Posts Tagged ‘Amtrak Photos’

Saturday Memory: Going for a Train Ride

June 25, 2022

Amtrak’s southbound Shawnee is arriving in the station at Rantoul, Illinois, in May 1972. Waiting on the platform appears to be a group of school children who probably are going for a train ride to Champaign, the next stop down the line. It won’t be a long ride as the distance from Rantoul to Champaign is just 14 miles.

No. 391 is being pulled by two former Illinois Central E units, which was not a rare occurrence during Amtrak’s first couple of years. But soon the IC units will give way to locomotives brought in from other railroads. Amtrak leased a few IC units and repainted many of them into its own colors even as it retained the IC roster numbers.

Note that none of the passenger cars are in IC passenger colors. Had this image been made in May 1971 all of the equipment would have been IC varnish. But starting in summer 1971 cars from other carriers came to the Chicago-Carbondale-New Orleans trains.

Also note the train order semaphore signal and the train order stand. Much has changed since this image was made. The train order signal and stand are long gone. The IC passenger station is now privately owned. Amtrak has a shelter and boarding platform on the north end of the station property.

The Shawnee name has been retired with the Chicago-Carbondale trains operating as the Saluki and Illini.

I wonder if school groups still ride from Rantoul to Champaign so children can get a train ride. The IC used to promote that, but I’m not sure that Amtrak does or even ever did.

Coming and Going at Bort Road

June 24, 2022

It’s a pleasant morning at Bort Road near North East, Pennsylvania, where an ancient wood one-lane bridge spans the double-track mainline of the CSX Erie West Subdivision. Back in the day these were New York Central tracks and hosted the Great Steel Fleet between Chicago and New York.

But all of that is a distant memory and the lone passenger train to pass this way now is Amtrak’s Chicago-New York/Boston Lake Shore Limited. The NYC once had a Lake Shore Limited, too, but it was far from the echelon of the Twentieth Century Limited or even the New England States.

Amtrak Nos. 48/448 are pretty much on time on this Sept. 29, 2013, date. The sound of a train crew member calling signal indications on the radio and a headlight in the distance provide notice that it is train time.

Just as soon as it came the Lake Shore Limited also is gone. Note that in 2013 heritage baggage cars were still regulars on this train. Otherwise, the consist was the same as it is today, a mixture of Amfleet and Viewliner equipment.

Flying With the Cardinal

June 23, 2022

Amtrak’s westbound Cardinal cruises on the CSX Monon Subdivision north of Crawfordsville, Indiana, on May 28 under cloudy skies. The road on the left formerly was U.S. Route 321 until it was relocated as part of a bridge project. Train 51 has its standard consist of a P42DC locomotive, two Amfleet coaches, an Amfleet food service car, Viewliner sleeper and Viewliner baggage-dorm car.

Being Nosey

June 9, 2022

A pair of Amtrak P42DC locomotives are nose to nose in the motive power consist of the westbound Lake Shore Limited in Cleveland on Nov. 15, 1997. Both units were trailing in the three-locomotive consist. They’ve picked up some ice during their journey through upstate New York and along the Lake Erie shoreline between Buffalo and Cleveland.

Classic Scene in Arcola

June 2, 2022

Amtrak’s northbound Saluki charges through Arcola, Illinois, as it race toward Chicago. Perhaps few, if any, passengers noticed passing this former service station located next to the tracks.

Although it has the herald of Marathon Oil Company, information I found online indicated that it actually used to be a Sinclair station. It was cosmetically restored in the early 2000s and has been a town landmark ever since.

It is not difficult to imagine some customers from bygone days sitting in their cars as the attendant fills there tank and taking note of a passing Illinois Central Railroad passenger train. What a sight that must have been.

Unusual Visitor in Cheyenne

May 19, 2022

It is August 1971 in Cheyenne, Wyoming, during Amtrak’s first summer of operation. The City of San Francisco is making its tri-weekly appearance on the Union Pacific leg of the Chicago-Oakland route.

By now Amtrak consists have entered the rainbow era with passenger cars being mixed from the various host railroads and still wearing whatever livery they had when Amtrak took them over.

