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Amtrak cancels more trains in advance of next winter storm

WASHINGTON — Although the New York-Florida Silver Meteor and Silver Star are set to operate through the end of this week, Amtrak has preemptively cancelled trains in Virginia and the Carolinas as another winter storm is predicted to dump ice and snow on the area.

With one of the two Auto Train equipment sets still playing catch-up after big delays earlier in the week [see “Winter storms batter Amtrak from coast to coast,” Trains News Wire, Feb. 15, 2021], the company has cancelled the trains in both directions on Thursday, Feb. 18. On Wednesday, northbound no. 52 arrived into Lorton, Va., almost 8 hours late at 4:56 p.m. — about an hour after the same equipment was scheduled to depart to Sanford, Fla., with a different load of passengers and their cars.

In addition, southbound trains that turn at Norfolk, Newport News, and Roanoke, Va are cancelled Thursday, as is the Savanah, Ga.,-bound Palmetto, Their northbound counterparts have been cancelled Thursday afternoon and Friday morning.

Meanwhile in the Midwest, week-long temperatures near zero caused a series of “weather-related equipment issues,” according to Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari.

After the Saluki’s late arrival from Carbondale, Ill., on Tuesday, the southbound Illini that day and northbound Saluki on Wednesday were both cancelled. A Chicago-Port Huron, Mich., Blue Water round trip over the same days also didn’t run. The westbound Pere Marquette out of Grand Rapids, Mich., Wednesday morning made it as far as the first stop at Holland, Mich., but the train terminated there and passengers were put on busses to their destinations. Many of tcorridor and long-distance trains that did operate from Chicago on Tuesday and Wednesday encountered lengthy departure delays.

In the west and Texas, the Coast Starlight is again operating over its entire route, but the eastbound and westbound Sunset Limited departures from Los Angeles and New Orleans were cancelled Wednesday. The Texas Eagle that would normally receive through cars from the Sunset at San Antonio will originate there on Friday, the same day the westbound Eagle is set to resume from Chicago. However, the Oklahoma City-Fort Worth Heartland Flyer now won’t resume daily round-trips until Saturday, Feb. 20.

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