Posts Tagged ‘Amtrak F40PH locomotives’

F40s in Chicago

December 8, 2020

Over the years when I visited Chicago and its adjoining suburbs I often explored the commuter lines operated by Metra.

I spent some time at Rondout, Illinois, which was a junction of The Milwaukee Road, and the Elgin, Joliet & Eastern.

Overhead there used to be a bridge carrying the Chicago, North Shore & Milwaukee interurban railway branch that operated from Lake Bluff to Mundelein.

The North Shore, which ceased operation in January 1963, was famous for its Electroliners.

Two of those train sets still exist, including Nos. 801-802 at the Illinois Railway Museum and Nos. 803-804 at the Rockhill Trolley Museum adjacent to the East Broad Top in Pennsylvania. 

Also of interest in Rondout was a June 12, 1924, train robbery, the largest in U.S. history.

The Milwaukee Road’s Fast Mail was robbed by the Newton Gang and a corrupt postal inspector.

Over $2 million in cash, jewelry and securities were taken. All of the robbers were eventually caught and prosecuted. The stolen loot was recovered except for $100,000 of stolen goods.

Rondout was a commuter train stop until Nov. 22, 1984.

The top and middle photos were made from the commuter platform in September 1985.

The top image shows a Chicago-bound Amtrak Hiawatha led by an F40PH.

On the left of the photo can be seen the bridge abutment where the North Shore branch to Mundelein crossed over.

A bridge has since been built for the North Shore bike path, which occupies the former right of way.

Also off to the left past the signal bridge is where the Metra line to Fox Lake branches off. 

The middle image shows a commuter train led by an F40C crossing the EJ&E diamonds. It will cross over behind me to get to the Fox Lake branch.

These locomotives were operated by the Milwaukee Road and later Metra on commuter lines to Fox Lake and Elgin. In later years they were renumbered in the 600 series. 

The bottom photo was made from the rear of Amtrak’s Empire Builder at Western Avenue in Chicago during a trip to the Twin Cities on Aug. 27, 2007.

They are F40Cs 614 and 611 and were the last of their kind in revenue service.

I wonder why I find those roster numbers appealing.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas  

Amtrak’s Vermonter in the F40PH Era

November 11, 2020

Looking back at all of our travels, I’m amazed at the number of times we visited New England. Given all of the small charming towns, villages and cities; beautiful scenery; and plenty of railroad opportunities, I understand why we visited so often and, hopefully, will continue to do so.

In this post are some examples of seeing Amtrak’s Vermonter running between St. Albans, Vermont, and Washington via Springfield, Massachusetts, and New York City.

The first four images show the southbound Vermonter arriving in White River Junction, Vermont in October 1997.

Visible in the top image is Boston & Maine 4-4-0 No. 494 on statics display. It is one of three B&M steamers still existing.

The bottom image shows the northbound Vermonter crossing the White River at West Hartford, Vermont in June 1998.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Cardinal Flying Through a Hurricane

October 19, 2020

Amtrak’s eastbound Cardinal is passing milepost 479 on the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad in Hurricane, West Virginia, on Oct. 18, 1987. The photographer was in Hurricane to photograph the New River Train which in this year was being pulled by former Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765. The distance is measured from Newport News, Virginia.

Photograph by Edward Ribinskas

Difference of a Decade in Gallitzin

October 15, 2020

When visiting Altoona, Pennsylvania, and Horseshoe Curve a stop at nearby Gallitzin should be on the to do list.

The tunnel on the left in both photograph is the Gallitzin Tunnel which is the northern most of the Gallitzin tunnels.

The tunnel on the right is the Allegheny Tunnel. During the summer of 1994 an enlargement

project was begun to double track and adapt for doublestacks the Allegheny Tunnel.

When work was completed in the summer of 1995 the Gallitzin Tunnel was closed.

These two photos show the change. Also we can see how the Amtrak Pennsylvanian has changed over the years. F40PH locomotives and material handling cars have disappeared.

The top image shows the westbound Pennsylvanian exiting Gallitzin Tunnel on May 30, 1994. The bottom image shows a westbound Norfolk Southern train exiting Allegheny Tunnel  on September 20, 2004.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

3 Generations of Amtrak Power in Salt Lake City

October 2, 2020

Ursula and I flew to Salt Lake City for a October 1993 vacation and while there we visited the Amtrak (ex-Denver & Rio Grande Western) station to find three different locomotive models on site to serve the Amtrak trains out of Salt Lake City, the California Zephyr, Pioneer and Desert Wind.

In the top photograph F40PH No. 293 reposes with the Delta Center, then the home of the Utah Jazz, in background.

