Posts Tagged ‘Joliet Illinois’

Abe Calls in Joliet

July 9, 2021

Passengers are waiting on the platform at Joliet Union Station as Amtrak’s St. Louis-bound Abraham Lincoln arrives for its station stop.

The date is Aug. 12, 1972, and the Abe is operating between Milwaukee and St. Louis as part of a short-lived move to route some trains through Chicago Union Station.

On the point today is Gulf, Mobile & Ohio E7A No. 101. The track between Chicago and St. Louis was mostly a GM&O route and the Abraham Lincoln had been a GM&O passenger train.

As a point of interest, this image was made two days after the GM&O and Illinois Central merged to form the Illinois Central Gulf.

The tracks in the foreground belong to the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific, which at the time of this photograph operated commuter trains to Joliet and a pair of intercity passenger trains running Chicago-Rock Island, Illinois, and Chicago-Peoria, Illinois.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Warbonnets in Joliet

January 30, 2021

In the early years of Amtrak trains hosted by the Santa Fe ran, for the most part, with locomotives and passengers cars of Santa Fe heritage.

The Santa Fe has maintained its passenger fleet well and there was little need to mix in cars that Amtrak acquired from other railroads.

Shown is Santa Fe F7A No. 303 leading a train into Joliet on April 14, 1973.

Although the photographer did not indicate which train this was, we’ll take a look at a consist from December 1972 for Amtrak’s westbound Super Chief/El Capitan.

The train was assigned six Santa Fe F units and had a steam car.

All of the passenger equipment had been built for the Santa Fe. The El Capitan section had a baggage car, baggage-dormitory transition car, five Hi-Level coaches, a Hi-Level lounge car and a Hi-Level dining car.

The Super Chief section featured all single-level equipment that included two 11-bedroom sleepers, one 10-6 sleeper, a 4-4-2 sleeper, a pleasure dome lounge car, and a dining car.

The 11-bedroom sleepers were the Indian Squaw and Indian Maid. The four compartments, four bedrooms and two drawing room sleeper was Regal Vale, and the 10 roomettes and six bedrooms sleeper was Pine Lodge.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

State of the Amtrak Motive Power Art 1972

January 28, 2021

For a short period of time in the early 1970s Amtrak operated the Abraham Lincoln and Prairie State between St. Louis and Milwaukee, running through Chicago Union Station.

The trains were pulled by locomotives of The Milwaukee Road and the Gulf, Mobile & Ohio, as can be seen in this image made in Joliet, Illinois, on Oct. 13, 1972.

On the point is Milwaukee Road E9A No. 35C. A GM&O unit trails. The photographer believes this train might have been the Abraham Lincoln.

In this era the Milwaukee-St. Louis trains were shown in timetables with multiple numbers, so the northbound Abraham Lincoln would have been Nos. 326-303.

An equipment listing for that train recorded on Dec. 28, 1972, shows it to have had five cars, including coaches of Northern Pacific and Seaboard Coast Line heritage, a former Great Northern dome coach, a Union Pacific dining car and parlor-observation car Port of Seattle. The latter had been built for the Great Northern.

On that day the train had locomotives of GM&O vintage and Union Pacific heritage plus a UP B unit.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

A Pooch in Joliet

January 13, 2021

Amtrak purchased 25 P30CH locomotives from General Electric in the 1970s. Although the thinking at the time was that the units could be used for long-distance service once new equipment with head-end power capability arrived, that plan didn’t quite work out that way.

The P30s, known by some as “pooches,” did haul some long-distance trains on a regular basis, including the Cardinal, Panama Limited, Sunset Limited and Auto Train.

They saw spot duty on other long-distance trains and based on photographs I’ve seen from the late 1970s were assigned to the San Francisco Zephyr between Chicago and Denver for a time.

If you lived in the Midwest, though, you probably saw P30s on the point of corridor trains using Illinois Central Gulf tracks.

Shown above is No. 724 leading the Ann Rutledge southbound at Joliet, Illinois, on Aug. 13, 1976. At the time it was a Chicago-St. Louis train.

In the background is Joliet Union Station.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

What Was in a Name?

October 22, 2020

Many Amtrak trains have names with roots that extend to the days when freight railroads operated passenger trains.

In several instances these names had been around for several decades by the time Amtrak began operations on May 1, 1971.

Amtrak’s initial timetable merely used verbatim whatever train names were still in use at the time those trains were conveyed to it.

Thus the Chicago-Los Angeles train continued to be named the Super Chief/El Capitan as it had been under the operation of the Santa Fe Railway.

That name was a combination of two separate names for two separate trains, the all-Pullman and extra fare Super Chief and the all-coach El Capitan.

Santa Fe consolidated the two trains, hence the combo name, in January 1958 although it continued to advertise them as though they were separate trains.

The combined Super Chief/El Capitan also maintained separate dining and lounge cars with passengers not allowed to use them interchangeably.

During the summer and holiday periods the Super Chief and El Capitan operated as independent trains, a practice that continued through 1969.

Amtrak kept the combo name until April 29, 1973 when Nos. 3 and 4 became merely the Super Chief.

Santa Fe President John S. Reed became disenchanted with how Amtrak treated what has been his railroad’s premier passenger train, particularly the removal of certain Santa Fe practices and services.

In March 1974 he informed Amtrak via letter that he was revoking permission for the passenger carrier to use the “Chief” names. Amtrak also operated the former Santa Fe Texas Chief between Chicago and Houston.

So on May 19, 1974, Nos. 3 and 4 became the Southwest Limited and the Houston train became the Lone Star.

The Lone Star was discontinued in early October 1979 but the ancestor of the Super Chief continued to operate.

By 1984 the name riff between Amtrak and Santa Fe had healed sufficiently that the Chief name could return.

But Nos. 3 and 4 would not be the Super Chief but rather the Southwest Chief.

In the photo above, No. 3 is in Joliet, Illinois, on Aug. 6, 1972, and still looks much like a Santa Fe passenger train, including former AT&SF locomotives 314C, 312B, 302, 320A, 314A and 315A.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

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

Odd Running Mates

May 7, 2020

Penn Central E8A 4061 and former Gulf Mobile & Ohio E7A No. 101 team up to lead an Amtrak train headed for St. Louis out of Joliet Union Station on April 20, 1973. To the right is an ex-GM&O Alco RS1.

The image was made during Amtrak’s rainbow era when sights such as this were not unusual although they might have been a couple year earlier.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

All Aboard in Joliet

April 22, 2020

The conductor of Amtrak’s southbound State House is picking up the step box on the platform in Joliet, Illinois, in preparation for departure.

Although several passengers boarded Train No. 303 here on this July 1998 day, they didn’t need the step box to reach the steps of the Horizon coach.

The State House was funded in part by the Illinois Department of Transportation and was the first state-funded train on the Chicago-St. Louis route.

Today all trains between Chicago and St. Louis except the Texas Eagle are funded by IDOT and have been renamed Lincoln Service.

Waiting For Annie in Joliet

April 14, 2020

Passengers are lined up on the platform in Joliet, Illinois, as the southbound Ann Rutlege is about to arrive on Oct. 3, 1981.

Joliet is the first stop for Train No. 303, which is en route from Chicago to St. Louis and Kansas City.

If F40PHR No. 386 looks new, it is. EMD built it in August 1981 It was built as a trade in for an SDP40F, in this case No. 531.

I had disembarked not long before this photograph was made from the East Peoria, Illinois, to Chicago Prairie Marksman, a short-lived State of Illinois funded corridor service that would make its final trips the weekend that I traveled.

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