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Chicago, Dallas, Oklahoma City & St Louis Part 1 September 2017

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Outward Journey

Alarm was set of 04.30, ready for a called to work to arrange my lift to the airport. A work college arrived at 05.15 and we were at Cardiff Wales Airport 10 mins. later. Checked in and dropped the luggage of quickly with no queuing, getting through Security was just as quick. I had just over an hour to wait before I boarded my flight Flybe BE 4521 to Dublin 07.00 CWL – DUB 08.00. I had a good seat on this leg, row 19 window seat and the seat next to me was empty, which was an emergency exit row, so plenty of room. After an early departure by a few mins., we also arrived early although this was cancelled out by having to wait for a vacant stand.

At Dublin there was a bit of a logistic to sort out, first I had to collect my bags, which took about 30 mins to appear, Then I had to walk to Terminal 2 and recheck my bags and check in for the next flight, Security to a little longer this time, then I made my way to US Customs Pre Clearance, where they did another security check the same as the last one and Passport and Immigration Checks. Once through I made my way to the gate to wait for the flight having a coffee and a cheese & ham toastie on the way for breakfast. The flight AerLingus flight EI 123 11.30 DUB – ORD 13.55. Again had a good seat a double seat to myself, on the very last row by the window

Again arriving early we had to wait for a vacant stand, but this time we were off the plane by out booked arrival time, having Pre Cleared Customs it was straight to the baggage claim to collect the bags, these began to appear very quickly. After getting the shuttle bus to the Avis Car Hire to pick up my compact car I came away with a 7 seater VOLO



After booking to the hotel The Wyndham Garden in Elk Grove a short drive away. I to a bit of time to settle in before talking a drive to Des Plaines to check it out ready for the morning, while there I had a late lunch at The Choo Choo Diner, where your food is delivered by model train

After this it was back to the hotel for a nap to catch up on some sleep and get over a bit of Jet Lag, later in the evening I had Ruben’s Sandwich in the hotel bar


Metra Day 1 Finishing Some Unfinished Business Friday 1st September

Taking advantage of the Jet Lag, I made an early start and drove to Des Plaines Station where I caught Metra Train 603 UP-NW to McHenry, This early start is the only way to travel the McHenry Branch unless you start out from there in the morning and return in the evening. The Branch is access via Crystal Lake Junction who’s points are hand worked. This Completed the UP-NW Services which also go to Harvard


Merta UP-NW Train 603

06.30 Des Plaines – McHenry 07.30


This becomes


Metra UP-NW Train 632

07.39 McHenry – OTC 08.52


Formation 171 Norwood Park (F40PH-2), 7228, 8247, 7222, 6083, 6158, 6079, 8407


After arriving back a OTC it was a walk over to LaSalle Station for the next train Metra RI Train 509 I take this train to Blue Island, this service goes via the ‘Main Line’ as opposed to the branch which had previously been covered. This completed Metra RI District, I also Returned to LaSalle via the same route, highlight was catching 2 of Metra’s Switchers on ????? Depot

Metra RI Train 509

10.30 LaSalle – Blue Island Vermont St. 10.50


Formation 408 (MP36PH-S3), 7344, 7474, 7346, 7271, 7364, 8561, 8224, 8566


And Return


Metra RI Train 510

11.03 Blue Island Vermont St. – La Salle 11.33


Formation 422 (MP36PH-S3), 7477, 7475, 7483, 7490, 7366, 8557, 8550

Having returned shortly before lunch it was time to make my first Route 66 Stop at Lou Mitchells for lunch of Corn beef, Hash & Eggs

The next line to finish was the NCS services up to Antioch having previously only gone as far as O’Hare Transfer. This trip had a couple of highlight, first as I boarded an Amtrak Hiawatha Service came in with one of their new Charger Locomotives on. On the outward run we passed a full Western Avenue Depot, Seeing another 2 Switchers, along with F40C 611 & 614 and Caboose METX2002. On the Return the depot had mostly emptied ready for the evening rush offering better views. While at Antioch our train went to the coach yard to allow a CN Container train to pass

