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A trip to work steam trains and to visit Kathleen


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#1 Seaboard92

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Posted 02 February 2018 - 09:51 PM

Well here is a report that's majorly overdue

Part 1 June 12/13 the Silver Meteor

As many of you guys know I work on private rail cars and on steam trains as part of my job. And as part of that I was working on the Joliet Rocket out of Joliet, IL this last June. What some of you know and many of you don't know is that I was also dating Kathleen of Seattle, WA at the same time. So I merged the two trips into one and missed my grandmothers 84th birthday. This trip took me on 3 Amtrak services, 6 commuter trains, one steam train, and one private train; as well as three airlines.

So I packed my bags the day before I traveled for a change and was ready to catch Train No. 98 the Silver Meteor to travel to Washington, DC. I looked on the ASM maps at five and saw that it was stopped in rural Georgia and shortly thereafter learned it was a collision with a log truck. So now with my extra time I went to a trampoline park with my sister, and my honorary sister her best friend for a few hours.

My ride to the train station was my dad who didn't want to drive me at the revised time of three AM for my train which I understood so we left the house at nine and I was at the station by ten ten several hours before the train. I stood outside of the station in the well lit area to FaceTime my girlfriend Kathleen as the auto-pain pulled in for its service stop.

She was very surprised that I didn't care that the auto pain had pulled in because my back was to it so she could see it on her phone passing behind me. And then after about thirty minutes she went to work which is a nurse at a hospital. On one of her last night shifts.

So I just sat and waited around the station. I wrote up part of a trip report I never finished posting to AU and just passed the time. The train pulled in around three AM and I promptly walked out to my sleeper in car 9812. I went into the heritage diner to take some empty interior photos knowing this would be my last heritage car trip.

I noticed a lovely new feature to my room a little card welcoming me to the silver meteor. By routine I am a night owl and three AM is my normal bedtime so I then went to bed. I woke up as we pulled into Petersburg, VA around seven in the morning.

I then changed into my suit to eat breakfast. Yes I travel like the golden era of travel in a suit and tie. I got some fresh air at Richmond while they refueled the single P42 on our train. Upon Reboarding I went to the dining car and had a lovely breakfast. I was seated with several people traveling from Florida to New York and they were fascinated by the concept of private railcars.

After breakfast o then gathered my things and prepared to detrain in DC. Upon arrival in DC I walked to my senator's office's to tell them why we need Amtrak funding. There was a fascinating protest going on outside the station with paper cut outs of world leaders. After meeting with my elected officials I went down to my favorite railfaning vantage point in DC where one can photograph the Capitol dome and trains.

It was a very hot and humid DC day so then I walked to the Tune Inn for lunch. For those who don't know what the Tune Inn is; it's a West Virginia themed bar with amazing food at cheap prices on Capitol SE. After that I decided it was much to hot to walk around, but didn't want to waste time in the club Acela in a world class city. So I went to the postal museum.

Now I thought I knew everything possible about the post office because my dad is a letter carrier but the museum proved that otherwise. And I took the guided tour which I highly recommend if you want to see the highlights in a short amount of time. I walked back to Union station at 3:15 got my dinner reservation in the lounge then boarded the train on track 15 I believe.
View my pictures at http://trainboy1.rrpicturearchives.net
Amtrak Routes I've riden: Silver Star(NYP-ORL), Silver Meteor(KIS-NYP),Carolinian(CLT-NWK), Palmetto (FLO-NYP), Acela(WAS-NYP), NE Regional(WBG-RVR), Pacific Surfliner(SAN-OSD), Piedmont(CLT-SAL), Crescent(NYP-CLT), Cardinal (WAS-CHI), Capitol Limited (CHI-WAS), Cascade (PDX-SEA)
Steam Engines I've worked behind: Norfolk & Western No. 611; Nickel Plate Road No. 765; Southern Pacific No. 4449
 

#2 Seaboard92

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Posted 02 February 2018 - 10:48 PM

Part II: June 13 the Capitol Limited

Well the second leg of my trip was the mighty Capitol Limited of Baltimore and Ohio fame. I boarded from the Club Acela and went to my room and stored my carry on before walking up to the locomotive for a moment. Then I went I talked to my SCA who thought I was the Amtrak cameraman that was supposed to be on the train but no showed.

I started off by calling my mom from the room to tell her how great superliner sleepers were because I have never actually ridden in one before this point. After calling my mother I FaceTimed my girlfriend Kathleen on her way to her last night shift. It was really funny because we were FaceTimeing at the place we actually initially met the Silver Spring WAMATA stop. I FaceTimed her till Point of Rocks when the many tunnels made it impossible to keep a call. I promised her I would call her from Pittsburgh.

I then went to the sightseer lounge where I met a girl studying at George Washington from Iowa taking the train back from orientation. Then I talked to a nice fellow about all the problems in the world. And how to solve them. He was interesting to say the least. Then it was time for me to go to the diner.

I was seated with a lovely retired couple traveling to Seattle and a really nice young woman traveling to Cleveland from helping her sister move to Virginia. We had a lovely conversation and Maddy going to Cleveland wanted a dessert and I didn't. So I just ordered it for her on my sleeper check. Why let it go to waste.

