Leave No Station Unphotographed: The Blog of SubwayNut.com


All Stations on the Metra South Chicago Branch

The Metra Electric South Chicago branch, feels like a line that should be more of an urban light rail line with frequent service since it runs at a grade and in some street medians through South Side Chicago neighborhoods than a Commuter Rail line with trains just hourly during off-peak hours (and infrequent Sunday and evening service). I did it twice, road it once out to 93rd Street back in 2012, and biked the rest of it in 2016.

Here are it’s 8 stations:



Driving to Columbus, OH via Waterloo, and Bryan

I drove to Columbus, OH a few weeks ago to visit relatives. On the way there I went a slightly more circuitous route via US-6 (there’s no all on superhighways route to Columbus, OH from South Bend anyway), to make two Amtrak station stops within 25 miles of each other:


Albion and Troy, Michigan Amtrak Stations

In March I had to go to Troy, Michigan for a training, and visited it’s new Amtrak Station (which replaced the Birmingham Station just 1,000 feet north of the new platform) and stopped at Albion for a leg stretch break on the way. One stop is historic, one is super modern!


Metra 27th,47th,51st,53rd Stations

In this update I continue south down the Metra Electric District. There are a few missing holes which I’m going to need to go and fix on future trips to Chicago. For 18th Street was photographed and the photos lost. I’m amazed I’ve gotten a bunch of smaller Metra stops by bike but haven’t gotten off the South Shore Line at 57th Street.

In this update:


Millennium Station, Van Buren St, and Museum Campus

In New York City, two major missing stations are Grand Central and Penn Station, they’ve been on-again off-again projects that I just can’t seem to figure out a good way to fully process and finish. Now that I live in South Bend and ride the South Shore Line (or Amtrak) into Chicago with some regularity I decided I wouldn’t let those stations get the same treatment. This update is off the 3 stations in downtown Chicago the South Shore Line (and Metra Electric) arrive into. There not that many photos as of yet (I honestly thought after nearly a year and a half living here there would be more) and a bunch are from years ago before I ever thought I’d be living in South Bend. I’m hoping making the stations pages now will serve as a place to dedicate myself to getting more pictures of the jaunts I take into Chicago:



Flying to Maine on the Opening Day of the new Washington/Wabash ‘L’ Station

I booked (expensive) plane tickets on United’s non-stop service to Bangor, Maine a couple of months ago for Louise and I to go to family wedding (and to eat lobsters) on August 31. A few weeks before I was reading up on Chicago ‘L’ happenings and discovered we’d be transiting in downtown Chicago from the South Shore Line to the Blue Line out to O’Hare on opening day of the CTA’s newest station. Timing between the South Shore Line schedule and our United Flight was such that we had a good extra hour so an ever slight detour to the station on our way to the airport was clearly in order.

The day started with me working from 7:00am to Noon to conserve vacation time before I got picked up by Louise (and her Dad to take the car home) for the short drive to the South Bend Airport South Shore Station. We got to the airport with plenty of time for the 12:49 train. From there it was the long, two-and-a-half-hour but uneventful ride on the always single-level (to South Bend) South Shore Line ride into Chicago. Wanting to pick up sandwiches at a place Louise knew about, we got off at Van Buren Street, bought a sandwich for the rest of our CTA to Plane to rental car long journey to Maine, and walked to the loop.

We got to the loop and walked under Wabash to the new Washington/Wabash(37 Photos) station.


With a rolling suitcase we decided to take the elevator (the escalator wasn’t working yet) to the mezzanine. At first I thought there were two elevators for all 3 levels until we got closer when I realized there were two elevators in the same shaft one street to mezzanine, and one mezzanine to platform. The street elevator had a button for a lower level, perhaps it’s additional access to the Chicago Underground Pedway. We didn’t try pushing it. The elevator smelled nice and new.


Once on the mezzanine we re-loaded the Ventra Card and entered fare control. Some neat murals line a large non-public area area in the middle of the mezzanine between the staircases up to the platforms.


We then headed up to the platforms, where a train was approaching. With plenty of time before our flight we let this Green Line go so I could get plenty of photos of the new station.


