Travelogue of Michael Hansen's Trips
on Chicago Metra and the Amtrak Texas Eagle
Its about 12:00 PM, on Friday, June sixth, 2003, and I've just arived at
Big Timber station, ware I will be boarding the 12:22 PM Metra train,
2236 to Chicago, after which I will be connecting with a train to San
Antonio. We were picked up by a friend of my Dads at our house at 11:30,
arived hear at 11:59 AM. We then got out of the car, and went over to
train. I inquired about the locomotive number, and found out that todays
train is pushed by F40C engine number 611.
The voice announced our departure at 12:21, and at 12:22, the train
out. Interestingly, the conductor also made a welcome announcement,
have only seen done on Amtrak.
We arived at our next stop at Elgin, at 12:28, one minute late, an d
at National Street at 12:31. The voice announced that the next stop was
Bartlot, and we arived there at 12:41. We did not have a timetable for
train, so I was unable to find out what time we were supposed to arive
the different stops. The voice announced that the next stop would be at
Hanover Park, ware we arived at 12:44.
My trip on Metra went very well, and I am very much looking forward to
trip on the sleeper on Amtrak!
Its 2:40 PM, on Friday, June sixth, 2003, and I've just arived at the
boarding area of Union station in Chicago, ware we will be boarding
train number 21, the Texas Eagle to San Antonio. We got hear aboard
train number 2236, and arived in Chicago at 1:42 PM. After we got into
station, we went to change our tickets, and headed over to be checked in.
The person gave us a Metropolitan lounge pass, except ware we waited for
train was even worse then the standard lounge. We waited in the check in
area, ware there were no chairs, therefor we had to stand. The people
standing behind us were going to Emeryville aboard the California Zephyr,
which was delayed due to servicing of equipment. About 2:45 PM, a
announcement was made for the Texas Eagle. We walked onto the platform,
we were to board our train, on track 22. We boarded, and went upstairs
our room E. Betty, our atendant interduced herself to all the sleeping
passengers. She asked us ware we were going, and I told her that I was a
railfan, taking the train mainly for the enjoyment of the train. We were
also going to do some sightseeing in Texas.
I found out todays Texas Eagle is pulled by 2 Genesis engines, number
and 184. The train departed 9 minutes late at 3:29 PM, and we made our
stop at Joliet at 4:15, exactly ontime. Then it was on to Pontiac,
Bloomington, Lincon, Springfield, and our first service stop Saint Louis.
Hear we arived early, dispite the fact that we had lost time.
We detrained at Saint Louis, and tried to walk up to the engines, but
stopped at the Bagage car. As I had found out earlier from the conductor,
todays Texas Eagle is pulled by Genesis engines number 178 and 177.
We left Saint Louis at 9:23 PM, only 23 minutes late. We headed down to
lounge car for the second time on this trip to get a hot chocolate, and
returned to our room. Betty had pulled down the beds, and after drinking
hot chocolate, I got in. I had the lower bed, and this allowed me to get
schedule if I were to wake up, (I did wake up, but the schedule wasn't
needed, as you will find out) I got to sleep around 10:45 PM, and slept
through our stops at Poppler Bluff and Walnut Ridge. I woke up at 3:55
when we came to a stop. (As it turned out, we didn't move until I woke
again at 6:15 AM) We had stopped because a frate train had a broken
We proceeded very slowly, and not until 8:58 AM did we arive in Little
We again detrained hear, and got back on with in 5 minutes. We continued
through Arkansas, and things were non eventful until we got to Longview.
Hear, we detrained, and stood around for a wile, before we reboarded. A
member of the All_Aboard mailing list had told me that the stop lasted
about 15 minutes, and he was apsolutely correct. We lost more time
aproaching Dalas, by this time a cupple of hours later, and again I
detrained hear. We reboarded, and not until Fort Worth did we detrain
By this time, we had made my fifth trip to the lounge car, ware on my
trip we sat in the lounge car. One thing noteworthy is that the lounge
seemed to not rock as much, but the ride wasn't as good.
At 10:20 PM, we ended a half hour wait for a fratetrain. By this time,
were at least 3 hours late. We arived at Austin at 11:38 PM, 3 hours and
minutes late, and left 6 minutes later, at 11:44 PM, 3 hours and 24
late. We arived at San Marcos at 12:27 AM, and left a minute later.
One would think that it wouldn't take over an hour to get through San
Antonio, but it did. We came to a stop at 1:50 AM, and didn't move until
2:20 AM. We came to a stop at 2:49 AM, and didn't move until after 3:00
We arived at San Antonio around 10 after 3, only about 3 hours late!
My trip on Amtrak worked out quite well, I got plenty of sleep, and we
only delayed 3 hours or so. I'm looking forward to my return trip on
Its about 7:10 AM, on Monday, June ninth, 2003, and I've just arived at
San Antonio station, ware I will be boarding Amtrak train number 22, the
northbound Texas Eagle to Chicago. We came to San Antonio aboard the
southbound Texas Eagle, which arived hear yesterday morning about 3
late. We stayed at the Saint Anthiny hotel, and spent an enjoyable day
We left our hotel about 6:55 AM, and took a cab to the station. We
in, and the man at the desk said theat a lady named Joy wanted to thank
for my support of Amtrak and my website. They wanted my shirt size, we
it to them, and went outside. We walked back inside, and at 7:40 AM, we
outside to board. We boarded sleepercar number 32027, and went upstairs
room 2, a standard room.
