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Travelogue of Michael Hansen's Trips on Chicago Metra
and the Amtrak Ann Rutledge

Ann Rutledge, August 12:

Going down to Chicago: Metra

Its about 6:05 AM, on Tuesday, August 12, 2003, and I've just arived at the Big Timber station, ware I will be boarding the 6:13 AM Metra train to Chicago, ware I, along with my Mom will be connecting with Amtrak train number 303, the Ann Rutledge, to Springfield to visit my Grandfather.

We left our house about 5:40 AM, and made good time to the station, making the trip in a bout 25 minutes. When we arived at the station, we went to the nearest door on the train, and this time walked to the front of the train, so I could get a recording of the Cab car in action. When the conductor came to collect tickets, i inquired about the engine number, and was givven it.

Todays 6:13 AM Metra train is pushed by F40C engine number 607. I took out my tape recorder and microphone, and began recording when we arived at Elgin, after departing on time at 6:13 AM from Big Timber. I continued recording through our stops at National Street, after seeing MP36 number 409 or 410, don't know which at the Elgin station.

After making my recordings, I took out my portible radio tape recorder, and listened to News radio 780 WBBM until we arivved at Western Ave. We arived at Chicago Union station at 7:32 AM, 3 minutes early.

My trip on Metra was very enjoyable, we were able to sit in someware comfortable, and we again had an old F40C engine!

Now on to that Ann Rutledge:

Its about 7:35 AM, on Tuesday, August 12, 2003, and we're in Union station in Chicago, ware we will be boarding Amtrak train number 303, the Ann Rutledge to Springfield to visit my grandfather. We arived about 3 minutes ago on the 6:13 AM Metra train from Big Timber. We went over to an agent to get our tickets, and inquired about the full consist of the train. The agent asked someone else for the consist, and the guy asked "Why do you want it?" My mom replied "Because we do!" The agent also replied that we just wondered, and gave the full consist to us. I was delited to find out that indeed, as rair as it seems, an Amfleet coach was on our train today! I'll sertainly have to check this car out!

We next went onto track 16, and Mom told me the numbers of the engines there, 27, and a little further down 32. We headed back inside, and took seets in the south boarding lounge. A lady came up to us, asked Mom for our tickets, and told us that we could preboard the train before the rush. She said to go to gate E to board. We headed to gate E, ware we were told to board our train on track 24. We headed out to track 24, and the conductor told us that this was our car, and to go to the left. We took seets in 9 and 10, I took the outside seet. HEP was taken off at 8:18 AM, and our engine took over the HEP, and HEP was restored less then a minute later.

Todays Ann Rutledge is pulled by Genesis engine number 71 and includes Amfleet coach number 20252, a Dinette car, herison coaches number 54555, 54582, and 54541 (the coach we were sitting in.) We departed at 8:25 AM, but it didn't last long. At 8:26 AM, we came to a stop, and didn't move again until 8:29 AM. I took out my computer, and started writing this travelogue. We came to another stop at 8:42 AM, and started moving very shortly after. The same happened at 8:50 AM, and again at 8:57 AM.

We then headed to the cafe car, and got a hot chocolate. We remained there until after our stop at Joliet, ware we arived at 9:30 AM, 15 minutes late, and departed 2 minutes later at 9:32 AM, now 2 minutes late. We returned to our seets, and remained there for the rest of the trip to Springfield, after stopping in Dwite, Pontiac, Bloomington, and Lincoln. We arived at Springfield at 12:25 PM, now 40 minutes late.

When we got off the train, we headed rite into the station, and headed out to Grandpas car.

My trip on Amtrak was very enjoyable, although the coach 54541 wasn't the nicest of the fleet, it was all rite. I'm looking forward to what tapes I'll get of Amtrak trains in Springfield over these next 2 days and to my return trip Thirsday!

