Leave No Station Unphotographed: The Blog of SubwayNut.com


The 3 Keystone Stations in Lancaster County

Thought I’d due a bit of a geography lesson with the title of this post. I’ve finished writing pages for the 3 Keystone Service Stations in Lancaster County that I visited almost 4 years ago in my quest to clear my archive of extra Amtrak Stations:

Enjoy the 200 new photos, these stations are so interesting, I couldn’t limit myself!

From the Archive – Harrisburg (and more Pittsburgh)

I’ve been on an Amtrak Station kick lately, now with my new route pages, trying to figure out if I have any other routes fully photographed but that I haven’t made enough pages for. The Keystone corridor I realized I’m one-stop away from finishing. I’m missing Middletown, PA specifically which is a bit frustrating but oh well (maybe I’ll take the train to or from South Bend again and make a photo stop there). I then realized I never uploaded the pages from the rest of the Keystone Corridor that I’ve visited, so that’s my next little project. This update a full photos from The Nice Empty Pennsylvanian to Elizabethtown. On this trip we were super early into Harrisburg–(65 Photos), so I got a full photo essay.


I also added photos from my layover in Pittsburgh(9 Photos)



Upper Harlem Line – Croton Falls through Bedford Hills

It’s been more weekend work time with Louise in South Bend, although the weather’s been super warm here in South Bend, the South Shore Line has removed it’s bicycle cars for the winter so I can’t go into Chicago on any biking adventures. Instead I decided to finish up what I have of the Upper Harlem Line:


St. Joseph, MI finishing the Pere Marquette (and pages for all completed Amtrak Routes)

St. Joseph, MI(37 Photos) is a small lakeside city that Louise and I enjoy visiting, so I’ve walked by it’s Amtrak station on many occasions. I hope this summer once the days are longer to get the Pere Marquette stopping (at 9:15pm) in daylight or in the sunset. With this I’ve (visited by car) all 3 intermediate stops on the Pere Marquette Route (although I need to get back up to Grand Rapids to get the new station there).


As I was writing this update I decided it was finally time to get home pages written for the Amtrak routes I’ve visited (throughout the country) and uploaded a page of every station on: Amtrak Cascades,Capitol Corrido,San Joaquin,Pacific Surfliner,Pere Marquette,HiawathaEmpire Service (well making pages for Penn Station needs to be done, perhaps this will give me motivation), and Piedmont.

So the reason for the lack of updates the past few weeks was my usual busyness of life and having to get these pages written. Hopefully in a few months on a few trips (with some visits by car, but I’ve come to accept those) I’ll also get to add the Wolverine to this list.


Cermak-McCormick Place – The newest CTA Station!

I can’t believe I didn’t make this update earlier, back in August I needed to take the ‘L’ to get to something in. I was on a weekend South Shore Line train, that makes the McCormick Place(17 Photos) Stop and decided to get off at this bizarre station beneath the convention center, that’s hard to find the entrance to.

It was then a good 15 minute walk to Cermak-McCormick Place(39 Photos) that re-opened on the Green Line on February 8, 2015 with a neat cylindrical enclosed platform.



The Sleeper Lousianna to New Orleans for New Years

Well ideally my next post and update would be of the new Second Avenue Subway Stations. Unforchunately the timing of the subway’s opening couldn’t have been poorer, had it opened on a random weekend I may have used it as an excuse to fly east for a weekend visit. Unfortunately it opened on New Years Day and I had already made plans with my lady Louise to head down to New Orleans for the weekend. Since then I’ve spent two more weekends away (in Tucson followed by Southern California, although I didn’t do any more train riding, just lots of flying) and have been nowhere east of South Bend. The next time I’ll be in New York for a weekend is in early February and I hope to have a chance to at least ride the new Subway (don’t know if I’ll have time to do justice to the 3 new and one greatly renovated stations).

Anyway this post is a trip report and 3 new stations from our end-to-end Roomette trip aboard Superliner-II ‘Louisiana’ on Amtrak’s City of New Orleans. The trip represented new trackage from Champaign-Urbana (previously covered when I took the Illini from there to Chicago) to Memphis (I took the City of New Orleans once before, on the Tennessee to Texas trip, where sadly most of my photos were lost in a hard drive crash). I didn’t get to enjoy any of the new trackage because I was sleeping in the upper Roomette bunk (my lady trumped me) pretty much fromChampaign to Memphis.

