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Amtrak Railfanning At Chicago's Roosevelt Road
  Roosevelt Road is located in Downtown Chicago and is about a 6 block walk down Canal Street from Union Station and features great views of Amtrak and Metra Commuter trains, along with amazing views of an icon of the Chicago skyline, and that is none other than the Willis Tower! Whenever my travels bring me through the Windy City, I always like to go railfan here since this is the one place where you can fit the Willis Tower in with photos of Amtrak and Metra trains. After storing my bags in the Metropolitan Lounge at Union Station, I made the walk here and would spend the next couple hours doing some great railfanning. Included here are photos taken during my visit to my favorite place to railfan in Chicago. Enjoy...
The first train I would see today was Amtrak's Lincoln Service Train #300 arriving shortly at Union Station, having originated earlier today in St. Louis, MO.
This train operates in push-pull mode and uses a P42 on each end. The train was moving away from me as I took this photo.
The mighty Willis Tower dominates the Chicago Skyline from here!
Amtrak's car shop at Chicago. Usually, a P32-8BWH will do most of the switching duties, moving cars in and out of the shop.
The next train would be one I was very familiar with as it's the train that brought me here from Washington! Yes, here's Train #29 - The Capitol Limited
backing up out of Union Station. It will be turned on the wye onto the BNSF then back into the yard for servicing so as to go back as today's Train #30.
Another long-distance train being readied for a departure later today. This train is either the Empire Builder or the California Zephyr.
Hiding in the yard is one of the locomotives that generally does yard switching duties, this GE P32-8BWH #517.
Frequently, you'll see private cars in the coach yards, with this one making a visit. This is Mid America Leasing's former New York Central Sleeper/Lounge
#10627 "Swift Stream". This car was built by Budd in 1949 and served on the New York Central, Penn Central, Amtrak, then into private ownership.
Special thanks goes to for historical info on this car.
Pullman Rail Journeys operates private cars on the end of Amtrak's train "The City Of New Orleans" from Chicago to New Orleans on select dates
with this sleeping car being one of the cars used on those trains. This is Sleeping Car "Belleville" was built as an 11 bedroom sleeper for the
Chicago, Burlington & Quincy and was originally named "Silver Quail". This car operated on Amtrak for a time as well. Special thanks goes
to and for historical info.
Pullman Rail Journeys car "Adirondack Club", a square-end Sleeper-Buffet-Observation car built for the Chesapeake & Ohio by Pullman-Standard in 1950,
was also at the Chicago coach yards. The car's original name under the C&O was "Blue Ridge Club". The car also operated on Amtrak for a time.
Special thanks for historical info on this car goes both to &
Amtrak Buffer Car #10405 began its life as a 10 Roomette-6 Double Bedroom Sleeper for the Union Pacific and was named "Pacific Terrace". Amtrak
acquired the car in 1971 and it was used as a Sleeping Car, then later a Crew Dorm car before being taken out of service and eventually being
converted into a Buffer Car that is used when ferrying cars back and forth from Chcago to the Beech Grove heavy maintenance facility.
Of course, next to Amtrak's coach yard is the Metra Coach Yard, Metra is Chicago's commuter rail system.
One of the many Metra commuter trains you'll see at Roosevelt Road. They operate in push-pull mode so a locomotive is only one end of the train
and the other end features a cab control car like what is seen in the above photo.
Now back to some Amtrak trains! Here we have Train #51 - The Cardinal going past the coach yards on its way to its final destination of Chicago
Union Station. This train originated yesterday in Washington, DC and I actually remember seeing it's locomotive parked on an adjacent
track. The train was also ferrying some equipment from Beech Grove on the rear end. This photo was taken with an 18-200mm lens.
Amtrak GE P32-8BWH #504, still in Phase IV paint, does switching duties today.
GE P42DC #7 leads Train #371 - The Pierre Marquette from Grand Rapids, MI, running past the coach yards.
And now a train that I'm very familiar with, none other than Train #49 - The Lake Shore Limited now arriving in The Windy City!!!
Beautiful Chicago Union Station, this view from Canal Street was taken as I was walking back there from Roosevelt Road.
  After spending a couple hours at Roosevelt Road, I made the walk back to Union Station and had a very quick lunch at McDonald's, then ran across the street to CVS/Pharmacy to pick up some beverages for this leg of the trip (cheaper than buying a can of pop on the train!). I then headed back to the station and to the Metropolitan Lounge where I retrieved my bags and backed up a total of 256 photos I took from last night until today (of course, only what I felt were the best ones, made it into this travelogue). Once I finished backing up the photos and chatting with a few passengers who I had been riding with on the Capitol Limited, I packed up my gear, had another Diet Pepsi (I don't drink coffee), and waited for the boarding call for my next train which would be Train #3 - The Southwest Chief. This would be the third train of the transcontinental portion of this trip that will have me at my next destination of Los Angeles. This was one excellent journey as you'll soon see...