Going home:

Its about 3:45 PM, on Thirsday, August 14, 2003, and I've just arived at the Springfield Amtrak station, ware I, along with my Mom will be boarding Amtrak train number 304, the Ann Rutledge, to Chicago. We spend 3 days in Springfield, and atempted to get tape recordings of Amtrak trains, missing the trains more then taping them. In fact, we missed the Texas Eagle by not even a minute one time! I also spent my time talking to online friends, listening to the radio and replying to emails. Today, I packed up my stuff about 3:00 PM, and we went quickly to the store to get a bottle of water for the trip. We arived home at 3:14 PM, and I finnished packing up.

We left at 3:36 PM, and made the trip to the station in 9 minutes. Mom went in to check how the train was running, but the line was to long for the agent, so we just headed in. We got in line for the agent, and he said the train would be ariving only 1 to 2 minutes late! Now that's what I call on time! We took seets by the door, and at about 3:55 PM, a lady standing outside signaled Mom, so we headed outside. The horn could be heard, and we thanked the lady for letting us know. Our train pulled in at 3:59 PM, 1 minute early. We quickly headed over to the door, and the conductor made passengers wait until we had boarded. We took seets in the 2 seets reserved for handycapped people, and, although I am intitled to sit hear, this seet does have a lot of legroom.

Todays Ann Rutledge is pulled by Genesis engine number 170 and includes 3 coaches and a Cafe car. We departed Springfield at 4:02 PM, just 2 minutes late. I took out my tape recorder, and listened to my tapes of the Ann Rutledge ariving into Springfield, which came out perfectly. I took out my computer, and began writing this travelogue shortly before we arived at Lincoln, at 4:31 PM,and left a minute later at 3:32 PM. We headed to the front of the train, directly behind the engine, and taped, then headed back to our seets to put my recording equipment in my backpack and to grab my computer. We headed to the dafe car, which was at the back of the train, and sat down at a table. Mom got me a cup of Hot Chocolate, and we remained in the cafe car until after our stop in Bloomington Normal, ware we arived 4 minutes early at 5:02 PM, and left 4 minutes later at 5:06 PM, rite on time. I took out my other tape recorder, which I use for listening to tapes only, and listened to tapes. An announcement was made at 5:35 PM that we'd be taking a siding for a meet with another Amtrak train. I guessed that this was the Texas Eagle, and I was correct. We began moving at 5:37 PM, only spending about 2 minutes on the siding! We arived at Pontiac at 5:39 PM, 5 minutes later, and left 5 minutes later at 5:44 PM, rite on time.

I continued listening to tapes, durring our stop at Dwite, ware we arived at 6:01 PM, and left 3 minutes later at 6:04 PM, rite on time. We headed to the cafe car, and got a hot chocolate. At first, it seemed as though there was no hot chocolate to beo found, but the atendant finally found a few more packages. We after sitting at a table headed back to our seets, just before our arivel in Joliet. After Joliet, our next stop was Summit, and then Chicago Union station. As we neared the station, HEP was shut off, and restored wile we were still moving. Aparently, they had somehow switched our train over to station power wile we were still moving, how I don't know!

We came to a stop at 7:38 PM, 7 minutes early! By far, this was a "Perfect run of the Ann Rutledge!"

After heading out onto the Metra platform to check out the Amtrak power there. Interestingly, an Amtrak agent told us we were going the rong way, Mom said she knew, and he said OK. However, we were stopped just before the power for the City Of New Orleans. A lady first said we were going the rong way, then finally resorted to saying "You're not aloud to go there!" These are Metra tracks, and I saw no reason why we weren't aloud to be walking down a Metra platform! Mom finally told her that we wanted to see the engine, and we finally just continued on to the City Of New Orleans, led by Genesis engines number 147 and 49.

We headed back into the station, and boarded a Metra train to go to Big Timber, pulled by F40C number 605, ware Dad met us.

My trip on Amtrak was very nice, we got to ride in a comfortable location, and I got to see more P42 engines then I ever thought I would on this trip both going, wile there and coming home!

Second Ann Rutledge:

I didn't write a travelogue for my second Ann Rutledge trip, as the conductor was incredibly rude to us and I didn't want to take the chance of him beeing annoyed by my screan readers voice wile onboard. Power was Genesis engine number 21 both ways.

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