We arived at San Marcos at 9:30 AM, 2 minutes early, and left at 9:31 AM,
minute early. We came to a stop again still at 9:31 AM, and left at 9:32
now on time. We walked to the lounge car, which was very cold, and got a
chocolate. Garry asked us if we were in the sleepers. We replied yes,
said that he wouldn't charge us then. He explained that most stuff in
lounge car is free for sleeping car passengers, but if we didn't let the
lounge car atendant know that we were in a sleeper that they would
us, but it was very nice of him to ask!
We made our next stop at Austin, at 10:14 AM, 16 minutes early, and left
10:33, now 2 minutes late, but 2 minutes isn't anything, and I have a
feeling that this trip will for the most part be delay free! We made our
next stop at Taylor at 11:10 AM, 12 minutes early, and left at 11:22 AM,
time. Durring our stop at Taylor, we walked to the lounge car, passing
through the dining car, ware I inquired about the engine numbers, and
out not only the engine numbers, but the whole consist of the train,
for the car numbers! Todays Texas Eagle is pulled by 2 Genesis engines,
number 166 and number 122, (the horn in opperation needs some work) and
includes a baggage car, a crue dorm car, a sleeper, a dining car, a
car, a smoker coach, and 2 coaches with handycapped seeting on the lower
level. We continued on to the lounge car, and noticed for the first time
that on the doors seperating cars that there is a rail for a person to
on to. We returned for my computer, and came back to the lounge car. We
to the lower level of the lounge car to get a hot chocolate, and
We made our next stop at Temple, ware we arived at 12:15 PM, 10 minutes
early, and left 10 minutes later, at 12:25 PM, rite on time. We arived
McGreggor at 1:55 PM, 5 minutes late, and left a minute later, at 1:56
now 6 minutes late. The next stop was Cleburn, ware we arived at 2:11 PM,
minutes late, and left at 2:12 PM, now 12 minutes late, so far so good!
Interestingly, Amtrak allows 6 hours to go northbound to Cleburn from
Antonio, and they allow 7 hours to go south from Cleburn to San Antonio.
We arived at Fort Worth at 3:05 PM, 7 minutes late. Hear, we stepped off
train, and were delited to see a Genesis engine pulling the Hartland
to Oklahoma City. We got back on the train so Dad could get his camera
take a picture of the engine. He took a picture of the engine, then he
a picture of me standing by the engine, and walked up to the engine, and
back on to the train.
We left Fort Worth at 3:19 PM, 1 minute early, only to stop at 3:20 PM.
didn't start moving again until 3:38 PM, now 18 minutes late. We made
next stop at Dallas, at 4:42 PM, and left 9 minutes later at 4:51 PM,
minutes late. We came to a stop at 5:14 PM, and started moving at 5:21
We stopped at Miniola at 6:28 PM, 23 minutes late, and pulled forward a
short distance, and stopped again at 6:29 PM, and left at 6:31 PM.
our stop, the conductor made an announcement that this was Miniola. We
now 26 minutes late. Our next stop was Longview, ware we arived at 7:20
15 minutes late. Hear we only stayed for 4 minutes, departing at 7:24 PM,
now only 4 minutes late. A person from the All_aboard list said that the
train normally makes a stop for about 15 minutes, but not tonight! We
at Marcial at 7:57 PM, 4 minutes early, and left at 8:01 PM, on time.
At 9:12 PM, on our way to the lounge car, we made a full emergency stop.
continued in to the lounge car, and hep was taken off at 9:16 PM, and
restored until 9:27 PM, when we were back in our sleeper. There was no
announcement as to why we made this stop, but I hope to find out from
atendant what happened. As it turned out, an air hose between the
came off, and they had to reconnect it.
I got into the lower bed, wile dad took the top bed, and I fell asleep
around 10:30 PM. I slept through our stops at Arkadelphia, Mulvurn,
Ridge, and Poppler Bluff. I woke up at 4:49 AM, and baised on my weather
radio, I was hearing the Poppler Bluff station, which ment we had just
passed through Poppler Bluff. Interestingly, I could hear the station
clearly for a wile, which made me think that we were still getting there,
but I couldn't hear the station after 20 or so minutes. That's
as a transmitter is normally in the town ware the first condition report
taken. We arived at Saint Louis at 10:02 AM, 1 hours and 53 minutes late,
and left at 10:27 AM, now only 1 hour and 17 minutes late. We went to
lounge car, and sense they were out of hot chocolate, got applejuice.
We were downstairs by the door at our next stop at Alton. Just as the
started to move, a passenger on the platform said she had one more bag.
searched the luggage rack, wile someone else radioed the engineer to
After a search of the luggage did not reviel there bag, there room was
searched. Nothing was found, and they thought there kids had the bag.
train left Alton 3 minutes later. Coincidencially we were downstairs for
stop at Springfield at 12:35 PM. A lady nockeed on the car door and
to get an atendant. We went back upstairs, and wile on the stairs the
started to move, am I glad it wasn't me out there!
We made our next stop at Lincon at 1:08 PM, and no sooner did we stop
were movingagain. No announcement was made for pontiac, so I really had
idea of when we got there. Our next stop was Joliet, ware we arived at 3:27
PM, only 2 hours and 7 minutes late, and left at 3:30 PM, now 2 hours
Izic, our sleeper atendant came to collect pillows, and we pulled rite
Union station, ariving at 3:24 PM, 1 hour and 59 minutes late. We got
the train, and when we were were at the engine, Dad took a picture.
My trip on Amtrak was quite nice, I got about 6 hours of sleep, and we
weren't to late! I'm looking forward to my next trip on Metra!