The trip began with an extremely crowded ride on the 4:45pm South Shore Line train from South Bend with tons of people heading into Chicago for the holiday weekend.

We spent the ride listing to some extremely obnoxious college age kids who were all clearly high school friends. Louise remarked as we got off at Van Buren Street that “This is what I absolutely don’t miss about high school. They are so obnoxious.”

We walked across the loop to Union Station and checked into the new Metropolitan Lounge. Louise was extremely impressed and (as a pHD student, unlike me who’s now on the clock except for hobbies like this website) decided to get some work done really liking the atmosphere. I explored the lounge a lot, upstairs is where you’ll most likely find me on future Sleeper and Business Class trips through Chicago. These are photos from upstairs, I didn’t get any decent photos of the lounge downstairs (now if only I could still take AGR points runs to maintain Select+ Status I would be here a lot more, it was fun while it lasted):

union_station5 union_station6 union_station7 union_station8

I also went on a bit of an adventure to find the nearest ATM outside the lounge (I learned after I returned that there was one inside the lounge!) lacking any cash for tips. The Great Hall was also decorated for Polar Express excursions powered by Amtrak (I think it’s a charter arrangement) with the train’s destination listed as North Pole throughout the station.

union_station1 union_station2 union_station3 union_station4

At about 7:30pm we were called for boarding and headed out to the train, walking out through the normal platform exit, and skipping the line of coach passengers, the staff knew what we were doing, we passed the line of coach passengers lining up for seat assignments and walked out to the single full sleeper on the train.


At the door there was a bit of confusion, we had been assigned room 8 but the attendant asked us if we would take Room 6 so a family of 4 with two roomettes could be across the hall from each other. We of course agreed. We were also told to head back to the Cross-Country Cafe car for dinner. As we walked there I found the remains of the Superliner-II nameplate (they were named after states) on the interior door. We fittingly taking ‘Louisiana’ down to New Orleans.


We settled in and headed back to the Cross-Country Cafe as we slowly left Chicago doing the back up  move across the Chicago River (the skyline was pretty) and eventually leaving down parrallel to the very tracks we road the South Shore Line in on just a few hours ago.

In the dining car we sat down with a Mom and two little kids. The new ‘Express Dinner’ on the City of New Orleans (that has lacked a chef for the past two years) has been degraded to two types of Sandwiches, a turkey and cheese or a cuban sandwich (the cuban was served on nice Italian Focaccia bread) or a salad option. We each got a sandwich, and each ate an half of each sandwich. They were surprisingly good and filling (better than the average AmSandwhich in the cafe care) but made me wish I could expose Louise to the usual AmSteak Sleeping car dinner. Dessert was just two packaged cookie options that were okay.

We returned to our room with the packaged cookies and enjoyed watching the dark lights of Illinois before getting the room made up and heading to sleep (with me climbing up into the tight upper bunk) during the fresh air stop that I didn’t partake in in Champaign-Urbana. I was rocked to sleep on new trackage that I couldn’t see and slept okay definitely with the usual wake-ups during the night.

I fully woke up as we arrived in what was clearly Memphis(33 Photos) nicely early at 6:08, 19 minutes early. I got nearly a full photo essay, including some nice photos of the locomotive being refueled. Although should have gone downstairs and outside the main entrance for a few exterior shots. Signs in the station said the main entrance to the Amtrak portion of the station would be closed effective tomorrow with all access now from the trackside parking lot (super-unfriendly for people accessing the station as pedestrians not in vehicles).


I re-boarded the train and found Louise awake so we soon headed for breakfast as we left Memphis a little late. The options were an omelet, a southern style breakfast sandwich, or the continental. The attendant immediately informed us they were out of omelets, I ordered the Breakfast Sandwich (which was clearly re-heated but okay) and Louise ordered the continental which looked normal, like those found on most trains.

I then decided to head back to the room for a post-breakfast nap (we asked the attendant to leave the beds down until the last possible moment) while Louise worked in the lounge. We slowly lost some time waiting for freights on sidings, as I soon rejoined Louise in the lounge. This trip is in CN-owned trackage and it was fun to spot this unpainted since CN acquired BC Rail locomotive


We made it to the next stop of Greenwood, MS, 52 minutes late. (a conductor crew change that I remembered stepping out at on my on time previous trip) but no smoke stop was announced. A women in our sleeper with a “service/therapy” dog we watched trying to find some shrubbery beyond the chain-link fence. We left at 9:59, an hour down.


