July 5, 2012:
I got up and got dressed. I walked over to a nearby convenience store and bought some cereal and milk. I took it back to my room and had breakfast. After breakfast, I caught a route 85A bus to Jefferson Park and then caught a Blue line train downtown. I got off at the Damen station.
I was going to the Chicago History Museum. After my last trip to Chicago, my friend Greg was a bit disappointed that I only did transit related stuff in my visits to Chicago. I told him I would try to do at least one non-transit thing on this trip.
I boarded a route 72 bus which took me a block from the Chicago History Museum. I walked the rest of the way and paid admission and checked my backpack in the coat check. The first thing I photographed was a diorama of the great Chicago fire from 1871. I will talk a little more about it shortly.
The next thing I photographed was the first El car built for CTA which is on display.
I then photographed the Pioneer; Chicago's first steam locomotive.
I saw a woman giving a talk on the Chicago fire to some children and showing the affected areas of the city. 300 people were killed in the fire. There is a legend that the fire was started in the barn of Catherine O'Leary when her cow knocked over a lantern. Many people hated the O'Learys. However, in 1998, they were absolved of blame for the fire. That only took 127 years!
Here's Catherine O'Leary milking her cow with a lantern nearby...
I then photographed an exhibit on the Eastland excursion boat which capsized in the Chicago River in 1915 killing over 1000 people.
I also photographed exhibits from various riots that happened in the Chicago area. One involved Martin Luther King, the leader of the Civil Rights movement.
I then photographed various other exhibits.
I then photographed an exhibit on the assassination of President Lincoln.
Next, I then photographed an exhibit of magicians including Harry Houdini.
I then photographed a few more exhibits before I retrieved my backpack and looked in the gift shop.
I then went outside and photographed the exterior of the museum.
I then waited for a bus to take me to the El. I boarded a route 72 and rode to where it connects to the Brown line. I walked over the Sedgick station where I just missed a train for the Loop. While I was waiting, it started raining. There was even thunder and lightning. Chicago could use the rain, plus it was a relief from the 100+ degree heat!
The next train came and I rode to the Washington station. I got off and would have taken a bus, but it was raining hard, I got back on the El and rode the Pink line to Clinton. While I was waiting for the train, I noticed the buildings in downtown Chicago made the thunder sound even louder.
the time I got to Clinton, it had stopped raining. I walked over to where I had
seen the F40C two days earlier and waited for some trains. I photographed
several Metra trains including the consist I had photographed in
I didn't see either of Metra's remaining F40C locomotives, so I eventually walked back to Clinton.
I rode a Pink line train to Damen then caught another Pink line train to the Loop. I transferred to a Green line train and rode to Roosevelt. I walked over to the Amtrak yard and photographed the equipment in the yard.
I then rode the red line to Jackson where I got out and ate at an Arby's near where my friend Greg and I had lunch the last time I was in Chicago. After dinner, I looked in a bookstore before I caught a blue line train to Jefferson Park where I transferred to route 85A to my hotel.
After I got to my hotel, I phoned my friend Karl. After talking with him for a few minutes, he told me that if I didn't hear from him by 10:00 the next morning, to give him a call. I logged onto the Canadian Public Transit Discussion Board and learned a TTC fishbowl had briefly returned to service as a promotional stint. A little while later, I set the alarm on my cell phone and called it a night.
July 6, 2012:
I got up and got dressed. I had breakfast. I worked on this report some more. 10:00 am came, but I hadn't heard from Karl yet. I gave him a call. Two days earlier, a Union Pacific coal train had derailed. Some bystanders were killed in the crash when the derailing cars landed on top of their car. It reminded me of a derailment in Whitby back in 2003 involving a CP intermodel. Karl said things were crazy but we could still meet for lunch.
Karl showed up at my hotel shortly after 11:00 am. We talked a bit and I told him of my trip to the Henry Ford Museum and the reasoning behind it. He was amazed by the several coincidences between the initiating incident behind that trip and Rosa Parks' story.
We headed out for lunch at a restaurant a short drive from my hotel. While we were having lunch, Karl had to take a phone call. As a result of the coal train derailment, the people who were killed came from a family of lawyers. They were looking to sue Union Pacific for negligence. Karl was told that he was just to tie up his locomotive.
While we were at lunch, Karl showed me a video of a Metra train being led by a Union Pacific GP15. Apparently the speedometer in the cab car wasn't working right, so they brought in the Union Pacific locomotive.
I opted to go to Waukegan with Karl where I would take Metra back into Chicago. By the time we got there, we just missed the departure. The next departure was an hour away. I said goodbye to Karl and resigned myself to the wait. I photographed a Union Pacific hi-rail truck.
I also photographed Union Pacific GP15 #Y706, the GP15 that Karl had filmed leading the Metra train.
An inbound Metra train arrive. I filmed it pulling in. I photographed the train as it was moved into the storage yard.
My train finally arrived from Kenosha. I photographed it as it arrived. I boarded the cab car and we were soon off. I took one more photo of Union Pacific Y706.
We eventually got to the Ogilvie Transportation Center. I got off and walked over to the railway crossing I had seen the Metra F40C a few days prior. I saw the unit again on an inbound train but was unable to photograph it. However, I knew I had to wait it out. After photographing a few Metra trains, I filmed the Metra train with MP36 #403 and F40C #611.
I then made my way back to Clinton station on the Green line. I boarded a Green line train. I was hoping to go to the Museum of Science and Industry. Just past the 35th Bronzeville-IIT station, I phoned Greg to see if the Museum of Science and Industry would still be open, but Greg said it wouldn't be. I got off at Indiana and waited for a train to take me back to downtown. I rode to Roosevelt and walked over to Amtrak's 14th Street yard and photographed the equipment in the yard.
I then made my way to the Ogilvie Transportation Center and bought dinner in the food court. I eventually caught a Metra train to Jefferson Park since it was faster than the Blue Line. I got off and photographed the train.
I then caught a route 85A bus to my hotel. I asked for a wake-up call at 8:00 am. I set the alarm on my phone. I called it a night.
Click to read about when I went to the