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Travelogue of Michael Hansen's Trips on Metra

Its about 4:25 PM, on Friday, June fifteenth, 2003, and I've just arived at the boarding area for Metra trains at Union station, ware I will be boarding Metra train number 2231, to Big Timber station. We arived hear about 3:10 PM, and went to the cofee exchange for a cup of hot chocolate. After drinking that, we walked around Union station until around 4:20 PM, before we went out to the platform to listen to the locomotives in the garage. At this time, most of the tracks are in use. The 4:20 PM train to Big Timber departed rite on time, at which point we went back into the station to talk to the conductor. He told us that there was a problem with MP36 engine number 408, and that it wasn't in use yesterday on the train, and that he didn't think it would be on todays train.

Our train pulled in at 4:27 PM on track 11, and we walked out just after it arived. Today's 4:50 PM Metra train is pulled by MP36 engine number 409, and F40PH engine number 123. The conductor came up to us, along with the engineer, who had told him that the engine number was 409, and that this was its first trip! Interestingly, they did not mention to me that 123 was on this train until much later in the trip. We boarded the train, and walked through to the end of the train. We passed through one of the new Metra coaches, with blue seets, (as my Mom told me) I took atvantage of this oppertunity to look around upstairs in the new coaches, and found that the seets were the same. After I returned downstairs, HEP was taken off for the first time this trip. We continued through the train, and hep was turned back on when we were in an older coach.

The car closest to the locomotive was very crowded, but we were able to get seets ware we sat before. Hep was taken off at 4:48 PM, and the engine began revving up. Our train departed at 4:50 PM, rite on time. A family with 4 kids asked me what kind of engine we had, and I replied that it was the first trip for this locomotive, MP36 number 409! We continued talking to them until Hanover Park, ware they got off. The conductor started talking to us, and I mentioned that I recorded trains, and wanted to get a tape of the locomotive. He said that we were sertainly more then welcome to walk down the platform when we arived at Elgin, that they'd be hear for over 15 minutes.

When we arived at Big Timber Station, we walked down the platform, the conductor followed us. The engineer came down to say hello, and we talked for about 5 minutes.

My trip on Metra was very nice, we got to see a new Metra coach, and were on the first trip of MP36 engine number 409!

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