Maddy and I then went to the sightseer lounge where we sat and talked all the way from Cumberland to Cleveland. Yes I missed my phone call with Kathleen but I was having so much fun talking. I learned about her boyfriend from Vladlivostock Who's name I can't spell. We both bragged about how great each other's relationships were. And talked literally about everything.

After she detrained I retired to my room where I slept from Cleveland to Toledo because we were three hours late. I woke up in a field hoping I hadn't missed the fresh air stop at Toledo and figured I hadn't. Then five minutes later we pulled into Toledo. I found that strange how sudden it popped up. Snagged a few minutes on the platform then went to breakfast.

After breakfast I divided my time between my room and the sightseer Lounge because it didn't have as amazing of people to talk to. After south bend I sat in the diner and talked shop with the LSA and his crew the rest of the way into Chicago.

Chicago 6/14

I arrived quickly grabbed my bag and made a bee line for the ticket counter. Kathleen and I were planning on taking train No. 510 the Cascade to Vancouver for a day trip because I was flying home from YVR and I had procrastinated buying tickets. Which meant the train was sold out from Mount Vernon one stop to Bellingham.

As luck would happen on one of my hundreds of checks two tickets popped up so I made a mad dash for the ticket counter. Then I couldn't get the tickets because I didn't have her passport number. So I called her while walking down canal street to one of my favorite railfaning spots.

We talked for a good hour on the phone as I photographed trains with one hand and talked with the other. And our call was interrupted by trains every few minutes. After that call I googled the Best Fried Chicken In Chicago which took me to a weird little neighborhood. But a very charming one.

The chicken was very good and I walked a block figuring I could photograph the Empire Builder as it passed by which didn't happen because it began to rain and it left an hour late. Due to the rain I ran to the Elevated and went out to my AirBNB. It wasn't in the best of neighborhoods but it was right on the Burlington speedway.

After checking in with my host I charged my devices and went back to Union Station to railfan at Franklin Park. I took a Milwaukee District West train to Franklin Park which was in the midst of a supercell. So I photographed from the overhang of the building and not the junction with the CN.

After giving up on that I went back to Union Station and had dinner where I met a really nice photographer traveling from Austin to Boston on Amtrak and had a lovely chat. After that I walked to the elevated and took a pink line back to the room.

Chicago 6/15

I woke up and photographed an inbound Zephyr at the room then took the elevated into downtown. I knew that two trains had private cars on the rear and I thought I would photograph them from Roosevelt Road. I managed to get some amazing skyline photos with the trains from there.

After seeing two Wolverines, the Lake Shore Limited, Capitol Limited, a Lincoln Service, and the Texas eagle I had to walk over to La Salle Street station to meet my partner malcolm. We then went back to the room stowed his stuff and returned to downtown.

We went to lunch at the original Uno's which I thought was special before going to shop for shirts for him. After trying nearly ten stores we eventually found what he was looking for and went to Union Station to go railfan on the speedway. I had heard so many great things about the speedway that I felt it was worthy of seeing.

It did not disappoint and we caught a late running Southwest Chief with the Tioga Pass on the rear. We were then both needing a restroom and a water fountain so we walked to a local hospital entered in with a nurse thru the staff door. She needed help carrying something in. Got water and walked to Hinsdale from Highlands.

There was a lovely summer festival at the metra station with a live band and food trucks that we enjoyed. Then we had dinner at the Mexican restaurant in the Burlington Station before returning to downtown and the room.

Chicago 6/16

This morning we woke up super early to take an early Union Pacific West train to West Chicago from Northwestern Terminal. We stowed our bags at the new Metropolitan Lounge because malcolm is a select plus member as we were staying on board the rocket.

We took the early outbound train out to west Chicago where we had a lovely Midwestern diner breakfast before railfaning at the CN/UP diamond west of town. After a few hours we went downtown and had lunch in the food court of northwestern.

The two of us did some sightseeing and enjoyed seeing Chicago. We went back to Northwestern to see the Car 553 the only PV in commuter service where we managed to get a tour.

After that we heard heritage unit 406 was on the Pere Marquette so we attempted to catch that but it turns out it didn't go out on that train. We then grabbed our bags and took a cab to the Rocket Yard.
View my pictures at http://trainboy1.rrpicturearchives.net
Amtrak Routes I've riden: Silver Star(NYP-ORL), Silver Meteor(KIS-NYP),Carolinian(CLT-NWK), Palmetto (FLO-NYP), Acela(WAS-NYP), NE Regional(WBG-RVR), Pacific Surfliner(SAN-OSD), Piedmont(CLT-SAL), Crescent(NYP-CLT), Cardinal (WAS-CHI), Capitol Limited (CHI-WAS), Cascade (PDX-SEA)
Steam Engines I've worked behind: Norfolk & Western No. 611; Nickel Plate Road No. 765; Southern Pacific No. 4449
 

#3 Seaboard92

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 12:12 AM

Part III the Joliet Rocket and Private Train

After they let us into the Rocket Yard in south side Chicago we had to wait until Metra allowed us to start preparing the coaches. So in that time Malcolm ordered delivery with Uber Eats and we proceeded to eat our dinner next to a steam locomotive that had just arrived moment earlier. Once we were clear to start work I went thru each car we had permission to work on being the Wisconsin Valley, Lake Pepin, Franklin Inn, NS 26,28,29, 46, 47 and turned the Generators on for the cars that had them.

