Posts Tagged ‘Amtrak F40 locomotive’

Two PRR Icons in Lewistown

May 2, 2019

The news that former Pennsylvania Railroad position light signals are now gone between Harrisburg and Altoona, Pennsylvania, got me digging into my archives.

I remembered having made a photograph of another Pennsy icon passing position light signals in Lewistown, Pennsylvania, on the original PRR mainline between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

The image above shows No. 40 arriving in Lewistown on July 2, 1995.

The eastbound Broadway Limited had the standard consist for that era of a pair of F40PH locomotives, material handling cars and a mixture of Heritage fleet and Amfleet equipment.

There remain some of the iconic PRR signals between Altoona and Pittsburgh, but the last of those is expected to come down this summer.

So there is still time to photograph Amtrak’s Pennsylvanian splitting position light signals.

This go me wondering where else Amtrak might operate where there remain position light signals.

The most obvious answer is the Northeast Corridor, but what about beyond there?

Amtrak’s Capitol Limited continues to use ex-PRR tracks between Cleveland and Pittsburgh, but as far as I know all of the position light signals either have been removed or are about to fall on that route.

Several Amtrak trains use ex-PRR tracks in Chicago and northwest Indiana and work has been underway for some time to replace the position light signals there.

There are likely to remain some secondary routes with PRR position light signals, particularly if they are operated by short line or regional railroads that do not handle passenger trains and aren’t covered by the PTC mandate.

As the adage goes, get them while you can.

Now Arriving in Naperville

April 29, 2019

It’s the afternoon of Sept. 1, 1996, and Amtrak’s eastbound California Zephyr is arriving in the station in Naperville, Illinois.

A pair of F40PH locomotives are pulling No. 6 today, but that won’t be the case much longer.

Naperville is the last stop before Chicago Union Station.

Although Amtrak is a major player in Naperville with eight trains daily, most of the passengers who board and disembark here are riding Metra as they commute to work or for other purposes.

Last Day For Amtrak In Indianapolis

October 11, 2018

It’s Oct. 1, 1979, and Amtrak’s National Limited is halting for the final time in Indianapolis.

With the on-time departure of No. 31 in late morning, the capital of Indiana will be without intercity rail passenger service.

But it won’t last for long. About a year later Amtrak launched the Chicago-Indianapolis Hoosier State and Indy returned to the Amtrak route map.

The Ohio cities of Dayton and Columbus would not be so fortunate. When the National Limited stopped there for the final time, those cities would lose intercity rail passenger service for good.

Pere Marquette Now Arriving

October 10, 2018

Although Amtrak’s Pere Marquette originates and terminates in Grand Rapids, Michigan, it didn’t always sit overnight in the station.

For several years the equipment for the Chicago-Grand Rapids train sat overnight in a CSX yard and deadheaded to the station the next morning.

The photo above was made in June 1995 and the train is shown about to arrive at the station.

Pair of F40s With Mismatching Looks

May 30, 2018

I was on a tour of Amtrak’s shops and coach yards in Chicago. We were allowed to visit a tower that overlooked the yards and I made this image of two F40PH locomotives on a ready track.

It is a contrast of the old and new, although the contrast is not that much.

No. 302 was built in April 1979 and wears the Phase III look that was introduced that year. It was retired by Amtrak in December 2001, still wearing this livery.

No. 255 was built in November 1977 and still sports the Phase II look. This unit would be involved in a derailment at Silver Spring, Maryland, in February 1996.

It was the trailing unit on the Amtrak’s westbound Capitol Limited that struck a MARC commuter train that had run past a stop signal.

That ’70s Look

December 22, 2017

It is the summer of 1978. Amfleet equipment and F40PH locomotives have been operating on Amtrak’s Midwest corridor trains for nearly two years so the equipment can’t be said to be brand new anymore.

Still it is relatively new enough to be the look of the future having come to pass.

Steam-heated passengers cars are a thing of the past on the corridor routes, but still see service on some long-distance trains in the region.

