Railfan.net Home Railfan Photos ABPR Archives Staff Safari Photos Railfan Links

Railfan.net Forums Railfan.net Forums Railfan.net Forums
Welcome, Guest. Please Sign In or Register. Oct 21st, 2017, 9:02pm
Categories •  FastIndex •  LongIndex •  Help •  Search •  Members  •  Sign In •  Register


"Chicago Heritage"
   Railfan.net Web Forums
   Varnish
   Amtrak Discussion
(Moderators: NYC_Subway_Fan, BNSF_1088, MidwestRailfan)
   "Chicago Heritage"
« Previous topic | Next topic »
Pages: 1 ... 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11  ReplyReply     EMail TopicEMail Topic   PrintPrint
   Author  Topic: "Chicago Heritage"  (Read 1743 times)
Norm_Anderson
Historian
Posts: 1726
Re: "Chicago Heritage"
 
« Reply #200 on: Feb 15th, 2016, 12:59am »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

L.F.L., I still vividly remember when Amfleet equipment first appeared in Southern California, and how distinctive the look was.  First to be equipped were the San Diegans-- a typical consist was a single F40PH, a couple of Amcoaches, an Amcafe, and a couple more Amcoaches, and a (60-foot?) Heritage Baggage.  My friends and I joked to each other that we felt as though we were aboard a Boeing 727, taxiing to San Diego.  Young and clueless we were.  The Desert Wind brought us long-distance Amcoaches and an Amdinette, with a Heritage Sleeper bringing up the rear.
 
Forty-five years in, I look back with admiration at Amtrak's tenacity and ingenuity.  Each new Budget Cycle brought a renewed threat to take them off life support, but they hung on and tried even harder to prove themselves.  Sure, there were some "clunkers" along the way (the "circus train" interior paint schemes of red and purple and who knows what else-- and, does anybody remember when they experimented with plexiglass windows, that became practically opaque after a couple dozen passes through the wash rack?)  But, on balance, for a rescue effort that almost no one believed would last more than a few years, Amtrak deserves the salute.
 
 
Regards,
 
Norm


« Last Edit: Feb 15th, 2016, 1:03am by Norm_Anderson » Logged
L. F. Lincoln
Former Member
Re: "Chicago Heritage"
 
« Reply #201 on: Feb 15th, 2016, 1:00am »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify   Remove

Today, a classic in its own right.....
 
http://www.rr-fallenflags.org/amtk/amtk20001m.jpg


Logged
L. F. Lincoln
Former Member
Re: "Chicago Heritage"
 
« Reply #202 on: Feb 15th, 2016, 1:11am »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify   Remove

on Feb 15th, 2016, 12:59am, Norm_Anderson wrote:       (Click here for original message)
L.F.L., I still vividly remember when Amfleet equipment first appeared in Southern California, and how distinctive the look was.  First to be equipped were the San Diegans-- a typical consist was a couple of Amcoaches, an Amcafe, and a couple more Amcoaches.  My friends and I joked to each other that we felt as though we were in a Boeing 727, taxiing to San Diego.  Young and clueless, we were.  The Desert Wind brought us long-distance Amcoaches and an Amdinette, with a Heritage Sleeper bringing up the rear.
 
Forty-five years in, I look back with admiration at Amtrak's tenacity and ingenuity.  Each new Budget Cycle brought a renewed threat to take them off life support, but they hung on and tried even harder to prove themselves.  Sure, there were some "clunkers" along the way (the "circus train" interior paint schemes of red and purple and who knows what else-- and, does anybody remember when they experimented with plexiglass windows, that became practically opaque after a couple dozen passes through the wash rack?)  But, on balance, for a rescue effort that almost no one believed would last more than a few years, Amtrak deserves the salute.
 
 
Regards,
 
Norm

 
Norm:
 
I concur 100% with your views, my friend!  
 
Throughout years of financial ailments, managerial shakeups, ands other maladies common to passenger carriers of all echelons, that AMTRAK has STILL held onto the reins for the past 45 years (dang....has it been THAT long?) and STILL keeping the nation's passenger trains running is, indeed, a major accomplishment that certainly was NOT a cinch to pull off!
 
I first rode aboard an AMFLEET coach on my first trip to Chicago in 1978; let's just say, I ENJOYED the trip immensly (westbound AND eastbound!)
 
Another thing I have always loved about AMFLEET cars is that distinctive "groan" they make when easing into a station stop....for me, that sound meant it was "TRAIN TIME" again, and "ALL ABOARD!" for another AMTRAK adventure!
 
IMHO, the FINEST of AMTRAK's paint schemes was the earliest, which decorated the new AMFLEET cars when they first entered service so many years ago now.
 
