Amtrak Digital Photos Part 3
by Mike Condren

Amtrak #69 on the point of train #58 The City of New Orleans rounding the curve towards Tower 16, Chicago, IL, 3/9/09.

Amtrak 151 at the point of a train turning on the wye south of Union Station, 3/9/09.

Amtrak #506 in the yard at Chicago, 3/9/09.

A view of my Amtrak sleeper compartment H showing the LED reading light, 3/13/09.

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.

August 22, 2009

On a quick trip to Metarie, LA to see our daughter and grandson, Jan, grandson Shawn, and I went railfanning after lunch. On our way to trackside, it struck me that it was getting close to time for the southbound Amtrak #59, the City of New Orleans, so we headed to Central Ave. where numerous tracks come together and then separate. Upon arrival, I observed a New Orleans Public Belt engine sitting in the shade of the expressway overpass and a green signal for the westbound track for the Huey P. Long Bridge, both signs of an approaching train for the bridge. So we parked in the shade to await the action.

Our first action was the northbound Amtrak #58, the City of New Orleans, which I had forgotten departed New Orleans at 1:45pm.

While shooting the BNSF freight, Amtrak #59, the southbound City of New Orleans, starts blowing for the Central Ave. crossing.

On the return trip to Memphis, we drove old US51 to Pass Manchac to take photos of the railroad drawbridge, 8/2/309.

After a quick stop at a Subway for lunch on the go, we headed to the Amtrak station at Hammond, LA to catch the southbound train 59, City of New Orleans, 8/23/09.

The City of New Orleans was running about 20 minutes late.

Amtrak station/museum Mendota, IL.

Amtrak #4, Southwest Chief at Mendota, IL.

Amtrak #8 was the focus of 10 photographers at Duplainville. Friends Dave Ingles and Rick Moser were passengers and Craig Willett was the engineer.

A few scences outside of New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal

This photo was taken through the closed glass door of the spare equipment at NOUPT.

Now we see the equipment for Amtrak #58, "The City of New Orleans", backing into the terminal.

Shortly after taking this picture, I was approached by a couple of New Orleans uniformed police officers who insisted that I could not take pictures of the station under orders from Homeland Security. While explaining that they had bad information, my train was called and as a ticketed sleeping car passenger, I walked away to board my train ahead of the coach passengers.

Amtrak is using more LED lighting in their refurbished equipment such as this reading light in my sleeper compartment.

East Bridge tower is seen through Compartment 6 from Compartment 5 of the Amtrak sleeper.

Central Street crossing at the end of the Huey P. Long bridge where I take many of my NOLA photos.

Amtrak #58 meets #59 at a siding in the middle of a swamp. Note the white cranes in the views.

Nov. 14, 2009

Upon arriving at Memphis Central Station to pick up daughter and grandson, we discovered this unit at idle. I only had my cell phone camera, thus the low res pictures, but I had never seen a loco without train in the station before.


Retirement for me means more time to do things that I had never done. One of those thing was Marti Gras. With family in the New Orleans area needing help with child care, Jan and I headed south to experience this event. Monday was a day with little activity for Mardi Gras. The weather was great and there was something else I had never done, shoot trains on the drawbridge at Manchac.

When we arrived at Manchac, LA at 1:38pm, the drawbridge was on its way down in anticipation of the arrival of a train. It was time for the southbound City of New Orleans.

Amtrak #59, the City of New Orleans, arrived at 1:48pm, right on time.

We then shifted to the north side of the waterway and found that the drawbridge was starting back up.

At 2:21pm, the drawbridge is seen on its way down for the northbound Amtrak #58, the City of New Orleans.

At 2:35pm, the northbound City of New Orleans appears after meeting the southbound train somewhere towards Kenner, LA.

It was then decided that Virginia and Shawn should celebrate National Train Day by riding the City of New Orleans from NOLA to Hammond, LA with the Condrens chasing and photographing. We first photograph the train at Central Ave. in Metairie.

We then jump in our car and head back to I-10 and our chase. We catch the train as both the railroad and I-10 go onto their respective causeways.

We then race the train along I-10, I-55, and old US 51 to Manchac.

With its 79 mph authorized track speed, the "City" beats us to Hammond and is pulling away from the station as we arrive.

The "City of New Orleans" finally appears 1 hour and 6 minutes late.

The City of New Orleans was running a few minutes late but is seen here racing to the Union Terminal near the Super Dome in downtown New Orleans. There were two private cars on the headend heading for the Sugar Bowl.

May 4, 2011

It had been my plan to shoot "The City of New Orleans" on May 1, the 40th anniversary of Amtrak. I had shot trains on the first day of Amtrak. However, Mother Nature had another thought. The weather in Memphis has been bad for a couple of weeks, with heavy rain and flooding. Finally the weather broke and I shot the train which was turning in Memphis because of flooding north of Memphis. Amtrak has been busing passengers around the high water from Carbondale, IL to Memphis, TN.
The train departed on time but stopped after about 3 unit lengths. The engineer got off, went to the second unit and got on, stay for several minutes, and then returned to the lead unit.
The train then pulled forward again until the diner/lounge door was even with me.
The train then sat stopped at the CN Jct. signal for about 10 minutes before getting the signal to proceed across "Broadway". Note that the transition sleeper/cre dorm was on the rear of the train southbound rather than "turn" the train on a wye.

May 25, 2011

In a relay operation to get our grandson to Oklahoma, our son Matt drove down to Metairie, LA to pick him up. On the return trip to Memphis, they experienced car trouble. I adviced Matt to get off I55 in Hammond, LA and look for a GM dealer. They first thought that it was a fuel filter problem, but it turned out to be a bad catalytic converter. It would take them 2 days to get the part and get it installed. Our daughter suggested that they get the dealer to take them to the Amtrak depot and take the City of New Orleans to Memphis. Here we see that train arriving in Memphis about 11pm that night.

May 27, 2011

On our way out of town, Shawn and I dropped Matt off at Central Station in Memphis so he could catch Amtrak's City of New Orleans to Hammond to retrieve his car and head to Metairie, LA to spend the night with his sister before driving back to Memphis. Note that the sane unit was leading the train for the southbound trip as their northbound trip.

Amtrak #58, the northbound City of New Orleans, snuck up on us, and I almost missed it.

At 1:55pm, #58, 10 minutes out of New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal, is seen approaching and crossing Central Ave.

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