By doing that we cooled the cars down that had been baking under the Midwestern sun all day; so it would be tolerable to work. Also because we needed lights. We started disinfecting Windows, vacuuming cars, un reclining seats, and making it look presentable.

It was Malcolm's first time working a trip so I went ahead and taught him everything from how the trap opens, and all that fun stuff. Then I left him to work while I went off to service the potable water tanks with the metra coach cleaners.

That task took the better part of four hours because we had one golf cart with a 250 gallon tank. And finding all of the fill locations on various cars is often a challenge. After that I was pooped so Malcolm and I took turns sleeping on the floor of the Wisconsin Valley on the cushions from a booth.

6/17 Joliet Rocket Day 1

I woke up with a bang because they had finally finished building our train. And the bang was the switch engine. They took the engine overnight to The terminal to test clearances after having to rebuild a frog in the yard. I let Malcolm sleep more while I went to work on the rest of the consist.

We started the deadhead from the rocket yard at seven AM. My partner and I finally had a chance to unwind and relax. So we spent the entire time riding in an open vestibule as a Metra F40 pulled us to Joliet.

Malcolm and I were at a vestibule that was serving for 300 plus passengers because of the short platform. The platform was a bit disorganized but we still managed to depart on time. Malcolm didn't get his uber eats breakfast because it never made it to him.

Me I just powered thru without food because the job never finishes. I spent the entire run into Chicago keeping vestibules, bathrooms clean, and answering questions. While our passengers enjoyed 70+ mph steam with open vestibules.

We split the train prior to arrival in La Salle Street Terminal because we were too long for the platform. After detraining the passengers my boss brought me a small breakfast and after consuming it I finished cleaning cars. I was then put in charge of vestibules on the photo runby in the terminal. So I closed all but the Hickory Creek till it was time.

Then I had the biggest honor in my railroad career. And that was yelling all aboard and buttoning the trap on the tail car of the 20th Century at its former terminus. I am in countless videos and photos on that runby. After some more time in Chicago we reboarded. Then departed for Joliet.

The runs to Joliet really weren't that special and we just made sure things ran smoothly. And we enjoyed the company of the host in charge of the Wisconsin Valley because Ashley was so awesome.

The afternoon trip was an exact repeat of the morning trip except we did a runby at Tenley Park. Malcolm stayed on the platform to make sure people stayed far enough back. While I stayed on board and rode open vestibule for the runby with all of my PPE on.

Again we had an uneventful work day till we arrived back into Joliet. Right as we started detraining the heavens opened and rain started to pour. By the end of the boarding process Malcolm and I were soaked as we were the last ones on the platform as part of the few members returning to the yard.

The ride back to the yard however was amazing. It was dark as night leaving Joliet as the sun was technically setting, and soon turned to night. It was pouring rain so in the vestibule it felt like bullets hitting you. Yet I proudly stood in the vestibule after gathering all of the trash and piling it in the vestibules and got furthered doused.

It was so incredible to watch the Mars light of the locomotive swinging and lighting up the scenery and the sheets of rain falling. Then every few seconds lightening would show the incredible cloud foundations. It was truly a memorable experience and o wasn't the only person on the crew cramming into vestibules. Most of the crew was on the balcony of Tioga Pass, while Malcolm was sitting dry in the dome with the same view.

It stopped raining as soon as we returned to the yard and I started servicing the train. After throwing all the trash off, Malcolm went to servicing the interior of the train while I handled water tanks.

I accidentally shut the water off to fill the tank on the Tioga pass when someone was taking a shower, they weren't too happy but they understood. It took six hours to fill the tanks because our small capacity rank on the golf cart, and it's small pump was no match for scenic View. And we had to search around seven buildings to find a garden hose to fill the tank.

Such a big car, with a huge tank but no real efficient way to fill it. I then went to bed around three AM after finishing the job for the day.

6/18 the second day.

I awoke with a startle at six AM on the floor of the Wisconsin Valley with my boss's smiling face looking down at me. Turns out I overslept my alarm by an hour. At least he didn't mind because he knew how much I had been doing.

We were ready to deadhead and being ahead on work we again had a lovely positioning move hanging out in the vestibule. The morning trip was exactly the same as the previous morning.

On the way back from Chicago I had my first chance to sit down where j met two really nice young railfans who were very interested in my war stories. And they made a favorable impression on me and my crew so we will have one on our crew next time. One asked if I have model trains. My response

"Why have models when I play with the real thing!" I truly have an amazing job. When we arrived in Joliet we actually held up the Texas eagle as we were fouling the CN/UP diamond. After detraining we pulled the train across the diamond to the old Union Station to await the afternoon run.

We had to do that in order to clear a commuter train. The afternoon run was just the same as all of the other runs. And I was able to talk Norm the owner of Tioga pass into letting us sleep on his car in La Salle Street Terminal for the night. I asked because Malcolm had an eight am Lincoln service to take and our railroad provided hotel had no public transit.

He so kindly let us stay on his car for the night. After we cleaned it at the end we had to make a frantic search for the donation suitcase. Which a senior ops person had already taken back to the railroad hotel without notifying anyone.

