Wednesday, April 6, 2011

So how's that express working for ya?

I've been taking the morning (semi) Express, #563, 1-2 times a week to LA.

The train it replaces, #565, was reliably ALWAYS late -- and seriously late, frequently by 20 minutes or so. I was acutely aware of how late this train was (scheduled arrival at 9.50), because I have to catch a shuttle in LA to get to work, which runs infrequently after 10am. And too often I had to resort to the Red Line and the Dash to make it to my office.

The good news is that 563 has been much more reliable. They did this not only by dropping a few stations but by putting it in front of, rather than behind a metrolink. It's scheduled into LA at 9.35 and most mornings, it has been on time.

Today, alas, was an exception. But generally the experience has been much better than expected, and I can make it to work by 10.


GNS said...

Amtrak is an ancient Indian word for "behind schedule". The good news is they have good weeks and bad weeks.

MJG said...

Getting in front of the Metrolink makes all the difference. 784 in the evenings can get WAY behind schedule if it doesn't make it out of LA before the 5:40 Metrolink (5:40 being late enough already for this train). Over time I have come tom accept that anything within 10 minutes of the scheduled arrival is on time for Amtrak.

IT said...

When I lived on the East Coast years ago, I felt that Amtrak's motto was:

Amtrak: no matter what, we'll be late

I have noticed however that things have been better in the last few months. Last summer and fall, there were a lot of delays -- not just the construction, but a spate of "trespassing incidents". I kept a graph on the arrival numbers of #763 until it became too depressing.

However, of late we have been doing much better, and in fact (gasp) there have even been some early arrivals into LA!

Like MJG, I have come to believe that within 10 minutes is on time. I think Amtrak does too.

Spokker said...

Express won't work reliably until double tracking is completed along the entire LA-SD corridor.

Until then, an express will only be marginally more useful.