Posts Tagged ‘Robert Farkas photography’

Rohr Turboliner in Rensselaer

December 25, 2022

It is Sept. 3, 1983, in Rensselaer, New York. Amtrak power car No. 154 leads a Rohr Turboliner passing through with an Empire Corridor train. The 154 was built in California 1976 and featured coach seating.  The Rohr Turboliners spent much of the service lives in New York State and were gone from revenue service by 2003.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Back to 1978 on the Northeast Corridor

November 9, 2022

The wayback machine has taken us to the first decade of Amtrak operations in the Northeast Corridor. Amtrak GG-1 Nos. 910 and 905 are leading an Amtrak train through Morrisville, Pennsylvania on Aug. 23, 1978.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Hail to the One Summer Season Chief

August 21, 2022

It is Aug. 12, 1972, in Joliet, Illinois, and Amtrak’s Chicago-Los Angeles Chief is making its station stop. The Chief was a summer season only train that operated for just three months.

It operated on a 40-hour schedule and departed Chicago Union station at 9 a.m. Its eastbound counterpart departed Los Angeles at 1 p.m. By comparison the departure times of the Super Chief/El Capitan that summer were 6:30 p.m. from Chicago and 7:30 p.m. from Los Angeles.

No. 19 made its first westbound trip on June 11 with the first eastbound trip of No. 20 leaving Los Angeles two days later.

Amtrak created the Chief to alleviate crowding aboard the Super Chief/El Capitan. The combined capacity of the Chief and Super Chief/El Capitan exceeded what Amtrak offered on the route in summer 1971.

The westbound Chief carried New York-Los Angeles a through coach and sleeper conveyed between New York and Kansas City by the National Limited.

Host railroad Santa Fe objected to the creation of the Chief, saying that operating a second section of the Super Chief would be more economical and would take advantage of the Super Chief’s reputation and more convenient schedule.

Santa Fe had operated its own Chicago-Los Angeles Chief for several decades before its discontinuance in May 1968.

Although patronage of the Chief and Super Chief/El Capitan collectively exceeded what Amtrak handled on the Chicago-Los Angeles route in summer 1971, it was still disappointing.

Nos. 19 and 20 began their final trips on Sept. 10. This would be the only time in Amtrak history outside the New York-Miami route when two long-distance trains operated end point to end point over the same route.

Discontinuance of the Chief also marked the end of the New York-Los Angeles through coaches. A through sleeper between the two points continued to operate through August 1977.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

No More Broadway Limited Here or Anywhere

August 17, 2022

The sun has recently come up in the morning of June 22, 1978, and is glinting from the sides of Amtrak F40PH No. 282 and E units 473, 412 and their late-running westbound Broadway Limited passing through Massillon, Ohio, on Conrail’s Fort Wayne Line.

Ongoing trackwork east of Massillon has slowed the progress of No. 41.

Today there is no Broadway Limited passing through Massillon or anywhere else. This area is so treed in that taking this shot is impossible.

The Eaton Corporation plant is still there but not easily photographable from this bridge. Between the Conrail tracks and the Eaton facility runs the ex-Baltimore & Ohio/Chessie System line that ran from Bridgeport to Warwick, Ohio. R.J. Corman now owns this line.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Vintage VIA Equipment

June 16, 2022

Like Amtrak, VIA Rail Canada has has its share of vintage equipment that operated for a time before being retired. Here are a couple of examples of that.

The top image shows a Turbo Train that was manufactured by United Aircraft in Brockville, Ontario, for Canadian National. After CN spun off its passenger services to VIA in 1978, the turbos were repainted a bright yellow as shown here in Toronto.

CN and VIA used the Turbos in the Toronto-Montreal market. CN operated five train sets of seven cars each. The VIA turbos made their final runs on Oct. 31, 1982, replaced by new LRC equipment.

The bottom image was made at Bayview Junction in Ontario on June 21, 1980. It shows a former Canadian Pacific Rail Diesel Car train

Unlike the turbos, VIA’s RDC equipment has had a longer and less trouble free existence.

VIA also inherited some RDCs from CN and the 84-car fleet was the second largest RDC fleet in the world.