Metra NCS Train 105

13.00 Union Station – Antioch 14.35




Metra NCS Train 116

15.00 Antioch – Union Station 16.35


Formation 102 Village of Mokena (F40PH-3), 8206, 8464, 8535

Having Returned to Union Station, it was a short walk back to OTC for my return UP-NW service to Des Plaines


Metra UP-NW Train 637

17.06 OTC – Des Plaines 17.35


Formation 157 Village of Palatine (F40PH-2), 7239, 6131, 7212, 6021, 6055, 6183, 8463

The final piece of unfinished business was to finish a Chicago Deep Dish Pizza at Gordinio’s, A 6inch, BBQ Chicken and Bacon Deep Dish Pizza


Happy to say all outstanding business was taken care of


IRM Labour Day Gala 2nd & 3rd September

This is my 4th Visit here and it still impresses with over 400 items of rolling stock, Ive still not seen it all. They have a 5 mile interurban mainline a 1 mile street car loop, a trolley bus loop and also they were running a shuttle service for their preserved CTA 50th Street Station. They were running Steam, Diesel and Over head electric Services, as well as Electric Trolley Busses. With the variety on offer over the 2 day and the display barns, it was 2 very full days. Over the 2 day most of the on view equipment was seen, most of which is undercover in 7 display barns (they also had a similar number not open for viewing) 12 Train rides were taken on 11 different sets of equipment

Interurban Cars

4412 Chicago Transit Authority

4290 Chicago Transit Authority


309 Chicago, Aurora & Elgin

308 Chicago, Aurora & Elgin


22 Chicago Transit Authority

41 Chicago Transit Authority


714 Chicago North Shore & Milwaukee

719 Chicago North Shore & Milwaukee


36 Chicago, Aurora & Elgin

319 Chicago, Aurora & Elgin



19 Compania de Luz Fuerzay Traction de Veracruz


3142 Chicago Surface Lines


4391 Chicago Transit Authority


Steam & Coaches

1630 Frisco 2-10-0

1021 General American Pfaudler Corp. (GPEX) Steel Milk Car

2544 AT&SF Combine

556 Lackawanna Steel Coach

2612 Rock Island? Steel Coach

2555 Rock Island Steel Coach

2571 Rock Island Steel Coach


Diesel & Coaches

BN3 Burlington Northern E-9AM

Nebraska Zephyr Chicago Burlington & Quincy

960 Venus Power Car/Coach

4626 Vesta Coach

4627 Minerva Coach

150 Ceres Diner

225 Juno Parlor Observation Car



411 Chicago & North Western Railway F7A

6 Chicago & North Western Railway Gallery Coach

1 Chicago & North Western Railway Gallery Coach

151 Chicago & North Western Railway Gallery Cab Car

Trolley Bus

4123 Seattle King County Metro Trolley Bus


Breakfast both days was at the Marengo Café, always good food and friendly service, and on the way how I called in at Sweet Baby Ray’s Barbeque in Elk Grove and the Second night it was The Cheesecake Factory


Labor Day Monday 4th September Fox River Trolley Museum

Decided on a easy day to day, so breakfast was at IHOP, followed by a trip out to the Fox River Trolley Museum, something I’ve been meaning to do for a few years but never managed to get the timing right.


They were running to Car’s today CTA Car 45 & North Shore Car 715 so a trip on both cars was taken over the full length of the line

Very friendly Railway, when they heard my accent the arranged a tour of the workshops, with the head of engineering, lots going on, and lots of plans for the future. I spend an hour or so having lunch in the car at the crossings at West Chicago, still busy even though it was a public holiday, before calling in at LongHorn Steakhouse for dinner


Tuesday 5th September Metra Day2

Decided on an early start today, to cover another 2 Metra Lines the MD-N to Fox Lake and SWS line to Manhatten. First up was a drive to Cumberland Station as it was nearer the hotel than Des Plaines and added a couple of more miles, Catching UP-NW Train 620 in to OTC this is a big 11 set so as a bonus was double headed with 178 in a new(ish) paint scheme of the MP36’s