I tried to do a little website work in the lounge as we headed through Mississippi through small towns, the next stop being Yazoo City (a fun name!)

2016-12-31_11-39-05 2016-12-31_11-39-28 2016-12-31_11-40-27

It was an un eventful ride until we were soon heading into the Jackson suburbs and two our final fresh air stop of Jackson, MS(22 Photos). We arrived at 11:47, 35 minutes late. With a super long line of coach passengers that the crew was scanning and assigning seats to on the rainy platform made me take the risk and go downstairs into the station. I also got some nice photos of the engineers changing.


I re-boarded the train as we left Jackson, MS at 12:01pm, 41 minutes late. We slowly left passing more freight trains.


Soon our stomachs and the call for lunch directed us to the dining car. The choices for lunch were the same sandwiches from yesterday, salad, and two warmed TV-dinner style entrees, the pork and potatoes were surprisingly eatable that everyone at our table ordered.


We eventually returned to our room for an afternoon nap and enjoyment of the scenery of small-town Mississippi as we nearly gained nor lost time. As we headed into Louisiana we had the worst delay of the trip, sitting on a siding in sight of Hammond, LA Station for a good 40 minutes, with a couple northbound freights and finally the northbound City of New Orleans passing us. We eventually left Hammond at 3:16pm, 1 hour and 48 minutes late.

After that the attendant said he needed to re-make the rooms and we headed into the lounge car as we went over the causeway between Lake Maurepas and Lake Pontchartrain. This is definitely the most scenic part of the trip. The lounge car felt like a party with tons of others heading to New Orleans for New Years.

2016-12-31_16-25-37 2016-12-31_16-33-11

We eventually passed Art Egg Studios and some ads we found interesting (are they authentically old) before the train began it’s back up move into the New Orleans Station, passed the New Orleans engine shop.

2016-12-31_17-13-51 2016-12-31_17-16-53 2016-12-31_17-17-15

We then backed in past the Louisiana Superdome and into the New Orleans Station, where a train of Horizon Cars (and a Viewliner baggage car with people in it) was slowly leaving. Signage on it said Polar Express so this event train was also in New Orleans.

2016-12-31_17-19-50 2016-12-31_17-20-14 2016-12-31_17-23-25 2016-12-31_17-23-43

We arrived in New Orleans(20 Photos) at 4:30pm, 58 minutes late. I got some photos of the station as we left the platform and walked through the 1950s terminal with its murals and shared with Greyhound. The Polar Express area was much less impressive (just some curtains) than in Chicago.


We had reserved an AirBNB in the Garden District (hotels expensive and over-booked due to New Years) and walked over to the historic St. Charles Streetcar line to get there.


Unfortunately we were getting on a few stops beyond downtown with streetcars so crowded that 3 passed without letting us on. I had a $5 off a bunch of rides sign-up credit from Lyft so even with slight surge pricing I relented on taking the Streetcar and $4 and a pleasant Lyft driver later we arrived to our nice AirBNB hosts.

Columbus Day Evening in Michigan City

Happy Holidays everyone! I actually stayed in South Bend with my Louise instead of traveling back to New York City.I’ve finally found time for another website update, this one about an adventure to Michigan City to spend the evening rush hour as the sunset photographing South Shore Line trains running down the middle of the street, and two Amtrak Trains.

This trip I tried to do on a couple of Friday afternoons after work back in June when I had just moved to South Bend, but to bike to the Airport I really need to leave work at 4:20 (which requires using my 15 minutes of flexibility rule, which is much easier to tell colleagues about when your going somewhere far into Chicago or catching a flight and not just a quick evening trip for fun-zees) so with Columbus Day as a random day off (and not going anywhere because of a non-blogged about trip to Colorado the following weekend) and Louise busy with an evening activity it was a much better fit for a train adventure.

I left my apartment at about 4:15 for a leisurely bike ride down Lincolnway to the Airport. I get there, lock my bike up for the evening and board the 4:45 South Shore Line train-bound for Chicago. The ride is uneventful, except as we pass the yard and enter Carroll Avenue(27 Photos) I notice little white ‘W’ pennants hanging off the sides of the train cars. There to cheer on the soon to be World Champion Chicago Cubs (at that point tied in the Division Series, with a long way to go) When I get off in Michigan City its 4:20pm. I’ve gained an hour entering Central Time.

