Posts Tagged ‘Superliner’

Two Section Cardinal

June 4, 2021

Amtrak’s Cardinal typically operates with one P42DC locomotive, three Amfleet II coaches, an Amfleet food service car, a Viewliner sleeper and Viewliner baggage-dorm.

But at least once a week it is used to ferry equipment from the Beech Grove shops to Chicago. The equipment being ferried is placed on the head end of No. 51 at Indianapolis Union Station and provides the appearance of two trains having been combined into one.

That was the case on Memorial Day this week when No. 51 passed through Brownsburg, an Indianapolis suburb, with one section consisting of two P42DC locomotives, two Viewliner baggage cars and a Superliner coach. The second section had the consist that No. 51 operated with from Washington to Indianapolis.

The train on this day was operating one hour, 50 minutes late out of Indianapolis.

Equipment bound for Beech Grove is ferried to Indianapolis in combination with Train 50 in the same manner.

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.

Waiting on Passengers in Sacramento

April 23, 2019

It’s a warm July afternoon in 1999 at the Amtrak station in Sacramento, California.

Train No. 6 has halted and large crowds of people are scurrying about the platform to board their train, which will in two days arrive in Chicago.

Ahead lies some of the best scenery Amtrak has to offer in the American West.

Toward the rear of the train I noticed this car attendant standing by himself watching the boarding going on a few cars down.

The California Zephyr will board numerous coach passengers in Sacramento so it will be a matter of moments before he is helping them aboard.

Although 1999 doesn’t seem like it was that long ago, it’s been more than 19 years since I made this image.

The attire of car attendants has changed since then and Amtrak no longer emblazons the word “Superliner” above the entryways to those cars.

I have no idea who this guy is, but I do wonder if he still works for Amtrak.

 

Service Stop in Albuquerque

April 7, 2019

Superliner equipment had been assigned to Amtrak’s Southwest Limited for less than two years when I rode the No. 4 from Los Angeles to Kansas City.

The train is shown here making a service stop in Albuquerque.

On the rear is sleeper George M. Pullman, car No. 32009. It was the last passenger car made by the Pullman-Standard, a predecessor company of the Pullman Car Company founded by George Pullman.

Amtrak initially ordered 235 Superliners from Pullman-Standard in April 1975 but soon upped that to 284 cars.

No. 32009 was one of two sleepers on No. 4 on this day, but I had accommodations in the car ahead of it.

Nos. 3 and 4 have since been renamed the Southwest Chief.

 

Going in Opposite Directions in New Orleans

January 3, 2018

I’m standing in the rear car of Amtrak’s northbound City of New Orleans. It’s a sleeper and I have a room in this car.

We had left New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal about 20 minutes earlier and have stopped near Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport.

Our stopping point is just beyond a gate that can be shut during times of flooding. The tracks are now owned by Canadian National but used to be the Illinois Central mainline between Chicago and the Gulf.

I figured we were stopped for a meet with another train so I walked back to the rear door with my camera and waited.

It turned out to be our southbound counterpart, Amtrak train No. 59. I grabbed a few shots and we were on our way.

Your Sleeping Car Awaits

January 4, 2017

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If you are holding a sleeper class ticket on Amtrak this is your first view of your train as you board at Chicago Union Station.

You’ve probably been sitting in the Metropolitan Lounge a good hour or more. Perhaps you had a few hours between trains and did some sightseeing or went out to lunch. After all, the Berghoff is within easy walking distance of the station, just a few blocks down Adams Street.

But all that is behind you and the gate agent has led passengers out of the lounge and directed them to their train.

This happens to be No. 7, the westbound Empire Builder. It will have three sleepers as it departs Chicago today. Two are bound for Seattle and one is going to Portland.

There is a bit of rush every time I approach my train when I have sleeping accommodations. I stow away my luggage, settle into my seat and then watch the scene unfold as other Amtrak and Metra trains board and then depart or arrive. My journey is about to begin.

It May be Daylight But Some Passengers Are Still Trying to Sleep Aboard the Capitol Limited

January 3, 2017

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The sun has risen on Amtrak’s Capitol Limited as it rushes across the northern Indiana prairie en route to Chicago.

But some passengers are still trying to catch a few winks. No everyone in this coach on train No. 29 is asleep but all of those closest to the camera are.

Lounging Aboard the Capitol Limited

December 29, 2016

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It’s morning in Indiana. Some passengers aboard the westbound Capitol Limited have made their way to the lounge car to get a better view of the passing countryside.

Although No. 29 has a full-service dining car, many Amtrak coach passengers don’t patronize it. They either bring something to eat with them or grab something in the cafe car.

Often that might be a cup of coffee and a muffin. Then it is back upstairs to find a table or empty seat, or return to their coach.

Then again, if the train is on time into Chicago Union Station, there is a McDonald’s there and it will still be serving breakfast.

But the view is better from the Sightseer Lounge while you eat.

A Surprise the Next Morning

October 13, 2016

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I had booked a room aboard Amtrak train No. 5 to Denver on the second leg of an ambitious journey by Amtrak that would see me traveling nearly coast to coast by rail.

I left Chicago Union Station in late afternoon on Oct. 24, 1981, aboard what was then the San Francisco Zephyr. It was not my first trip aboard Amtrak’s new Superliner equipment, but would be my first time traveling in a Superliner sleeper.

Most of the initial trip out of Chicago occurred during darkness and I don’t remember seeing much, if anything in Iowa. My dominant memory of this trip is how comfortable and cozy I felt inside my room aboard the train.

Somewhere in Nebraska the next morning I was surprised to look out my window and see that the ground was covered with snow.

I grabbed my camera, went to a vestibule door, opened the window and made this image.

If you did that today Amtrak personnel would let you know that it is not allowed. Maybe they felt that way then, too, but I just opened the window long to get the image and go back to my room.

The original slide of this image has badly faded, but the wizardry of digital scanning combined with Photoshop enabled me to bring it back to life.

My recollection is that the original slide was overexposed, so this is as good as it could be.

There is something about this image that makes it one of favorites from this era. The red, white and silver of the two F40PH locomotives leading the train add a touch of color to an otherwise barren and white landscape.

I also like how the tracks snake through the snow, lending a sense of going somewhere.

It was the Burlington Northern back then and under BNSF ownership today these tracks probably are still busy.

By the time we reached Denver, the snow was gone and I would not see any more of it during my trip. It must have been a fairly localized storm.

What Might Have Been in the 3-C Corridor

September 29, 2016

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Intercity rail passenger service on the former New York Central line between Cleveland and Cincinnati ended with the coming of Amtrak on May 1, 1971.

At the time, you could not even ride a single train between Ohio’s two largest cities. Penn Central made you change trains in Columbus.

There has been talk ever since of reinstating service in the 3-C corridor as it is called in Ohio, but all of those efforts have fallen short.

But in 1997 and 1998 you could have ridden a chartered Amtrak train sponsored by the Mad River & NKP Railroad museum between the two cities. Amtrak has some surplus Superliner equipment that it was willing to charter.

This view of the Cincinnati-bound train was made on Sept. 12, 1998, at Crestline, Ohio, which is where the Cleveland-Cincinnati line of the former NYC crossed the Chicago-Pittsburgh mainline of the former Pennsylvania Railroad.

Until November 1990, that ex-PRR route hosted Amtrak’s Broadway Limited and Capitol Limited.

The NYC and PRR had a union station that formerly stood in the upper right hand corner of this photograph. Amtrak trains still stopped there in the early 1970s, but it was eventually replaced with an Amshack.