Amtrak forces up and down the Northeast Corridor are making preparations for potential impacts from the pending winter storm. With extreme conditions expected in some areas over the next 24-36 hours, crews are actively monitoring the latest forecasts to make informed decisions about service levels. Amtrak is currently operating a regular Thursday schedule and announcements about any schedule changes, if needed, will be made as soon as that information becomes available.
Following is a summary of major preparation activities already underway:
Severe Weather Command Center Activated – Amtrak’s multi-departmental Severe Weather Command Center has been activated at the Consolidated National Operations Center in Wilmington, Delaware. From this facility, a task force is monitoring the latest weather conditions, assessing the state of the railroad and related infrastructure in real-time and coordinating any necessary response. The Command Center will remain active until the immediate threat of any disruption has passed and any service disruption is resolved.
Equipment Positioning – To more quickly respond to potential problems, diesel locomotives and on-track maintenance equipment are strategically positioned along the Northeast Corridor. Should downed trees or limbs disable the overhead electrical system, diesel power can help move trains when it is safe to do so, and on-track equipment can be dispatched to make any necessary infrastructure repairs.
Tree Trimming Crews – To supplement standard coverage, independent contractors are on standby to quickly respond to reports of trees or limbs down along the right-of-way, which could damage the overhead electrical system or prevent safe passage of trains. Amtrak engages in a regular year-round tree trimming program to proactively minimize such impacts.
Additional Staffing – Mechanical, engineering and operations forces are mobilizing additional crews to ensure safe and efficient operation of the railroad. Additional on-board staff are pre-positioned to respond should a re-crewing need arise.
Passengers with travel plans for Thursday evening and Friday are encouraged to plan ahead and make any necessary reservation changes in advance. A wide range of tools are available to assist with travel planning including Amtrak.com (including the interactive train tracker map), the Amtrak smartphone app (available for iPhone, Android & Windows phones) and 1-800-USA-RAIL.