Metra UP-NW Train 620

07.31 Cumberland – OTC 08.01



178 Village of Prospect Heights (F40PH-3), 151 Leo J. Cusick (F40PH-2), 7288, 8527, 6161, 7810, 6145, 6103, 6040, 8417, 6060, 6047, 8526

On arrival it was a quick trot over to Union Station, luckily, the next train departed from the North side so I had a few moments to get some breakfast en-route. The train was MD-N service to Fox Lake Train 2109, which returned as Train 2132


10.45 Fox Lake – Chicago Union Station 12.32


Just before departure we dropped of the last 2 or 3 cars, Before Western Ave, Yard we saw the several trains of empty stock waiting a road into the yard for the day. This line was a bit more unfinished business, as I had travelled a portion of it a few years back on Amtrak’s Empire Builder.


Metra MD-N Train 2109

08.35 Chicago Union Station – Fox Lake 10.12


Which forms

Metra MD-N Train 2132

10.45 Fox Lake – Chicago Union Station 12.32



413 (MP36PH-3S), 7300, 6117, 7467, 8546

On return to Union Station it was a trip over to the South platforms for a SWS service to Manhattan, again part of this route having previously been covered on Amtrak’s Cardinal


Metra Train 815

12.35 Chicago Union Station – Manhattan 13.57


Which then forms on Return


Metra Train 830

14.25 Manhattan – Chicago Union Station 15.48



117 Village of Palos Park (F40PH-3) 807, 7446, 7296, 814, 7444, 6185, 8599, 818, 8579

After View Amtrak’s Depot on the way in and out on this service, It was back to OTC for my UP-NW Train 629 back to Cumberland


Metra Train 629

16.39 OTC – Cumberland 17.12



132 City of Harvard (F40PH-3) 7219, 6049, 6015, 8749, 7221, 6063, 7496, 6027, 8433

On the way back to the hotel, I called in to Giordano’s for more Pizza. This just leaves me the UP-N line left to do on my next trip


Wednesday 6th September The Texas Eagle

The Day Started with a bit of logistics, in returning the hire car to O’Hara Airport and then transferring over The airport to catch CTA’s Blue Line into town


CTA Blue Line

08.06 O’Hare – Clinton 08.53


Formation 2933 + 2934, 3095 + 3096, 3043 + 3046, 2651 + 2652


After lugging the cases up the last flight of stairs at Clinton, and a 2 block walk I checked my bags with Amtrak at Union Station, and Checked in to the 1st Class lounge. Having a few hours to kill I took a walk back to Lou Mitchells for breakfast

In due course we were called for our train and made our way to my coach and rom Train 21 Texas Eagle Car 2120 Room 005


Amtrak Train 21 Texas Eagle

13.45 Chicago Union Station (6/10) – Dallas Union Station 11.30 (7/10)



45 Locomotive P42

39045 Superliner II Trans. Dorm/Sleeper

32064 Superliner I Sleeper (Hell’s Canyon)

37016 Superliner I Diner Lounge

33006 Superliner I Lounge

31035 Superliner I Coach/Baggage

34000 Superliner I Coach

34057 Superliner I Coach


It was a good on time trip dinner was taken at 17.30 Having Amtraks Surf and Turf.


Part 2 to follow


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Wow,we rode lots of rail routes in Chicago during the Gathering in 2013, but you win the prize for covering so much of the Greater Chicago area!😎


Look forward to future episodes of your trip!😉

Edited by Bob Dylan

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Wow 3 pages back to find this thread, I got busy over the last few months so have not had chance to wright up my notes but here is Part 2 in Dallas and Fort Worth


Thursday 7th September Dallas

I awoke just before Marshall our first Stop in Texas, this was followed by a short smoke stop at Marshall where I had a little walk around outside, before going to breakfast of French toast and Bacon. Our arrival at Dallas was very close to time at 11.30. After collecting my bags it was a short walk through the subway to the Hyatt Regency. My room 1001 on the 10th floor with a city view, overlooked the station, with a day bed in the window, offered great views of the station. I was up in my room drinking coffee, before The Texas Eagle had departed at 11.50. From my room I could see Lindi’s NY Deli and Restaurant, over the road from the station, so I took a walk for a Rubans Sandwich for lunch. As I was only a few blocks away, I spend the afternoon at the site of JFK’s assassination at Dealey Plaza also visiting the 6th Floor Museum.


