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Travelogue of Michael Hansen's Trip on the Amtrak Ann Rutledge

Its about 7:50 AM, on Monday, August 2, 2004, and I, along with my Dad, am in Chicago Union Station, wating to board train number 303, the Southbound Ann Rutledge, to Springfield.  Our trip started out on the 6:37 AM Metra train from Geneva to Chicago, pushed by F40PH-2 number 135, and led by cab car number 8446.  (Something to note hear - the bell on the 8446 had a hard time starting ringing more then half of the time.  We arived downtown at 7:35 AM, and headed strate over to Union Station, ariving at the Amtrak Ticket Agent area at 7:49 AM.  We got our tickets, and headed over to the south boarding lounge, where we only waited less then a minute, before boarding for business class passengers began.  How we got to go Business class is a story in itself.  Our orriginal plan was to take train 30 later tonight, however because of a cupple personal reasons, we decided to cancel that trip.  As it turned out, with the hightening of the terror allert, I'm glad we canceled our trip earlier.  We boarded our train around 7:55 AM, and I got the consist as we passed each car.  When we went out of Chicago Union Station, I heard locomotive number 66, clicking away in HEP.  We walked up to the front of the train, and boarded our car, and took seets as close to the engine as possible.

Todays Ann Rutledge is pulled by Genesis Engine number 157 and includes business class/cafe car 20253, and horison coaches 54536, 54544, and 54548.  HEP was taken off at 8:21 AM, and restored soon after that.  We departed on time at 8:25 AM, and we went to the cafe car for a hot chocolate at 8:38 AM.  We headed back to our seets around 8:45 AM, and I started working on this travelogue.  We arived at our first stop at Summit, IL, at 8:53 AM, and departed at 8:56 AM, with 2 pleasing honks from AMTK157's horn, a standard K5LA.  I took out my computer charger, and plugged it in.  Givven that I had my computer plugged in, I decided to edit my sound files from this mornings ride on Metra.

We arived at our next stop, Joliet, IL, at 9:26 AM, and departed at 9:30 AM.  I decided to take out my tape player, and listen to tapes for a while.  We paused briefly at Dwite, IL, at 10:06 AM, and got the highball.  We were now running 17 minutes late.  We arived at our next stop of Pontiac at 10:22 AM, and departed at 10:23 AM, still 17 minutes late.

We arived at our next stop, Bloomington, IL, at 10:51 AM, and departed soon after that.  We arived Lincoln at 11:22 AM, and departed at 11:23        After departing Lincoln, I gathered up my stuff, and we waited at our seets until about 11:45 AM, when we moved to the rear of our car to detrain.  We arived at Springfield at 11:50 AM, 7 minutes late.

My trip on Amtrak was very nice, and I'm looking forward to my trip back on Wednesday, not without watching a lot of trains though!

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