Monday, February 11, 2013
Amtrak reports snow-clearing train slowly (very slowly) making way through Connecticut, passengers getting free coffee
Milford, CT--The 2013 blizzard--Nemo, to the good folks at the Weather Channel--is gone, but the dig-out for much of New England continues. Part of the digging out process includes clearing the Amtrak and Metro-North passenger rail lines in the southern part of the state. Amtrak is very close to restoring service between New York and Boston thanks to the AmTrachea, a massive, three-engine powered train snow blower. "The AmTrachea is the pride and joy of our East Coast snow-clearing fleet," said Don Hammersmith, Amtrak's severe weather coordinator. "The only drawback is that she's old and, well, a bit slow." Actually, the huge train snow blower makes an injured snail look fast. The train left the rail yards in Queens and headed north on Saturday early afternoon. Saturday! The plow has yet to make it to New Haven, which is just 75 miles away. Amtrak attached several passenger cars onto the rear of the blower to subsidize its high cost of operation. "We didn't really properly inform the passengers about the extreme time length of the journey," said Hammersmith. "So, we reduced the prices on certain snacks and gave free coffee in the cafe car."