Eventually we got on a Brown Line train for the 3 stop (today 2 stop) ride to Clark/Lake. I got some photos of the strip maps (the individual line map with just Washington/Wells, the system map with both) as our train stopped at Randolph/Wabash after a less than 1 minute ride from the new station (this stop closed three days later).

We got off at Clark/Lake. From the outer loop platform at Clark/Lake it was a down the switchbacks of 3 escalators and through a set of revolving doors before we finally reached the Blue Line platform(2 Photos). There I found the O’Hare departure monitors in the ceiling, but they have unfortunately been turned-off.

Then it was the long and jerky 17-stop Blue Line Ride out to O’Hare Airport . We got there at 3:47 with plenty of time for our 5:45pm non-stop flight to Bangor, Maine.

With PreCheck security was easy. The flight was non-eventful and arrived in Bangor 15 minutes early. Although we pulled up to a gate in the small international portion of the Bangor Airport and had a creepy walk through an odd sterile corridor that felt like it a mixture of abandoned and under construction to finally get to the airport exit. It was an easy check into our rental car (where we were upgraded to minivan, which proved extremely useful) and we made it to Gouldsboro at 10:30pm.

The wedding was fun. Although, on the way back there was no train and transit adventure. In the strange-way expensive airfares work it was cheaper to add on the joke (our flight flew 139 miles to go what is 84 miles direct) puddle-jumper flight from O’Hare to South Bend with an almost 4 hour layover. Luckily the we were able to stand by for an earlier flight from ORD to SBN Free of Charge so we had a more reasonable layover (and gave up sitting together).

Even though I haven’t fully visited the Second Avenue Subway yet, at least the newest CTA station is here!

Dyer, IN Amtrak and Chicago Amtrak Yards

I haven’t had much of a train summer. I haven’t even been on a non-tourist train since June. I’m also currently transitioning computers, (anyone know what program can display my Aperture 2 Photo library on Windows?) to a new PC desktop from the 2009 MacBook that I’m still working on this website on. There were two small sets of photos I took in June that I’m ready to share.

I had to drive to Chicago to make a late evening O’Hare pick-up (after the last trains and buses to South Bend leave at 9:15pm) and stopped for the Amtrak platform in (23 Photos), I unfochunately I missed the day’s New York-bound Cardinal .


Earlier in the month I was in Chicago with my bike and had an excellent ride viewing the Amtrak yards from the various road bridges that pass over them. Don’t quite know where these would be filed long-term in my stations page scheme of my website so consider this a “bonus” blog photo share:


A Day of Train Spotting: the South Shore in Hudson Lake to Michigan City to the Pere Marquette at Sunset in St. Joe

This trip took place on June 3, 2017

Last month, my one other good railfan friend Robbie was visiting me in South Bend. He arrived on Friday on a 3 hour late Capitol Limited. On Saturday, we rented a car for 24 hours (I still don’t have my own vehicle in South Bend) and we went exploring and train spotting, photographing pretty much every South Shore Line and Amtrak train we could within an hours drive of South Bend.

The day began on Transpo Bus Route 4 out to South Bend Airport where we rented the car. From there we started driving west on US-20 towards Michigan City and I realized the first South Bend-bound train of the day was going to stop in Hudson Lake(11 Photos) within 15 minutes. We entered Central Time and stopped there. The train came in on time and stopped since a few people were getting off.

From there we continued driving west and went around Michigan City to Beverly Shores, where we first checked out the National Lake Shore and then the Century of Progress Houses that were relocated there from the World’s Fair. We then headed to the Beverly Shores Station(11 Photos)  and got the next Eastbound train.


From there we got back in the car and started driving to Michigan City where I was curious if we could “beat the train” and photograph the same train there running down the middle of the street. We got there and failed. We did manage to see the train in the distance down 11 Street(31 Photos) but other traffic and traffic lights prevented us from catching up to it. Governor Holcomb had been in Michigan City the previous week singing a bill to double track the South Shore Line (to Michigan City) and the historic abandoned station had it’s for rent sign removed and got a Welcome Governor Holcomb banner.


After parking on a side street, the next Chicago-bound train soon passed through and we photographed it making the station stop in the middle of the street.

