Posts Tagged ‘Alliance Ohio’

Crossing Over in Alliance

November 27, 2020

Amtrak’s westbound Pennsylvanian is crossing over to the track closest to the boarding platform in Alliance, Ohio.

The image was made on May 16, 1999. The Pennsylvanian no longer operates west of Pittsburgh but Alliance continues to be served by Amtrak’s Chicago-Washington Capitol Limited.

Photograph by Edward Ribinskas

Looking For a Future

May 14, 2018

I’m aboard the penultimate run of Amtrak’s Pennsylvanian from Chicago to Philadelphia. The date is Feb. 8, 2003.

I’m holding a ticket to travel from Cleveland to Pittsburgh where I’ll lay over for a few hours and catch the last Pennsylvanian to Chicago out of Pittsburgh.

Tomorrow, the Pennsylvanian will begin to revert back to a New York-Pittsburgh train with funding from the State of Pennsylvania.

The Pennsylvanian was extended to Chicago during the era when Amtrak thought it could, to borrow the words of then-President George Warrington, ascend a glide path to profitability.

Then David Gunn became president of Amtrak and decided that wasn’t going to work and he took the passenger carrier out of the business of carrying mail and express.

One of the first casualties of that policy change was the Pennsylvanian. It had been extended to Chicago west of Pittsburgh to carry head-end business.

But with that now being taken away and the Pennsylvanian having mediocre ridership on the Pittsburgh-Chicago segment it became expendable.

On this day No. 42 arrived in Alliance, Ohio, well ahead of its scheduled arrival time. I had time to get off the train and walk around to make photographs.

My favorite was this one, made from the vestibule showing the conductor looking back on the platform for boarding passengers.

I can imagine he might also be searching for his future with Amtrak.