Colorado trip for Private Car ride: Part 5
Albuquerque-Mendota, Ill., on SW Chief
Sept. 25-26

Photos by Dave Ingles

Cars from the AAPRCO special would leave Albuquerque for either L.A. or Chicago on the Southwest Chief on Sat. 9/25 and Sun. 9/26. Each cut of cars would also have one of the special's 4 Amtrak P42 engines added to the Chief for extra power, thereby returning all 4 units to general service. On Saturday morning, engine 126 is providing HEP to the rear cut from the special, while on the track hidden behind the cars, engine 85 is doing the same on the front of the lead cut. At left are engines 23 and, out of the photo, 11, pointed west. I departed on Saturday's #4 with Phil Moser and John Arbuckle, and the special's lead unit, 85, was added to be leader on #4.

Passengers head to the Amtrak depot in preparation for #4's arrival as a northbound Rail Runner loads at its platform.

Phil Moser and John Downing; John, of Belleville, Ill., is the attendant/mechanic for the Caritas and Cimarron River on this trip, and on Sunday, he will ride those two cars on the back of #4 to Kansas City and then on to St. Louis on the Missouri River Runner Amtrak train.

Amtrak #4 is in, early as usual. We boarded as soon as we could, and had lunch before and during our on-time 12:45 departure.

At Lamy, Santa Fe Southern's train greets #4.

Among the SFS passengers on the Lamy layover, oblivious to our taking their picture, are two passengers from the AAPRCO special: Ralph Alvarez, the 93-year-old mileage collector from York, Pa., and Alan Butler who travels with Ralph and looks after him. Alan, from the Boston area, is a retired NYC-PC-Conrail track supervisor and a veteran mileage collector.

There is also "scenery" at Lamy.

We enjoyed Apache Canyon from the Sightseer lounge.

We left Lamy 15 minutes late, and now meet #3 at Canyoncito siding, 2:25 p.m.

Around the S-curves near Blanchard, N.Mex., 3:15 p.m.

Engine 85 was added to the front at ABQ, and PV's Sierra Hotel, Puget Sound, Birch Grove, Observatory, and Chapel Hill to the rear.

Some semaphores survive in service around Watrous. The State of New Mexico owns, or will be buying, all track to the Colorado border on this BNSF line.

Just some northern New Mexico scenery

Raton is always a brief smoke and leg-stretch stop; we were here 5:32-5:37 p.m., 15 minutes late.

An Amtrak employee was very thorough on the p.a. system explaining the history of the line.

Phil Bush of Washington DC (left), an AAPRCO passenger and fellow mileage collector, joined us for dinner.

The next morning, it's Kansas City, Mo. We were at breakfast here.

Looking back on the single-track Sibley bridge over the Missouri River east of K.C.

In places the BNSF owns one main track and Norfolk Southern (former Wabash) the other, and they are separated. A westbound freight passes us.

Phil Bush's "ghost" watches high water near La Plata, Mo., in the Sightseer Lounge.

La Plata, near Kirksville and the only stop across Missouri, had a good number of passengers to board.

On the north side on the right of way of the old Wabash-N&W branch to Des Moines, Iowa, a La Plata motel with a rail theme maintains a viewing platform for fans.

Across the Mississippi River at Fort Madison, Iowa.

Fittingly, our sleeper is the "Illinois," but the names remain only on the interior end doors.

Galesburg, Ill. 1 p.m., about an hour late. I'm two stops from de- training at Mendota.

Another busy stop.

Hudson locomotive, RPO car, and Pullman on display at Galesburg.

Our veteran car attendant at Mendota.

Other sleeper passengers detrain. They too are from Wisconsin and were being met.

#4 heads for Chicago, still 55 minutes late.

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