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Dallas Make up trip:

Dallas Make up trip:

 

Prologue:

 

††††††††††† Back in September when I went back to Dallas, I was unable to ride PCC #4614. I decided on the last full day I would return in January when I wasnít busy at Home Depot when I got six days off in a row. I got four but decided to ask for the last two off and was granted.

 

††††††††††† I also decided that because on both my Arizona Trip back in 2006 AND my trip last September, the Sunset Limited was so late into San Antonio that I had to be bussed to Dallas! On my way down to Tucson in 2006, my friend Bill mentioned the Eagle takes a different route out of San Antonio than it does to go in.

 

††††††††††† As a result of these facts, I decided to fly down to San Antonio and take the Texas Eagle from San Antonio to Dallas. I also gave myself three whole days in Dallas to attempt to ride #4614 as it had run since I returned in September. My trip unfolded as follows.

 

January 29, 2020:

 

††††††††††† I got to Torontoís Pearson airport shortly after 10:00 am. I checked in and checked my suitcase. I cleared security and customs with little problem. I then went to my gate. I was once again flying Delta Airlines.

 

††††††††††† I logged into the airportís Wi-Fi and went online. At one point I saw a Delta Boeing 757 taxiing to the airport. I wondered if it was my plane. I was to be on an MD-80 like I flew to Atlanta on back in August and wondered if Delta had to substitute the 757. It pulled up to the gate next to mine. I photographed it.

 

 

††††††††††† I then worked on this report for a few minutes. I saw a Delta MD80 off in the distance and figured it was really my plane. As it pulled up to the gate, I photographed it and a Skywest commuter jet.

 

 

 

††††††††††† I briefly spoke to another passenger before I worked on this report some more. I decided to try to get lunch. I bought a burger near my gate. After lunch it was time to board the plane. I had heard it was a full flight. I had a middle seat. From the plane, I attempted to photograph a Westjet Boeing 737-600.

 

 

 

††††††††††† The plane left a few minutes early. As we taxied out to the runway I attempted to photograph some planes as we went past. One of the planes was an Airbus A380.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

††††††††††† As the plane took off, I filmed the takeoff roll. We took off to the North and soon turned around. Shortly getting over Lake Ontario, we were flying over clouds. Like last time I flew a Delta MD80, there was no on board entertainment.

 

††††††††††† The flight was uneventful. As we begun our decent into Atlanta, we hit turbulence. We soon descended through the clouds. I attempted to film the landing.

 

††††††††††† We had arrived a few minutes early. I got off the plane and photographed it.

 

 

††††††††††† I then went to see about which gate my connecting flight to San Antonio was departing from. Like when I flew to Tucson last August, I had to take a shuttle train to reach my connecting flight. Unlike last time, I had plenty of time as I had a 4 Ĺ hour layover in Atlanta.

 

 

The view from the front of the terminal shuttle train in Atlanta.

 

††††††††††† I saw there was an earlier Delta flight leaving at 4:00 pm to San Antonio. I found a Delta agent and asked about the possibility of switching. I was told it would be $75. I also learned that there couldnít guarantee my suitcase would be on the same flight as well. I chose to save money and play it safe.

 

††††††††††† During the time in Atlanta I explored the giant airport. I photographed various planes.

 

 

 

††††††††††† I photographed Southwestís heritage jet which I had seen back in 2013 when I was flying Jetblue from Buffalo to Boston before heading to Chicago for the CTA 2200 series El car charter.

 

 

 

††††††††††† I took a train to Terminal A. I photographed the plane I would have been on had I taken the 4:03 flight.

 

 

††††††††††† I had a 15-minute massage at one point. I then took the shuttle train to Terminal E so I could get dinner at an Arbyís. I photographed a Jetblue plane and a Delta Boeing 767-400.

 

 

 

††††††††††† I then bought dinner. I caught a shuttle train back to the gate. At my gate I went online. I also worked on this report some more. My plane arrived at the gate. It was an Airbus A321. I went to a nearby gate and photographed it.

 

 

††††††††††† I then returned to my gate to wait. Boarding began shortly before 7:00 pm. I had a window seat about 2/3 back. The plane departed on time. As we took off, I filmed the take off.

 

††††††††††† This plane did have on board entertainment. I watched it throughout the flight. At one point, we flew above Jackson, Mississippi. We later flew to the north of Houston, Texas.

 

††††††††††† We soon began our approach into San Antonio. As we landed, I filmed the landing. I wondered if I would see some parked Boeing 737 Max jets but I didnít.

 

††††††††††† We were soon parked at the gate. I got off and found it impossible to photograph the plane due to the windows being reflective. I then went to get my suitcase. I didnít have to wait long. I got my suitcase and then went and took a taxi to my hotel. I checked in and asked for a wake-up call at 5:30 am. I then phoned home and let my mom know I had arrived in San Antonio.

 

††††††††††† I then walked around the area looking for a convenience store but didnít find anything. I did find the Amtrak station and former Southern Pacific steam locomotive #794. I photographed two Superliners that looked like they were going to be coupled to the rear of the Westbound Sunset Limited.

