Chicago, Illinois [June 2002]

On a business trip to Chicago, I was able to find some time in the evening to do two photo shoots that I'd always wanted to do. The first was to get some shots of METRA's rare F40C locomotives, which are scheduled to be retired shortly. The F40Cs are something of an oddity, having been built in the early 70s for the Milwaukee Road's commuter operations north of Chicago. Aside from the unique stainless steel fluting, the F40Cs are also famous because they outlasted their imfamous cousins, Amtrak's SDP40Fs.

Also while in Chicago, I wanted to get some shots of the Burlington's Pioneer Zephyr, on display at the Museum of Science and Industry. Having seen the moving portrayal of the Zephyr done by PBS ("The American Experience: Streamliners") I had to see the old girl in person.

Along Canal Street in Chicago, the Milwaukee Road commuter trains, after exiting from the north side of Union Station, cross under the former Northwestern Line tracks. Here, F40C 600 passes Lake Street Tower, and rolls through an MOW construction zone.
A short time later, METRA F40C 605 thunders out of Union Station, carrying hundreds of commuters home to the northern suburbs.
Descending the stairs into the main lobby at the Museum of Science and Industry, one finds the Pioneer Zephyr in a prominent location.
The unique Zephyr shovelnose.
Golden Girl. This open shutter exposure captures the Zephyr bathed in the yellowish sodium lighting. She of shotwelded stainless steel, Winton 201-A diesel, daughter of the Budds, of "Pops" Kettering, and even in her elderly days, still looks like she could outrace an airplane standing still!

[June 2002]