Monday, May 14, 2007

California Zephyr Bomb Scare

Media outlets are reporting that yesterday's eastbound Calfornia Zephyr (train #6) was evacuated after a passenger threatened the crew by saying he had a weapon and a bomb. Authorities searched the man and found a knife in his luggage. A bomb-sniffing dog alerted to the bag of the passenger and around 220 passengers were ordered to evacuate the train. They were bused to Denver Union Station where they eventually rejoined the same train and continued their trip to Chicago.

FBI officials are now stating that after extensive questioning of the man, it was all a misunderstanding and he was booked on a flight out of DIA today.

I don't know who should be ticked off more, the guy who was "detained and interrogated" for hours or the 220 passengers who were massively inconvenienced. The CZ has encountered more than it's share of delays lately courtesy of both BNSF and UP, but leaving at 4:45 a.m., over 9 hours 20 minutes behind schedule is probably a record, at least for the last week. I have ridden the Zephyr and every time it is at least 4 hours late into Denver from the west (UP territory) and 2 hours late coming in from the east (BNSF territory). This turns their schedule from a somewhat reliable estimate to an absolute joke. If you take Amtrak, you're not in a hurry, but you should at least be able to tell the party picking you up what day you'll arrive.

Could it get any worse?

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