A train of distinctive AMFLEET coaches....hauled by either an E-60, FP-40, or AEM-7......CLASSIC AMTRAK, for certain!
 
"L.F.L."
 


« Last Edit: Feb 15th, 2016, 2:05am by CLASSB » Logged
L. F. Lincoln
Former Member
Re: "Chicago Heritage"
 
« Reply #203 on: Feb 15th, 2016, 1:19am »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify   Remove

A truly classic AMTRAK action scene from 1979; note, also, the distinctive "ghetto grills" on the E-60's windshields, then commonplace.......
 
http://www.rr-fallenflags.org/amtk/amtk-e958rla.jpg
 
(courtesy: fallenflags.org)


Logged
L. F. Lincoln
Former Member
Re: "Chicago Heritage"
 
« Reply #204 on: Feb 17th, 2016, 9:23am »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify   Remove

All:
 
I have long been curious as to how much rerouting/switching became necessary when all AMTRAK operations were consolidated at Union Station.
 
With several railroads each operating out of various depots, ROWs that previously handled numerous long-haul passenger trains in and out of Chicago, these routes became redundant to AMTRAK, with all trains serving Union Station.
 
Am curious as to the switching/interlocking involved, to re-route these trains away from their former depots into Union Station.
 
Lastly, what remains of the former B&O line; I do know that the depot it called at (GRAND CENTRAL) was sadly demolished many years ago.
 
I remember seeing photos long ago of an abandoned drawbridge locked into the up position for many years; was this formerly used by B&O varnish, heading to/from GC?
 
Thank you in advance for whatever info you can share........
 
"L.F.L."
 


« Last Edit: Feb 17th, 2016, 4:06pm by CLASSB » Logged
Norm_Anderson
Historian
Posts: 1726
Re: "Chicago Heritage"
  Chicago_Terminals.jpg - 36573 Bytes
« Reply #205 on: Feb 18th, 2016, 2:35am »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

L.F.L., I am taking the liberty of importing a simplified map from another thread I posted over on the Passenger Trains board, titled "City of the Big Shoulders."  This map is not to exact scale (but close), and measures about two miles on a side.  It shows the relative positions of the six Chicago depots.  This map is based on a similar map I found in a Santa Fe public timetable for 1948.
 
From west to east (left to right) the depots are:
 
1.  North Western Station, which was the only single-tenant depot in the City.  Traffic departed to the north.
 
2.  Union Station, which hosts Amtrak's service today.  It is a run-through facility, with exits both north and south.  Pre-Amtrak, Union Station hosted trains of the Pennsylvania, Milwaukeee Road (which hosted UP's City fleet after 1955), Burlington Route, and Gulf, Mobile & Ohio.  As I recall, the Milwaukee was the only road that exited to the north, while everybody else exited to the south.  Today, under Amtrak, the only northbound departures are the Milwaukee service trains and the Empire Builder, while all other trains exit south.
 
3.  Grand Central Station was a stub-end terminal with all tracks exiting south.  Pre-Amtrak, it hosted trains of Baltimore & Ohio, Chesapeake & Ohio (including subsidiary Pere Marquette), and Soo Line.  I believe that this was the first of the Chicago terminals to be shut down? I'm not sure where its trains were reassigned-- possibly next door to La Salle Street?
 
4.  La Salle Street Station was also a stub-end terminal with all tracks exiting to the south.  Pre-Amtrak, this station hosted trains of the New York Central, Nickel Plate, and Rock Island.
 
5.  Dearborn Station had the most diverse clientele, with six railroads calling Dearborn "home."  They were the Santa Fe, Canadian National (via Grand Trunk Western), Erie, Wabash, Monon, and Chicago & Eastern Illinois.  Dearborn was also stub-end, with all trains exiting southward.
 
6.  Central Station was used almost exclusively by the Illinois Central (so much so that it was commonly known as the IC Station).  But it also saw some New York Central action (via subsidiaries Big Four and Michigan Central).  This was a run-through terminal, but the only traffic exiting to the north were IC commuter trains.  All the long-distance trains exited south.
 
South of all these depots was a virtual spider web of trackwork and interlockings.  Since almost all the depots exited south anyway, I am certain that the re-routes were not as complex as one might think.  Probably involved simply throwing a few switch levers, and a bit of re-educating of the locomotive crews.  However, since these engine crews were railroad employees, not Amtrak employees during these earliest years, perhaps the working agreements had to undergo a bit of "tweaking."  I'll leave that for more knowledgeable people to discuss.
 
