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The Trip East to Milwaukee Airport And More

by Chris Guenzler

The day had finally arrived for this trip, one which I had been anticipating for weeks. On this trip, Elizabeth and I are taking the Southwest Chief to Chicago, Hiawatha Service to Milwaukee Airport, renting a car and on Sunday, participating in the Trains Magazine's 80th anniversary photo charter with SOO Line 1003. Then we return to Milwaukee Airport, return the car, take Amtrak to Milwaukee itself, ride the Hop Streetcar then return to Chicago on the Hiawatha, the City of New Orleans to its namesake city, ride the streetcars and return home via the Sunset Limited. Marty Smith picked us up at our apartment and drove us to the Santa Ana train station. We all walked over to Track 1 and waited for Pacific Surfliner 579 to arrive.

Pacific Surfliner 579 11/10/2020

The train came in with Elizabeth I boarding the cab car. We departed and made stops at Anaheim and Fullerton then made its final sprint to Los Angeles Union Station where we had a ride into the Metropolitan Lounge by Sam. Once we were in there, I had a Sprite and a piece of coffee cake. At 5:30 PM, they announced that passengers could walk out to Train 4.

Southwest Chief 4 11/10/2020

This train had a consist of P42DC 147 and 61, Sleeping Cars 32076 "Delaware" and 32111 "Texas", Dining Car 38021, Lounge 33009, coaches 34086, 34136, baggage-coach 31031 and coach 34047. We had Deluxe Room A with Steven as our attendant. We relaxed in the room until the train departed at 6:00 PM and we headed out in the evening.

The skyline of downtown Los Angeles taken from the flyover over the Los Angeles River. We received a 7:00 PM dinner reservation so we would eat after Fullerton. The train stopped in Fullerton and Elizabeth and I went down to the door to see our good friend David Aten who had come to see us off. This was very nice of him to do such a thing. The train next headed out through Santa Ana Canyon to Corona and on to our next stop at Riverside. At 7:00 PM, we were called into the dining room for dinner. I had braised beef which was not really enough for me and Elizabeth had her usual chicken fettucine, which she enjoyed. This dinner was brought in a bag but the attendant was very likeable and pleasant, unlike the attendant on the Coast Starlight last month. The train stopped in Riverside and I saw Hayward, the conductor on Metrolink 815 and 812, as well as his female assistant conductor. After dinner, I went down and talked with Anthony, the lounge car LSA, a long-time Amtrak employee who has served me all the way back to the San Diegan days on Amtrak and who, on the Surfliner, amused all the passengers with his singing. I have known him for over twenty-five years and he has always treated me with respect and gives the best service to me, as he will on this trip. We stopped just east of Riverside at a red signal because a Metrolink train hit a car in front of us so we would be here as long as it takes. They said it might take two hours as it was a death and we were waiting for the Riverside Coroner to arrive on the scene. However, it was not by any means that long. About 15 minutes later we slowly passed the accident site where Metrolink 406, a Riverside line train must have been deadheading to the San Bernardino Metrolink facility. We then went through Colton, went under a Union Pacific stack train and made our way to Rana where Elizabeth would start her new mileage to Kansas City. We did not stop at San Bernardino so Elizabeth will be making her first trip over Cajon Pass tonight. Steven had to mmake the bed as I could not get the top bunk down. We stopped at Hesperia and called it a night.

11/11/2020 I awoke as the train was on the Cookton Cutoff so I went to the lounge car to get breakfast from Anthony, the wonderful LSA, that included doughnut holes, cinnamon roll and orange juice. There was plenty of snow on the ground at these higher elevations and the conductor walked by and told me we were running three-and-a-half hours late due to the initial lateness from last night plus freight congestion were the reasons for our tardiness. However, the good thing is that I am able to scenery that I do not normally see.

Snow on the ground after Maine, the top of the Arizona Divide. Elizabeth started her day and sat down to breakfast at Bellemont. We lost more time as we approached Flagstaff because we were stopped by two red signals, including the one just around the corner from the station. We pulled into Flagstaff and I detrained to take a few pictures.

The Flagstaff station. We were delayed here by a passenger who did not have a ticket and was trying to go to San Luis Obispo, who was subsequently removed from the train.

East of Flagstaff, we were going so slowly that I was able to photograph the mountain east of town.

Interesting rock formations up close and far away.

The railroad display in Winslow - two cabooses and a derrick.

During the slowing for the stop at Winslow, the La Posada Hotel where Elizabeth and I stayed at on our honeymoon.

The Santa Fe station in Winslow.

The Plaza Lamy, the Santa Fe dome car, formerly Santa Fe Southern.

Finally in all my trips, the Apache Railroad was in Holbrook when we came through late. For me, this was a great thing. The train ran into New Mexico with Elizabeth and I taking a fresh air break at Gallup.

Trans-Global Solutions GP10 8419, SW1500 1506 and SW1500 1510 east of Gallup.

Red mesa east of Gallup. I played Solitaire most of this trip while Elizabeth read magazines and worked on her laptop.

Red Mesas at Pegs.

A peak off to the east before Grants.

The last two Red Mesas before we got to Dalies.

Southwest Chief being refueled at Albuquerque. This is my latest eastbound trip ever. We left at 4:24 PM {11:48 AM} and we headed to Lamy.

The Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Later the train ran by the Devil's Spine just before Lamy. As we were travelling now in the darkness, I could not show Elizabeth Apache Canyon, Glorieta Pass, the Chappelle S turns or the semaphores on this trip before we arrived at Las Vegas where we did see the lit-up La Castenada Harvey House that is now open. We had our dinner at 5:30 PM and I had braised beef again and Elizabeth had the chicken marsala. She is amazed how I know where things are, even in the dark, and that is from all my trips on this route. We made our way to Raton where I took a fresh air break.