I ask at the hotel, if there was any good BBQ around and was recommended Lockhart’s in the Bishop Arts District, loved this place, great smoke meet, great restaurant, great atmosphere. To get there I rode the Dallas Streetcar


17.10 Union Station – Bishops Arts 17.21

Car 301


And return


18.28 Bishops Arts – Union Station 18.40

Car 304


Friday 8th September Dart

After Breakfast in the Hotel, I downloaded a day pass for DART light rail and set off to cover as much of the next work as possible. My first train was the Blue line to Downtown Rowlett


Dart Blue Line

09.36 Union Station – Downtown Rowlett 10.17

10.37 Downtown Rowlett – Akard 11.14

LRV’s 226 + 199


It was on the return that I ran in to a problem with the ticket on my phone, although I bought a 24 hr day pass, after an hour it showed as expired, and the Ticket Inspector, told me to call in the the DART headquarters to sort it out, it turns out you need to have an internet connection on your phone for the pass to remain valid, being from the UK I did not have internet roaming on my phone due to cost grounds, so after a brief discussion, and explanation, I was issued with a paper ticket. While in Chicago, all my tickets were on my phone with no problems, so this is something to note that you need roaming on your phone in Dallas to ride Dart and have online ticket. As a consequence of this my planed itinerary was now abandoned and I went ‘free style’ jumping on the next train to arrive at Akard which was a Red Line train to Westmoreland


Dart Red Line

11.29 Akard – Westmoreland 11.52

12.11 Westmoreland – Parker Road 13.15

13.38 Parker Road – West End 14.11

LRV’s 224 + 258


After a coffee stop, I caught the Green Line out to Trinity Mills, followed by DCT A train to Denton


Dart Green Line

14.42 West End – Trinity Mills 15.25

LRV’s 109 + 112


DCT A Train

15.29 Trinity Mills – Denton Downtown 16.01

16.11 Denton Downtown – Trinity Mills 16.43

Unit 104


Dart Green Line

16.44 Trinity Mills – North Carrolton 16.47

16.54 North Carrolton – Bachman 17.16

LRV’s 243 + 238


The final moves of the day were on the Orange Line to DFW Airport


Dart Orange Line

17.22 Bachman – DFW 17.53

18.15 DFW – West End 19.04

LRV’s 104 + 174


At the West end of West End station is Sonny Bryan’s Smoke house so I called in here for some more BBQ, followed by a walk back to the hotel.


Saturday 9th September Fort Worth Stock Yards

This morning I grabbed a Starbucks breakfast from the Hotel Lobby and made my way out to the Station, two goals today to cover the TRE services and to visit Fort Worth Stock Yards. As always with TRE my train was waiting in station on Track 3 mostly the incoming train arrives and shortly after the outgoing train departs.


I catch TRE Train 3909

08.30 Dallas Union Station – Fort Worth T&P Station 0931

124 Locomotive F59PH

1052 Bi Level Coach

1005 Bi Level Cab Car


As I need to catch a bus to the Stock Yards it is a short work back to Fort Worth Intermodal Transit Centre Trains TRE & Amtrak, Busses Local and Greyhound, Taxis & Car Rental all use the same Centre. I needed Route 15 from bus bay B with a service every 15 mins through the day. The stock yards were very busy being a weekend; I did arrive in time to see the cattle drive along a portion of the main street. I stopped for Lunch at Riscky’s BBQ, having Frickles and Brisket sandwich. As I looked around I found my luck was in as the Grapevine Railroad was running an excursion train that day. It was a little late arriving but I did have a trip on it


