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The Blizzard of '99 / Experience The Artrain

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Program 126
The Blizzard of '99 / Experience The Artrain

The first weekend of the New Year brought on a massive snowstorm that dumped 14 to 21 inches of snow around Chicagoland. For the next week and a half, several subsequent storms added an additional foot giving the railroads in the area even more problems keeping the tracks clear. Normally punctual Metra trains were running late, very late, or even being canceled completely.

To the general public, Metra's woes were the most apparent, but all types of rail traffic suffered. For this program, we braved bad weather and even worse automobile traffic to venture to see for ourselves to see just how bad things really were.

The second half of this program features our visit to Artrain. This traveling exhibit features works of art commissioned by the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC. We caught the train in the southwestern suburb of Palos Hills, which was the train's last stop before a whole new consist with a completely new exhibit.

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College Avenue - Wheaton, Illinois. An eastbound Union Pacific stack train.

Metra trains were running consistently late.

Semaphores and snowdrifts guard the entrance to Northwestern Station in downtown Chicago.

Metra F40's block our train as it tries to enter the Oglivie Transportation Center (Northwestern Station).

This westbound Metra train has just left the Highlands station on Burlington Northern Santa Fe's Chicago-Aurora mainline. The station is, located just east of the bridge.

A westbound train from Chicago kicks up loose snow as it arrives at Joliet Union Station.

Two days later at Homewood, Illinois and the snow has now changed to cold. This freight is powering up to head south.

The five car Artrain consist was parked on a siding next to Johnson Lumber in Palos Hills.

The Artrain was conceived in 1971 and has been traveling around the country ever since.

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