great american train adventure continues to chicago

The lake shore limited dropped us at lovely Union station Chicago.


art deco sign




union station chicago

For a major city train station, union station is clean and quiet. The main waiting room is detached from the train waiting rooms, which are in a newer annex across and under the street under a newer building along the Chicago river.

I was struck how calm the station was even though there were many people wandering around. Union stations main waiting room was practically empty except for the tourist photographers,

Union station waiting room

not like crowded penn station in new york which probably has 8 police at any given time hanging around the waiting room. We didn’t see one police person in the entire station and yet it wasn’t a homeless hangout. Did we miss something?

Using our limited time in the city we wandered around a few blocks also fitting in lunch along with picture taking. Chicago is a mix of the old and new on maybe a more human level than new york. What we saw beyond the new buildings were the unique items at least to us. Yes it was cool and windy but the day before they had hurricane winds which was the talk of the lunch crowd around us.

boats chicago river


Sightseeing boats cruising and tied along the Chicago river. counterweight bridges on major streets that still work, how cool is that?

bridge tower

just in case



We did see an interesting building approaching Chicago with a statue on top. The Chicago Board of Trade

chicago board of trade

who the statue was on top of building we’ve no idea nor any pictures. But following our quest to the building we found the Chicago loop-elevated subway.

loop tracks

chicago loop elevated train

the old with the new, see somethings can co-exist quite nicely. things don’t have to be torn down to make way for the new.

But it was time to catch the zephyr a super liner train. Cool right?


Well the super part of the train means they can get more people on because it has a double deck of compartments. Which meant to us that the top bunk has less headroom, so low that mary couldn’t sit up in bed and had to roll into it, which was different than the lake shore.

The zephyr has a lounge car with strange seats. I remember as a kid seeing ads for lounge chairs that swivel along with glass windows but these are plastic/metal and designed for little people.

Zephyr lounge car

Train travel in America is so different than other parts of the world. We’ve traveled by train in italy and japan. In italy we did a sleeper while japan was the bullet train. Somewhere a decision was made to let train travel fall by the wayside to the more glamorous air travel. What we find is that the older population enjoys train travel, who really likes airports? The new bus terminals of travel.

Train travel lets one relax and enjoy the scenery, which is impressive. I’ve driven across the country 3 or 4 times and moving at 60 mph I’ve never had the chance to just enjoy the beauty of the country. Sometimes I found myself not taking pictures out the train windows, just enjoying seeing what passed before me. Very relaxing.


Next stop Amtrak station Granby Colorado, to the town of grand lake, gateway to rocky mountain national park.



3 Responses to “great american train adventure continues to chicago”

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