The train at Raton.

The famous star and the illuminated Raton sign up on the hill above town. We went through Summit Hill and we were then in Colorado. To finish the evening, we watched a Jethro Tull live DVD. Steven made up the bed and we were in bed long before La Junta and I slept until just after Newton, Kansas.

11/12/2020I was in the lounge car the next morning eating my breakfast as the train crossed Cotton Rock, the former Rock Island line that Union Pacific uses. I had the same breakfast as yesterday. When we got to Strong City, I saw that a caboose had been added to the station display. I returned to the room and hopped back in bed for a while and officially got up after Topeka. Elizabeth had her breakfast while the train was going through Topeka.

The Kansas River, known locally as the Kaw River, was seen on a mostly cloudy morning.

Transportation Technology Services 20-axle Schnabel car 1001.

Erman 44-toner 1. We took on fuel at BNSF's Argentine Yard before crossing the state line into Missouri.

Chicago Burlington and Quincy "Silver Foot" ex UP 126 Business Car.

"Pacific Sunset" Sleeper ex Union Pacific 1443. We went past Kansas City Union Station before we backed into it and they added two private cars, Warren R. Henry and Evelyn A. Henry, to the rear of our train. After doing the business here, the Southwest Chief departed at 11:18 AM {8:15 AM}. It was here that Elizabeth's new mileage ended until we arrive at La Plata.

Kansas City Terminal (WAMX) GP35 3852. We came through Sibley and then it was time to show Elizabeth where I passed my overall millionth mile.

From the middle span of the bridge where I did it. The Missouri River is below. I showed Elizabeth a few of the spots I used on my La Plata Spring Railfan weekends which we may resurrect next year, depending on the Corona virus situation in America.

The BNSF coaling tower in Marceline.

Santa Fe SD40-2 5008 on display in Marceline.

Santa Fe Marceline Depot, home to the Walt Disney Museum. I went to the lounge car for my lunch of chicken wings, pretzels and a cookie plus a Sprite. The train arrived at La Plata and it felt really odd for me not to be getting off after all the other times I had. Elizabeth started her new mileage to the former CB&Q mainline at Cameron and we ran to Fort Madison where we both took a fresh air break.

The current Santa Fe station in Fort Madison.

Elizabeth at Fort Madison. The train left then headed to the Mississippi River drawbridge. Elizabeth went back to the lounge car to enjoy the trip through Fort Madison, seeing the steam engine from the train and her first time over the bridge.

The train crossed the Mississippi River and into Illinois. She returned to the room and we eagerly anticipated our crossing of the new Media Trestle. Elizabeth's new mileage came to an end as we entered the old CB&Q main line as we headed into Galesburg. We stopped at Princeton and rolled through Mendota before we reached Naperville.

The train made its way into Chicago and arrived at 6:15 PM {2:50 PM}, my latest eastbound arrival into Chicago Union Station on the Southwest Chief.

Chicago 11/12/2020

We detrained and went to the ticket office which was no help as we did not want to take a bus to downtown Milwaukee and then a taxi to the airport to pick up the car. We then decided to walk to the Holiday Inn on Harrison Street and checked in for the night.

11/13/2020 We arose at 5:00 AM and packed up before checking out and walking back to Union Station. Elizabeth then went and got us McDonald's for breakfast while I looked after the bags. We ate while we waited in the North Waiting Area. At 6:00 AM, the doors were opened and we walked to the south concourse to Track 28 to board our train.

Hiawatha Service Train 329

We boarded car 54566 and took left-hand side seats for our trip to Milwaukee Airport. The train left on time and made the first stop at Glenview. We sped down the line on the lookout for any Metra trains until we arrived at the junction of Fox Lake. The train then stopped at Sturtevant before we arrived at the Milwaukee Airport stop where we detrained.

The train leaving for downtown Milwaukee. Out in front of the station, there was a sign directing passengers to call for the shuttle which Elizabeth did. It did not take long for the shuttle to arrive which took us to the rental car area of the airport. We were given a Kia Soul and were soon on our way. I was driving while Elizabeth navigated for me using her phone, which took us on a rather roundabout route to get out of Milwaukee. We made our way north to our first stop of the trip in Sheboygan.

The Sheboygan Chicago and North Western station built 1906. I drove us north to Manitowoc.

What is left of the Manitowoc Chicago and North Western station, originally built circa 1883 by the Milwaukee, Lake Shore and Western, a C&NW subsidiary. From here we found the light house here.

Manitowoc Breakwater Lighthouse. We then drove to Kewaunee.

Kewaunee Pierhead Lighthouse.

The Kewaunee, Green Bay and Western station.

Across the street is the Tug Ludington. Built at Jacobson Shipyard in Oyster Bay, New York, the Tug Ludington was fourth in a series of eight seagoing tugboats constructed specifically for World War II in 1943. It participated in the D-Day invasion of Normandy, towing ammunition barges across the English Channel. It eventually ended up in Cherbourg, France where it assisted harbor operations until being sent to Plymouth, England for the duration of the war. In 1947 the tug was transferred to Kewaunee, Wisconsin by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and was renamed the "Tug Ludington". With its arrival in Kewaunee, the Tug Ludington assisted in the construction and maintenance of many harbors on the Great Lakes. From here we drove to Green Bay, but alas, that is another story.