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
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,
the trip in a bout 25 minutes. When we arived at the station, we went to
nearest door on the train, and this time walked to the front of the
so I could get a recording of the Cab car in action. When the conductor
to collect tickets, i inquired about the engine number, and was givven
Todays 6:13 AM Metra train is pushed by F40C engine number 607. I took
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
or 410, don't know which at the Elgin station.
After making my recordings, I took out my portible radio tape recorder,
listened to News radio 780 WBBM until we arivved at Western Ave. We
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
in Chicago, ware we will be boarding Amtrak train number 303, the Ann
Rutledge to Springfield to visit my grandfather. We arived about 3
ago on the 6:13 AM Metra train from Big Timber. We went over to an agent
get our tickets, and inquired about the full consist of the train. The
asked someone else for the consist, and the guy asked "Why do you want
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
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
tickets, and told us that we could preboard the train before the rush.
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
told us that this was our car, and to go to the left. We took seets in 9
10, I took the outside seet. HEP was taken off at 8:18 AM, and our
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,
it didn't last long. At 8:26 AM, we came to a stop, and didn't move
until 8:29 AM. I took out my computer, and started writing this
We came to another stop at 8:42 AM, and started moving very shortly
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
until after our stop at Joliet, ware we arived at 9:30 AM, 15 minutes
and departed 2 minutes later at 9:32 AM, now 2 minutes late. We returned
our seets, and remained there for the rest of the trip to Springfield,
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
to Grandpas car.
My trip on Amtrak was very enjoyable, although the coach 54541 wasn't
nicest of the fleet, it was all rite. I'm looking forward to what tapes
get of Amtrak trains in Springfield over these next 2 days and to my
Its about 3:45 PM, on Thirsday, August 14, 2003, and I've just arived at
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
Springfield, and atempted to get tape recordings of Amtrak trains,
the trains more then taping them. In fact, we missed the Texas Eagle by
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
about 3:00 PM, and we went quickly to the store to get a bottle of water
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
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
train would be ariving only 1 to 2 minutes late! Now that's what I call
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
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
for handycapped people, and, although I am intitled to sit hear, this
does have a lot of legroom.
Todays Ann Rutledge is pulled by Genesis engine number 170 and includes
coaches and a Cafe car. We departed Springfield at 4:02 PM, just 2
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
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
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,
sat down at a table. Mom got me a cup of Hot Chocolate, and we remained
the cafe car until after our stop in Bloomington Normal, ware we arived
minutes early at 5:02 PM, and left 4 minutes later at 5:06 PM, rite on
I took out my other tape recorder, which I use for listening to tapes
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
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,
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
6:01 PM, and left 3 minutes later at 6:04 PM, rite on time. We headed to
cafe car, and got a hot chocolate. At first, it seemed as though there
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
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
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
power for the City Of New Orleans. A lady first said we were going the
way, then finally resorted to saying "You're not aloud to go there!"
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
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
and I got to see more P42 engines then I ever thought I would on this
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
him beeing annoyed by my screan readers voice wile onboard. Power was
Genesis engine number 21 both ways.