Travelogue of Michael Hansen's Trips
on the Amtrak Texas Eagle and Chicago Metra
[Please bear with the format of this travelogue, as its author is blind and does not have
the sense of sight to aid in his writing. -Ed.]
Travelers log dated 2-28-03
We left our Saint Charles house around 1:20 to go to the Chicago Union
Station. We weren't expecting an arivle to the station until around 2:30
maybe 2:40. Well maybe luck was with us because we made spectaculear
with a pull up infront of the station around 2:20. We got out of the car
between Jackson and Ademms street, and carying our bags we walked inside.
Chicago Union Station is a bizzy place with people anouncing stuff on
We purchised our tickets and headed to the Cofee exchange for a cup of
choculate. My Mother was with me, because i'm a blind person. We also
quick stop at McDonalds. We headed down to the waiting area, ware we sat
a few minutes. Then when we heard the announcement, we started walking
twards the gate. Upon walking into the garage, I first noticed that for
strange reason with 2 trains in the garage, the Southwest Chief on my
and the Texas Eagle on my left, the engine noise was very quiet.
We boarded the Texas Eagle, and found seets in the Springfield car. The
conductor made the usual welcome announcement, and with that, the Texas
Eagle departed Chicago Union station.
I figured that this was the perfect opperteaunity to practice my cane
travle. Mom and I took a walk through the train. The caffay car was
into two parts by a rail. There was one part for the coming in line, and
other part for the leeving line. After getting me a hot choculate, we
back to our seets. We made our first stop at Joliet 9 minutes early. We
at the station until 4:15 PM, then departed. The stopps at Pontiac, and
Bloomington/normal were pretty uneventful. We had to pull over and wait
Amtrak Train number 304, the Ann Rutlege to pass. We finally made it to
Lincon around 9 minutes late. Then it was on to Springfield. At
the train came to a rougher stop than normal. We got off the train at
Travelers Log Dated 3-2-03
We packed up our bags, and headed to the Springfield station. The Texas
Eagle was supposed to arive at Springfield at 12:00 PM, but it was
said to be 13 minutes late. We asked the atendent at the station, and he
said that the Texas Eagle had been radioing him and that was going to be
even later. We asked again, it was aroound 12:40, and he said that the
Eagle radioed in and said it was a cupple of minutes away.
The Texas Eagle could be herd at a distance at 12:43, and finally the
Eagle came to a stop at 12:45. My Mom told me that the first engine was
number 84, all though we didn't ketch the other number. The atendent was
seeted across from us, so we asked her a lot of "Train" questions. I
out that this physical train was going to run the City of New Orleans
later tonight. The cafay car was different, they were playing music, and
this train had a lounge car. The train stopped and then started moving
slowly outside of Joliet. Then after Joliet started the home stretch to
We pulled in beside two trains, one on our rite and one on our left. Our
was very close to the other trains engine. We got off, and walked passed
Texas Eagles engine on our way inside the Union Station. We arived at
station at 4:20 PM, and the skegualed arivle time was 3:50.
and hear's the second one!
Its around 7:50 AM, and I'm standing in the Jenevia train statioon, ware
along with my Mom will be boarding the 8:05 AM train to Chicago, on the
to UIC, for my eye serjrey. My Mom had to go to the car to get something,
and she arived back at around 7:53. We proceeded outside, to board our
train. Todays train is pulled by one engine, as is any metro train. We
boarded at the door closest to the station door, and walked through the
train, to the enterence closest to the parking lot, to meet my Dad, who
bringing my Mom something. After meeting him, at which point my Mom left
in an almost empty car, in which we could talk to eachother, wile she
for Dad. From reading Dan
Chazin's travelogues, I noted some tips about
travel. At this point, I felt around, taking the oppertunity to sit on
seets, which I found were different from what I had ridden before. Mom
got the thing from Dad, and she walked back to me. The train started
and we walked tward the back of the train. We walked for about 6 minutes,
in the leed with Mom behind me. I also took the oppertunity to practice
cane skills, which the walk through the train helped. We finally reached
door opening, ware when I opened the door, I found a bar, therefor, I
that was as close as we'd get. Mom and I took seets, and about 2
later, the computerised voice, which I think sounds like Kasy Kasem,
announced the next stop would be West Chicago. Then about 2 minutes
the voice announced that we were aproaching West Chicago.
We departed West Chicago, and moved on to Winfield, Weaton, Coledge
Burkley, Lombard, Villa Park, which is the town my school is in,
and a cupple of others, not in order included Maywood, Oak Park, then
last stop before Chicago was kedsey. We didn't stop for any unknown
which really surprised me. We arived into Chicago, and detrained. The
was to my rite, and the station enterence was to my left. I remember
OggleV station has garages ware the train detraining and boarding goes
My Mom showed me a set of steps, ware you can go and catch a cab, but we
wanted to take the long, adventurous way, through the station. From
walked around, and Mom read me the list of track numbers, and ware each
train was departing and ariving from. We arived on track 2, and walked
the way to track 16 before turning around, and walking back to track 2.
and I went outside, and stood in the garage of track 2, and then went
the station, then we went to the upper level, and went outside to catch
cab. We got to the hospital way early, and had to wait for a wile.
The nurse,, Barbara, who had been my nurse last surjrey I had, gave Mom
gound to put on. In the dressing room, I took my shoes off, socks off,
took my talking watch off. This I handed to her, she would cary it with
rather then leeving it in the locker. Then, Mom Left the dressing room,
stood outside wile I put on my gound. After that, Mom came back in, and
me the pair of footies to put on. After that was done, we went and found
Barbara, and went into the serjrey center. I was given a bed on the
side of the room. After that, the nurse checked my temperature, which
99.5, which she said was normal. She said the doctors only worried if
temperatures were in the 100s. After that, Doctor Rose and Doctor Fine
over to my bed. Another doctor came to talk to Mom, wile Doctor Rose and
Doctor fine talked to me. Unfortinately, my tape recorder picked up more
Moms conversation then mine. Last serjrey, Doctor rose wasn't avalible.
After that, Doctor Rose took me to the opperating room, number 19. They
brought my bed in, and I layed down on it. Doctor rose handed me the
put over my face, I did, and went to sleep about 5 minutes later. They
didn't at first have the sleeping stuff on, they first had the laugh on.
The serjrey was over, I woke up in the same spot I had started, that is
same hospital room like place, seperated by certains. My eye was pain
and we left around 12:00 PM. We caught a cab back to the OggleVe station,
and went shopping for a little wile, had a hot chocolate, and went in to
garage in time to catch the arival of our train on tape. Then, we
and walked until we found a bar at the doorway, and took the seet rite
before the doorway. That was a nice seet.
The PA system on the train was broke, so the conductor had to announce
manually. When we departed West Chicago, at 3:36 P.M, the car was
empty, and I took a walk upstairs on the train, which can only hold one
person in the isle. My Mom and I talked, she was at the stairs bellow me.
returned downstairs, and the conductor Rojer came into our car. Rojer
talked, and when we arived at the Jeneva station at 3:546 P.M, rojer
remained with us until we got off.
This trip was a good one, I was able to do some exploring, and the
went well. Now my Mom just told me we could go to the Gild For The Blind
downtown Chicago, the second Saturday in May, on a metro train, and I'm
looking forward to that next adventure, which I hope to return using a
light wait cane!