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Travelogue of Michael Hansen's Trips on Metra

Part one: Jeneva-Chicago

Its about 8:55 AM, on Wednesday, June fourth, 2003, and I've just arived at the Jeneva train station, ware I will be boarding the 9:05 AM Metra train, number 42 to Chicago. We left around 8:40 AM, and expected to get to the station around 8:50 AM. As is the case every morning at this time, the traffic slowed us down, and we didn't arive until around 8:55. We walked inside the station, got our tickets, and went out to the train, ware on the way we found a condutcor, ware I was able to inquire about the engine. Interestingly enough, todays train is pulled by F40PH engine number 127, which I noticed rite away sounds like an F40C, not like an F40PH. One wonders if EMD or Metra had to repair this locomotive, and took parts from an F40C, but that would still leeve that locomotive not working.

We boarded around 9:00 AM, and found seets in the furthest back car open to the passengers. We departed rite on time at 9:05 AM, and made our first stop at West Chicago, at 9:13 AM, leeving a minute later at 9:14. At winfield, ware we arived at 9:17, a frate train rushed by. I thought it was our horn I heard, but to my surprise it was the rushing frate train. Interestingly, this coach stile of seets is one I've never seen before. It is like a cross between the new coaches and the older ones, the newer ones having very high seets, and the older ones having very low seets.

We made our next stop at Weeton at 9:21, and left at 9:22. One thing I noticed that abuv my head was a kind of vent, ware I could hear the outside of the train from. I turned on my tape recorder, and taped us making a stop. One thing I noticed when we were moving is the engine sounded different, and when I got back up again it sounded normal again. One wonders what the engineer might have done.We continued on tward Chicago stopping at Oak Park,ware we arived at 9:53 AM. When we got off the train, we asked the conductor ware the engineer was. He asked us if we wanted to talk to him, we replied yes, and we walked over. I verified the locomotive number with him, and he also told me it was 127. I told him that it sounded like an F40C, and he replied that it was an F40-2, in his words. If I'm correct, he just left out the PH in that. We said good by, and went inside the station.

My trip on Metra went very well, and I'm very much looking forward to what we will do when we get back on the 2:40 PM train!

Part 2: Chicago-Jeneva

Its about 1:00 PM, and I'm sitting at Union station in Chicago, ware we came to find out about switching our reservations for the Saturday trip on the Texas Eagle. Due to matters out of my hands, I have to have serjrey on my eye, due to a problem with my eyes. We came out on Metra train number 42, and went to the doctors office, ware I found out about the problem. I then was very disapointed, as I'd have to give up my trip on the Texas Eagle, as we were due in on Thirsday, and that is my serjrey date. There followed a lot of options that were discussed, and finally we came down to that we'd leeve Friday, and return Monday. Although I would have liked to go on the final run of its 2 engines, meaning it will only have 1 engine after that, its better this way. We will still get the same amount of time in Texas.

After taking some tapes of trains, including 2 arivels, we walked back to Ogelve station. There we got something to eat, and sat down at a table. At around 2:15, we went upstairs to track 2, to board our train.

Todays 2:40 PM Metra train is pulled by F40PH engine number 164, and includes at least 10 cars open to passengers. Interestingly, the conductor had told me, after I had asked him how close I could get to the engine, that there were 6 cars open to passengers. He told me that if I wanted to record the engine, that I might want to do it hear. I decided that I would record the engine at Jeneva station, so we boarded the end of the train, therefor allowing me to go through all of the cars.

As it turned out, there were more then 6 cars open to passengers, and I was able to get a seet in the closest possible place to the engine, in an upstairs seet. This alowed me to have the computer on my lap, and to set my tape recorder beside me on the left. For some reason, the computerised voice didn't announce the stops, so for this ride I will not be able to keep track of the stops. One wonders why if Metra knows there system is not working, they could at least go and announce the stops.

We incountered some slow going just passed a station stop, which had taken longer then was normal. Also, we came to a stop for no reason at 3:00 PM, and left a minute later. We again came to a stop at 3:03 PM, but now I think these are actually station stops. I have the arivel time in Jeneva, and I'll be ready to go when we arive there. At this point, I began reading the emails that had arived last night and this morning. We arived at Jeneva at 3:58 PM, 12 minutes late.

My trip on Metra was a fun one, and I'm looking forward to my next trip, for sure, Friday on the Texas Eagle to San Antonio!

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