Thursday, July 09, 2009

East End Afternoon

We spent Monday afternoon (June 8) on the BNSF "Race Track" (the former BN line from Chicago through the western suburbs to Aurora.) We boarded an eastbound Metra train at the Route 59 station, rode to Hinsdale, and walked a half mile east to Highlands to watch the afternoon commuter rush hour get started.

Westbound Z train blasts through the Route 59 Station near Aurora.

"Bike to Metra" poster at the Route 59 station.

My last visit to Highlands had been in 1991 when the E9s were still in service. With a kid in tow, and Metra F40PHM-2s replacing the E-units, the experience would be a little different this time.

Ready to see some TRAINS!

Eastbound coal loads meet a westbound Metra between Highlands and Hinsdale.

Rush hour starts now: a last freight rolls through Highlands before the parade starts. With Metra trains scheduled out of Chicago every FOUR MINUTES during the busiest part of the rush, freight traffic on the East End is more or less suspended during the late afternoon and early evening.

Running "express" on Main 2, Metra 214 sails past Highlands

Cottage-style depot at Highlands, IL. Highlands is just a minor stop and many of the Metra trains don't stop there.

Thumbs-up to a successful day. Hopefully it won't be another 18 years before I return...

We caught a westbound Metra out of Highlands and rode back to the Route 59 station. We still had some miles to cover... we had motel reservations in Danville, and plans to shoot the Indiana Rail Road on Tuesday.

Crossing the Des Plaines River on I-55.

Coming next: a day on the INRD and C&EI.


np: Hank Williams - "I'd still want you"

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