Malcolm and I then made sure our stuff was off the cars staying in the rocket yard and stowed them on the Tioga Pass. Both of us enjoyed our five mile private move with the Hickory Creek leading the fast shove. The consist was the Hickory Creek, Tioga Pass, Scenic View, Wisconsin Valley, Lake Pepin, and a F40PH of Metra.

Once we arrived into La Salle Street Malcolm and I both took a shower on the Tioga. Then the owner Norm and his friend owner of the Aberdeen Carolina and Western took us out to dinner. We had a lovely roof top dinner at a bar somewhere near La Salle Street Terminal.

This is the first time a CEO has ever paid for my dinner and I have to say I am still humbled. And we had lovely chats the entire night. We then slept like babies in real beds. The lights of La Salle didn't bother us one bit.

I got up and put my suit on to say goodbye to Malcolm as he went to Union Station. Then Mr. Menzies, Norm, another guy who's name I don't remember, and I went to breakfast together. Mr. Menzies asked why I was in a suit.

My response "It's not everyday I get to have breakfast with the CEO of the railroad." After breakfast we returned to the cars just before Metra would begin the fun private train move to Union Station. The three of us stood on the balcony of the Tioga Pass and in the Hickory Creek's vestibule for our fun little movement.

We pulled down to the Saint Charles airline, got shoved down it and stopped for thirty minutes before joining the Burlington Speedway. In that time the Lake Shore Limited passed under us as it was getting wyed. Then we took the same wye and backed into Union Station's high level platforms.

Mr. Menzies and I then strolled around the high level platforms taking in this rarely seen sight and the empire builder passed us on the thru track. I sat with them in the darkened Tioga pass with no HEP until the Amtrak switch engine showed up to take them to 14th street.

It was time for me to catch an outbound Metra to O'Hare to catch the inaugural Delta flight from ORD-SEATAC. I made that connection easily. When I arrived at the actual airport there was a short rain storm.

I paid to have my bag checked then went thru security and it was sunny again outside. Well turns out air traffic control diverted my plane due to that previous short storm to Des Moines. Delta kept delaying my plane to visit my girlfriend by thirty minutes. It took off from Des Moines only to return fifteen minutes later because the pilots died on the hours.

And by the time they found a replacement pilot, the flight attendants no longer could fly so they canceled us. This was at midnight which was the time I should have been in my lovers arms at the arrivals level of SEATAC.

So I wanted to get to Seattle as fast as I could even though Kathleen was working day shift that next day and couldn't see me till seven PM. So they rebooked me in first class on Alaska Airlines keep in mind I paid for an economy delta flight.

But I missed the hotel vouchers so most of the night I wandered ORD looking for a place to sleep. Eventually I gave up on that and followed the sounds of a piano the airport piano bar where two gate agents were playing. The three of us took turns playing. We even made some tips in the middle of the night.

After they went off duty I went to the gate for my flight and met two nice people whom I started talking to. Turns out they were All Aboard Washington members and knew my girlfriend and her entire family. And we became fast friends.

With nowhere to go upon arrival into Seattle they offered to let me stay at their house for the day to rest up. Which I gladly accepted.
View my pictures at http://trainboy1.rrpicturearchives.net
Amtrak Routes I've riden: Silver Star(NYP-ORL), Silver Meteor(KIS-NYP),Carolinian(CLT-NWK), Palmetto (FLO-NYP), Acela(WAS-NYP), NE Regional(WBG-RVR), Pacific Surfliner(SAN-OSD), Piedmont(CLT-SAL), Crescent(NYP-CLT), Cardinal (WAS-CHI), Capitol Limited (CHI-WAS), Cascade (PDX-SEA)
Steam Engines I've worked behind: Norfolk & Western No. 611; Nickel Plate Road No. 765; Southern Pacific No. 4449
 

#4 Seaboard92

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 12:35 AM

Part IV: Seattle

Well I had planned to go to lunch with Kathleen on her lunch break but I was so tired from a sleepless night that I slept right on thru that. She understood though which was a good thing. I left my new friends house at six to take the Link to Seattle.

I knew one way to get to her hospital to meet her after work and as it turned out the first hill street car wasn't running. So I had to improv on the fly after having walked to where I remembered the stop being.

I then got lost looking for the bus she had previously recommended. And when I saw it at a stop downhill I booked it. Still in my suit as I figured that would be a great way to greet her. I had trouble slowing my pace from the steep downhill. The driver was like "I saw you I wouldn't have left if you waved."

The driver then gave me a proper welcome to the city and was really nice and sweet. And that took me to where she would come. Kathleen told me to stand at the bus stop to meet her which I did. And shortly thereafter she turned the corner and we had a running reunion similar to what you would see in a common romantic comedy film.

She then gave me a small guided walking tour of downtown where I heard all of her opinions of the development. Before we caught the trolley bus to her apartment. She freshened up while I fed the cat, and talked to the cat.

After that we went to a lovely Mediterranean restaurant next door which had a phenomenal steak. We then went back to her apartment to watch a film and catch up. And technically I was scheduled to stay with Charlie but Kathleen wouldn't let me leave her apartment. And Charlie if you see this again I am very sorry about that.

