Trip report for rerouted 301 via rock Island line.

Discussion in 'Travelogues / Trip Reports' started by Steve4031, Jul 27, 2019.

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  1. Jul 27, 2019 #1

    Steve4031

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    Steve4031

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    Trip report for rerouted 301


    I read about the reroute on train orders. 301, 303 and 21 would be rerouted on the Metra Rock Island district on 7/27 so CN could replace a diamond at Corwith. I jumped on the opportunity for rare mileage and booked a round trip to St. Louis.


    I drove to union station with a my usual stop at the White Palace Cafe for Breakfast. Check in at Metropolitan Lounge was pleasant. 301 boarded at 6:35. The engine was at the end closest to the station. Business Class was on the rear. Perfect. I could spend time at the railfan window.


    An announcement was made that the detour would add 45 minutes to 1 hour to the trip time. The explanation was clear. Passengers grumbled. I mentioned that this happens on planes all the time. Then someone said, “that’s why I drive.” I didn’t waste effort mentioning traffic.


    Departed on time at 7:00 am. 7:05 am we stop in the yard. 7:07 we are on the move. 7:12 we stop and prepare to pull forward into the St. Charles Airline. 7:15 am we are on the move up the airline. At 7:21 we make a right turn onto the Rock Island line. A fast run at 50 to 70 mph until approximately 115th street. At 7:35 conductor makes announcement that the train will be operating at speeds of 30 mph because the engine does not have the required cab signaling to run faster.

    8:05. into Joliet. Depart Joliet 8:35 am.


    Arrived Bloomington Normal at 9:54 am. 41 minutes late.


    We took the Merchant’s Bridge line into St Louis. We backed into the station. We arrived at 12:55 pm.
     
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  2. Jul 27, 2019 #2

    Steve4031

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    Steve4031

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    These photos are from the detour on the rock Island line.
     

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  3. Jul 27, 2019 #3

    Steve4031

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    Steve4031

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    These photos are from the Merchant bridge route into St Louis. A first for me, we also did the Merchant’s Bridge route departing St Louis on 304.

    Another 1st. We have only one conductor. Her colleague took time off at the last minute I guess.
     

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  4. Jul 27, 2019 #4

    Steve4031

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    Steve4031

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    Remaining photos from Merchants Bridge.
     

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  5. Jul 27, 2019 #5

    Steve4031

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    Steve4031

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    Additionally, there is a different LSA doing the 301/304 turn. She has been one of the best I’ve seen in years. She takes at seat drink orders at the beginning of the trip and just has a wonderful demeanor. Her name is Briah. I’ve already sent a he complimentary email to Amtrak. She is on the extra board so who knows what what other lucky passengers encounter her. If you do tell her I said hi.
     
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  6. Jul 28, 2019 #6

    dogbert617

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    dogbert617

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    Was the detour off of the regular Texas Eagle/Lincoln Service route, only between Chicago and Joliet? Or did it cover some other portions of the route, i.e. between Joliet and say like to Dwight, Pontiac, and/or to B-N? I take it the train's detour was only between Chicago-Joliet, but correct me if I'm wrong.
     
  7. Jul 29, 2019 #7

    railiner

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    IIRC, besides the CN, former ICG, Alton route between Chicago and Joliet, isn't there also a former ATSF route? Is it still intact? If so, that would seem to be the better route for that detour...I suppose the BNSF gave it up?
     
  8. Jul 29, 2019 #8

    Bob Dylan

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    Redacted.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2019
  9. Jul 30, 2019 #9

    MikefromCrete

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    Metra Heritage Corridor trains use the old GM&O, now CN, route from CUS to Joliet. The old Santa Fe route is now longer connected to the Union Station area, it terminates at Corwith Yard.

    The detour was needed because CN was replacing a diamond near Corwith. There was no need to detour south of Joliet. In addition, I believe the old Santa Fe Mazon Cutoff (which at one time Amtrak occasionally used) is no longer in operation.
     
  10. Jul 30, 2019 #10

    railiner

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    Ah, that's what I suspected...rode the Chief's many times between Chicago and Joliet, until they moved over to the Burlington route to Galesburg...
     
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  11. Aug 19, 2019 #11

    OlympianHiawatha

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    A few years ago our Southbound Texas Eagle was "turned back" at Joliet due to a massive gas leak. We ended up backing up all the way into CUS then had to wait several hours for a Rock Island qualified crew to take us out; that routing would bring us into Joliet South of the leak. By now most of the folks who had been raining Hell had bailed and the rest of us enjoyed some unique running on the Eagle.
     
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  12. Sep 12, 2019 at 7:30 AM #12

    dogbert617

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    So for that reroute, you went on what is the Rock Island route between Joliet-Chicago? If so, I always liked that stretch of Metra route myself.
     
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