 

 

††††††††††† I photographed steam locomotive #794 and the Texas Eagle which I would be on tomorrow.

 

 

 

††††††††††† I then took a couple more pics of the Superliner coach and sleeper on the siding.

 

 

††††††††††† I then made my way back to the hotel. On the way I passed by a couple buses from VIA; San Antonioís transit system. I saw they had a seat marked for Rosa Parks.I got back to my room and found the phone in my room didnít work. I used my cell phone to book a cab for tomorrow morning. I went online for a few minutes before I set the alarm on my phone for 5:35 am and called it a night.

 

January 30, 2020:

 

††††††††††† I got a call at 5:18 am on my cell phone from the cab company checking to see what Days Inn I was staying at. I told them and went back to sleep. The wake-up call at 5:30 didnít happen and I was woken up by my phone. I got up and got dressed I finished packing and went to check out. I saw the taxi pulling into the parking lot 15 minutes early. It reminded me of when I was in Sarnia back in 2016.

 

††††††††††† I then checked out and went to the taxi. We drove to the Amtrak station. I paid the driver and went in. It had only been 20 minutes since my cell phone woke me up.

 

††††††††††† I went inside the station and bought a bottle of Pepsi from a vending machine. I went outside and photographed the Texas Eagle and steam locomotive #794.

 

 

 

 

 

††††††††††† I saw the two Superliners that were on a siding were no longer there. They must have been coupled to the rear of the Sunset and departed west for Los Angeles. I went back to the station to await boarding.

 

††††††††††† Boarding began shortly after 6:45 am. I was seated in Superliner 2 coach #34107. I had seen that all but one of the coaches on the train were Superliner 2s. The diner-lounge that was on the Texas Eagle back in 2009 has been replaced by a full diner. The train departed on time. We actually reversed out of the station. For more than 10 minutes, we reversed. We then stopped and then went forwards.

 

††††††††††† The person sitting behind me was snoring loudly. I went to the dining car for breakfast. After breakfast I returned to my coach seat. At one point, we passed passenger car painted in Missouri Pacific colours. I photographed it.

 

 

††††††††††† Awhile later, the train stopped at San Marcos. We actually made a double stop at San Marcos. We soon departed. A little while later we passed a siding with an old Missouri Pacific caboose in the siding.

 

††††††††††† Coming into Austin, we went around a curve. I photographed the front of the train

 

 

The train stopped in Austin. Austin was a smoke stop. I stepped off and took some photos.

 

 

 

 

 

††††††††††† The train soon departed. Shortly after we departed, we passed what looked like a bus yard and I photographed some D35LFs/D40LFs .

 

 

 

††††††††††† The train passed several old military aircraft on display. The train was running in the median of the highway. This must have been the line we were running beside on the bus back on my way to Dallas back in September. We overtook a Union Pacific freight. By now we were no longer in the median of the highway. From the train, I saw a Dave and Busterís.

 

††††††††††† North of Austin, we passed a Union Pacific freight train with four locomotives. We were soon on the outskirts of Taylor, Texas. The train stopped due to freight traffic. We were soon underway again. The train stopped at Taylor.

 

††††††††††† I went to the lounge car and was surprised to learn that Amtrak now sells Coke instead of Pepsi. This must be recent because I believe they still served Pepsi back in September. I then went back to my seat. The train stopped at Temple. Temple was a smoke stop. As we pulled in, I saw a BNSF local. This local had a caboose at the end. I photographed the local.

 

 

 

 

††††††††††† I stepped off the train at Temple. I photographed the local as it departed

 

 

††††††††††† I then took some pictures of the railway equipment on display.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

††††††††††† I also photographed the Texas Eagle as well as one more photo of a caboose on display at the station.

 

 

 

 

††††††††††† I got back on and went to the sightseer lounge. I filmed the railway equipment as we departed.

 

 

††††††††††† We were near a BNSF yard. I photographed various locomotives including a Ferromex locomotive.I also photographed a caboose from the Cotton Belt as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

††††††††††† I went to the dining car for lunch. I was sat with a couple travelling to Chicago. They had ridden the Eagle down to Austin. The train had been on time up to Temple. South of Temple, the train got delayed by 90 minutes. I told them about the times I rode and attempted to ride the Texas Eagle in 2006, 2009, and 2019.

 

††††††††††† At one point, I could make out the Buc-eeís where the bus Amtrak chartered for us from San Antonio had stopped for lunch.

 

††††††††††† The train stopped at McGregor. I returned to my coach seat and worked on this report some more. At one point, I called Julie to check the status of the train and found we were expected to arrive into Dallas on time.

 

††††††††††† We passed a southbound BNSF freight.We passed a BNSF coal train a little while later.

 

††††††††††† The train stopped at Cleburne. Cleburne was a double stop despite the train only having one locomotive and six coaches. As we departed, I photographed a Santa Fe caboose.

 

 

††††††††††† I saw a BNSF yard as we left Cleburne. After awhile we were on the outskirts of Fort Worth. We passed a BNSF freight. We passed by a Union Pacific yard. I saw three covered hoppers derailed and on their sides. I attempted to photograph them.