I gave Kathleen her presents from my last trip to Europe. Then we went to bed to prepare for a night of sightseeing around her city.

6/21 Seattle

This morning we went down to Pike Place Market (there is no S it is not Pikes according to her the native Seattleite). I took her to a German grocery store to try bratkartofel which she enjoyed. Then we went up to Fremont saw the troll and had lunch at a diner.

After a lovely burger bar lunch we went to see the Lenin Statue of Fremont because she knows I study communism academically and would be interested. After that we did some shopping before going to the lochs at Ballard.

We relaxed at the lochs watching trains cross the bridge and we went to viewing point of the fish ladder. I remember covering her eyes so she wouldn't see the dead fish with some nasty wounds float by. Which is something I won't forget. After that she called my dad to give him instructions how to care for my mom who had a surgery that day for kidney stones.

After that we strolled in Ballard and I found my favorite flavor of ice cream before we went to a bar for some drinks. Followed by the best record store in the country Bop Street Records. We then had dinner in a local quick service place before going back to her apartment to watch movies for the night. Which both o us passed out watching.

June 22 Seattle

We awoke and strolled down to a local French bakery which was amazing in Eastlake before we took a bus to downtown. Today she wanted to take me to see Union Station and Smith Tower. So we went to Smith Tower and had a lovely visit. And a ride up the manual elevators which I found amazing.

We had lunch at the top of the tower which is a memory I will never forget. Her radiant beauty and mount rainier in the background on a picture perfect day. The food was excellent, and the view was great. But she really made it special for me.

After lunch we went down to King Street station to see the builder off with its three private cars on the rear. It also had a women engineer which prompted her catch phrase "the future is female."

After seeing that off we went antiquing before taking a ferry across the sound to see the skyline. We had a lovely snack on board the boat back. Then we attempted to follow her dad's old work route up to the top of the hills by escalator. We failed at that.

Then we went and had a picnic in a park overlooking the city before taking an uber back to her place for our final night together. And we watched my favorite movie. My Fellow Americans
View my pictures at http://trainboy1.rrpicturearchives.net
Amtrak Routes I've riden: Silver Star(NYP-ORL), Silver Meteor(KIS-NYP),Carolinian(CLT-NWK), Palmetto (FLO-NYP), Acela(WAS-NYP), NE Regional(WBG-RVR), Pacific Surfliner(SAN-OSD), Piedmont(CLT-SAL), Crescent(NYP-CLT), Cardinal (WAS-CHI), Capitol Limited (CHI-WAS), Cascade (PDX-SEA)
Steam Engines I've worked behind: Norfolk & Western No. 611; Nickel Plate Road No. 765; Southern Pacific No. 4449
 

#5 Seaboard92

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 02:01 AM

Part V Vancouver and the Trip Home

6/23 Train 510 the Cascades amount Adams trainset.

We woke up early and I packed my bags, and Kathleen got ready for the day. We went down to the SLUT because the nearby bus wasn't running soon enough and we took it from endpoint to endpoint. Then we took a bus to Pioneer Square.

The two of us door busted one of her favorite breakfast places Biscuit Bi*ch to get biscuits before walking down to the train station. I checked my bag so I wouldn't have to deal with it on board and we checked in. We requested sound side which is what we got. I took a few photos of the train on the platform before we settled in.

I let her Take the window seat because I thought that would be really sweet of me. We enjoyed our breakfast as the train was pulling out of the station under Pioneer Square and along the waterfront. Shortly thereafter we were passing above the lochs we sun bathed at previously.

She was very tired so she slept most of the way while I just admired the beauty of the Great Northwest from the aisle seat, and compared it to the ravishing beauty of her. There were some loud "bros" in our car which was annoying her. So I stood up despite her telling me not to and kindly asked them to use a lower tone because others were trying to sleep.

After a few hours we crossed into Canada where I remember her saying "pause for a minute and think you are in a country not led by Trump" which I think about now every time I cross into Canada. I remember the track speed being significantly slower in Canada then it was south of the border.

We arrived shortly after where I enjoyed seeing the Canadian equipment parked in the station but refrained from too many pictures because I wanted to get out of there rapidly and to enjoy the city. I remember being antsy as they were letting everyone off before us to customs thinking of her limited time till 517 departed that evening.

After we cleared customs we went to an ATM to get 100 CAD for the day in Vancouver and we both posed with the money like rich people making fans. We then went and boarded the SkyTrain for the Waterfront. There was a store she wanted to check out so we went over to it. Then we went to a sidewalk cafe for lunch by the Steam Clock.

What a unique clock and what a fantastic restaurant. It felt so European which was lovely. And the steak was only 2 dollars more then the hamburger so obviously I went with the steak. We then walked down to the end of the street so I could look at the rail equipment (this was her idea not mine). And as it turned out the Royal Canadian Pacific was I town with its CP F units. So I ended up getting very lucky seeing that.

After that we walked around downtown till it was time to see her off on Train 517. The Amtrak crew allowed me to wait in line with her for customs as long as I left the line when she was next. I remember standing there watching her go thru customs, and turn to wave goodbye then walk to board the Talgo.

