Posts Tagged ‘Amtrak trains’

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.

Hiawatha in Northbrook

April 5, 2022

A Hiawatha Service train blasts through Northbrook, Illinois, without stopping on May 20, 1998. City officials have explored establishing an Amtrak stop here. Currently Metra trains stop in Northbook at a station build by the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific. Amtrak might be reluctant to stop in Northbrook because it already stops a few miles away in Glenview.

Saturday Memory: Inter-American in Joliet

April 2, 2022

It is March 1977 in Joliet, Illinois. Amtrak’s southbound Inter-American is in the station making its first scheduled stop after departing Joliet, Illinois.

At the time this image was made Nos. 21 and 22 operated daily between Chicago and Fort Worth, Texas, and tri-weekly south of there to Laredo, Texas.

The Inter-American began in 1973 as a tri-weekly train between Fort Worth and Laredo. It’s northern terminus was moved to St. Louis on March 13, 1974, and to Chicago on Oct. 31, 1976.

The severe winter of 1977 resulted in the Inter-American being canceled south of St. Louis between mid-January and early February.

The consist seen above of steam-heated cars pulled by an SDP40F locomotive would remain standard during the first half of 1977. By August, though, Nos. 21 and 22 would have F40PH locomotives on the point.

The equipment changed again on Aug. 8, 1977, when the Inter-American was given an Amfleet consist.

The Inter-American was renamed the Eagle on Oct. 1, 1981. That same day the train received Superliner equipment and its Houston and Laredo sections were discontinued, thus making it a Chicago-San Antonio train.

Nos. 21 and 22 were renamed the Texas Eagle on Nov. 14, 1988, when it also regained a Houston section., which diverged at Dallas. The Houston section was discontinued on Sept. 10, 1995.

In the photo above, a portion of Joliet Union Station can be seen above the train.

Morning on the Lake Shore Limited

March 30, 2022

The westbound Lake Shore Limited rolls into Waterloo, Indiana, at almost 9:30 a.m. on March 20. The side of the train reflects the rising sunshine. The consist was three Viewliner sleepers, five Amfleet II coaches, an Amfleet food service car, Viewliner dining car for sleeping car passengers, and a Viewliner baggage car.

See the Horizon in Glenview

March 26, 2022

Milwaukee-bound Hiawatha Service No. 334 has an all Horizon equipment consists as it prepares to depart Glenview, Illinois. Note the differing liveries of the two coaches. On the point is a GE-built P32-8 locomotive.

Saturday Memory: This is What Pulled Amtrak’s Abraham Lincoln in the early 1970s

March 12, 2022

It is October 1972 in Joliet, Illinois. Amtrak’s St. Louis-bound Abraham Lincoln has completed its station work and it headed out of town. On Oct. 13, the power included Milwaukee Road 35C and Gulf, Mobile & Ohio 103A. Two days later, the 103A is on the point. This was was one of the few E7A locomotives leased by Amtrak.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

Crossing East Scarritt Street in Springfield

March 9, 2022

Amtrak SC-44 No. 4615 and its Lincoln Service train are moments away from arriving at the station in Springfield, Illinois. Train 302 is crossing East Scarritt Street in a residential neighborhood on track once operated by the Gulf, Mobile & Ohio.

Union Pacific owns this track now and Train 302 is following a UP stack train that passed through here just a few minutes before Amtrak did. The Amtrak website showed No. 302 running a few minutes late but I can’t say for certain that that delay was due to freight train interference.

Whatever the case, No. 302 still has stops to make before it reaches Chicago Union Station shortly after noon. So it has no time to waste.

Saturday Memory: National Limited in Kirkwood

February 26, 2022

It was quite common during the early years of Amtrak for the New York-Kansas City National Limited to be pulled by former Penn Central locomotives the length of its route. I recall from a December 1972 trip the locomotives being swapped out in St. Louis, but it was a case of exchanging two PC E units for a single PC E unit for the rest of the trip over Missouri Pacific rails.

The image above was made in October 1973 in Kirkwood, Missouri, a western suburb of St. Louis. The train is on MoPac rails as it rolls eastbound. Nos. 30/31 used the Missouri Pacific between Kansas City and St. Louis. Today this is the route of the Missouri River Runners.

Night Train in Cleveland

February 25, 2022

Dawn will be breaking soon in Cleveland as the eastbound Lake Shore Limited makes its station stop not far from the Lake Erie shore. Four Amtrak trains daily serve Cleveland and all of them are scheduled to arrive between 1:30 a.m. and 6 a.m., meaning that boarding and disembarking passengers see only darkness here until their train is delayed. The scheduling is a product of Cleveland being located on the midway point of the routes of the Capitol Limited and Lake Shore Limited.

Glide Path to Nowhere

February 25, 2022

When he was president of Amtrak, George Warrington famously talked about how the passenger carrier was on a glide path to profitability. Amtrak was counting on revenue from mail and express business to earn a big chunk of revenue.

Shown is the eastbound Pennsylvanian passing through Berea, Ohio, on Jan. 23, 1999, whose extension west of Pittsburgh to Chicago in November 1998 was a major component of Amtrak’s strategy to achieve profitability.

The two express boxcars on the rear symbolize the business Amtrak was counting on. A material handling car is immediately behind the lone locomotive pulling the train.

The Pennsylvanian was scheduled to meet the needs of the U.S. Postal Service in hauling mail between Chicago and Philadelphia.

At the time this image was made, No. 44 left Chicago around dawn and passed through Cleveland in early afternoon.

Warrington’s glide path plane never landed and the Pennsylvanian would be discontinued west of Pittsburgh in February 2003.