This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Amtrak promotional tour

Today a special Amtrak train stopped in Rensselaer and disgorged a crowd of well dressed people. Many of them were city or county officials from Indianapolis, Crawfordsville, and Lafayette, other stops on the Hoosier State Amtrak line. I expected a speech or a few remarks, but there was none. The people milled around for about fifteen minutes and then they and a bunch of people from Rensselaer, mostly involved in city government, got on the train and headed for Dyer. Some of the visitors were impressed with our very nice platform and depot, and also with how much had been spent on them.
 In the picture above the man in the blue shirt was an Amtrak policeman. He arrived in a van, but another Amtrak police official was on the train. Did you know that Amtrak had a police force?

The sign that says "An Amtrak Community" was used for some posed photo shots (see below) and then left here in Rensselaer. Maybe the presentation of the sign was the program, but if it was, I missed it. The train car shown below was a special car, and its end was a huge glass window. Unfortunately I did not realize that until the train was leaving and with my camera put away, I could not get a picture of it. It came from Chicago to Indianapolis with last night's Amtrak train and was returning to Chicago today.
 The Rensselaer citizens who boarded the train will be returning on tonight's Hoosier State train--the special train went only one way.

There were only a few people from Rensselaer who greeted the train. One of them was a train fan who knew a lot about what was happening on the railroad. While we were waiting, he told us where the train was--he knew the engineer and had called him or been called by him. He said that the Magnetation plant near Reynolds had started production a few days ago and that ore trains had been going through Rensselaer, mostly at night. I asked him why we sometimes see Burlington Northern or other non-CSX trains going through town. He said that it was easier to let a train that had many cars and a specific destination to continue on rather than switch engines. He was not one of those who had the special invitation to ride to Chicago, but he must have talked to the right person because he got on the train as it left.

A reporter from the Rensselaer Republican attended and a number of people were eager to talk to her--I look forward to seeing what she learned. Dressed in my tee shirt and old pants, I was the worst dressed person on the platform and no one was eager to talk to me.

After the train left I mentioned to the head of the gas department that work on the SJC gas line looked like it was progressing smoothly when I checked it this morning. The line had been assembled and a trencher was making a hole for it. However, she told me that the directional drilling machine had broken yesterday and that they were waiting for a technician from Fishers to arrive to fix it. The last bit of the route goes under a sidewalk and a road to reach the powerhouse.
Below is what a joint between sections of pipe looks like
 Here is the machine that connects the sections to make the pipeline. I do not know how it works but am impressed at how quickly the pipeline can be formed. The whole operation is impressive in my opinion.

1 comment:

Desert Survivor said...

We met the Amtrak police at Union Station one time: