Posts Tagged ‘Amtrak F40PHR’

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  

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

Used to Be Amtrak

November 4, 2019

If the profile of FLNX No. 418 looks familiar that’s because this F40PHR began life as Amtrak No. 319.

Built by EMD in August 1979, Amtrak 319 roamed the system until being retired in October 2001.

It was then acquired by R.P. Flynn Incorporation, doing business as Ohio Railway Supply, and pulled Orrville Railroad Heritage Society excursion trains in 2005.

It is shown stored at the former ORHS maintenance site on Oct. 29, 2005, in Orrville.

The unit later moved to the Saratoga & North Creek, a tourist railroad in the New York Adirondack mountains.

A footnote in the history of this locomotive shows that when built by EMD in 1979 the shop used parts from former Amtrak SDP40F No. 583, hence the letter “R” in its model designation.

Photograph by Robert Farkas