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Knowing Metra was going to replace the BN E-units in Chicago commute service in 1991 my friend Robert Gatchel and I planned a late
May/early June 1991 trip to catch the E's before they were gone. We both had other goals for this trip as well. I wanted to see the Wisconsin
Central and Robert wanted to go up to Northern Minnesota to catch the LTV's (former Erie Mining) F-units is action. He also wanted to follow the
Green Bay & Western morning train out of E. Winona, WI this trip. The remainder of the 10 day trip would be spent on other interesting lines.
After a flight from Seattle, WA to Chicago, IL we started by shooting the Santa Fe at Joliet, IL on the morning of May 30, a Thursday ending the day with the BN commuter fleet out of Chicago headed towards Aurora. The next day was spent basically the same way, Santa Fe in the morning and BN E's in the afternoon.
Saturday morning June 1 we photographed the Illinois Central as far south as Kankakee, IL and then headed up to Milwaukee for the night with plans to photograph the Wisconsin Central the next two days.
After an unproductive morning June 2 on Byron Hill (no trains) we headed to the Stevens Point/Junction City area. It was a quiet day on the WC but it would be a bit busier the following day Monday, June 3 as we would follow the road trains to Spencer, WI. From there it was up to Two Harbors, MN for the night as this was close to the LTV at Taconite Bay where we would spend the next day June 4. Catching the F-units and few Alcos on the former Erie Mining was a lot of fun and the weather was great!
Wednesday June 5 was spent chasing the DM&IR at Virginia, MN south towards Duluth. Then it was all the way back to Winona, MN with plans to catch the GBW train the next morning which we did following it out to Merrillan, WI where the CNW is crossed. Catching a number of CNW trains here was a bonus. The next evening was spent at Portage, WI on the ex-MILW and Friday morning, June 7 was spent shooting Soo Line trains as we made our way back towards Aurora, IL for another crack at the BN E's. This time I got to ride behind them as I boarded a westbound train led by BN 9919 at the Route 59 stop and rode it to Aurora. I waited for the next train led by the 9920 and rode it back to Route 59 and continued to photograph the rest of the fleet along with Robert.
Next day, Saturday June 8 was spent at Dolton, IL which is on the east side of Chicago and a very busy junction. Saw trains from many different railroads here. We flew home Sunday afternoon and I have to say it was a very productive trip, especially when you consider the changes that have taken place since 1991.
And now on to the Gallery....
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