January 28, 2020 – To complete my 2019 project of reporting on-time Empire Builder trains, here is my first installment.
Refreshing my parameters for the chart and footnotes: This chart uses Columbus, WI. as a point of reference for on-time, not Chicago. I use Amtrak’s protocol for this train: It can be up to 30 minutes late and would still be considered on-time. The data used for my chart comes from < Juckins.net >. Juckins is not an official Amtrak website, and my chart is not an official Amtrak on-time document. I am solely responsible for the analysis of this data.
Updating the November blog- chart, #8 was on-time 65 percent of the time in December 2019. It averaged 48 minutes late for the month. Compared to some of the data earlier in the year, this is a considerable improvement. But I note the Empire Builder had better than average performance last winter until the weather turned what I’ll call Winter-Ugly at the end of January 2019. Summertime when Amtrak consistently has its highest ridership, the performance of the Empire Builder was at its poorest performance.
For fiscal year 2019 Amtrak still registered a one percent rise in ridership on the Empire Builder. The passenger numbers for the five stops west of Milwaukee for the Empire Builder were up two percent for FY2019. All of these positive numbers came from a train that was on-time only 38 percent for the calendar year. Imagine what the ridership numbers might be if the EB could be on-time 50 to 65 percent all year?
What can you do to help make this train on-time more often? See the November Empire Builder Eastbound #8 post for more information.
Terry Brown Vice President – Public Relations