Seen Out the Window: Industry, Nature & One of the Tallest Dorms [Pictures]
I recently took some time off to visit family and friends in the Chicago area and rode Amtrak to get there instead of driving. Looking out my window I saw a lot. Nature, industry, the grittiness of St. Louis, the industrial remnants of Illinois, a capitol dome, and even the highest point between St. Louis and Chicago in Bloomington-Normal. Keep scrolling to check out 29 pictures I took on my rail journey between Warrensburg and Chicago.
I've been riding trains since I was little and watching the world outside the train is one of the little pleasures of life I've always loved. Riding the train from Philadelphia to New Haven as a young child I was fascinated by the commuter stations along the routes with their billboards for everything from broadway shows to radio stations. Especially the creepy ads for Joel Grey in "Cabaret".
A little later in my childhood, we'd take The Broadway Limited between Chicago and New York, and I'd love looking out the window at the various train yards and different types of train cars. Auto racks, ya know the kind in the '70s and '80s where you could see the cars and trucks. Looking out the window of the train is something that's stuck with me over time.
The older I've gotten, the less time I've spent riding trains. Jobs, responsibilities, how far I've lived from family, and maximizing vacation time have all made it harder to take the time to ride a train. As an adult, I did ride Amtrak's Empire Builder to Portland in the mid-'90s. My first time west. I saw a lot of wheat fields and grain. Although I remember passing through some small towns in the dead of night, wondering what it would be like to work there while trying to tune in to some local radio stations.
Recently, I've ridden Amtrak's Michigan Wolverine between Chicago and Pontiac, Michigan to visit my uncles. I'd build it in as part of a larger Chicago trip. My favorite parts of the trip were seeing the industry and urban decay of '70s-era Michigan from Dearborn through Detroit to Pontiac. It was both sad and interesting at the same time.
So this last time going to Chicago I decided to ride Amtrak's Missouri River Runner from Warrensburg and I consciously decided I'd try to grab some photos of what I saw out the window. Keep scrolling to see those pictures, and if you're interested in the train experience itself you can check out the article here.