14.45 Stock Yards – 8th Ave Yard

8th Ave Yard – Stock Yards 15.45

2199 Locomotive GP-7

208 Coach

1808 Open Coach

209 Coach

1818 Open Coach

206 Coach


I returned via Bus Route 15 to Fort Worth ITC ready to catch my train


TRE Train 3924

16.55 Forth Worth TRE – Dallas Union Station 17.52

125 Locomotive F59PH

1049 Bi Level Coach

1004 Bi Level Cab Car


As my train has wifi I look to find somewhere for dinner I settle on Gator’s Cajun Grill

I take the Blue Line from Union Station


Dart Blue Line

17.56 Union Station – West End 17.59

LRV’s 121 + 186


After a short work I find it, I have Cajun Fried Gator. I then catch the Red Line Back


Dart Red Line

18.51 West End – Union Station 18.53

LRV’s 251 + 260


As it’s still early I decided to go up Reunion Tower which is attached to the hotel, I have coffee and cake at the top, while I watch the sunset from the revolving top (although I did not know it revolved at the time.)


Sunday 10th September The katy Trail

As I’ve been doing a lot of working this year I decided today was the day for a long walk, after breakfast in the hotel. Not far from Downtown was the Katy Trail a 3.5mile linear park built on a Abandoned Rail line of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad (MKT or Katy) This is well used and well thought out there is a concrete path for cycling and a softer running surface, along with numerous water points along its length and is well maintained and sign posted. To get there I take a couple of DART services


DART Blue Line

10.16 Union Station – West End 1019

LRV’s 225 + 237


DART Orange Line

10.21 West End – Victory 10.24

LRV 168


After walking the Trail I end up near Mockingbird Station where I find a sports bar/grill for some lunch. After lunch I attempt to cover more of the DART network so first up is


DART Blue Line

13.42 Mockingbird – UNT Dallas 14.25

LRV 149


DART Blue Line

14.47 UNT Dallas – Pearl/Arts 15.25

LRV 251


And the final line required


DART Green Line

15.35 Pearl/Arts – Buckner 16.03

16.12 Buckner – Pearl/Arts 16.40

LRV’s 174 + 104


From there it was back to the hotel


DART Red Line

16.45 Pearl/Arts – Union Station 16.53

LRV’s 124 + 194


I decided to eat at the hotel this evening


Monday 11th September ‘M’ Line Trolley & Last Day in Dallas

The Plan for today is to cover the McKinney Avenue Transit Authority or DART’s ‘M’ Line Trolley route. I need to get to Cityplace/Uptown, as I have plenty of time I have a little play by taking the TRE for one stop


TRE Train 2923

09.00 Dallas Union Station – Victory 09.05

126 Locomotive F59PH

1059 Bi Level Coach

1060 Bi Level Coach

1007 Bi Level Cab Car


The its


DART Orange Line

09.20 Victory – West End 09.24

LRV’s 125 + 167


I then go for some breakfast Ellen’s Southern Kitchen having Shrimp & Grits


Its then back to West End Station


DART Blue Line

10.19 West End – Cityplace/Uptown 10.28

LRV’s 115 + 121


Its not long before I see the Trolley heading up to the terminus, as these only have one driving position, they are turned on a turntable, I’m allowed to ride on the trolley as its turned. I ride the trolley taking a complete circuit of the route


DART M Line Trolley

11.03 Cityplace – Federal & Olive 11.25

11.25 Federal & Olive – Cityplace

636 Petunia Birney Safety Car


When I arrived back I had noted that there were 2 Trolleys out that day and the location of the Car barn. I walked back along the Trolley route to find the Trolley barn, to see if there was anything to see, one of the staff there gave me a short tour explaining all the car that were there. I then took a cross street to the Downtown bound line


