Posts Tagged ‘Amtrak crew members’

Comparing Notes

June 1, 2020

An Amtrak conductor talks over business with the locomotive engineer who has just come on duty in Sacramento, California, on the eastbound California Zephyr.

I don’t know what they were discussing. It could be making sure they have the same set of train orders or that they are on the same page for how a certain operation will be handled.

No. 6 makes a long stop in Sacramento and boards a heavy load of passengers.

But soon it will be on its way toward one of the most scenic rides in America over Donner Pass on former Southern Pacific tracks through the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Working the Baggage Car in Sacramento

May 15, 2020

Sacramento is a major stop on the route of Amtrak’s California Zephyr. Judging by the load of checked luggage being loaded into the baggage car of No. 6, many of those boarding there are planning to travel a long distance.

In the top photograph, one carload of bags have already been loaded with another in the process of being put aboard.

In the bottom photograph an Amtrak crew member checks to see if any late arriving bags are on their way.

Both images were made on June 1999.

Ready to Pour the Juice

February 22, 2019

It’s the breakfast hour aboard Amtrak’s westbound Empire Builder.

The train is in eastern Washington state and about to pass through some of the route’s most dramatic scenery along the Columbia River.

For the dining car crew, it is the last meal they will serve before arriving in Seattle and some time off.

An Amtrak server holds a carton of orange juice to pour into glasses for passengers eating in her end of the diner.

Photographed From Both Directions

April 12, 2017

An Amtrak trainman is photographed while standing in the vestibule of his train on the last day of operation of the eastbound Hilltopper on Sept. 30, 1979.

The train proved to be quite popular on the day of its last run with crowds waiting to board at some stations.

For much of its history, the Hilltopper drew low numbers of passengers, making it an easy target for discontinuance during the massive route restructuring of 1979.

The train had a largely Norfolk & Western route that has not seen an Amtrak train since the demise of the Hilltopper.

In Position as Required by Rule

December 17, 2016

The rear brakeman of Amtrak No. 4 stands watch in Lamy, New Mexico, on Nov. 1, 1981.

Amtrak’s eastbound Southwest Limited is making its station stop in Lamy, New Mexico, and the Santa Fe rear brakeman watches the boarding process from toward the rear of the train.

The two Superliner sleepers assigned to No. 4 today are on the rear end. I got to talking with this crew member during my journey, which began the night before in Los Angeles and would end early the next morning in Kansas City. Before he went off duty, he handed me the train bulletin for that day.

I made this image from the vestibule of the sleeper in which I had a room.

Looking for Passengers in Tryone

October 15, 2016


A train approaches a station and from somewhere back in the consist, a door opens. The face of an Amtrak conductor or trainman looks forward to check how many passengers are waiting on the platform.

Of course, with reserved trains, the crew already knows how many people are ticketed to board here.

Still a crew member watches and directs the engineer when “that’ll do when you get ’em stopped.”

I don’t know the name of the conductor of Amtrak’s eastbound Pennsylvanian, shown arriving at Tyrone, Pennsylvania, in December 2015.

After I posted this photograph on a railfan chat list I received an email from a friend of his asking for a copy of the photo to give to him, saying he would soon retire from Amtrak. I was happy to oblige.