Private Car Notice 2-04


Safety Alert, Security
California Zephyr Re-Route

Date: March 16, 2004    From: Don Cushine

On March 15th we had a very unfortunate incident occur on a private car traveling on an Amtrak train. A passenger was on the platform of the car and while she was there, the door trap sprung slightly upward. The passenger (with no shoes on) stepped on the trap to close it only to catch her own toe in the trap, severing it from her foot.

The private car person-in-charge also apparently failed to have a proper briefing with the train crew prior to the trip and when the incident occurred, they were unable to get in contact with the conductor to stop the train immediately. As a result, 911 was called and although they were able to contact the train, emergency personnel did not meet the train until approximately 55 minutes later. The passenger was removed over an hour after the initial incident happened.

Safety is paramount to us all. Passengers should not be on the platform when the train is moving (in this case, they were just pulling from the station when the incident occurred). They should also have on proper footwear at all times. Had this individual worn proper footwear, it is likely that this incident would have been much less severe. Please focus on safety and discuss this with your staff and your passengers. Further, it is imperative that you work with the operating crews to develop plans in the unlikely event of an incident.

Security Issues

Amtrak is responding to the terrorist attacks on trains in Madrid last week by stepping up police patrols and ``conducting random baggage screening`` at major stations. All employees have also been asked to keep a vigilant eye for any unusual situations during the course of their duties. We are also asking you to stay alert for anything that is out of the ordinary and please report anything unusual to an Amtrak Employee or call the Amtrak Police Hotline at 800-331-0008.

California Zephyr Detour Due To Trackwork This Summer

The Union Pacific will be doing extensive track work on the Moffat Tunnell Subdivision in Colorado this summer. While replacement railroad ties are installed in the historic Moffat Tunnel, Amtrak will detour passengers trains to the original transcontinental route through Wyoming and Utah. The detour is needed to allow crews to replace 81,750 wooden railroad ties, each of which is 9 feet long and weighs 285 pounds. The replacements will be on both the Denver and Winter Park approaches to the tunnel, as well as some within the 76-year-old structure.

The ties - made of fir, pine and oak may last 35 years outside and a bit longer inside the tunnel. During the closures, 325 railroad workers will exchange the railroad ties and replace 7 1/2 miles of curved track.

The detours will occur on trains #5 & #6 originating on June 7-14, June 22-29, July 7-14 and July 22-29. On these trips, the California Zephyr will travel between Denver and Salt Lake City via a northern route through Wyoming, making no intermediate station stops. The detour will follow a portion of the original transcontinental Union Pacific route completed in 1869. While the scenery is less mountainous than the California Zephyr`s regular routing, it offers broad vistas of the high plains and an opportunity to see pronghorn antelope and other wildlife.

Amtrak will provide alternate motor-coach transportation between Denver and Glenwood Springs and Grand Junction during those periods. Passengers traveling between Chicago and Denver or between Salt Lake City and the San Francisco Bay Area will be unaffected.

Service to Fraser-Winter Park, Colo.; Granby, Colo.; Green River, Utah, Helper, Utah, and Provo, Utah, will be suspended on the days of the train`s detour. Passengers already ticketed to those stations are being notified of the service suspensions.

Amtrak will also notify all passengers ticketed between Denver and Salt Lake City during the 32 days of the detour and/or the alternate transportation from Denver to and from Glenwood Springs and Grand Junction. Passengers will be offered travel on alternate days or refunds.

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