Archive for the ‘Amtrak Photos’ Category

Charging Through Michigan

July 16, 2019

A visit last weekend to Durand, Michigan, netted the information that SC-44 Chargers are now operating on the Chicago-Port Huron, Michigan, Blue Water.

The Chargers, which the Michigan Department of Transportation helped to buy for Amtrak Midwest corridor services, were slow to be assigned to Michigan trains used Amtrak-owned track west of Kalamazoo, due to the need to upgrade the software on the locomotives to be compatible with the line’s positive train control system.

Apparently those upgrades have been made.

Nos. 364 and 365 operate with locomotives in each end to avoid having to turn the train in Port Huron during its nightly layover.

No. 365 is shown leaving Durand for its next stop of East Lansing before continuing on to Chicago.

That Early 80s Look

July 12, 2019

Amtrak was in the midst of rebuilding its Chicago infrastructure when I made this image in the early 1980s.

My recollection is that I was part of a group making a tour of Amtrak facilities at the time, but I don’t remember much about. it.

Amtrak was well into its transition from steam heated equipment to head end power and its general of P30CH and F40PH locomotives were rapidly overtaking EMD E and F units inherited from the freight railroads and the ill-fated SDP40F locomotives that Amtrak itself ordered.

Not also that this motive power set of a P30 and two F40s is wearing the then new Phase III livery.

These units had helped to introduce Phase II, but it didn’t last long.

All Aboard in Indianapolis

July 11, 2019

Passengers begin boarding the northbound Hoosier State at Indianapolis Union Station on June 25.

It was the last week of operation of Train No. 851, which operated on the days that the Cardinal did not run to Chicago.

Most of those boarding were assigned to the Horizon fleet coach shown above. The exception was those holding business class tickets who boarded the Amfleet food service car ahead of the Horizon coach.

The Hoosier State left Indianapolis for the final time on June 30.

Not Much Longer to Run

July 9, 2019

Amtrak’s northbound Hoosier State sits on Track 16 at Chicago Union Station on June 25 after having completed a trip that originated at Indianapolis Union Station.

Train 851 arrived at CUS 20 minutes early on this day.

It was the last week of operation of Nos. 850 and 851 after the Indiana legislature declined to continue its funding of the quad-weekly service.

In the background is the equipment that arrived earlier on the City of New Orleans.

Just Starting Their Journey

July 6, 2019

Amtrak’s westbound California Zephyr is only about a half-hour into into its trek to the San Francisco Bay as it blasts through Hinsdale, Illinois, on the BNSF Chicago-Aurora, Illinois, raceway.

It’s early to mid afternoon so the passengers and crew are just getting settled in.

The conductors are scanning tickets, the sleeping car attendants are greeting their passengers, the cafe car attendant is getting ready to open and the chefs in the dining car are getting things ready for the first dinner seating later this afternoon.

Not everyone about Train No. 5 will see the Colorado Rockies the next day or the crossing of the Sierra Nevada mountains in California two days from now.

Many will get off at stations large and small in Illinois, Iowa and Nebraska before the train reaches Denver tomorrow morning.

But for those staying on past the mile high city, there is some spectacular scenery waiting for them outside their coach, sleeping car, dining car or Sightseer lounge windows.

No Time to Stop and Smell the Flowers

July 2, 2019

Amtrak’s westbound Southwest Chief has places to go and little time to waste in getting there.

So it can’t afford to stop at the Metra station in Hinsdale, Illinois, so everyone can stop and admire the flowers or the flowering trees that brighten the platform.

The next stop for No. 3 will be in Naperville, Illinois, and then it is on to numerous other stations en route to Los Angeles.

End of Track at NOUPT

June 24, 2019


Depending on your perspective, this is either the end of the route of Amtrak’s City of New Orleans or the first few feet of the route north to Chicago.

The view is from the rear car on No. 58, which is boarding at New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal.

The photo was made in March 2012.

Here Comes Amtrak No. 48

June 22, 2019

Amtrak’s eastbound Lake Shore Limited passes BE Tower in Berea, Ohio, in the Cleveland suburbs on a late spring morning.

The train was operating just over two hours behind schedule at the time.

BE Tower was closed several years ago by Conrail but the building continues to stand.

Morning Contrasts

June 16, 2019

The eastbound Lake Shore Limited was running more than two hours late.

By the time it reached Berea, Ohio, in suburban Cleveland the sun had been up for more than an hour but shadows from bridges and building still enveloped the tracks of Norfolk Southern used by Train No. 48.

But much of the rails themselves were in sunlight and that created an interesting effect that I had not planned.

The image shown above was an afterthought. My plan was to use my longest telephoto lens to shoot through the chain link fence of the Front Street overpass to capture the Lake Shore passing the former BE Tower.

I did get that image and it turned out well. But as the train got closer I decided to make one more image just to see how it would turn out.

What I got was a nice contrast between the sunlight illuminating the nose and flanks of lead P42DC No. 129 and the shadows on both sides of the tracks.

I was fortunate that the encroaching shadows did not creep up the side of the train.

There is also some contrast between the silver and blue of the locomotives and the green leaves on the trees on the north side of the tracks.

A two-hour late train is not good news for its passengers and crew, but it worked out well for me.

Amtrak Shows Acela Trainsets Being Built

June 16, 2019

Amtrak last week offered a view of the construction of new train sets that are expected to be put into service on its Acela Express service in 2021.

The trainsets are being built in Hornell, New York, by a consortium of Bombardier and Alstom.

The equipment will replace 20-year trainsets now used in Acela Express service.

The equipment now used in Acela Express service operates under the Avelia Liberty product designation, but Amtrak has not said what brand identity the new equipment will use.

The new trainsets will be capable of 186 mph but will be limited to 160 mph in Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor.

The equipment featured a European-inspired design with a capacity of 378 compared with 304 of the current Acela Express equipment.

In a news release, Amtrak said the first trainset prototype will be ready for testing later this year.

All of the trainsets will have entered revenue service by 2022.