And what I didn't know then was that would be the last time in my life I would ever see my love. I had told her though I would go and railfan her train so as soon as she cleared I retrieved my bag from the VIA storage and caught the sky train out to a crossing I had decided. I had made sure they gave her a sound side seat so I knew which side to stand on.

To make it easier for her to find me I put on all of my PPE from the Joliet Rocket which really made me look like a nerd with a hivis vest, safety glasses, a hard hat, neon green work gloves. As I arrived at my spot the gates went down immediately and the Rocky Mountaineer rolled by.

Shortly thereafter her train came by. I took a photo of every car on the train to try and get a photo of her waving. Only I didn't see anyone waving. I didn't see her at all because she didn't wave. After that I took the SkyTrain back to the train station where I walked around the park out front with its rowing competition.

Eventually I took the SkyTrain back out to the same crossing because I wanted to see the Canadian roll by me. I had a flight to catch across town so I unfortunately left a minute too soon. As I boarded the SkyTrain the crossing gates lowered and it went by.

I then had an easy red eye flight to Toronto where initially I had planned on seeing the town. But a few friends recommend that I don't try that and I listened. I flew on WestJet to Toronto on a 737-800 and on an ERJ175 on American to Charlotte. She sent me a greeting welcoming me home right as my plane arrived. But then she didn't really talk much.

And the next day I sent her an article that was talking about Colbert running for president in 2020 and she called me and dumped me.

I was completely blindsided and went into a very very bad depression. And unfortunately I vented to the wrong people then, and tried too hard to fix things because I made emotional decisions. I became a recluse on the AU boards for awhile and went to a really dark place for several months.

I honestly credit four people with the reason I'm still here today my friend and ex Julia of PDX, my friend Richard, my partner Malcolm, and AU's own norfolk&western611henry aka Henry. And to that there are no words strong enough to say thank you. With their help I am in a much better place now. I'm not completely over my darling Kathleen but I'm slowly making progress every day. And it effected my work life as well.

And I just wish I could apologize for reacting so poorly and emotionally to her but will never get the opportunity. And I would love to be friends with her but it's probably for the best that we aren't friends.

I started writing a book to clear my head of my depression with Henry. And now it's well over 600 pages and nowhere near finished.

So thank you for reading my report. I'll post the pictures from all of it sometime tomorrow.
View my pictures at http://trainboy1.rrpicturearchives.net
Amtrak Routes I've riden: Silver Star(NYP-ORL), Silver Meteor(KIS-NYP),Carolinian(CLT-NWK), Palmetto (FLO-NYP), Acela(WAS-NYP), NE Regional(WBG-RVR), Pacific Surfliner(SAN-OSD), Piedmont(CLT-SAL), Crescent(NYP-CLT), Cardinal (WAS-CHI), Capitol Limited (CHI-WAS), Cascade (PDX-SEA)
Steam Engines I've worked behind: Norfolk & Western No. 611; Nickel Plate Road No. 765; Southern Pacific No. 4449
 

#6 Alice

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 08:42 PM

Great story as usual, Seaboard. Sorry about Kathleen. Glad your friends were able to provide you with good support when it mattered.



#7 Seaboard92

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 08:48 PM

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I've ridden the Silver Meteor a lot but I've never noticed this unique building.

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The Silver Meteor at Richmond refueling.

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10 am Acela departing.

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The Silver Meteor at Washington.

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The unique protest at Union Station.

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A southbound Amtrak under the dome.

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The national mall.

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The US Capitol.

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The Capitol Limited at Washington

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Harper's Ferry

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The Capitol Limited at Pittsburgh

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A foggy Ohio field where I woke up.

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The Capitol Limited at Toledo

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Indiana fields.

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The Capitol Limited at Chicago

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Metra under a skyscraper.

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Downtown

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Metra Milwaukee District

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Amtrak Hiawatha.

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The Chicago River.

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Union station by night.
View my pictures at http://trainboy1.rrpicturearchives.net
Amtrak Routes I've riden: Silver Star(NYP-ORL), Silver Meteor(KIS-NYP),Carolinian(CLT-NWK), Palmetto (FLO-NYP), Acela(WAS-NYP), NE Regional(WBG-RVR), Pacific Surfliner(SAN-OSD), Piedmont(CLT-SAL), Crescent(NYP-CLT), Cardinal (WAS-CHI), Capitol Limited (CHI-WAS), Cascade (PDX-SEA)
Steam Engines I've worked behind: Norfolk & Western No. 611; Nickel Plate Road No. 765; Southern Pacific No. 4449
 

#8 Seaboard92

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 09:06 PM

Great story as usual, Seaboard. Sorry about Kathleen. Glad your friends were able to provide you with good support when it mattered.


Thank you as always. Good friends make the difference. I love my friends for everything they did.
View my pictures at http://trainboy1.rrpicturearchives.net
Amtrak Routes I've riden: Silver Star(NYP-ORL), Silver Meteor(KIS-NYP),Carolinian(CLT-NWK), Palmetto (FLO-NYP), Acela(WAS-NYP), NE Regional(WBG-RVR), Pacific Surfliner(SAN-OSD), Piedmont(CLT-SAL), Crescent(NYP-CLT), Cardinal (WAS-CHI), Capitol Limited (CHI-WAS), Cascade (PDX-SEA)
Steam Engines I've worked behind: Norfolk & Western No. 611; Nickel Plate Road No. 765; Southern Pacific No. 4449
 

#9 Seaboard92

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 09:20 PM

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Metra at Franklin Park during a supercell.

