Posts Tagged ‘Amtrak F40PH locomotives’

That 90s Look at Lewistown

December 26, 2017

I made this image of  Amtrak’s eastbound Broadway Limited at Lewistown, Pennsylvania, in 1992. In my mind, it was’t that long ago. Yet its been 25 years since this photograph was made on color negative film.

Much can change in a quarter century and there is much to be seen here that is gone.

That starts with the Broadway Limited itself, which would made its last trips between Chicago and New York in September 1995.

On the point on this day is GP40TC No. 192, one of eight such units that Amtrak operated in the 1990s. All were built for Toronto’s GO Transit agency and were purchased by Amtrak in October 1988.

The locomotives could be found in service on routes east of the Mississippi River, but have since been retired.

Behind the GP40TC is an F40PH. Most of those have been retired by Amtrak, but a handful have survived as cab cars while others have gained second lives on other railroads.

The consist includes seven material handling cars, which were common on long distance trains in the 1990s. Amtrak had begun earning additional revenue hauling mail and the MHCs were acquired for that purpose. They’ve since been retired and Amtrak no longer carries mail.

Most of the passenger cars in the consist of No. 40 are Heritage Fleet cars, including the baggage car. Most of those have been retired although in late 2017 a handful of Heritage dining cars continue to work in revenue service.

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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.

One Morning in Grand Rapids

March 21, 2017

It is a Saturday morning in June 1995 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. A crowd has gathered on the platform of the Amtrak station to await the arrival of the Pere Maquette, which originates here and travels to Chicago.

The equipment had laid overnight in a nearby CSX yard and is shown deadheading into the station.

The train is led by an F40PH, which will not be working much longer at Amtrak in providing motive power.

This moment came amid Amtrak’s last major route restructuring era. In April 1995 some trains, including the Detroit-Toledo, Ohio, leg of the Lake Cities had been discontinued. Amtrak wanted to terminate its Chicago-Detroit trains in Detroit rather than Pontiac, but the cost of that proved to be too high.

More cuts and route changes would follow in September. At the time, the Pere Marquette did not offer food and beverage service.

Since this image was made, Amtrak has begun using a new station in Grand Rapids.

Generations of Motive Power

February 20, 2017

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Amtrak train No. 4 is departing from the station in Naperville, Illinois, and is about to cross over to the center track for the run into Chicago.

I made this image of the motive power consist because I found it interesting how there are three distinct locomotives represented.

On the point is a P40DC locomotive with the fading stripes that are original to those units, but which proved to be short lived on Amtrak.

In the middle is a P32-8 wearing its striking and original livery that proved to be unique to these locomotives.

And the third unit is an F40PH in the Phase III livery. At the time, F40s were still commonplace, but starting to fade from the roster.

Last Days of the North Coast Hiawatha

February 8, 2017

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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

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Maybe it is just as well that this slide of Amtrak’s Ann Rutledge at Joliet, Illinois, is faded. The 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.

Waiting for Time in Toledo

December 14, 2016
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Amtrak F40PH No. 347 will lead the Lake Cities out of Toledo, Ohio, after the departure of the Lake Shore Limited, which can be seen on the far track doing its station work.It is a sad day in Toledo, Ohio. On April 1, 1995, Amtrak’s Lake Cities began its final trips to Chicago from Central Union Terminal.

Tomorrow, the Lake Cities will begin operating between Chicago and Pontiac, Michigan, thus bringing to a close an era that began on Aug. 3, 1980, when the Chicago-Detroit Saint Clair was renamed and became a Chicago-Toledo train.

The purpose of that move was to offer connecting service at Toledo with the Lake Shore Limited for Michigan passengers.

That move was a fulfillment of a plan that Amtrak had in 1971 but never implemented. The original Lake Shore was to have a Toledo-Detroit connecting train, but it never operated due to poor track conditions. By 1980, the former Penn Central route the train would have used had been rebuilt by Conrail.

A budget shortfall that led to a massive Amtrak route restructuring in 1995 would doom the Lake Cities in Toledo. Since this April day in 1996, passengers connecting in Toledo to and from Michigan points have traveled by bus.

 

Trackside Salute to Amtrak

December 7, 2016

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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.

An F40PH Triple Play in Naperville

December 1, 2016

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During the F40PH era I often would see two of those units working together to get an Amtrak train over the road.

But I only saw an Amtrak F40 triple header once. That occurred on September 1, 1996, in Naperville, Illinois, on the famed Burlington raceway.

This brace of F40s is leading train No. 5, the westbound California Zephyr.

I’ve seen photographs of Nos. 5 and 6 with three F40s, which I presume was the practice to help the train get through the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.

Naperville is a station stop for the California Zephyr, the first after leaving Chicago Union Station.

Pausing at Glenview

November 17, 2016

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A Hiawatha Service train pauses at the station in Glenview, Illinois, on May 25, 1996. It has the typical consist of the time of a former F40PH locomotive converted to a cab car or what Amtrak calls NPCU, four horizon fleet coaches and a P42DC providing motive power.

This is the image that appeared on the cover of my book Amtrak in the Heartland.