But on the Chicago-Carbondale-New Orleans route head-end power is the rule. Steam-heated equipment is not coming back.

Shown is the northbound Shawnee, train No. 392, arriving in Mattoon, Illinois, in early evening. The equipment is state of the art for its time with an F40, two Amfleet coaches and an Amcafe. The train will halt at Chicago Union Station in more than three hours.

Last Days of the North Coast Hiawatha

February 8, 2017

north-coast-hiawatha-september-23-1979-02

The trip was somewhat bittersweet. It is Sept. 23, 1979. I am aboard the westbound North Coast Hiawatha en route to Seattle.

The North Coast Hi has less than a month to live, soon to become a victim of a massive Amtrak route restructuring that will end it, the Lone Star, the National Limited, the Floridian, the Hilltopper and the Champion.

I bought a ticket aboard No. 9 to ride the train before it ended. I rode in coach from Chicago to St. Paul and then had a roomette to Seattle.

We are somewhere in Montana on the former Northern Pacific, which at the time was controlled by Burlington Northern.

I made a few images from an open vestibule window as the train snaked through the mountains. I have not been back here since.

Faded Slide, Faded Amtrak Glory

January 6, 2017

ann-rutlege-at-joliet-on-october-3-1981

Maybe it is just as well that this slide of Amtrak’s Ann Rutledge at Joliet, Illinois, is faded.┬áThe Chicago to Kansas City train is just a faded memory in the minds of those who remember it.

Originally, a Chicago-St. Louis train of the Gulf, Mobile & Ohio, Amtrak reprised the name in the 1970s.

After the State of Missouri funded a restoration of Amtrak service between St. Louis and Kansas City, Amtrak extended the Ann Rutledge to K.C. on Oct. 29, 1979.

Originally, Amtrak Nos. 301 and 304 were turboliner trains, departing Chicago in the morning and St. Louis in the late afternoon.

In December 1976, they became the first Midwest corridor trains to receive Amfleet equipment. They were named the Ann Rutledge on Feb. 15, 1976.

The Ann Rutledge name vanished from the Amtrak timetable on Oct. 31, 1976, when the Inter-American was extended to Chicago.

But the Ann Rutledge name returned a year later when Amtrak dropped the Abraham Lincoln name for the evening train from Chicago to St. Louis.

With the April 2, 2007, timetable change, Amtrak renamed all of its Chicago-St. Louis trains Lincoln Service. But Ann Rutledge remained as a name for a St. Louis-Kansas City roundtrip until Oct. 27, 2008.

This image of the outbound Ann Rutledge was made on Oct. 3, 1981.

Trackside Salute to Amtrak

December 7, 2016

amtrak-salute-in-bangor

The back wall of this building in Bangor, Michigan, salutes Amtrak, at least in part.

This image of a blanket hanging out to dry on a laundry line contains the nose of an Amtrak F40PH, which passengers on the daily Chicago-Grand Rapids Pere Marquette can see as they pass by.

The Amtrak station in Bangor is across the CSX tracks from this wall.

Late in the Broadway Limited Era at Pittsburgh

September 2, 2016

Amtrak BL in ittsburgh September 4, 1995-x

It is Sept. 4, 1995. Five days from now, Amtrak’s Chicago-New York Broadway Limited will begin its final trips as it is discontinued in a massive route restructuring that was implemented that year.

The damage could have been even more. At one point Amtrak proposed eliminating the Hiawatha Service between Chicago and Milwaukee and ending service between Detroit and Pontiac, Michigan, among other cuts.

A friend and I had decided to ride No. 40 from Youngstown to Pittsburgh. We’ve just gotten off the train at Penn Station and moved to the head end to get some photographs.

The F40PH is still the primary road engine being used by Amtrak and Heritage Fleet equipment is still commonplace on eastern long-distance trains.

The engineer who will take No. 40 east of Pittsburgh is going to work and a Conrail locomotive is partly visible at right awaiting its next task.

It looks like just another day on the railroad and in many ways it is. But it is also short time for Nos. 40 and 41.