 
Regards,
 
Norm
 
P.S.  Based on the positions of the depots, I think it's more likely that the drawbridge you referenced was once used by Pennsy varnish, rather than B&O . . .


http://Forums.Railfan.net/Images/Amtrak/Chicago_Terminals.jpg
Click Image to Resize

« Last Edit: Feb 18th, 2016, 7:26pm by Norm_Anderson » Logged
L. F. Lincoln
Former Member
Re: "Chicago Heritage"
 
« Reply #206 on: Feb 18th, 2016, 9:34am »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify   Remove

Norm:
 
MANY, MANY THANKS for taking the time to not only provide a map. but also, a detailed list of the old depots and the railroads they served.
 
Man, oh, man, Chicago had to have been a paradise for varnish enthusiasts, back in the day!
 
Too bad none of the stations abandoned by AMTRAK survive today, with the exception of the Dearborn headhouse.
 
I also greatly appreciate you giving me the correct info on the old drawbridge locked in the "UP" position; I had previously thought (as I had previously mentioned) that it had served the B&O.
 
That same bridge (if I am correct) can also be briefly glimpsed in the opening credits of the 1970's TV series "GOOD TIMES"........
 
Again, THANK YOU.......
 
 
 
"L.F.L."


« Last Edit: Feb 18th, 2016, 9:40am by CLASSB » Logged
L. F. Lincoln
Former Member
Re: "Chicago Heritage"
 
« Reply #207 on: Feb 18th, 2016, 9:48am »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify   Remove

Recalling the late, great, and grand GRAND CENTRAL.......
 
http://www.american-rails.com/grand-central-station.html
 
(courtesy: american rails)


Logged
L. F. Lincoln
Former Member
Re: "Chicago Heritage"
 
« Reply #208 on: Feb 18th, 2016, 9:59am »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify   Remove

Here is an excellent page on the B&O's entry into Chicago; as can be seen here, while some former ROW's have been redeveloped, others are still long vacant, obscured by vegetation and trash.........sad.
 
Also, note the convoluted routings used by B&O varnish to and from GC after the connection to the IC had been severed.......
 
http://www.forgottenchicago.com/articles/south-shore-bo-spur/
 
(courtesy: ForgottenChicago)


« Last Edit: Feb 18th, 2016, 4:22pm by CLASSB » Logged
L. F. Lincoln
Former Member
Re: "Chicago Heritage"
 
« Reply #209 on: Feb 18th, 2016, 10:06am »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify   Remove

Some detailed operational discussion here on La Salle St. Station, back in the heyday of passenger travel.......
 
http://cs.trains.com/ctr/f/3/t/122161.aspxPageIndex=1
 
(courtesy: Classic Trains Magazine)


« Last Edit: Feb 18th, 2016, 12:12pm by CLASSB » Logged
L. F. Lincoln
Former Member
Re: "Chicago Heritage"
 
« Reply #210 on: Feb 18th, 2016, 10:13am »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify   Remove

Here's another interesting (and detailed) page (w/links) on Chicago's bygone "Downtown Stations"......
 
http://www.chicagorailfan.com/stations.html
 
(courtesy: chicagorailfan.com)


Logged
L. F. Lincoln
Former Member
Re: "Chicago Heritage"
 
« Reply #211 on: Feb 18th, 2016, 10:16am »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify   Remove

"PASSENGER TRAINS IN CHICAGO: PRIOR TO AMTRAK"
 
Routings, etc.......
 
http://www.chicagorailfan.com/staroute.html
 
(courtesy: chicagorailfan.com)


« Last Edit: Feb 18th, 2016, 10:17am by CLASSB » Logged
L. F. Lincoln
Former Member
Re: "Chicago Heritage"
 
« Reply #212 on: Feb 19th, 2016, 10:11pm »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify   Remove

More on AMTRAK operations out of Union Station, as well as historical information on the old downtown stations.....
 
http://www.dhke.com/CRJ/station.html
 
(courtesy: Chicago Rail Junctions)


Logged
L. F. Lincoln
Former Member
Re: "Chicago Heritage"
 
« Reply #213 on: Feb 21st, 2016, 1:37am »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify   Remove

When this magnificent and timeless SANTA FE scene was snapped at Chicago, in May of 1965, the thought of a national passenger rail system was non-existent in our minds.
 
(Man, that stunning "A-B-B-B-A" lash-up is a train unto itself!)  
 
http://www.rr-fallenflags.org/atsf/atsf-f7a-jpe.jpg
 
(courtesy: fallenflags.org)


« Last Edit: Feb 21st, 2016, 1:51am by CLASSB » Logged
ClydeDET
Historian
View Profile  

Posts: 4794
Re: "Chicago Heritage"
 
« Reply #214 on: Feb 21st, 2016, 3:01pm »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

Probably for The Fast Mail, Grand Canyon or one of the other trains with real heavy head-end traffic (express box or maybe express reefer first car, I see).

