The "No, We Are NOT Australian" USA Tour 2005

Day 2 : Sunday 23rd October

The day's plan did not have us starting the bash until lunchtime - free time to sight-see, doss etc. Myself and Tim were sharing a room and didn't get going until about 9.30am - we planned a walk to Chicago Union railway station to suss out the left-luggage arrangements (for our final day in Chicago) then, well, not much really. In the event we stumbled onto the "L" and in less than an hour we caned in all possible routes round, in and out of the central loop! Even though it is just a metro service it is well worth taking out an hour in Chicago to whip in the central loop. Finishing up at Clinton station on the green line it was a short walk to OTC station (Metra services) and onward to Union (Metra and Amtrak). After a visit to Union we headed back to OTC and got breakfast (lunch!) before meeting with the others for the booked run to Geneva and back. We were in luck as it was one set out for another back - Metra's 165 & 143 being scooped as a result!

Geneva in the rain - 143 (left) sits alongside just-arrived 165.

143 "Village of Glen Ellyn" & 165 "Village of Glencoe" in close up.

Back at OTC and we caught the only return working of the day to Kenosha - the longest "branch" on the system. This time we not so lucky and had Metra 174 out and back.

During the day we had been cursing the fact that pretty well all modern US passenger stock are "coffins" so there is no way to photograph out of the train without it being through glass - Metra is also frustrating as the glass has a distinct green tint to it. Mind you, the wonders of photo-editing software packages today means a pretty good job can be made of correcting any imperfections as the shot below hopefully illustrates.

UP GM-EMD SD40-2 captured in a yard between Geneva and Chicago.

The day was a bit of a washout weather-wise with pretty constant rain. As a result we went for the Rock Bottom brewery in Chicago for our evening meal - it being just feet from a subway station. In the event we liked this brewery so much we did it the next two nights as well - and on the last night it wasn't raining either!

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