Monday, February 17, 2014

A Ten Year Old's Trip of a Lifetime - Part IV (Santa Fe to Pennsylvania in One Mile)

    The second full day aboard the San Francisco Chief was spent traveling across the midwest.  The train traveled through parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, Iowa, and Illinois.  We crossed the Mississippi River - THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER.  We crossed the river on the Santa Fe Swing Span Bridge (now known as the Ft. Madison Toll Bridge).  I was excited to see the mighty river and it was w i d e.  
     The San Francisco Chief pulled into Dearborn Station in Chicago on the evening of the second full day.  It had been about a 48 hour trip.  However we were not done with the trip as we needed to catch a train operated by the Pennsylvania Railroad in order to get to Columbus, Ohio.  At that time not all railroads used the same station.  (There were at least five train stations in Chicago at the time of our trip.)  So we were taken by car for the mile or so trip from the Santa Fe Railroad (Dearborn Station) to the Pennsylvania Railroad (Union Station).  I can't imagine trying to keep track of eight kids and numerous suitcases and traveling through these massive train stations.    
     My memory of Chicago is dark.  The building were tall and the sky was black.  Reinforcing this darkness was the rather dark color scheme used by the Pennsylvania Railroad.  
     We road in a coach car from Chicago to Columbus, Ohio arriving, as I recall, before dawn.  I am sure Grandpa Armstrong had to get more that one car to pick us up. 
     The ride on the Pennsylvania Railroad was a connection to our maternal grandfather since he had been an engineer for the PRR for 44 years.  Grandpa Hugus had retired from the railroad two years earlier.
Dearborn Station in Chicago 
is no longer a train station.
Union Station is still in use today

Pennsylvania Rairoad

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