Our trip to Chicago 10/4
Date: October 26, 2013 08:00PM
I haven't been on the forum for some time, but wanted to report that our rail trip on the Southwest Chief from Flagstaff AZ to Chicago was a good one. Son Mark drove us to Flag Thursday and we caught the Chief Friday at 0540 (scheduled was 0440). We had a roomette and got breakfast as early as possible. First stop was Albuquerque where we just walked around for a few minutes on the platform. Local Indians sell their wares to train folks, but we weren't buying. Then through Las Vegas NM, and seeing the old and great and still unused Harvey House "La Casteneda". Raton Pass was great, and I envisioned big 2900-class Northerns running wild across the plains east of there. Detrained again in Kansas City for a few minutes, as I recall it was near dusk. I remember also all the old railroad equipment in Galesburg IL, a city which takes its heritage seriously.
Met some great people on the train, including Andy, an Amish teenager who was travelling with his family to see relatives in Indiana. Also a couple from Pennsylvania who sat with us @ lunch. Turns out their son in San Francisco did media work for Cavallo Point Resort and Conference center in Sausalito--the same place our daughter worked in sales! Texting helped us learn they didn't know each other, but knew of each other. Small world. Arrived in Chicago in a driving rainstorm, but found a taxi (ripped us off), got a rental car, and then to the house we had rented for the week--only a 1/2 mile from the CSX mainline in Lansing IL, and a couple miles from the long-abandoned PRR (abandoned) "panhandle route". Metra is one of the commute lines we rode, v. efficient, enjoyed Chicago immensely. Only caveat: When travelling by rail, be advised that getting a rental car from anywhere downtown is almost impossible on a weekend after abt 3pm. We had to take the &*%$ taxi, and that cost us $35--as I said a ripoff. We also visited the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn MI. I wanted to see the C&O 2-6-6-6 locomotive there--in some respects larger than a Big Boy.