 

 

††††††††††† I then attempted to photograph a Trinity Railway Express train at Fort Worth T&P station; the western end of the TRE line.

 

 

††††††††††† The train slowed to a crawl as we got closer to Fort Worth station. I saw a UP freight with a CP AC4400 trailing. I attempted to photograph the leased power (which is common to me).

 

 

††††††††††† As we pulled in, I saw train #21; the southbound Texas Eagle and the Heartland Flyer. I filmed the Southbound Texas Eagle. I saw the Heartland Flyer had NCPU #90229, two Superliner coaches, and P42 #156 which is painted in Amtrakís Phase 1 livery. The train stopped at Fort Worth. I got off and photographed the Heartland Flyer and train #21.

 

 

 

††††††††††† I then walked to the end of the platform and photographed my trainís locomotive and interurban #25 which is on display at the station.

 

 

 

††††††††††† I then walked back to my coach. I saw train #21 had departed. I photographed the Heartland Flyer and the freight with the CP AC4400.

 

 

 

††††††††††† The Union Pacific freight departed. There was a CP Gevo on the tail end as well. I photographed it.

 

 

††††††††††† I got back on the train and waited for us to leave. I filmed an eastbound TRE commuter train pushed by F59PH #121.I went to the Sightseer Lounge car. When the train departed, instead of backing out of the station like it did in 2009, the Texas Eagle now follows the line TRE commuter trains take. The TRE line is more direct to Dallas. As we departed Fort Worth, I filmed a Texrail train pulling in.

 

††††††††††† The train slowed to a crawl. We then stopped. We waited for a westbound TRE commuter train to pass. When it passed, I filmed it. We were soon underway again.

 

††††††††††† When we passed the TRE yard, I filmed it. I saw TRE RDC #2001; their sole remaining RDC was in a different position than it was back in September. I saw two TRE trains led by two ex AMT (originally Amtrak) F40PHs.

 

††††††††††† We were soon approaching Dallas. I got my stuff ready in preparation to get off.We were passed by a TRE commuter train. I filmed it passing.

 

††††††††††† We passed by a freight yard and soon arrived into Dallas three minutes late. I got off and took some photos.

 

 

 

 

††††††††††† I then bought a DART day pass and rode three stops. I then walked a few blocks to where I was staying; a place called the Stay Alfred. Itís like a combination hotel room and apartment. The check in process was a little complicated but I was able to get up to my room.

 

††††††††††† Once I got to my room I went online and dropped my stuff off. I looked on the McKinney Avenue Transit Authorityís website and checked the tracker to see if #4614 was running. It was! It was at the far end of the line.

 

††††††††††† I quickly got my stuff and left the hotel. I walked to the St. Paul DART station and a block further to where I had boarded #186 on the day that I arrived in Dallas back in September. I then walked to the stop before.

 

††††††††††† I knew that if #4614 didnít come next, it would be the car after. However, after a few minutes I looked down St. Paul and saw the unmistakable advance green light of #4614. I was ecstatic. When PCC #4614 pulled up, I photographed it.

 

 

††††††††††† I sat in the back of the car on the left-hand side; where I sat when the PCCs were still in service in Toronto. I phoned home and let my parents know I was in Dallas and on PCC #4614. I also mentioned the train with the caboose and the two CP units and they were a good omen.

 

††††††††††† A few minutes later I phoned John Landrum. I told him I was riding PCC 4614. He told me how some Toronto purists werenít too happy with McKinney installing a left-hand door on the car. However, Mexico City installed doors on PCCs they bought second hand from Detroit and the Twin Cities. Bostonís PCCs also had doors on the left-hand side.

 

††††††††††† I rode to Cityplace. I got off and photographed #4614.

 

 

††††††††††† I filmed the car being turned on the turntable and took some more photos.

 

 

 

 

††††††††††† I then filmed #4614 departing and took one more photo.

 

 

 

††††††††††† In addition to installing a door on the left hand side of the car, McKinney also installed school bus stop arms on the side of the car to stop motorists from passing the car when stopped. For some reason, they also removed #4614ís trolley shroud. I donít know why they did.

 

††††††††††† Ironically if this trip and this ride on #4614 had occurred exactly a week earlier, it would have been 11 years to the day I first visited the car and its sister #4613 and completed my quest to see all 19 of the PCCs that were retired in 1995. I had plans to see #4613 like I did on my trip back in September.

 

††††††††††† I then headed to the Target nearby. I bought some cereal to eat at the apartment. I paid and then walked to the DART station. I took the second incline elevator down to the ticket area of the station. This incline elevator was working when I visited Dallas back in September when the elevator I would use to access the McKinney line was down for maintenance. However, in the four months since I was in Dallas, that incline elevator is working again.

 

††††††††††† I rode one stop north and had dinner at a nearby Taco Bell. I then took a train back to St. Paul station and went into the 7-11 by the station and bought some milk. I then walked back to the hotel. I went online and worked on this report some more. I eventually set the alarm on my phone and called it a night.

 

Click here for the next two days in Dallas:Part 2