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The new Metra paint scheme.

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Canadian Pacific freight at Franklin Park.

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NPCU Amtrak serves the veterans.

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Metra at Highlands.

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Metra at Highlands.

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The Southwest Chief at Highlands.

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The Tioga Pass on the back of the Southwest Chief.

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The outbound Illinois Zephyr.

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The festival at the station in Hinsdale.

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Metra at Hinsdale.

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Canadian National at West Chicago.

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Union Pacific at west Chicago.

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CN at West Chicago.

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Metra passing the still manned tower.

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Union Pacific at West Chicago.

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Downtown Chicago.

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The Illinois Zephyr arriving into Chicago.

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The main Elevated crossing.

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The Capitol Limited arriving into Chicago.

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The Hickory Creek bringing up the markers of the Lake Shore Limited.

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Inbound Wolverine.

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Northwestern Terminal

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PV 553 on Metra.

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Interior of the 553 PV.

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Pere Marquette departing for Grand Rapids.
View my pictures at http://trainboy1.rrpicturearchives.net
Amtrak Routes I've riden: Silver Star(NYP-ORL), Silver Meteor(KIS-NYP),Carolinian(CLT-NWK), Palmetto (FLO-NYP), Acela(WAS-NYP), NE Regional(WBG-RVR), Pacific Surfliner(SAN-OSD), Piedmont(CLT-SAL), Crescent(NYP-CLT), Cardinal (WAS-CHI), Capitol Limited (CHI-WAS), Cascade (PDX-SEA)
Steam Engines I've worked behind: Norfolk & Western No. 611; Nickel Plate Road No. 765; Southern Pacific No. 4449
 

#10 Seaboard92

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 09:32 PM

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The Hickory Creek and the NKP 765

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NKP 765

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My bed I shared with my partner. He would sleep a few hours then me.

Attached File  ImageUploadedByAmtrak Forum1517711358.534552.jpg   89.42KB   3 downloads
The 765 pulling out of the rocket yard at seven AM. Do I have a good job or what?

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Iowa Interstate from a vestibule.

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Metra Grit

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I thought this was a cool angle.

Attached File  ImageUploadedByAmtrak Forum1517711461.514332.jpg   230.52KB   5 downloads
The Nickel Plate Limited

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Coming back into Chicago after the last run.

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At Joliet Union Station.
View my pictures at http://trainboy1.rrpicturearchives.net
Amtrak Routes I've riden: Silver Star(NYP-ORL), Silver Meteor(KIS-NYP),Carolinian(CLT-NWK), Palmetto (FLO-NYP), Acela(WAS-NYP), NE Regional(WBG-RVR), Pacific Surfliner(SAN-OSD), Piedmont(CLT-SAL), Crescent(NYP-CLT), Cardinal (WAS-CHI), Capitol Limited (CHI-WAS), Cascade (PDX-SEA)
Steam Engines I've worked behind: Norfolk & Western No. 611; Nickel Plate Road No. 765; Southern Pacific No. 4449
 

#11 Seaboard92

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 09:48 PM

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A cell phone shot from my private streamliner.

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Chicago's skyline by night from the Hickory Creek.

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La Salle Street Terminal by night.

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Hickory Creek at her original terminal.

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The Hickory Creek in its original terminus.

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The Hickory Creek at Chicago La Salle Street.

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Where I spent the night. What a lovely place.

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Our private streamliner at La Salle Street Terminal. One coach, one lounge, a dome, an office car, and an observation car.

Attached File  ImageUploadedByAmtrak Forum1517712149.068899.jpg   71.61KB   4 downloads
Hickory Creek in its home terminal.

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Hickory Creek during the morning rush hour.

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Leaving La Salle Street on a private train.

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Our private streamliner along the river.

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Looking back from the vestibule.

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The Lake Shore Limited wyeing on the Burlington.

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Downtown Chicago.

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Two vestiges of the New York Central.

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Our private train.

Attached File  ImageUploadedByAmtrak Forum1517712370.604109.jpg   97.56KB   4 downloads
My private streamliner.

Attached File  ImageUploadedByAmtrak Forum1517712387.891919.jpg   95.3KB   4 downloads
The Capitol Limited

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Chicago from the vestibule.

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The Empire Builder at the high level platform.

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Hickory Creek on the high level platform.

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The city from the high level platforms.

Attached File  ImageUploadedByAmtrak Forum1517712517.096454.jpg   79.27KB   3 downloads
The Amtrak road switcher that room over our private streamliner.
View my pictures at http://trainboy1.rrpicturearchives.net
Amtrak Routes I've riden: Silver Star(NYP-ORL), Silver Meteor(KIS-NYP),Carolinian(CLT-NWK), Palmetto (FLO-NYP), Acela(WAS-NYP), NE Regional(WBG-RVR), Pacific Surfliner(SAN-OSD), Piedmont(CLT-SAL), Crescent(NYP-CLT), Cardinal (WAS-CHI), Capitol Limited (CHI-WAS), Cascade (PDX-SEA)
Steam Engines I've worked behind: Norfolk & Western No. 611; Nickel Plate Road No. 765; Southern Pacific No. 4449
 

#12 Seaboard92

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 10:01 PM

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My North Central train to ORD at ORD.