In the middle photograph P32-8 No.511 is paired with a Superliner coach. In the bottom photograph is P40DC No. 822 sporting the Phase III livery.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Early Generation Pennsylvanian

August 7, 2020

Amtrak’s Pennsylvanian has had a long and colorful history. It began on April 27, 1980, as a Pittsburgh-Philadelphia train funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

It was intended to replace, in part, the National Limited, which had been discontinued on Oct. 1, 1979, a move that ended intercity rail passenger service to Columbus and Dayton.

Extended to New York in October 1983, Nos. 46 and 47 got off to a slow start from a ridership perspective. But it took off and by 1994 had become part of Amtrak’s basic network.

This image was made near Lewistown, Pennsylvania, on June 27, 1988.

The Pennsylvanian looked then like any other eastern corridor service train pulled by an F40PH with a string of Amfleet coaches and a cafe car trailing.

The photographer was with Paul Woodring when he made this image. They were on their way back to Ohio after a weekend on the Blue Mountain & Reading chasing a steam locomotive.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

On the Road to Roanoke in July 1987

June 16, 2020

In late July 1987, I met up with the Surdyk family (William, Marty, Robert and John) in Parma Heights on the first step of a Rails to Roanoke trip for the 1987 National Railway Historical Society convention.

It would be a week long adventure. Our first stop was Cass, West Virginia, to ride and photograph the Cass Scenic Railroad.

We then spent the next two days photographing the Chesapeake & Ohio mainline in West Virginia and Virginia while working our way to the Shenandoah line to catch the inbound convention trip from Alexandria, Virginia, to Roanoke.

We met up with it at Delaplane, Virginia, and were able to photograph it at least 12 locations. We rode the Thursday July 30 trip behind Norfolk & Western Class A No. 1218 from Roanoke to Bluefield, West Virginia.

N&W Class J No. 611 would power our return to Roanoke. We did some photography east of Roanoke prior to the equipment display on July 31, which will start the second part of this series.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Amtrak’s Cardinal at Fort Spring, West Virginia, on July 26, 1987.

Big Bend Tunnel in West Virginia , on the C&O on July 27, 1987.

At Alleghany Tunnel in West Virginia on July 27, 1987. The locomotive engineer doing a roll by inspection is wearing a Chief Wahoo hat.

Southern FP7s on the Shenandoah line on July 29, 1987.

Southern FP7s at Buchanan, Virginia.

At Bedford, Virginia on July 31.

Broadway Limited in Beaver Falls

April 11, 2020

Amtrak is hardly a fallen flag, but some of its trains and locomotive models are.

Such is the case for the Broadway Limited, a onetime Chicago-New York/Washington train that was the only intercity passenger train in Northeast Ohio after Amtrak began on May 1, 1971.

At that time the Broadway operated on the Fort Wayne Line via Alliance, Canton and Massillon. It would later be rerouted to the former Baltimore & Ohio mainline via Akron.

In the photograph above, F40PH No. 361 is leading the Broadway through Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, on April 23, 1983.

The F40 was once the standard locomotive for most of Amtrak’s long-distance but it has since been retired as a locomotive although a few F40 frames are still on the roster for cab car service.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

F40s Were Still the Motive Power of Choice

November 27, 2019

Amtrak’s eastbound Lake Shore Limited saunters through Berea on March 30, 1996.

No. 48 was running late that day although I no longer remember how far behind scheduled it was.

At the time, F40PH locomotives were the motive power of choice on the Lake Shore.

But not for much longer. Already P40 units were on the property and Amtrak would begin taking delivery of P42DC locomotives starting in August 1996.

For those who like to pay attention to consists, Nos. 48 and 49 in this era was a mixture of three equipment types. Heritage fleet baggage cars, sleepers and dining cars co-mingled with Viewliner sleepers and Amfleet coaches and cafe cars.

The Lake Shore also had a healthy load of material handling cars tacked on the rear carrying mail and express shipments.

That is a Conrail auto rack train passing No. 48 on Track No. 1.

Retired Amtrak Locomotives Going to LTEX

July 11, 2019

Some retired Amtrak locomotives are reported to be bound for LTEX in Northeast Ohio where they are expected to be used for parts.

They are P40-8 and F40PHR units that had been stored at Amtrak shops in Wilmington and Bear, Delaware.

The locomotives were moved in CSX train CSX train Q389-08.

LTEX has received former Amtrak F40 units previously, but this is thought to be its first experience with GE Genesis series diesels.

Amtrak is retaining possession of P40 No. 828 to use for training purposes in Wilmington. The unit was retired in 2005.