A PHOTO report
By Robert Manning, RailPAC Director
3/8 UPDATE: What a Difference a week can Make!
Amtrak cancelled service on the Sunset Limited for the Palm Springs Train Station Sunday March 8, 2009 due to extensive track work. (NOTE: “No alternative transportation provided”)
Union Pacific is replacing the spur line that comes off of the main line fronting the station.
The photos show that the “new” spur line will have concrete ties in a new bed of ballast.
This is a dramatic change from last week when the Sunset derailed coming into the Palm Springs Station on a pretty sad looking spur line.
Monday morning March 2, 2009 I heard on the radio news that an Amtrak train derailed at the Palm Springs station with no injuries, around 5: PM last Sunday evening.
The news further stated that the passengers were bused to other locations. I drove to the Palm Springs Station and was surprised to find four Superliner cars up right with all of the doors open.
The cars were located approximately two hundred feet west of the station with no Amtrak employee on the scene. However there were apparently several Union Pacific employees in the area as the UP is completing extensive track work. It was very strange to see four superliner cars looking as though “abandoned” with their doors wide open.
I did call one of my contacts with Amtrak and was advised that some one had spent the night with the cars and another employee would be there shortly. By 9AM an Amtrak employee arrived and closed all of the car doors.
I know that the train stayed upright and the only visible damage that I observed were deep scratches on some of the car wheels and damage to the wooden ties.
The Superliners were on the spur which comes off of the double tracked main line. The spur did not appear to be in the best of shape as the wooden ties appeared to be very old and weathered.
The main line looks great and all of the wooden ties are being replaced by concrete ties.
I don’t know what caused the derailment, but that will be determined shortly.
The four cars are Sleeper # 32027, coach # 34088, #34022 and #34064.