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An Afternoon At The Amtrak Depot

June 4, 2009

I took a photography class my senior year of high school. One of the final assignments was a series of photos designed to tell a story. I took the school’s camera and photographed the daily routine of getting Amtrak’s Illini out of town. What follows is a look at the activities at the Carbondale Amtrak station on a day in March, 1990.

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The Illini’s cars wait on the Rock Track

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The Illini’s power for the day, F40ph #211, backs down from North Yard to couple to the train.

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The Illinois Central car man talks to the engineer after the locomotive has been coupled to the train.

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Waiting passengers watch as the train pulls ahead and off the Rock Track.

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The train pulls onto the mainline. In a few moments, the train will back down the northbound main to board passengers for the day’s run.

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Assistant Conductor Pleasants stands by as passengers board the train.

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Conductor Hicks watches as his train is loaded.

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Engineer Jerry Shelly walks back to the café for a cup of coffee to go.

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Mission accomplished, engineer Shelly climbs aboard #211.

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At 4:00pm the conductor gives the highball and engineer Shelly whistles off. As the train starts moving, the Walnut Street crossing gates drop.

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Amtrak train #392, the Northbound Illini, crosses Walnut Street as it departs Carbondale.

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Traffic on Walnut Street resumes as The Illini heads out of town.

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The train gone, the Rock Track and the depot platform stand empty.
Activity will resume when #391 arrives from Chicago in the late evening.

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Copyright 2009 – Mary Rae McPherson

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