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Heading home from the 2018 NRHS Convention 8/11/2018

by Chris Guenzler

We walked back froom the Crabby Pig and got our luggage out of storage. I led the way having to take the tunnel under the CSX mainline due to a CSX stack train blocking the grade crossing. At the station I met three NRHS members, two going to Seattle and one going to Chicago to get home to Rockford. They took pictures of us before a CSX helper set came by us.

That CSX helper set came by the station.

That CSX stack train finally cleared the grade crossing. Soon I saw Robin, Elizabeth and Bob walking towards the station. They were introduced to my new friends and conversations were stuck up.

The CSX helper set went backto the yard.

The Capitol Limited came into the Cumberland station and first stop was for the engineer change The conductor scanned everyones tickets who were waiting to board the train in Cumberland. The second stop was for the first sleeper.

Capitol Limited 29 8/11/2018

We all were on the third stop and we had roomette 4 and the Alkires had Bedroom D. Our sleeping car attendant was Leroy. We all met in the lounge car for the ride over Sand Patch and beyond. Leroy made up the room and i called it quits after Connelvile and retired to the upper bunk for the last time on this trip.

8/11/2018 As the train was approaching Sandusky Bay about 4:00 AM, I was awakened to load claps of thunder and a major light show of lightning along with loud pouring rain. I got up, used the bathroom then rode the lounge car at a table for most of the rest of the trip to Chicago. At one point I changed my clothes and had my cookie I bought last night. I got an orange juice for the first class lounge attendant. At Toledo I took some fresh air then after they ate Bob and Elizabeth joined me at my table with Robin arriving later. We rode together all the way to Comisky Park in Chicago where we returned to our room and packed it up. We all detrained and made our way to the Metropolitan Lounge in Chicago.

Chicago 8/11/2018

Bob decided to take METRA out to College Avenue and Robin would join him then keep going our to Elburne. I went to the Pennsylvania Room on the second floor of the lounge and then took Elizabeth up to join me there. So they headed out and went. day.

e Pennsylvania Room on the second floor of Metropolitan Lounge in Chicago. After that I took Elizabeth first on a tour of Chicago Union Station then the Food Court before I bought us weekend passes for METRA and we would head to Aurora on a beautiful day. But first we stopped at Gold Coast for a pair of Char Dogs which I ate on the train trip.

The August METRA weekend pass for ten dollars. We walked out to Platform 2 and took a few pictures.

METRA F40M 179.

METRA train 1305 To Aurora.

Elizabeth on her first trip to Aurora on the BNSF METRA line.

METRA F40PH 125 DuPage County.

METRA F40PHM-2 213 Village of Franklin Park.

METRA 113 F40ph 125.

METRA 133 F40ph 125.

METRA F40PHM-2 187.

METRA F40PHM-2 200 Norman W. Muelner.

METRA train 1314.

METRA F40M 173.

The Aurora Roundhouse.

CB&Q caboose

METRA train 1314 ready to return us to Chicago.

METRA enginesand trains waiting for Monday morning. We returned to Chicago and in the Metropolitan Lounge I updated my rail mileage on my computer. I then shut it all down and packed it up. Bob and Robin returned and we all waited for them to call our last long distance train of the trip. At 2:25 PM they call train 3 and were told to go out to the train. I said goodbye to Bob and Elizabeth beforeI walked out behind the red cap cart then passed him up when he stopped at the coaches. I boarded the sleeper New Mexico for the two night journey to home. Robin joined me a short time later.

Southwest Chief 3 8/12/2018

Would this be my last journey on this train? We had Roomette 3 with Mike as our sleeping car attendant for this trip. The train had a consist of Engines P40s 2 and 165, baggage 61045, transition 39034, sleepers 32035 and 32117 Wisconsin, diner 38030, lounge 32003, coaches 34037, 31011 and 34004 with the private car Baltimore and Ohio Moonlight Dome on the rear. We left Chicago on time and headed out down the triple speed raceway. We got a 6:15 PM dinner reservation and Robin was enjoying hs new rail mileage to Galesburg that he did not get on the eastbound trip 19 days ago. We stopped in Naperville, Mendota and Princeton before we rolled down the final miles for Robin to Galesburg where his new rail mileage ended. At 6:15 PM we got called to the Dining Car and I had the Signature Steak and chocolate cake for desert. As the the train rolled across northeast Missouri would that be my final trip aboard a through Southwest Chief. I hope Amtrak CEO Richard Anderson changes his mind about his bussing passengers from Dodge City to Albuquerque. The train did a double stop at La Plata and about Carrolton I made up the room and we called it our second last night of this unique trip.

8/13/18 The last full day started at Garden City. I changed into fresh clothes then went to the dining car for a breakfast of pancakes and bacon. After that meal I went and shaved feeling like a new man. We ran over several miles of slow tracks on the way to Lamar where I called my self in sick for the first day of the new school year. I had plannned this with my school in advance. Robin got up and he headed to the dining car for his breakfast. The train stopped in Lamar and I put on my DVD OF Alice Cooper Brutally PLanet Live that took me to our crew change point at La Junta and a fresh air break.

The front and the rear end of this Southwest Chief at La Junta.

Baltimore and Ohio Moonlight Dome. I returned to the room and the train left La Junta for Trinidad. I put on my DVD of the ARMS' Concert in Madison Square Gardens in New York City on December 9, 1985. The toilets went out in our car as usual and we won't be having them until Albuquerque or beyond. The train headed for Raton, a fresh air break, then onward to Las Vegas and onto Lamy where we took the siding for a late Southwest Chief train 4 that had just departed. The train then ran the rest of the way to Albquerque, another fresh air break. The train left on time then lost over an hour due to BNSF construction project at Dalies and following slow BNSF freight trains as we made our way to Gallup and Winslow. At Flagstaff I took my final fresh air break of the trip before I made up the room one last time and called it a final night on this trip.

8/14/2018 I got up just before Barstow and went to the dining car for pancakes and bacon. I returned got Robin up and then enjoyed the climb up and over Cajon Pass with plenty of freight train action. The train stopped in San Bernardino and Riverside before making the final sprint to Fullerton where Robin and I detrained from the Southwest Chief.

Metrolink 600 8/14/2018

First the north elevator was not working so we dragged our luggage up and over to the south elevator which was on the ground again. A man was working on the Metrolink machine but finished up and we bought our tickets to Santa Ana. We boarded the third car from the rear and I called a taxi to pick us up in Santa Ana. The train stopped in Anaheim and Orange before we both detrained in Santa Ana ending a great train trip home.


The taxi drove us to my house but Jon had told me he could not get into the house. It seemed that the front door had beeped for over a week and did not get new batteries for it. Robin's car keys were inside my house so I tried all my ways to get into my house but none worked. A new phone book was on my front porch so I called a locksmith to come out to get me into the house. I called the absent phone line for work and called me in sick again. The locksmith arrived about thirty minutes later and after he tried my den door, he drilled it out and the keyed me a new lock and I was in the house and Robin was on his way home. I relaxed the rest of the day and finished this story.