I start getting my photo essay, knowing the ticket window is open for another 10 minutes. When I try the ticket office door I realize it’s not worth it, the ticket office here is receptionist for the Accounting and Transportation Back offices that are located on the edge of the train yard (the rest of the South Shore Line offices are at the Dune Park Station), there just a few chairs like an office waiting room.


I then start walking towards downtown Michigan City, across freight tracks, first passing the overflow gravel parking lot.I can’t walk parallel to the tracks at first, there on a private ROW through vegetation but head back towards the tracks when I hear a train, it’s a lone South Shore Freight Locomotive.


I keep walking and soon get to the intersection of Michigan Blvd and 11th Street where the reason to spend 2 and a half hours in Michigan City begins, street running!


Soon the first train to pass through comes, the evening Express Train to South Bend (that runs non-stop through Michigan City)


I keep walking knowing there won’t be a train for another 20 minutes, and pass the 11th Street(73 Photos) ‘Stop’ in the middle of the street!

I continue walking west, towards the grade-crossing (where I once sat on a South Shore Line train for 10 minutes) where the Amtrak High-Speed Line to Michigan and the South Shore Line cross each other. I get the next westbound train, curving from 10th Street to 11th Street on a brief section of private ROW as I happily notice the Blue Water is running about 45 minutes late, meaning it and the first evening Wolverine (under a construction schedule) will run within 10 minutes of each other), and I’ll have perfect opportunities to photograph both of them.


I keep walking past the transition of the tracks from 11th Street to 10th Street and soon reach the level-crossing where Amtrak Michigan Service Trains pass under the South Shore Line’s wires.

michigan_city_post3 michigan_city_post2

Soon I’m at the Amtrak line. Michigan City Amtrak Station(14 Photos added), gets the new Amtrak photos since the stop is close enough (I don’t have a chance to walk down there on this trip). First I get the Blue Water, going under the South Shore Line wires. It’s a long Pull-Pull train, and it and the Silver Service are the only Amtrak routes I haven’t ridden (if points runs were still a thing, you bet I would have ridden it from Niles by now).


I then walk south a little to get the Wolverine, now with just a single locomotive, and not running in push-pull anymore.


At this point I’m in a poor position for the next South Shore Line Eastbound Train (there aren’t any westbound trains except for the final one at 8:45). I end up getting it transitioning from 10th Street to 11th Street just like the previous train.


I head back towards the station, as dusk descends, getting the 6:37 train stopping in the station.


It’s then just a short wait for the 6:51 train back to South Bend.

I get on in the middle of the street (that just feels bizarre) and it’s an uneventful 45 minute ride to South Bend where I arrive basically on time at 8:39.

I put my lights on my bike and ride home.

I finally need to mention as part of this update, the first 20 photos of 11th Street are from my first visit there in 2011 (before the station had been improved by Michigan City under a streetscape improvement project) on my way to Detroit. These photos I hadn’t released before so enjoy!

The Full North Jersey Coast Line is here!

I think I’ve reached another accomplishment on the New Jersey Transit side of my website. Finally fully photographed and finished uploading the North Jersey Coast Line. Jersey Shore, here you come!

Here are the final 3 missing stops:


Update: Elberon, Allenhurst and Asbury Park

Thanksgiving’s roadtrip didn’t turn in any new Amtrak stations, plans changed (we still drove, ending up in a rental car when the car broke down in Toledo, Ohio, all fixed now, but there was no use in finding a mechanic on Thanksgiving Day) but were in a rush to get through and I didn’t get to make the couple of stops for Amtrak stations I was hoping to make. Hopefully I’ll get some more remote Amtrak Stations on a future road trips.

Anyway, back to my regularly planned updates, 3 more down the Jersey Shore:

Enjoy (and 3 to go)!

Update: Two Historic Depots and a Racetrack, Continuing down the Jersey Shore

Well, after revisiting the Jersey Shore earlier this month. I finally got inspiration to finally write the stations from my station-to-station bike ride over 3 years ago, and get every station on this 65 mile long line.

This update is most northern 3 that are under electricity, as a bonus I also did a write up for Long Branch that was a station I wrote originally long ago and didn’t have one:

Enjoy! Stay tuned for hopefully some random Amtrak station stop additions from our Thanksgiving Day Road-Trip to Syracuse.