But there is something out of the ordinary about this train. Look at the rear car. It is painted in Illinois Central colors with the word “Pullman” in the letterboard.

Very few cars from former IC passenger trains operated on Amtrak outside the Chicago-New Orleans line in IC colors. But it as not unheard of. I recall riding in a coach on the National Limited in December 1972 painted in IC orange and chocolate brown with “City of Miami” on the letter board.

But getting back to the City of San Francisco, in summer 1971 it usually ran in two sections. Daily service was provided between Chicago and Denver, but the train ran tri-weekly between Denver and Oakland, leaving both terminals on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

Initially, Amtrak operated one train east of Denver on days when the Oakland section also ran. But this resulted in a consist of up to 23 cars so most days during the summer the Oakland and Denver sections operated separately between Chicago and Denver.

The two sections operating independently between Chicago and Denver ended in fall 1971.

Most of the equipment assigned to the City of San Francisco during Amtrak’s first summer was of Burlington Northern and UP heritage. The BN equipment included cars built for the Burlington Route, Northern Pacific and Great Northern.

One notable type of ex-BN car that was not operated on the Oakland section were Budd-built domes. Southern Pacific, which hosted the train between Ogden, Utah, and Oakland wouldn’t allow them, citing clearance issues.

So if you look at the image above, you’ll see an SP full dome bar-lounge car. You’ll also see an SP sleeper. However, SP equipment tended to be in a minority among first summer City of San Francisco consists.

A typical consist in August 1971 was a baggage-dorm, five coaches, a lunch counter lounge, diner, the SP dome and three sleepers. All of these cars operated between Chicago and Oakland.

As for that IC sleeper, it might have once operated on the Panama Limited and City of Miami. I couldn’t make out the car number so I don’t know if it made it onto Amtrak’s roster. As it turned out few ex-IC passengers were picked up by Amtrak.

Remembering the Hannibal Zephyr

May 8, 2022

In October 1996 the St. Louis chapter of the National Railway Historical Society ran excursions on Saturday and Sunday between St. Louis and West Quincy, Missouri, over a former Burlington Route line. Most passengers disembarked in Hannibal, Missouri, and spent several hours in Mark Twain’s hometown.

I elected to stay aboard to West Quincy and return because my primary interest was in getting some rare mileage, which interested me at the time.

I didn’t make too many photographs and most of those were made before boarding in St. Louis and in Hannibal where I was able to disembark for a short time.

The consist was Superliner coaches and a Sightseer lounge. It was pulled by P42DC Nos. 61 and 6.

At West Quincy, the train turned on a wye. You may remember West Quincy as being the western terminus for several years of Amtrak’s Illinois Zephyr.

The top and middle images above were made in Hannibal. The bottom image was made in St. Louis. At the time, the St. Louis station was the “temporary” modular structure that some dubbed “St. Louis Union Trailers.”

The RoadRailer at right are a throwback to the days when Amtrak sought mail and express business as a way to garner more revenue. Note the sign on the pole giving instructions to the westbound Texas Eagle where to stop.

LSL Along the Hudson

May 1, 2022

The leaves are turning to their fall colors as the New York City section of the Lake Shore Limited rolls along the Hudson River at Breakneck Ridge, New York, in October 1998. On the point is P32DMAC No. 709, which was built by General Electric in August 1995. This segment of the route of Nos. 48 and 49 features some of the best scenery between New York and Chicago that can be viewed from this train.

On Board Friends?

April 27, 2022

I don’t know if these two guys know each other or not. They were chatting by the vestibule of the first eastbound Pennsylvanian to stop in Cleveland on Nov. 7, 1998. It was an extended stop in order to accommodate a welcome ceremony. The conductor is George Sanders. I never did learn the identity of the other guy or even if he was a passenger aboard the train or just talking with the conductor as the train stood on display in the station.

On its Way to the Station

April 20, 2022

Amtrak’s Chicago-bound Lincoln Service No. 302 is just moments away from making its station stop in Springfield, Illinois, as it rolls along down South Third Street. No. 302 is the second northbound of the day out of St. Louis for Chicago. Today’s consist is a pure Horizon Fleet offering. The photo was made on March 1, 2022.