We then stopped for lunch at a really good Italian Sandwich place along the tracks. We walked west towards the crossover where the South Shore tracks cross the Amtrak Michigan Line at a grade. There we photographed to next Michigan City-bound Westbound train, running down 10th Street and across the short section of private ROW over the Amtrak tracks towards 11th Street.


Next we photographed the midday Pontiac-bound Amtrak Wolverine, it was running about 15 minutes late.

We then walked down towards the Michigan City Amtrak Station(15 Photos) and the Waterfront. First we got to a decision point for train station options.

Then we continued to the Waterfront Amtrak Station. With a train not for half an hour we headed over Trail Creek to the Outer Basin to poke around a little. We made it back to the Amtrak Station just in time before the drawbridge went up, and got the Midday Westbound Wolverine passing through, a train that skips Michigan City, nearly on time.


We then walked back towards 11th Street, where a South Bend-bound South Shore Train was due, we got it rounding the curve and hill east of the station.


With a train due to soon originate at Michigan City Carroll Avenue we got in the car and started driving there.

Unforchunately a South Shore Line Freight train (two locomotives and one car) was blocking the grade-crossing to the overflow parking lot. I wonder if any missed the train.

Unable to find parking in the limited parking spaces at the train station, we parked a few blocks away and got the train leaving Carroll Avenue(9 Photos)

At that point we drove the 10 miles and re-entered Eastern Time heading to New Buffalo. The first stop was to photograph the remains of the station on the Pere Marquette(12 Photos). Across the street was the free New Buffalo Railroad Museum, unforchunately we got there at 5:00pm ET right after it closed for the day.


We then drove down Whittaker Street into downtown New Buffalo(18 Photos) and parked. As we walked towards the Amtrak Station, we noticed a couple of Shuttle buses from the Four Winds-New Buffalo Casino dropping off passengers for the Port Huron-bound Blue Water. Although the Blue Water wasn’t due for half-an-hour, the platform became crowded with people spilling down the ramp off the very short platform.

We took a little walk and soon the Blue Water arrived with a P42 on each end of the train. The train stopped for 8 minutes while the crowd from the casino got on and climbed onto the train at just two open doors. Two bicyclists were let out directly onto the ballast from the cafe car which has had a bike rack installed since the cafe car hadn’t platformed. We got back to the platform in time for the train to leave. Followed by a crowd of pedestrians and cars crossing Whittaker Street.


Our final goal of the day was getting the Superliner Pere Marquette stopping in St. Joseph(27 Photos) at Sunset. After a quick stop for dinner at my go to place in St. Joe, a Silver Harbor Brewery, we headed down to Silver Beach. The Grand Rapids-bound Pere Marquette arrived at dusk 6 minutes early, blocking all access to the beach (as the sun set some more) before leaving on time at 9:15pm.


At that point we drove back to my apartment – stopping to put a quarter tank of gas in our rental – in South Bend for an early start tomorrow on the 9:01am South Shore Line Weekend Express.


Upload: The VTA Winchester Line

In this update I continue south with the (rest) of the VTA’s newest branch the Winchester Line, opened in 2005, it has two single-track sections where the line goes over (more expensive) bridges and doesn’t run at a grade.


Upload: The Core of the VTA Light Rail

About three years ago I wrote up (and flagged the photos I was going to use) for the entire VTA light rail in San Jose-Santa Clara. The idea was to have an easy ‘churn-able’ website project for a rainy day. Although the weather in South Haven, Southeast Michigan is super nice today, Louise has a bunch of work to do this Memorial Weekend so we’re having coffee shop time between walks and exploring this cute lakeside city (which lacks an Amtrak Station, unlike St. Joseph and Holland which we are in between, the Pere Marquette running further inland here via Bangor).

Anyway over the past few days I’ve done the core of the VTA Light Rail, from Tasman(10 Photos) to the already completed pages for San Jose Diridon and Tamien, so start clicking between those stations. Be sure to check out: Children’s Discovery Museum(19 Photos), Convention Center(20 Photos), Santa Carla South–(9 Photos), and Component(16 Photos) 


Enjoy this Update with at least 200 new station photos, of this older light rail line.