DART M Line Trolley

12.02 Cole & Brown – Federal & Olive 12.16

369 Matilda Melbourne W-2 Class


Riding the W2 reminded me for riding them a few years ago on their home system in Melbourne where they work the City Circle Service. At Federal & Olive I saw a line of Food Trucks wanting to try out some food trucks I walk down the line I choose ‘The Butcher’s Son’ I was drawn to then as they were supporting The Salvation Army Hurricane Appeal, I had a burrito. After lunch I walk back to St. Pauls DART Station, the plan for the afternoon s some TRE mileage


DART Red Line

13.47 St. Paul’s – Union Station 13.53

LRV’s 124 + 102


I take a run to Centre Point which is the midpoint of the line and the passing point



TRE Train 2935

14.00 Union Station – Centre Point 14.31

123 Locomotive F59PH

1063 Bi Level Coach

1061 Bi Level Coach

1009 Bi Level Cab Car


TRE Train 2938

14.49 Centre Point – Union Station 15.22

126 Locomotive F59PH

1059 Bi Level Coach

1060 Bi Level Coach

1007 Bi Level Cab Car


With these two trips I manage to photo all TRE loco fleet including the Budd Railcar, along with the majority of the passenger cars (22/27). I decided to hang around the station as the North Bound Texas Eagle is due hauled by P42 54. After a relax in the hotel and watching several TRE arrivals & departures from my hotel room. I make a return visit to Lockhart’s at Bishop Arts


DART Street Car

17.10 Union Station – Bishop Arts 17.21



DART Street Car

19.08 Bishop Arts – Union Station 19.20


While At Lockharts I have some brisket & smoke ham, on the way back through Bishops Art I find a pie shop ‘Fine Pies for Fine Folk’ I have a slice of apple pie to take away, enjoying it watching trains in my hotel room.


Tuesday 12th September Dallas to Oklahoma City

As I was planning on catching the Heartland Flyer this evening, I had a easy start to my last morning in Dallas, I had breakfast where I started in Lindi’s NY Deli, having eggs home fries and corn beef hash. After checking out I make my way up to the platforms. On the way up to the platforms I need to take the lift with my 2 suitcase camera & laptop, but I get stopped by a guy begging, with the most outrageous story about his blind wife being in a car crash and he’s lost her, and will give me a free counseling session, unfortunately he manage to jam the doors to the lift almost trapping me in there, after forcing the doors open, he’s see’s my face and decided to disappear quickly, in the mean time I now have to drag my bags and cases up the stairs to the platforms. Finding a bench in some shade watch a few freights pass through along with a few TRE and DART trains, I decided to wait until after Amtrak’s South bound Texas Eagle today with P42 No. 51 in charge. I then get on the next TRE train, unfortunately without recording the Loco and stock numbers


TRE Train 2933

13.00 Dallas Union Station – T&P Sation Fort Worth 14.01


TRE Train 2938

14.21 T&P Station Fort Worth – Ft. Worth Intermodal Centre 14.25


As I have a few hours I leave my bags with Amtrak’s baggage store and catch Fort Worth’s free ‘Dolly the Trolley’ which links the Intermodal Centre with Downtown in a circular route, I jump off about mid route to find some food, as I have a late arrival in Oklahoma and at the hotel, I find a Cheesecake Factory and have some Orange Chicken, I also get so cheesecake to go for when I’m on the train later. I return to the station again via ‘Dolly the Trolley’ After watching a few freight and TRE trains its time for my train


AMTRAK Train 822 Heartland Flyer

17.25 Fort Worth – Oklahoma City 21.27

90222 NPCU (Ex F40 222)

34050 Superliner 1 Coach

35002 Superliner 1 Snack Coach (Ex Coach 34003)

64 P42


With the late arrival I was concerned about getting a taxi to the hotel, so I was ready to be first off the train, and out the station, luck I was as there was only 1 taxi waiting which I managed to get. As I predicted the hotel had stopped serving food when I arrived. So I settled in with a cup of tea and watched some TV for the rest of the evening. Tomorrow I pick up a hire car for the driving part of my trip along Route 66

Edited by doodaa

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