Archive for the ‘Amtrak Photos’ Category

Things You Won’t See Anymore

September 20, 2019

There are three things three things in this image made in Lewistown, Pennsylvania, that are no more.

Amtrak’s material handling cars, Pennsylvania Railroad style position light signals and the Broadway Limited are all gone here.

Shown is eastbound No. 40 slowing for its station stop in July 1995.


A Look Back at the Rainbow Era

September 17, 2019

The first couple years of Amtrak operations are known as the rainbow era because liveries of various railroads and common on trains.

Locomotives and passenger cars carried their original colors and markings until painted into Amtrak colors.

Amtrak 1427 and 1371 (Both ex-Union Pacific units) are ready to leave Joliet, Illinois on Aug 6, 1972, on a train operating in the Chicago-St. Louis corridor.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Short Lived Sight on Amtrak

September 12, 2019

In the first couple of years of Amtrak the locomotives that pulled the trains were typically adorned in the liveries of the host railroad.

By 1973 this had become a less common sight as Amtrak purchased and repainted locomotives from its host railroads that it had acquired or leased.

The Chicago-St. Louis route used Gulf, Mobile & Ohio locomotives in Amtrak’s first two years.

The hour was getting late for GM&O E7 No. 103A to work on Amtrak when this image was made at Joliet, Illinois, on Oct. 13, 1972.

Soon the GM&O units would be gone from their Amtrak assignments.

Although it served Amtrak, No. 103A was never officially on the Amtrak motive power roster except as a leased unit.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Line of Shiny Amfleet Cars

September 7, 2019

A long row of Amtrak Amfleet coaches gleams in the platform lighting at the Cleveland Amtrak station in May 2014.

No. 49 has arrived from New York en route to Chicago and I have just disembarked after a 10-day circle trip that took me west to Seattle and across Canada on the Canadian of VIA Rail Canada.

I had boarded the westbound Lake Shore Limited in Syracuse, New York.

As much fun as I had riding trains for more than a week, it also felt good to be home.

Looks Like Amtrak But it Isn’t

September 5, 2019

It is September 1984 and the Chessie System has borrowed an Amtrak P30CH locomotive and a sleeper to pair with its track inspection train.

This was taken at Ohio Route 91 in Munroe Falls, Ohio, and the train may have been stopped.

I believe Chessie leased the P30 and a 10 roomette, six double bedroom sleeper from Amtrak for their track inspection train for a season for some reason. Maybe they needed the HEP capability, but I’m not sure).

I’m not sure if this was the earlier version of today’s two car geometry train, or a more general inspection train.

Article and Photograph by Paul Woodring

Make Way for the Saluki

September 4, 2019

In the nearly 50 years that Amtrak trains have used the former Illinois Central mainline between Chicago and Carbondale, Illinois, a wide range of motive power and passenger equipment has traveled these rails.

It began in 1971 with Illinois Central E units and progressed through E units of other railroads painted in Amtrak colors to SDP40Fs to P30CHs to F40PHs to the P40 and P42DC units of more recent years.

Now the Chicago-Carbondale trains are pulled by Siemens SC-44 Charger locomotives that have entered service in the past two years.

Shown is the northbound Saluki racing through Pesotum, Illinois.

One Winter Day in Chicago

September 2, 2019

The winter of 1977-1978 was a brutal one in Chicago and the rest of the Midwest.

Frigid temperatures knocked some of Amtrak’s fleet out of service and some trains were canceled for days if not weeks.

I got a taste of that in February 1978 when I rode the Panama Limited to Chicago on a day trip.

Rather than the usual conventional steam-heated equipment normally assigned to the train, No. 58 had Amfleet equipment.

I made this photo as we were backing into Chicago Union Station.

On a nearby track a train is arriving from St. Louis with a P30CH on the point. That was standard equipment for the corridor trains operating between Chicago and St. Louis at the time.

P30s were a common sight pulling Amtrak trains in the 1970s on routes of host railroad Illinois Central Gulf.

Indeed the train I was riding was being powered by a P30.

Your Rental Car Awaits

August 31, 2019

During a stopover in Minot, North Dakota, a few years back I noticed this car with flat tires next to the station.

I don’t know the story behind this vehicle, but I joked at the time that someone might get a shock if this is their rental vehicle.

Of course it might also be the vehicle of a passenger who went on a trip and is going to have to do a lot of pumping or call AAA upon arriving back home.

Whatever the case, this car isn’t going anywhere for a while.

Will the Lansing Ever Play in Lansing?

August 30, 2019

The Viewliner diners that Amtrak has taken delivery of in recent years and continues to receive from CAF USA are named after state capital cities.

In many instances those cities are not on the Amtrak map. Some haven’t been for years, i.e., Columbus; and some have never been served by Amtrak, i.e., Dover, Delaware.

Lansing is an interesting case. Amtrak passes through the capital of Michigan but the station is located in East Lansing.

The city is served by the Blue Water, which has either an Amfleet or Horizon food service car.

Given that, it seems unlikely that diner Lansing will ever see its namesake city unless . . .

The Lansing could pass through Lansing if it ever gets assigned to the Blue Water to help meet a Canadian National-mandated minimum axle count.

For now, though, the Lansing is assigned to eastern long-distance trains. It is shown in Cleveland on the eastbound Lake Shore Limited where it was serving as the lounge for sleeping car passengers.

Photograph by Edward Ribinskas

All Board the Maple Leaf In Syracuse

August 29, 2019

It’s train time in Syracuse, New York, as passengers board the Maple Leaf bound for New York City and points in between. The image was made in May 2014.