Archive for the ‘Amtrak Photos’ Category

Boarding in Durand

August 12, 2018

Passengers board Amtrak’s westbound Blue Water in Durand, Michigan, with most of them en route to Chicago.

The tracks used by Amtrak here are owned by Canadian National but their ancestry is Grand Trunk Western.

GTW’s trains to Chicago were discontinued with the coming of Amtrak in 1971, but later revived with funding from the State of Michigan.

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Not Open for Meals

August 1, 2018

Bringing up the rear of Amtrak’s northbound Saluki is Viewliner diner Indianapolis.

But the diner is not open to serve meals to passengers. Instead, it’s purpose is to help Train 390 meet an axle count requirement mandated by host railroad Canadian National.

It’s a safety measure to ensure that the train triggers grade crossing warning devices. Any Amtrak train using a CN route must have a minimum number of axles.

The Indianapolis is the not the only dining car on the Saluki. Ahead of the baggage car is Heritage diner No. 8505, a former Northern Pacific car built by Budd in 1957.

Amtrak may have retired its Heritage diners from their intended purpose, but some of those cars continue to run up miles in a different type of revenue service.

The Saluki is shown departing Effingham, Illinois.

First Glimpse of a Charger

July 24, 2018

Amtrak’s SC-44 Charger locomotives have been in service for several months on Midwest corridor routes, but it was only recently that I got my first glimpse of one.

I was in Effingham, Illinois, to observe the arrival of the northbound Saluki, which is shown above.

The Chargers are operating on most Midwest routes with the notable exception of Wolverine and Blue Water trains.

Amtrak has said the Chargers won’t be assigned to those trains until the positive train control system can be aligned with the PTC system used on Amtrak-owned track in Michigan and Indiana.

My first impression of the Chargers was favorable unlike my first thought about the now ubiquitous P42 and P40 units.

The nose of the Charger is similar in design to that of a Genesis locomotive and we’ve all had years to become accustomed to the latter.

Train Time in New Orleans

June 30, 2018

Three times a day, Amtrak personnel announce the boarding of a train at New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal, the terminus of the City of New Orleans, Crescent and Sunset Limited.

The latter operates only three days a week, departing on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday, but the City and Crescent depart daily.

Of the three trains, the City of the New Orleans is the only one to depart NOUPT in the afternoon.

In the photo above, it is March 2012 and passengers are waiting for the boarding announcement of No. 58 to Chicago and all intermediate stops.

Remember the Old CUS Metropolitan Lounge?

June 28, 2018

It is May 2014 and passengers are lined up waiting to board the California Zephyr, which will be leaving soon for the San Francisco Bay area.

These passengers are holding sleeping car accommodations and were waiting in the former Metropolitan Lounge at Chicago Union Station.

A new lounge has replaced this facility, but the old lounge should be a familiar sight to those who rode Amtrak sleeping cars to and from Chicago during the past couple of decades.

When it was time to board your train, you went through a door toward the back of the lounge and an Amtrak agent escorted you to the track where your train was waiting.

Taking Breakfast Orders

June 23, 2018

An Amtrak server writes the breakfast orders of passengers as the Empire Builder makes it way west through North Dakota.

During this May 2014 trip, No. 7 was detouring via the former Great Northern Surrey cutoff due to traffic congestion on the train’s regular route via Grand Forks.

The Surrey cutoff was the route used by GN’s Empire Builder in pre-Amtrak days.

During the days of the original Empire Builder passengers would have written their orders on the check and server would tear off the top copy and take it to the kitchen.

Shorter Lake Shore Limited This Summer

June 21, 2018

Amtrak’s Lake Shore Limited is typically one of its longest trains. But it has grown much shorter this summer due to the New York section being suspended due to bridge work in New York City.

The LSL now operates only between Chicago and Boston and is operating as Nos. 448/449 the length of the route. Those numbers previously were used for operating purpose between Boston and Albany-Rensselaer, New York.

The train is shown above passing through North East, Pennsylvania, on May 31, less than a week after the New York section was dropped until early September.

Far From Illinois

June 18, 2018

Amtrak equipment is interchangeable, hence I ran across this Amfleet cafe car in the consist of the Blue Water, a Chicago-Port Huron, Michigan train.

It came with a logo for an Illinois high-speed rail program between Chicago and St. Louis.

The car probably has operated in Lincoln Service train consists many times and might wind up back there soon. But for now it is running around in Michigan.

I wonder how many passengers notice the “welcome” greeting in tiny letters that easily are dwarfed by the high-speed logo.

So Long Durand

June 15, 2018

The passengers have boarded Amtrak’s westbound Blue Water and the conductor has given the highball command on the radio.

Train No. 365 is on time as it departs Durand, Michigan, en route to Chicago. The next stop, though, is East Lansing, Michigan.

P42DC No. 126 is the rear of the train since the Blue Water operates with locomotives on each end so as to avoid having to turn the locomotive or the train in Port Huron, Michigan, during its overnight stay.

Amtrak in Durand uses the Durand Union Station, which once had service provided by the Grand Trunk Western and Ann Arbor railroads.

The station also houses a railroad museum.

Anyone Want to Board Here?

June 8, 2018

An Amtrak conductor stands by an open vestibule of the westbound Blue Water in Durand, Michigan, but all of the passengers are lined up at another vestibule father down.

That’s because the far vestibule aligned with the gate allowing passengers through a fence that separates the tracks of Canadian National (former Grand Trunk Western) and Durand Union Station.

Eventually, a few passengers were directed to board farther down the platform, perhaps because they were holding business class tickets. The cafe car on Train No. 365 was located toward the rear.

The Blue Water departed Durand on time en route to Chicago.