City of New Orleans train to evacuate hundreds affected by Hurricane Ivan

WASHINGTON – Amtrak has temporarily suspended service to and from New Orleans, due to Hurricane Ivan. New Orleans is served by the City of New Orleans daily to and from Chicago, the Crescent daily to and from New York City and the three-days-weekly Sunset Limited to and from Los Angeles and Orlando.

As the weather system approaches New Orleans, which is below sea level, local officials agreed to a delay in erecting the last gate in the levee system in order to allow an expanded City of New Orleans train to depart northbound this afternoon. An additional set of rail cars ordinarily used by the Crescent was added to the City of New Orleans to create a 21-car train in order for nearly 700 passengers to leave the city, with most bound for Memphis.

Amtrak is notifying customers of the following:

  • City of New Orleans, Trains 58 & 59, daily via Memphis, Jackson (Miss.) and Hammond (La.):
  • The southbound City of New Orleans (Train 59) that is scheduled to leave Chicago today (Sept. 15) and tomorrow (Sept. 16) will operate to Jackson, where the train will terminate.
  • The northbound City of New Orleans (Train 58) that is scheduled to leave New Orleans on Thursday (Sept. 16) and Friday (Sept. 17) will originate in Jackson instead.
  • No alternate transportation will be available.

Crescent, Trains 19 & 20, daily via Washington, Atlanta and Birmingham:

  • The southbound Crescent (Train 19) that is scheduled to leave New York City tomorrow (Sept. 16) is canceled.
  • The northbound Crescent (Train 20) that is scheduled to leave New Orleans tomorrow (Sept. 16) and Friday (Sept. 17) is canceled.
  • No alternate transportation will be available.

Sunset Limited, Trains 1 & 2, three-days-weekly via Jacksonville, Houston and San Antonio:

  • The westbound Sunset Limited (Train 1) that is scheduled to leave Orlando tomorrow (Sept. 16) will originate from San Antonio instead.
  • The eastbound Sunset Limited (Train 2) that is scheduled to leave Los Angeles today (Sept. 15) will operate to San Antonio, where the train will terminate.
  • No alternate transportation will be available.

Amtrak facilities in the area affected by Hurricane Ivan are closed, including staffed and unstaffed stations, until plans are announced to resume services.

Amtrak is working closely with the Orleans Levee District, the office of the New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin, New Orleans Emergency Management and the four primary railroads used by Amtrak trains in the area: Canadian National (Illinois Central) Railroad, Norfolk Southern Railway (NS), Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF) and CSX Transportation.

Amtrak passengers are invited to visit the www.amtrak.com website or call 800-USA-RAIL for additional information and further updates.