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
the Jeneva train station, ware I will be boarding the 9:05 AM Metra
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
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
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
the passengers. We departed rite on time at 9:05 AM, and made our first
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
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
between the new coaches and the older ones, the newer ones having very
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
of the train from. I turned on my tape recorder, and taped us making a
One thing I noticed when we were moving is the engine sounded different,
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,
replied yes, and we walked over. I verified the locomotive number with
and he also told me it was 127. I told him that it sounded like an F40C,
he replied that it was an F40-2, in his words. If I'm correct, he just
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
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
to find out about switching our reservations for the Saturday trip on
Texas Eagle. Due to matters out of my hands, I have to have serjrey on
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
was very disapointed, as I'd have to give up my trip on the Texas Eagle,
we were due in on Thirsday, and that is my serjrey date. There followed
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
final run of its 2 engines, meaning it will only have 1 engine after
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
Ogelve station. There we got something to eat, and sat down at a table.
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
had told me, after I had asked him how close I could get to the engine,
there were 6 cars open to passengers. He told me that if I wanted to
the engine, that I might want to do it hear. I decided that I would
the engine at Jeneva station, so we boarded the end of the train,
allowing me to go through all of the cars.
As it turned out, there were more then 6 cars open to passengers, and I
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
tape recorder beside me on the left. For some reason, the computerised
didn't announce the stops, so for this ride I will not be able to keep
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
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
these are actually station stops. I have the arivel time in Jeneva, and
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
3:58 PM, 12 minutes late.
My trip on Metra was a fun one, and I'm looking forward to my next trip,
sure, Friday on the Texas Eagle to San Antonio!