Sunday, December 4, 2011

Aboard the Train...On the way to Chicago

The scenery between Ann Arbor and Chicago is not the greatest but it has it's moments.  Like much of the Midwest, it is mostly farmland.  It is a little better than just north of here or south of here because it is slightly hilly.  It just snowed a couple days ago and that made it look a little better.
As I was approaching this farm, I realized that I had to have a picture of it because it looks like a fairly typical Midwestern farm.  There's the red barn and windmill and that is pretty much all you need.
It was kind of interesting to see this in a railyard somewhere.  It is a Conrail caboose.  Conrail came into being because of the collapse of the Penn Central Railroad.  The Penn Central came about because of the merger of the Pennsylvania and New York Central in 1968.  Both railroads were bleeding money before that and the merger didn't help and they declared bankruptcy in 1970.

In 1973, the Penn Central almost had to cease operations entirely which would have meant no freight service in the Northeast.  The government stepped in and by 1976 created the Conrail Corporation.  It began to turn a profit in the 1980s and was turned over to private investors in 1987.  In 1999, CSX and Norfolk Southern took over portions of the Conrail system.  Conrail still exists and performs switching and maintenance activities.
As we were approaching the Jackson station.  I've probably said it before but I'll say it again, I'm glad that Amtrak was able to get some of the old train stations.  I think I prefer the old ones to the one that looks like a bus terminal in Ann Arbor.
I think this is a grain elevator.
The train station in Kalamazoo.  When I see stations like this, I wish that Ann Arbor could get its hands on the Gandy Dancer.
The old Michigan City Lighthouse.  I tried to get a picture of the other one but we were moving too fast at this point.
Taking the route into Chicago is a double edged sword for me.  There's lots of freight traffic, so there are lots of opportunities for me to get train pictures.  But there's lots of freight traffic, so there is the potential getting delayed on the way in.
One of the steel mills near Gary.
More trains.  The engines of Norfolk Southern and Union Pacific.
A Norfolk-Southern Engine.  I'm glad that Amtrak and Norfolk-Southern were able to work out their differences because it means that I can take the train again.
As we were passing I-94 and Chicago in the distance.
Getting closer to the station.
One of the Amtrak engines.  I think this is in an older color scheme.
Another Amtrak engine.
Passing by a Superliner.  This makes me think about where I'm gonna go next year.


Anonymous said...

Neat stuff.

Ben Connor Barrie said...

I love the older train stations between Ann Arbor and Chicago.

Anonymous said...

Awesome, awesome pics and history!