Logged
jmlaboda
Historian
Posts: 389
Re: "Chicago Heritage"
 
« Reply #215 on: Feb 21st, 2016, 3:14pm »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

Quote:
(Man, that stunning "A-B-B-B-A" lash-up is a train unto itself!)

 
Eh...
 
When I was leaving California for the second to the last time the Amtrak Super Chief (yes, the Super Chief... Amtrak was in its infancy) was seen by me heading eastbound north of San Berdo with an A-B-A-B-B-B set of Fs... all still in ATSF red warbonnet paint.  Now that was a lash-up...


Logged

jerry
Passenger Car Photo Index Updated 8/9/17 with 8,402 new links added!!!
Interurban Passenger Car Photo Index
Presidents' Conference Car Photo Index
Norm_Anderson
Historian
Posts: 1726
Re: "Chicago Heritage"
 
« Reply #216 on: Feb 21st, 2016, 8:59pm »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

on Feb 21st, 2016, 3:14pm, jmlaboda wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
Eh...
 
When I was leaving California for the second to the last time the Amtrak Super Chief (yes, the Super Chief... Amtrak was in its infancy) was seen by me heading eastbound north of San Berdo with an A-B-A-B-B-B set of Fs... all still in ATSF red warbonnet paint.  Now that was a lash-up...

 
Jerry, I completely agree.  I grew up within an hour's drive of Cajon Pass, and can attest to the lashups on the Amtrak Super Chief at that time.  Those F units were getting pretty weary by then-- I suspect the Santa Fe people were just nursing the last miles out of them before trading them in as Amtrak began receiving its new power.  Many of them were sporting spark arrestors over the stacks-- I never found out whether this was due to more stringent regulation, or if there really was more spitzensparken to worry about as they began to wear out.  To Santa Fe's credit, they still ran them through the wash rack after every assignment . . .
 
Even pre-Amtrak, five and sometimes six Fs on the point was pretty much standard practice over Cajon between LA and Barstow.  When the Fs were new, there were photos of premier trains using their as-issued four-unit sets, but that was in the days of passenger Helpers between San Bernardino and Summit.
 
Regards (with apologies for dragging this thread even further from its "Amtrak Chicago Heritage" moorings),
 
Norm
 
P.S.  Clyde is spot on, I think, in identifying this train (if it was California-bound) as either the Grand Canyon or the Fast Mail.


« Last Edit: Feb 21st, 2016, 9:03pm by Norm_Anderson » Logged
ClydeDET
Historian
View Profile  

Posts: 4794
Re: "Chicago Heritage"
 
« Reply #217 on: Feb 22nd, 2016, 2:10pm »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

on Feb 21st, 2016, 8:59pm, Norm_Anderson wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
Jerry, I completely agree.  I grew up within an hour's drive of Cajon Pass, and can attest to the lashups on the Amtrak Super Chief at that time.  Those F units were getting pretty weary by then-- I suspect the Santa Fe people were just nursing the last miles out of them before trading them in as Amtrak began receiving its new power.  Many of them were sporting spark arrestors over the stacks-- I never found out whether this was due to more stringent regulation, or if there really was more spitzensparken to worry about as they began to wear out.  To Santa Fe's credit, they still ran them through the wash rack after every assignment . . .
 
Even pre-Amtrak, five and sometimes six Fs on the point was pretty much standard practice over Cajon between LA and Barstow.  When the Fs were new, there were photos of premier trains using their as-issued four-unit sets, but that was in the days of passenger Helpers between San Bernardino and Summit.
 
Regards (with apologies for dragging this thread even further from its "Amtrak Chicago Heritage" moorings),
 
Norm
 
P.S.  Clyde is spot on, I think, in identifying this train (if it was California-bound) as either the Grand Canyon or the Fast Mail.

 
I started law school at Baylor in September, 1971, it was still the Texas Chief and pretty much 100% Santa Fe, even to the letter-boards. And normally four-unit sets of War Bonnet Fs. Almost always with spark arrestors. GP-7 and GP-9s also frequently were so equipped. None were exactly young by then, of course. Sometimes there was an extra F in the consist's power set. Usually, if memory serves, an A unit at one end. When the train dug in to pull out of MacGregor, it often put on a pretty good smoke show, which may suggest the reason for the spark arrestors. And perhaps for the extra unit. By the time I graduated, seeing what were still mostly Santa Fe cars, though in AMTRAK livery, and usually SDP-40 Fs for power. Ah for the old days...


Logged
Pages: 1 ... 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11  ReplyReply     EMail TopicEMail Topic   PrintPrint

« Previous topic | Next topic »