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Travelogue of Michael Hansen's Trip on the Amtrak Statehouse

Its about 4:50 PM, on Saturday, July 10, 2004, and I, along with my Mom, are in Chicago Union Station, wating to board train number 305, the Southbound Statehouse, to Springfield.  Our trip started on the 2:05 PM Metra train from Geneva to Chicago.  The engine on that train was number 157, an F40PH-2.  The consist was made up of 7000's cars, with cab car number 8417 taking the leed.  After we got into Chicago, we went to see our engineer friend Hector take his train, led by MP36PH-3 (These are more commonly refurred to as MP36's) number 416, out of Chicago Union Station.  (He even blew the horn unmodgulated in the station for me!)  After that, we got something to drink, and headed over to the CVS farmocy near Chicago Union Station.

After doing all of that, it was about 4:25 PM, and we headed back up to Mcdonalds to get some food for the ride, and headed down to our gate, where we waited to board the train.  We boarded around 4:55 PM, and were instructed to board AmfleetII coach number 25000.  HEP was taken off at 5:10 PM, and we departed rite on time at 5:15 PM.

Tonights Statehouse is pulled by Genesis Amclick Engine number 91 and includes a bissnass class car, cafe car 20163, AmfleetII coaches 25071 and 25000, Horizon coach 54579, and 3 or 4 privet cars on the end of the train.  On departure from Chicago we saw the AMTK128, running train 347.  After we passed the 128, my Mom informed me that AMTK87, 182, an unidentified unit and 44 were on the Southwest Chief, with 44 in the leed.  Further down we saw the AMTK30, and in the yard we saw the AMTK161 heading into CUS, the AMTK793 doing some switching and still further down the AMTK153, 142 and some other units all still in the yard.  My Mom said that because of some mail/express cars, her view of most of the engine part of the yard was blocked.  Just after we left the yard, I took out my laptop, and started this travelogue.

We came to a brief stop stop at 5:29 PM, but were off again with 2 toots from AMTK91's horn.  (The horn was only modgulated, with the first 2 bells playing, and we heard it!)  I took out my cell phone, and called a friend to let him know we were on board.  While talking to him, we made our first stop, at Summit, IL, at 5:39 PM, and departed at 5:41 PM.  I took out my tape player, and listened to tapes until we arived at Joliet, IL, at 6:06 PM, and departed at 6:10 PM, now 5 minutes late.  We didn't get very far, however.  At 6:12 PM, we stopped, and got back on the move at 6:13 PM.  We headed to the cafe car; however, it was too crowded for me to get through easily, so we returned to our seets and Mom went and got me my hot chocolate.  I took out my microphone, and my digital recorder from my shirt pocket, and took a recording of engine 91's horn, a standard K5LA.  At 6:47 PM, we made a brief stop at Dwite, departing less then a minute later, making us 8 minutes late (My Mom had picked up a timetable from the lounge car.)  Our arivel at Pontiac didn't come without a delay; we arived 6 minutes late at 7:03 PM, and departed less then a minute later.  We headed to the cafe car again at around 7:25 PM, where I got a hot chocolate and some recordings of number 91's horn.  We arived at Bloomington at 7:32 PM, and stayed in the station for 5 minutes; we were now 10 minutes late at departure at 7:37 PM.  We returned to our car around 8:00 PM; and made our next stop at Lincoln at 8:07 PM, 7 minutes late.  We only paused at lincoln; interestingly enough, we've never sat long at Lincoln.  I started gathering up my stuff around 8:25 PM; at 8:35 PM, we headed into the vestibule, only to sit back down when we figured out that we were not yet ariving in Springfield.  Finally, we arived at 8:45 PM, 7 minutes late.  We headed up to the engine, AMTK91, for me to record it leeving; train 305 departed at 8:50 PM, 13 minutes late.

My trip on Amtrak was very enjoyable; the AmfleetI coach was surtanly prefferable over the normal horizon coach.  I am looking forward to my weekend of trainwatching; and to the trip back home on Monday!

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