Amtrak Digital Photos Part 2
by Mike Condren

Amtrak #59 Along the LA Belt Detour in Memphis, TN
June 25, 2008

On June 25, in an attempt to shoot #59 on the LA Beltline detour, I arrived track side around 6am. I prepared for #59. About that time I noticed a southbound. The CSX Jacksonville dispatcher had been talking to a CSX freight at Leewood and told him that he would get a signal after the southbound. The southbound turned out to be #59. Then my camera's battery decided it was dead. I jumped into the car and beat him to the Broad Street crossing. I grabbed the "point and shoot" (PnS) digital. By the time it decided to charge the capacitor for the flash, the engine was past and the going away was not worth posting. I jumped back into the van and headed further south. This section of track is owned by CSX and dispatched in Jacksonville. Amtrak has a 15mph speed limit allowing me to race ahead of the train.With the traffic lights cooperating, I got ahead of him again and got this shot at Hollywood Street along side the Liberty Bowl Stadium (note the stairs to the upperdeck to the left). The flash really lit up the crossing gates, 6:35am. Not too bad for the PnS camera considering the early low light.


At 6:45am, after a 10 minute wait, Amtrak #59 gets permission from CSX dispatcher AY to proceed from Leewood to Aulon on the LA Belt on Main 2. The sun is now well above the horizon.
Superliner II transition dorm sleeper
Superliner II sleeper
Superliner I diner-lounge
Superliner I baggage coach
Superliner II coach
Superliner I coach

Repositioning to get a Memphis landmark into the shot, I move ahead of the train to near the Liberty Bowl Stadium.

Here we see three views of the sink hole at Central Station that has caused the rerouting of the City of New Orleans through east Memphis on the LA Belt, 6/29/08.

July 4th, 2008

When Kenny Young and I arrived at the temporary Memphis stop at 7;30am, these two buses were already there, waiting for inbound passengers. Looking north on the Y&MV main, an apparent UP GE sits at the curve in the distance. This is the north route of Amtrak #59 from Central Station. Looking south, we see the transloading location.

We first see The City of New Orleans coming by the hump yard with one of the hump sets working. It then passes our location before backing down to the loading location. The train then stops and backs north on the Y&MV main. It arrived at 8:30am.
Amtrak Superliner I baggage coach 31019.
Amtrak Superliner I baggage coach 31044.
Amtrak Superliner I coach 31044.
Amtrak Superliner I diner 37008.
Amtrak Superliner I sleeper 37008.
Amtrak Superliner II transition sleeper dorm 37008.

The power, #4 and #184, gets fueled in Memphis via a truck that pulls up trackside.

Looking north, an IC switcher has pulled down behind Amtrak when it is loading and unloading.

The fueling is complete, the inbound passengers are loaded on the bus except for this wheelchair bound person, and the outbound passenger's bus has not arrived. In conversation with Matt Condren, my son and one of the outbound passengers, says that it was 10 minutes after my call telling Matt that the train arrived, before the bus leaves Central Station. The outbound bus finally arrives and we see Matt boarding.

All passengers have loaded onto the train but the baggage transfer from the buses to the train continues while two crewmen load the wheelchair ramp into the sleeper. The conductor tells me that they are running so late because they met 12 trains and following one.

The City of New Orleans finally leaves the loading area at about 9:25am after about a 50 minute station stop.

Kenny and I then raced ahead of the train to the junction to the new intermodal facility.

As we left Milwaukee, I shot back down the train towards the Wheel of Fortune and power, June 14, 2008.

Our second stop was at the new Sturtevant station. Then we flew by the former Sturtevant station, June 14, 2008.

Train #334 has just crossed Canal Street and is about to pass Lake Street Tower and enter Chicago Union Station, June 14, 2008.

Amtrak train #7, the westbound Empire Builder, is charging through Riverside, IL on its detour due to flooding (3 ft. over the rails) on the Canadian Pacific in the marshland around Reeseville, WI, June 14, 2008.

At 3:32pm Amtrak train #3, the Southwest Limited, appeared and passed Riverside at speed, June 14, 2008.

For Fall Break, our son Matt decided to go to New Orleans on the "City" to visit his sister and her family. I got these shots as his train left reopened Central Station in Memphis, Oct. 23, 2008.

Rear of the "City of New Orleans" with a coach-baggage as the last car acting as the through car to New Orleans.

The City of New Orleans is seen leaving Memphis Central Station, passing over the area where the sinkhole formed.

Amtrak "City of New Orleans" in Memphis Central Station, 3/15/09.

Amtrak #59 in Memphis on 4/20/09. Jan and I had just returned from UW Engineering Expo in Madison.

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