Transportation reporter Gene Poon posted this item on a discussion group, which I repeat here with permission.
This is indicative of the sorry lack of capitol capital budget. New head end power is a crucial need.
Sunset Limited departed New Orleans on Friday with only one engine. New Orleans had no protect units, so an EXTRA unit had to be sent from Chicago to New Orleans on the City of New Orleans, just to get this unit for the Sunset.
The train was planned to pick up a damaged unit at San Antonio to take it to Los Angeles. But the possibility of failure on that engine, plus the extra cars the Sunset will pick up at San Antonio, made it not advisable to run just one “good” P42 on the train; so the protect unit at Ft. Worth went to San Antonio on the Texas Eagle; it is also to go west to Los Angeles on the Sunset.
A Ft. Worth protect engine must be maintained by Amtrak under the Heartland Flyer contract, so Amtrak must now send a St. Louis protect unit to Ft. Worth.