Posts Tagged ‘Amtrak Photos’

Waiting for the Texas Chief

March 28, 2020

A crowd waits on the platform in Joliet, Illinois, as Amtrak’s Texas Chief arrives at its first stop en route to Houston after leaving Chicago Union Station on Aug. 17, 1973.

The SDP40F locomotives pulling the train have been in service for just about two months.

The train is on the tracks of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe and is about to cross the tracks of the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific.

Next spring the Santa Fe’s dissatisfaction with the quality of Amtrak service will result in the Texas Chief being renamed the Lone Star.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

 

Dining on the City of New Orleans

March 26, 2020

There have been times when Amtrak sought to give the dining cars on its long-distance trains a touch of the cuisine associated with a region served by the route.

In the case of the City of New Orleans that meant food associated with the Crescent City.

But more often than not, the dining car fare on the CONO was the same as it was elsewhere.

Shown is the menu that was in use in 2012. Although not obvious from the dinner entrees shown inside, the diner on a March night that I was traveling from New Orleans to Chicago did feature a catfish dinner that would be similar to one you might find on a menu in a New Orleans restaurant.

And I can say it was tasty and enjoyable.

Nighttime on the Capitol Limited in Cleveland

March 6, 2020

Amtrak’s eastbound Capitol Limited is making its nocturnal station stop in Cleveland in late May 2013.

The Superliner car in the foreground is a sleeper and chances are most of its passengers are in their beds asleep and unaware of the Cleveland stop.

I was at the station waiting for the westbound Capitol, which was due in shortly before 3 a.m., and which I would be riding to Chicago.

It’s eastbound counterpart, No. 30, is scheduled to arrive in Cleveland at 1:45 a.m. and on this night it must have been running late if I saw it.

The tall building behind the train is Key Tower, which at 57 stories (947 feet) is the tallest building in Cleveland and the 34th tallest in the United States.

To the right of the Key Tower is the top portion of Terminal Tower, which at one time was Cleveland’s primary train station.

Cleveland Regional Transit Authority trains still use the station, which is now known as Tower City.

Train Time in Charlottesville

March 3, 2020

Amtrak’s eastbound Cardinal has arrived in Charlottesville and there is much going on here.

At the time this photograph was made in early June 2012, Charlottesville was a crew change point for the operating crews.

The station agent had baggage to load and unload and, of course, passengers boarded and disembarked.

Charlottesville is home to the University of Virginia and college towns tend to generate a lot of business for Amtrak.

The Cardinal only lands here three times a week in each direction on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday.

Tracking the New Acela Trainset’s Ferry Move

February 22, 2020

Amtrak’s Acela Express will never operate in Northeast Ohio in revenue service, but one of the next generation Acela trains sets passed through there last Monday afternoon en route to a testing facility in Colorado.

The ferry move of Amtrak equipment used the route of Amtrak’s Lake Shore Limited between Buffalo, New York, and Chicago.

The Acela equipment that is being tested has yet to receive its interior appointments.

Instead, concrete blocks were installed in place of seats to simulate load factors.

The equipment was placed on display for a news media event in Chicago on Track 2 at Chicago Union Station on Tuesday.

The Acela trainset runs on electricity so it was pulled from the Alstom assembly plant in Hornell, New York, by Amtrak P42DC diesel locomotives.

Viewliner baggage and dining cars served as buffer cars an Heritage fleet sleeper Pacific Bend provided accommodations for workers accompanying the ferry move.

Alstom is building 28 Acela trainsets for Amtrak with the first one expected to begin revenue service in the Northeast Corridor in 2021.

In the photographs above, the ferry move is shown at Perry, Ohio, on the CSX Erie West Subdivision east of Cleveland.

Photographs by Todd Dillon

Surplus Domes in Beech Grove

February 20, 2020

Dome cars were a fixture on most of Amtrak’s western long-distance trains through the late 1970s.

But as Superliner equipment began arriving in 1979 many of the dome cars were retired and sold to private owners.

A few domes were rebuilt as dome coaches for the Heritage Fleet and they operated on such trains as the City of New Orleans, Capitol Limited and Lake Shore Limited.

Domes on the latter operated only west of Albany, New York.

But the gradual retirement of the Heritage Fleet also meant the sidelining of its fleet of short domes.

The Capitol Limited and City of New Orleans lost their domes due to the trains being assigned Superliner equipment. Amfleet II coaches became the standard for the Lake Shore Limited.

Some of the surplus short domes are shown in March 1995 at the Beech Grove shops after being removed from service and awaiting sale to new owners.

Are We on Time?

February 16, 2020

An Amtrak conductor checks his watch to see how close to schedule Train No. 391 is as it pulls into the station at Kankakee, Illinois.

The southbound Saluki was on-time early in its journey to Carbondale.

The image was made on Aug. 5, 2012.

Winding Through the Mountains

February 15, 2020

It is July 31, 1979. I’m riding the westbound San Francisco Zephyr en route to Oakland, California, after having boarded in Denver the day before.

No. 5 is twisting and turning through the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California on the tracks of Southern Pacific.

Up front pulling the train is a pair of SDP40F locomotives.

It’s my first trip on this route and I’m not sure where I made this photograph.

But it was out an open vestibule door window. It was quite a warm day and by the time we got out of the mountains the air conditioning has ceased working in some cars.

Standing by an open vestibule window felt good.

One Day in Joliet

February 14, 2020

It’s April 1972 in Joliet, Illinois. It might look like a Santa Fe train, but it’s one of Amtrak’s Chiefs. Santa Fe F-units are leading an the train into Joliet. AT&SF motive power was standard here in the early 1970s.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Did Amtrak Ever Use This Serving Area

January 28, 2020

I made this image of the upper level of an Amtrak Superliner Sightseer lounge while riding aboard the Capitol Limited from Cleveland to Chicago on May 31, 2012.

It got me to wondering if Amtrak has ever used the upper serving area of a Sightseer lounge.

I’ve never seen anyone working this area in a Sightseer lounge car. It appears that the purpose of this serving station is to provide beverages.

I asked a friend who once worked as a lounge car attendant for Amtrak if he knew whether this serving station had ever been used.

He primarily worked Amfleet cars in the Northeast Corridor, but had made a few runs aboard Nos. 29 and 30 between Chicago and Washington.

He could not recall this serving area being used and suggested that was  because that would mean paying two attendants to work the lounge car.

Perhaps in the early years of the use of Superliners aboard Amtrak this area was used. Yet the Superliner equipment began arriving at a time when Amtrak was being squeezed financially.

Perhaps its a case of it seemed like a good idea at the time the car was designed but in practice the carrier decided it didn’t need to use this area.

Yet the fact that a modern soap dispenser is present suggests that maybe, yes, this area is used at times. I’ve just never seen it done.