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Travelogue of Michael Hansen's Trips on the Amtrak Hiawatha

Its about 12:50 PM, on Monday, Laberday, September 1, 2003, and we're in the north boarding lounge of Chicago Union station, ware I, along with my Dad are waiting to board Amtrak train number 335, the Hiawatha for a quick trip to Milwalkie and back. We arived about 1 hour and 10 minutes ago on a BNSF train, but I couldn't get the engine numbers, of all times, I forgot to ask the conductor! (On our way home from Chicago to arrora, we saw a dubbleheaded train which could've and probably was ours.) I determained that our train was eithor pushed by 1 or 2 F40PH's, the engine in HEP, be it our first or second unit had a replaced fan.

The agent, a lady who we'd delt with on our trip with the Empire Builder said once the conductor told her passengers could board she'd give us a head start. I highly douted this, as the last time this agent was very rude about the boarding process and didn't follow prosejiors that are normally followed for boarding. Like I had thought, we didn't preboard, but it didn't really matter, although the agent had no reason to not allow us to, as I am blind.

We walked down the platform, and boarded the first coach, next to our engine which was the replacement for a cabbage car on this train. After walking through 3 coaches, we finally came to ex-Metroliner coach number 44550, rite behind the engineengine! We had earlier took a walk down the platform to get the consist.

Todays Hiawatha is pulled by Genesis engine number 517 and includes Ex-Metroliner coach number 44550, herison coaches 54512, 54561, 54534 and Genesis engine number 519.

HEP was taken off at 12:57 PM, and at 1:00 PM, rite on time, we pulled out of CUS. I heard on the conductors radio that there was a car stuck on the tracks at a grade crossing ahead. Another person told the conductor how he had heard that the car was stuck on the tracks at the grade crossing ahead and wondered if that would effect our train. The conductor replied it shouldn't, as the Metra train ahead of us had made it through. Aparently the car on the tracks didn't effect us, as the train continued on to Glenview, Sterdivant and Milwalkie, ware it arived at 2:25 PM, 14 minutes early!

Its about 2:30 PM, on Monday, Laberday, September 1, 2003, and we're in the Milwalkie Amtrak station, ware we will be boarding Amtrak train number 338, the Hiawatha, on our way back to Chicago. We arived 5 minutes later at 2:25 PM, and headed strate into the station ware we asked about preboarding. The agent told us to have a seet and that'd he'd take us out to the train in a cupple of minutes. He came back shortly and told us he'd go ahead and take us out now, and we went out a side door into the covered area ware our train is stopped. After boarding, we headed to the front and took seets as close to the door leeding to the cab car as possible.

Our train departed Milwalkie at 3:02 PM, 2 minutes late with 2 excilent honks, of corse echoing in the covered area from the perfectly tuned horn on Genesis engine number 519! After stopping at Sterdivant and Glenview, ware I didn't get the stop arivel/departure times, we arived in Chicago at 4:9 PM, 20 minutes early! These locomotives seem to be a fast pare! The ride behind the P32's made this trip especially enjoyable. I'm looking forward to my next rail adventure!

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