and I'm not sure they've fully thought out how best to use this alternative,
5. NS' computerized dispatching overlord (not sure of the system's name) has never really grasped how to work in Amtrak to building its 'system plan' that it feeds to the actual dispatcher for implementation.
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Re: Train from ATL to New Orleans normally on time?

Postby SouthernRailway » Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:18 am

The northbound one approaching Atlanta is almost never on time.

I don't get it: it's the same train coming through every day at the same time. The dispatchers can't figure that out and get it through roughly on time?
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Re: Train from ATL to New Orleans normally on time?

Postby ajl1239 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:43 am

I suspect they simply don't care -- or, alternatively, they are actively hostile to Amtrak.
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Re: Train from ATL to New Orleans normally on time?

Postby ExCon90 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:52 pm

I think a lot depends on the attitude that comes down from on high; if a dispatcher gets chewed out for delaying a freight but not for delaying Amtrak, he knows what's expected.
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Re: Train from ATL to New Orleans normally on time?

Postby east point » Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:59 pm

x
Last edited by east point on Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:05 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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