Posts Tagged ‘Amtrak photographs’

Arriving in Crawfordsville

July 6, 2020

Amtrak’s westbound Cardinal is pulling into the Crawfordsville, Indiana, station on Independence Day morning.

On the right is the former Monon passenger station, which today is a banquet facility although it still has a station sign.

The Amshack is down beyond the fenced area and barely visible.

No. 51 has its typical consist of two Amfleet II coaches, an Amfleet food service car, a Viewliner sleeper and a Viewliner baggage dorm car.

About five people got on here on this day.

Back in the 1970s, Amtrak’s Floridian passed by this station, but Crawfordsville was never a scheduled stop for the Chicago-Miami/St. Petersburg train.

Welcome, Pennsylvanian, to Cleveland

July 3, 2020

The Pennsylvanian is best known as a New York-Pittsburgh train but between November 1998 and February 2003 it operated between Chicago and Philadelphia.

The thinking was that mail and express business would enable the train to cover its operating costs. That gambit failed and it reverted to New York-Pittsburgh operation.

But on Nov. 7, 1998, there was optimism in the air as the first eastbound Pennsylvanian arrived in Cleveland.

The Pennsylvanian would be the first and thus far only Amtrak train scheduled to operate on a daylight schedule in both directions through Northeast Ohio.

It Made it to Amfleet

June 30, 2020

Amtrak’s E and F units are not commonly associated with having pulled Amfleet equipment but a handful of them did.

Five Amtrak E8A units were converted by Penn Central shops in Altoona, Pennsylvania, to be compatible with passenger cars operating with head end power.

No, 499, shown above in Springfield, Massachusetts, on May 3, 1977, was the first conversion to be undertaken and was completed in May 1974.

That was followed by three more conversions that year and one more conversion in August 1975.

Once the program was completed the five HEP compatible E unit were given roster numbers 495-499 but for some reason the sequence does not show the order in which the units were converted.

Like many of Amtrak’s early locomotives, No. 499 had a long history.

It was built in October 1952 for the Pennsylvania Railroad as No. 5711A. It subsequently became Penn Central No. 4311 and Amtrak renumbered it as 317.

It remained on the Amtrak roster until May 1983 when it and No. 498 were retired. The last three E8HEP locomotives, as Amtrak designated them, were retired in October 1985.

Photograph by Joe Snopek

 

Twilight Years of the F40PH

June 24, 2020

For several years starting in the late 1970s the F40PH was the workhorse of the Amtrak motive fleet outside electrified territory in the Northeast.

There were a handful of P30CH locomotives in service then as well as a few GP40TC units acquired from Toronto’s GO Transit, some P32-8s and a few FL9s in the East.

But chances are through the early to middle 1990s your train was pulled by an F40, particularly if it was a long-distance train.

By the late 1999s the Genesis models P40DC an P42DC had begun taking over primary motive power duties.

A handful of F40s hung on in service, but they seldom were leading units.

Such is the case above with the eastbound California Zephyr making its station stop in Sacramento, California, where F40PH No. 302 is the third unit behind a pair of P42DC units.

No. 302 was built in April 1979 and still in active service until being retired by Amtrak in December 2001.

Daylight Capitol Limited in Berea

June 23, 2020

My recollection is that it was late afternoon when I made this photograph of Amtrak’s westbound Capitol Limited in Berea, Ohio.

That would make Train No. 29 about 12 hours late. I don’t know what happened to cause the delay.

It is July 1996 and the Capitol reflects a transition period for Amtrak motive power.

On the point is a new P40 locomotive wearing the Phase III livery. Behind it is an F40PH.

Between the late 1970s and the mid 1990s the F40 was the primary road locomotive used to pull Amtrak’s long-distance trains. Most corridor trainsĀ  outside the Northeast Corridor also F40s on the point.

This mixing of Genesis units and F40s would not last long. The P42DC began to join the fleet and away went Phase III paint and F40s aside from a few that were rebuilt into cab control units without prime movers.

Santa Fe Story in Joliet in the Early Amtrak Years

June 19, 2020

It is Oct. 13, 1971, and Amtrak’s Texas Chief is departing Joliet, Illinois, which was the first stop on its trek from Chicago to Houston.

Notes taken by the photographer show that the all Santa Fe motive power consist on this day included ATSF 314, 316B, 314A, 316A, and 309.

The Texas Chief, like its counterpart that used these says rails, the Super Chief to Los Angeles, had a mostly all Santa Fe equipment.

They also still had Santa Fe operating and service employees.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

There Goes the Auto Train

June 10, 2020

Like all other long-distance trains, Amtrak’s Auto Train is not as long as it was before the COVID-19 pandemic. But it still makes for an impressive sight with its consist of Superliners and auto carriers.

It is shown passing through Folkston, Georgia, earlier this month.

Railfans in Folkston can also see Amtrak’s Silver Meteor and Silver Star pass through here.

Photograph by Todd Dillon

 

When Warbonnets Still Led Amtrak

June 8, 2020

Santa Fe warbonnets are among the most iconic locomotives that people associate with the streamliner era in America.

In the early Amtrak years warbonnets pulled Amtrak’s Super Chief and Texas Chief, both of which were hosted by the Santa Fe.

In the image above, an Amtrak train is at Joliet, Illinois, on April 2, 1972. This photograph is a scan from an Agfachrome slide.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Departing Big D

June 3, 2020

Amtrak’s westbound Texas Eagle has completed its station work in Dallas. The conductor has given a highball and its time to depart for Fort Worth.

The guy in the blue shirt is an Amtrak conductor who will throw a switch behind the train after it leaves the station track and then get aboard the last car.

Note that when this image was made on March 6, 1997, Amtrak was still in the transition phase between Genesis locomotives and F40s.

The Genesis series was still new then and F40s has been relegated to trailing unit duty on the road.

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.