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Question re SW Chief and California Zephyr

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Question re SW Chief and California Zephyr
Posted by Lithonia Operator on Sunday, October 31, 2021 9:40 AM

Back in June, I photographed three Amtrak trains, westbound, not far east of Galesburg, over two days. All were in late afternoon.

One train ran both days, with the baggage car up front.

The other train ran only one day (I think), with the baggage car on the rear.

I lost my notes.

My theory is that the train with the forward baggage car is the CZ, because I think it was daily. So the rear-baggage-car one has to be the SW Chief, because I think it was thrice weekly.

Make sense?

Still in training.


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Posted by Warren J on Sunday, October 31, 2021 12:38 PM

Unfortunately, the COVID-based schedule may have reduced daily service to three times weekly; no printed timetables of that period seem to be available.

“Things of quality have no fear of time.”

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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Sunday, October 31, 2021 12:51 PM

I figure that the baggage car placement is the same each day for a specific train. And I figure that the train that ran on consecutive days has to be the Zephyr.

 

Still in training.


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Posted by CMStPnP on Monday, November 1, 2021 11:40 AM

The CZ would have the longer consist of the two trains.    Additionally, perhaps a third locomotive.  

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Posted by Outsailing86 on Tuesday, November 2, 2021 8:51 AM

In Los Angeles, they have baggage at the rear for the platforms at Union Station

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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Tuesday, November 2, 2021 2:16 PM

Good info, guys.

A) One train had 6 bi-levels and baggage car at the rear.

B) The other had 7 bi-levels and baggage up front. And one day it had three engines.

I'm going to call A the Chief, B the CZ.

Much obliged, gang.

Still in training.


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Posted by CMStPnP on Tuesday, November 2, 2021 3:11 PM

Lithonia Operator

Good info, guys.

A) One train had 6 bi-levels and baggage car at the rear.

B) The other had 7 bi-levels and baggage up front. And one day it had three engines.

I'm going to call A the Chief, B the CZ.

Much obliged, gang.

That is what I would do, steeper grades on CZ route and according to Amtrak CZ has a professional bathroom cleaning crew......it's an additional x number of employees to keep all the restrooms clean en route.    I believe it is the only Western train that has that or at least the only one I read about.   On other Western trains the car attendant is responsible for that.    Not sure why CZ is different in that small respect.

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Posted by MidlandMike on Tuesday, November 2, 2021 10:19 PM

CMStPnP
...steeper grades on CZ route

My recollection is that the steepest grades on the Moffat and Sierras is about 2%, 2.4% in the Wasatch.  On the SW Chief route there is 3.5% on Raton, 3% on Glorietta, and about 3% on Cajon (although those grades are generally shorter).

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Posted by mudchicken on Monday, November 8, 2021 11:46 PM

MidlandMike
 
CMStPnP
...steeper grades on CZ route

 

My recollection is that the steepest grades on the Moffat and Sierras is about 2%, 2.4% in the Wasatch.  On the SW Chief route there is 3.5% on Raton, 3% on Glorietta, and about 3% on Cajon (although those grades are generally shorter).

 

Those grades quoted are "averaged" somehow with the big kicker being how long some of those grades persist. Spent too many years having to prove to some nameless operating/mechanical official where and for how long the maximum grade was on Raton Pass was. ATSF hosted many a test train on the hill dealing with EMD (and to a lesser degree GE) trying to torture equipment on grades and relatively sharp curves. It was almost an "annual event" kind of thing. (and then there were the senseless string lining exercises at Wootton where the maximum curvature was ... and the mechanical engineers who could not grasp how dynamic the track could be loaded vs. unloaded.)  ..... And then the weeks spent on the hill with a rail profile gage to justify rail replacement instead of transposing tired/worn 132# rail.

Mudchicken Nothing is worth taking the risk of losing a life over. Come home tonight in the same condition that you left home this morning in. Safety begins with ME.... cinscocom-west

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