Most VIA RDCS operated on secondary and feeder routes. Budget cuts over the years reduced the fleet until the last VIA under VIA operation were confined to the Sudbury-White River route in Northern Ontario.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

Double Dose of the Rock

May 5, 2022

It is 1972, the first full year of Amtrak operation. But these are not Amtrak trains. They are trains of the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific, which elected not to join Amtrak. Executives of the financially-stressed Rock reasoned that it was less expensive to stay out of Amtrak than to join.

So the Rock Island had to operate its two passenger trains, the Peoria Rocket and the Quad City Rocket for a few more years. The State of Illinois would pay the Rock Island some money to underwrite the trains, which tended not to be well patronized.

The top image was made on Oct. 14, 1972, while the bottom image was made on Aug. 11, 1972. The E8A locomotives still look clean and somewhat well maintained. But that would change.

Both photographs were made in Joliet, Illinois, which also was a stop for Amtrak trains to St. Louis, Los Angeles and Houston.

The photographer did not record which of the Rockets these trains were.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

Amtrak Savior

April 14, 2022

The F40PH has been described as the locomotive that saved Amtrak. The passenger carrier was able to subsist on E and F units for a few years. The SDP40F was expected to become the mainstay of the long-distance fleet, which it was for a few years.

When the F40 was on the drawing board it was seen as a corridor locomotive that would pull the new Amfleet equipment. That did happen, but the F40’s mission expanded as Amtrak gave up on the SDP40F and traded in many of them for orders of new F40s.

Shown above is F40PHR 259 in Joliet, Illinois, on March 31, 1978. The 259 was built in December 1977 with the “R” its model designation indicated that an SDP40F was traded in for it. In this case that was SDP40F No. 591.

The 259 would later be acquired by the Panama Canal Railways in 2001.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Saturday Memory: Grungy April Day in Joliet

March 19, 2022

It is a grungy April 20, 1973, day in Joliet, Illinois. The southbound Abraham Lincoln has just departed Union Station en route to St. Louis.

At the time, the Chicago-St. Louis trains originated in Milwaukee and ran through Chicago Union Station.

The train will use a former Gulf, Mobile & Ohio route and GM&O motive power was common in the early Amtrak years.

On the point today, though, is former Penn Central E8A No. 4061 — built for the New York Central in April 1952 — and ex-GM&O E7A 101.

The Amtrak train is about to pass an ex-GM&O Alco RS-1, which is by the signal bridge south of the station.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Just Another Day on the Corridor

March 16, 2022

Amtrak operates numerous corridor trains but more than likely at Amtrak headquarter there is just one “the corridor” and that would be the Northeast Corridor. It has the highest level of Amtrak service in the country and, some would argue, gets a disproportionate amount of attention from the passenger carrier’s brass. The image above shows a typical NEC train from the 1980s with its AEM-7 locomotive pulling a string of Amfleet cars. It was made on Aug. 9, 1983, in Aberdeen, Maryland.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Saturday Memory: It Still Looked Like the Santa Fe Era in Joliet in 1973

February 19, 2022

With passenger trains of the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific; Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe; and the Gulf Mobile & Ohio, Joliet Union Station was a great place to watch passenger trains. Of those three carriers the Santa Fe has the most and, arguably, the best passenger service in the years before Amtrak.

The coming of Amtrak reduced the Santa Fe passenger parade through Joliet to just two trains, the Chicago-Los Angeles Super Chief/El Capitan and the Chicago-Houston Texas Chief.

For a while these trains continued to operate with Santa Fe equipment pulled by Santa Fe F units.

This series of images above was made in Joliet in October 1973. By now the ex-Santa Fe motive power is living on borrowed time and, in fact, Amtrak has already begun assigning news SD40F locomotives to its trains operating on the Santa Fe.

Hence what we have here is the waning days of an era. The Santa Fe warbonnets still look proud and flashy although faded.

Likewise friction between Amtrak and Santa Fe has developed and in less than a year the railroad will revoke Amtrak’s permisson to use the Chief names.

The Texas Chief would become the Lone Star and be discontinued in 1979. The Super Chief would become the Southwest Limited and, later, the Southwest Chief. Trains 3 and 4 no longer operate on their daily trek to and from Los Angeles via Joliet.

Photographs by Robert Farkas