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The Link at SEATAC.

Attached File  ImageUploadedByAmtrak Forum1517712893.675311.jpg   97.53KB   3 downloads
The lovely Smith Tower.

Attached File  ImageUploadedByAmtrak Forum1517712918.521668.jpg   73.03KB   3 downloads
Pike Place Market

Attached File  ImageUploadedByAmtrak Forum1517712934.277027.jpg   93.91KB   3 downloads
Pike Place Market

Attached File  ImageUploadedByAmtrak Forum1517712961.462812.jpg   91.55KB   3 downloads
Kathleen and the Cascades with the Seattle Seahawks NPCU.

Attached File  ImageUploadedByAmtrak Forum1517713002.502268.jpg   93.28KB   3 downloads
The Lenin Statue.

Attached File  ImageUploadedByAmtrak Forum1517713022.335197.jpg   96.63KB   2 downloads
The sounder north crossing into Ballard.

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Sounder North in Interbay.

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The Sounder North in Interbay.

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The Empire Builder in Interbay.

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Redwood Empire on the Empire Builder.

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Lake Union at the spot the first Boeing flight started (Seaplane)

Attached File  ImageUploadedByAmtrak Forum1517713189.046592.jpg   110.2KB   2 downloads
Smith Tower my favorite place in Seattle.

Attached File  ImageUploadedByAmtrak Forum1517713210.448911.jpg   109.41KB   2 downloads
Downtown Seattle.

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You can see Mount Rainier.

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The Empire Builder

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From the waterfront.

Attached File  ImageUploadedByAmtrak Forum1517713276.275899.jpg   103.69KB   3 downloads
From the ferry.

Attached File  ImageUploadedByAmtrak Forum1517713290.924019.jpg   106.07KB   3 downloads
The best way to see the skyline for free.
View my pictures at http://trainboy1.rrpicturearchives.net
Amtrak Routes I've riden: Silver Star(NYP-ORL), Silver Meteor(KIS-NYP),Carolinian(CLT-NWK), Palmetto (FLO-NYP), Acela(WAS-NYP), NE Regional(WBG-RVR), Pacific Surfliner(SAN-OSD), Piedmont(CLT-SAL), Crescent(NYP-CLT), Cardinal (WAS-CHI), Capitol Limited (CHI-WAS), Cascade (PDX-SEA)
Steam Engines I've worked behind: Norfolk & Western No. 611; Nickel Plate Road No. 765; Southern Pacific No. 4449
 

#13 Seaboard92

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 10:18 PM

Attached File  ImageUploadedByAmtrak Forum1517713696.704916.jpg   86.86KB   3 downloads
The Mount Adams at King Street b

Attached File  ImageUploadedByAmtrak Forum1517713727.641372.jpg   85.12KB   2 downloads
The Seattle Seahawk NPCU on 510.

Attached File  ImageUploadedByAmtrak Forum1517713773.964857.jpg   81.89KB   3 downloads
Kathleen boarding the amount Adams.

Attached File  ImageUploadedByAmtrak Forum1517713798.865316.jpg   91.03KB   3 downloads
Crossing Lake Union

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The Puget Sound

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A bridge in Vancouver.

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VIA Rail F40 which I commented that Kathleen and I would one day take as a vacation. Well that didn't happen but it did pull me in Canada.

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The Cascades at Vancouver.

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The Canadian on the platform.

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A cruise ship in the port.

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Downtown Vancouver.

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Downtown Vancouver.

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The world famous steam clock.

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The Royal Canadian Pacific

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Kathleen posing by Waterfront station.

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Waterfront Station

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West Coast Express

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The Rocky Mountaineer arriving.

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The last time I technically saw Kathleen.

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There she goes.

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Science World

Attached File  ImageUploadedByAmtrak Forum1517714222.650267.jpg   82.09KB   4 downloads
SkyTrain Canada Line.

Attached File  ImageUploadedByAmtrak Forum1517714240.500858.jpg   86.33KB   5 downloads
A WestJet B737-800

Attached File  ImageUploadedByAmtrak Forum1517714289.707774.jpg   54.66KB   5 downloads
This is what I look like at work.
View my pictures at http://trainboy1.rrpicturearchives.net
Amtrak Routes I've riden: Silver Star(NYP-ORL), Silver Meteor(KIS-NYP),Carolinian(CLT-NWK), Palmetto (FLO-NYP), Acela(WAS-NYP), NE Regional(WBG-RVR), Pacific Surfliner(SAN-OSD), Piedmont(CLT-SAL), Crescent(NYP-CLT), Cardinal (WAS-CHI), Capitol Limited (CHI-WAS), Cascade (PDX-SEA)
Steam Engines I've worked behind: Norfolk & Western No. 611; Nickel Plate Road No. 765; Southern Pacific No. 4449
 

#14 Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 10:49 PM

Wonderful trip report and pics,thanks for sharing!😎

And time will turn your time with Kathleen into Cherished Memories!😊
"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
 "..My heart is warm with the friends I make,and better friends I'll not be knowing,
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay




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