Upon its formation in 1971, Amtrak inherited locomotives and passenger cars from a variety of railroads, and used them as needed, resulting in trains with a mix of different paint schemes. Here are a variety of locomotives leading Amtrak trains in the North Side of Chicago and in the northern suburbs during 1971 to 1973.

All photos by Lou Gerard


New Project: Draft Amtrak Passenger Rail as Subway Map for 2015

At the end of April 2015, Amtrak’s Hoosier State service between Chicago and Indianapolis is scheduled to be discontinued — the first complete loss of a service since I created my “Amtrak as Subway Map” way back in 2010. Over the years, I’ve been pretty vigilant to changes to the Amtrak network — adding and deleting stations as required, extending the Downeaster line to Brunswick and the Northeast Regional to Norfolk — but a change of this magnitude gives me the chance to take a completely fresh look at this project and rework everything from scratch, instead of just tweaking the old diagram again. Let’s face it – I’ve learned a lot of new skills and tricks in the intervening years!

Read more about this project, and view a large (4000px-wide) version of the map over on my design blog! Comments on this initial draft are welcome, as always.

amtrak fl9 491 (by Slideshow Bruce)

Amtrak FL9 at Albany-Rensselaer NY station, December 1981. The FL9 was a unique dual mode locomotive, capable of using either the internal diesel engine, or running as a straight electric running off a third rail. They were used on the routes going into Grand Central Terminal in New York City that were electrified. Amtrak would generally change locomotives here at Albany, putting these on or taking them off trains to or from NYC.Scan from 35mm slide.